The Iron Oath - All News
Wednesday - June 09, 2021
The Iron Oath - Combat Improvements
The Iron Oath got some combat improvements:
A list of recent combat improvements and quality of life changes we've made to the game
Hey everyone! As mentioned in our last update, we recently made a bunch of combat improvements and QoL changes that we're excited to share with you today. We're also in the process of adding some new combat environments such as the Tundra that you can see in the video below:loading...
Saturday - October 03, 2020
The Iron Oath - Development Status Update
A new update for The Iron Oath talks about development so far.
Hey everyone, we hope you are all doin well! As we are reaching the last few months of the year, we wanted to give you an update on the game's current status and release date. 2020 has been a strange and challenging year for everyone, so it's probably not much of a shock to hear that it's impacted the game's development.
We went into this year with the hopes of releasing in late 2020 or early 2021. Development was going well and and we took the game to PAX East at the end of February. We had a great show, met a lot of existing and new fans and received tons of positive feedback, so we were feeling pretty good on our way back home.
Of course it was around this time that the lockdowns began and development slowed down. Chris has 3 young kids, so when schools shut down he had to begin dividing his time between programming and helping to homeschool his kids. More recently his wife got a new job in Ohio, so figuring out their move from Florida further detracted from his ability to work as much. Progress had still been made during this time, but just not at the rate we had expected or hoped in order to release this year.
For now, things are about as "normal" as they will be for the foreseeable future and we've settled back into a steady rhythm. His kids are doing virtual schooling at home so he still has to devote some time to looking after them during the day. All things considered, we're doing our best under the circumstances we're in now, and we've begun looking for a few additional programmers to help speed things up.
Concerning the release date, it is still TBD. We don't want to rush out an incomplete product, so all we can say for now is that the game will be out when it's ready. As for some good news, the game is now what we consider "Alpha", meaning all the game's features are in place and all that remains is adding more polish and content. So we're excited about that at least, and it brings us one step closer to the closed Beta! We will also be putting out another updated demo on Steam in the future like we did a few months ago. So if you missed the previous event and don't have access to the Beta, you'll still have a chance to check out the game prior to release. As always, we'll continue to keep you apprised of our progress, and we hope you all can understand our need for some extra time to complete the game properly.
On the art side we've continued to make good progress with our animator Rafael producing some awesome work with our designs. Here's a look at a design timelapse and final animation result of two recently completed enemy characters:
Monday - June 29, 2020
The Iron Oath - Preview @The Escapist
The Escapist previewed The Iron Oath demo and noted the use of timed elements.
During exploration, time works against your party, offering debuffs and perks based upon how long you take to finish any given scenario. For example, as I was escorting refugees out of the mountains, my party became restless, meaning that upon entering combat, one of my characters would begin the encounter sleeping. This randomization invites further playthroughs and piqued my curiosity for what other status effects may exist in the full game.
The demo for The Iron Oath gives players the chance to complete a mission and see the overworld of the game, and that’s it for now. Curious Panda Games describes the game’s core features as including consequential decisions, contracts that take place over centuries, and an in-depth management system. Unfortunately, none of these elements are present within the demo. It does, however, clearly communicate the tone and base gameplay effectively to make you eager for more.
Friday - June 12, 2020
The Iron Oath - Gameplay Interview Video
The Iron Oath has a new gameplay interview video done during The Summer of Gaming event.
We chat with the developers of The Iron Oath and take a look at gameplay of its turn-based tactics core, which is backed up by detailed fantasy mercenary company management.
Disclosure: Humble Bundle (which is owned by Ziff Davis, the parent company of IGN) is either the publisher or financier of this game and may receive a commission or fee in connection with sales. Humble Bundle and IGN operate completely independently, and no special consideration is given to Humble Bundle-published or financed games for coverage.
IGN chats with The Iron Oath game devs Nik Mueller and Chris Wingard about what makes The Iron Oath tactical RPG so unique. From its unique hero design, to its pixel art graphics, to its complex turn-based battle system, this interview with The Iron Oath devs is full of little game tidbits viewers might not have picked up in The Iron Oath game trailer.
For more on The Iron Oath be sure to check out IGN.
Tuesday - March 24, 2020
The Iron Oath - March Update
The March update for The Iron Oath announces a partnership with Humble Bundle.
Hey everyone! We hope you're all doing well and staying safe during these uncertain times. We have a couple things on the menu for this month's update, and first up is a very special announcement that we can finally reveal: our partnership with Humble Bundle!
We've had to keep it under wraps for a while, but we've been working with them as our our publisher for a little over a year now and it's been a great relationship thus far. It's certainly made development easier and less stressful, and they've been super supportive every step of the way.
