Project Update: Versions and Pricing Overview

 

Greetings one and all!

Below is a short summary of pricing and versions for Skald once it launches on May 30th. Note that changes may occur before launch.

Also, see the end of the devlog for some info about the incredible people who made our live-action trailer for us!

Pricing and Platforms

“Skald: Against the Black Priory” will launch on Steam and GOG (be sure to wishlist today on your store of choice).

The game will be available for PC and Mac upon launch.

The Standard version of the game will be priced around 15 USD and the Deluxe version will be priced at around 25 USD.

Deluxe Edition Content

We intend to offer a Deluxe edition of the game that will provide you with a bundle of extra content giving you the option of having a slightly different game experience mechanically speaking. It also comes with the OST and a good handful of cosmetic items.

The Deluxe edition will contain the following items (amongst others):

  • The Base Game
  • A pack of extra character portraits
  • Unique Dice animations
  • 3 extra character backgrounds to choose from during character creation.
  • Malachai, the Magical items merchant: A vendor that is available from the mid game and onward that sells a handful of unique magical items.
  • Two wallpapers from the game
  • The OST with 38 (!) tracks

We’re constantly looking into more cool stuff to add into the Deluxe edition whilst still making sure it does not detract from the main game. The idea is that it should be a value-packed way of supporting the developer (which buying the deluxe edition greatly does).

Skald at WASD Live 2024

The game is being presented at a WASD Live 2024 in London 25th-27th of April along with a collection of other awesome Raw Fury titles! If you’re in the area and you feel like checking out Skald and its awesome siblings, be sure to visit WASD

Trailer Credits

Our “Release-Date Announcement Trailer” has been getting amazing feedback from the community and beyond. I’m just so grateful for getting to play a part in making such a cool little piece of retro-inspired media.

The credit for the main action scenes of the trailer however, goes to Swedish media production company NAIVE. What you see here is the result of their incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail.

You’ve blown me away with your amazing work and I can’t thank you enough! Now go give these amazing people all the likes and follows!

Naive

Web: naive.se
Instagram: @naive.society

Directed by:
Robin Jonsson, @robijons ( instagram )
Oskar Gullstrand, @o.gullstrand (instagram)

Cinematography:
Simon Rudholm, @simon.rudholm (instagram)

Sound Design:
Jakob Oldenburg @oldenburgsound ( instagram)

VFX:
Oskar Gullstrand
Cecilia Azout

Editing:
Robin Jonsson


To stay posted, be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already!

Cheers,

 

AL

Launch Data Reveal Trailer

The time is upon us, the Dragon has awoken and the LAUNCH DATE IS REVEALED: “Skald: Against the Black  Priory” is launching May 30th 2024!

Check out our AMAZING Launch Data Reveal Trailer now!

Did you see all the awesome hidden references?

Once you’re done rewatching, head on over to Steam where Skald is participating in both a Lovecraftian Steam event and the #TurnbasedThursday Fest.

We’ve even UPDATED THE DEMO so you can play the latest iteration of the game TODAY!


It feels amazing to be this close to sharing Skald with you all! Keep your eyes peeled as we go forwards: We’ll be posting frequent updates over the next weeks!

To stay posted, be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already!

Cheers,

 

AL

Feature Highlights: Combat Introduction

 

Ho there traveler!

It’s time for another feature highlight! This time, talking about combat rules! This is a big subject but I have to start somewhere, so today we’ll have a look at a few core concepts. Forgive me if this reads a bit like a chapter out of the D&D Player’s Handbook (though I suspect quite a few of you like that).

Some dungeoneering motifs by John Henderson!

In case you’re reading this and don’t know what game we’re talking about, you can start by checking out the SKALD demo on Steam (and don’t forget to wishlist):

Combat in Skald

Combat in Skald is turn-based and takes place on a tile grid. I’m a huge tabletop RPG nerd and there is a strong influence from 3rd edition D&D and beyond (including games like Pathfinder and, of course, 5th edition D&D).

At its core, this means that combat in Skald cares a lot about proper positioning and synergies between party members and their different skill-sets.

