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The Age of Decadence Scenic Tour

by Vince D. Weller, 2007-10-01

The Age of Decadence is one of a new breed of indie CRPGs that aims to bring genuine roleplaying back to CRPGs. Featuring turn-based combat, an emphasis on dialogue and multiple solutions to quests, AoD embraces a form of gameplay that has passed out of favour with larger developers. Project lead Vince D. Weller takes us on a tour of seven different locations players will encounter in the gameworld.

 

Hi there, geeky boys and girls! It's your uncle Vince again with more stories about The Age of Decadence, an indie RPG with features and other awesome stuff. You've heard about our dialogues, you've read about our quests, and you've even seen the combat video. It's time to talk about AoD's environments and show you the gameworld.

I'd also like to use this opportunity to introduce Oscar "Elhoim" Velzi, our artist extraordinaire, armed with a Master's Degree, a good eye and a passion for games. He's responsible for redesigning the game's interface and bringing our environments to life. Prior to this, Oscar worked on several mods for Oblivion (including Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul), Rome: Total War, and Civilization IV (Better Ship Scale, and Ethnically Diverse Units). Some of Oscar's Civ 4 units made it into Civ 4: Beyond the Sword, the second expansion pack. So, say "Hi" to Oscar and let's start the show already.

When we started designing our locations, we decided to avoid over-the-top fantasy elements and look elsewhere for inspiration. Architectural wonders like the Pyramids, the Hanging Gardens and the Abu Simbel monuments can easily dwarf anything that a fantasy artist can come up with. You won't see those in the game, but you will see a Petra-inspired temple, Kom-Ombo looking ruins, a ziggurat that Bel Marduk would approve of, and a few other interesting places.



The first location we'd like to show is "inspired" by the famous Petra in Jordan. In the AoD world it's a temple-like structure carved in and through a mountain range. This place used to be a lot more than a simple temple, but its purpose and sub levels are now forgotten. Neither getting to the other side of the mountains nor activating the ancient elevator won't be easy and players lacking proper skills will have to find another way through the mountains.

 


Our next location is Castle Ganezzar and a town which was built around it. The castle is based on a late Roman fortress and belongs to one of the three Noble Houses - House Crassus - once the House of Arcane Research - now the House of Religious Fanatism. It's rumored that deep under the castle there are vaults filled with ancient war machines and relics, but few people are invited into the castle and nobody is permitted to see the lower levels.

I know what you thinking. You are not like other people. You can go where no man has gone before. You can cast Save & Reload, which is a very powerful spell. Adventurer, we salute you - but it won't be easy and in many cases success will require a combination of certain choices made in the past, acquired knowledge and skills. I'm boring you with the details, am I? 



To the north lies a mountain range, serving as a natural border protecting the former Empire lands from barbarian tribes no longer kept in check by the Imperial Army. The only known passage has been claimed and manned by the Imperial Guards. If the rumors of an alliance between power-hungry House Aurelian and one of the tribes are true, the mountain outpost will soon be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not a good time to join the Imperial Guards. 

 

That's the ruins of Zamedi. Well, technically, there's nothing left of Zamedi, but this tower. Such towers had machines capable of channeling raw power, drawn from other planes, into protective shields. The tower's generators huffed and puffed, struggling to keep the shields up while the hellfire unleashed by the enemy's magi consumed the town and the army defending it. House Aurelian claimed the tower after the war and being weary of what they couldn't understand and control, sealed it to make sure that the knowledge and the power contained within would die there. The only way to gain access to the tower is through faithful service to House Aurelian. Yes, faithful. No, you can't betray them and say that you're sorry later. *sigh* 

 

No RPG is complete without a tomb. It's a tomb of a magus who was involved in the "project" that led to the war and the devastation that followed. The tomb has a fake area for visitors, currently occupied by a band of desert raiders, and a well hidden burial chamber, containing the real sarcophagus and the most valuable AoD loot: information. 



The next item of interest is this "archeological" site. In the AoD world new discoveries aren't made in labs, they are dug out from ancient ruins and old battle sites. So when this ancient arc decorated by the long forgotten cuneiform symbols (that would be the ancient Sumerian written language, one of the first known to men) was discovered, it attracted many factions' attention. The arc is tied to the main quest, but it's an optional "item". You can beat the game without paying any attention to it or you can use it to influence the final events. You'd have to know how to power it up first, which requires skills and specific "how to" knowledge. 



Look, the symbols! They glow! 



Welcome to Teron. It's a small town that used to be a fort in another life. Teron was raided a few times, but House Daratan, the game's underdog, managed to defend the town each time, patching it and rebuilding what they could. Teron is your starting town, one of four towns in the game, and your base of operations if you join and stay loyal to House Daratan. It offers you more than 20 different quests, but your choices will reduce the available number of quests to 10-12 per playthrough.

Box Art

Information about

Age of Decadence

Developer: Iron Tower Studio

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-apoc
Genre: RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: None

Regions & platforms
Internet
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Expected at 2015-03-30
· Publisher: Iron Tower Studio

More information


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