Dead Monarchy is a turn-based, tactical RPG with roguelike elements, inspired by games such as Battle Brothers, XCOM and Jagged Alliance. Equip your warriors with historically inspired equipment and attempt to survive in a dying world overrun by all manner of monsters.
All Reviews:
Positive (20) - 85% of the 20 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jun 18, 2019

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Short Version: I am primarily looking for feedback on the initial turn-based, tactical combat and base management layers that are currently implemented in the game. In turn, the feedback I receive from the community will undoubtedly help shape the game and also impact upon the implementation of the world map layer.

Long Version: Dead Monarchy is an ambitious, complex and hardcore turn-based tactical game with multiple layers that come together in an attempt to create a world that you could lose yourself in. It is also my first game, a game designed by one guy. That may have already put you off, but ever since I started this development journey, I told myself that I wanted to be as transparent as possible. I know what it feels like to be burned by unsuccessful early access games, I'm a gamer too. If I screw this up, I'll be there too with torch and pitchfork in hand.

When Dead Monarchy leaves Early Access, I plan to have a total of 3 layers. "Overworld", "town" and "combat". "Overworld" is the world map that the player explores, "town" being the player owned base and "combat" being the turn-based tactical combat. As of now, the initial framework for the "town" layer has been implemented and the "combat" layer is far enough into development to receive feedback on.

Aside from wanting to build a real community around this game and to have you guys shape the game in its current state, the “overworld” layer is the other reason why this game is in Early Access. The "overworld" layer is the last major component that needs to be implemented in order to fully represent the game I am trying to create but before that can happen, I need to make sure that the base gameplay loop is polished enough to support exploration on the world map.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“To be completely honest, I need at least 2 years and it could be longer than that depending on community feedback and if any new major features are added. I’ll say it now though, just to be clear, regardless of how well this game does I will continue to support Dead Monarchy after the full release with new updates. Early Access is a gift to the developers, regardless of how long that development takes, I still feel a game should also receive adequate support after its full release.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“NOTE: I am currently using assets from the Unity store for things like monsters, animations, environments, sound and user interface elements. Things like monsters and UI are placeholder and I would like to eventually phase them out.

As previously mentioned, the biggest addition would be the world map. It would drastically change the core gameplay especially in term of mission pacing. The world map would lead to different mission types and interaction with towns and dungeons on the map. Aside from that, there would be more weapons and armors in the full release along with the player perk system which is currently not implemented yet. Spear weapon types are not implemented yet either, so a whole batch of new abilities would be tied to those weapons too. Legendary equipment has also not been implemented yet along with the unique traits and models tied to those pieces.

Aside from the world map, the second biggest feature would be the formation system and AI. I plan to implement a host of human NPC factions that will take full advantage of the formation system and AI, fighting in formations to grant special buffs instead of just wildly charging. The AI would take advantage of placing spears/bows in the back with shields in the front. The player would also be able to make use of some of these formation abilities. These are just some examples of what I hope to implement in the formation system.

Monsters would also be overhauled, as I am currently using a lot of placeholders from the Unity Asset store. They don’t look out of place, but there are some limitations when it comes to the animation system. I would like to be able to transition some of the current monster skeletons into humanoid skeletons which would give me more flexibility with the animation system.

The visceral nature of combat would also be overhauled with better decapitations, more weapon animations and blood pools that form from corpses. As mentioned, human enemy types are also not fully implemented yet which naturally comes with improvements to the combat AI. Fighting human opponents should be different to monsters which is why the human AI will have formation AI that encourages them to fight in formation instead of wildly charging.

With a vast world map to explore and humans to populate the settlements, comes character variety. I feel like too many indie RPG games skip out on a real equipment system, so I wanted to do justice to that. The armor in Dead Monarchy is also more grounded and takes inspiration from historical armor as opposed to typical fantasy armor. Armor covers a vast amount of cultural groups such as the Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Scandinavians, Japanese, Rus, Polish, English, French, Germans and Persians. I’ve also taken some artistic liberties to ensure that the armor doesn’t look too wildly out of place considering I am taking inspiration from a vast period of time. There are also plans to further expand the current weapons that are currently available and again will be historically inspired just like the armor.

