Solium Infernum - All News
Tuesday - December 22, 2009
Solium Infernum - Updated to v1.04a
Saturday - December 12, 2009
Solium Infernum - Analysis @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra takes a look at the design of Cryptic Comet's indie strategy title set in Hell, Solium Infernum, and examines the nuts and bolts of what makes it work in this op-ed that reads like a review:
Despite the hex map, Solium Infernum isn't quite a war game. It's all about prestige. The story of any game of Solium goes like this: Satan's missing, and the Infernal Conclave are meeting to appoint a new ruler of Hell in, oh, some 40 turns. It's an unknown number that changes every game. Each player (AI or human) controls an Archfiend of some reknown, and the Archfiend with the most Prestige points when the conclave meets at the end of the game is appointed the new ruler of Hell.
Reputation is everything, making it a game of personality and public relations, back-room deals and threats. So, having to fight a war is useless and to be avoided. But winning a war, or being the Fiend with the balls to start one? Yeah, that might be worth your time....
...But then, of course it's tricky. This is Hell. Nothing is simple, everything is skewed and maddening and all of it requires not just attention but thought. As a strategy game Solium Infernum's demand for actual brains shouldn't feel like a breath of fresh air, but it does. Hellish, choking, scalding hot, ash-filled fresh air.
Wednesday - December 09, 2009
Solium Infernum - Picture Tutorial
One of the best resources I found when trying out Armageddon Empires was a lengthy tutorial on the game. The guys over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun found one for Solium Infernum. It's a neat picture tutorial that has some funny bits in it as well. Head over here if you are interested.
Tuesday - December 08, 2009
Solium Infernum - Version 1.03 Patch Released
Cryptic Comet has released a second patch for their recently released strategy title set in the Infernal Regions, Solium Infernum, bringing the game to version 1.03. the patch includes some bug fixes and a UI improvement. You can read the full changelog here as well as download the patch at the Patches Scrolls. The update is also available at Atomic Gamer.
Source: Blues News
Friday - November 27, 2009
Solium Infernum - Game Released and Final Diary Entries @ Fidgit
This slipped past me during Thanksgiving, but the Demo has been released for Solium Infernum. Solium Infernum is a strategy game based in the Infernal Pitt. You take on the role of an archdemon vying for the Throne of Darkness. The demo comes with the manual. You can download the demo here.
In addition, Fidgit has wrapped up the diaries on the game. The third in the series is called "Touched By An Angel". It goes over the random events in the game. Here is a snippet from the entry:
Many games have random events. A common mechanic in a boardgame is drawing some sort of event card that can affect everyone. But Solium Infernum doesn't quite do it that way. Instead, you draw a card every time it's your turn to first. So when you're in the catbird seat, so to speak, you get to draw a random event that you can keep until you're ready to play. And therefore, any time an event happens, it happened because someone played it.
The catch is that many of these random events are indeed random. There's no guarantee you won't be hoist by your own petard.
After the jump, I'll tell you about the Angelic Host.
Angelic Host Incursion is one of the event cards. It brings onto the board an Angelic Host, which is that gold piece up there. She's pretty bad-ass, and she can fly a far distance. She arrives and attacks one of the legions of the player who's in the lead. Then she works her way down the list of players, flitting about the board and swatting down demonic legions over the course of several turns. Considering most players will only have two or three armies, and considering this Angelic Host is a mighty powerful creature, this is a perfect event for trailing players. It's the equivalent of that cannon bullet in Mario Kart that lets you nose your way towards the lead. Just keep your fingers crossed she goes away before she gets to you.
The last called "A Couple Things You Should Know First" gives a critique of the game. It mostly focuses on the AI, but one thing Vic is known for is updating his games and tweaking them to perfection. For Example: Armageddon Empires was updated many times before he was satisfied with the AI. The other critique is the difficulty in learning the game. This is nothing new with his games and frankly it's refreshing to not be able to figure out within a few seconds all the nuances of a the game. It's always a good idea to read the manual before playing or scan the forums for help. It's a little difficult to post a snippet from the article due to the fact that he references a screenshot in the article, but here are a few:
See that screenshot up there? It's the diplomacy screen, where you track each player's score. I'm in a full six-player game against the AI. I'm at the top. As you can see, my score is 132. If you work your way around the ring clockwise, the AI players' scores are 20, 6, 8, 0, and 13. The game is probably about a third of the way over. None of the other players has lifted a finger against me in any meaningful way. No diplomatic initiatives, no attacks, no rituals. I am clearly the biggest threat on the board. Their reaction? No reaction at all. I'm literally just hitting the "next turn" button over and over, watching my score rise.
The other thing I would warn you about is that this is not an easy game to understand. There is no tutorial. You're not going to figure it out by shuffling pieces around and checking the tool tips (there aren't any). You will have to read the manual. You will then have to read it a second time. You will then want to have it handy to reference it while you're playing. Solium Infernum is a complex game that will not meet you half way. You have to do the homework.
Those two things said, I cannot recommend this game enthusiastically enough. There are too few strategy games this bold, this true to their subject matter, and this unique in terms of gameplay. Get it here (there's a demo you can try to see if it's the sort of thing you'll like) and I hope to see you on a score board like the one above, but with the numbers a bit more evenly distributed.