Battle is Joined!

Once a combat is triggered, you get to deploy your party. Use this phase to make a plan: Set up charges and flanking. Make sure your spellcasters have good angles of attack and take advantage of the terrain when possible (there’s nothing wrong with a good choke-point).

Characters act in descending order of initiative. Agile, lightly armored characters tend to act earlier in the initiative order. You can view the initiative order using the initiative widget on the left side of the screen at any time.

Note how you can also toggle the “tactical overlay” to superimpose a grid over the battlefield. This makes the characters’ exact position more easy to spot.

Also, you should always try to pay attention to the statistics of your opponents and party members (things like damage resistance are great to know about). Thankfully this is really easy with the popup tooltip system!

Action Economy

A character can move a number of tiles each turn equal to their Combat Moves. These are indicated by the yellow pips on the side of the combat map:

The purple pip(s) indicate the number of attacks a character has. A character can forgo attacking and instead spend their attack action to move one extra tile.

Once a character has attacked, it is no longer possible for them to move (in other words, their turn typically ends after attacking).

Some characters have multiple attacks. You cannot move and attack more than once each turn. So to take advantage of your multiple attacks you must dedicate your entire round to attacking.

Moving out of melee (Disengaging) or swapping places with an ally, consumes all your remaining movement and attacks.

To-Hit Mechanics

At a very basic level, hitting an opponent comes down to the following:

Attacker rolls 2d6 + relevant skill (Melee Attack or ranged Attack)

vs

2d6 + defender’s Dodge skill.

If the attacker rolls equal to or above the defender’s roll, a hit is scored and damage is rolled equal to the weapon’s damage score + relevant modifiers (such as a Strength bonus for Melee Attacks) .

If the defender is wearing armor, part of the incoming damage is absorbed by the armor (a random amount from 0 to the armor’s Soak value).

Basic Tactics

There are hundreds of spells and abilities that can be used in combat depending on your class and build. Today however, I’ll give a very short overview of some of the basic general tactics that help setting up the game’s positional gameplay.

Charging

A charge is executed by moving at least 2 tiles in a straight line before executing a melee attack.

A charge attack gets a bonus on the to-hit roll and the damage roll. This bonus increases the longer you move in a straight line before attacking (Momentum builds up).Classes of the Warrior archetype tend to have feats that improve their charge attacks.

Flanking

A flanking attack is performed whenever two attackers stand on opposite sides of the same defender.

Flanked opponents are much easier to hit. They also lose the Dodge bonus derived from using a shield. You can spot a flanked target by looking out for the Flanking icon:

Flanking also ties in to one of the Rogue’s special abilities: Backstabbing.  I’ll talk more about backstabbing in a later post, but in short, whenever a Rogue attacks a character that is either defenseless (Paralyzed etc.) or flanked, they automatically perform a Backstabbing attack that deals a lot of extra damage.

So for any party with a Rogue in it, setting up and taking advantage of flanking can result in very rewarding tactical play.

Hold Action

Another easily overlooked but vital feature is the “Hold Action” command. This basically moves the current character to the end of the initiative queue (meaning they act last in the turn order).

This is a lot more powerful than it seems as it allows your characters to act with more synergy. Perhaps your rogue would rather wait to attack until after the magos has blinded their target for them, setting up a sweet Backstab attack?

Pass and Defend

No very exciting but also worth a mention. A character may choose to pass their turn without acting. Typically this is done if a character has no relevant action to take. However, this also gives them a substantial bonus to their Dodge score until their next round.

Consider using this tactically to increase the staying-power of your front line fighters whilst your ranged strikers wear down your foes from the back ranks.

Injury, Death and Morale

Characters in Skald have two “hit point” reserves: Vitality and Wounds.

Vitality is represented by the green bar under the character portrait. Vitality points are numerous, easily lost and easily regained. They can be restored using healing potions and spells and losing Vitality has no immediate negative consequences. The problems begin once you lose all your vitality points!

