Dec 20, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Qfasa


PUBLIC NOTICE:

"Our humble organization, the Merchant Guild of Rund, has been recently granted a trading license to operate in the region to the east of the Empire. Bordering with the Wild Lands, this area presents some of the greatest trading opportunities in the world: the demand for baubles among the savage dwellers is exceeded only by the supply of precious minerals, fruits and herbs that they have at their disposal.

We hereby invite anyone able and willing to join our expansion program by sending a postcard to the following address, with your return mailing address indicated:


The Merchant Guild of Rund
PO Box No. 481
Vilnius Post Office No. 7
Vilnius LT-01026, Lithuania


In return to each postcard received, we will mail out one (1) illustration from the Encyclopedia of Rund (edition no. 15, revised by A.D. Rageron), sent via regular post (disclaimer: delivery may take several weeks, depending on how far your region is from Rund). This offer is good until March 15, 2019.

Long live the Emperor, blessed be his Legion!
Strong and unwavering be the hand of the Inquisition!"


Dec 7, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Qfasa


In the previous issues of this blog, we’ve already discussed how Mage Suite, Living Quarters and Classroom work in the game; we also covered Workshop, Alchemic Studio and Kitchen. Today, we wanted to go over the remaining rooms: Library, Laboratory, Warehouse and Magic Energy’s Storage, but then decided to move this to another update, instead offering you a look at where we are today with the development process. We hope that you excuse such change of scheduled topic.

Now, where we are with the game and what is the hardest task at hand? For the last month, we’ve been doing a deep dive into user interface and user experience (UI/UX) across the whole game. This process is not yet over.

Some things are relatively straightforward: we look at the game mechanics that is already implemented in the code of the game, and then we find the most intuitive way to visualize it. For example, by now we already have rarity levels assigned to each inventory item in the game’s database; what was left to do was designing and drawing the specific looks for each rarity level.


Some things are much harder: once we started designing the Library interface, we faced the question of presenting to players dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of different books – each with different requirements and containing different amounts of knowledge.

Adding more complexity to this task, books also exist in a number of different states: from having different damage levels to being read/unread by a particular character (fully or partially) and to being related to one of the 14 possible subjects, possibly also with one of the 50 secondary skills.



As you can see, early interface of Library was rather confusing.

Considering that Library is just one aspect of the Spire (not to mention the exploration of the world outside), we felt that we cannot leave this as it were. No matter how we visualized the original mechanics, having a book that requires skill 50+ of Monstrology and yields knowledge in Hunting next to a book that requires skill 40+ of Literacy and skill 75+ of Battle Magic plus 100% knowledge of Ancient Tongue, was proving to be too much even for us, who spend every day looking at this game.



How many designs do we go through, for each room, before we are satisfied? On average, through about 30-40 versions. It is a painful process that requires patience and cannot be compromised.

And so, after some days of discussions, we re-worked the whole skill system across the entire game. Previously, skills could have had a value between 0 and 200. Now, every skill has just 15 levels. Progression between these levels requires experience (EXP), the higher you progress – the more EXP you need to move to the next level.

This change simplified a lot in terms of user interface, including the Library – which now has just 5 “shelves” for books, each shelf corresponding to specific skill levels. If your character’s Astrology skill is at level 10, then she can access shelves from 1 to 4. Once she progresses to skill level 12, she will be able to also access shelf 5 just as well.



Books are grouped by skill that they teach. Within each skill, there are 5 shelves. The higher the shelf, the higher the requirements to access it.

At the same time, we also unified secondary requirements: previously, some books would require Ancient Tongue, and some would not; and some books would additionally require advanced knowledge of Literacy.

Now this is easier to grasp: firstly, all books on each shelf have the same requirements. For example, every book on shelf 3 requires Literacy of level 6 or higher. If you can access one book on this shelf, you can also access all the others.

Secondly, now 25% of all the books on shelf 3 are written in Ancient Tongue; 50% of all books on shelf 4 are written in Ancient Tongue; and 75% of all books on shelf 5 are written in Ancient Tongue. This is also reflected on the covers of such books.


Books on shelves 3-5 can require knowledge of Ancient Tongue. The covers of such books are marked with the special symbol.

These sorts of rules do not impair our ability to generate re-playable, unique campaigns each time you run the game, while offering more structure to the experience.

In other words, in the process of constructing UI/UX for the game we not only want to “display the existing game mechanics”, but also to predict possible confusion of players, and to prevent such confusion by re-working the systems until they are easy enough to understand intuitively.

Our game already has dozens of systems that you will use in different ways to pursue different strategies to win the main campaign. Our goal is to immerse you in the gameplay and let you focus on making decisions, rather than on trying to figure just what the hell does “PRM! EXP 50 (100), DMG 25%, KWD LOSS 12.5%, REQ AT, REQ SKILL 120” mean :).

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Finally, as we progress with the UI/UX, we also progress with the animations of all the Rund’s dwellers, so here’s this week’s creature: Forest Cat. This animal lives in the forests (both regular and ancient), hunting for prey – and this prey also includes, sorry to say, your own disciples passing through the forest on their quests. If you are new to our blog and would like to know more about these (and some others) creatures of Rund, we covered them in our previous issues of this blog here and here.



