The Silver-Dancer (Part 1)

Greetings RPG-fans! Winter is here and where I live, we’ve seen the sun for the last time in two months. As the wind begins to howl and wolves stalk at the edge of the campfire’s light, nothing warms my bones like a good story.

Those of you who follow the devlog know I enjoy writing short fiction for the Skald universe. It’s a great way for me to flex some creative muscles and it also helps me take a break from coding and just immerse myself in world-building.

I consider my writing Skald canon BUT with the caveat that the canon is still flexible since we’re still early in the process. However, though details may change, more importantly I hope the stories manage to convey the feel and mood of the setting.

“The Silver-Dancer” will be dropping in three parts over the next three weeks so stay posted! Dig in, and if you like it, be sure to check out the “Skald: Against the Black Priory” prologue on Steam!

 


The Silver-Dancer

Part 1

Ozone. Metal. Incense – The air was heavy with it. 

With the unassuming gait that only much training can confer on those who are nothing but unassuming, the HISTORIAN crossed the threshold into the half-darkness of the strange chamber. The walls had an odd metallic sheen and rose to a domed roof somewhere high in the darkness above. There were odd curves where the floor gave way to walls and the rounded angles of the corners gave the chamber an odd, dizzying quality. It was difficult to guess at it’s true size: It felt cramped yet massive at the same time. 

In the center of the chamber stood a raised dais and atop it, a massive, lidless sarcophagus. The HISTORIAN squinted in the half-darkness as he examined it: Tens of thousands of minute runes decorated its surface. Each carved with such precision that he doubted it was work of human hands. He shuddered internally. 

The HISTORIAN

At the base of the dais stood his host: A frail-looking hunched figure clad in rich silken robes. The HISTORIAN detested the Court of Auspices. A magus of Auspice would always provide an answer, he mused, even when it had to be ‘conjured’ into existence. A detestable praxis. 

They were decadent mystics. At best. 

That was not to say they were without their use. One simply needed to sift through the pomp and ritual and he did need the intelligence. It was, in fact, vital. Not to mention, he was also curious: Very few were allowed to observe the Magi of Auspice perform their rituals. He had been required to remind the magus of his office and even then, the wretch had been reluctant. But who was he to deny him? Who was anyone to deny him? 

A gong rang in the darkness.

Mute, white-clad servants filed past the HISTORIAN carrying flasks and amphorae. Ascending to the sarcophagus, one of them began stirring its oily content as the others gently emptied their vessels. Scented fumes of strange and exotic concoctions filled the chamber and the HISTORIAN suppressed an urge to cover his nose with his robe. Or was it perhaps against the obvious mysticism of the ritual?

Suddenly, and as one, the servants ceased their milling alchemical rite and withdrew from the edge of the fluid-filled sarcophagus. The ancient magus began his slow ascent up the dais on trembling legs. As he stood before the sarcophagus, he stopped and let the silk robes fall from his body. A silent servant was there to catch the garment whilst another placed an eyeless mask of black satin on the magus’ forehead. It all looked like some well-choreographed dance. 

The HISTORIAN winced imperceptibly: The naked form of the man that stood before the sarcophagus was broken in a way he had rarely, if ever, seen before. It shook him.   

All magi paid a terrible price for their power and though they took great care to hide the ways in which it marred them, it could not be stopped. How long, he wondered, would he be able to stave off its corruption?

Two more servants silently came to the aid of the broken man, gaze averted, as he mounted the rim of the sarcophagus and then slowly lay down in the thick, viscous fluid. For the second time, the gong sounded. The HISTORIAN started ever so slightly and for a man who had spent so much of his life trying to perfect the art of appearing unfathomable this was no small feat. Slipping into a very light combat-meditation, he perceived a very slight raising of his heart-beat and an unmistakable rush of blood in his ears. Why? Was there danger? And why did it feel like the magos was stalling for time?

Corrupted Mystics

The heavy doors swung silently open and a new group of servants filed into the room: Six men and women, dressed in dark, ragged robes with shaved skulls and disturbing all-white eyes. Their faces were dull and their gait shuffling. Yet there was something about them: The markings! These were magi! Or rather, the HISTORIAN realized, these HAD been magi. There were rumors. Rumors that not all candidates who joined the Court of Auspice survived their initiation with their minds intact. 