I plan to further enhance character customization. Females, new hair styles, faces and different races will be added. Currently only the default body is available as I wanted to get the armors in first as reworking armor to fit multiple different body types is very time consuming.

Such a huge amount of 3D assets will take some time to implement as they need to be optimized, but I believe they will flesh out the world of Dead Monarchy like never before and demonstrate to the players the true scope and ambition of this game.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“NOTE: Features are all subject to change, there could be things that just don’t end up working or are confusing. I went through three iterations on just how to calculate hit chance alone. If you played my old demos, quite a lot has changed.

  • I’d say there is 5-10 hours of gameplay but it can grow exponentially if you like a challenge. It took me 30 hours to complete the last build, but I’m a bit of a masochist.

  • Currently there is only an autosave system, meaning the game is “Ironman Mode” only. If you wanted to “save scum”, you would just quit the battle midway and it would reload the start of the battle.

  • Currently with no world map implemented, the player manages a town and then sends out warriors each week on expeditions (through UI) to gather supplies which in turn can be used to upgrade the town buildings. There is currently only one mission type, which is extermination or “kill them all”. The player’s goal is to hunt down and kill 5 Monarchs (Biome Boss) which have a low chance of spawning in their respective biomes. As time passes in game, the enemy grows stronger and the player’s town can come under siege with building upgrades potentially being destroyed. This then becomes a delicate race against time as the player decides whether to go on the defensive or offensive. The current experience is very condensed, mainly to gather feedback on combat and town management. The full experience will be significantly more open ended.

  • 45 abilities divided into 9 weapon types. Sword, hatchet, mace, claymore, greataxe, warhammer and rapier. There are then 2 ranged weapon types, longbow and crossbow. Each weapon type has 5 unique abilities assigned to it. There is a shield, but that is not a weapon type.

  • 9 placeholder weapon models and 1 shield. A lot more weapons and shields are planned. The current models are placeholder and I plan to replace them once the weapon and shield models are finished.

  • 50 unique armor sets currently implemented which make up the 20 tiers of standard armor and 30 rare cultural armor that the player finds out in the world. Standard armors have 6 color variations, cultural armor has 3 color variations. An armor set consists of the helmet and the body armor (torso to legs). Armor is historically inspired and grounded in reality. Plenty of armor sets to come in the future.

  • Recruits come from 10 different backgrounds, with each background having its own written biography. Starting stats and stat growth are influenced by the backgrounds and randomly assigned traits. There is also 150 portraits divided into 10 groups, 1 group for each background. Portraits are randomly assigned. Currently, you cannot rename characters but there is a vast list of names that are randomly assigned.

  • Combat currently supports up to 18 player units and is phased based, rather than “initiative” based. Meaning all player units go and then all enemy units go. Elevation system that influences hit chance and ability availability has also been implemented. Flanking and directional bonuses that influence hit chance, counter attacks, attacks of opportunity, action point system and ranged combat are in too.

  • Partial random map generation system has been implemented. What I mean by that is that maps have certain static elements that don’t change such as certain elevation clusters to ensure that they don’t break elevation rules. Aside from those static elements, additional elevation tiles, blocked tiles such as trees and rocks and terrain hazards are randomly generated.

  • 5 biome types have been implemented. Each biome has a unique look and feel with unique terrain hazards. The biomes are forest, plains, desert, swamp and tundra.

  • 65 monsters have been implemented, with 60 of them having unique monster models. Each monster has its own ability that plays into the overall theme of each faction the monster belongs to. Not all the monster animations are implemented though, so some abilities may initially be confusing to convey and diminish interface feedback. It is quite awkward to look at. The amount of monsters may shrink as I attempt to polish the monster abilities and the models may also change.

  • The initial crafting system has been implemented, which you can utilise to craft helmets, armor and weapons. The names of the weapons and armor are not set in stone yet.

