Ever since the ancient wars of mages, the world has been a dark place. As to the Distorted Lands, regular folk avoid them like plague. Yet this is now your new home. Your magic powers bid disciples from all over the land to come look for you. Other forces are looking for you, too – and their intent is much darker.
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Release Date:
Early Access – 2018

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

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?

“With our previous game (Gremlins, Inc.) we already went through 6 months of Early Access ahead of the full release – and we loved it! The community feedback that we received, lead to new features and improved balance of the game.

With Spire of Sorcery, our plan is the same: we will release the game, publish the development roadmap, and then will adjust our development plans according to the feedback that we receive from our core Steam community – with frequent updates and regular blog entries.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan that Spire of Sorcery will be in Early Access between 6 and 12 months.

However, as with our previous Steam release, we plan to keep updating Spire of Sorcery for many months (and even years!) after the full release. The day of the full release will be the day when we're confident that we arrived at version 1.0 of our game design objective; and then we will just continue updating the game as usual.”

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

“In terms of content, the full release version of the game will have the bells and whistles that the Early Access version will not have at its launch date: unique icons and illustrations for different types of events and items; more music and more sound effects; more events in general.

In terms of game mechanics, the full release version of the game might have advanced levels of gameplay built on top of the core mechanics – depending on how we progress with the balancing of the overall player experience, and whether we find these extra layers of gameplay necessary.

In terms of user interface, the full release version of the game will definitely have multiple improvements based on what we discover during thousands of games completed by the community during the Early Access period.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“When Spire of Sorcery launches in Early Access in 2018, the game will be fully playable at its core level: recruit disciples, teach them and discover their personalities and traits; upgrade your spire and manage your resources; send parties on quests across the global map of the world and receive reports; conduct research and otherwise manage your mage's time. Finally, the game will already have a final stage and you will be able to win (or lose) the main campaign.”

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

“Like with our previous project, we plan to increase the price once the game transitions from Early Access to full release.”

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

“The close involvement of the Steam community is the sole reason behind our decision to launch Spire of Sorcery first in Early Access. During the Early Access period of our previous game, we already developed the tools that allow us to process player feedback and synchronise our development priorities with what the community feels might benefit the project the most – in a transparent way. We are used to releasing updates as often as every 2 weeks, in order to keep up to speed to the community feedback.

Our first game would not be the same without the many contributions (large and small) of dedicated players from different regions around the world. We know that we can design, develop and deliver a great original game – but we also know that we cannot predict all of the aspects that will make it truly enjoyable experience that will give players 100+ hours of terrific player experience, and this is where the involvement of our community is truly irreplaceable!”
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Available: Early Access – 2018

 

Recent updates View all (28)

June 29

#27 – HAPPINESS IS…?



HAPPINESS IS...?

We're back with yet another issue of development blog! This time, it is dedicated to the mood of your disciples, which can go as low as falling into depression – and rise as high as dancing in euphoria. But before this topic, a bit of news:

Ignas, our artist who is 100% focused on just the :summer_magic: inventory items since June, is showing great progress. Even though we comment and painstakingly re-draw every item multiple times – because we want to produce the best art that we can, both beautiful and functional – we finished more than 20 new items this month, and we expect to move even faster in July and August. Our ambition is to enter Early Access with at least 60 items illustrated (as for the rest, we will use placeholder icons which will be replaced by unique icons once we produce those).

Sergey, our junior game designer, moves forward with :summer_magic: disciple biographies. The game will have hundreds of biography blocks that offer thousands of unique stories (and skill sets, as the result). Some are dark (girls enslaved, boys abused), some are happy (teenagers falling in love, families offering their support), some are mixed. It is quite likely that we will have to make the game 16+ by age requirement as our dark fantasy lore makes us face some evil that would be too traumatic for kids to explore on their own.

Finally, our core team locked down the specifications for the :summer_magic: Disciple Character Generator & Editor – a separate product that we plan to release for free on Steam for you to play with. We have the user interface and the functionality that we desire, and in a matter of weeks you will be able to engage with the world of Rund through this portal.