The grim troupe shuffled blindly up the stairs, groping before themselves until they found the sarcophagus. Moaning wordlessly, they turned around and sank heavily to the floor until all six were seated on the cold stone dais, backs facing the metallic sarcophagus. Their heads tilted back towards the rune-covered surface and thus they sat absolutely motionless. 

The HISTORIAN stood transfixed as all was utter silence in the darkened chamber. When the gong sounded for the third time, he instinctively began the internal chanting that induced the deeper combat meditation. The “dance” was about to begin and he had asked much of the old magos. Perhaps too much? 

To be continued…


That’s all for now. Check in next week for part two.

For everything else, follow us on Twitter and join our Discord!

Stay warm!

Cheers,

AL

New Party Members

Greetings fellow RPG fans!

As you all know, it’s more fun to adventure with a party than going alone! That’s what I’ve been doing since I went full time as a developer: I’ve encountered a new party-member (of the “publisher” class)! They’re very passionate about the quest we’re on (making Skald) and bring a ton of new feats (QA/testing) and magic items (a marketing budget) to the fight! Even better: They have high-level henchmen/henchwomen (awesome experts in fields ranging from brand management to development, marketing and testing).

Who is this overpowered new character you ask? Well, I’m going to keep you guessing a little bit longer but some of you will have heard of them and you’ve certainly played some of the games they’ve published. They’re also chaotic good and can rage 2 / day.

Here’s some early stage concept art for different monsters of the more bizarre persuasion by the awesome Gustav Samuleson (@MechaBarbarian)

 

While I’m finishing my due notice from my (soon to be old) day-job, we’re taking the time to put together some promotional material, planning the development and release schedule and making our two organizations work together like a well-drilled adventuring party!

We’ll be announcing our cooperation and revealing our newest party-member December 15th so stay posted!

 

Early Access

One of the subjects we’ve been working on a bit internally, is the original plan of going to early access (EA) with Skald.

More concept art! Are those eyes following me?

This was originally predicated on the fact that as a solo-developer with no support, it would not be possible for me to make Skald as polished as I would like in time for a full launch. EA would provide proper testing and polish.

EA is great for this but there are also downsides:

  1. The Steam community in general have begun expecting more polish from EA games than before. There is a tendency for EA games to get quite a lot of negative reviews for being “unfinished” which is ironic and sad.
  2. Once you launch on EA, that’s it: You’ve had your launch. You don’t get a second launch day once you leave EA.

Though I’m sure the Skald community would have handled EA great, there is some risk involved and there is no doubt in my mind: Given the support and resources I now have access to (especially in terms of testing), I would much rather deliver a game that is polished and finished.

This means we’re aiming to launch the full game properly in 2022!

The Road Ahead

There will be a lot more info coming out just over the new year but here’s a rough outline:

THE PROLOGUE / DEMO

I’ve always strived to have development be transparent and inclusive. The prologue has been a hugely important tool towards achieving this and it will continue to be so. We’ll be “chonking” up the demo in 2022 as a kind of miniature Early Access to show off, and widely test, the game in its final form.

Make it stop!!!

TESTING

Testing for backers will continue as before and backers will be getting beta builds as they roll out. We will be looking into updating the testing infrastructure a bit and at some point we’ll also consider opening up beta-testing to a larger audience.

SCOPE

We’re not increasing the game’s scope or adding more features. What I am doing is spending more time polishing the tools for data-entry. Not only is this making the game (and any sequels) easier to build in the long term, it also means you’ll get better modding-tools (we’re releasing all our tools post launch).

CROWDFUNDING REWARDS

Needless to say, our new partnership does not change anything in regards to the rewards we’ll be producing. All I can say is that there are exciting discussions being had about how we can make the most of the physical products we’re going to make. Stay posted!

As for those backers who get to contribute with portraits and game-content, it’s not too late at all. We’ll be sorting this as we go and the train will not leave without you.

IÄ IÄ!

