Tahira : Echoes of the Astral Empire - All News
Thursday - February 26, 2015
Tahira - Kickstarter Updates #5 & #6
Whale Hammer Games released two more updates this week for Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire. The fifth update talks about a character called the claw.
One half of a renowned mercenary duo, the only thing The Claw is more famous for than his ego is his skill with the blade. Born in the Republic of Oran, The Claw joined the Oranian army at a young age. His star was rising quickly before the betrayal of Queen Delphine of Babylon during the Oranian Wars lead to his nation’s destruction. Now homeless, he wanders the lands with his partner The Hammer, fighting for the side that will pay them best.
The sixth update has news the game is Greenlit , and has 300 backers.
Just a quick update today. We've been Greenlit, so we're coming to Steam! It only took a week. Thank you to everyone who voted for us!
We've also crossed the 300 backer threshold. There's 310 of you lovely people to be exact. We're just a little off $19,000. Let's see if we can push past that barrier by the end of today!
Tuesday - February 24, 2015
Tahira - Kickstarter Updates #3 & #4
Whale Hammer Games released two more updates this week for Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire. The first update talks the games setting, and how it was created.
The world of Tahira has a lot of influences from the real world and from fiction. I’m sure you’ve already noticed plenty while reading through the page. I'm going to write a few updates exploring those influences. Today in Part One the focus will be the inspiration for the history of Tahira's world and in Part Two I'll talk more about the characters.
The second update is about our interview, and talks about a new combat video.
A big welcome to our new backers, it's great to have you on board. Today's update is a recap of what's been going on and will be happening over the next week.
Steam Greenlight is going strong! We're 94% of the way to the top 100 with 2,000 yes votes. That's in six days! 57% of the people who've voted for our game have votes yes, to put that in perspective, the average yes vote percentage in the top 50 is 37%. People like what they see!
We had a really strong start to the campaign but things have slowed down a bit. We know we need more press coverage and we're working on it! We have a combat level in the works, which is only a few days away. In the mean time, please keep sharing the campaign around to anyone who likes games.
Tonight we're taking an early version of the combat level to the Canberra Game Dev Meet Up, we should have some video of that to show you tomorrow!
As of now the game has made $18,234 of the $68,000 goal.
Monday - February 23, 2015
RPGWatch - Tahira Interview
Couchpotato: Welcome to RPGWatch can you introduce yourself?
Peter Castle: Hello! My name’s Peter Castle, I’m the writer and producer at Whale Hammer Games. We’re a three person indie developer working on our first game, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire. I tend to introduce myself to people as a writer, but I’ve studied 3D animation and visual effects as well. I’ve been an avid gamer since I was a wee lad. I grew up playing PC games and Gameboy games, particularly RTS, RPG and turn-based tactics games. I also spent an altogether embarrassing amount of time reading fantasy and sci-fi novels. Some favourites of mine include Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series, Raymond E Feist’s Serpent War Saga and Paul Kearney’s The Monarchies of God. When I’m not working on a project I love to travel.
Saturday - February 21, 2015
Tahira - Kickstarter Updates #1 & #2
Whale Hammer Games released two more updates this week for Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire. The first update answers a few question asked by backers.
We've had lots of lovely comments and some questions too!
How long is Episode One going to be?
We're shooting for 4-5 hours for Episode One. We're not adding any filler, it'll just be you playing through the best story we can write, fighting battles in unique scenarios and having lots of conversations with your traveling companions. Inspired by Telltale Games' episodic games, we're making Episode One as dense as we can without adding fluff for the sake of padding it out.
Why can't I pledge for the first Season?
It's really important to us that we can deliver on everything we promise you! That's why we're asking for exactly what we need to get Episode One out the door. We can't wait to make Episode Two, but we don't want to promise it to you before we have the money to make it! If we hit our goal for Episode One, we'll definitely think about adding a stretch goal to add Episode Two as a pledge tier for our backers.
The second update shares some new forum avatars.
Here we are at the end of day two. It's been another big day for us. We're sitting just $285 shy of 25% of the goal!
It's a great start but we need to keep building momentum. We need your help, please keep tweeting, sharing links, videos and all that good stuff. To help, our artist Peter S whipped up some Backer Avatars for you to use. Upload them to Facebook, Kickstarter, where ever you spend time!
There's lots more in two different sizes if you follow this link: Backer Avatars!
