Meet our new Publishing Partner!

Snowflakes turn to steam as they land on the scarred flesh. The blood of the slain drips from their rough beard. They howl as they raise their broken blade to the moons.   

Noble savage indeed – Thank the Golden they are on our side.

It’s official! Swedish publisher RAW FURY and I have formed an adventuring party and our quest journal is now crystal clear: 

“Quest Begun: Make ‘Skald: Against the Black Priory’ amazing!”

Raw Fury is a level 12, chaotic good barbarian: Illiterate yet strong as a bull, their heart burns white-hot with passion for awesome games. Founded in 2015, they’re based in Stockholm and on a quest to serve as a publisher for “boutique and indie games”. A strong emphasis on ethics, transparency and partnership-based developer relations is their guiding star.


Raw Fury has published more than 25 titles to date with plenty more coming up. Check out their other games here!

Meet the “Fists of Fury”

Part of Raw Fury’s secret sauce is that they are a “hands-on” publisher and offer a whole suite of incredibly useful services to projects they sign. This means Skald has it’s very own dedicated team of talented and passionate RPG-fans all working with me to make Skald the CRPG of our dreams! Everyone, say “hi” to the “Fists of Fury” (yes that’s their actual team-name and not something I just made up):

Daniel Jonsson (@wdjonsson) is a reasonably boring Game Producer at Raw Fury. He holds Mutant Chronicles as the best RPG of all times, and he still reminisces about the Paul Bonner artworks. Outside of work he is a recreational chess player (1600+ ELO on, recreational runner and recreational procrastinator. 

Jacob Kroon is a reasonably creative Sales and Analytics person at Raw Fury. He has a lifelong love story with RPG’s, claiming Realms, Suikoden and Baldur’s Gate among his favorites. The gentleman is partial to the wizard class and is also rumored to be playing the mythical saxophone and pickling a decent cucumber.    

Susie McBeth is one part mage and all parts brand manager. When not diving deep into fantasy and sci-fi books, she enjoys living out the life of a decadent Toreador in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and going deep in RPGs like Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. She also drinks way too much tea and has a soft spot for killing zombies. 

Rasmus Liljenberg is a fairly strict Quality Producer at Raw Fury. Testing, coordinating and gathering data. He uses all the tools to make sure the developer’s vision of the game is not lost during production. When not analyzing games he also plays them for fun. Although he doesn’t have a specific favorite RPG, you can see him playing anything from tabletop DnD to Morrowind and The Witcher series. It has been rumored that you might find him hunched over midi keyboards making weird music, blips n blops and orchestral pieces. 

The team can now be found lurking in the Skald Discord as well. Look for the “Raw Fury” tag and be sure to make them feel welcome. 

All in all I couldn’t be happier about how things are turning out for me and our game. 2022 will surely be the Year of the Skald and I can’t wait till we kick off the new year!

Keep following this devlog, my twitter and the Skald Discord to stay posted on our awesome quest to bring you more retro-RPG awesomeness! 





The Silver-Dancer (Part 3)

Greetings all!

One week till we’re dropping the curtain on who our newest, amazing party-member is! I’m psyched to be able to talk  openly about it and show off some of the fantastic stuff we’re working on! Believe me when I say, 2022 will be the year of Skald!

Just make sure you watch this blog and my Twitter account on December 15th!

But before then, and by popular demand, here is the epic conclusion to the three-piece Skald short-story “The Silve Dancer”!

If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend you read Part 1  and Part 2 before you dig into the conclusion of the HISTORIAN’s ill-fated dealings with the Court of Auspice.


The Silver-Dancer

Part 3

In the darkness of the resonance-chamber a change had come over the group of blind wretches that sat by the sarcophagus as soon as the magos had gone under. Their moaning had ceased and they were now whispering instead. At first, it sounded like nonsense to the HISTORIAN, but the strange whispers would occasionally converge and overlap on certain words: 

I see it… Shimmering… Looming ing ing…

The wretches had once been men and women with an aptitude for auspices and, though their minds were gone, no doubt a certain sensitivity persisted: Now they were channeling their master’s voice.  

“Hard hard hard to see, see… Dangerous to get closer oser oser…

You’ll get me what I came for, soothsayer!” the HISTORIAN boomed as he mounted the first step leading up the dais. The wretches moaned as they covered their ears.

“If you don’t, by the Golden Dead, I’ll drown you myself!” 