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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ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːnotebookː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːnotebookː YouTube
Nov 27, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Qfasa


In the previous issue of this blog, we’ve already discussed how Mage Suite, Living Quarters and Classroom work in the game. Today, we take a look at Workshop, Alchemic Studio and Kitchen. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the development process.

Hideo Kojima (小島秀夫) recently compared the work of game designer to that of a chef at a restaurant, and we tend to agree. You pick the ingredients, you learn the techniques, and then – importantly! – you taste and adjust, before serving the dinner.



In a similar fashion, we started on Spire of Sorcery with certain strengths (our experience of releasing and operating Gremlins, Inc.) and a number of big ideas that we intended to mix together (defined in the game’s motto: “Teach. Explore. Survive.”).

As we moved forward with the production, certain mechanics were added to the mix, and certain were thrown out. Tactical battles? Out, because they would derail the experience. Books as a commodity, a source of knowledge and a possible loot? In, because they add a new layer on top of everything, from trading to learning and to exploration.

From a certain perspective, the whole process of development of Spire of Sorcery can be viewed as something like two thousand design decisions made in balance with each other, and then properly executed.



What does it mean for a character to be tired – in terms of game mechanics? What is the difference between a character who is simply “hungry” and a character who is “starving”? How does a poisoning reveal itself through external symptoms, and what does it take to discover the poison used – and then to find the cure?

Every day, we do our best to answer such questions, and then to execute the decisions at the highest level accessible to our team. Our artists scratch their heads looking for the best fitting icon to show “this character ate too much food and suffers negative consequences for it”. Our interface design team runs dozens of emulations of how players will access and use the Library in the game – to remove clutter and shorten the way for the most common actions.



Even I, the lowly writer of this development blog, go through 5 cups of osmanthus oolong tea (桂花乌龙茶) before I settle down on a specific topic, deleting the topics that are too boring or too complicated to expand upon (when you will eventually come across a boring blog post, please know that it is not because of my lack of trying, but because of my supply of this oolong running out!).

In the end, nothing that we do is “final”, because our ambition is not to cook a specific “soup” – but to cook a “soup” that would put a smile on your face. So, if today we say that every skill of a disciple remains hidden until an exam is undertaken, but during the beta test we discover that it causes a lot of unnecessary activity in the game – we will amend this mechanics in a blink of an eye. We want you to discover the world of Run, to teach and to explore, and to try to survive in the heart of the Wild Lands. And whatever adjustments it takes to make it a fun, engaging game, please rest assured that we are committed to make them – today and tomorrow, or during the closed beta test, or during the Early Access period… or even after the full release!



WORKSHOP

This is the room where your disciples (and your mage) use their skill of Artificing and the corresponding secondary skills.

Upgrades available:

Efficiency. Capacity.

Resources:

Here you access two groups of items: items from the Warehouse that are tagged as “raw materials” (for example, iron; wood; emeralds) and items from the Warehouse that are tagged as “damaged” (clothing, equipment, weapons).

Actions:

This is where you can make new things (for example, use tailoring – a secondary skill – to sew a new clothing set) and repair damaged things (for example, use blacksmithing – also a secondary skill – to repair a helmet).



ALCHEMIC STUDIO

This is the room where you disciples (and your mage) use their skill of Alchemy.

Upgrades available:

Efficiency. Capacity.

Resources:
Here you access two groups of items: items that are used as ingredients in alchemic recipes, grouped by their alchemic properties (there are 26 alchemic properties in the game, as discussed here); and alchemic items from the Warehouse that have been already previously produced (potions, powders, elixirs).

Actions:

This is where you can make use of the discovered (or purchased or found) alchemic recipes in order to combine several ingredients to produce a new item. Learning the recipes, discovering the properties of different items and mastering the skill of alchemy that allows to combine items and their properties in order to create new things, is a must in order to win the main campaign of the game.



KITCHEN

This is the room where disciples use the secondary skill of Cooking (it belongs to the primary skill of Alchemy).

Upgrades available:

Efficiency. Capacity.

Resources:

Here we see two groups of items: items tagged with “raw food” and “delicacy/exotic raw food”, which can be eaten raw right away or used in preparation of cooked food (we also see food tagged with “spices”, which is used in preparation of food but cannot be eaten raw on its own); and ready-to-eat food that has been bought/prepared before, and is currently stored in the Warehouse.



Information:

This room presents the data that is essential to proper management of the Spire: the amount of food currently in the storage; the amount of food produced in the last few days; and the amount of food actually consumed in the Spire in the last few days – as well as a prognosis as to how many days the Spire can survive using the existing supplies. The stats cover the days that have already passed because production and consumption depend on the individual disciples. For example, you may think that 10 disciples consume 30 rations per day, but with a few gluttons you may see that number climb up to 50, while if the cook is currently depressed, the production of rations will fall even below the nominal value.

Actions:

This is where your disciples cook food that is later stored in the Warehouse and consumed in the Mess Hall.

Policies:

Here you set what we call “the eating policy of the Spire”: in the Early Access version, you are able to mark certain types of food as “off limits” for disciples (for example, prohibiting the eating of Travel Rations as you save them for parties of explorers). Later on, once Mess Hall is added to the game, we expect to detail the eating policy into creating groups of disciples with different access rights (for example, you may allow the Inner Circle of your disciples to eat Ideal Rations and Diet Rations, while the Outer Circle will munch on Magic Porridge and Regular Rations).



