Swords and Sorcery: Underworld - All News
Wednesday - September 30, 2015
Underworld - Definitive Edition Release Date and Trailer
Charles send us word that The Definitive Edition of Swords and Sorcery - Underworld will be available November 3rd.
Announcing a November 3rd release! SSUDE was made by an old gamer, for old gamers (and open-minded younger ones). Gameplay hearkens back to the 80s but many layers were added to add to tactical challenges, exploration and... Looks as well!
Also check out this announcement trailer.
Sunday - September 06, 2015
Underworld - Character Creation and Levelling
Charles-cgr wrote a new update on character creation and levelling:
Character Creation and Levelling
Previous versions of Swords and Sorcery – Underworld had very basic character creation and levelling systems. They were in fact very close to Might and Magic – the Secret of the Inner Sanctum (Book I). Not entirely the same, but close. You had to roll for attributes. New levels earned you fixed and randomized extra points for each attribute (MMI attributes did not evolve with new levels).
Underworld Definitive Edition changes a bit in that respect. Each character starts with a fixed number of points for each attribute (how many depends on class). You have a pool of six points to distribute and with each new level you will have 3 more.
Skills are learned automatically at the corresponding level. In the following video you can see a party being created from scratch and in the second part all characters earning level 9 (4:50). Several characters earn skills at that level.loading...
Sovereign will be very similar, but the number of points will differ and you can choose to invest in skill points as well. Those skill points can be used to learn from teachers accross the world.
In my previous entry I mentionned that weapons no longer added damage points to an existing score, but multiplied it. This works because base attributes are capped at 20. So multiplying that by 5, 10 or even 20 gives adequate results. Of course a x10 or x20 weapon will be rare and its requirements will make it unuseable by a low-level character. Weapons also have a minimum strength requirement.
The attributes work as follows:
- Strength determines damage dealt in melee. It will be multiplied by the weapon’s coefficient to determine the melee score. If the character has two weapons (ambidextria) the first weapon’s coefficient is applied to base strength, then the same with the second weapon. The three values (base strength + weapon 1 bonus + weapon 2 bonus) determines the melee score.
- Endurance determines how many hit points the character will earn at each level. During character creation HP=endurance. When levelling however Luck will also come into play (+random(luck)-4). Luck can turn out a negative score that will reduce HP earned but in case of a negative result it is changed to 1.
- Accuracy determines the chance to hit with both melee and ranged attacks. With luck it is checked against the monster’s accuracy and luck. It also determines damage dealt with ranged attacks. Strength still plays a part in that in the sense that the ranged weapon has a minimum strength requirement that is correlated with the weapon’s efficiency (most of the time). Luck intervenes here as well, adding damage exactly the same way it adds HPs earned when levelling.
- Speed determines combat order.
- Spirit determines proficiency in Priest spells. It determines how many HP a healing spell recovers and how much damage an offensive spell inflicts. The same luck check is applied here as well.
- Intelligence is to Sorcerers what Spirit is to Priests. Luck intervenes in the same way. A monster’s intelligence (and luck) will also determine whether they spot a Rogue after a stealth attack.
- Luck is very important for beginning characters because random(luck)-4 can give negative results and starting attributes like strength have but a few points. It is also important because it plays a part in just about all checks. Accross the board, the number of times Luck will give an extra edge or penalty like extra damage, HP and SP during levelling, or causes a miss or hit really adds up. As the character progresses however the ratio luck to primary statistic lessens.
My next update will be about items, inventory and shops. Thanks for reading!
Saturday - August 22, 2015
Underworld - Definitive Editon Engine Update
After some time a new update has appeared for Swords and Sorcery: Underworld Definitive Edition. The update is about combat in the new engine that was made.
First of all, there are portraits. These are visible throughout the game but in combat there are a couple things to take note of.
- They are layed out in their actual combat positions. There are three rows of two, which represents their actual position in combat. Therefore the first two are most exposed.
- Characters (and monsters) are grayed out when out of melee range. (It does NOT mean they are inactive, nor does the highlighting indicate which character/monster is up). This allows for many things, including tactical positionning options. These include: join or leave melee, order everyone forward or to retreat, or move to the front. there is also the protect option (given the character carries a shield) which allows him or her to set themselves alongside or in front of a companion and physically “share their armor”. They effectively change position in the roster. Monsters can have similar behavior.