And now, let's talk about mood – something that has the potential to significantly affect your Spire's everyday life.

FROM STATS TO STATES

Every character in the game has stats, skills and traits. These are the basic parameters. Some almost never change (stats) and some progress with time (skills). On top of these, there is another layer: character states.
  • Magic applied (a curse, a protective spell, etc.)
  • Alchemy used (drops that increase mental powers but cause bleeding nose and overall health damage once the effect wears off, etc.)
  • Current illnesses (a fever, a plague, a sexually transmitted disease, etc.)
  • Poison (if character is poisoned)
  • Wounds (if character is wounded)
  • Level of energy (energetic, or very tired - 5 levels in total)
  • Level of hunger (4 levels, from starving to overeating)
  • Current mood (9 levels in total)
Today, we'll focus just on one of these states: the mood.

FROM STRESS TO HAPPINESS, AND ALL THE WAY BACK

A character's mood in Spire of Sorcery can be any of these:
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Foul mood
  • Bad mood
  • Normal mood
  • Good mood
  • High spirits
  • Happiness
  • Euphoria
Foul mood, bad mood, good mood and high spirits add penalties or bonuses on the actions of character. Depression, stress, happiness and euphoria also influence character's stats.

An example of how this works: say, your character is having a lesson with a teacher. A "normal" progress for her skill is calculated based on the difference between the skill level of teacher and student. If the student is "happy", the progress will be more significant. If the student is "stressed", the progress will be below the normal value.

HOW THE MOOD IS REFLECTED

In addition to a unique icon that shows the exact mood of the character, we decided to also modify character portraits. Below you will find the "normal" portrait of three characters, and the progression of their moods.



DOES THE MOOD AFFECT THE STATS?

Yes, indeed. Depression, stress, happiness and euphoria affect character stats. If someone is really, really happy – they are definitely more attractive, and the other way around. Every stat in the game has "nominal" and "current" values, and mood is one of the things that has the potential to make "current" value lower – or higher – than "nominal".

More specifically:

:greengemstone: STRESS

HEALTH -1
WILLPOWER -1
INTUITION -1
CHARISMA -1

:greengemstone: HAPPINESS

CHARISMA +1

:greengemstone: DEPRESSION

HEALTH -2
WILLPOWER -3
INTUITION -2
CHARISMA -2
INTELLECT -1
MEMORY -1

:greengemstone: EUPHORIA

INTUITION +2
CHARISMA +2
INTELLECT +1
MEMORY +1

WHAT HAPPENS AT PEAK VALUES OF MOOD

If a character is depressed, that character faces the possibility of committing a suicide.

If a character is euphoric, that character runs a chance to experience a special positive event, which could be a breakthrough in skills – or a new trait.



HOW THE MOOD IS AFFECTED

And now, let's talk about the main question: how do you affect the mood of your disciples?

First of all, through their friendship situation:

If one disciple is a friend of another disciple, then sending them together on a quest will improve their mood. And if they are enemies, then sending them together will make both of their moods worse off.

Then, through their interests in learning certain skills/practicing them:

If a disciple hates domestic magic but you keep assigning him to study it, he will eventually become stressed with this unhappy turn of events. And if another disciple likes healing and you assign her on healing quests, such arrangement will certainly make her happier.

Finally, through their traits:

If someone is greedy and you give them a gift, they will become happier. But if their neighbors are also greedy… then of course they will become unhappy, seeing that someone else, not them, received that gift!

Or take disciples that are freethinkers. Enforcing discipline on them - such as cutting their hair or instituting new traditions - will definitely stress them. As to conservative characters, these will rejoice with stricter rules.

There are multiple ways of managing the moods of your disciples, as long you consider their skill interests and know their traits, and there is no "perfect formula" for running the Spire. A harsh punishment applied to a thief makes disciples with preference for violence happier, and stresses those who have compassionate hearts. And the decision to issue to all the disciples new, fancy robes makes most characters happier… except for ascetic ones, who will see this as weakness, with their mood falling down a notch.



IS THE MOOD IMPORTANT?