I know some of you may be a bit wary of us getting a publisher, but we can assure you that the game's design has not and will not be compromised in any way due to this, and ultimately we still have 100% creative control. We'll also have more news to announce as the result of our partnership down the line!
To go along with this announcement, Humble has just launched a new video series for showcasing their upcoming games catalog called the Humble Brag. You can check it out here: (We're at the end! Be sure to drop them a like and subscribe too)loading...
PAX East Recap
At the end of February we attended PAX East with a new build of The Iron Oath. This was our first time attending a PAX event in any capacity, and we were pretty overwhelmed by the size of it! We participated in DreamHack Austin back in 2018 with an early build of the game, which helped give us some booth experience, but PAX East is an entirely different animal and was quite a lot of work for just the two of us. That being said, we managed just fine aside from some sore feet ;)
Over the course of 4 full days we ended up handing out about 800-900 postcards, and our 3-station booth was fully occupied 95% of the time (probably had around 200 players). It was very encouraging for us to see so many enjoy the game, and be genuinely excited and interested in talking to us about the design and features it has to offer. We'd also like to give a special shout-out to the handful of Kickstarter backers who stopped by to say hi and check out the game; It was great to meet you all!
Tuesday - November 12, 2019
The Iron Oath - October Update
The October update for The Iron Oath talks about the new direction for combat environments.
Time for a belated October update! The last month has been a hectic time for us as we were crunching to meet certain deadlines, and thus didn't have the time to put together a proper update. Not going to share just yet what the crunch-time was for...we'll see in a month or two how things pan out and hopefully we'll have some good news to share :)
In this month's update we wanted to talk about our new direction for combat environments, and illustrating the point with a brand new tileset that we've created and implemented this past month. In the environments you've seen so far, a typical combat area has rarely been much larger than 5-6 rows high, as shown below:
While the narrower corridors allowed for more streamlined exploration, they made combat encounters a bit too cramped, and didn't allow us much room to place terrain obstacles and hazards without suffocating the playfield. This resulted in combat areas not having much variety to them, which is not ideal!
With this new tileset we've greatly increased the size of the playfield(up to 10 rows high at points). The base tiles are completely empty aside from the ground and back wall, as seen below:
With this much space, we now have a lot of room to work with for creating many different and tactically interesting layouts, populated by the terrain and hazards that are attached to this tileset. This includes a variety of rock formations, holes, falling rock obstacles, dangerous spikes and more. Here's some of the terrain objects for this tile, still need to complete a few more:
Each "layout" will be hand made, as we think it's preferable to randomly generating them. We're not quite sure how far we'll go with the quantity, but we'll be shooting for at least 100 unique terrain layouts per environment. Here's a look at one section's layout in-game:
For the existing tilesets, we'll be going back and revising them a bit as well in order to add more space. Though in some cases, certain environments will be less open than others when it makes sense.
Another thing we wanted to show off was the in-dungeon dialogue system which has received some work lately with additions such as portraits, text fade-in and auto scrolling. Of course you can skip through this all by left-clicking as well if you're a quick reader or just want to breeze through it! We're still not 100% done with it, but we're pretty happy with the current state for now. The example below is from the opening mission/introduction to the game :)loading...
And a small bonus gif of something that occurred while I was recording some footage. I didn't think this action through very well :( lol
Thursday - October 03, 2019
The Iron Oath - September Update
Hey everyone! Another thirty days have passed by and we're back to show you some of our work from the month of September. We don't have too much to share this time around, as the majority of our workload from this past month is a bit of a secret and not something we're ready to reveal quite yet ;) You'll have to wait a few more months for that but it's something we think is pretty cool and hopefully you will all feel the same!
Earlier in the month, Chris spent his time implementing new enemies and creating sound effects to go with it. You can see a small sample of this below:
...and a few gifs from other abilities!
Next month's update will have a bit more to showcase. The dialogue windows (including player responses/choices) have received some love this past month but there's still a little bit more cleaning up we'd like to do before we show it off. We've also begun work on prototyping and implementing some new environments, so we'll be looking to share some of that next month as well (might even make it a subject for a dev video!). It's our intent to make combat environments more varied and less straight forward (with more obstacles and hazards that are unique to each environment, requiring careful attention!), so we hope you'll like the direction we're taking with that.
See you next month, and as always, if you haven't already done so, please add us to your wishlist us on Steam as it helps to boost visibility and awareness! Thanks as always for taking the time to read :)
Monday - June 03, 2019
The Iron Oath - May Update
The May update for The Iron Oath shows off the new UI.