Wednesday - February 18, 2015
Tahira - Kickstarter Launched & Greenlight
When she left, Tahira intended never to return to Avestan. In her mind, she had absolved herself of her father, her title, and any responsibility to the people of the kingdom. However, she never expected to receive a desperate message from her father. A message warning of a vast army using ancient technology to sweep across the land, and crush those in their way. A message begging her to return home.
Now, her father is dead, Avestan lies in ruin, and it falls to Tahira to lead what remains of her people away from this devastation, to find a new home.
A story-driven RPG with a modern take on turn-based tactics gameplay
Tahira is first and foremost a game that tells a story. The combat gameplay is balanced with equally important narrative scenes, in which you'll have the opportunity to engage with the people following Tahira.
The combat itself doesn't rely on the classic 'we all move, then you all move' formula of turn-based tactics games. Instead, unit turn order is determined based on each unit's speed. The player can then further manipulate turn order by jumping one of their units to the front of the turn queue - for a cost.
Tahira has been covered previously in Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun.
• A character-driven story featuring a bitter, drunk merchant and a swaggering mercenary power-couple.
• Rotoscoped character animations, creating a realistic, hand-drawn appearance.
• Hand-painted environments showcasing the bittersweet beauty of a dying world.
• A modern twist on classic turn-based tactics incorporating unit fatigue and a dynamic turn queue.
• Scenarios ranging from scrappy fights between a couple of soldiers to epic sieges where the player must manage multiple fronts.
• Persistent upgrades, allowing you to adapt your forces to suit your style.
• An atmospheric soundtrack composed by Max LL that incorporates the sounds and textures of Central Asia and the Middle East.
Thursday - December 18, 2014
Tahira - New Teaser Trailer
During my month off I received news from developer Whale Hammer Games about a new trailer for their turn-based tactics RPG game Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire.
Introducing Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire, an episodic turn-based tactics role-playing game set on a world that has fallen into a medieval dark age after the collapse of space faring civilisation.
Tuesday - April 29, 2014
Tahira - Interview @ Final Round Gaming
Final Round Gaming has a new interview for Tahira: Echoes of an Astral Empire that asked various questions with the whole development team at Whale Hammer Games.
Is there a reason behind the 2D approach, what made you choose it over 3D?
Peter Caste: Once we got Pete (Simpson) on board, it was a no brainer; he is a very accomplished 2D artist. With 3D there is a lot of messing around before you get close to the result you’re looking for and it can be a real struggle to get a specific result when you factor in texturing, lighting and effects. When you work in 2D it is much easier to get the exact look you were aiming for. I think there is something very special about 2D art and animation, it feels more personal to me than 3D and makes the feeling of journeying through the world a more personal experience.Peter Simpson (Lead Artist): I’ve been drawing for a very long time, whereas my experience with 3D is only very recent. If you’re an experienced 3D artist you will be able to get the result you want because you’ve got all those years of knowledge and experience to draw from. With the 2D approach, having done it for years, I know what I’m heading towards from the beginning. Without the skills and experience in 3D – even if you feel you are getting there – you might model something and then texture it, but until it’s in the game engine and has been properly lit you don’t really know how it’s going to look. There are so many steps where you can make mistakes and you won’t know you’ve made them until you get to the final product, which adds a lot of doubt to process.
What influenced you guys into creating a turn-based tactical RPG?
Peter Castle: Tom and I grew up playing games like Fire Emblem, Advanced Wars, Golden Sun etc. We always really wanted to make a game like that. What always caught my imagination in those games was how they depicted the idea of a grand adventure or quest. Their structure works really well for presenting story and game play together because it is normally something like this: you battle, then some narrative, then another battle, and so on. It works really well because you’re not relegated to watching the action orientated parts of the game, you actually get to play almost all of those.
On the flip side, you have the more narrative heavy sections, which break up the battles and give them context. With Tahira we want to see how far we can push those parts, you can walk around a lot of the levels and have conversations with the characters you’re travelling with. Over the course of the game you will get to know them and some of their history. We’re putting a lot of work into fleshing them out.
A lot of the games I mentioned that were on the Gameboy had different character sprites to their portraits and matching the two required a bit of a mental leap. That is one of the reasons we decided to go for the detailed illustrated style of character animations. Our hope is that when you’re playing the game there won’t be a disconnect when you switch from the character sprites to their facial portraits during conversations. It should feel like a more cohesive experience.
