Archaelund (now updated with screenshots and video!)

Wojo

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I have question and suggestion, will archaelund be on mobile? If Yes then when? And The suggestion is to make mage comapanion in EK!
 
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Can all Archaelund species become any of the classes available in the game? For example, it's possible to make a assassin minotaur?
 
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VDX_360

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@Wojo , your question is answered in the initial post. Top of Page 1 of this thread. The game is being designed for the PC, but a mobile release MIGHT be done later. The issue is with compatibility, functionality etc. Keep in mind mobile devices change at an insane rate so it's not really possible to determine what phones can do a few years out.
 

Fjfgjfx

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Can I use my character there or be companions with the companions from ek?
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Will the city's have variety of races and does archaelund have main storyline and can I see my equipment in my character and does archaelund have more complex character creation?
 
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VDX_360

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Arcjaelund takes place a few lifetimes after EK so your character will be long dead. Either of old age, or from a goblin stabbing him in the gut.

Game mechanics will also be totally different so you won't be able to transfer character data over. Totally different system.
 

DarthTomServo

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Ohh this game is going to scratch so many itches. Just went through all 24 pages lol.

  1. I'm personally a huge fan of leaving voice acting out. If there is voice acting, I'll hope that it'll be abbreviated like in Outward or at least a toggle to disable it. I find it too distracting and it wears its welcome. Especially in long text where you read faster than the voice actor.
  2. Do we get the option to grind to level 100 again? <Please say yes!> That's the biggest turn off from Divinity Original Sins 2 for me, finite enemies. I like to take a break from quests and just enjoy frivolous combat and get super powered now and then.
  3. Will loot be fixed to some extent, like in Morrowind? Or will it be all RNG? Kill a rat and find an enchanted dagger, diablo style? I'm hoping the answer is that it'll be just like EK. EK danced on the line very well for loot.
  4. Party dialogue? Will it be expanded from how it was in EK? Kept to a minimum? I loved it by the way. No romance shoved down our campaign or anything. Not totally against it, but it got weird sometimes when your party members start making passes at you. Although I guess that's pretty realistic ...

Also, I copied all the Q&As starting on page 1 in case anyone else wants to catch up like me. Was already going through the effort, so figured why not. This goes up through page 20-21 or so, about the time David published his 2nd update on the steam page.

If someone wanted to, these could be organized to subjects like Careers (classes on steroids), Lore, Races etc.

Before you read, some of these details may have changed as they're years old now.
Q. I'm still hoping for character customization and item aesthetic.
A. Indeed characters will be visually customizable and gear will be far more varied than in EK, and that'll be one of the advantages of moving to 3D. Same thing with animations, particles, etc. Exiled Kingdoms is not as varied in that regard because it's a 2D game, which makes it very hard and resource-eating because all sprites need to be pre-rendered and kept in a texture, then every texture is used to compose the image of a character, like in children's paperdolls.

Have a look even at all-time-great 2D isometric games like Baldur's Gate or Arcanum; their character sprites are just a little more varied than EK's. A few years later on the first 3D titles in the mid 2000s, the variety of visuals is multiplied because in a 3D game adding new models and animations is much simpler.

I'll miss the charm from 2D though!


Q. Will combat be triggered by unseen random encounters (like a lot of RPGs) or by getting within a certain distance of monsters you can see (and avoid?) in the 3D view?

A. Sometimes you'll be able to see (or hear) them and avoid them, or even surprise then. They won't spawn out of nowhere. But in indoors areas visibility will make it harder.