Once all your Vitality is gone, damage is dealt to your Wound points. This represents actual, severe physical damage being done to your character. You have few Wound points and they are much harder to recover. Wounds are represented by the purple bar under your character portrait. When you take wound damage two things happen:

First you sustain an injury. Injuries (represented by red circles in the character portrait) give severe penalties to your character. They can only be removed by resting fully in a camp.

Secondly, the wounded character must make a Will save or begin to Panic and flee.

Unlike Vitality, lost Wounds can only be recovered by resting. In other words, once you start to get party members with lost Wound points and lots of injuries, it’s time to start looking for a camp site (see last month’s devlog).

I’m not the only one hearing the crackling of the fire, right?

Getting Knocked Out

So what happens when you’re out of both Vitality and Wounds? Well, if you’re a player character you’re lucky: You’re Knocked Out until end of combat. Once combat ends, if at least one character is left standing in the party, all Knocked Out characters wake up with 1 Wound point restored.

The only real downside of getting knocked out in combat is that knocked out characters don’t get their XP share after the fight. This may seem harsh and it might change down the line but I do like a bit of stakes in my combat and I think it works well all in all.

Moral

Finally, I also alluded to the Panic condition above. This is worth a mention as well as it plays a large part in combat. Whenever something traumatic happens, a character must make a moral check (2d6 + Willpower vs a difficulty number). This can be triggered by:

  • Seeing an ally get killed / knocked out
  • Taking Wound damage
  • Certain spells and abilities

A character who fails their moral check will no longer act during their turn and instead try to flee. There is a chance each subsequent turn that they may regain their composure but needless to say, having your party members rout is VERY dangerous.

Thankfully, Priests and Officers excel at boosting your party’s moral. Also actively trying to erode your opponents will to fight through clever use of spells and maneuvers is an excellent tactic.


I think I’ll leave it here for today. This is such an extensive subject and I’ve only just scratched the surface in this post. Hopefully it gives you a bit of an initial impression though. For a lot of you TTRPG fans out there, you can probably start seeing some of the lineage of the system.

I’ll go more in depth on spellcasting and special abilities etc. at a later point (there’s A LOT to talk about) so stay posted!

Be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already done so!

Much love,

 

AL

 

 

Project Update: Feature Highlights 1

Greetings one and all! I hope  this  finds all you fellow RPG nerds well! I think it’s about time for me to emerge from my developer’s cave and write a little bit of a project update!

Art by Gustav Samuelson / @MechaBarbarian

In case you’re reading this and don’t know what we’re talking about, you can start out by checking out the SKALD demo on Steam (and don’t forget to wishlist):

News

Skald has been making the news! We’ve gotten a round of some fantastic, organic coverage in the last few weeks and truly there is no better feeling for a solo-developer than to have people talk about your project in such glowing terms! A few of the bigger ones are PC-Gamer, Eurogamer and CRPG YouTuber Mortismal Gaming.

And best of all: These are just the biggest ones! There’s been a score of other content creators and gaming-sites talking about the game lately and I truly couldn’t be happier.

In a world where discoverability is likely the largest hurdle to indie success, word of mouth has once again become tremendously important.

Feature Highlight

There are so many things I could (and probably should) be talking about that it’s hard to choose. True to form I picked some of the things that are at the top of my head and those are some of the secondary systems in the game. For today I chose camp mechanics, crafting and magic items.

Camping

The idea of your party sitting around a warm campfire with a belly full of stew and a pipe stuffed with fine pipe-weed sharing stories of battles past is just so appealing to me.

I’m not the only one hearing the crackling of the fire, right?

Beyond that, camping also serves as a way of reinforcing the game-loop that is essential to RPGs: You occasionally need to take a break from adventuring to rest, recover and restock!

Camping in Skald serves as a way to recover lost resources and clear the injury conditions that accumulate during combat: You can recover lost vitality easily enough (by using spells) but if you get hit hard enough you may end up with injuries. These make adventuring harder and eventually you’ll need to make camp to recover!

You can either pay to sleep at an inn or, more commonly, you’ll be resting in the wild! Most surface areas are usable for resting (no sleeping in dungeons).