The combat log now appears in real time in the top left corner. This allows for much quicker combat since there is no longer a need for a pause to allow players to follow friendly and enemy actions.
Visual effect for spells.
All options appear in the bottom row and can be clicked or activated with their keyboard shortcuts (those appear on the left when hovered). Several actions are unlocked later with the earning of new levels. Naturally, spell casters are rewarded with new spells.
- Ambidextria allows Knights and Rogues to use two 1H weapons.
- Stun allows the rogue to immobilize a foe for some time (how many rounds depends on an accuracy and luck versus the monster’s endurance and luck check).
- Burst allows the archer to shoot three arrows simultaneously (with damage per shot reduced by 25%).
- Later, Barrage allows the archer to shoot all visible targets (up to 10) with a 50% damage score.
- Berserk allows the Knight to hit all enemies in melee with a loss of 50% of his/her own life bar.
- Bleed allows the Rogue to inflict cumulative damage over time, but you’ll need a high level for this one.
- Powerhouse allows the Knight to replace 1H weapons with 2H weapons. Meaning potentially two 2H if he/she chooses to not carry a shield.
To make this work better, I redesigned both the monster and item database. Monsters now have the same attributes as characters. Some attributes like endurance, spirit, intelligence and luck are used in different checks, allowing for much more variety of resistances and weaknesses. This info can be collected with a spell called Read Mind that’ll help you figure out how to defeat the tougher enemies in later stages of the game.
Another example is the Rogue no longer systematically leaves stealth mode after an attack. An accuracy and luck versus intelligence and luck check determines whether he/she remains unseen or is spotted by the target. If the target is killed by an assassination, the Rogue will remain unseen no matter what.
Weapons now have a penetration and minimum strength score. I added this mainly to accomodate the Archer. The Archer’s damage now exclusively depends on his/her accuracy and luck (to a lesser extent of course), regardless of strength. But to use a more powerful weapon, the Archer will have to match the weapon’s minimum strength. Penetration is deducted from the target’s armor score before determining final damage. While this helps balance the Archer’s contribution to the group, it works the same for melee weapons (whose damage scores are determined by strength.) But bows tend to have higher penetration scores than swords or daggers.
To further accomodate this system, I changed the way weapons work as well. They no longer add to the character’s damage score but multiply it (+0.20*Base Melee, +5.5*Base Ranged…). The weakest ranged weapon (sling) adds 20% to base ranged damage (the accuracy score). The most powerful melee and ranged weapons exceed 10*. Scores of armor and special items have attribute bonuses and many can be enchanted later in the game.
Wednesday - December 31, 2014
Underworld - Now Greenlit on Steam
Charles-cgr announced his game Swords and Sorcery: Underworld has been Greenlit.
Underworld was just greenlit, thanks to you all! A big thank you and I'll keep you posted on the release, which will probably be delayed until a new major upgradeis posted.
Friday - February 22, 2013
Sovereign - Update
Hard on the heels of our recent article on Swords and Sorcery- Underworld Gold comes an update on the sequel Sovereign. It's not much yet, but the new UI is definitely looking good. Thanks for keeping us informed Charles.
Thursday - February 21, 2013
RPGWatch Feature - A New Look at Swords & Sorcery: Underworld
There have been improvements to game balance also. Experience is harder to come by as quest and battle rewards have been reduced. No longer can you expect to raise your level to 30, you’ll be hard pressed to get near 20. Fights are also more challenging and strategic. New strategy options have been added for each character type, which I found made battles much more enjoyable. You can even have the computer play out a fight for you - but except for obvious easy ones - I wouldn’t recommend using this feature.
Tuesday - January 15, 2013
Sovereign - World Map
Charles from Olderbytes (Sword & Sorcery: Underworld) writes in with the new world map from the next Sword and Sorcery installment, Sovereign.
Monday - December 10, 2012
Underworld - Gold Edition Review @ GameBanshee
Sword and Sorcery: Underworld Gold has been reviewed by GameBanshee. The reviewer points out some issues he had with the game, like on combat.