Very much so! You have stats and skills, and these more or less define the types of quests you can use these disciples for. But having a gifted disciple in a foul mood may ruin her chances of success on a specific assignment; while having a weaker student walk around happy can ensure that whenever that student applies her skills, they are applied with great results. Managing disciples is one of the key ingredients in winning the campaign!

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That's it for today. As always, for updates on work in progress (including the Disciple Generator), please check the game's official Discord server.

–––



:summer_magic: Official Discord server
:summer_magic: Twitter (game updates)
:summer_magic: Facebook (game updates)



:malice: Official Discord server
:malice: Twitter (game updates)
:malice: Facebook (game updates)
:music: Original Soundtrack on Spotify



:notebook: Twitter (studio news)
:notebook: Facebook (studio news)
:hypnoheart: "Behind the scenes" Instagram
:fireapple: YouTube
25 comments Read more

June 15

#26 – THE RESULTS



Welcome back to development blog of Spire of Sorcery! Today we update you about the current state of development, as well as provide full character stats for the situation described in blog no. 25.

DEV UPDATE

Inventory Items

We've spent the last few weeks making major progress with inventory icons. There are hundreds of items that you will encounter in the game. Starting from June, we have a dedicated artist just for this task - making sure that the icons are easy-to-understand even when you have dozens of items in your possession.

And by the way, among the inventory items, the majority are ingredients and equipment. Weapons make a minor part of the overall inventory because your disciples are not really soldiers. Your main goal? To equip your parties in such a way that they make it safely to their destination, and safely come back.





Disciple Generator

We also significantly upgraded the game's disciple generator. We resolved multiple technical issues - making sure that dozens of different facial parts can seamlessly combine with each other. We also added a whole bunch of new details, from freckles to new types of eyes and noses and hair styles, as well as skin colors.

We currently expect to release a standalone version of Disciple Generator for you to have fun with, in a matter of several weeks. The generator will allow you to explore characters of Rund at random, as well as to create your very own portraits by choosing specifically this or that facial part. We'll share the news (and the download link) through our Discord server.





Global Map

At the same time, we continue to move forward with the upgrade of the global map: we have some types of terrain that we already like, but a lot more that we don't like much yet. The work here progresses rather slowly. It will take another month or two until we will be ready to present to you the updated look of the map.






Core Mechanics

As to the main focus of our team, this is the RPG System and the Quest System that are at the heart of Spire of Sorcery's gameplay. It's the invisible work that connects everything in the game - characters, quests and world events.

We are currently building a user-friendly set of editor tools that you will be able to use to mod the game from the moment it ships in Early Access, and we already started with the scripts that define consequences of game events. There will be lots of events. Probably, thousands.


TEN DISCIPLES: FULL STATS

And now let's revisit the situation described in blog no. 25, when 10 disciples knocked on the doors of your Spire – but you only had the space to take in 2 of them.

Vox Populi

These are the most and the least popular characters, based on 100+ votes:



Stats

Here are the full stats of these characters:



Note that Norhadd and Ascantha have "-1" modifier to their CONSTITUTION, which means current damage that needs healing. If left untreated, Norhadd is likely to get well on his own, while Ascantha is likely to continue to get weaker until she eventually dies, as her CONSTITUTION is too low to deal with the damage on its own.

Skills

And here are the skills:



Dark blue shows that character very much dislikes to study this specific skill, light blue shows a simple dislike. Light yellow indicates preference, and light orange indicates that a character very much likes to study this skill.

The two numbers in each bracket reflect Practice and Theory. So, for example, Gwuinitta has 5 in Theory of Artificing, but absolutely lacks any Practice there.

It's important to note that there is a huge difference between someone not having any skill at all – having 0 for Practice – and someone already having 1, because a lot of quests require a "minimal skill value" before you can assign a disciple to it.

Take Herbalism, for example: to be assigned with a simple mushroom-gathering quest, a character must have at least 1 in this skill. So among these 10 characters, Ascantha will be really successful and Miallita will be able to at least start with this quest – while the other 8 characters cannot be assigned to such a quest, until they learn at least something in this area.