…drown you myself!” rang out around the magos. The words sounded as if carried by water. He hesitated a moment but there was no way around it. He needed to finish what he had started or he would never be free of his tormentor. With the ease and grace of a sparrow, he weaved through the groping tendrils of sickly light as he scanned for a color-pool: The tell-tale discoloration where the silver-scape and flesh-world almost touched. Like peeking through a lense of smoky glass, the flesh-world could be viewed through a color pool by someone with the proper training. The members of the Court of Auspice had perfected this art millennia ago. 

There! He spotted the color-pool close to the luminous center of the glow. But there had been something else as well hadn’t there? The shadow in the corner of his eye? No. He had to focus. Even for him this would be a difficult projection, for the Reticular turbulence was rising and he still wanted to avoid touching the actual glow itself. 

It took much more effort than he had anticipated but he made it. Here, so close to the source of the glow, it’s presence was palpable! Like a flesh-body orbiting a great sun. Whatever was causing this in the flesh-world had a power like nothing he had experienced before. 

Commencing inspection!” 

Even though it was modulated through the wretch-chorus, the voice sounded strained and oddly mechanical.

Islands, islands… Mountainous. Raging seas… The Outer Isles, isles, isles!” 

The HISTORIAN’s breath quickened. The decrepit old fools had their use after all!

Think I see the source ource ource…

A moment passed as the wretch-choirs babbling rose excitedly without offering any coherent words. Then: 

There is a structure ucture ucture! Black. Imperial make. First age I think ink ink.

The babbling intensified.

Wait… ait ait! I’m not alone lone lone!

The last words came through with a sense of urgency. Then a loud bang as the great doors to the resonance chamber were flung open! The HISTORIAN whirled to face who he immediately recognized as the High Master of the Court of Auspice. 

The ancient magos had long lost any natural use of his limbs and his shrivelled corpse of a body was suspended in a fluid-filled container that glowed internally with a sickly light. A dozen servants trailed behind, dragging grotesque cords and tubing that hung after the container like spilled viscera. Two rows of six silver-armored knights flanked the procession with their great two-handed swords. Magi-killers. The HISTORIAN shifted his stance imperceptibly and stilled his breath as the eyes of the ancient husk fixed on him through the glass container.

The tramp of the knight’s heavy boots died down, and an eerie silence filled the chamber. Even the wretch-choir produced only the faintest whimpering. The HISTORIAN moved backwards up the stairs of the dais another step. Under normal circumstances, the Master of Auspice would be mad to attempt to lay hands on him. Then again, he had come of his own free will to the heart of the spider’s web.

Without warning, the voice of the High Master boomed through the chamber. Though the blood-red eyes bored into the HISTORIAN, no movement of the corpse-like figure indicated that the voice was produced by any normal vocal organ. Instead it sounded metallic and hard and seemed to come from all around at once:“You have no right! The magi of this Court are mine and mine alone to command!”  

The HISTORIAN smiled wryly:

“That may be, but you on the other hand is for the Princeps’ to command. Are you not?”

INSOLENT!” the voice boomed again. “The Court of Shadow may hold itself above the other courts but you would be wise to know your place nonetheless! We see you. For all your subterfuge, we have always seen you. The Helix projects? The polar expeditions? The black camps?” 

The last words dripped like poison. The HISTORIAN had underestimated the Court of Auspice. They knew more than they should. More than even their scrying should allow. How? Sprawling analysis-webs spread out before the HISTORIAN’s inner eye as the full ramifications began to reveal themselves.

The Master of Auspice delighted in the fact that he had managed to shake the envoy of the Shadow Court. They had overstepped and now he would pay the price. A metallic laugh filled the room and almost drowned out the rising screams of the wretch-choir!

Abruptly, one of the knights took a half step backwards as he raised his greatsword. The HISTORIAN was ready and drew in reticular energy so fast it felt like he was going to red-out. Luminous particles materialized around him and currents arced from his fingertips as he rose ever so slightly into the air. The other knights fanned out in front of their Master and somewhere inside a helmet, a man cried in terror. A reflection on the face of the glass coffin was all the warning the HISTORIAN needed.

He spun, mid air, as he drew in more energy still. Behind him, on the dais, the fluid in the sarcophagus churned and spilled as something massive shifted. Rending space itself, something was forcing itself into being. As a great horrible mass of half-flesh rose, a myriad of eyes formed and died in an instance. All were grotesque simulacra of the eyes of the man that had gone into that sarcophagus mere minutes before. With an otherworldly cry, the massive abomination launched off the dais in a mass of churning tentacles and fangs. Men screamed and the Master of Auspices’ eyes widened in terror. Where the HISTORIAN had stood mere moments before, nothing remained but a haze of glowing particles.

The doors of the resonance-chamber slammed shut with a loud bang leaving those inside to their horrific fate.