In Closing…

There is a limit to how much I can say at this point but more info is coming. Just remember: Save December 15th for the reveal of our new party member and there may even be some Christmas shenanigans coming up!

For everything else, follow us on Twitter and join our Discord!

Cheers,

AL

 

I Just Quit My Day-Job

Yes you read that right! I just quit my day-job to work full time on “Skald: Against the Black Priory”!

This is huge news! Every semi-professional game developer dreams of going full time and I’ve finally made it.

Tell Us More!

Needless to say this is huge news for our game as it has just become my fulltime job. I just can’t wait to bring you what is essentially my dream game.

I’m bursting to tell you all the jucy details of how and why right away but I’m going to tease this one out a little while longer. Rest assured however: More awesome news IS coming in the upcoming weeks and I’m psyched to get to share it with you!

In other words: Stay posted on this site, my Twitter and our Discord!

I’m off to pop the champagne!

 

AL

Soundtrack, Twitch Streams and Level Design

Ahoy there Skald fans! The last weeks have been exciting in the Skald universe: The soundtrack has dropped, I’ve started streaming, gotten some new Skald tools, celebrated my wife’s birthday, gotten my second COVID shot and ran my first marathon!

Note how you can walk behind walls now! This adds a lot of space to interior locations. Great Success!

The Skald Soundtrack is Out

Created by Skald composer and deranged genius Romanus Surt, the Skald soundtrack is now live on Steam!

The music for the game has gotten a lot of attention with it’s dark, unsettling ambience and I highly recommend checking it out. All proceeds from the sale go to Romanus Surt himself and as a great guy and fantastic artist, he truly deserves your patronage and attention.

If you backed Skald on Indiegogo or Kickstarter at “Knight” tier or higher you should have gotten a message from your platform with the Steam key for the album.

Twitch Streams

I’ve recently dipped my toes into streaming Skald development on Twitch and I have to say, so far I really like it. I’ve been coding and doing level design so far on the stream and I really enjoy the company as well as discussing my work process. I’d also love to have you guys tag along for some of my favourite RPGs every once in a while.

It seems like a very low effort way of keeping in touch with the community via video content since it doesn’t require any editing. If you enjoy watching streams, have questions about the Skald or just want to hang out, be sure to follow me on Twitch. I’ll be looking into finding times that work for both me and you guys, but in general I think the idea will be that if I’m working, I’ll consider streaming if what I’m doing might be interesting to follow in any way.

My account name is “Gallian_the_Great” and I’d be super pumped to see if we could get over 50 follows this week!

New Level Tools

I’ve been doing a lot of work on level-design tools and actual level designing this week. In particular I’ve been working on elements of the Horryn village, keep and sewers using my newest level editor tools.

One of the big changes in the new workflow, is the ability to create prefabs of map components and then cut and paste them into new maps. The great thing is that the system works such that if I go back and change the “mother” prefab, the change will cascade to all its children automatically and this makes it so much easier to maintain and reuse components.


As an example, the sewer above is made out of prefab corridors and the tunnels above took about six mouse-presses to lay out. The time-savings for areas with a lot of repeating components (such as dungeons) will be huge.

In other words: Beta-testers should start getting ready to explore Horryn and its environs!


Want to see more of the level design process and the Skald tools? Make sure to follow my next Twitch stream for a deep dive!

Until then, have a fantastic day!

 

AL

Patch 3.0 and a Release Date Update

Patch 3.0 for the demo is now live! 

This one focuses on the inventory system and adds a lot of requested features like displaying items by categories and showing equipped items by characters.

There’s also a bunch of other features as well so here is a full list:

  • Pressing a quick button to open a screen (M to open Map) can also be used to close the same screen
  • You can toggle between fullscreen and window from Options -> Graphical
  • Game starts in fullscreen mode.
  • You can now see the loot after combat before deciding to take it
  • The game settings are saved from save to save
  • You can now toggle the “text crawl” on/off
  • You can now view and sort the inventory by category
  • You can hide or show equipped items from the main inventory
  • You now see the player model and all equipped items in a separate field in the inventory screens
  • The inventory can be fully operated by using the keyboard
  • You can now sell stacks of items with a single click
  • You can now hold your action until the end of turn
  • The active character now has a flashing outline in combat
  • Added the “Knock Back” feat which allows characters to push opponents in combat
  • You can access options from the intro menu

Bug fixes:

  • Weapons now show damage-type in the description
  • Right-clicking while in the inventory screen no longer activates an item if you’re not mousing over it
  • Using non-useable items no longer plays a use sound effect
Another piece of fan art by community member @ArtMamoon! It still blows my mind that people are making fan art of my game!