Hey everyone! This past month we've been working on designing and implementing the finalized UI/HUD for the game and it's coming along nicely. Most everything we had in place has been entirely revamped with a new style, though we've kept the same positioning for the majority of elements. You can see a comparison below:
Previous combat UI:
Updated combat UI:
Here's a breakdown of all the changes:
The allied party UI has changed in style to make use of character portraits in the future (the current blown up sprite portraits are just placeholder until then). We've gone with a Baldur's Gate style health fill to represent the damage taken for each character (the more red, the closer they are to death!), and two simplified bars to show the values for the Focus and Spirit pools respectively. The rotating particles represent whose turn it currently is, while the alternate frame border shows which character you're currently hovering/targeting.
The enemy party UI has changed similarly, though it is smaller in scale so we can fit large groups of enemies onto the screen. Like before, targeting an enemy will display some info on their defense, and your chance of hitting them with the selected ability.
The details of your current target remains mostly the same, but will now show the level of the target and some additional info on their status, such as whether they are channeling an ability and when they'll be done, or when their next turn is. (not all of this is implemented yet, the below is just a mock).
The turn order has received some of the bigger changes, and is now more informative and interactive. When you select a target, they will also be now highlighted in the turn order so the player can more clearly tell them apart from similar enemies, in addition to seeing at a glance how close that target's next turn is.
We've added a divider to separate combat rounds, and an indicator to show how many characters are left to act in the round behind what is currently visible(this will only show if there is not enough room to display everyone). Additionally we've color coded friends from foes (blue and red), added health bars to the turn order, and also icons to indicate whether it is a new turn for that character (a star), or whether they are finishing a channeled ability(a clock).
Hotbar & Ability Tooltips
We've removed the health globe from the hotbar(we felt it was redundant), encompassed everything in a new fancy frame and re-positioned it back to the center of the screen. Red and blue markers beneath each ability now indicate whether that ability is classified as Offensive(red) or Supportive(blue). The white border indicates which ability you are hovering, while the flashing animation indicates that the ability is currently selected and ready to target someone.
Our ability tooltips have also been updated to be more concise and offer important information at a glance. Beneath the name and ability type, Focus Cost, Ability Range and Cast Time are represented with unique icons. To the right, a quick animation shows viable usages for the selected ability. Beneath the main description displays any augments the ability has from that character's ability skill tree.
We hope you like the new look and features! We'll have more UI screens to be shared in the next couple updates.
We'd like to leave you with a new full track by our composer, Alex Roe. This one is specifically an exploration track for the region of Godsvale. He's composed well over an hours worth of music thus far and we're excited to share this one with you(and more in the future!). Be sure to check out his youtube channel if you'd like to hear more of his work from The Iron Oath and other past projects!
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!loading...
Friday - March 01, 2019
The Iron Oath - February Update
The February update for The Iron Oath.
Hello backers! This past month we've done a lot of work on various features surrounding guild management, and designing the UI that goes with each. We're still using placeholder graphics for the UI elements so unfortunately we can't share what these screens look like quite yet, but we'll be finalizing some of them in the upcoming months.
The functionality for managing your Guild Council is now implemented. You can hire people for these roles by visiting towns, meeting potential candidates during missions or by assigning a retired character into one of the roles if they are capable of it. The jobs of the 3 councillors have undergone some small changes from when we last talked about it during our Kickstarter campaign. Each position has some passive benefits and tasks they can perform, with success and speed depending on their skill level.
- The Battlemaster can trains troops by teaching positive traits, or help your soldiers get rid of unwanted ones. Recruiting a Battlemaster provides increased Experience gains for your roster, a larger selection of potential recruits in hubs, and insight into which traits a potential recruit has.
- The Emissary is your liaison between you and the different factions within Caelum. They can help you boost your reputation with a specific House, Faction, or the citizens within a city. Recruiting an Emissary provides you with more lucrative contract rewards, and gains the attention of the noble class, allowing you to accept contracts from a ruling House.
- The Spymaster comes in handy for uncovering plots by your enemies, or for tearing down the relationship between any two Houses and potentially inciting open war. Recruiting a Spymaster allows you to discern when a quest giver or potential recruit is trying to deceive you, and unlocks the ability to follow up on various rumors that they hear of through their underground networks.
We've also been working on the report that your adviser will present to you at the end of each month. This report details your current financial situation and contains a complete breakdown of your income and expenses, which can be beneficial for future planning. The report also contains suggestions from your Guild Council if there are any pressing matters they want to bring to your attention. For example, if you are short on certain types of troops, have too many injured personnel, or if they have a suggestion on which House you should gain favor with, they will mention it to you in the report.