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That’s it for today! In the next issue of the blog we’ll talk about the remaining rooms from the Early Access version: Laboratory, Library, Warehouse and Magic Energy’s Storage. As always, for updates on work in progress, please check the game’s official Discord server.

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ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːnotebookː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːnotebookː YouTube
Nov 16, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Qfasa


It’s been a while since we last spoke about the Spire itself – the different rooms, and their purposes. Over the last two weeks, this part of the game has been in our focus as we continue to implement different layers of game mechanics. Today, we’d like to bring you up to date to where we are, in terms of our current plans for this part of the game.

But before we dive in, we’d like to explain the approach of “scoping” that we apply in our development efforts.

There’s the old truth that “one can never really finish a book; one can only stop working on it”. True to this saying, we still regularly add new content and new features to our previous game Gremlins, Inc. that we released over three years ago: as long as we have time, we will continue to develop it further.

With a game like Spire of Sorcery, it’s the same story – the list of possible features and content is nearly endless. This presents a certain risk: as our plans become more ambitious, our release date may be pushed further and further; and this is where “scoping” saves us.

Whenever we talk about a particular part of the game, we never plan for “the final version”; rather, we plan only for the next stage – the Early Access version that we expect to launch in a few months. And when we plan, we ask ourselves three questions:
  • Is this feature within the scope of the current part of the trilogy that we develop?
  • Is this feature really necessary for the next stage of the game?
  • Is there a way to make it in a simpler way at first?
Thus, for example, when we considered the opportunity to send and to receive gifts – including some that would be threatening or cursed – we all agreed that it’s a great fit for the next part in the series, where politics and interaction with other Spires is at the core.

And when we recently reviewed trading as a feature, we decided to move it to the “after Early Access” stage, because you can already finish the current main campaign without it.

Finally, when we went through the mechanics of healing, we saw that we can release in Early Access even without a dedicated Hospital room in the Spire, starting at first with a simplified healing mechanics.

We hope that this explanation helps you to better understand our approach to development. We like to move in small steps, and we plan our work around the goal of releasing in Early Access as soon as we can. Who knows, what extra features Spire of Sorcery will have one year after launch? We prefer avoid distractions by staying focused on features and content that are absolutely critical to reach the next stage as early as we can, and then we’ll see!



And now, let’s talk about the rooms:

THE STRUCTURE

Throughout the game, you make a lot of decisions in different areas. Setting aside quests (that unfold beyond the walls of the Spire), there’s research, magic, alchemy and other areas that require your attention in order to advance the main campaign.

All the actions that belong to the same area, are organized as one “room” section – a separate part of the game’s interface that offers information, upgrade options and tasks to manage. Each such room offers you a particular perspective into the current state of your Spire, exposing problems and presenting opportunities.


BUILDING ROOMS AND ARRANGING ITEMS INSIDE OF THEM

Earlier in this blog, we shared our vision about building rooms and then arranging items inside of them: rather than add “5 efficiency” to a Library, we eventually want you to produce or acquire an actual candle-holder, and then to place it into the actual room, seeing it lit up as its efficiency increases.

Recently, we decided to push this feature back to the period after the Early Access launch: while this part of the game promises to be fun, the underlying mechanics can be done in a more basic form, helping us to release the game in Early Access earlier.

At the time of the Early Access launch, you are able to spend resources and magic energy on improving efficiency of rooms as well as their capacity – in a rather straightforward manner.

Then, at some point after the Early Access launch, we plan to add the opportunity to build the actual rooms. Thus, you will be able to have several rooms of the same type and manage these rooms separately. For example, you may want to have a small Library with very high efficiency – reserved for selected few among your disciples; and a larger Library for everyone else. As for now, we mark this advanced feature as being “out of scope” for the Early Access launch.



THE SCOPE

Overall, our game designer’s vision calls for 24 different rooms in the Spire. We plan to have 10 of the rooms available at the time of the Early Access launch, with the further 14 added along the way with major updates between the Early Access and the full release versions (plus the option to upgrade the Spire’s defense).

Rooms that we plan to finish before we launch in Early Access:
  • Mage Suite
  • Living Quarters

  • Classroom
  • Library

  • Laboratory

  • Workshop
  • Alchemic Studio
  • Kitchen

  • Warehouse
  • Magic Energy Storage
Rooms that we plan to add after we launch in Early Access:
  • Mess Hall
  • Hospital
  • Prison
  • Meditation Room
  • Game Room

  • Practice Hall

  • Observatory
  • Glasshouse
  • Cavern
  • Kennels

  • Treasury
  • Portal

  • Distorted Room
  • Slumber Chamber
In the same period we plan to add the option to manage the defense of the Spire (by building a moat, erecting a watchtower, adding animals and creatures outside the walls, etc.).



Let’s look at the first 3 rooms that we currently work on:

MAGE SUITE

This is the room where your mage works from.

Upgrades available:

Efficiency.

Because there can be only one mage in the Spire, there is no opportunity to increase the capacity of this room (even though I, personally, still hope that at some point we will be able to add the space for mage’s familiar creature).