Q. Great news, David! I can only hope to play as Muud'ari again and to find more technology stuff on the continent(but I understand that the hugest source of technology was crushed ship and there was only escape pod on continent), coz theirs story was really awesome, much better and deeper then 99% of AAA titles have nowadays

A. Thanks, too early to comment on that but theoretically speaking there can be other sources of technology. <SPOILER> There was an original seedship that terraformed the planet, and also the escape pods and whatever early dwelling the original Muud'ari people built. I'm not saying they'll be part of the game, you know, but they may be out there. </SPOILER>


Q. Out of my curiosity, how will you be able to hadle such a big project all by yourself?

A. <...> Also, this project will count with professional artists to make beautiful assets, of course. You'll all see!


Q. Will it be similiar to the HOM&M series? Combat wise

A. Combat is similar to that of modern 3D turn-based RPGs, like Wasteland 2 or Divinity:Original Sin. Action-point based, full control of a party and a big variety of spells and skills to use in battle. You can freely move the camera during combat. The grid is square-based, not hexagonal.


Q. While discussing the Mechanics and overall structure of the game is important, I'm no game designer, so I'll ask about the aspect of the game I understand best: lore.
This step in reclaiming the lost world would be inevitable, but what made the Exiled Kingdoms set sail to Andoria?

A. I am still waiting to make a proper announcement including some basic lore, feature list, etc. But I guess there's no harm in sharing a portion of my setting document answering that, which will very likely be included as part of the game manual:


Q. What?!? You actually intend to make a game manual? I will only belief such a thing when it really happens. :mrgreen:

A. I'll go as far into oldschoolness as the people is willing to play along with their support. Among my plans, I intend to sell a hardcopy manual and cluebook. Not sure if it'll be possible to go that far, but definitely a pdf manual that will have at least 100 pages will be released. I already have around 50 pages of internal documentation alone, and much of it can be used in a manual.


Q. On a serious note, do you happen to have such a setting document for EK too? If so, would you be willing to share it with us now that EK is officially finished?
I guess many players would love to get a bit more background lore beyond the fragments provided in the in-game dialogues, especially if it is written in such a coherent way. This would also be a great thing for the lore section of the Wiki, so it may finally contain something more then, well, emptiness.

A. Alas, no. Everything was (or is) in my head, I never had a chance to properly sit down and "design" EK in such a planified way, it was something I did in the few spare moments between my previous job, development, etc. I had to improvise *a lot* and a few incoherences showed up here and there, which I fixed to the best of my skill. Now I can do things right, and it feels damn good to have a clear direction. Actually, it is very much like when I wrote down entire settings or game rules when I was in high school!


Q. And just for my understanding: Does the "journal of a sage and adventurer" refer to the EK player character (after looking through the telescope in the Observatory)?

A. *cough* well, the game is not a sequel, but indeed will contain many references to familiar events from EK. Here is an even more obvious one...


Q. I know this is a long ways out as I see you will still be working elements into spring but any chance when the game has a bit more development we can see a video clip of what the graphics could look like or what the battle mechanics look like in effect? Could be a good marketing tool down the road for fans to show fellow gamers. Is it going to have the same retro look E.K. has or are you crisping things up? So many questions lol. Okay I'll stop pesturing. Program away David!

A. Graphic style will be different, this is a 3D game which visually will be very nice. Even the placeholder graphics I am using right now look better than some commercial games out there. For the most part you can say they'll be "realistic" but with a classic feel. And yeah, there will be videos, screenshots, etc. But right now I am working with concept artists, then will come 3D modeling and animation, then the vids and screenshots.


Q. So basically Geryon is the engine's name?

A. No. Geryon is a set of rules, like D&D was for other games.


Q. Im curious, when will the option for alpha testing become available because I wanna be one of the first to sign up

A. We're at least a year from that... this is a 4+ year project. Just as a reference, this is a timeline for EK development:

April 2014 > I began prototyping, design choices, early development.
August 2014 > The game concept is more or less defined, development begins.
August 2015 > base engine completed, I begin creating content.
December 2015 > first "early access" release of the game (roughly, 25% of actual content was present)
August 2017 > version 1.0 released, main quest completable.
December 2017 > Mage & Thuram is added.
February 2018 > PC release
June 2018 > Companion quests, v 1.2 released.

It is my intention to release a PC Early Access version in Q1 2020.