For the next patch, I’m probably going to look into making combat smoother. I want to allow for more ations by the player and I need to look into a way to make that work that doesn’t rely on multi-layer, text-based menus.

Under the hood I’m currently also working on my editor tools. I’ve been adding in a search function and some tools to help spell checking (about time). For my map editor I’m currently creating maps tile by tile and I need to add the possibility of adding prefab segments into the map. It will make creating areas with a lot of repeating patterns (such as dungeons) a lot easier so I think that is going to provide quite the boost in productivity.

The Release Date

On the Steam page, the release date has been set to August 2nd 2021 for the Early Access version of the game.

That date is now coming up and I’m not ready for the EA yet. Part of the reason is that I’ve been prioritizing working on feedback from the demo. As you know, I got a lot more of it than I had expected and using it to make the game as good as possible is proving very worth-while.

So when is the new release date? I don’t know yet. Setting a date is hard it turns out. But rest assured that development is currently moving forwards at a very steady pace and the game keeps improving by the day.

There is also a question of how much of the game to have in the EA at release. My original plan has been to do pretty much 80-90% of the game before launching but I really need to think this through.

Experience from the demo shows me that a lot of players will prefer a shorter but more polished product that gets expanded as we go over a larger but more buggy experience.

What I’ll do is that I’ll finish implementing the first chapter (Idra) and see how that plays. If it feels substantial enough, I might consider doing a chapter-by-chapter launch (a bit like Larian is doing with BG 3).


Hope you’re not too disappointed with the postponement of the release date. The game is coming and you’re all helping make it great!

To support the game, keep playing the updates and offering feedback! 

As always, get in touch via the Discord or Twitter for all things Skald-related (I guess now you can also use the Steam and GOG forums).

AL

Prologue Patch and Experience

Greetings all! 

The Skald Prologue has now been live for almost a month. It’s gotten tons of praise and been a wellspring of vital feedback. In other words, it’s safe to say it’s been successful.

What better way to celebrate, than with a new patch and a mini post-mortem of the demo launch!

Skald got its first fan-art (that I know of)! I’m so happy to see people nerding out over my game!

Thank you so much to all of those who’ve played, rated and offered feedback on the game so far! If you still haven’t given it a go, I highly recommend you check it out!

Note that patch 2.0 will likely not be live on GOG till over the weekend:

Here is a brief overview of Patch 2.0 and some of my experiences with launching the demo:

Patch 2.0

Patch 2.0 has focused on fixing bugs and typos as well as adding quite a few new features that focus on Quality of Life improvements.

The biggest job, by far, has been reworking the save system. Save-times are now pretty fast (around 0.5 second) and this allows me to be a lot more generous with having the game auto-save often (a much requested feature).

The only drawback to this, is that the patched game will no longer be able to load old save-files. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this causes but I hope you’ll take the opportunity to perhaps try a new character-build. Keep in mind that the game also allows you to skip the intro and start directly at the shores of Idra if you don’t feel like playing the intro again.

Another highly requested feature that I found time to put in, was “Windowed Mode”:

Did I mention that “UFO” is amazing?

This should make the game a bit easier on the eyes for gamers with big screens and you can now even play it discreetly at work.

Thankfully, I managed to fix the dreaded “broken screen” bug that caused the game to look like this on certain set-ups:

Kill it with fire!

This bug was the source of the game’s only negative Steam review so needless to say, I’m relieved I managed to fix it.

I’ve also spent some time trying to find better ways of offering feedback in combat. I’ve done some experiments with hovering text and I feel optimistic for it:

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Under gameplay options, it’s now also possible to ajust how much feedback you get in combat; making it as fast or as slow as you want.