The HISTORIAN panted as he wiped the blood from his nose. Though the cost had been great, the shadow-shift had saved his life. It had borne him no longer than just outside the doors of the chamber, but that was all he needed. In a final effort that nearly caused him to collapse, he had welded the doors together with his bare hands. He did not know how long it would hold, but he could not linger: He was already nearly spent and the hour was much, much later than he had hoped.

That’s all for now – see you on the 15th!

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

Stay warm!



The Silver-Dancer (Part 2)

Greetings all!

While we pass the time until we reveal the indentity of our newest party-member, it’s time for the next installment of our three-part Skald short-story: “The Silver-Dancer”.

If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend you read Part 1 before you leave the flesh-world behind and delve into the abyss of the silver-scape.

While you guys dig into the “Skaldiverse”, I’m hard at work doing some cool stuff with the skald animation system. I need the system to be a bit more flexible so I can more easily add more costumes and customization options to human models as well as richer animations (for combat etc). The trick here is doing a bit of skeletal animation – only with tiny little sprites. Rest assured: You’ll be seeing plenty of it soon.

Have a great day and enjoy the story!

The Silver-Dancer

Part 2

Every step was painful for the Magos. The dais might as well have been a mountain. “Curse this stranger. ‘Historian’ he calls himself!” but the magos saw through him. His very presence in the resonance-chamber was sacrilege. But there were some Courts that could not be ignored. “Mine is the will of the Princeps” he had said. Arrogant fool. These rituals were as old as the Empire itself. Perhaps… perhaps even older. 

The magos lowered his aching body into the thick, oily fluid of the sarcophagus. It was lukewarm and thick as it greedily accepted his broken frame. Letting himself sink in, the magos tried to relax and give himself over to the embrace but something was wrong. There was a taint in his mind. Something he had not felt for a very long time: Fear. The High Master would have heard by now and no doubt they were on their way to stop this transgression. He would have to bide for time!

He had known why the HISTORIAN had come the moment he had seen him. He had prayed to be wrong but that was folly: Magi of Auspice were never wrong. The HISTORIAN had, of course, come for the glow

The pulsating, alien shimmer in the Reticulum had caught his attention a few weeks ago. At first it was naught but the faintest hint of color that he could only just make out in the corner of his mind’s eye when he “danced”. Since then, it had grown significantly. Now it loomed in the silver-scape, sickly and eldritch. Yet he had not reported it. Truth be told, he was terrified of it.   

His mind left the buoyant pile of flesh suspended in the sarcophagus. First came the sharp drop as his flesh-mind mistook the weightlessness of the state-shift for a fall. Then, the feeling of wind on his face and the elation of rising up through the air. The magos opened his mind’s eye and gazed out over the silvered landscape of the roiling Reticulum. The dance had begun.  

The silver-scape was in turmoil. Impossible geometric shapes rose and collapsed in on themselves like titanic ramparts in tones of burnished steel and mercury. Had it always been like this? No. When he took his oath and joined the Court of Auspice in his youth, it had been much different. Though nearly 200 years had passed, he could still clearly recall his first silver-dance. The Reticulum had been as still as the surface of an unfathomable mountain lake. Not any more. Now it was more like a raging sea and it took greater and greater effort to navigate its churning eddies.

Setting his mind at the grim task ahead, he reluctantly began to scan the glimmering horizon. By the Golden Dead how it had grown! Though it was far away, he could clearly see the sickly glow spreading its tendrils into the silver clouds. It reminded him of glimmering ink dropped in water. 

He instinctively knew that the flesh-world direction was north-easterly and far out. Perhaps over the sea? The Outer Isles maybe. Though the Reticulum was treacherous as of late, his mind was a fortress and he took pride in his skill in traversing it. He easily projected closer to his target, and crossing the distance took no more than mere flesh-world moments. 

The cancerous light loomed over him now and he held an orbit just out of reach of its tendrils. For that is what they were to him. The luminous wisps shifted in a manner that gave them the uncanny appearance of being animated by some intellect, and there was something else… For a moment, he thought he had seen a shadow flutter by at the edge of his vision. His mastery of the silver-scape was absolute and he knew that there was nothing in here that could harm his fortified mind. But then again, the glow was like nothing he had seen before.

He offered a silent prayer that the High Master would burst through the doors of the resonance chamber any moment and put an end to this outrage. For the first time in many years, he longed to return to his flesh-body.

To be continued…

[Edit: Part 3 is now up – Check it out!]

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

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

Stay warm!



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. 


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…

[Edit: Part 2 is now up – Check it out!]

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!



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:


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 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.


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).


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.


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!




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!



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!



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).


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:

  • 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
  • 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).


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).