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A tactical turn-based RPG, set on a world fallen into a medieval dark age after the collapse of a spacefaring civilization.
A tactical turn-based RPG, set on a world fallen into a medieval dark age after the collapse of a spacefaring civilization.
1,283 backers pledged AU$ 68,755 to help bring this project to life.

New Playable Build, PAX AUS and More!

Posted by Whale Hammer Games (Creator)
20 likes

Hi Everyone!

We’ve got a big update for you this month. We’ve had a couple of big deadlines that have kept us absolutely flat out over the last couple of months. That means we've got a ton of awesome things to show you!

We've done a lot of work on the user interface.
We've done a lot of work on the user interface.

New Playable Build

It's been a while since you've had a chance to play Tahira and we wanted to show you the progress we've been making. This build we have for you is missing Heroic Action from combat as we're currently working on re-designing part of its function and it wasn't quite ready for the build yet. 

The audio is very rough as most of it only came into the game in the week before we locked the build. 

We'd love to know what you think, all feedback is useful to us so let us know in the comments!

GAMMA.CON and PAX Aus Indie Showcase Submission

As mentioned above, we’ve had a couple of big deadlines to hit over the last two months. The first was GAMMA.CON in May. GAMMA.CON, a local Canberra convention, was the first time we’ve shown off the game publicly outside of the event at Reload Bar during the Kickstarter Campaign. It went really well, with heaps of people playing and enjoying the game.

The second was getting our submission ready for the PAX Aus Indie Showcase. The Showcase is the equivalent of the Indie MEGABOOTH at the US PAXs. Being selected provides free booth space, promotion and passes. We worked really hard to get a polished version of the game ready for submission, which is the one we've got available for you to play above.

Regardless of whether we get selected we can confirm we’ll be showing off Tahira at PAX Aus in October/November! We’ve booked indie booth space and we can’t wait to put Tahira in front of a huge new audience!

It’s down to all of you that we have the chance to do this, so thank you!

Re-timed Animations and Tahira's First Special Attack

Re-timing the combat animations has been on our to-do list for a while. We got lots of feedback during the campaign that the animations were taking too long to play. With Brendan beginning work on sound effects for the animations, we've been able to find the time to make some big improvements. If you play the build you'll see that they are much quicker and gameplay is a lot snappier now. It's an ongoing process, so if you notice any animations that you think are too slow or too fast, please let us know. 

We've added a lot of character animations since the last time we showed the game off. The Astral Archer now stalks the battlefield fully animated, All bar one direction of the Avestan Knight's Special Attack are in the game now and we’ve started working on Tahira’s special attacks.

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Audio

You'll notice in the build that we've started putting audio into the game. Brendan has been working with us intensively for the last two weeks to create sound effects and soundscapes. We've actually already come a long long way from what you'll hear in the build.

We're also very excited to have Max joining us to begin working on the music around the end of July.

Kickstarter Rewards

So where are we at with all the cool physical rewards?

Framed Posters

We’ve just had these delivered and they look great. We’ll be sending them off to our backers over the next week.

We've got one on our wall.
We've got one on our wall.

Art Book

As mentioned during the Kickstarter, these won’t be ready until after we launch the game. Doing it this way will let us put all of the art we produce for Episode 1 into the book. Trust us, it’ll be worth the wait.

T-Shirts

We’re in the process of receiving quotes from various printers at the moment. Once we’ve found one we’re happy with we’ll be ready to set up the surveys for this tier.

Mugs

We know how excited everyone is about these and the designs are close to being finalised! There are a few small tweaks (Tahira's energy beam will look nicer than it does at the moment) and then we'll be ready to go! Here's a sneak peak:

Posters

These are good to go! We're just waiting on the other physical rewards so we can set up the surveys at the same time. 

Another Awesome Kickstarter!

We’ve mostly retired this section of our updates, but we’re making an exception this time. Our friends at Three Phase Interactive have launched a Kickstarter for their kickass spaceship building/destroying game Defect!