Wednesday - November 25, 2009
Solium Infernum - Hands On @ RPS
We won't be overwelming you with too many Solium Infernum newsbits but since we've been following it lately, a hands-on seems worth mentioning. Kieron Gillen writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun; it's hard to pull a quote, so here's a bit from the beginning:
What I think is that I want to prod around it some more. Much like Cryptic Comet’s last game – the genuinely brilliant Armageddon Empires - this is a hard nut to crack. If you remember, it took me a third of a year to actually persist enough with Armageddon Empires for it to click. Even then, it took until after the end of the year for anyone else to have properly explore it – and Alec, my equal and opposite in ‘orrible indie strategy – found it had worked its way into his heart. Jim never tried. And if John did, he’d have another one added to the list of games which made have made him cry.
Much like with Armageddon Empire, I’ve played a game, realised I didn’t get anything, restarted, and learned a little more. In fact, I managed to pull of a victory on my second go on a fairly small map. And – unlike Armageddon Empires – I actually sat down to at least skim the manual, because the first experience of the game was so genuinely bewildering.
Tuesday - November 24, 2009
Solium Infernum - Diaries @ Fidgit
Tom Chick has updated his diaries with "When War Gets Personal". In this one he talks about the leaders of your armies called praetors. Here is a snippet:
Imagine if Japan fought World War II not by attacking Pearl Harbor and then exhausting her industry in a four-year war at sea. Instead imagine they got to set their own terms for the war by proposing a one-on-one combat with America's most powerful general. So the US would send Patton or Eisenhower into battle. And then Japan would send in Godzilla, who they'd kept hidden away all those years.
That's what Solium Infernum is like. Wars can either be the bloody brutal clashes between armies jockeying for position, or they can be quick surgical encounters between two praetors. When you declare war, you get the advantage of setting the terms for victory and the time limit. This is usually a matter of how many spaces you'll capture, how many legions you'll kill, or how many special locations you'll seize. But praetor combat a fourth option with a completely different set of rules. So even if you're outnumbered and outgunned - or if you want to declare war against someone with whom you don't share a border - a good praetor can be the key to a successful war.
Monday - November 23, 2009
Solium Infernum - Diaries @ Fidgit
Gamebanshee reports that Fidgit's Tom Chick has recieved a preview copy of Solium Infernum. He has written two game diaries about it. The first one titled "fat, lazy, greedy, and totally hawt" is about playing a fat, lazy, greedy archfiend with tons of personality. The second one "arms and the demon" is all about combat. He goes into a lot of detail on the various aspects of the battles and what it takes to win. Here is part of both Diaries:
I am a fat lazy greedy archfiend named Spall who hasn't moved any legions from my stronghold since the game began 12 turns ago. Since I'm merely a baron, I start out with a lousy starting legion anyway. It packs a passable punch when it comes to infernal combat, but it would be slaughtered by anything with ranged or melee ability. The more noble demons get the better starting army.
I recently bought Defilers, a group of middling melee warriors, from the Infernal Bazaar, which is where you get all your units. But I haven't bothered to move them out yet. The problem is that I've been using all my orders yelling at my minions to bring me more resources. More souls! More ichor! More hellfire! And especially more darkness! Lots more darkness! Now go. Fortunately, fat lazy greedy demon that I am, I'm also fairly charismatic, so the minions are pretty motivated. They bring me back a decent good selection of loot. Furthermore, there's been a fortuitous resurgence of evil in the human world lately. It's one of the events that can pop up in the game when a player plays an event card. I played a similar event earlier and got a spectacular windfall of resources.
The first thing I buy are wyrrmm mounts. These are like sandworms from Dune, but with a big metal helmet/bridle thing clapped onto their noggins so they can be ridden. With them, my unit's hit points are added to their melee damage to represent the worms trampling their enemies. Damage is normally determined by simply comparing the melee value of two units. If I have a five and you have a four, you take one point of damage. But with my wyrrmms, if I have a five and you have a four, and I furthermore have ten hit points, you take eleven points of damage. Now you're probably dead.
Thursday - November 19, 2009
RPGWatch Feature: Solium Infernum Interview
No, it's not an RPG but indie and turn-based still piques our interest. When we're not playing RPGs, turn-based strategy games are a favourite genre for many of us. We briefly covered Armageddon Empires when it was first released, so when the opportunity came up to catch up with Vic Davis on his new game Solium Infernum, we thought we'd take it. Here's an introductory snip:
RPGWatch: Vic, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions. First, can you give our readers some background on your company Cryptic Comet and your previous game Armageddon Empires?
Vic Davis: I’m a small one man indie outfit. I do all the design, project management and coding. Then I hook up with talented artists, writers and musicians and put flesh on the design bones. I started doing this full time about 5 years ago when I began work on Armageddon Empires. I had been encouraged by my success making Civil War battlefield CD-ROM’s and thought that I would try my hand at a turn based strategy game, since it was one of my favorites genres - albeit a dying one even back then. AE puts you in charge of one of 4 factions after the earth has been destroyed by warring alien empires. I tried to give it a board game/collectible card game feel by adding some common design elements and mechanics that you would find in such games…things like deck building and dice rolling. The game was very well received and has gathered a bit of a cult following…but it’s not like Turn Based Strategy fans have a lot of choice nowadays. :)
Read it all here.