Roll for initiative, take attacks of opportunity, manage player location and the verticality of the battle field in this upcoming Tactical RPG by Tactical Adventures. In Solasta, you make the choices, dice decide your destiny.
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Recent updates View all (5)

July 22

Director’s Log #2 : Adapting the Ruleset

Hey there folks! Our Creative Director & CEO is back with another article, this time going over how he handled adapting the 5e ruleset into video games.

Hi everyone,

I've been wanting to describe the philosophy we have in adapting the OGL/SRD5 ruleset to a video game for some time now. As I already mentioned in previous posts, I have played through all 5 different editions of D&D in the past 30 years - and thus seen the evolution of the Ruleset over the years. That doesn't mean I claim to be an absolute expert though, for there are many ways to play D&D on tabletop. For instance, some DMs prefer to favor roleplaying, immersion and imagination by keeping the rules behind their DM Screen, and forgoing miniatures & battle grids for the Theater of the Mind. 

As for my friends and I, we've always been playing with a player handbook for each player, a detailed character sheet and a grid with miniatures. We love the detail and accuracy that goes into tactical combat situations (though we also try to avoid power gaming and excessive min-maxing), which is a philosophy that will be reflected in Solasta.

D&D Night at Tactical Adventures Office

Like many of you, I've also been playing countless video games adaptations of D&D - starting with Pool of Radiance and the Gold Box series, then onto Eye of the Beholder, Baldur’s Gate, Infinity Engine sequels, Neverwinter Nights from Bioware... I've also tried out less successful attempts, and after spending some time analyzing the good and the bad I came to realize that the most successful D&D-type games usually were those which stayed the most faithful to the ruleset. This is why when I first started describing the project, I said we were adapting the video game to the SRD ruleset, rather than adapting the ruleset to the video game. It may sound like a marketing tagline, but that's what I genuinely believe.

The 1st of the Gold Box Games, Pool of Radiance is emblematic for many RPG fans 

The first thing I did was creating a way to input rules into the prototype. I am not sure if this has been revealed yet, but we are using Unity as a foundation for our game. The main reason for using this engine, other than a solid 8 years of previous experience (Endless Space...), is that it's good at making tools and editors. One of the very cool things Unity offers is ScriptableObjects, which allows you to define code templates (such as Character Class, Character Feature, Spell, Weapon Type...) and easily develop editing tools for this data - so we built a system to edit the database with all the Ruleset bricks needed to make an RPG. 

One big question remains: how far can you go in making the ruleset editable, and when do you need to hardcode stuff? It is a fairly common software architecture question: should you make a super generic code or go straight to the point? Since we wanted to quickly develop a minimal viable product (MVP), the solution was a bit in-between: all the individual Rule Assets (such as Races, Classes, Items, Features, Spells, Powers, Monsters, Conditions...) can be edited, while the core is implemented in the engine. To illustrate that with tabletop - this is the same idea as having a core ruleset with the Player’s Handbook, then adding additional content on top of it with additional books (SCAG, XGTE...).

Going back to the technical side, if we take Spells as an example. By taking a generic approach and implementing a wide set of parameters, the bet is that we would be able to create most spells available in the SRD. Every time a spell has some new exotic effects, we need to add new parameters - which could then be reused for other spells. On the other hand, a procedural approach would mean that each spell is individually hardcoded into the game - certainly a quicker solution, but one that would heavily limit reusability. 

 Fireball, when diplomacy is no longer an option (well, it does count as Intimidation, right? Can I roll with advantage?)

The most challenging and thrilling part in making the most out of the SRD is using rules that are often neglected in video games adaptations, such as lighting and verticality (climbing and flying). Some games tried to implement these rules in a limited manner, but we've come to realize that this is a large investment you need to plan from the start. The reward however, is that you end up with crazy and funny situations - especially when implementing the 5th edition ruleset accurately (who wants to see a mage lose concentration when hovering over a deadly pit?)

That being said, there are still some elements that we need to adapt to work properly in a video game - especially when playing from a top down perspective. For example, a character could easily spot an enemy 500 feet away... But that would correspond to 10 game screens in distance. It notably becomes very hard to provide a meaningful and intuitive stealth experience with this in mind, so we have to reduce the distance to make the game manageable. There's also some simplification in displaying distance, using cells (5' x 5' x 5' block) instead of feet to avoid confusion and conversion problems for countries using the metric system. That said, while we are working on securing the core experience now, it is totally possible to include a setting to display distances in feet for the fans who prefer it.

Hope this post was interesting to you, stay tuned for more in the coming weeks and do not hesitate to ask questions or add feedback below!