Q. Person A: Ive been wondering the same thing? Is Exiled Kingdoms just the single game or series name? Im guessing EK is just the single game since Archaelund has less to do with the Exiled Kingdoms and more with Andoria.

Person B: It could be or it could be something else there are quite a few points for and against but from what I gather in archaelund a lot of the settlements have been founded by the kingdoms if I have read David’s posts right.

I realise that I’m just saying that the people of the exiled kingdoms are the one who have resettled andoria.

A. I haven't given the setting a specific name, but I think Exiled Kingdoms is good enough. The name is more recognizable than a new arbitrary one, and since colonists of Archaelund come from the Exiled Kingdoms, it is still part of the History of the Exile and its ramifications.


Q. How should I pronounce Archaelund?

A. I pronounce it like this:

Archae - just like in archaeology.
Lund - the "u" as in "full".


Q. <Referencing drawing of a few adventurers, including a Minotaur, Human, and Baltrax. Drawn by Artist: Ignacio Corva> Is it a Goblin or a Batrax Mage?

A. It is a Batrax. There is also a goblin archer, but it's not in that part of the image.


Q. One question, the character has an Age, is it important for traits/skills or just an unimportant information? Would be awesome if a young character get Boni for str/dmg and an old one for wisdom/magic ^^

A. Age will reduce traits if it goes beyond certain limits, and certain magical effects may increase a character's age...


Q. For example, can you trigger the turn based combat mode everywhere or does it trigger automatically when you get close enough to the enemies or enter the room with them? Since it might be a bit of a disadvantage for spellcasters and archers if you can only attack once you get close to the enemies. On the other hand a bigger team also means more meatshields to protect the casters.

A. There is a chance of enemies detecting you depending on distance and field of view, and you can also initate combat providing you are within certain range. the initial combat distance is yet to be balanced, but the initial distance can't be as large as to trivialize any encounters against non-ranged opponents. More about that in the future.


Q. Maybe this was already said, but I can't find information about it in the thread.
Will dialogue be audio based, with text only as support, or entirely text based like EK?

A. I will create the dialogues with EK as model in many ways, initially as text only and likely the Early Access release will see only text. Depending on the success or not of the Early Access, and the feedback provided, I'll make a decision. It's also possible that it's added after the game is complete.

As a player, I am not very keen on voice acting, even when it's well done. I read much more quickly than I can listen, and even if it starts out good it can eventually be tiresome. However I am aware that it's just my personal opinion and voice acting is immensely popular and has become a "standard feature", even more for consoles.


Q. I've just joined the forum after completing EK with an insane archer rogue build with hopes of becoming a tester for further EK updates. It truly was a perfect game to keep the old D&D Baldurs Gate/Fallout 1&2 throw backs entertained on our mobiles.

Im glad to see yourselves and the company grow and focus on new projects but I can't help but shed a tear of the sea queen that any further development of EK will sease. I truly was looking forward to seeing the map fulfilled and would pay for a future expansion.

As much as I'm grateful and glad to see you progress, I can't help but highlight that you had a nice little niche market with a classic, quaint, isometric RPG. I certainly played nightly once my PC gaming was done and needed one or two horizontal adventures before I let the dreaming take over ;)

In many ways its the simplicity that made it enjoyable and I haven't found any other mobile games as charming.

If there's anything I can do to further EKs expansion or if you have any recommendations to fill that tablet based RPG void I may now be facing, just let me know :)

A. Certainly I'm not done with isometric 2D games, and I also value simplicity which likely is the key why so many older games are unforgettable and more fun than modern ones. Eventually I'll shift my focus to 2D and mobile again, and even if now my focus is on Archaelund, I'll likely add more (free) content to EK some day. There's a couple quests I always wanted to add but were left out, so at least that I am sure I'll add.


Q. Would there be references from 'Exiled Kingdoms'?
Like the protagonist of EK is a legend in Archaelund?
Would s/he be infamous yet hinted in Ancient texts and books?
Or someone who's just another 'made-up' story for children?
Will the people pf Archaelund commemorate the EK protagonist and his close allies?
Will some of the past characters from EK show up in Archaelund?