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In their words: “Build a ship, complete a mission and wave it goodbye when your crew defect to the other side. Then design a new ship to hunt down those mutinous traitors in an endless cycle of punishment and revenge. Don't make that new design too good though, because odds are you'll be fighting it pretty soon.“

You can play the demo on Steam:

They’ve got a week to go and still need $22,000, which sounds all too familiar to us. They’ve got a great game, we've backed them, let’s help them get over the line!

That’s it from us this update. 

We’d love to hear your feedback about the build and anything else we’ve mentioned in the update. Take care of yourselves!  

<3 Peter C, Peter S and Tom

Jörn Huxhorn, Craig Brown, and 18 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Dianne on

      I haven't had a chance to try the new build on the Mac yet, but I didn't run into any issues on Windows 7 outside of the known bugs.

      I am not good at strategy games but I managed to scrape through on the fourth attempt with one rescued soldier and the princess remaining. Really tough, but not frustratingly so, and even at this early stage of development I figured out the combat mechanics and general strategy without any instructions.

      The archers destroyed me the first few times and had more health and armour than I was expecting. They really liked to employ hit and run tactics on me to pick off my troops, and it's hard to maneuver them into position to use the special attack because they'll just run away and fire from a distance.

      The game's shaping up really well. Looking forward to trying it at PAX AUS!

    2. JeroenB on

      Thanks for the clarification. It would be unfortunate but very understandable if you went Steam-only through beta, others are taking that approach as well.

      I hope other distribution channels also develop a robust patching & distribution system, for instance GOG with their Galaxy software, so that developers can easily distribute beta versions through channels other than Steam as well.

    3. Whale Hammer Games Creator on

      @JeroenB

      The release version definitely will. We promised DRM-free and Steam. We'll definitely be offering those, which service we offer the DRM free copy on is still being locked down. The Beta we're less sure about. When we're a bit closer to kicking it off, we'll look at the logistics and see what makes the most sense.

    4. JeroenB on

      Will it also be available outside of Steam? At least the release version? (Off the top of my head I don't remember what was promised during the campaign.)

    5. Whale Hammer Games Creator on

      @Stian

      Steam is the plan! We're just waiting on some of the paperwork at the moment and then we'll start integrating with Steam's API.

    6. Stian on

      Awesome, looks like there have been a lot of improvements since I last tried the alpha. This is looking good - and I am still surprised how challenging the combat is, a single tactical decision can change the battle totally.

      Hope you guys can get Tahira onto Steam when it's getting to beta-times, it simplifies testing and rollout of versions so much!

    7. Whale Hammer Games Creator on

      @JeroenB

      Definitely agree! It's important to us that anyone can play through the game and have a good time. We're trying hard to make the whole game feel like one experience so it's important we don't ruin that by not balancing the different difficulty levels. For the real turn-based tactics fiends we should have something pretty testing at the highest difficulty level as well.

      The dumbing down of the AI is an interesting one. It's something we ran into with the archers, they're reasonably clever and their stats were way too high in an earlier version of the game. We had to bring them down so they wouldn't destroy you.

    8. Whale Hammer Games Creator on

      @Snon

      It's on the list! :) Had to cut it for this build as we didn't have time to put it in.

      @Elgar

      Oh interesting, we'll have a look at what we can do about the external screen, that's not very good if you can't use it.

      3-4 tries is good effort. It's a combination of being efficient with rescuing the knights and and as you say using your special abilities. You actually can heal, but it's a bit hidden in the UI at the moment. If you click counter attack while you have willpower you can 'guard boost', which restores a small amount of guard and restores your guard if it's been broken.

      We've got quite a long list of tweaks an additions (some passives) and modifiers to make positioning and other tactical play more important.

    9. Missing avatar

      snon on

      You should add some "hot"keys for all the possible "move" options -move/(special&counter) attack- & also for every character.