We've also been updating our ability tool-tips to be more informative and streamlined. Our first pass on them had extra flavor text and details that made the important information difficult to quickly discern. We'll have more details on that in next months update!
In the art department we're continuing to finish designs and animations for the various enemies, here is a recently completed animation-set for the House Commander, once again done by @rafaelborvenAnimation by @rafaelborven
Friday - February 01, 2019
The Iron Oath - Character Backstories
A new update for The Iron Oath demonstrates how character backstories are generated and shows off some enemy designs.
Hey everyone! We're back with our January update and we have a number of things to share with you. Chris has recently been working on the implementation of backstories and how they shape your characters. Here's some insight into the process:
Character backstories are dynamically created by selecting a number of events that build off one another, shaping how that character came to be. These events take into account the world history and what has transpired so far in your play-through. We do this by first determining how old a character is, and then during each major milestone event in their life(their birth, childhood etc), we can look back at what was happening in the world during that time, and select events that are appropriate to build out their backstory. For example, a character born during the events of a war might have a part of their backstory detailing how their parents were killed by invaders during said war.
In order to create a character an "Origin" is selected. An "Origin" is the broad overview of where they grew up. This determines if they were born in a small village, a large city, or out in the wild, etc. Next, we select a "Family" event. This is what kind of family were they raised by. Were they raised by farmers, did their parents own a shop, were they bandits, did they even have parents? Only certain "Family" events can be selected based on the "Origin" for the character. So if the newly created character has an origin of growing up in the wild, it won't be possible for their "Family" event to be one of a noble family who lived in the capital. After the "Family" event we select a "Childhood" event and then a "Young Adult" event. These events also build off the previously selected ones. There might be a childhood event that says their parents were murdered by bandits while working on their farm. This event would obviously only be chosen if the "Family" event dictated that their family were farmers.
The goal is to build out a dynamic backstory that makes the characters feel more realized, with a sense of belonging to the game’s world. Additionally these backstories are not just fluff, and most events will play into that character's loyalty quest. If their parents were murdered by a well known group of bandits, they may approach you once you have earned their trust, and request your assistance in bringing their parent’s killers to justice. Additionally, these events will generally play into which character class they ended up becoming, and what traits they possess.
Here is an example backstory generated for a new character:
"Braeda Wheatfield was born in the heart of Langster in the year 1181. She was raised by a couple of farmers who led a mostly quiet life and kept to themselves. One day, soldiers from House Haevir attacked her home and slaughtered her parents. Braeda managed to escape but never forgot the faces of the men who crossed her. She vowed to get revenge if it was the last thing she ever did. Alone and distraught, Braeda managed to eke by an existence by stealing food and supplies. This life in the shadows helped hone her budding talents, teaching her to move and attack without being seen."
- Id : Unique Id than can be referenced later in other events that need it as a prerequisite.
- Category: What type of event is it. "Origin", "Family", "Childhood", "YoungAdult", "Adult"
- StoryPrereq: This event is only possible if one of the events listed here is a part of their backstory.
- OtherPrereq: These are other determining factors for if an event can be used. This one has "DuringWar" so it could be be selected if there was a war in their region during the years around their childhood.
- Text: This is the written description for the player with details about the event. They are written to splice together so the different event categories flow well into each other. Everything inside of brackets are keywords we parse and replace with the appropriate text needed. So [firstName] is replaced with that character's first name where appropriate.
- ProbabilityWeight : This can be used to determine how rare certain events are.
- DaysUntilRepeatable: How often can this event be used as a part of a backstory. It can also be set to -1 meaning it could be unique and only come up once.
- LoyaltyQuest: Does this event have a loyalty quest tied to it? This is where that is set.
- Traits: Does this event add a trait to this character. If during their childhood they had a frightening encounter with the undead, a “Fear of the Undead” trait can potentially be added to that character. Personality traits are also chosen this way, for example if a family friend murdered their parents we could add a trait that makes them distrusting of others. This would affect their relationship with other characters (their Affinity), and their relationship to you and the company(their Loyalty).
Friday - January 04, 2019
The Iron Oath - January Update
The January update for The Iron Oath.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to everyone, and we hope you all enjoyed the Holidays :) We're a few days late here with our December wrap-up so we apologize for that, but here it is nevertheless!
This past month Chris has been working on various mechanics that take place during dungeon crawls. First up is our overhauled knockout state for your characters which we've dubbed as the 'Bleedout' mechanic.