Information:

(1) biographies of every disciple as revealed in interviews upon their arrival;

(2) personal notes that players can make about every disciple (for example, writing down suspicions of possible traits or skills);

(3) personal event logs of every disciple i.e. the short history of everything that happened to this character since their arrival to the Spire.

Actions:

This is where your mage can perform magic rituals.

Policies:

(1) this is where you establish the Traditions of the Spire (a set of rules that apply to all disciples, such as whether they wear uniforms or not, whether they must give up all of their personal inventory items to the Spire upon arrival, and so on);

(2) this is where you set the mage’s personal and the Spire’s overall daily schedules.


LIVING QUARTERS

This is the room where disciples spend their time off.

Upgrades available:

Efficiency. Capacity.

Capacity of Living Quarters defines the number of disciples who can sleep comfortably in their beds. Any disciples whom you accept above that capacity will have to sleep on the floors until you expand the room further, which will affect their rest negatively.

As to efficiency, this determines how well do they rest while they sleep.

Resources:

Each disciple has their own “personal chest” with their private inventory. These chests are separate from the Spire’s main Warehouse. This screen also includes your own, mage’s, personal chest.

Actions:

This is where you can transfer inventory between the Spire’s Warehouse and personal chests of different characters, giving gifts or taking things away from specific disciples.

This is also where can expel disciples from the Spire.

Policies:

This is where you define the rules of what happens to personal items of characters that die or disappear. It may sound like a small matter, but it actually matters a lot to some your disciples, whether their chests will be “buried with them” or “looted by their peers”.


CLASSROOM

This is the room where disciples study. This is also where you examine disciples when you want to invest time and effort into uncovering their skill values.

Upgrades available:

Efficiency. Capacity.

Actions:

This is where you can assign the roles of teachers and students to various disciples.

To be effective as teachers, characters need a fully developed secondary skill of Teaching (it belongs to the primary skill of Social Magic) as well as a high level of the specific skill in which they plan to teach.

As to students, their progress is determined by their interest in the skill being taught (as you may recall, we have 5 levels of interest: from “very much interested” down to “very much not interested”) as well as their learning disposition for the particular skill (which is a value based on two primary stats responsible for this skill).



That’s it for today! In the next issue of the blog we’ll talk about Workshop, Alchemic Studio and Kitchen. As always, for updates on work in progress, please check the game’s official Discord server.

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ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːnotebookː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːnotebookː YouTube
Nov 8, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Qfasa


Another week, another issue of development diary. Are you having fun reading about our studio’s development process – or do you enjoy only the information about the game itself? Please let us know in the comments!

For example, today we can talk about how many people work on Spire of Sorcery. Of the full-time developers, we are 7 people and 1 dog. 2 more people work on specific assets outside of the studio (sound effects and inventory art), and 5 translation teams help us prepare the release internationally (based in Japan, China, Korea, Germany and France).

Among the core team, only one of us has a simple role: Daisy the Shetland Sheepdog. She doesn’t comment on art, she doesn’t write blogs and she doesn’t animate creatures. Rather, she is fully focused on helping the rest of the team feel good, going around the office asking for belly rubs.



The rest of the crew wears multiple hats. Monika draws, animates and manages localizations, plus directs music and sound effects. Andrey writes codes, designs user interfaces and draws. Rita provides art direction as well as creates most of the concept art. Sergey helps with game design and handles community work. Paul writes tools and the core code. Alexey handles everything related to game design, and also writes lots of code. The other Sergei produces the game, runs the studio and covers communication.

In pretty much every aspect of the game, you can see the contribution of each of us. Sometimes one of us begins with the sketch, and another finishes with full-color art. Other times one of us flashes out a design idea, then others finalize the details. It is nearly impossible to find something which is not the result of the collective effort. To us, such close collaboration is the magic that makes us able to produce a rather complex game with a fairly small headcount of the studio.

And speaking of magic, today’s topic is: magic skills, magic spells and magic rituals.


MAGIC SKILLS

Out of the total of 13 character skills in the game, 5 skills deal with magic:
  • Battle Magic
  • Travel Magic
  • Domestic Magic
  • Social Magic
  • Concentration


Battle Magic is about causing direct damage to others: hitting one opponent, or a whole party, with a variety of means, from small-time to absolutely deadly. Battle Magic also includes spells that summon demons and other helpful allies.

Travel Magic is about improving one’s life on the go: increasing speed of travel, being better at pathfinding, casting temporary bridges to cross rivers at any point, controlling weather, protecting parties from mosquitos and other inconvenient environmental factors specific to certain biomes – all the way up to protection against Chaos, which is a must if you want to enter the Distorted Lands and come back alive.

Domestic Magic is about repairs, cleaning, conservation, pest control and, finally, construction (which will not be available in the Early Access version, though, as we plan to add construction mechanics only after the Early Access release).

Social Magic is about affecting the minds of others: temporarily blocking the feeling of pain, casting illusions, changing likes and dislikes, making people trust you without any grounds to do so, and so on.

Finally, Concentration is what you could call “pure magic”: it deals with magic energy, from controlling a new Source of power to accepting new disciples into the Spire, extracting magic energy from obelisks and idols and similar.

SPELLS

Spells are cast momentarily and can have either immediate (one-shot) or temporary (several hours) effect.

For example, a spell that opens a loot chest is immediate: BAM!! The chest is open. Or, WHOOSH! The magic bread is created.