During rest, you need to feed the party. If you have less than the required food available, the party will not recover fully (providing only 50% of the food will only restore 50% lost Vitality etc). This means that gathering and crafting food is a good idea (more on that later).

In addition to eating, your party can also be put to work with camp activities! Activities like foraging for supplies, fletching arrows and training or entertaining other party members makes different classes and skills shine.

Camp logistics not your jam? Well, the game comes with a powerful set of difficulty settings allowing you to disable the food requirement so you can get the exact RPG experience YOU want!

Crafting

As it’s already been featured in the demo, the crafting system is not really “new”. However this system has been recontextualized a bit with the introduction of camping because it influences the use of food in the game.

A character needs to eat 10 “points” of food per night. Eating a raw potato might give 1 point of food. Eating a bowl of vegetable stew might offer 10 points. So in other words, even though you can chomp down on raw ingredients, your characters’ lives become A LOT easier if you cook for them. Also, I’m making no promises here but I would just LOVE to give party members favorite foods. I’m trying to decide what Roland would like. Perhaps something sweet? Or sausage?

Oh and I also added alchemy to the game! Gather ingredients like flowers, monster parts and fungi and use them to create potions!

So how does it work?

Gather ingredients and examine them to learn which go together to craft new items! You can experiment with combining ingredients and you don’t lose them if you fail so there’s no reason to not play around. It’s a bit of a mini game and I find it to be a lot of fun. You can also find scrolls with recipes on them that automatically unlocks the recipe.

As it currently works, you always succeed at crafting if you attempt a valid recipe. However depending on your crafting skill and the item’s complexity there is also a chance that you get a superior result (more than one new item for instance ).

All in all, I’m happy with the system. It doesn’t take up much space and if you don’t want to deal with it you don’t have to. But if you do chose to interact with it, it adds a layer of logistics that I personally enjoy a lot in games like this. Actually having to plan out the expedition to the nearby dungeon adding in stops for resting and making sure you’re carrying enough raw materials to craft the consumables you need as you delve into the darkness is my jam.

Magic Items

I’ve also been giving a lot of love to magic items lately. This one might be a bit divisive: There will be a lot of procedurally created and semi-randomly placed magic items in the game.

I know a lot of you don’t like this and I can certainly sympathize. In an ideal world, every item would be lovingly hand-crafted and placed in the world. The problem with this is that it takes a lot of time. As in A LOT a lot.

The result would be much fewer items to be found and after testing this game for hours on end my conclusion is that the game works better with more items even if that means they are procedurally created and placed.

Just to be clear: The fact that most items are procedural in the game does not mean there isn’t also the occasional hand crafted item to be found. Also, magic items are not dropped from random encounters. Once the game starts a set number of items are placed in the world and these remain static. The game does NOT feature Diablo-style grinding for loot-drops and there is no way to save-scum the system.

I’m going to make every effort to keep a close eye on the system here to make for a balanced and interesting distribution of magic items and I feel pretty certain that it will work out for the best in the end.


And there we go! A summary of three fairly nerdy subjects that I’m sure will be of interest to at least three of you!

To stay posted, be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already!

Much love,

 

AL

Project Update: New Teaser, Demo and Approximate Launch Date

Season’s Greetings one and all!

Flashiest stuff first: I’ve spend endless hours writing coding and polishing the game and we’ve put together a little teaser for you all to show of a little sliver of it:

 

Secondly, we’ve officially set a launch-date for spring 2024. We originally had our sights set on late 2023 but the Elder Gods simply laughed. For me this is good news however as it will mean more time to make the game a great experience for all!

Thirdly, we’ve updated the demo on Steam and GOG (huzza)! This will be a lot shorter than the old demo but also a bit more representative in terms of features and gameplay. At the same time, development is still moving so rapidly that there is  A LOT of stuff that we didn’t have time to get into the demo.

I can’t help it but I LOVE coding particle effects!

In Other News

We’ve spent a lot of time doing quality assurance stuff lately. A game like Skald is a strange beast: There is a balance between making the game as accessible as possible whilst also remembering that this is a niche game.

Thankfully, a good solution to issues of accessibility and player on-boarding exists: Allow players to customize their play experience as much as possible!