Previously as a placeholder, your characters would get knocked down and their health would go into the negative until a certain threshold was hit, upon which time they would die. Healing them back into the positive would get them back into the action. Now when your character is knocked down in combat, they enter the Bleedout state where they dip into a reserve health pool, which is represented by a series of blocks on their health bar. They receive one for every point of Constitution they have, and this pool is persistent throughout the entire dungeon, carrying over from battle to battle. This means that if a character is knocked down and their reserves are reduced to 6 blocks prior to being revived, the next time they get knocked down their reserve pool would still be at 6 bars instead of the maximum.
On their turn, a character in the Bleedout state will lose 1 block of reserve health. Attacks committed by enemies will also deplete it further. Healing the downed character at any point will restore them and bring them back into the fight (at the health value they were healed for).
The dynamic dialogue feature has also received some love, adding in various triggers for characters to communicate, such as when they sustain an injury, experience a character's death, or land a critical hit.
The logic for coming across and interacting with shrines is also being worked on, with various Gods that can grant your party buffs(or debuffs) depending on their nature and how you interacted with the shrine (such as what items you offered, how you answered their query or whether or not you complete a task they charge you with). We'll have more to show for this feature at a later date!
On the art side of things, we've recently hired a talented artist to oversee the final version of the Overworld map which is coming along nicely. Here's a sneak peek of its current state; we're looking forward to sharing the full version with you later on :)Overworld map by Brullov: twitter.com/brullov_art
I've continued to work on enemy designs, some of which will be passed off for animation as we continue to expand our team. Here's two more recent ones: a House Commander and a Coven Familiar.
Thanks for reading and for all of your support during the past year. We wish you all a terrific 2019, and we'll be back later this month with our January update :)
Sunday - September 16, 2018
The Iron Oath - September Update
The September update for The Iron Oath announces the release date has been pushed back.
September Update: Concerning the release date and more
Hello backers! We have a number of things to share with you today, along with some good news and bad news, the latter of which we’ll address first as it’s most relevant to you.
We’ve come to realize over the last few months that our initial timeline was too ambitious for the game’s scope, and even though we’ve made good progress overall, the game will unfortunately not see a release in 2019. This also means that the closed beta which we had initially planned for next month will be pushed back to a later date. We have an idea of the new release window, but an exact date won’t come for some time as we have many new factors to consider. We do sincerely apologize to all of you who have supported us and were looking forward to the beta/launch. We hope you can understand our position of wanting to deliver The Iron Oath in a state that we are proud of, without compromise to its various aspects of gameplay. We’d also like to reassure you that this is not a financial decision and the project is not in any danger; we’ll both continue to work full-time on the game until its completion.
So what’s the good news? We have a lot of exciting announcements in store, but we can’t quite spill the beans on them yet. In short, we’re firmly in a position that will allow us to complete the game to its full extent and deliver it to a wider audience. We believe we’ve taken the best course of action to ensure the game’s success and we hope the coming announcements will soften the blow of the delay. I know the above is all very vague, but please bear with us :)
In lieu of the beta next month, we’ll be making our current expo build available starting next weekend to our beta tier backers so we can collect their feedback. We'll post a separate update for that once it's ready for download. We’re also planning to make another pre-beta build available some time in the first half of 2019. For the rest of our backers, we'd like to share with you a gameplay video taken from the build:
Last month Chris took the build to the Orlando IX convention where hundreds of people had a chance to sit down and try out the game. Overall it was a little busier than our experience at DreamHack, and the game was once again well received which is always a good sign! Here’s some pictures from the event:
Monday - June 25, 2018
The Iron Oath - June Update
A new update for The Iron Oath talks about some of the improvements that have been made.
Hey guys we're back with our June update! We've spent some time lately getting a build polished enough to show at trade shows and a few weeks ago we went to DreamHack Austin to show off The Iron Oath to the public!
This was our first major expo and it was an overall awesome experience. Most importantly for us, the game was very well received by those who played it, and we gathered some useful feedback as well. It was great meeting other developers, and we even had a few backers stop by which was nice to see!
All in all, we were able to show the game off to a few hundred people over the 3-day event. Even though manning the booth for 8 hours a day was a lot of work, it was worth it to see everyone’s reactions and reaffirm that we are on the right path.
After DreamHack we've spent some time implementing a few of the most common requests we heard, like outlining targets in combat, clicking to move during the exploration phase, warning players if they are about to hit a friendly unit with AoE damage, and the ability to undo your movement in combat (as long as you don't incur an attack of opportunity from moving or trigger other hazards).
The Stormcaller flashes red to warn the player an ally is in the line of fire
I also recently updated our cut scenes to have more intricate animations and interactions with fewer lines of scripting. The following gif was created with just 6 lines in a script which plays the animations and spawns the skeletons into the scene.