Perks

Finally, perks:



Some perks are overall positive – for example, if character is a good scribe; or has strong magic talent; some are overall negative – for example, if character is lazy or has a weak talent; and some are a mixed bag – for example, being brave can be good if you need your character to stand her ground in the face of unexpected attack, but it can also be bad if your character rushes head-first into combat in a situation where a retreat would be more advisable.

Similarly, some perks are paired – for example, Conservative and Freethinker; and some are on their own – for example, Proud or Glutton.

--

Did you make a good choice about whom to keep, and whom to send away? Detecting skills and stats by reading character bios is something that you will get better at, with more game experience.

In the next issue of this blog, we'll try to touch upon game events. Meanwhile, you can follow our daily progress via official Discord server. See you soon!

–––



:summer_magic: Official Discord server
:summer_magic: Twitter (game updates)
:summer_magic: Facebook (game updates)



:malice: Official Discord server
:malice: Twitter (game updates)
:malice: Facebook (game updates)
:music: Original Soundtrack on Spotify



:notebook: Twitter (studio news)
:notebook: Facebook (studio news)
:hypnoheart: "Behind the scenes" Instagram
:fireapple: YouTube
32 comments Read more
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OFFICIAL DISCORD SERVER



Spire of Sorcery has its official Discord server, where we share our work in progress on the project. Use this link to join the community – or click on the image above!

About This Game



In this original mix of strategy and RPG designed by Alexey Bokulev (author of turn-based strategy Eador. Genesis and digital board game Gremlins, Inc.), you will:

  • expand and upgrade your magic spire, balancing the needs to research, craft and defend;
  • choose and teach your disciples, discovering their personal traits and collaboration capacities when matched in parties and sent on quests;
  • explore the vast open world stretching from the Empire to the Distorted Lands, seeking new knowledge, resources and sources of power – as well as establishing relations with the locals.
But above all else, you will try to survive: the troops of the Inquisition are roaming the land, hunting for runaway mages; and dwellers of the lawless wild, human and not, are on the lookout for easy prey.

Yet your most powerful enemy is neither of those. It is the time itself – the approaching death from old age. Only one thing can save you: the elixir of youth. Several ancient manuscripts mention it in passing... There must be a way to learn the formula. There must be a way to obtain the ingredients... Before it's too late.

THE ANCIENT WARS OF MAGES


A long time ago, powerful mages ruled these lands. They moved rivers, they summoned monsters, they created new races of non-human servants for their own needs and pleasures... They also waged wars. It is one of these wars that brought the whole world to the very brink of collapse. Whole regions burned and mountains melted as thousands of souls screamed in torture. In the end, the great mages completely destroyed each other, and as they died, their final curses tore the land apart, creating anomalies that we nowadays call the Distorted Lands. Places that a few dare to visit. Places where abnormal is the norm.

THE INQUISITION


The suffering of the people following the last war had been so great that once the world cooled down from the violent storms, one of the very first groups to rise from the burning ruins was the order of the Inquisition. Said to be more powerful than the Emperor himself, this order is focused on controlling each and every person who possesses any magic powers – and on hunting down those runaway mages that seek to practice the forbidden skill. To the Inquisition, magic powers are a curse, and any practice of these outside of the strictly licensed guild is a sin punishable by torture and death.

THE EMPIRE


As the troops of the Inquisition were making the first arrests, a new state – the Empire – was proclaimed in the part of the world least touched by the war. Officially, the Empire stretches from the coastline and to the mountains, and, with a number of strongholds, provides protection to the population otherwise besieged by all sorts of rogues. Unofficially, the Empire's influence starts to fade even before you leave the capital's gates, and by the time you're in the wild lands, the decisions of local lords always count so much more than anything that the imperial court may try to impose.

THE SPIRE


Until recently, you were an ageing mage casting simple spells under the strict control of the Guild. As years passed by, this satisfied you less and less. You started to look for books that held secret knowledge, studying them when no one could see you... until the day of the surprise search in your rooms. Ever since, you've been on the run, escaping the Inquisition by moving to the only region which even they avoid: the Distorted Lands.

