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)


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.


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.


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.


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,





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):


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.


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!


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,



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)!


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,



Project Update: New Demo Launching! (September 2022)

Preface: I’ve been crunching for too long and I’m very ready to take a day off. Forgive the typos! XOXO

Hang on to your helmets! This one’s going to be big!

Holy crap these are exciting times. First of all, I finally get to reveal the new key art for the game:

It just blows my mind how awesome this looks! Here’s the original:

Original is done by Tuandat Phan and pixel conversion is done by MementoMoree.

Hats off for the stunning work!


New Demo!

Skald is participating in the Steam Nextfest starting Monday October 2nd! This means you get to play the brand new demo of the game! I can’t wait! You will be able to find the demo on the game’s Steam page come Monday!

Please note this is NOT the prologue page. In fact, as of next week, the prologue will be unavailable going forwards as we phase it out for the new and updated demo.

As for scope, the build you’ll play on Monday, is much shorter than the current prologue. It should take you about 20 minutes to finish and it recycles quite a bit of dialogue content.

However, as Nextfest progresses, we will be adding content to it so be sure to stay posted and follow our development as the demo grows.


I had the pleasure of sitting down with Raw Fury head honcho Jonas Antonsson last time I was in Stockholm. We had an awesome talk about all things fantasy and RPG. Check it out:


I just thought I’d give a short update on this as well! We’ve invited a small subset of the community to start testing builds and I fully intend to get keys distributed to all the other testers in the coming weeks. I’ve just been so swamped with demo development that it has had to wait.

However, if you backed the game at the Freeman level or up, your key IS coming!


All the following updates are featured in the new demo.


Inventory system has gotten a huge update where I converted it to the new UI system. It’s far from done but it’s still a huge update! It looks a bit noisy, but I promise it plays well and feels snappy and responsive.

I’m also going to do more tooltip stuff where you can hover over stats on the different character sheets for explanations etc but didn’t have time to do that as fully as I wanted for the demo so you’ll have to wait a bit to see that feature in action.

Crafting Confirmed!

Yup! I put crafting in the game! For now you can cook stuff and there are just four recipes. The system of course still needs polish as well but it’s technically sound and I love it.

I’m going to delve deeper into crafting and consumables in an upcoming devlog when I’m less sleep deprived. Stay posted!


Stealth was very wonky in the prologue. Who knows how it even worked! I’ve updated it now to a more active system, where you can choose to enter “Stealth Mode” Your model then goes transparent and your see a stealth meter. As you move around the meter drains. Having a high stealth skill, wearing light armor, sticking to shadows etc, all influences how fast your stealth meter drains.

All in all it works really well for all it’s simplicity and I’m pumped to see the hijinx it will lead to in the final game!

—In Closing—

In short: Play the demo on Monday! Keep checking in as we add more content!

I’m exhausted now – this is me looking for a bottle of wine to knock me out!

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




Project Update: Summer 2022

Hello everyone!

Time for a summer update! Hope you’re all well and enjoying your summer. Here is a GIF of a procedural fountain effect to cool you off in the summer heat:

Cat gives zero f–ks about the wonder that is Imperial plumbing!


The Demo

As you know, we’re working on an updated demo for testing and promotional purposes. We were originally planning to enter it in an event in late June. However we elected to go for a different venue and now we’re aiming for late September. HOWEVER, the community will be getting builds in late August for testing so stay posted for more info!

Your Steam Account Requires Action

Maybe. As you know we have two Steam pages: One for the main application and one for the prologue. As we move towards the new demo and eventually launch, the prologue page will have outlived its purpose. But the thing is, a lot of you guys have subscribed to, or even wishlisted (!) the prologue!

If this is you, I’d love to see you subscribe to, and wishlist the main application instead.

Some Cool Video Content

I just did a roundtable with a bunch of fellow indie RPG developers! I’m sure you can recognize some faces and names below. We had a great talk about the art and craft of making indie RPGs and I can’t wait to bring you the vid! We’re going to edit it a bit and then I’ll be sure to let you know the moment it goes live.

—Development Update—

Currently development is all about making content, evaluating the workflow and then updating the tools and engine to become faster and safer. This is the only way we can keep the code and data manageable as the project grows.


Props are the most important piece of the puzzle right now. They represent all interactable objects in the world that are not characters or inventory items. A huge priority has been to make the game world a lot more interactive by adding lots of interesting objects for the player to interact with (hidden secrets, loot, workbenches, lore-heavy decorations etc),

Now your character is constantly using their perception skill to try and spot hidden doors etc but also containers that may contain minor loot and fun secrets. I loved how “Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous” had a lot of hidden loot laying around, really incentivising you to put points in the “perception” skill and explore the environs:

Nothing says “hero” like rummaging through random trash!