Sunday - February 18, 2018
The Iron Oath - February Update
The February update for The Iron Oath talks about how their dungeon layouts are created.
Hey everyone, we're back with another monthly update and today we're going to talk about how our dungeon layouts are created. We originally had been using a system that created layouts dynamically when entering a dungeon, but we've recently decided to go with a more hand-crafted approach so we have a little more control over everything. Here's an example of what creating a layout looks like from our end.(note this isn't an actual layout that will be used, it was more of a "stress-test" to make sure everything functioned properly despite some awkward placement!)
We're continuing to work towards our next demo phase and are getting fairly close. We also have a couple new additions to combat that we will touch on in the next update. Hope you all have a great weekend and we thank you for your continued support! :)
Monday - January 29, 2018
The Iron Oath - January Update
The latest update for The Iron Oath.
Happy New Year to everyone! As mentioned in our last update, Chris took the game to Otronicon a few weekends ago. His report and some pictures of the event are below. We're currently working towards a larger build aimed for March, and we'll share some video of it once complete. I mentioned last month that we were going to show how our dungeon layouts are generated from our various environment tiles. I do have a couple more tiles I would like to tackle before then so I'm going to save that for the February update. All in all, things are starting to come together and it's pretty exciting for us :)
Hey everyone, Chris here. Earlier this month I took a short demo to the local Otronicon convention to showcase some of the game's combat to attendees. The audience there skewed a little younger than our core demographic but we met some awesome people and got some great feedback. My favorite from the weekend was a kid, who was probably around 10, telling me how much he liked it because it reminded him of Mario + Rabbids. I guess that game is a pretty good jumping off point for kids to start down the path of tactics games haha.
On another note, I've been hard at work continuing off from last month where I built out our quest system and now I've incorporated all our dialogue into using Yarn as well. Yarn is a great tool that will help us create tons of quests and dialogue very quickly. I'm looking forward to showing off more around that down the line. Aside from that I've been working on the world map and how quests/events are handled in towns and while traveling on the road. Also fixed several bugs that I'd seen during the course of people playing the game at Otronicon. As we gear up to our next major milestone you'll probably see us start posting more on social media and in discord with updates, gifs, and screenshots which should continue through the release of the Beta towards the end of this year.
Monday - November 13, 2017
The Iron Oath - November Update
The latest update for The Iron Lore explains animation changes and other stuff.
Hey, Chris here. I have been tackling a lot of small tasks since the Kickstarter, focusing on polishing things that got left to the wayside in the wake of getting the Kickstarter up and running. Much of that dealing with the flow of combat and bugs. The biggest task I delved into was the start of implementing the logic that governs how the world plays out as time advances forward. I prototyped how the different Houses in game will have children, choose heirs, vie for the throne, manage their resources, etc. There is still much work left to do on that front but it is coming along nicely.
As Nik mentioned, the focus now is getting a build ready (primarily combat focused) for Otronicon in January. Otronicon isn't really a purely gaming focused event but it's a local show I wanted to participate in along with the rest of the indie game scene in Orlando, FL. We have a couple phases of builds we're working towards with each one getting us closer to our beta build that will be sent to backers late next year.
Some other tasks I worked on included:
- implementing keys for locked doors/chests
- updated internal tools for creating dynamic events and dialogue
- updated character abilities to be more inline with their designs
- tweaking general pace of combat (an ongoing process)
- worked on equipping gear and looting from chests
- added consumable items (e.g. health potions)
- implemented stores to purchase items from various vendors
- skinned/implemented some pre-mission UI screen
- various bug fixing
Sunday - October 08, 2017
The Iron Oath - Lore and World Details
The latest on The Iron Oath shares some details about its world and lore.
Lore and World Details (+Survey Reminder)
Hey everyone. Today we're going to reveal a bit more information about the world and its lore from the perspective of what an average citizen would know. We'll be keeping the full lore and history under lock and key for now, but throughout the game you'll be able to piece together the full story through exploration, discoveries, conversations and the completion of the main storyline.
The game takes place on a landmass known as ‘Caelum' to its inhabitants. Caelum is surrounded by vast oceans that remain uncharted, fueling debate among citizens over the existence of other lands. Caelum itself is comprised of 9 regions:
- Lithus: A small and sunny coastal region
- Godsvale: A lush region full of large valleys, rivers and forests.