Here, on the edge of the wild lands, you cast the forbidden spell for Spire of Sorcery and, tapping into the source of power, erected your new home: a magic fortress bound to you alone. You and the spire are connected so close that when one falls, the other follows. This is the domain that you can never leave. Yet from here you can still explore the whole world – with the help of your disciples.

Build, upgrade and customise rooms of the spire: libraries and herbal gardens, classrooms and prisons, living rooms and monster kennels, laboratories and warehouses, treasury and caverns, observatory and watchtower – your priorities define the capabilities of your spire and shape your strategy of exploration and survival.

TEACH!


As you develop your spire, disciples start to arrive at your door. Some heard your magic Call; some just heard about you from their friends. At first, you don't know much about them except for their looks and what they choose to tell you. With limited number of living rooms in the spire, will you prefer to accept a farmer's daughter distressed by her own magic powers – or a dedicated student of arcane who yearns for new knowledge, even though his skill is on a lesser scale?

Some of these disciples come to you to escape repressions. Some seek the light of wisdom. And some come in the pursuit of greater personal power. As you accept and teach them, you will discover their true personalities and find them fitting roles in your spire. One will become a great explorer, traveling fast and surviving any hardships. Another will become a gifted gardener, and secure your supply of the rarest ingredients. Yet another will become a traitor, trying to poison you.

Select, teach and direct your disciples on the quests inside and outside the spire. Your choice of strategy may yield a few powerful young mages focused on deep research into the elixir of youth – or an army of simpletons excavating artefacts all over the land, looking for the books lost in the ancient wars.

EXPLORE!


Legends claim that back in the days of the powerful mages, there were spheres that could show you what happened all the way across the mountains – and that through them, you could even converse with others. Nowadays, one hardly knows what happens across the river, as the wild lands are overtaken by rogues and monsters. But perhaps one day you will re-discover these long-lost magic artefacts of the past?

With disciples ready to depart on the quests of your bidding, ancient ruins and abandoned mines will reveal their mysteries to those who survive the expeditions. By sending parties and setting their goals, you will map dwellings, points of interest and sources of power. Your disciples will meet rogues and vagabonds, settlers and lords, animals and monsters. Through the eyes of your students, you will discover the non-human races of the past as well as the few ancient creatures from the pre-war era who continue to prowl in the wild, accumulating greater and great powers.

Explore the open world created anew each time when you start the campaign, charting new lands and deciphering new secrets. Maybe your brightest disciples will go missing in the Distorted Lands, lured by the innocent-looking fluters; or maybe they will befriend the many-handed Librarian and unlock his treasure trove of manuscripts? The story of the campaign is yours to write.

SURVIVE!


Here in the wild lands, bandits and gangs are a fix of the local landscape. Looking for the weak, they will move to an easier prey once you step up your spire's defense. As to the local dwellers, not everyone appreciates a mage moving in, and quite a few may try to claim the contents of your cellars. Not to mention seasoned adventurers on the mission to raid a castle or two (and make it off with the artefacts).

As your spire gains notoriety, it will start to attract more visitors, including stronger private armies – as well as the troops of the Inquisition, who never forget or forgive. And as your disciples travel the world, other dangers will loom: from illnesses contracted far away on a quest and brought back to the spire by the returning disciples to dangerous spells triggered by the explorers, which can range from having a few ghosts to having to battle a full-blown death curse. Your old age is approaching, too, rendering you fragile... until one day you become too weak to defend the spire.

Survive the immediate dangers while looking for the formula and ingredients of the only thing that can offer you the truly lasting power – the elixir of youth. Whether you find it, craft it or trade it, this is the item that will decide the ultimate success or failure of your campaign!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10
    • Processor: Intel 2.3Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Iris 5000
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Internal
    • Additional Notes: Initially, this game will require an Internet connection to play. As the game progresses out of Early Access, the game will offer an offline mode that allows to play without any Internet connection.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10
    • Processor: Intel i5 / similar AMD or higher
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 7XX / similar Radeon or higher
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Internal
    • Additional Notes: Initially, this game will require an Internet connection to play. As the game progresses out of Early Access, the game will offer an offline mode that allows to play without any Internet connection.
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