Finally, I’ve tried to make the game a little bit more balanced by having random encounters scale in difficulty and giving the option of attempting to flee or sneak away if you’re keen to avoid the encounter alltogether:

In summary, here is an (in)complete overview of changes made:

Features
  • You can now play in window mode
  • Random Encounters now scale in difficulty dynamically
  • Simple volume controls
  • The game auto-saves whenever you enter or leave most maps or camps
  • Pressing SHIFT now highlights interactable objects
  • Combat info is now shown as floating text on the screen
  • damage ranges for melee are now slightly more compact with the strength bonus now added as a flat modifier
  • Added 1 more point of movement to all characters
  • The rogues back-stab ability now triggers on flanked opponents as well (not just stunned or surprised opponents)
  • You can now choose to see or not see combat results for the player or opponents in the Options -> Gameplay menu
Bugs
  • Trying to select a spell from an empty spell-list would lock up combat
  • The game sometimes booted with the UI elements small and shifted to the lower left corner of the screen
  • You can no longer assign character points to the “header” during the “Stats” screen in character creation
  • FIxed bug where you couldn’t flip pages in inventory
  • For certain models, weapons would blink in and out of existence
  • The sword/bow target icon should now correctly show as a bow if you have a ranged weapon or a sword if you have a melee weapon equipped
  • Resolved a performance issue that caused frame-rates to drop as you gained more items in your inventory
  • Dozens of minor bugs

Launching a Prologue: A Mid-Mortem

Launching the Prologue has been pretty time-consuming and demanding at times. Nonetheless, I’m incredibly happy I did it and here are some key take-aways:

Launch the demo as a standalone Steam/GOG application before the main launch: This as opposed to having the demo build be part of the main (already launched) application.

“Backbone” has become a recent case-study for this strategy with their highly successful prologue. Data seems to indicate that having the demo as a standalone application, increases wishlisting, and post-launch wishlist conversion-rates for the main game.

It also means that it’s possible for players to offer reviews and these seem to go a long way towards driving interest for your game as well as insulating the game from any negative feedback from the demo.

Finally, you should consider how long (if at all) you let the demo live after the main application launches. It’s fantastic to have a demo out before the main game launches. Once the main game goes live however, you should certainly consider if it’s better to perhaps take down the demo. Remember: Steam’s generous refund policy will basically allow players to test your game even if it’s not free.

Double your time estimates: Steam reviews all applications before launch. It can be hard to predict if they will approve or not and you might need to make changes. Each cycle of changes can add 2-3 day of waiting for review. The take-away is to submit the game well ahead of your planned launch date.

Drink from the community firehose: If you’re lucky, people will care enough about your demo that they offer feedback. I truly believe that this is pure gold for any game-developer. Especially if you, like me, don’t really have access to professional testers and QA people.

The silver lining with handling feedback in a good way, is that it’s also a fantastic way to make people feel invested in your game in the long run. My experience is that gamers who end up seeing their feedback being taken seriously, tend to become life-long fans.

This is a topic for a whole post in and of itself, but note that “listening to feedback” doesn’t mean implementing every change suggested by the community. To me, it’s about having the mentality of trying to assess feedback objectively and trying to see the case from the user’s perspective. I try to make a general rule of not defending my decisions publicly. I may offer my rationale for a certain design, but if you find yourself arguing with users over their feedback, take a step back.

Consider how long the demo should be: This is a difficult but important decision. The question you need to ask is “will this demo leave the player wanting more?”. You don’t want players to “eat their fill” with the demo and forgo playing the main game.

At the same time, you need to show enough that the demo feels like a good representation of the main game and offers enough of an experience that players feel invested in the project.

This point becomes even more important if you intend for the demo to be available after the main game launches.

In closing: Launching a demo as a stand alone application, before the main game, is a great dry run if this is your first rodeo. It’s also a fantastic way to build a community and provides valuable play-testing and publicity.

Feel free to reach out if you’re a fellow game-dev and have questions!


But for now: Go play the prologue (and remember to leave a review if you feel like it)!