Having good and readable fonts are super important to people! What constitutes a good font means different things to different people so we’re leaning hard into letting people customize the visual style of the game (within the constraints of the game’s core graphical style).

I’ve also spent a lot of time setting up systems for players to tweak the gameplay experience – including fully customizable difficulty settings.

The game also has a ton of mechanical complexity. In fact, I suspect there is a lot more going on “under the hood” than most people realize. The great part about it is that once you learn the rules, you can really start strategizing and enjoying the tactical aspect of the game. The downside is you have to learn rules. But fret not: We’re adding tutorials to the game!

I guess what I’m saying is that we’re trying to make sure we cater to a wide range of play-styles and experiences.

In Closing…

I sincerely hope you all are having a good an peaceful December. It seems a lot like my December will be quite busy with making the Skald but rest assured: I’m loving every moment of it. I mean, just look at some of the art assets I get to be working with:

LOOK AT THIS GORGEOUS ART!!!!!!

In all seriousness, I also take care to have a good work-life balance. The game industry can be grueling and a lot of people underestimate the toll it can take on you mentally, physically and in terms of relationships.

I don’t! I believe it’s one of my stronger skills and one of the biggest benefits coming into the industry as an “adult”.

Now I’m off to make (and eat) gingerbread cookies with the fam.

Have an amazing holiday one and all!


To stay posted, be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already!

Much love,

 

AL


Post Script

We had a little bit of a stumble this week with our media. In essence out plan was to announce the trailer etc. on the Steam forums and Twitter on Monday and then do a devlog-post later in the week. This was due to my call that it would allow us to get more exposure but the result was instead that a lot of our most enfranchised (and important)  community members  received the news later than others.

This will not do. I apologize and promise to do better next time. Just to be clear: If you’re having a hard time following our news, the primary source for now, is this devlog. At some point in the future, Skald’s publisher may lean more into using the Steam forums but if that happens we’ll be sure to let you know.

 

 

Project Update: Let There Be Light

Hello there one and all!

Dance with the Moonlit Knight

In classic AL fashion I’m long overdue with another project update! That means there is sooo much to show off and talk about. So much in fact that I’m not even going to try. Instead, today I’ll focus on one of the flashier updates: An improved lighting system!

The Issue

There is a lot of level-design and building going on at the moment. Company is doing good as well and I’ve been able to get a lot more professional art assets in the last year without having to worry about cost (see some of the gorgeous environments below).

The issue I was running into however, was that I wasn’t able to fully convey the mood of the the environments I was making with the tools I had at the start of 2023. For a game that aims to have a bit of a darker tone, this was actually kind of a big deal.

The dilemma I was wrestling with was that I had committed to a 16 color palette; Adding a more complex lighting system would result in more than 16 colors being shown on screen at any given time.

None the less, I was feeling pretty strongly that something had to change so I set aside two weeks in April, cracked my knuckles and went into a coding frenzy! Turns out there are some advantages to having such a large proprietary code-base. Since I know every in and out of my draw pipeline it was surprisingly easy to set up what I needed.

As for the result, I’ll let this image speak for itself:

I dear say one of these is slightly more ambient than the other?

The Solution

The first thing to keep in mind is that Skald is built as an “engine inside an engine”. In other words, the Skald engine lives inside Unity but it is 99% self-contained. For instance, it draws its graphics by baking sprites at run-time, completely independently of Unity. Once all the drawing operations are done and the complete screen image is baked, it makes a Unity texture and lets the Unity camera “photograph” it.

The advantage here is that it’s very easy to perform very precise operations on individual pixels. In other words, we can do pretty cool stuff that is still 100% “authentic” pixel art.

We leverage this in the lighting system: A lighting value is calculated for each 16×16 tile and based on this, the sprite for that tile is shaded with a bluish tint (pixel per pixel). As you can see on the floor inside the cabin above, this means the lighting is overtly tiled but in my opinion,  this works beautifully with the tile-based nature of the game.