The developer of Sword and Sorcery: Underworld Gold (Charles Clerc) let us know that he might disagree with some stands taken by the author, but thinks overall it is a pretty fair assessment of the game's strengths and weaknesses.
Along with the mechanics of the game being old school, the graphics are that way as well. Underworld Gold uses a fixed 1024x768 resolution that you can stretch out to full screen or play in a window. All of the locations and enemies are in 2D, and the colors use a basic palette. The good news here is that while you won't ooh and ahh while viewing the scenery, the system requirements are minimal. You should be able to play Underworld Gold on just about any computer.
I played version 2.0.16 of Underworld Gold, and sadly it's still a little bit sloppy. Some parts of the game haven't been implemented yet (you're supposed to get attacked sometimes when you rest, but it doesn't happen), some parts of the game don't work (a strength-increasing beverage always claims you've already drunk it), and there are a host of silly typos (like "antichamber," "prisonner," and "pondered silk gown"). Fortunately, none of these problems prevent players from completing the game, and Charles Clerc has been very good about releasing updates, so hopefully he'll get everything straightened out soon.
Overall, I had mixed feelings about Underworld Gold. It reminded me of my youth playing RPGs (and breaking out the graph paper and colored pencils), but I'm not sure if I wouldn't have been better off playing one of those older games rather than this new one. That being said, Underworld Gold is only $15, it works just fine on Windows 7, and it gives you about 40 hours of content. It wasn't my favorite game of the year, but it seems like a fine risk if you're looking for something different to try.
Monday - October 15, 2012
Underworld - Sequel Announced
The eagerly awaited sequel (well at least by me) to the old school retro-game Swords and Sorcery Underworld has just been announced. Head over to the official site to read all about it.
Saturday - September 22, 2012
Underworld - Gold Edition Now Available
Charles from Olderbytes sends word that Underworld Gold has been released and can be purchased from their website. There's also a demo, if you'd like to try it out first.
Apparently a sequel is planned - check out Charles' post on our Indie forums.
Thursday - September 13, 2012
Underworld - Gold Edition Release Date
Charles from Olderbytes let us know a date has been set for the release of Swords & Sorcery Underworld Gold - September 20th.
I can finally say with confidence what day Swords and Sorcery – Underworld Gold, my kickback to the late 80s 1st person party role-playing game, will not be postponed again.
Thursday September 20th.
It is ready. This final week is to allow me to focus on promoting it a bit and other related activities. I am still unsure how much interest remains for this kind of game other than my own and that of a few hundred motivated enough to disregard the previous version’s visuals. If you are one of those, many thanks for your support. If, on the other hand, you are one of those that would not put up with it and bashed and dared me into creating a real game, many thanks for your support. Both groups were paramount in finally achieving completion (for real this time). I needed both the carrot and the stick. Talk about high maintenance.
If you aren’t part of one of these groups, many thanks for your interest! I’ll try to bring you up to speed with the following list of features. Underworld Gold aims at being much more than a graphics update so some of these will be new to past players as well.
- An actual introduction. Five slides depicting the setting and context at the start of the game. I hope you like it.
- A pre-built party (you can still build your own).
- Mouse support.
- Enhanced combat: Distance and timing management in a set of tactical options. Enemies have and use them as well.
- 8 new maps (20 total). 5 previously existing maps were redrawn and 3 entirely new areas.
- Hundreds of new items, including new item types.
- New item attributes (charged, enchantments, some specifically scripted).
- Many new NPCs.
- Interactive and dynamic “World Map”.
- Puzzles. Some span entire maps and others are of lesser scope.
- 115 monsters, each illustrated. Some scantily but tastefully clad of the female gender (be forewarned).
- Monster specials: many have one to better pounce on your characters. Some have two.
- New environments.
- New skills (active and passive).
Sunday - July 15, 2012
Underworld - Underworld Gold Trailer # 2
A new teaser trailer for this game's Gold Edition can be found at Youtube. The link:
The above linked trailer show environments, the graphics and more of the combat in this game.
Thursday - July 12, 2012
Underworld - New Gold HD Trailer
A new trailer is available for Sword and Sorcery Underworld Gold HD:
Charles also notes the site for the game has changed to OlderBytes.com.