As always, get in touch via the Discord or Twitter for all things Skald-related (I guess now you can also use the Steam and GOG forums).

AL

The Public Skald Prologue is Live on Steam and GOG!

The Skald: Against the Black Priory Prologue is now live on Steam and GOG!

And finally: A gameplay teaser!

This is a huge milestone for the project as it means that thousands of fresh eyes will be enjoying the game, testing it and offering feedback. It also goes a long way towards getting Skald on the radar of consumers, content creators and press.

I hope you all take the time to download the Prologue and give it a go. More importantly: Take two minutes to offer a review afterwards. This is hugely important for Steam and GOG visibility and it would be amazing if we can get as many eyes on the project as possible.

Leave any constructive feedback on the Steam or GOG forum-pages for the game.

Next Steps

There will always be polishing to do on the engine and rules implementation (such as how combat should work). In general, however, the coming months will see work move more towards implementing the narrative, adding feats, spells and classes properly (the current ones are mostly placeholder) and populating the game with art assets. Sound FX in particular are in line for some love.

To make sure the work flows nicely, I’ll be spending some time polishing the editor-tool so that adding stuff like scenes or character components is fast and easily maintained in the long run.

The plan is still to launch the Early Access (EA) version in August. However, this is depends on two things:

  1. The feedback from the prologue.
  2. How much of the narrative is ready.

The game does not need to be completed before EA but it should be stable, fun to play and offer enough content that you should be able to spend 20+ hours playing around with it.

Time will tell if that schedule holds. Just know that this game is getting all the love and care possible put into it and I can’t wait to get it out to you!


But for now: Go play the prologue (and remember to leave a review if you feel like it)!

As always, get in touch via the Discord or Twitter for all things Skald-related (I guess now you can also use the Steam and GOG forums).

AL

Skald: Against the Black Priory

Skald: Against the Black Priory’ is an old-school roleplaying game that combines modern design and a fully realised narrative with authentic 8-bit looks and charms. 

Delve into a dark fantasy world, full of tragic heroes, violent deaths and Lovecraftian, cosmic horror. Explore an engaging, branching story mixed with rich exploration and crunchy, tactical, turn-based combat that will seem familiar yet innovative to RPG fans, old and new.

Coming Soon!

The game is currently in development and is set to release in 2022!

Check out the store-page today and feel free to wishlist and play the free demo:

Features

Lovingly crafted retro-style art

  • Experience a richly illustrated world of authentic pixel art using thousands of hand-drawn tiles and images
  • A palette inspired by the legendary Commodore 64 computer.
  • Optional CRT filter for that authentic old-school experience.

Deep character creation

  • Build your main character and recruit a party from among a dozen diverse characters, each with their own skill-set, agenda and personality.
  • Choose from a dozen classes and backgrounds as well as heaps of feats, spells and equipment as you take your party from level 1 to 20. 

Crunchy tactical combat

  • Engage in challenging, fast-paced, turn- and grid-based combat.
  • Play it your way, with fully customizable difficulty and feedback settings. Or hit ‘auto-resolve’,  lean back, and (hopefully) watch your party cleave a bloody path through their foes.

A richly detailed, living world

  • Explore the vast expanse of Freymark and the Outer Isles and watch your actions spell doom or salvation for the region.
  • Focus on the rich, branching narrative… Or live the life of a mercenary and explore varied sidequests and encounters – the plot will wait for you.
  • Manage your party as you make camp, recruit hirelings, travel by land and  sea, and interact with powerful factions and their visions for the world.

Bigger than the box it came in

  • Skald was made possible by crowdfunding and already has a large, passionate and welcoming community that can’t wait to meet you.
  • By joining Skald’s Early Access you’ll have a direct line to the developer, get sneak peaks and give feedback on forthcoming plans and help shape the game into a modern classic.
  • We will publish the powerful tools used to create the game in an effort to support and encourage modding and content creation once the game has fully launched. 

Stay Posted

Subscribe to this devlog, follow us on Twitter and join our Discord!

Cheers,

AL

Project Update: Beta 1.3.1 is up!

Phew.