That is not all however! Light-emitters also have pre-baked “auras. These can have different shapes and colors: Note how the ritual candles in the GIF above have a green and purple tint. It also allows me to do stuff like god-rays.

Anyways, I’m pretty proud of the system and the result. It’s changed how I make levels and my only regret is not making it sooner. If you have questions about the system or its implementation, feel free to DM me!

In Other News

As I said initially, I have so much to show off that I don’t know where to begin. However, the finish-line is coming into view so for what it’s worth, you’ll all be playing the game pretty soon. That also means, stay posted for a release-date announcement.

Feat Trees (missing icons)!

Unity

Many of you will have noticed that Unity has been going through dire straits the last weeks. The engine revealed a new pricing model a few weeks ago that was extremely controversial and caused a mass-exodus of players.

Why would Unity do this? | Unity Installation Fee Controversy | Know Your Meme

For a lot of companies, this had the potential to be catastrophic. Skald was however, never in any direct danger due to the game’s pricing model etc.

That being said, it also appears Unity has rolled back their updated policies in the recent days. In other words: Skald was and still is, 100% safe.

The Lost Sector

I did an interview with Chris Freeman last week for the Lost Sector Youtube channel! I love the Lost Sector and if you’re reading this, so will you!

We talk Skald, retro-gaming and Unity (if you want to understand more deeply why the pricing change was so controversial). Chris also has a loop of the updated game build running in the background so if you want to see the new lighting-system in action, here’s a chance for a sneak preview of a very rough production build (Chris twisted my arm)!


That’s it for now! I’ll do my best to keep you posted but I also need to make a game so if you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s because I’m making cool stuff.

To stay posted, be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already!

Much love,

 

AL

Project Update: The Calm Before the Storm

Project Update: The Calm Before the Storm

Hello dear friends and followers – It’s been a hot minute!

I’ve been much less active on social media for a few months and believe me when I say it’s been necessary. I truly wish I had more time to interact with all you amazing people but there is only so much bandwidth in my head and social media can potentially eat up a substantial amount of it so I need to be very careful.

Such is the life of a solo-developer!

Give us some news!

I’m really biting my lip here as I try not to spoil any of the cool, new stuff I’ve been stuffing into the game! My brand manager made me promise that I was going to be patient.

However, I won’t be spoiling anything if I say the late summer and early fall of 2023 will be really busy for us in terms of marketing. This means we want to save as much of the cool stuff for about another month or two. HNNNGGGGGG!!!!

Instead of showing off the game, here is some corporate news (“Yay!” said no one).

Current State of Production

Internally we have a release date set and we are fully committed to hitting it! 

In other words, we’re currently pumping out content! That means levels, graphical assets, game-objects and writing. It’s hard work but we have an amazing team of freelancers and what we’re making looks fantastic.

We’re also doing an important job of adjusting scope to make sure that what we put out is as high quality as possible. Some side-content that was intended to be in the day-one release will get postponed and released in free updates post launch. 

 

This one is all on me: Making RPGs are insanely complex and it has been very hard to predict the amount of time that goes into making different types of content. Some are much faster than expected, whilst other types (especially branching quests) are much more time-consuming – expected for small teams. 

Nonetheless, we’ve cracked the code at this point and though it has taken trial and error, we will be delivering a retrogasmic RPG experience! 

The Norwegian Film Institute

The Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) is backing the Skald project. This means we get to put more art in the game (focusing especially on environmental art and creature design) as well as hire more help with writing, editing and audio design. 

This is honestly a pretty big deal. NFI is a fantastic partner to have on board that offers substantial long term support to projects and companies without any creative constraints whatsoever (sweet, sweet social-democratic tax policies). What’s more, NFI is VERY enthusiastic about Skald. Turns out they’re pretty big nerds with a lot of love for bespoke, artsy games.

In other words, this bodes well for the future of the franchise and company. 

Studio Name Change

The company has changed its name from “Scape-IT” to “High North Studios”! The old name was a legacy name and it feels really good to get a name that more accurately reflects the company. I wish I had a fancy logo to show as well but this is just another item in a very long “to-do” list.