A. While the protagonist will remain mostly anonymous, there's references to him/her. You can see some of them a few pages back.

There's plenty of references to events and characters from EK, and also from your companions. Here's a page from the setting document, which will eventually be part of the manual: <manual clipping>


Q. What about the gender reference, is it going to change the way of NPC when mentioning certain characters and the PC or will remain the same as Exiled Kingdoms'?

A. Dialogue in Archaelund is gender-sensitive (by default the first character in the party will be the talker)


Q. Person A:
Since we'll be able to play different races, any chance on Trolls being playable? They are my second favorite humanoid race (next to Minotaurs of course). It'll be great to finally have "troll begins regenerating!" on your side after all those frustrating times my iron golem killed them before I could.

Person B: Lol, I like that idea, but it would be really hard to balance. If troll regenerate if not hitted by fire, that character need to be nerved a lot, like no skills or minimal hp and so on. Otherwise troll would be completely OP

A. Indeed the idea of a playable troll sounds like fun, but impossible to balance. Who knows, maybe a temporary companion that joins for certain encounters, but not a full-blown party member or companion.

This is the list of playable races:

-Human (Varsilia)
-Human (Ilmara)
-Human (Mercia)
-Human (Thuram)
-Human (Friguld)
-Varannari
-Minotaur
-Batrax
-Goblin
-Quartzan
-Rexadon


Q. Wow there are spear items in Archaelund, maybe I can see some Halberds too for spear type weapons. Short swords and daggers can be equipped as dual wield I guess?

A. Yes, halberds and versatile dual wield already exist, and with different animations of course (and often with different animation for male&female). By the way, I don't think I'll use those item icons, just there for testing purposes.


Q. <Referencing Quartzan race description> Amazing concept! Although wouldn't the ancestors go mad or insane from the isolation just like the red and blue wizards in the icemist underlevels? Just a thought :p

A. Everybody is a little crazy in the Exiled Kingdoms... :D

When in isolation, some people just grow stronger and more focused. This is the case with the Quartzan race.


Q. So are there more classes in Archaelund that of EK's?
I mean it's expected but can you reveal how many exactly are there?
Also will there be Sorcerers in the game?

A. There are no classes, there are Careers. The difference is, you stay in a Career for certain levels, but eventually you'll probably switch to a different career.

Example of progression: burglar up to level 5, then maybe you switch to Hitman for 4 levels, and then you manage to unlock the Assassin advanced Career and stay there for level 10+.

Or maybe you start as an Apprentice, later on a mage, but decide to not pursue magic anymore with that character and switch to mercenary, ending up as an interesting hybrid character.

You may pick your initial career, but getting it randomly will grant slightly better initial stats. So you may end up a beggar... But who knows, one day the beggar can be a mighty knight, and the beggar's ability to resist disease can save his life.

In total there are around 60 Careers in Archaelund, half of them basic and the other half advanced, which means they have requisites.


Q. It is evident that all skills depend on one or several traits (e.g. heavy weapons on Str, light weapons on Str+Dex, ranged weapons on Dex+Awa, "maps & charts" on Awa+Int, etc.). Now, based on the character sheet of one burly bodyguard named Harry_273, it appears that unarmed combat is solely based on dexterity, and not a combination of dexterity and strength. If this is so, why? Why would I need Str+Dex when wielding a knife, but no strength at all when boxing and wrestling?

A. Every skill depends on a primary and a secondary trait. On the secondary trait, bonus is halved. Martial Arts has Dex + Slf as traits. Str may not influence your ability to hit with martial arts, but it is still very influential to calculate damage and for other factors.


Q. Furthermore: Harry_273 (did the previous 272 Harrys die, by the way?) has one rank in the skill Dodge. However, his total value is "-". How does this work?