With a few intense days of receiving, processing and addressing feedback behind me, a new version of the Beta is up (already)!

What’s in the new Beta?

This one does two major things:

  • The game is now in a 16:9 ratio. This is is pretty distinct departure from the boxier look of before and the UI might need some tweaking. However, 16:9 is now such a prevalent AR for both monitors and media (such as Youtube videos) and I feel it is the right move in terms of making the game look as good as possible for the majority of costumers.
  • There is now a bunch of updates to speed up combat. You can now use SPACE to “repeat last command”, the orders execute faster, and there is a “combat log” you can view to see things like rolls and calculations (though that is till a bit primitive).

Of course, there are also a LOT of minor bug-fixes and other updates.

Where to get it?

The demo is still available to backers only (Not a backer? Go here!). This means that you have to use your download link to access it.

“Where is that link” you say?

Well, for Kickstarter backers, you received in a message from me. For Indiegogo backers you received it in an email with “SKALD RPG” as the subject line.

But easiest of all: You can just log onto your Itch.io account and you should be able to find it there if you’ve already played it before.

How to offer feedback?

Use the Discord, PM me on Twitter or send me an email at contact@skaldRPG.com!


Cheers,


AL

Project Update: Beta 1.3.0 is out!

Finally! The time is here to release the next version of the “Skald: Against the Black Priory” beta for backers! I’m not going to lie: It feels pretty fantastic to get it out there.

Get a piece of that pie if you haven’t already!

Wait what? Not a backer? You can be! Support SKALD via our Indiegogo Indemand page and help make my dream game whilst getting some awesome rewards!

What’s in the Demo?

The demo is still fairly short (but longer than before at 2 hours+) and still focuses on the starting area of the game. It does however, rework the different locals to take advantage of the new level-design paradigm of larger, more complex local areas.

It also adds a new hub area, a vendor, a recruitable NPC, a bunch of NPCs and minor quests, some new monsters and items, random encounters and so forth.

In other words, in addition to offering a basis for testing a lot of new systems, it also contains a complete RPG gameplay loop.

However, it’s important to keep in mind: The purpose of the demo at this point is still to provide me with play testing – not to offer a fully complete, play experience.

This means that it’s super important that you

  1. Realize that there are A LOT of rough edges
  2. Take the time to offer constructive feedback if you play it!

What to look for when testing

Please use the Discord to report feedback on the following:

  • Most of the dialogue in the game is still pending editing for grammars and proofreading so feel free to give input on spelling etc. But more importantly: Keep an eye out for, and report and broken logic in the dialogue!
  • Try to keep an eye out for bugs related to how objects appear and spawn in-game. Especially after saving/loading and when entering or leaving areas. Do objects spawn where they shouldn’t?
  • If you exhaust the demo content, I’d be very interested in hearing how long it took you.
  • PLEASE report any crashes or freezes!

I’m not looking for:

  • Notes on balancing, character development (feats, spells etc) or combat encounters. These are all placeholder at the moment and there will be a more comprehensive overhaul of them in due time.
  • Notes on character models. These are mostly placeholder as I’m yet to add a larger variety of models and outfits.

The Next Steps

I’ll be doing a burst of fire-patches the next week or two in response to incoming feedback and then I’m planning to step back and do some work on a few larger technical issues I identified whilst making the demo.

I’ll also be adding a few new batches of content as I flesh out the refugee-camp and even open the way into the ruins of Horryn so stay posted for that!

The end goal for this round of demos is to have a well-rounded and semi-polished public demo for use in promotion; especially towards press and content creators.

Let Word Spread Forth!

Skald has the best community in RPGs. Ever. It’s a huge joy, support and resource to me and we’re truly making this game together!

Honestly, the size, interest and support of the community is the bread and butter of the project at this point, and the best way to keep making SKALD great, is to keep the community growing!

And so your Wizard-Emperor decrees:

If you played the demo and enjoyed it, please tell your friends on forums, Twitter, Discords, Reddits and wherever else you hang! Invite them to our Discord server and bid them check out the blog!

That’s it for now. Enjoy the demo and please get in touch via the Discord or Twitter for all things Skald-related.

Cheers,

AL