A Storm is Coming

At this point I’d rather say less and save the sexy stuff for when we ramp up marketing this summer. I truly hope and believe it’s going to be worth the wait.

Thank you so much for your incredible patience so far. Believe me when I say that the future is looking really exciting and pixelated for us retro RPG fans!


To stay posted, be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already!

Much love,

 

AL

Season of Giving: Demo and Contest!

Ho ho ho!

That special time of year is descending upon us and uncle Andy’s coming in hot with red cheeks and smelling vaguely of Christmas schnaps. He’s also bringing gifts!

Demo Update

By the time you’re reading this, we should have updated the demo online. This is a pretty chonky update that more then doubles the amount of content. It includes a bunch of never before seen areas and narrative content as well as a new recruitable NPC.

It also adds in a lot of new features, like the option to build your own character. We only have a handful of the classes, feats, portraits and backgrounds available yet but this still adds a lot of variety so go nuts!

Needless to say, we’ll be adding a ton more of everything in the final product so no need to worry.

The Quest for the Santa Fury

Adventurers and treasure hunters have been searching for her ever since. None have succeeded. Lately however, a rumor has begun to spread in dockside taverns and brothels: 

The Santa Fury has been located. The rush to recover her is on. Will you partake?


Yes we hid an entire ship in the latest demo and you get to go on a real treasure hunt FOR REAL TREASURE!

How to enter
  • Download the demo and start playing. You’ll soon enough find someone who’ll tell you the legend of the Santa Fury and you’ll be off!
  • Once you find the treasure and see the phrase “amorphous shape of eyes, mouths and tentacles” take a screenshot.
  • Amble over to the Skald Discord and DM the screenshot to our lovely community person, Fiona (Discord name “Feeona#0001″) . Do NOT post the screenshot in one of the public channels.
  • Contest is open until January 9th and once it closes we’ll draw five winners who’ll receive a free key to a game of their choice from the Raw Fury catalogue!

D&D Ideas — Treasure – Nerdarchy

Happy Holidays to you all

I’ll be lurking a bit and seeing how the contest is going but I’ll also try to take a few days off. In other words, I’ll see you all on the other side of the year in what will surely be the year of Skald!

I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to pursue my passion and I hope this is a project that will bring joy into people’s lives for years to come. Be kind to each other and please be mindful of those who find the holidays difficult. A kind word or gesture might go a long way.

What remains is to wish you all a very happy holidays and good luck on the hunt for the Santa Fury.

Love you all,

AL

Project Update: Have Some Class (December 2022)

Greetings all! It’s update time!

I try to get one update out per month and this one was slated for November but the weeks are just flying by. You’ll have to forgive me and rest assured the time not spent writing this was well spent elsewhere!

Human models are now slightly taller. I love the more natural proportions.

If you’re reading this and somehow don’t know what the game is about yet, check out the Steam page and demo before reading on:

—News—

Rawcember DEMO

We’re doing a major update to the demo around the 20th of December as part of Raw Fury’s Rawcember promotions.

This means a bunch of new demo content including a character creator, a new recruitable NPC, several new map areas and… *drum roll*… a special Rawcember contest:

The Hunt for The Santa Fury

Uncover cryptic clues and mysterious leads as you embark on a quest for the mysterious missing vessel the “Santa Fury”. 

If you uncover the secret at the end of the puzzle, you are eligible to enter into the Skald Rawcember lottery and compete for three Steam gift cards!

We’ll be dropping another devlog update when the demo goes live and you’ll find all the details in there!

—Development—

In preparation for the upcoming Rawcember demo I’ve been doing a lot of work on the character creator. It was noticeably absent in the latest demo builds but it’s coming home for Christmas.

Even though only a few of the character options (classes and backgrounds) are playable at the moment, we’ll be showing them off in the demo to at least give you an impression of what we’re aiming for in the final game!

