Pathway - seminus

Hey everyone! Simon here, Art Director at Robotality.

What a ride the last few months were. We released over a dozen of updates, including one big update called “Adventurers Wanted” that reworked the core gameplay using your feedback you gave us. We feel honored to have such a nice and supportive community. Thank you!

As you have seen now the Steam Autumn Sale is live and as with every year, you can now also vote for the games you love to nominate for a Steam Awards.

Let’s see if we can get a game with pixel art into the “Outstanding Visual Style” category together 😉

What makes the art style of Pathway so special?

The visual art style of Pathway was a pipe dream of mine I had long before we even started working on the game. During the development of our first game, Halfway we had our first experiments going with the ideas to combine classical pixel art with dynamic lights and shadows, but due to time constraints we never followed through.

After we finished Halfway we started to look into what to do next, and while we worked on the game design for Pathway, we also picked up the old idea again: Can we actually do proper shadows and dynamic light within a pixel art game that are also as close as possible pixel perfect.

No one before us had fully done this so it was an interesting challenge to take up. There are some other games that uses dynamic lighting and normal maps combined with pixel art, but no one did a full dynamic light and shadow setup until now!

After a few months of prototyping we actually had a proof of concept for this:

As you can see, it looked more like Halfway and our concept for Pathway was not even close to the finished product we have now. But... we now knew that it could be done! Little did we know back then, that it would take us another 4 years to complete and for Pathway to become the game it is now.

Here are some more very old prototype screenshots of the Pathway tech:

Even though the game does not look like it in the end, we are using a very limited color palette for the whole game. All assets are made out of a set of 32 colors for the environment and another 32 colors for the character. Here you can see the rough sketches I did to test my 32 colors for the environment back in early 2016:

Next up is a short behind-the-scenes video of how we create our levels and visuals in our custom editor. To achieve the look, we actually use voxels and 3D meshes to generate the scenes and instead of pixels - you see colorized polygons for each pixel on the screen.

If you think the result is worth an award nomination on Steam feel free to click on the widget above.

Thank you again for the support, it’s been a cool ride together. We are looking forward to sharing more news with you folks soon about what we have in store with Pathway.

PS: If you want to have a more detailed look at what we did to achieve the look we have. Let us know in the comments and we will see what we can do. 😉
Pathway - bach
A smaller maintenance update that includes a handful of bug fixes and some minor improvements to UI!
And also a HUGE thank you to everyone who's been playing and leaving reviews in the last little while. We're really happy to see people enjoying the 1.1 changes ːsteamhappyː

Changelog Version 1.1.3:
  • Added tooltip for burst fire to indicate it can be rotated
  • Added an alternative way to rotate burst fire (Q/E)
  • Added weapon type descriptor in the weapon tooltip window for better clarity.
  • Added a new pixel zoom-option to the settings.json allowing users to set a custom zoom if the default is causing problems.
  • Fixed a bunch of localization errors and typos
  • Fixed a rare crash when moving the enemy group size slider all the way down.
  • Fixed a rare enemy spawn issues that caused enemies to be spawned inside walls
  • Fixed a rare crash that sometimes happened when switching between the Pathway window and other windows.
Pathway - Valve
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Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Thursday 10/24 at 10AM Pacific Time
Pathway - bach

We just released a minor maintenance update that fixes and tweaks an handful of things. Full changelog below!

Changelog Version 1.1.2:
  • Grenade impact can now be evaded.
  • Splinter DMG buffs on legendary items now also increase the base DMG.
  • Tooltips for actions are now shown even if the action isn't available
  • The Artifact "Shield Of Perseus" now has the proper buffs.
  • Fixed bug that caused Sporebearers/Cultists to still attack vanished characters
  • Fixed a bug that caused multiple stat boosts of same type to not be combined in tooltips.
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the Team Journal screen to not refresh after a recruit event

As always, thanks for playing!
Pathway - bach
We just released a smaller update on Steam which includes important bugfixes and the addition of a new default option for AI turn speed.

We'd like to also say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who's been playing the 1.1 update and wrote a review, sent an email or in some other way left us a comment. We're really happy to hear that you're enjoying the changes and additions we've introduced with "Adventurers Wanted"!