Doors and chests can now be locked and you have to decide between looking for a key or picking or forcing the lock. Be careful however, props can be trapped:

Thought you’d pilfer a bit, ehh? Have at thee ye blackguard!

All of the above might sound like stuff that has always been in the game though? Yes and no. The change is that this stuff was always possible (more or less) but it needed to be scripted on a case by case basis. Now it’s all been streamlined and standardized so that creating a trapped chest is as easy as two clicks on a dropdown menu.

Editor Updates

On the same note as above, a lot has also happened on the editor side. I’m putting a lot of effort into limiting manual data entry and instead focusing on creating objects for all kinds of data that is then linked together. This makes the data a LOT more error proof and also a lot faster to work with as so much data can now be reused.

A good example of this are “loadOut” and “appearancePack” objects. It used to be that I had to manually enter each item that I wanted to add to a character or a container. This a surprising amount of work if you want to carefully place items by hand as there are thousands and thousands of items in a game like Skald (and a big reason why the old demo had so much randomized container content). Same goes for character appearances: I had to manually pick primary, secondary, hair and skin color as well as hair styles and animations for each character and the work adds up quickly.

Now I instead create loadOuts and appearancePacks which are collections of data that can be referenced by several other types of objects. I can create a “Fighter loadout” and add in, say, a leather armor, a long sword and a shield. I can then assign it to the fighter class meaning that the items will be given to all characters with that class. I can also add that loadout to a container if I want to let players find that collection of items somewhere or even set it as a reward for a quest.

The same goes for appearances! I can assign appearancePacks to characters directly but also add them to objects like factions. That way, each character from the same faction can have the same colored livery etc. The cool part is that appearance packs can also be assigned to props so that props in certain areas can dynamically change color to reflect factions and so forth.

This will go a long way towards letting me customize the look of areas without having to create separate art assets to reflect different color schemes. And again: Doing so, is as easy as selection an appearancePack from a drop-down menu.

I’ve also done a HUGE job of creating meta data for all the game data. This means the editor now knows stuff like allowed ranges for numeric data, what objects can be linked to which, it can add tooltips and even to some auto-completing. This was a pretty huge job (I had to write a separate program to automate a bunch of the coding to get it done) but once again: It will make the game data sooooo much easier to work with and debug.

—In Closing—

There is a lot more that has happened but I’m already running long so I think I’ll round it off there! I’m actually taking more or less a week off starting tomorrow so huzzah I guess. I’m also a little less active on social media in the summer since I try to limit non-essential screen time so expect me to be a bit slower in responding to messages etc.

Have a wonderful summer and try to spend some time outside!

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





Project Update May 2022

Ho there travelers!

Hope spring is finding you all well! We’re having days in a row with no snow up here in northern Norway and that’s something I guess.

The upside is that “inside weather means more work is getting done on “Skald: Against the Black Priory”!

The Teaser and Demo

The teaser is a wrap! You’ll have to wait a bit more for it as we’re saving it for a festival this summer!

The cold, dead stars hate you!

It’s a bit of a challenge to find a format that does justice to the crisp pixel-art of Skald and I think we’re getting very close to cracking the code in this teaser. I can’t wait to show it off and hope you like it. A big thanks to Sarah Gonidec and Roland Smedberg for all their hard work and endless patience!

The new demo will be out in mid June if all goes according to plan! The aim is to polish the game-systems as much as possible so that the demo represents the final game as much as possible in as many areas as possible.

In particular, we’ll be digging deep on combat and the general UI.

I’m going to add more of a button and icon-based UI in the cases where it makes sense – such as in combat.

I’m adding in a lot more animation frames in general. Both for creatures and specific weapon attacks.

There is still some work on the timing aspect as some animations are a bit too fast or “off” but I can see this will go a long way towards making the game look a lot more varied.

Adding more detailed monster models also makes everything look a lot cooler. I really hope we’ll have the multi-tile monsters fully up and working by the time the demo launches as they have quite a battlefield presence.

Also note how the fire above has a new look! All the flames in the game will now be made by procedural effects. This includes props like camp-fires and torches as well as spell effects. Stay posted as we show off some of the flashy and arcane magics that will be at your disposal!