Classed in Skald are each tied to one of five archetypes which, in turn, are tied to on of the five primary attributes. Behind the curtain, each archetype conforms somewhat to the classic tank / DPS / support trinity

Archetype Attribute Associated Class Role
Warrior Strength Officer, Veteran, Armsmaster A resilient combat workhorse and tank.
Rogue Agility Thief, Duelist, Assassin Uses the backstab ability to deal large amounts of damage. Also brings important adventuring skills to the party (traps and locks).
Magos Intellect Battle Magos, Inquisitor, Guild Magos Ranged damage dealers and crowd controllers.
 Wandere Fortitude  Skald, Ranger, Augur Varied support class that bring a variation of support spellcasting and important adventuring skills to the party.
Cleric Presence Champion, Hierophant, Hospitaller  Healers and buffers. 

Note that the archetype role is a rough guideline. The different classes may vary greatly in how they actually play. I’ll say more about the individual classes as we go so stay posted for this in the upcoming devlogs.

Backgrounds are much lighter than classes and help flesh out the character in the context of the world. They will add bonuses to skills and may affect starting condition (such as starting gold and equipment). I also intend to use these to provide world interactivity as certain NPCs may react to your background in dialogue etc.

Say what you want about the UI but if it doesn’t give you a retro vibe, I don’t know what does!

As for attributes you’ll of course be able to edit these as well in the character creator. I’m doing my best to keep the rules as transparent as possible and visualizing the interrelationship between the attributes helps a bit. Note how updating a primary attribute causes the rest of the sheet to update etc.

Some players might be a bit off-put by the wall of numbers but we’ll try to add options for them as well (maybe an “auto complete” function?).

In general however, I think RPG fans enjoy a bit of rules crunch and I intend to deliver that.

Customize your characters appearance or let fate decide! Note the the portraits are place-holders!

Finally, here is a peek at the character editor. Nothing revolutionary here but I am proud of how modular the character models are. You can pretty much edit any aspect of them and this carries over to any outfit you might equip etc. It’s a small thing, but I think customization is a pretty big deal to a lot of players.

—In Closing—

Be sure to check out the updated demo as it drops December 20th! I’m excited to see it any of you manage to learn the fate of the Santa Fury!

To stay posted, be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already!

Much love,

 

AL

Project Update: Happy Halloween and MAC demo is LIVE (October 2022)

Hey everyone and happy spooky season! I for one love this time of year and I couldn’t help myself from sharing some love with the Skald community!

—News—

Halloween Update for Demo

There’s now a new area to the demo for you to explore. It even has a creepy little Halloween-encounter in it! And I promise: It’s still very much Skald-themed.

Download and play the new Halloween-demo here:

We’ll be expanding this area quite a bit further in the time to come as we try out and test “new” features (more on this below) so keep checking in.

Mac demo is finally live on Steam

This is criminally overdue, but it’s finally here: The Skald Mac demo! To all my awesome Mac fans, I’m so sorry for the wait and hope this makes it up to you! 

Once again, check out the demo here:

—Development—

Some “New” Features

The new area that we’ve added to the demo will be used as a little sandbox for us to add in all the secondary mechanics that need to be (re)implemented. For now we’ve added in trading and leveling up, and next on the list is the character builder and camping mechanics.

New Biomes

Quite a bit of dev-time the last few weeks have gone into redrawing tilesets for some of the biomes that feature in the new demo content.

Caves are a staple of any self-respecting CRPG:

… and this part of the game features a lot of costal areas so costal cliffs and shore lines are a must as well:

I’ve done some work on making the submersion into water look all nice like but the GIF above has too low FPS to do it justice. You’ll just have to see it yourself in the demo.

Next Weeks

We’re spending the next three weeks fixing bugs and reacting to feedback as well as increasing the size of the current build to be as big (or bigger) than the prologue.

Some of this might be featured in the demo (though we might keep it shorter than the old prologue) and all of the content will of course be available to testers.

Still waiting for your tester’s key? It’s coming once I get Halloween out of the way.

—In Closing—

Keep playing the game and as always feel free to reach out to me at any time. Note however: The last weeks have been insanely busy and I’m behind on all my social media. I 100% indend to catch up though so please just be patient with me.

To stay posted, be sure to follow the Skald Twitter and Discord and wishlist on Steam if you haven’t already!

Love you all,

 

AL