Here's the full changelog for version 1.1.1:
  • Default AI Speed Option: We've added the option to set a default for the AI turn speed. Every combat will begin with this default speed. You can always slow/down speed it up for a specific combat and it'll reset again to the default for the next battle.
  • Updated JP/CH loca with a few more missing details
  • Added bravery cost to the new abilities in the skill tree.
  • Tweaked the timing of some tutorial overlays slightly
  • Fixed a crash when using Sudden Strike against Zombies
  • Fixed some missing collisions in certain combat arenas
  • Fixed a bug that caused the skilltree to not hide properly when opening the menu/codex
  • Fixed a bunch of typos in loca
  • Fixed a bug that caused unexpected behaviour when creating a new profile after switching between profiles in the main menu.
  • Fixed a bug that caused hotkeys to not working properly after a profile switch

As always, thank you for playing!
Pathway - bach

After months of work, today is the day we're finally releasing the Adventurers Wanted Update!
This major free update includes A LOT of changes and additions. We are going to list the most important changes below, but you can read a full changelog in the forums here. If you haven't played the game in a while, this is a fantastic opportunity to give it another go. We'd love to hear what you think!

New Abilities
There is a total of 18 new combat abilities in the game. These abilities add many new ways to interact with enemies and allies in combat. For a full list of abilities please see this forum post.
Reworked Skill Trees
Every character has received a new skill tree. You'll notice that each character now lists an ability at level 1. This is the character's starting ability. You will also be able to unlock up to 2 more abilities for each character. These reworked skill trees really help in underlining each character's uniqueness.
New and reworked events
We have added a sizeable amount of new events to the update. There are many new combat arenas (ex. airfield, farms, etc.) providing lots of new combat variety. In addition to this, we've also added dozens of adventure specific events providing flavour that is unique to each adventure. We've also reworked many existing events to provide more interesting choices, rewards and serious consequences.
New Consumables System
Instead of stacking up consumable items like medkits, repairkits or grenades you now collect a new resource called Supplies. When you use a consumable, one supply resource is consumed. Just like other resources such as fuel and ammo you begin each adventure with a starting amount. Supplies can be found as loot or bought from merchants. You still need a medkit item equipped in order to heal your team however!
New Combat Modes
Advantage, Blindsided and Tumult. Each combat mode tweaks how the combat begins. In Blindsided for example, the enemy surprised you. Your squad begins the combat with a panic penalty which only permits one action in the first turn.
Game Rebalanced
We've made tweaks to all enemies, characters and items. The money economy has also been improved. In general the game should feel much more balanced now. We've also added more ways to customize difficulty such as the option to make combat groups larger or smaller.
New Armor system
Armors now work as a direct damage reduction. If you have an armor with 10 AR, you will receive -10 reduction to your incoming damage. As a consequence you will almost always receive a bit of damage to your health. Armor generally receives damage with every hit. How much damage an armor receives is determined by the weapon's "Armor Shredding".
New Item System
The general item system has received an overhaul. Items now follow a level progression. Each higher level being stronger than the previous one. Within each level you may find rare, epic or even legendary variations which will yield additional boosts and benefits. The main reason for this change is to allow a more even progression through the game without having to rely on legendary items. Rare, epic and legendary items still give significant improvements, but are no longer required to finish the game. This removes a lot of the previous RNG-based grinding.
Unique (and very rare) items that can only be found once per profile. Artifacts can be placed in a character's off-hand equipment slot. Some of them yield stat boosts or open up event options whilst others may even unlock new abilities. It's worth noting that Artifacts can be used by all characters and don't require a skill to use.
New Languages
Chinese and Japanese translations are now part of the game in addition to the already existing translations in German and French.

Important Note: Due to the significant changes made to characters, this update will reset your character's skill tree. You won't lose your progress, but you get a free reskill. You may also notice that some items have changed. This is also due to some significant changes in the underlying items system. You may prefer to create a new profile and experience all these changes with a fresh start!

We really hope you'll enjoy this update! Thank you for all your support and messages throughout the last few months, it's been an incredible journey ♥
Pathway - bach

We're excited to announce that the 1.1 update to Pathway titled Adventurers Wanted is coming out October 9!
Whilst we're busy getting everything finalized we want to share some more details about the update. In our previous devlog we already talked about the new abilities, Chinese & Japanese translations and the new content. Today we want to expand on a few more changes that are part of the Adventurers Wanted Update:

Reworked Skill Trees

With the addition of the new abilities we've also reworked the skill trees of all characters. Each character now begins with an additional ability specific to them. Natalya for example begins with the "Bait" ability, whilst Brunhilda starts out with "Sucker Punch". As they level-up they can unlock two more abilities.