As the demo comes out, just keep in mind that it will be shorter in content then the current demo – at least in the beginning. It’s very important that what we put out is polished and making it short and sweet is the priority to begin with. Stay assured though: We’ll be padding it with more content as we go!


In case you missed it, Fiona and I recently did a stream with my producer at Raw Fury: Daniel Jonsson. We had a little round-table about what the day-to-day collaboration between developers and publishers looks like and I warmly recommend giving it a watch.

Coming up, on May 12th at 4PM CET at Raw Fury’s Twitch channel, we’re having a talk with Raw Fury’s rock-star scout Johan Toresson!

Raw Fury's Johan Toresson to co-host NG20 - Nordic Game Community

We’ll be talking about how scouts work for publishers and how and why you should pitch to them! This is a must for fellow game developers or anyone who is just interested in how the industry works!

If you love indie-punk, ramen with an attitude and new curse-words, Johan is your man!

EDIT: The video is now up on my Youtube channel so check it out!

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




Skald Project Update March 2022

Hi there!

It’s time for another devlog update for “Skald: Against the Black Priory”!
These are busy and very exciting days. A lot of very important development is being done on the game and tools and we’re having a lot of very interesting talks regarding the long term perspective of the Skald brand both internally and with external partners. I can’t really say much yet but hopefully it will be worth the wait.

In terms of the game itself, the current priority has been on tool-development (the level editor), preparing content for the upcoming teaser and working on the redux version of the prologue (to be released this summer).

New Media Content

We’ve also been looking into more ways of communicating with the community and I’ve made a vlog update as well as a stream with Fiona Martin of Raw Fury. I’m still finding my footing on the technical side and I’ll be working on improving audio so sorry if the quality is a bit low for these two.

We’ll be doing more video content as we go and streams in particular are something we’ll be digging deeper on as they are easy to make and provide a way for you to communicate with us directly.

For upcoming streams we’ll be talking to some of the awesome people at my publisher, Raw Fury, to learn more about what they do and how the collaboration between developers and publishers look. I can guarantee you it’ll be worthwhile if you’re interested in the indiegame industry.

If you have suggestions for topics for either the stream or the video-blog, be sure to leave them in the Youtube comments of the vids above. I read everything.


Community Created Content

If you’ve been following my social media or the Discord, you know that I’ve become enamored with my new level editor (I talked about it in my first devlog of 2022).

The short of it, is that it’s turning out better than I hoped and I’m now super pumped to be able to offer it to the community so you can make content for Skald yourself.

And let me be clear here: The editor I’ll be releasing will be the exact same tools I’ve been using myself to make this game. You’ll be able to create (or edit) any asset in the game from maps to objects (items, characters and props), factions, quests, difficulty settings and on and on. EVERY aspect of the game.

A test I did with the Ultima 5 tileset. This took about 2 minutes to make, from importing the art asset to making the map.

Personally I think the true power of this isn’t creating more Skald content; it’s making your own awesome fan-projects. Ultima 5.5 fan-project anyone?

A Editor Road-Map

Our tentative plan for the editor, is to get it out there soon (meaning before the main game launches). I also don’t want the commitment of having to maintain another piece of commercial software so likely what we’ll do is release is as a free beta for the community to play around with.

Ideally this will allow for a community to grow up around it that could sustain itself while I’ll provide tech support, beginning tutorials and take feedback for updates.

Needs more trolls!

It certainly wouldn’t hurt if, by the launch of the main game, we could point to a vital modding community that already had a stack of awesome fan-made content ready for consumption.

Getting Yourself Involved

If you’re intersted in this aspect of the project, I’d love to hear from you! I’m setting up a discord sub-channel (FAN CONTENT on our Discord) for this discussion and I’d love for you to head on over and offer me your feedback on the following:

  1. What are some case studies of INDIE games that have strong modding and fan-content communities? WHat are they doing right?
  2. If a community springs up, where should it live? What platform works best for both providing a way to offer tech-support, asset sharing, project collaboration and perhaps even hosting of projects?
  3. How can I support the community whilst still making is as independent and standalone as possible?
  4. What are some cool projects you’d like to do? Share them in the #my_dream_projects channel!

See you there!

I hope to hear from as many of you as possible. Till then, have a fantastic weekend!

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





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!




Skald: Against the Black Priory

Skald: Against the Black Priory’ is an old-school roleplaying game that combines modern design and a fully realized 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.

“Skald: Against the Black Priory” will launch on Steam and GOG May 30th 2024!

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


Stay Posted

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Project Update: Beta 1.3.1 is up!


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!