    10. JeroenB on

      I think configurable difficulty settings in the final game are important. Some people will be skilled at turn-based strategy games and play primarily to experience and overcome a challenge on that front; others will play primarily for the story and the atmosphere, and will just not be as skilled at the combat aspect -- it would be a shame if the latter group are forced to quit in frustration because they simply cannot make it through certain encounters despite a few attempts.

      The surrounding by enemies is indeed dangerous, but then the other side is trying to kill you -- artificially preventing them from attacking you in a sensible way would be a bit silly. My impression is that things like luck with rolls, health/armour amounts, and skill timers are better dials for adjusting to different player skill levels than dumbing down the opponents. Even a low-skill player wants to feel like they are engaging smart, skilled opponents and overcoming them -- even if the difficulty level is actually stacked in the player's favour.

    11. Elgar Storm (Crazy Hawk Games) on

      The Macbook screen looks to be 1280 x 800 (only a 13 inch screen). It would be nice to play in full resolution on my HD external monitor, but I know that is not your fault (it looks to be a combination of OSX and Unity not playing so well together). I think the issue is just the UI blocking the base of the screen though, so any environment fixes you make should solve that issue.

      Should I be impressed that I managed to beat the map after 3-4 tries then? The key at the moment is to take down enemies as quick as possible, since there are twice as many of them as there are of you. The lack of healing abilities also makes that one harder. It makes you rely on the special moves to damage multiple units at once. I know it feels bizarre, but sometimes you actually have to intentionally do things 'bad' for the game to be better - in this case making the AI dumber. In a game I am working on at the moment I have added deliberate wait segments to the AI so that the computer does not make its moves too fast.

      Balancing is hard, but it does look like the core of the mechanics that are there are good. Fine tuning a decent system is much easier than trying to fix something that really does not work.

    12. Whale Hammer Games Creator on

      @Aljaz

      Problem found! We only outputted a 64 bit build. We're creating a 32 bit build at the moment and it should be in the same folder as the others in a few hours.

    13. Whale Hammer Games Creator on

      @Howard

      Thanks!

      @Elgar

      Hmm, what is your screen's default resolution? There is an issue with the new UI blocking the bottom of the map at the moment. We're going to add more environment art to the bottom so the camera can go lower.

      Haha yeah, it's quite hard at the moment unless you've played it about 500 times. It will get easier when Heroic Action is back in the game, but as you say, we'll look at the difficulty tuning a bit closer to release and make sure that it's well balanced for its difficulty settings. It is interesting you mention the units getting surrounded as it's something we're thinking about.

      Thanks for the feedback, very helpful as always :)
      Peter

    14. Elgar Storm (Crazy Hawk Games) on

      I agree that it is looking a bit more polished now. Nice to see that you added better control for on a Macbook :) Also, the updated UI is looking very nice too.

      The OSX build does work, unfortunately it defaults to the resolution of the Macbook screen, which is much less than HD (since I do not have a retina screen). This means that trying to control units at the bottom of the map is very tricky (at least, I presume that this is a resolution issue - if not it needs sorting out).

      Also, is it just me or is the combat fairly difficult? I thought I was pretty good at turn-based combat (having played a few recently), but I really struggled to actually win. It took me several tries, and even then it was only just a win. If you made the AI less likely to surround your units and destroy them this would be a little easier. I understand that you do not want it to be too easy, and I also understand that fine-tuning the balancing is not the most urgent thing right now.

      It is cool to see this coming together. Keep up the good (and hard) work.

    15. Howard Kistler
      Superbacker
      on

      Great stuff! Looks like it's really coming along, and with a lot of polish. Kudos to you all for incorporating feedback so quickly into the build. Keep up the good work!

    16. Whale Hammer Games Creator on

      @Aljaz
      Hmm, I'll have Tom look at that tomorrow.
      Peter

    17. Aljaž Božičko on

      This app cant run on your PC
      I have 8.1 Windows
      x86