We feel these changes really help in making the character roster feel more varied. Each character now has their own combination of up to 3 special abilities which opens up a range of new tactical options. It gets even more interesting when trying them out in various team configurations.

New euippable item: Artifacts

With 1.1 we're introducing a new type of equippable items: Artifacts. They're unique (and very rare) items that can only be found once per profile. Artifacts can be placed in a character's off-hand equipment slot. Some of them yield stat boosts or open up event options whilst others may even unlock new abilities.

It's worth noting that Artifacts can be used by all characters and don't require a skill to use.

More Difficulty Customization Options

We've completely reworked the difficulty customization options in the game. You are now able to adjust the enemy difficulty and the size of combat groups independently.

Whilst larger combat groups do increase the difficulty slightly, it mostly presents the player with a more involved combat experience. So if you enjoy longer and more involved combat sessions crank this setting up. On the other hand if you like easy and quick combat you can lower this setting.

The difficulty slider really pushes the overall power of enemies up. In practice it means you can play the earlier adventures at the difficulty of later adventures and push the later adventures even higher. If you increase the difficulty of the adventure, you are also going to find better loot. Additionally, each difficulty level presents the adventure in a new daytime setting.

We are really excited to get this update into everyone's hands!

Oh and if you live near London come say hi to us at the EGX. We will be showing the new update between 17th and 19th of October at the Chucklefish stand! (More details and tickets here:
Pathway - bach

We have some exciting things to share with you today.

As previously mentioned we are working on a fairly substantial free update to Pathway that will be released later this Summer (Version 1.1). This devlog presents a handful of new things we're adding to the game. We'll reveal more details over the coming weeks.

Japanese/Chinese Localisation

We promised from the start that we'd add support for Japanese/Chinese. The 1.1 update will finally add those localisations. We had to rewrite large portions of our UI code to make this happen and that's is why it took us a bit longer than originally anticipated. The two languages are currently being tested but as you can tell from the above shots, things are nearly there!

New Combat Skills
With 1.1 we're introducing a host of new combat skills to the game. These skills will introduce many new tactical options and will be used to accentuate characters more. Let's take a look at 3 of them:

Psychic Control: Use your psychic powers to temporarily confuse an enemy causing them to attack one of their allies. It's just mean, really.

Sucker Punch: A powerful blow that will push the enemy back. If used cleverly you can push the enemy into other enemies. Wonder what happens when you push an enemy into an explosive barrel?

Healing Shot: Shoot a healing projectile at one of your allies. Restores health slowly over the next few turns.

There are a lot more skills we're working on, but this little peek should give you an indication of what to expect!

More Combat Arenas

These shots show two of a whole bunch of new combat arenas we've added to the game. These new environments are part of a bigger rework of the events in the game (We'll talk more about this in another post). Our main goal with the work here has been to add more variety to the existing roster of events. In addition to this, we've also tweaked already existing combat arenas to make them more interesting.

Enemy Indicators

This new UI feature adds small indicators at the corner of the screen giving you a way to easily identify where enemies are outside of the current camera view. Just like when in view you can see their hitchance (and more) when pressing tab. This UI addition makes certain tactical decisions a lot easier. For example if you are moving with one of your snipers you can now easily identify whether you'll be able to attack a target even if outside the current view.

Important Note: If you've made it this far, it probably means you're interested in what we're doing with Pathway and we'd love your help: We're actively testing the 1.1 release internally with a handful of testers. If you're ok with bugs, unfinished things and experimental stuff we'd love your help in getting things ready for the update. We're also looking for people who can help us with the Japanese/Chinese localisation testing. The best way to get involved is to join our discord server and get in touch with one of the developers there!

Thanks for all your support!
Pathway - bach

Respec Skill Tree, Improved Dog Friendly mode and a new No Bloodshed mode make it into the latest build!

It's been a while since our last update, but we've got some goodies going into today's version! As mentioned in our previous devlog, our focus in general has shifted towards a bigger free update that we're releasing at the end of summer. We're making fantastic progress on this and we're putting together a blog post soon (next week) to talk about some of the things we're working on. We're still however adding new things to the game and fixing bugs. Thank you everyone for reporting issues and helping us improve the game!

So... what's new in today's build?