Tactical Archimat
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July 17

Dev Diary #2: What is Verticality in Solasta?

Hello again folks! You've been many to ask what we mean by Verticality, so Zaz (Game Director) is back with some answers!

Hello fellow adventurers,
As you already know, Verticality is one of our Core Pillars. But what hides behind that word?

From the very beginning, we decided that we wanted our players to be able to do things other Tactical RPGs wouldn;t allow them to. Things like flying, climbing walls without being limited to ladders, pushing enemies over the ridge... and of course we wanted enemies to do the same! Flying, climbing and even burrowing to give your party a rough time. In essence, we wanted to recreate all the crazy stuff you can do in a tabletop game using all the magic and powers of the 5th edition.

Our engine was developed for this. Our world really is 3D - even the “air” is actually part of the game’s grid - allowing you to accurately track movement while flying. On top of that almost every type of surfaces can be scaled using Spider Climb, and the battle grid even goes below the floor to allow specific creatures to burrow and move underground. 

Cubes... Cubes everywhere!

This enables us to create very interesting levels and combat situations, and is the reason why we call Verticality one of our Key Pillars. The world of Solasta has been designed to foster many vertical locations for our players to fully use their abilities to move around in 3D space... and they better be careful, because our monsters will surely do so! In the other hand, one of our biggest challenges is to give the players the right tools to play in this vertical environment. The camera system is critical, to let you see what you need while moving around the battlefield. Efficient controls are also essential, since you will need to give orders not only on a flat grid but also in space.

Our current "See Through" System allows you to see your characters through walls when needed

Expect to experience vertiginous rooms, fight flying creatures harassing you while you try to climb up a fragile flight of antique stairs, fall to your doom when shoved over the ledge by massive monsters, and get your ankle tenderly nibbled on while crossing a sandy area.

Prototype of some slightly more extreme cases of Verticality in Level Design

But how does it work with Stealth? Well, that will be for another time...
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About This Game

Created and written by lifelong fans of pen-and-paper games and utilizing the 5th edition ruleset, comes Solasta: Crown of the Magister.

Bring the authentic Tabletop gaming experience to your PC!

Roll for initiative, take attacks of opportunity, manage player location and the verticality of the battle field. Set yourself up for the finishing strike and possibly roll a natural 20 at that key moment of battle.​

In Solasta, you take control of four heroes, each with unique skills that complement one another. Every hero expresses themselves in the adventure, making each action and dialog choice a dynamic part to the story. Players will create their heroes just as they would in a pen-and-paper game choosing their race, class, personality and rolling for their stats.​

You make the choices, dice decide your destiny.

Key Features:

  • An Epic Team Adventure.
    Discover the shattered world of Solasta: explore ruins and dungeons for legendary treasures, learn the truth of an age-old cataclysm - and stop it from happening again.

    Create your very own party of adventurers with our Character Creation Tool in the classic tabletop RPG tradition. Breathe life into your heroes, and see their personalities reflected in their dialogue. Tailor your squad to your preferred strategy and maximizes your party's abilities. The choice is yours.

  • Discover a Mysterious & Dynamic World.
    Delve into long forgotten dungeons to unearth ancient artifacts, but stay watchful of light and darkness: many dangers hide in the dark, but a light can attract monsters. Some enemies have darkvision, some may flee from your torch... Successful adventurers will learn to use it to their advantage.

    Fight monsters in squad-level, turn-based, tactical combat. Solasta's dynamic environment offers some interesting tactical options. Bridges can collapse, leaving enemies stranded and vulnerable. Walls and columns can be pushed over - on top of your foes, if you do it right. The world is your playground.

  • Prepare to Think in Three Dimensions.
    The dungeons in Solasta are more than flat game-boards. Climb, jump, or fly around obstacles. Evade or surprise foes from above or below. Push them into chasms or drop things on their heads. Position yourself on high grounds to start the fight with an advantage.

    Size also matters. Escape through narrow passages where bigger enemies won't fit and crawl through tunnels to find secret areas. Take advantage of the environment to find cover suited to your own size. Watch out, though - the monsters are also thinking vertically.

  • True to the Tabletop.
    Based on the 5e ruleset of the world's most popular tabletop RPG, Solasta: Crown of the Magister brings back the thrill, tactics, and deep storytelling of tabletop games.

    As you play, you'll feel yourself reaching for your dice and miniatures. It's time to dive into the world of Solasta. Roll for initiative!

System Requirements

    • OS: TBD
    • Processor: TBD
    • Memory: TBD GB RAM
    • Graphics: TBD
    • Storage: TBD GB available space
    • Sound Card: TBD
    • Additional Notes: TBD

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