A spell that hides one’s party in a cloud of fog is temporary: BOOM! For a few hours, the party of explorers remains hidden, then the effect fades away. Or, HISS! Wounded character’s pain goes away – for a while; once the spell’s effect dissolves, the pain returns.

Most of the spells are cast by your disciples based on their own decisions, while they are away on expeditions – or while they’re performing complex tasks in the Spire. Some spells you will cast through using your own mage character – probably, the most powerful ones that require the highest level of skills.

Casting spells requires one-time expenditure of magic energy. There is no need for additional energy later on.



RITUALS

Rituals take time to execute – from one hour and upwards.

Performing rituals requires one-time expenditure of magic energy, which is sometimes followed by the requirement to continue spending energy regularly in order to support their effects (but not always).

Some rituals have permanent effects, and some – effects that last as long as they are being supported. For example, the Call of the Spire that attracts new disciples to the Spire is a typical ritual: it requires a constant expenditure of magic energy in order to keep it going.

Some magic actions can be done both as a spell and as a ritual. One can summon a demon during a battle, which would cost a one-time energy spend and cause the creature to appear for a limited period of time; or one can summon a golem or an undead back home, to add it to the transport or defense systems of the Spire itself – which would cost a one-time spend, as well as require continued expenditure of energy in order to support the creature’s very existence.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CAST SPELLS OR PERFORM RITUALS?

Spells and rituals require magic energy.

If you don’t have the required energy, you can still cast/perform them – driving your current HEALTH character stat down. With younger disciples, HEALTH may be later restored. With the mage character, this is much less likely, and thus such “borrowing” of the energy costs dearly.

Some spells and rituals also require special ingredients. Like with recipes, the requirements do not concern specific items, but rather alchemic properties, so if a ritual requires an item with the property of “Chaos”, any item with such property will do.

The requirement of ingredients is not obligatory, however: if you don’t have them, you can replace them with an additional amount of magic energy.



HOW DO YOU LEARN SPELLS AND RITUALS?

Spells and rituals are “special knowledge” items – just like recipes in Alchemy, or specific creatures in Monstrology.

Once anyone in the Spire learns a special knowledge, it becomes accessible to everyone whose skill level allows them to use it.

Spells and rituals can be found in scrolls and books. They can also be discovered during research in the laboratory.

WHAT CAN YOU FOCUS ON, WHEN CASTING?

When casting spells or performing rituals, you can focus on:
  • A character
  • A whole party
  • An item
  • A location
  • A specific room in the Spire (when construction mechanics is introduced)
CHANCES OF FAILURE

If one’s level of Theory in a particular skill allows access to the special knowledge that contains specific spell or ritual, those can be attempted. The lower the Practice in the skill, the higher the chance of failure.

Some failures are harmless (say, you create an ideal food ration, but end up with spoiled food ration instead); and some failures are very risky (say, you try to lift a spell off a chest, but end up releasing a curse on the whole Spire).



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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ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːnotebookː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːnotebookː YouTube
Oct 31, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Qfasa


Just a few weeks ago, we basked in the sun on our studio’s terrace. Today, dressed in autumn sweaters, we’re looking at the rain and wind that rage in the garden outside.

With the change of seasons, things change outside the studio – and things change inside. Earlier, each of us worked mostly alone, focused on one specific issue at a time. Now, we touch upon multiple aspects of the game in one go, mostly working as a team that’s tightly strung together by instant communication.

This week in particular, several systems are coming together: magic spells and magic rituals; visual design for rarity levels of items and item stacks; visual design for alchemic properties; and interface design for quest log and character information screens. That’s dozens of revisions for each topic, and a lot of comments to process!



ASSIGNING QUESTS AND TASKS

As you may recall, the majority of your mage’s time is spent assigning and reviewing “quests” and “tasks”.

Quests are what happens outside of the Spire – for example, when you equip and send parties to explore ruins in the swamps or harvest fluter’s wings in the Distorted Lands.

Tasks are what happens inside the Spire – for example, when you assign someone to cook diet food rations, or teach another disciple in a specific skill.

Both quests and tasks can be assigned for time and/or for specific goals. For example, “spend one month exploring ruins” – or “explore ruins until they are fully explored”.

This allows for flexible management of your disciples and parties of explorers.

Sometimes, you will want your disciples to produce exactly 100 food rations before a large party is sent off; and sometimes, you will want your disciples to produce food rations on a daily basis, using a part of their worktime.


QUEST PROGRESS

When you send a party on a quest, you are able to follow their progress on the global map – but you are not able to micro-manage an expedition that is currently in progress. This is a key point of the game.

While on a quest, characters may fall ill, or even die. While you will not know the exact events that befall the expedition in progress, you will immediately see the change in the party’s icon on the global map. If the party suffers casualties, the icon starts to pulse, then fade.

While on a quest, characters may also experience ordinary and extraordinary events. Say, you send someone to the swamps to harvest raw material, but before reaching the location, they encounter a party of adventurers. Or, perhaps, they come across a corpse and access new loot. While you will not see the details of such events at that time, you will immediately see the event icons that correspond to the type of event experienced.



QUEST REPORT

The end result of a quest is the Quest Report, presented by the party upon return to the Spire. If the whole party dies while on a quest, their Quest Report can be retrieved by another expedition from the place of death of their last member.