Thursday - March 13, 2014
Tahira - Peter Castle Interview
Peter Castle the Co-founder of Whale Hammer Games, and developer of Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire was interviewed by the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.
Would you be able to let us know more about your upcoming game?
One of the graduates from my screen class, a friend who studied at the ANU and I started our own independent game studio called Whale Hammer Games. We’re currently working on our first game called Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire.
The elevator pitch would be – It’s a turn-based tactics game for the PC, in which you play as Princess Tahira leading her people across a dying planet.
As you traverse the world, you’re being chased by the enemy who destroyed your kingdom and who seem hell bent on reclaiming the lost technologies of the past.
The world you’re travelling across is set after the fall of an advanced human civilization, so your technology at the time of playing is more in line with medieval weaponry. As you play you’ll find relics of the advanced civilisation all over the place, crashed battleships in the sand, abandoned cities and other things, I want to keep under wraps for now. It’s been a really interesting challenge to bring that world to life in the art and the writing.
The game draws a lot of gameplay inspiration from games like Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, X-COM and other turn-based tactics games we played when we were kids. One of the things I always thought could be improved was the story and setting. We want people to be emotionally invested in the characters in Tahira and that will hopefully mean they care even more about winning the battles.
When will people be able to get their hands on Tahira?
Internally we’re playtesting at the moment. We are aiming to have the first playable demo available late this year or early 2015.
We have a very big story that draws a lot of inspiration from movies like Nausica of The Valley of the Wind and a lot of science fiction and fantasy novels I read when I was younger. To do justice to the world and the characters we decided to split the game into smaller parts. We’re hesitant to call it episodic at this point because until all the parts are in and fleshed out we’re not sure how long each game will be. At this stage we’re thinking around 10 hours for each game, with the emphasis being placed on the combat, setting and characters.
It’s been really great to scope the game into these smaller pieces. For example, I’m the one writing the game and it has allowed me to write a very distinct character arc for Tahira (our main character) for part one. When you finish part one you won’t have resolved the whole plot, but you will have experienced a complete narrative arc for Tahira and that’s really exciting to me. It would be much more challenging to have written the game that way if it was just me trying to write this epic 30 hour RPG.
Tuesday - March 11, 2014
Tahira - The Claw Animation Showcase
Whale Hammer Games has posted another video update for Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire that gives us a look at some ingame animation.
We hit a milestone recently when we finished animating our first character for Tahira. The Claw animations consist of 480 drawn key frames, which took our dedicated artist Peter Simpson a month to do. I’ll be detailing the process in another update at some point in the future, but for now enjoy some rotoscoped 2D animation.
Thursday - January 16, 2014
Tahira - Death Animation Breakdown
Whale Hammer Games has posted another video update for Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire that gives us a glimpse at the games death animations.
Welcome to 2014 everyone! We’re back in the office and working hard. To start the year off we’ve got a new animation for you. Watch Peter C hamming it up for one the Claw’s death animations.
Monday - January 13, 2014
Tahira - Animation Timelapse Video
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire has a new animation timelapse video.
Our Lead Artist Peter Simpson draws our final animation test. This was the final part of our testing process as we developed our animation pipeline. Taking what we learnt from this test we moved into production on our first set of character animations, which we're wrapping up now.
Thursday - December 05, 2013
Tahira - A Tactical Turn-Based RPG
Tahira:Echoes of the Astral Empire is a new tactical turn-based RPG from a new developer called Whale Hammer Games. Not much is known about the game yet, but the site has a blog with more infomation.
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire is a turn-based tactics game for the PC, which places you in the role of Princess Tahira leading her people across a dying planet in search of a new home.
Lead Your People
Play as Tahira, the Princess of Avestan. Encounter and deal with a diverse cast of characters whose goals and motivations conflict with yours as you flee the enemy who destroyed your home.
Strategic Turn-Based Combat
Fight alongside legends as you traverse a hostile world, realised in hand painted landscapes. Battles are painstakingly animated and have realistic combat rules that reward good tactics and let you play the way you want.
Echoes of the Astral Empire
Explore a dying world, ravaged by the excesses of humanity’s past and learn about a time when man walked among the stars with impunity.
Information aboutTahira : Echoes of the Astral Empire
Developer: Whale Hammer
Genre: Tactical RPG
Play-time: Up to 10 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Whale Hammer