Feral Blue — Devblog #2

May 17, 2018  |  Blood & Gold, Feral Blue  |  1 Comment

Hi everyone,

Today we’re continuing with the general gameplay overview of Feral Blue.

Boarding

We are quite content with what we managed to achieve with boarding in ‘Blood & Gold: Caribbean!‘. So we’ll try to so something similar in Feral Blue: fencing is not too simple, not too complex (a few types of strikes and parries), you can shoot and can get shot yourself (for more adrenaline). Most likely, the boarding tactics will differ from ship to ship (and different crews), so fights could turn into massacre or someone might lock themselves in cargo hold and ambush you with spears (we remind, powder is in short supply).

fb2_1

Economic system

The main productive forces of this world are concentrated on the islands — every suitable piece of land is either plowed or planted with trees. Wood is the new oil, so without it there will be no ships and civilization will perish.

Not everybody could get themselves an island, however it can be bought — for example, from resident of the Andes. So some tribes are focused forests, pigs, slaves, wheat and other useful resources on these floating bases.

Finally, there are also sailing towns that have become the main trading centers in this world.

You trade with water. If wood is oil, then water is gold here.

fb2_2

Politics

Each major faction pursues its own goals. Players can create their own ‘faction’, if all goes well — or build a career by enrolling in one of the other larger ones. This is where we use our experience from Blood & Gold and, partly, Mount & Blade.

So this is our general vision for the project. As you know, game development is very unpredictable and something can go wrong at any moment. But after a good number of missteps in Blood & Gold, we hope our second try in making a game with the naval theme will go smoother.

Eador. Imperium — Balance feedback

May 15, 2018  |  Eador, Эадор  |  8 Comments

Hi everyone,

We’re very grateful to everyone who shared their ideas on unit balancing with us. Admittedly, the current balance is by no means perfect and it needs some work — on the other hand, looking for some imba-combination could be a separate game on its own. There’s also a third side to this — what’s too powerful in one hands can be near useless in others. The debate over which hero is too easy (Sentinel or Warrior) is a good example of that.

By the way, before this whole discussion we saw some topics where people were unhappy with Legate (too many high-ranked units = too easy), with Scout (ranged attacks are too powerful) and even with Sorceress (too many spells). It seems that the heroes are in a pretty good place balance-wise (or you’re too good with them).

prepareyourbalance

So what are we planning to do after reading your comments:

– We’ll change the Sentinel a bit — most likely take his ‘Tireless’ ability away.
– Do something about the archers — not sure what exactly yet, but we do agree: at the moment they are one of the least useful units.
– Buff crossbowmen — they are a bit too expensive and a bit too useless.
– Rework the Mercenary guild — so that the Fire Giant wouldn’t be so easily accessible.

A few more comments on your comments:

– Lizardman Turtleback is supposed to be powerful — it can only be obtained by upgrading your unit, can’t be simply hired, doesn’t bring any bonuses for alliance with the lizardmen. So we think his strength is fair.

– Flagellant doesn’t compare to Barbarian in brute force. But as a neutral and as a means of fighting magic — it’s all fine.

– Important thoughts from user NQ — we have to consider the difference between initial and upgraded units. It’s a very thin ice: the whole system can be easily broken. Which is not perfect, but it works. Would it be interesting to upgrade units, if the new benefits are too weak?

In general, we think it’s worth trying to change some things in the way you can get non-castle units. Perhaps, this will bring major differences. Also, please don’t write off ‘usual’ players — there are non-vocal people who honestly think the game is too brutally difficult. So, for example, nerfing Engineer would turn their story campaign into nightmare.

Thanks again to everyone who shared their thoughts — we’ll see what we can do.

Feral Blue — Devblog #1

May 10, 2018  |  Blood & Gold, Feral Blue  |  No Comments

Hi everyone,

Today we’re sharing our first development diary about Feral Blue — our first game based on Unreal Engine 4.

Let’s start with the general overview of the project — what it’s all about. We’ll describe the game’s basic elements, but in a very short manner, so that it doesn’t turn into a design document. Feel free to ask any question in the comments, we’ll give an answer to everything.

Setting / Game’s world

Plane Earth turned into a water world, almost like in the movie of the same name (well worth watching by the way, Dennis Hopper play a villain in Waterworld masterfully). Games and films have taught us that an apocalypse, whether it’s climatic, nuclear or pandemic, can happen right now or in the future. Which is weird, because in the past people basically lived during post-apocalypse. We advice reading about Late Bronze Age collapse — it’s almost like Fallout, but in the age of pharaohs.

feralblue_2

But we decided no to go that far and have out catastrophe set in the era of Louis XIV and the Anglo-Dutch wars: that’s when the Second Flood happened. Versailles and London are the bottom of the sea, but the technological achievements helped survive a small part of European population. Mountain systems, such as the Himalayas, the Alps or Tibet, saves the inhabitants from eternal sailing, but put them in a state of eternal war with the less fortunate people.