Monday - April 02, 2012
Underworld - Gold Preview @ RPG Codex
Underworld Gold has been previewed in a short article at RPG Codex:
One thing that is new in Underworld Gold are the avatars of your characters. Every combination of race, gender and class has a unique portrait, making it a total of 48 different character sprites. These avatars, together with other overhauled graphical assets, maintain a good standard and are a lot more professional and consistent than the graphical assets used in the old version of the game.
The interface has also been graphically enhanced. It retains the same layout as before and it is still just as keyboard and/or mouse friendly. As you can see in the comparison shots below, the Gold version preserves the ability to assign hotkeys to everything that you can click on. Really handy, I must say.
Tuesday - January 31, 2012
Underworld - New Tactical Options
An update at the Classic Games Remade site discusses new tactical combat options for the upcoming Underworld Gold:
Underworld Gold has new combat rules that involve distance management, adding both realism and tactical depth. In previous versions only monsters were marked in or out of melee (a + indicated that they were in). Now the same goes for characters. This opened the door to a few extra tactical options.
- Any character can rush to the front.
- Characters in melee can choose to step back.
- Those behind the lines can choose to step in.
- Characters in melee can attempt to shove enemies out of melee.
- Party leader can order the party to press forward. This only uses up the leader’s turn and causes both monsters and characters to enter melee.
- Party leader can order the party to fall back. This only uses up the leader’s turn and causes both monsters and characters to leave melee.
Thursday - November 10, 2011
Underworld Gold - New Trailer
Underworld Gold has a new video. It's almost completed with only a few puzzles, new levels, bugs to be squashed and a bit of polish to be done. Charles-cgr expects an early 2012 release:
Wednesday - October 12, 2011
Underworld - Graphical Overhaul Update
There's an update at the ClassicGamesRemde site announcing all monsters and characters have been completed in the planned Underworld graphical overhaul - head over for a bunch of screens:
There is still quite a bit to do with the still full screen illustrations. Also work has started for the sequel and significant progress has been made (GUI, some outdoor environment tiles, castle walls…). This delays the Underworld Gold release somewhat but I’m hoping to reassure those that have been waiting for something really new for a while that Underworld will NOT be a one-time thing. But that is still a story for later
Tuesday - August 30, 2011
Underworld - Something to look forward to:
Charles from CGR has written in to give us an update on what is happening with the Swords and Sorcery games. As well as working on the sequel to his first game, he has hired an artist and begun a complete graphical ovehaul on the original. Follow this LINK to his site and check out the incredible difference, as well as the latest news on the project.
Monday - April 04, 2011
Underworld - Review @ RPG Codex
RPG Codex has a review of Sword & Sorcery: Underworld, written by Elwro. There's no score as usual for the site but he obviously enjoyed the old-school gameplay. A sample:
After the party has been created the adventure begins. You exit a tavern in the city of Highnest and start exploring the world. The game is a grid based dungeon crawler and has two display modes: either you see a very basic image of the game world from the first person perspective, or, during combat, you see a list of opponents (which, in keeping with the oldschool tradition, can extend far into dozens), an accompanying picture, your party stats and the available options. Important events are illustrated by static full-screen illustrations. You'll be seeing the combat screen very often. In fact, hordes of opponents roam the streets of the game's cities (again, true to the tradition), and you will be fighting every few steps. In the meantime you will find that the first city has a temple, an arena, an inn (to buy food at), a shop, a training hall (to advance to the next experience level you have to go there and pay, which, if you are not careful, may put a strain on your budget), a tavern, a blocked entrance to the catacombs, the Stewardess' hall and lots of locked houses. The catacombs can be entered in at least 3 ways. It's worthy to investigate the locked houses as this leads to receiving more quests. (You can't bash locked doors; your Thieving Ability is checked, so here's one occasion on which a Rogue is handy.)
Tuesday - March 29, 2011
Underworld - On GamersGate
You can now grab Sword and Sorcery: Underworld over at GamersGate. It's $19.95 and DRM free.
Sunday - January 16, 2011
Underworld - Final Updated Version Now Available
Charles from Classic Games Remade has written in to let us know that a final updated version of his Indie dungeon crawler Swords and Sorcery: Underworld is now available. Here's a list of the updates:
Much lighter engine (previous versions ran choppily on lower-end machines).
