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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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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October 11

#33 – PROPERTIES



If you missed our news from the last week: Spire of Sorcery’s Character Generator became available on Steam as a free companion app! Download it here:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/893560/Spire_of_Sorcery__Character_Generator/

This tool allows you to generate random characters from the world of Rund as well as to create your own custom characters, with their unique stories and looks. You can also export character portraits as images, to use as avatars on Steam and in Discord.

And now, today’s blog topic: alchemic properties in the world of Rund.



HOW RECIPES WORK

No matter how many campaigns you complete in Spire of Sorcery, alchemic recipes will always remain the same – because recipes don’t deal with specific ingredients, such as “mix dry powder of fluter’s wings with root of mandragora”. Rather, recipes deal with required alchemic properties of ingredients used.

For example, this ointment will keep mosquitos and other insects away when a person travels through swamps and forests:

Stinky Ointment
x1 ingredient with “smelly” property
x1 ingredient with “greasy” property

Whether you use the fat of tasljuk (which has a lubricating property) or the blood of mechanoid (which also has a lubricating property), is up to you: the recipe works as long as the required alchemic properties are present.



HOW PROPERTIES ARE ASSIGNED TO INGREDIENTS

Every ingredient in the game has a preset number of properties with different levels of rarity. For example:

Emerald
x1 rare property
x1 uncommon property

At the start of each campaign, when the world of Rund is generated for that campaign, ingredients are matched with specific properties.

In one of the campaigns, emeralds may generate like this:

Emerald
Rare property: knowledge
Uncommon property: calming

And in another campaign, emeralds may generate like that:

Emerald
Rare property: death
Uncommon property: depressing

Thus, even though you may already know all the recipes, in each new campaign you will explore the world anew in order to understand the particular alchemic properties that are each time matched to ingredients in a unique fashion.



RARITY LEVELS

Every item in the game has one of the 6 levels of rarity:
  • Basic – everyday items
  • Common – items that are easy to find
  • Uncommon – items that can be found in specific regions
  • Rare – items that are hard to get/expensive to purchase
  • Very Rare – top-level items
  • Unique – extraordinary items that exist as a single item for all the world of Rund
Basic items are things like berries and vegetables. Unique items are things powerful amulets and personalized weapons. Everything else is in-between.

As to alchemic properties, they have 4 levels of rarity, from Common to Very Rare.

For example, “poisonous” is a common property, “exciting” is an uncommon property, “magic” is a rare property and “Chaos” is a very rare property.



GROUPS OF PROPERTIES

Each alchemic property belongs to one of the following four groups:
  • Physical properties
  • Mental properties
  • Substance properties
  • Fundamental properties
Below is the list of the properties that are currently already in the game. We think that this list will grow a little, but not much:




WHAT DOES ALCHEMY PRODUCE?

Alchemy produces potions, ointments, elixirs, powders and other dangerous or utilitarian substances – from acids and combustibles mixtures to perfumes, fertilizers and food.

While simple alchemy doesn’t carry much risk even if preparation fails (let’s say, you prepare an ideal ration, but fail – so you waste ingredients, and receive spoiled ration that’s quite unappealing), powerful late-stage alchemy carries significant risks: from explosions to poisoning.



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That’s it for today! As always, for updates on work in progress, please check the game’s official Discord server.

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:summer_magic: Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
: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)
:notebook: "Behind the scenes" Instagram
:notebook: YouTube
15 comments Read more

October 4

#32 – LOOT!



The summer is over, and the nights are getting really cold around here. Cafes and restaurants remove their tables from the streets as few customers are ready to brave both wind and rain during their lunch hour; and our favorite coffee shop acknowledged the arrival of autumn by lighting up its cozy fireplace.

To us here at the studio, this is the best season for developing games: we’re still full of the summer energy, while there are no longer any distractions in the outside world. The sound of rain helps to focus, and the warmth intensity of pu-erh tea sustains it throughout the day.

Historically, our studio delivered its best development work during the months of September, October and November; and then in the months of February, March and April. We think that these months are when we perform at our peak, and we’re excited about the opportunity to use this year’s autumn for bringing Spire of Sorcery into its Closed Beta period.