  • 7 buildings to upgrade. Each building has its own benefits to help provide a gameplay path to victory. Do you decide to upgrade the marketplace to fully utilise the spoils you gather from missions and amass so much wealth that you can send out warriors on suicide missions to delay a siege, do you race to upgrade the barracks to increase the amount of units you can field on battle or do you decide to upgrade your equipment first? The choice is yours. Two buildings are still in development.

Lastly, the majority of the sound effects have been added to the user interface elements, combat animations for humans and ambient sounds within environments are in too. Not all the sounds for monster abilities have been implemented though. Currently, there are also only 7 music tracks.

If I was to self-review the game in its current state, I would say that there are a lot of good ideas but they need to be further improved and polished in order for those features to individually shine and to also synergize together. Of course, in order for them to be improved and polished, I need feedback and that is where you guys come in.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price will increase slightly when the "overworld" map is implemented and then again, when the game is fully released. The initial lower price point is to reward those early adopters who risked their money for an uncompleted product.

The only way this would change is if significant features beyond the initial scope are also implemented during Early Access. However, even if that was to happen it would still be lower than the price when fully released.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Seeing as I’m a solo developer, I will heavily rely on the feedback from the community when balancing existing features and when adding new features. I’m sure there will be things that I miss or solutions to problems that I didn’t even consider.

Prior to Steam, I released a few demos on IndieDB and my game was first discovered by Rpgcodex, which I will be forever grateful for. From that point on, I slowly branched over into other forums like Rpgwatch. I will still continue to post updates there, but I would really like to gather all the community in one place. I figure the best place to do that would be the Steam forums.

So please feel free to give any feedback, whether it is good or bad as it will all go towards the improvement of Dead Monarchy. Hope to see you soon.

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Recent updates View all (27)

August 9

General Update #13: Development News

Hey guys,

So things may seem quiet on the forums and last week I missed my weekly update, but things haven't slowed down at all. I mentioned in the "Upcoming Builds" thread that Build 5 was delayed and so I'll elaborate a bit more on that in this post.

Basically Unity, the engine I am developing on has 3 tiers a developer can develop on, "Personal", "Plus" and "Pro". If you subscribe to "Pro" along with all the added benefits, after your 2 year commitment, you can elect a version of Unity released within your subscription period and that version you own, does not require further subscriptions, you also still retain your unlimited revenue cap. "Personal" and "Plus" still have revenue caps. There was a few other issues that made me hesitant to develop on the free version temporarily when my subscribed version expired and that was basically compatibility issues going forward when my license was sorted out and I make the switch back. So basically I lost a few days as I waited to get confirmation on the differences between the versions.

Until this gets sorted, I can't export any new builds to upload, however development will continue as usual. If my update schedule was more sporadic then this wouldn't really even be an issue but I prefer weekly builds. I am already in contact with a representative and hopefully it'll be sorted out in a week or two at the latest.

For the actual details on Build 5, you can visit the thread but I'll summarize the major points so far.

1. Basic perks that improve abilities for all melee weapons have been implemented. It is a series of perks that are available for all melee abilities.

2. A series of perks that increase the chance of you gaining +1 in a specific primary stat by +20%, +40%, +60%, +80%, +100%. You no longer gain any stat gains in stats that your background is not proficient in. In Veteran and Monarch difficulties you gain +1 in proficient stats, in easier difficulties you gain +2.

3. Similar to #2, a series of perks that increase a primary stat in increments of +5 up to +25. These two "perk type effects" will give the player more direct control over their stat progression.

Including abilities, Build 5 will have 275 individual "perks", at least so far at this time of writing. That seems like a lot, but this is where I'll clarify things. These perks are derived from "perk type effects" that I have internally identified. I didn't intentionally try to bloat the numbers either, I just made it this way because I wanted more specialization. IE instead of one perk that decreases AP cost across all abilities of a specific weapon type, I made 5 perks that decreased AP cost for each ability. Not all perks will have several variations of it either, some perks will just be standalone effects. All in all though, it would have been easier for me to just implement one perk that decreased the AP cost of all weapon type abilities, but I wasn't satisfied with it. This was extremely time consuming as everything I had to do, I had to do 4 times over again. That said, I think it was worth it.