A. Dodge skill contributes to passive avoidance. Its effects will be fully explained when you hover over the avoidance value or the dodge skill. and yes, Avoidance is also affected by Dex and Awa, as well as by any unspent Action Points on your character (if he already acted that turn, which makes winning initiative very useful).

the reason why it shows as "-" is because avoidance has its own value listed on the character sheet, but probably still wasn't working when the screenshot was taken.

Besides avoidance (which is indeed "speed-based" and negates all damage) you have armor, which negates a portion of the damage you receive from hits.


Q. Also: What is SLF? "Self"? If so, what does that mean?

A. Self-Control. How much the character's Mind rules the Body, the ability to push harder in pursuit of some goal, or draw upon the inner reserves of strength to overcome challenges.


Q. And finally: Why is the batrax caster in the artwork wearing clothing? All the batrax in Exiled Kingdoms were nude.

A. Batrax wear clothes for the very same reasons we do. These Batrax intend to live permanently on the surface, not just to prey on it for a few hours, and clothing is a convenient protection from elements and other dangers, and provides social utility.

Edit: I will reproduce part of my replies at the 'Dex as well...


Q. Good day, David.

How can I participate in the beta of Archaelund?

A. It's still too early, but next year there will be a Early Access release on Steam, similar to the early release of EK in 2015.


Q. Will it support Mac ?

A. Yes.


Q. i just wanted to know how long do you think it would be b4 archaelund will be available on mobile and will it be able to preform on low performance phones because i am super poor and have a no good phone along with no pc

A. I can't confirm a mobile release of Archaelund, as it's a quite big and complex game. If it happens, it'll require heavy simplifications and a completely reworked interface, and that's something that I can't do until the game is complete. I can confirm that I'll try, and that if it's not feasible to port it to mobile, I may release another mobile game instead, better designed for phones.


Q. And Linux? Will there be support for Linux?

A. I can't confirm Linux 100%, but in theory yes. I'd say very likely it'll be released.


Q. This Game looks great. atm im playing Might and Magic VI and i love the "playingstyle" of these games.
So if you need a German translation sometimes, i would help ;)

A. Thanks! There will be a community translation , similar to the EK one. It'll be announced after the first Early Access is out.


Q. So will those races have some bonuses?
For example:
Minotaurs have better strength and endurance, but worst personality.
Goblins have good agility, but bad strength.

A. They will have wildly different bonus to traits and skills, and some of them will have unique features. Batrax, for instance, can jump :cool:

I know I have been very quiet these last months; since I added new artists to the team, we're working on amazing environments and also on the models for the playable races, and the game looks now much better. In a few more months, we'll likely replace the video-trailer with a much better one, and there will be a formal presentation of the team members (currently me + 5 artists)
And here's some of David's earlier update posts.

UPDATES:

11/29/2018 <page 3, #22>: Since I'm here, I'll give a brief update. I keep progressing quite fast, basic combat mechanics are in place (turn order and initiative, move around, attack an enemy, kill it) all with animation and camera control, plus the basics of the AI. In parallel to this, map design is also looking good; it has been quite challenging to build scenes that are ready for both exploration and combat mode, as some compromises need to be made. But I'm quite satisfied with the results even if there's still a lot of work to do.

When I need a rest I work a little on the setting, story and rulesystem and take notes about ideas for quests or characters. That is, the actual game which I wish I could just implement with a snap of my fingers. I hope once development is more advanced (spring?) I can really focus on this part, which is what makes a game fun and interesting, and is the part of my job I enjoy the most. I also love programming, but in the end programming is a 10% of implementing things, and a 90% of frustratingly finding out why stuff doesn't work as it should. You often spend a whole day or more on very silly things. Moreso when you start from scratch with new code and a new environment.

But despite that, I'm far ahead of my planned schedule, which is good. I might be showing some screenshots or even videos in a few months (with placeholder art).

1/13/2019 <page 5, # 44>: Edited first post and thread title with the real game's name: Archaelund. I may still use the Geryon name to refer to the rulesystem of the game, which I may reuse for other projects.