As we started to work on this part of the game’s interface, we put in place some additional mechanics that you should find helpful:

Firstly, there’s the timeline that you can use to navigate the report. Perhaps you don’t have time to read everything and want to just sort through the most important events – such as death of characters, or new discoveries on the global map.

Then, there’s the global map highlight, showing you the part of the world where the particular event being reported has happened. This adds context and helps to build a more detailed picture of the world in your mind as you read through the reports.

Finally, there’s the personal reactions of your characters to the events that unroll.



PERSONAL REACTIONS

As each disciple is a character with their own stats, traits and mood, two different characters would normally view the same situation differently. An old abandoned chest found in catacombs is a promise of great loot for one (trait: brave, state: happiness) and a source of fear for another (trait: cautious, state: depression).

Most events in quest reports feature a personal reaction of one of the characters in the party. The particular phrase is affected by the character’s stats, state and traits. Such reactions are meant to provide a certain insight into the character’s personality – even when you don’t know yet anything at all about that character.

At the same time, there’s no direct correlation between specific values and specific phrases, but rather a general connection between the character’s overall personality and the probability of seeing a specific reaction. So, while you will develop some ideas about your disciples, you will not be able to search the game’s Wiki for a particular phrase in order to confirm a particular corresponding trait.


INVENTORY ITEMS – RARITY LEVELS

While we’re talking about quests, we wanted to share with you the current version of how we show different levels of rarity for inventory items. After going through over 20 different versions, we arrived at this:



INVENTORY ITEMS – CONDITIONS AND STACKING

Another practical matter that we want to share with you is the solution for displaying different damage levels, which also affects stacking.

All inventory items are in one of the following conditions:
  • New (76-100%)
  • Damaged (51-75%)
  • Heavily Damaged (26-50%)
  • Almost Destroyed (1-25%)
When item is damaged beyond “Almost Destroyed”, it disappears (whether it’s a food ration or a sword). Identical items with the same condition are stacked together, and the exact percentage of their damage is not shown.



COMMUNITY FEEDBACK ON LOCALIZATION

Even though Spire of Sorcery is not yet available to the general public, we already started to translate the game into different languages – and collect community feedback on such localizations.

Today we’d like to thank ːnotebookːStandard of Ur, ːnotebookːImpsuley and ːnotebookːnsk for their detailed comments and comprehensive review of the Japanese translation of the game’s core terms. We’re very grateful for the chance to work together with the community on improving the accuracy of our professional translations ahead of the game’s release! (if you would like to get involved with this project, please join us on the game’s official Discord server).



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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.

–––



ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːnotebookː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːnotebookː YouTube
Oct 19, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Qfasa


WHEN WILL THE GAME COME OUT?

One of the rules of this dev blog that we established early on is to write only about content and features that are already designed. On one hand, this saves us time: everything that you see here has been created in the course of regular production. On another, this guarantees you full insight into our development process: everything that you read about, is real. We write about what is “done”, and not about what we only “hope to do”.

Today, for example, you will read about books – because we just added this mechanic to the game. We very much would like to avoid the risk of over-promising. If you will decide to buy this game, you should do this on the basis of what this game is and not what we hope it will be. If you will be in any doubt, you should not purchase the game because we definitely do not want you to be unhappy with the purchase.

Sometimes people ask us on Discord if they can “destroy the capital of Empire” or “command an army of a thousand flying demons” and we are always quick to answer: “No”. Rather, we will give you a game where you will teach disciples and explore the dangerous world of Rund, trying to survive in the depth of the Wild Lands by magic and alchemy.

Over the last few weeks, we received a lot of questions about the expected release date of the game. While we don’t have a specific date for you, we are trying to be fully transparent in regard to our development progress. We don’t give you any promises, but neither do we hold any secrets from you. Developing games – if you focus on quality – is an unpredictable occupation. There are already 36,000 people on Steam who wishlisted the game. This means a lot of responsibility for us not to disappoint them with the product when it comes out!

Please think of us, and of this dev blog, as of a restaurant with an open kitchen. You can observe us implementing alchemic properties and moving on to add books, then proceeding to the system of special knowledge, and so on. In a few weeks, once we are done with updating user interface, you will start seeing screenshots from the updated version of the game; and then one of these weeks we will write: “Please get ready for the closed beta to begin soon!

When? We don’t know yet! But through this blog, you can see us getting closer and closer to that moment, without any secrets from you.



And now let’s dive into today’s topic –

WHY DO YOU NEED BOOKS?

In the world of Rund, books serve two purposes:

Reading fiction improves character’s mood, and sometimes provides snippets of extra knowledge (for example, reading about the adventures of a famous hunter may give you additional experience in monstrology). These books can also open new locations on the map of the world (for example, reading about the famous explorer of the Wild Lands may reveal quite a lot of waypoints in that part of the world).

Reading non-fiction yields special knowledge related to the topic of the book (topics are organized by skill). These books also increase character’s Theory experience in that skill. Reading books is not as effective in increasing one’s skill as attending lessons, but reading books has another advantage: there is no need to have a teacher. Which is especially important for developing your mage character, because no other disciples can teach him/her (the skills of the mage are so much more advanced than theirs).

