As you'll probably know, development of Exiled Kingdoms is officially complete with version 1.2 and even if it's possible I release more content in the years to come, right now my focus is on my next game: Archaelund.
First of all, Archaelund is not a sequel to Exiled Kingdoms, but a completely standalone game set in the EK world. It's a far bigger, more complex and ambitious game. I won't be holding anything back here, since the success of Exiled Kingdoms gives me the freedom to develop this game without making any compromises. Or that's the plan, at least
Archaelund will be a game targeted at the PC platform, which will try to bring back the old flavor of the Golden Era of RPGs, pretty much like I tried to do with EK on mobile. A mobile release is possible, and it might be released on some popular consoles as well. However my priority is to make it a perfect PC game, and I won't limit functionality, design or scope because of other platforms; at this point the only thing I can confirm 100% is the PC release, although I am aware of the EK mobile fanbase and will do my best to have a mobile release as well.
You'll control a full party of adventurers, and explore the broken lands of the vast continent of Andoria, home of the fallen Empire. The Exiled Kingdoms are claiming the shores of their mythical Homeland, but they'll find the region is not as deserted as they expected... prepare yourself to be inmersed in dozens of small plots and quests over a large world map once again, and to face a main plot of epic proportions (no, really!).
The game will feature a very unique combination of real-time exploration and careful turn-based strategy during encounters; you'll explore the world in first-person perspective in a 3D world, much like in the Elder Scrolls games or in the classic Wizardry or Might&Magic games. But battles will happen in isometric perspective! When combat begins the camera floats up to offer a top-down view of the scene, so you can individually move your party members. The idea is to have the best of both worlds: an immersive exploration and tactical combat at the same time, allowing huge epic battles. As far as I know, no modern RPG has done this before; classical games like Pool of Radiance or Betrayal at Krondor did, but in a very limited way and using much simpler graphics.
I'm developing a full-fledged rule system called Geryon for this game, with dozens of classes, skills and a huge list of spells and abilities. Still I'm carefully designing the progression to make it intuitive and quick to understand. The combinations of races, classes and builds will be immense, so it's impossible to have everything on your party in a single playthrough.
Content will be, as you probably imagine, an important part of the game. Expect the same open-world design, and the same weird combination of seriousness and silly humor and themes you "enjoyed" in EK; yeah, I am afraid the terrible jokes stay, and might get even worse. I already have a large list of ideas for side-quests, and a very interesting plot in mind for the main quest as well; when all is said and done I'll try to have a game that spans over 100h for the "completionist" player.
Development status and release estimate Edited on June 22nd, 2019
Development started on October 2018, and is expected to be completed in 2022. However, you'll be able to play it much earlier, just like Exiled Kingdoms was a playable game during most of its development. Whenever there's a fun game to play with all mechanics in place and around 20-25h of content available, I'll release it as Early Access on Steam, and keep working on the rest of the game, while I listen to feedback from the players. My estimate is that this will happen in 2020 Q1, but I can't set a fixed date yet. It can certainly be delayed.
for reference, Exiled Kingdoms was developed from Spring 2014 to Fall 2018 (with some maintenance afterwards), so I expect to invest a similar amount of time in Archaelund. It's true that Archaelund is a far more complex game, but I am also more experienced and have better tools now.
The first year of development is focused on pure programming of the core mechanics of the game. After that comes content creation, and the refinement of the system (spells, skills, etc). Even if content hasn't been added to the game yet, I have written down a detailed setting guide and also outlined the game's main quest and other secondary plots. The rule system is outlined, and several parts of it are already detailed.
Excellent 2D art is being produced at a great pace, with Ignacio Corva being the project's main artist. 3D modeling has also begun.
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