All the perks so far can be sorted into these perk type effects:

1. A perk that increases the chance of gaining +1 in a primary stat.
2. A perk that increases a primary stat by X.
3. A perk that decreases the AP cost of a melee ability.
4. A perk that decreases the Use Cost of a melee ability, IE Stamina.
5. A perk that decreases the cooldown period of a melee ability.
6. A perk that increases the ability range of a ranged ability.
7. A perk that increases the Use Count of a ranged ability, IE x1, x5.

However, the biggest thing I am working on is "weapons switching". This by itself is a huge feature and one that I honestly didn't think would even make it in. It affects a lot of systems but so far, the results are good.

Essentially each warrior has slots for a primary weapon + shield then a secondary weapon + shield, 4 slots in total. Bigger weapons would occupy two slots, so you could go into battle with a greatsword and a greataxe, or longbow and a sword + shield. This then of course opens a whole new world of opportunities for combining abilities within a single warrior. The switching itself will be done with an active ability, so again the player makes a conscious decision to create a hybrid build at the expense of perk points, ability slots and specialization of a specific weapon type.

I haven't done much testing of the abilities themselves because as you know I'm just one developer. However, I am very excited to get this into your hands. That said, Build 5 will still only be uploaded to the "experimental branch" rather than the main live build branch.

On top of all of that, I want to start working on the world map by the start of next month. So the rest of this month will be dedicated to the perks system, it doesn't mean it is finished though, but there should be enough to experiment on and to gather feedback on. With the implementation of weapon switching, it opens up more incentives to mix things up as prior to this, you had limited decisions to make when spending perk points.

So if all goes well, by September I will start to focus on the world map, but I will still be paying attention to your feedback on the perks system. Going forward then, I will alternate between both the perks system and the world map.

That's about it for now. As always, thanks again for all the support from the community. It is nice to see that the community is still growing and thanks again to those that have left reviews!

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July 30

Dev Update #8: Build 4.1 Live!

Build 4.1 Patch Notes:

A small update that mainly addresses the UI issues related to the perks system/arena menu. I spent most of this week transferring things from the Steam builds over to the main project build (dev builds not playable steam builds) now that things seem stable. For the rest of this week and going into early next week, I'll be working on getting the basic perks set up for melee abilities.

Build 4.1 has been uploaded to the experimental branch. The next few updates will continue to be uploaded there.

Instructions to opt into the beta/experimental branch:

1. Within the Steam library list, right click 'Dead Monarchy", then select "Properties".
2. Towards the top of the window that pops up, click the "Betas" tab.
3. A dropdown menu list will then appear, select "experimental - Experimental branch".
4. The game should then automatically download and update to this build.
5. Once you have booted up the game, if you see "Build 4" in the main menu, then you are good to go.

UI Updates:

- Cooldowns for abilities are now displayed properly in ability tooltips.

- The use limits/charges of ranged abilities now show up in tooltips prior to acquiring the ability from the perks tree as opposed to only appearing when you have acquired the ability.

- Active abilities are now marked properly as "Active Abilities" in ability tooltips when viewing them within the perks tree.

- The cooldown UI fix is now also applied to abilities that you view on the shortcut bar during combat. So cooldowns will now show up properly in tooltips.

- Perks that improve active abilities are now marked properly as "Passive Perks" in ability tooltips.
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About This Game

WARNING!!! (Roadmap In Community Hub)

Please be aware that Dead Monarchy is in a constant state of iteration and improvement. Build 3 has now added manual saving/loading and "ironman mode" is now optional. Saves are not guaranteed to work between major updates. Certain combat mechanics may also feel unfair, broken or too "hardcore". I'm only one guy and I can only test the game so much through public demos on IndieDB and internally. In order to get real feedback and exposure though, I need to involve the community as a whole and that's why I'm here now in Early Access. I've tried to be as detailed and transparent as possible, if you feel the game is not ready yet based on what I've mentioned below, it would probably be best to hold out and not buy the game yet. For those that do buy it to provide me with feedback and to help support ongoing development, you have my utmost gratitude. I won't sugarcoat things, not everything may be working as intended.