And whether you read fiction or non-fiction, any such reading also improves character’s Literacy skill.



WHERE DO YOU KEEP BOOKS?

Most books are kept at the library of the Spire and can be accessed by every disciple.

Some books may be privately owned by specific disciples (for example, if they bring them when they arrive to the Spire; or if they find them during an expedition and decide to keep them; or if somebody gifts these books to them for private use).

HOW DO YOU OBTAIN BOOKS?

You can find books as a part of the loot (this is the most common source, especially for rare and ancient books).

You can buy books in cities and towns. But not all the books are widely available on the market – each book belongs to one of these three groups:
  • Open circulation
  • Restricted
  • Prohibited
Open circulation books can be bought in a regular book shop. Restricted books can be found in the shops of underground booksellers. If these are found by the Inquisition, they are confiscated, and owner is fined. Prohibited book are nearly impossible to find for sale. If these are found, they are confiscated, and owner is jailed.

Sometimes, you can trade books with non-human dwellers – in the rare cases when they kept some from the ancient times.



CAN YOU COPY BOOKS?

Yes, characters with the required level of Literacy skill can copy books.

CAN YOU WRITE NEW BOOKS?

Yes. Disciples with advanced skill of Literacy (as well as your mage) can write new books on their own (both fiction and non-fiction).

HOW LONG DO THE BOOKS LAST?

Books are damaged by use. The exact damage depends on the perks of the reader: some characters are very tidy, and cause only minimal damage; and some are horrible in that regard. The more damaged is the book, the less experience they provide. Eventually, a book can be completely destroyed through use.

WHAT DOES A CHARACTER NEED IN ORDER TO READ A BOOK?

Each book has its own requirement as to the minimum level of Literacy skill to be accessible. It is quite common that lower-skilled disciples are unable to access some of the advanced books in the Spire’s library.

Non-fiction books specific to particular skills may also require a minimum level of certain skill to be accessible. For example, to explore a book dedicated to top-level Healing, its reader must already possess significant skill to begin with.



HOW DO YOU READ A BOOK?

For the books that contain special knowledge or location items, reading such books for the first time unlocks these items for the whole Spire.

Each book takes a certain time to complete. The more knowledge items it contains, the longer it takes to read. Each character can read each book only once. Each character remembers their progress for each book (so if you ask them to get back to the book they already started reading before, they will continue from the point where they stopped the last time).

At this moment, it takes the same amount of time to read through the book regardless of who is reading it. Perhaps at some point after Early Access release, we will adjust this so that slow characters read slower and fast characters read faster (“slow” and “fast” are both character traits) – no promises, though.

LANGUAGES

Most books are written in the modern language of Rund.

Some, though – especially the most advanced among the prohibited – are written in the ancient pre-human High Tongue. To be able to read such books, characters must unlock the relevant secondary skill in the family of Literacy.



ACCESSIBILITY LEVELS OF BOOKS

Books have 4 levels of accessibility (and each group has a different inventory icon):
  • Simple – these require the basic Literacy
  • Regular – these require medium level of Literacy
  • Advanced – these require high level of Literacy as well as medium level of skill that this book is dedicated to
  • Exceptional – these require high levels of both Literacy skill specific skill that the book covers



SCROLLS

In addition to books, there are also scrolls in the game.

Unlike books, scrolls don’t require time to read them.

Each scroll contains just one piece of knowledge (for example, one spell; or one alchemic recipe; or description of one new location on the map) and can be used only one time. Once you read a scroll, the knowledge is spread among the whole Spire.

ACCESSIBILITY LEVELS OF SCROLLS

Scrolls have 3 levels of accessibility:
  • Notes – simple scroll that any literate character can read
  • Scrolls – writing that requires significant literacy
  • Ancient Manuscripts – scrolls that require significant literacy as well as the secondary skill of High Tongue



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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.

–––



ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːnotebookː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːnotebookː YouTube
Oct 11, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Qfasa


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.



–––

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

–––



ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːnotebookː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːnotebookː YouTube
Oct 4, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Sergei Klimov


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/

–––



ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator (Steam)
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːnotebookː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːnotebookː YouTube
Sep 20, 2018
Spire of Sorcery - Sergei Klimov


It’s another busy week here at Charlie Oscar. Our game designer is somewhere on the beach, playing board games; and our front-end developer is somewhere in the mountains, logging online from time to time in order to play Factorio in the afternoons.

Some years ago, this would be a cause of concern for us: why isn’t everyone crunching in the office, spending weekends over takeaway pizzas? But following the release and the subsequent stream of constant updates of Gremlins, Inc., we know better: to release Spire of Sorcery in a state that most of you will find fun to play, we cannot afford to be so tired as to miss the great ideas that always seem to come precisely on the last stretch of the game’s production.

Thus, we try hard to avoid any sort of drama at this stage. Like good architects, we cannot sign off on the blueprints just because it’s been a long week, and we simply want to go home. So, in the mornings, we drink sencha. And in the afternoons, we switch to oolong. And when this is still not enough, we go get coffee. With soya milk. Because drinking plain espressos is reserved for the post-release week of quick fixes =).




LET’S TALK ABOUT ALCHEMY!