Respec Skill Tree

Often requested - We've added the ability respec skill trees. It currently is tied to an increasing cost and each subsequent respec is more expensive than the previous one. The current cost is balanced so that most players in the mid-to-late game won't have a problem respeccing characters a few times, but it does prevent the choices from being completely irrelevant. This behaviour may change again and we welcome feedback on this.

This respec option is only available during the team selection phase before you start on an adventure.

Improved Dog Friendly Mode

We always wanted to improve on our dog friendly mode and change some of the animations and graphics when fighting dogs. Dogs now also disappear into a parallel universe when they decide they've had enough of human silliness (as depicted above). This new improved mode also removes character prompts that are hurtful towards dogs.

As before, you can activate this in the options menu.

New No Bloodshed Mode

We understand that not everyone appreciates the bloodshed in the game. We ourselves wanted to be able to share this game with our kids and some of the depictions were just a bit too graphic for that. This mode removes all blood and gory parts in the game. Some of them get replaced and some of them are simply removed. You can see the difference in the sample above. The gameplay is in no way impacted by this.

Besides this things, there's a slew of bugfixes and improvements listed below.

We've got some extremely exciting things baking right now and we can't wait to share it with you soon. Stay tuned and thanks for playing! ːsteamhappyː

Full Changelog Version 1.0.13:
  • Added option to reset skill tree: It is now possible to reset the skill tree of a character during the setup phase before the adventure begins. There's a cost attached to it and every time you reset a character the cost increases exponentially. We may change/adapt how exactly all this works again in the future.
  • No Bloodshed option: When active, the game removes or replaces blood and gore. It changes nothing in terms of gameplay, but simply removes some elements of gore.
  • Improved Dog Friendly option: When active, the dog friendly mode now in addition to removing sfx also makes the dogs disappear rather then die. We've also disabled any character prompts that may be seen as hurtful towards dogs.
  • Characters can now be leveled-up during the adventure setup phase: You'll now notice a little level-up indicator on characters that haven't had their level up choices picked. You may level them up by accessing the skill tree in the skills tab.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the loading screen in the final encounter in Adventure III to hang.
  • Improved start-up loading time: Especially on older systems the initial start-up time of the game should be improved now.
  • Damage calculation has been slightly tweaked. In most situations this won't be noticeable, but in some circumstances it can lead to a slightly increased damage.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the Damage Preview for punching to be wrong
  • Fixed a bunch of UI issues that caused the journal to not get updated. Amongst other issues, it fixes the problem that level-up selections weren't reflected immediately on the stats and skills.
  • Fix a bug that allowed the punch to explode barrels at a distance.
  • Fix a bug that showed the Damage Preview for enemies out of range sometimes
  • Fixed a crash bug that could occur in rare situations after loading from save game
  • Ambushes are now also correctly invalidated by Grenade damage.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash due to the No Bloodshed option in some situations.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the XP indicator to still show when characters were at max level.
  • Fixed a bug in the skill tree of Donut/Fenris.
  • Fixed a bug in LeFantome's skill tree that caused a glitch in some situations
  • Fixed a bug that caused infected to die twice when being killed with a bleed and triggering an explosive barrel at the same time.

Pathway - bach

Preview branch receives Skill Tree respec option and a few words about our future update cycles.

Over the last month and a bit we've worked very hard at adding lots of Quality of Life features to Pathway as well as squishing tons of bugs. It made sense for us to release updates on a weekly basis during this time. The things we're working on now however are a bit more fundamental in their nature and take time. As our focus is now shifting more towards the bigger Summer update, we're not continuing the weekly patch updates and instead we will simply release when there is something significant to show.

Practically speaking this means less frequent updates but bigger ones when they do come around. We will continue to push updates to the preview branch on a regular basis.

We also have something exciting to share today: We just pushed a new build to the Preview Version of Pathway that includes an often requested feature: Respeccing Skill Trees.

Below is a full changelog of what's in the latest preview version.

Version 1.0.13p1 (Preview Version):
- Added option to reset skill tree: It is now possible to reset the skill tree of a character during the setup phase before the adventure begins. There's a cost attached to it and every time you reset a character the cost increases exponentially. We may change/adapt how exactly all this works again in the future.
- Characters can now be leveled-up during the adventure setup phase: You'll now notice a little level-up indicator on characters that haven't had their level up choices picked. You may level them up by accessing the skill tree in the skills tab.
- Fixed a bug in LeFantome's skill tree that caused a glitch in some situations
- Fixed a bug that caused infected to die twice when being killed with a bleed and triggering an explosive barrel at the same time.

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