Dead Monarchy is a turn-based, tactical RPG with roguelike elements, inspired by games such as Battle Brothers, XCOM and Jagged Alliance. Equip your warriors with historically inspired equipment and attempt to survive in a dying world overrun by all manner of monsters.

Currently the game consists of two layers. The "town" layer where you manage the player base and the "combat" layer where you engage enemies in turn-based tactical combat. As it stands, the core gameplay loop is to go out on a mission, gather resources, then spend those resources on upgrading buildings which in turn provide a variety of bonuses to your warriors. As you continue to upgrade your town and go out on expeditions, time will pass and the enemy will grow stronger and then will eventually attack your town. Failing a base assault without being completely wiped out will result in your building upgrades being destroyed.

This weakens the player and makes it harder for the player to achieve victory. To win the game in its current Early Access state, you must defeat all 5 Monarchs, one for each respective biome. This eventually results in a race against the enemy, with the enemy trying to wipe out your town and with the player trying to become strong enough to defeat all 5 Monarchs before getting wiped out.

  • Turn-based, tactical combat where the player can control up to 18 warriors at once. No longer do you have to justify to yourself for playing with a small party of 6 poor souls against the world. Combat is phase based, meaning all units within a faction act before the next faction goes however movement is based on action points allowing movement multiple times in a turn.

  • Counter attacks and attacks of opportunity, ranged combat, synergistic abilities, flanking, action point system, positional bonuses and elevation tiles that influence hit chance.

  • 45 abilities divided into 9 weapon types. Sword, hatchet, mace, claymore, greataxe, warhammer and rapier. There are then 2 ranged weapon types, longbow and crossbow. Each weapon type has 5 unique abilities assigned to it.

  • 50 unique armor sets currently implemented which make up the 20 tiers of standard armor and 30 rare cultural armor that the player finds out in the world. Standard armors have 6 color variations, cultural armor has 3 color variations. An armor set consists of the helmet and the body armor (torso to legs). Plenty of armor sets to come in the future.

  • 5 unique biomes to fight in, with each biome containing its own environmental hazards. Combat maps also have partial random map generation. Rocks, trees, environmental hazards and singular elevation tiles are all randomly generated using an algorithm.

  • 65 monsters of which 60 have unique monster models. Not all unique monster abilities are animated yet, so there could be some confusion when it comes to "feedback" during combat.

  • Assume leadership over a town. Decide where you want to send an expedition team to scavenge, based on the rewards and resources that the different biomes offer. Use those resources to upgrade your town buildings to prepare your warriors against the eventual town assaults and to give them the necessary support to hunt down the Monarchs.

Dead Monarchy Studios is me, I'm just one guy. I'm a solo developer and a gamer who's been chasing a lifelong dream of creating a RPG that I could live in. I was born and raised in Australia and I spent my childhood playing games. Dead Monarchy is my passion project and it has been influenced by games such as Battle Brothers, XCOM and Jagged Alliance. I plan to develop Dead Monarchy for several years, even after release. If I don't, then I'll see you at the stake.


Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

There are ways to trigger decapitations and explode heads during combat. The story isn't established enough to really contain anything let alone mature content except for character biographies. There is also minor "nudity", one enemy unit the "Mutant Scout" has a topless variant that sometimes appears.

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 660
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound Card Compatible With DirectX.
    • Additional Notes: 64-Bit Only, storage will increase as the game is updated.
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 3.4GHz
    • Memory: 12 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 770
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound Card Compatible With DirectX.
    • Additional Notes: 64-Bit Only, storage will increase as the game is updated. Memory requirements are only for the "Experimental" settings, I recommend playing on "High" for now, which only requires 4GB RAM.

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