This week let’s talk about another game mechanic that we recently balanced in the game: that of the skill of Alchemy. But first, let’s remember the three groups of skills that each character has:
  • Concentration
  • Domestic Magic
  • Social Magic
  • Travel Magic
  • Battle Magic
  • Literacy
  • Alchemy
  • Healing
  • Astrology
  • Artificing
  • Herbalism
  • Geology
  • Monstrology
Alchemy is the skill that allows characters to prepare potions, ointments and powders; and through the associated secondary skill – Cooking – it also allows characters to prepare food.


YOU SAID “COOKING”?

Yes, cooking food in the world of Rund belongs to the realm of Alchemy, as it involves transformation of items. For example, taking “fish” and “salt”, and making “travel rations” for the party that you’re about to send on a long trip to the Distorted Lands.




WHAT ARE THE SECONDARY SKILLS?

In Spire of Sorcery, most skills have associated secondary skills that are focused on specific areas of application. For example, the skill of Monstrology has such secondary skills as Hunting and Fishing; and the skill of Social Magic has such secondary skill as Streetwise.

Unlike the main skills, secondary skills don’t have a visible progress bar and are not mandatory. Where Alchemy would have a specific value, such as “50” or “150”, secondary skills like Cooking are either “known” or “unknown” to a character.

And where a character with Monstrology at 0 is simply unable to perform any tasks that rely on this skill, secondary skills are not required in order to undertake relevant activities: you can still send a disciple to hunt, even if such disciple doesn’t have “hunting” unlocked yet; it’s just that having unlocked specific secondary skills, characters receive a bonus to the success rate of such activities.


HOW CAN CHARACTERS LEARN A SECONDARY SKILL?

Characters can unlock secondary skills by:
  • Reading books that teach them (for example, the widely acknowledged fifth edition of “The Traditions of Rund” that provides a brilliant introduction to the basics of cooking, among other instructions);

  • Attending classes where more experienced characters use their teaching skill to improve the specific skills of students;

  • Practicing the relevant activity (for example, applying the character’s Monstrology skill to hunting to eventually unlock Hunting as the associated secondary skill).

INGREDIENTS AND RECIPES

Now, let’s say that one of your disciples made you proud by advancing her skill of Alchemy, and you’d like to start producing all sorts of potions and powders with her help.

To start with this, you will need two more things –
  • Recipes
  • Ingredients



RECIPES

Recipes list the properties of ingredients that are required to produce the desired item. We currently think that once you will discover a recipe, it will remain accessible to you in every subsequent campaign.

Yes, you’ve got that right: we think that once you know how to make, say, a burning ointment, you should be able to carry that knowledge into your next main campaign without having to re-discover the same thing from scratch. And this is possible because recipes don’t change between campaigns.

For example, a burning ointment’s recipe may say: x1 burning, x1 poison, x1 depressant. Normally, the same property can be found in different items in the world of Rund, so you’re not limited to having to find a specific item; rather, you’ll be looking for whatever is already accessible to you, that has the required property.

Recipes can come from books (which you may find, or purchase) as well as through discovery in the Spire’s laboratory (which requires a character with certain skill level to spend a certain time with a focus on a specific area).




INGREDIENTS

Ingredients are the items that you may collect or purchase in the world of Rund and use in the Spire. This includes animals and non-humans, plants and minerals. At the start of each campaign, when the world is generated from scratch, different items get assigned different properties based on their “property slots”.

For example, mandragora has 3 property slots: one common, one uncommon and one rare. And while in one campaign this may result in it being sweet (common property), sleep-inducing (uncommon property) and life-boosting (rare property), in the next campaign these properties will roll differently.




HOW DO YOU DISCOVER ITEM PROPERTIES?

Each item in the game has three layers of knowledge:
  • You know about the item in general (name)
  • You know what the item looks like (picture), and where it can be found (source)
  • You have full knowledge of the item’s effects and properties
For example, from the start of every campaign you will have pages in the encyclopedia that are dedicated to such common items as berries, mushrooms, rats, crawlers and, say, iron and copper.

For some of such items, you will also already know how they look and in which biomes they can be found.

To obtain full knowledge, however – to learn item’s effects and properties – you will need to bring a sample back to the Spire, and research it in the laboratory; or to find a book that yields the same knowledge.

As to the rare items – for example, dark dew, hot ice or bone creatures – initially you won’t even know that such things exists; and will need to encounter them before you can begin your research into their properties.




FINDING OR BUYING?

Finally, all the products of Alchemy – potions, ointment, powders and food – can be bought and sold, if you find a willing party out there in the world (some of the items are illegal, and to sell or buy these you will need to find the right contact first); you will also have a chance to find such items as you explore Rund.

If you buy a potion, it already comes with the instructions on how to use it. And if you find a potion, you will have to perform some research before you understand what it is and how to use it.



–––

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

–––



ːsummer_magicː Spire of Sorcery – Character Generator
ːsummer_magicː Official Discord server
ːsummer_magicː Twitter (game updates)
ːsummer_magicː Facebook (game updates)



ːmaliceː Official Discord server
ːmaliceː Twitter (game updates)
ːmaliceː Facebook (game updates)
ːmusicː Original Soundtrack on Spotify



ːnotebookː Twitter (studio news)
ːnotebookː Facebook (studio news)
ːhypnoheartː "Behind the scenes" Instagram
ːfireappleː YouTube
...

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