2/21/2019 <page 8, #75>: Archaelund is a party-based game, and the focus is on PC so the system offers a lot more variety, so things are quite different than with EK.

There are around 60 Careers in the game. Each character is meant to start on a very basic career (which can be a Beggar, a Bodyguard, an Apprentice Wizard or a Thug, for instance). In fact, if you want to, the starting Career can be chosen randomly and you'll be able to get a few extra trait points. This means your starting career is the "background" of your character.

Soon, characters plan a switch to the Advanced Careers, which are more "heroic" occupations like Cavalier, Loreseeker, Captain, Marksman, etc. These have requisites you need to meet, both in the form of skills and traits minimums, and also story requirements; for instance, to unlock the Captain Career you'll need to command soldiers in battle. There's also a few Elite careers, which are the most powerful ones, but they are unlocked by joining specific factions or receiving story-related special training.

The system allows you to play hybrid characters, but you better know what you're doing because specialization is rewarded. However if you're capable of planning your career changes well, you can gain advantages in the endgame, of course. Having your melee characters being able to cast decent spells, or your mages having some complementary skills, can mean a big difference in the "sewers-of-horrors-like" areas that will be waiting for you.


3/23/2019 <page 9, #83>: #COMBAT VIDEO* Development keeps going on, of course. Right now I just completed two "prototype" areas: one large outdoor map, and one dungeon. With these "prototypes" in place I can now develop and test other features with practical cases, seeing how they actually work in the game. I am working simultaneously on NPCs AI and navigation, dialogue engine, containers, secrets doors, etc.

The world map is organized similarly to EK map: it's divided in square "sectors", so you can explore moving to adjacent ones. Archaelund (similarly to EK) will have around 50 such sectors, but they'll be larger than EK outdoor areas, resulting in a much bigger world. I wish I could already share the world map, it looks great, but it's full with spoilers and also I'll likely make heavy changes to it during content development.


5/23/2019 <page 10, #94>: Small update on development here.

Everything going great and according to plan. Right now inventory is semi-functional, humanoid 3D models look awesome and show different pieces of armor depending on equipped gear. Also I've completed the code related to aggro and initiating combat, wandering NPCs, and many other things. I keep working on improving animation and AI right now.

I still have something like 3 months ahead of me that will be fully focused on coding the core functionalities of the game. In September I'll begin implementing some game content and developing the rules in more detail. If everything goes according to plan, I still expect to release a PC Early-Access version in late Q1 2020. Still, it won't be released until I feel the quality and quantity is enough.

Note: item icons from EK and some of the 3D models below will likely not be used in release version, they're just placeholders. <Two screenshots>


6/19/2019 <page 12, #112>: A small clip demonstrating inventory management, containers, equipping gear, etc: <video>

7/6/2019 <page 12, #120>: A sneak peek at one of the new playable races in Archaelund <image of a race description w/ portrait>


8/29/2019 <page 14, #137>: Brief update: I keep doing stuff at great pace. Core mechanics like armor and avoidance, encumbrance, sound-programming, UI responsiveness and lots of other small things that ain't very flashy, but are essential steps in the right direction.

9/23/2019 <page 15, #145> Some provisional blood splashes. Final game will get much better ones but hey, I hate to test stuff that doesn't bleed.

Lots of development progress too. Most "core" combat actions already working, including Guard (which enables "attacks of opportunity") which affects the normal turn flow, so I am happy to see it working fine. Stamina and Fatigue is implemented, and it's an essential mechanic in Archaelund. Many small issues are fixed, and some great new 2D art is being produced. Sound programming is also mostly done.

Despite all the advances I am not sure I'll have the Steam page ready in October, since it may force me to do things these weeks in the "wrong order". i.e., for a decent video I'd need to begin making more varied areas, rigging more diverse enemies, etc. I wasn't planning any of that until more fundamental things were done, but still it may be worth it to get visibility as soon as possible. We'll see.


12/2/2019 <page 17, #162>: Archaelund Steam page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1082970/Archaelund/

Archaelund official Teaser:
 

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