Soulblight is a dark, top-down roguelike luring you to cross the thin line between good and evil. Embrace your flaws to survive a journey through an unforgiving Sanctuary. Gluttony, Lust, Cannibalism - how far are you willing to go?
It all began with a single drop. Form it two primal forces emerged. Forces of life and death. They fought one another in a futile effort to renounce their allegiance, only to realize that to exist separately is against their nature. From that communion the Soul Tree was born and with it the world as we know it.
Instead of XP grinding Soulblight introduces a unique Tainting Mechanic. It represents the process of character’s transformation. To gain power you will have to act accordingly to your hero’s personality. This is what we call “a bit more literal approach to RPG” ;)
We look back with nostalgia at our pen and paper RPG memories. Back then, gaining XP and leveling up was only part of the fun. The thing we were most excited about was actual role-playing. For a brief moment becoming a character with all their merits but also with all their flaws. Sometimes their shortcomings would stand in the way of solving a quest at hand making the game more difficult. But because of that the characters felt more alive and that’s why we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The situation with video games is different. For the most part players can’t miss an opportunity to get precious loot or XP knowing that the game will penalize them for it. That’s why no one expect players not to fight a giant spider just because their character might have arachnophobia. So if we want players to actually roleplay there needs to be a special mechanic that will encourage them to do so. That is how our Tainting Mechanic came to be.
Before entering each level of the Sanctuary you get to choose a Taint that represents a certain personality trait. That choice will shape your future experiences as each Taint unlocks a new way of gaining power - a custom mechanic designed to encourage role-playing. Tainting Mechanics channels your will to survive into actions that are aligned with your hero’s personality. Let’s have a look at some examples:
As you go deeper into the Sanctuary you’ll be able to add more Taints to your character’s personality making the shifting levels of the dungeon itself a skill tree of a kind. However with each new Taint you’re a step closer to the point of no return. Are you sure you know where it is?
When the world was finally formed the Soul Tree gave birth to a man. It fed him, raised him and the man was thankful. He cultivated the Soul Tree and build a Sanctuary around it calling it a “tribute”.
But the tree became hidden from the world and the man has eventually forgotten of its creator. Soul Tree started to wither. And soon after the blight took over. Through human neglect the Pyrope Brood spawned.
And just as the disease consumes the Soul Tree the crystal plague ravages the land.
That is until someone comes to wash away the blight.
Centuries after falling into oblivion the Sanctuary seal is broken again. Those who venture inside rarely come back yet when they do they tell stories of mechanical marvels they found inside. It appears that the knowledge of our Ancestors far surpasses the knowledge of even the most renowned scholars of today.
There is no roguelite without randomly generated levels. In Soulblight maps are built from predefined segments on a base of a hexagon. This way we can create thousands of levels avoiding structural chaos and incoherence.
Carving your path anew awaits you with every trail as shattered reality of the Sanctuary changes constantly. It encourages you to discover the tale of how religion and technology intertwine shaping the world you are so desperately trying to save.
Through this nonlinear gameplay we are aspiring to tell a story of battle for the soul that will unfold before your eyes with every playthrough. Death is not the end here, it is a part of the journey.
The path you are about to take is full of dangers as relicts of Ancient times still wander the halls of the Sanctuary. These vicious mechanized golems are called Nerajatan’s Sentinels.
But these are not even a prelude to what lies ahead. To find Soul Tree you will have to face Abacus. Legend says that a high priest, the protector of the Sanctuary, transferred his consciousness into an enormous machine on which the temple is built on. To fight him means to fight the entire chambers of the labyrinth. As Abacus is just an electromagnetic pulse it can easily manifest itself in different forms.
Swinging your weapon wildly won’t get you far in your journey. What truly matters is tactics. Be aware of numerous combat mechanics such as stamina management, distance control, grip attack or blocking and parrying.
Distance control is crucial as spear could be a very potent weapon at range, but useless up close. Axe on the other hand is excellent in contact, but ineffective when you’re trying to reach a retreating enemy.
Your opponents are designed to destroy you at whatever cost, even if that means killing one another. Use that to your advantage! Navigate through the battlefield to trick them into hitting each other.
Don’t forget that tactics do not end on combat. Sometimes it is more appropriate to use a subtle approach. Sneak behind the enemy avoiding their sight and gently take them out by snapping their necks.
Be careful though, the environment might be traitorous. One wrong move and the sound you make will alert your prey.
No matter how proficient you are with your blade it won’t help you much if you’re too weak to wield it properly. Hunger is of many factors that you have to consider when exploring the Sanctuary. Be sure to scavenge whatever you can.
You will find medical appliances such as bandages, stitching kit, germicide lotion or panacea each designed to treat different kind of wounds. Be careful though the wound might begin to fester if you use low quality materials!
Gold is necessary to buy rare items at the trading stations scattered throughout the complex. You can also use reality bending Ad’r Gems to upgrade your equipment in the mystical process of transmutation.
Remember to manage the weight of carried items as the more you carry the more limited your movement will be.
The fear of all that is technical is rooted deep in the hearts of the society. But you have to overcome it as those devices are much more effective than simple swords made by the blacksmiths of the present day.
To make our campaign more fun we’ve decided to gamify it a little bit and set up some social goals. Have a look at these three “vaults” we have created.
Each of the vaults contains a special piece of in-game equipment. When opened the item will be revealed and added to the final game. How to unlock them? By reaching our social goals. The number on the top of the vault shows how many are needed. Here’s the complete list of our social goals:
And here are all the links:
Risks and challenges
Right now we're approaching the final stages of the development process. But we need your help to give us that last push. It will allow us to give the game a final polish as well as pay for music and sounds, licensing and rating fees.
Being that far into the process we feel that we've minimized the risk as much as it is possible. And we are confident that we can deliver a product that is unique, true to our vision and hopefully the one that you will enjoy as well. We've been listening to our community during Alpha tests and will continue to do so during Beta testing.
This is the game we've always wanted to make. It's been a long and challenging journey so far, but we're at the end of it and we would like to ask for your help in order to finish it. So if you're looking for a unique take on role-playing in video games please support us!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)