Extra character development, with new combat options at level 12 for knights (Berserk), archers (Barrage) and rogues (Bleed).
An offensive spell for the priest replaces 'Portal', which was previously redundant as the Sorcerer also had that spell.
New content & a legendary artefact for the Priest.
Reviewed spell requirements.
Kill stats and time played (F11).
New sky image.
IJKL mapped for party movement.
The version number is now 1.06 and the demo also comes with these new features. Check it out if you haven't already, it's well worth the effort.
Monday - August 02, 2010
Underworld - New Re-Balanced version
You can't say developers never listen. Classic Games Remade has re-balanced their recent release of Swords and Sorcery Underworld to make it an even better experience. Here's the text of the forum post announcement:
Following discussions on the forum, email exchanges and RPGWatch's (fantastic!) review of Underworld, it was clear that part of the original intent - to provide a consistent tactical challenge throughout the game's combat encounters- wasn't met.
Players tend to level higher than I expected and in the end distortions come out. While I intended the sorcerer to be a powerful class, it quickly overshadows all the others.
Another issue that comes out frequently is the difficulty finding gold. That was intended but apparently instead of adding to the fun it really adds frustration.
V1.05 addresses these issues and several others by:
- scaling XP: each mob now has a level. When the party's average level goes beyond a mob's level the resulting xp from killing that mob progressively decreases until it reaches 1xp per mob in the encounter. Each mob's xp is added to determine the final reward for victory. Overall having replayed the game I found that the lower XP means slower levelling, and therefore less need for training gold, while keeping up with each level's challenges. (Level requirements remain the same).
- Spell efficiency: the sorcerer remains a powerful class, actually starting out more powerful than previously, but with slower progression. The sorcerer's power remains at par with the others but with its added abilities to immobilize, transport, deal with multiple enemies... Each spell's algorithm has been reviewed.
- New loot system: this allows for more flexibility in loot mapping, making each loot much more likely to be progressively useful.
- Reviewed monster power: Each mob's abilities have been edited to ensure a real tactical challenge in most of the game's encounters (random or fixed).
- Reviewed item efficiency: plate armor especially tended to protect too much...
More convenient saving system (offers previous save name as default when overwriting an existing save).
Hit space / click to make the combat aftermath stop.
- Killing the guard at Highnest & coming back to previous save didn't bring back the guard (using the 5 new save slots). The same went for fixed encounters and locked / unlocked doors, although that was less noticeable.
- De(m)oting a character disabled (N)ew character and (x) back, forcing a reload
- F1 kills the mouse cursor but it would deviously find its way back in combat.
Some differences in the game will be less noticeable if you already have a high ranking party (past level 15).In that case v1.05 may best be left for a future replay.
Tuesday - July 20, 2010
RPGWatch Feature: Underworld Review
Corwin looks at Underworld - a retro, early Might & Magic inspired game from Classic Games Remade. Here's a sample:
This is an old-fashioned, turn based, party RPG and your first job is to roll up a party of adventurers. You can create a party of up to six characters and there are six classes to choose from. Race and gender options are also available, but they didn't appear to make much, if any, real difference during the game. Class certainly did as many items have class restrictions upon them. The six possibilities are Knight, Paladin, Archer, Thief, Priest and Sorcerer. I began with a balanced party, but later swapped to try other builds. You begin in an Inn, with some very primitive gear, a little gold and no idea what to do except explore the town a little. Good Luck.
Saturday - July 17, 2010
Underworld - New Version Release
Some of you may remember the recent Indy release of a game in the style of Might and Magic 2 and early Wizardries called Swords and Sorcery Underworld from small developer Classic Games Remade. Many were concerned about the underwhelming quality of the graphics and gave the game a miss. However, a new version 1.04 has just been released and while the graphics won't win any prizes, they have been markedly improved.
I've just finished playing the game and a review is forthcoming. It's definitely an Old School dungeon crawl, but if you've been complaining that they don't make them like they used to, and you can handle fairly basic graphics, then do yourself a favour and at least try the free demo. The game is basically bug free and fun to play. All details can be found at the website; just follow the link.
Information aboutSwords and Sorcery: Underworld
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2010-07-17
· Publisher: Olderbytes