- The Redlands: A vast desert region with most inhabitants residing on its coasts
- Midland: A temperate region, once home to the capital of the Kingdom of Caelum
- The Steppe: A region of grass-filled plains that can experience harsh winters
- Winter's Reign: A frigid region surrounded by the sea and a vast mountain range
- Highland Reach: A mountainous region that is home to one the largest port cities in Caelum
- Dragate: A small region that is largely uninhabitable due to its rocky mountain formations
- Daybreak Isles: A small tropical island known for its sunny and warm weather
The regions of Caelum were once united under one Kingdom and a lineage of rulers that remained unbroken for centuries. However, a plague swept through Caelum and put an end to the line and the lives of many other citizens. Following this event, a power struggle ensued with each Major House vying for power and staking their claim for the vacant throne. The ‘War of Dissolution' lasted for decades, with regional and civil wars alike all ending with a tentative peace between the major powers of Caelum, and the formation of many independent Kingdoms.
The Blighted: The Blighted are a savage faction that were once human. Men and women who are afflicted by the dragon's blight slowly lose their minds and turn into aggressive abominations. It takes years for those affected to become fully Blighted, and there exists a moral dilemma among Caelum's citizens on how to deal with them. Blighted can be found in all corners of the world, roaming above ground or in the darkest depths of the land. You will encounter many Blighted, both fully-turned and some who yet retain a fragment of their minds and sanity.
The Vanguard Order: The Vanguard are an ancient order that was formed under the first King of Caelum and tasked with defending the realm from humanity's greatest threats. Once considered a prestigious order, they have somewhat fallen out of favor with the general public, mainly due to their employ of those afflicted with the Blight, and their failure to effectively protect humanity against the dragon.
The Overseers: The Overseers were formed shortly after magic was born into the world and were initially tasked with hunting down rogue mages who practiced forbidden arts. After the arrival of the dragon they also became responsible for tracking and killing the Blighted who had fled from the public. Due to the Vanguard's employ of Blighted, the Overseers also share in the dislike for their order, and they often end up hunting Blighted who run from their duty within the Vanguard.
Caelum's history is split up into four ages, the First Age, the Age of Gods, the Age of Man and the Age of Heroes. The average citizen knows very little or nothing at all of the first two ages, and most stories that do exist are nothing more than myth and speculation. It is said that humanity was left to its own devices in the First Age until the Gods descended to the mortal realm to shepherd their development, thus beginning the Age of Gods.
Nobody knows how long The Age of Gods lasted, but few remnants of its time can still be found in the form of ruined cities and structures, including various shrines to the Gods that were once worshipped. A great host of invaders brought an end to the Age of Gods, bringing humanity to near-extinction and reducing its cities to dust. Humanity endured however and the Age of Man began, while both the invaders and Gods seemed to vanish from all accounts. Humanity's shattered civilization was rebuilt under a single Kingdom which flourished for centuries, enjoying peace and prosperity until the ‘War of Dissolution' began.
Years later saw the emergence of the dragon, a great being of death and disease that some proclaimed as a new God, sent to punish humanity for its sins. The dragon's curse saw men and women slowly transform into abominations, who became known as the Blighted. Humanity observed the effects of the Blight and those who showed signs were outcast from society in the best of cases(though some tolerant cities built prisons to hold them), but most were burned alive as the people began to fear the Blight and those who bore it. This fear and distrust extended to the Vanguard, who had allowed the Blighted to join their ranks and spend their final days in service of the realm.
Every few decades, the dragon would emerge from the Void and wreak havoc within the mortal realm. This become an accepted fate among the citizens of Caelum and they could see no way to escape it. Though the dragon's stay was always brief, the host of demons and spirits it left in its wake would pour into the surrounding areas and require the Vanguard and other heroes to take up arms in defense. This began the Age of Heroes, and these men and women became renowned for their deeds. Some citizens proclaimed that the heroes were immune to both death and the Blight, and others began to believe it true. Eventually however, these heroes that guarded the mortal realm for so long would fade into memory and myth. A few rumored sightings would spring up over the years, which never amounted to anything more than hearsay. Presently, many believe that the Age of Heroes has drawn to an end, but others still retain hope that they'll one day return.
The Void is an endless and dark realm of existence where the souls of the dead linger for eternity. It is home to many foul creatures, demons, spirits, and most notably the dragon. The Void is the source of all dark and blood magic within the world, and those who practice such arts are relentlessly pursued by the Overseers. The Void has a large role to play in the game and a variety of missions and storylines will frequently take you there.
Thursday - September 21, 2017
The Iron Oath - Overworld Simulation
A new update about The Iron Oath explains how the overworld simulation affects houses, events, encounters and missions.
Overworld Simulation: Houses, Events, Encounters and Missions
Hey folks! Today we're going to dig into the overworld simulation aspect, touching on how ruling houses operate, events, encounters, and missions.