While you wait for us to reach that stage – and if you speak Chinese! – we highly recommend you check out the recently released 太吾绘卷 (The Scroll of Taiwu), which is an amazing RPG from a Chinese indie studio. The amount of work that they’ve put into this game, from content to user interface, is simply mind-blowing.

And now let’s talk about this week’s main topic: Spire of Sorcery’s loot system, that is – the things that your disciples will find while exploring the world of Rund.




LOOT

How does a powerful mage make sure that her precious book full of secret knowledge is not stolen from under her nose? By locking it up in a magic chest, protected with a strong spell.

How does a rich merchant make sure that his valuable gems do not disappear from his house while he visits the capital to arrange another deal? By locking them up in a strong chest, protected by a huge lock.

Highly valuable loot includes:
  • artifacts
  • rare and ancient books
  • rare and powerful potions
  • rare and precious items (gems, money)
  • rare weapons and travel equipment
These are the items locked by the mages of the past, back in the Age of Mages.

More common loot includes:
  • regular weapons
  • regular potions
  • regular books
  • money and precious items
These are the items locked in the modern days by adventurers, outlaws and non-humans.

All the chests that contain loot items are so heavy that they cannot be transported except by a powerful, high-level spell of levitation.


Different types of chests (concept art).


WHERE CAN YOU FIND CHESTS?

At this time, chests can be found in:
  • Ruins
  • Catacombs
Ruins are located above ground and can be encountered in any type of biome – from swamps to hills and to ancient forests. Catacombs are located underground and can be encountered in most of biomes as well.

When a party of disciples discovers one of these locations, they have an option to explore them further. Some characters will be curious enough to do it every time they have an opportunity. Others will be more cautious and will prefer to report back on the discovery without spending the time on exploration – and bearing the associated risk. When sending a party to explore the world, you can also instruct them specifically on how to explore the world (from cautious to neutral to aggressive behaviours).

If exploration of ruins or catacombs is successful and the specific location indeed contains a chest, the existence of such chest is marked on the map. Whether the same party wants to try to open it, is another matter.


Ruins in the Ancient Forest (concept art).


WHAT TYPES OF CHESTS EXIST?

Chests can be old and modern (depending on when they were created); as well as regular or magic (depending on how they are locked).

The location of chests in the world of Rund is determined at the beginning of each campaign. Such locations are graded by difficulty of accessing them: some are on their own; some are protected by difficult terrain; some are additionally protected by curses; and some are protected by non-humans who still guard them.

The rarity of items inside these chests corresponds to the difficulty of accessing them, so that you won’t have to fight a strong non-human guardian to get a chest that contains only a cheap traveler’s cloak that you already have anyway.




OPENING THE CHESTS

Depending on the type of chest and its protection, in order to open the chests your disciples may employ:
  • The skill of Skullduggery (a secondary skill; belongs to Social Magic)
  • A lock-opening spell (belongs to Domestic Magic)
  • One of the lesser combat spells (belongs to Battle Magic)
  • Brute force (if there’s equipment and if someone’s strong enough to use it)
  • A magic ritual (if the chest is locked with a powerful spell)
Sometimes the same party that found the chest will be able to open it, and sometimes this will be a quest for another party – equipped specifically to deal with such challenge.

And if, using the spell of Levitation (Travel Magic) or employing a golem to carry the chest, your disciples manage to bring it to the Spire, you can learn to open such types of chests by researching this specimen in the Laboratory (using the skill of Artificing combined with the specific skill that you need for this type of lock).


CHARACTER GENERATOR ALREADY AVAILABLE!



In just an hour or so, Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator, the free companion tool for the game, will become available on Steam! Download it here, create your own characters – and share them with the community!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/893560/Spire_of_Sorcery__Character_Generator/

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:summer_magic: Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
: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)
:notebook: "Behind the scenes" Instagram
:notebook: YouTube
30 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!

CHARACTER GENERATOR ALREADY AVAILABLE!



Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator, a free standalone companion tool for the game, is already available on Steam! Download it here, create your own characters – and share them with the community!

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
    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

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