Each region within the game's world is comprised of a Royal House and a few Major Houses. Royal Houses rule over the entire region in which they are situated. They hold ownership of the region's capital city and sometimes other cities as well. The Major Houses are Vassals of the Royal House. If the Royal House ever gets involved in a war or other situation where assistance is required, the vassals are obliged to answer their King or Queen's call. Major Houses can also rule and own multiple cities, and it's even possible for them to have a greater wealth and military strength than that of their liege.
Each ruling House has their own set of goals and principles(or ethos). Their ethos can differ slightly from generation to generation, but extreme changes in a short time period are unlikely(like going from peaceful to warmongering over a span of a few years). Each city also its own ethos, which at the beginning will be quite similar to that of others within the region(since they generally are the same race, have the same practices etc). A city's ethos is less subject to change over time, but it will slowly be influenced by the ethos of its ruler. Each city has some stats that are tracked that help drive the logic of its ruling House:
Wealth: Used to buy resources, hire mercenaries and fund their army Military Strength: Having a strong military means they are less likely to shy away from conflict Resources: Are they able to feed citizens? Do they need to trade for wood or stone? Each region has some predetermined resource nodes, but new ones will also appear during the course of the game. Population Happiness: How happy are the citizens with their ruler
The other stat tracked would be each rulers standing with one another and other factions of the world. Those with a high standing would be allies, those with low would be enemies. Generally, a vassal will be in good standing with their Liege, but it's possible for it to drop low enough that they may choose to rebel against him or her.
The ethos and stats will all determine how a ruler reacts to different situations and world events that occur. Events occur all the time in the game and help make each playthrough unique. A single event can vary in complexity and impact on the world. They can be either triggered upon certain criteria being met, or completely random. Some examples of random events are:
- New resource nodes
- Blighted attacks
- Void breaches(the release of spirits & demons into the world).
Some conditional events would be:
A bandit raid on a city, with the condition being that the city has a low military presence. A city's military numbers could be lowered for various reasons, such as conflict or simply a lack of funds.
Revolt of a city, if citizen happiness remains low for a long period of time, the citizens may trigger a revolt and regime change.
A vassal may rebel against his King or Queen if their ethos' greatly differ and their relationship weakens. Other factors that are taken into account would be the ruler's ambition and military strength that he or she commands.
Both types of events would have a type of mission or encounter generated alongside each, and you could come across them providing you're in the right region(for an encounter) or hub(for a mission). Depending on the mission or encounter, you'll have the chance to influence the world in varying degrees, either by completing it or by choosing not to.
Let's say come spring time in a region, there's an event that triggers, stating that the wolf population in the region is getting out of hand this year. This would generate a few missions and possible encounters specific to that event. While traveling in the region you may get an encounter that describes a group of travelers fending off a pack of wolves. You can choose to assist them or ignore their plight, either choice would affect your reputation and could have an impact on your game either immediately or down the line(especially if it is eventually revealed that the travelers were noteworthy citizens).
A variety of quests would be generated from this event as well. A city may issue a bounty on wolf heads, a hunter may have tried to tackle the problem himself and has gone missing, or you can undertake a mission to drive the wolves out of their nearby den. Without your assistance, the problem may escalate, and could even require a city to divert some of their military force to resolve the situation.
One of the biggest ways to influence the world would be to assassinate a ruler(these types of missions would obviously be incredibly difficult). An ally of yours may send you a letter, asking for your help in his plot to kill his liege who he has grown to dislike. A few choices present themselves to you right away:
- You can refuse his request and he may drop his plot, or attempt it anyway
- You can reveal his scheme. Likely earning yourself a reward from the liege, but also sentencing your ally to death and potentially having all of his House's holdings revoked.
- You can accept the mission and attempt to complete it.
If you accept and manage to complete the mission, the liege will be replaced by their heir. If they are without an heir, the most well-liked Major House of that region will ascend to the throne. However if there is any amount of dislike between the Houses, a war for the throne is likely to occur.
This type of outcome would also spawn some more missions for you, and you could choose a side and help them win the crown by completing various tasks: capturing a watchtower, disrupting enemy supply lines, or fending off some invaders from within a structure. As of now, you won't be able to fully partake in a large scale battle(though it's something we'd like to do eventually, but probably not until after release), your assistance would instead come through the completion of various small scale skirmishes that assist the war-effort of your ally.
That about covers each aspect, hopefully you like the direction and ideas we have for the game's world. Our next content update will talk a bit more about the world itself: some lore, regions, factions, and some information on the void and its inhabitants. As mentioned last time, we're planning to send out the surveys this Saturday, however we need the Kickstarter funds to come through first so we can make our payment to BackerKit. Hopefully it comes through today or tomorrow, if not the survey will likely be delayed until next week.