The ship

The player start as a ship’s captain. Let’s cut to the chase and explain this by some examples: this part of the game works similarly to Fallout Shelter with its caste society and a slight influence of Crusader Kings.

You have noblemen-sailors, who fight in sea battles, are responsible for weapon systems on the ships and busy being chivalrous. They don’t like dirty work and bad conditions, under bad treatment they can start rioting against you.

And you have plebeians — they clear the decks, cook food in the galley, repair the lining and perform all other necessary chores. They can’t fight at all and can be easily be sold into slavery.

feralblue_3

There’s also an intermediate link — let’s call them ‘cadets’. They can be used to clean toilets, but they are capable of swinging a saber in the boarding fight, if needed.

Distributing your resources between these three castes of your crew, you will be trying to build a harmonious society. Otherwise, that crew will kill you one day — and then the game can be continued as a New Captain (with another set of talents).

The ship can receive new upgrades with a better hull. For example, you can choose between sails, paddles or even a steam engine. Although, the oarsmen would need food and water, the steam engine requires fuel, and the sails are useless when the sea is calm — decisions, decisions…

Sea battles

The idea here is pretty simple — we’ll try to add a bit of realism to the system seen in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Firstly, we want to reduce the movement speed of ships, Secondly, the price of each shot (and each hit) will increase. Thirdly, no good old exploits like ‘shoot them with grape shots, dodge, then board an empty ship’.

sea_battle

The setting dictates its rules — gunpowder (coal + saltpeter + sulfur) will be at deficit, so many it makes sense to switch to the classics in some cases, such as catapults and ballistas.

The main challenge for us here is how to make the aiming interesting. In Blood & Gold it was a bit too obvious and and the only requirement for the player was to get very close to the enemy. In Feral Blue we want to try a more complex system, so that each successful hit would be rare and would give more satisfaction.

We’ll continue next week with more info on boarding fights, economic system and politics — stay tuned!

Eador. Imperium — Units Balance / Appearance

May 7, 2018  |  Eador, Эадор  |  16 Comments

Hi everyone,

We have a small update on Eador. On two ‘Eadors’, actually — the recent giveaway showed there is still some interest in Masters, even after all this time.

So this week we want to stabilize the MP servers for MotBW — this shouldn’t take long in theory, but have too few people for our current number of projects. Then we return to Imperium, trying to battle the infamous Access Violation error (aka ‘Imperium.dll error’) and integrating the updated medal system.

two_questions

Also, we have a couple questions for you:

– What units do you consider imbalanced? Perhaps, Fire Giant or Hydra? Dark Treant? A unit, that either makes the rest of your whole army look useless or infuriates you in a battle against it.

– What units have you never seen in the game, while knowing they are present there? For example, did you see the special forms of dragons: Storm or Cursed ones? What about Ice Wizards? Crystal Golems? Were you aware they even exist?

Let us know in the comments. We have some ideas on how to improve this aspect of the game.

Feral Blue — Announcement

April 26, 2018  |  Feral Blue, Snowbird  |  9 Comments

Hi everyone!

Today we’re very happy to announce our new project, currently in active development. This game is called Feral Blue.

We’ve always been fond of sailing ships. Actually, there are about three things regarding games we’re very passionate about: how to make our own version Heroes of Might & Magic 3, how to make our own version of “Pirates!” and how to finish our very own Fatherdale. These kinds of ‘DIY engines’ we worked with before can do miracles in some of the luckiest cases, but obviously that’s not something we can say about ourselves. So it’s a great thing that an indie team of two people can start making a game with Unreal Engine 4 (we still remember when it was a luxury for a very few).

Sailing ship is always about the freedom. You can’t get the same unforgettable feeling of salty splashes getting to your face in Titanic or in a WW1 dreadnought. This is the basic emotion that we wanted to convey with Feral Blue — freedom and the sea. In addition, we are doing our best to introduce the concept we’ve been working on in our games for the past few years: going from controlling your crew to controlling your settlement and then — to controlling your empire. We want players not just upgrade their stats, but their level of responsibility. At the same time, when you’re fed up with everything, you have the ability to get out of your office, gather your crew of veterans and set sail on a frigate, to cut the Maltese in boarding fights. Yes, it seems we have our first game, where the Maltese will be among the main factions.

feralblue_1

We took a long time to figure out what the game will look and play like. First it was FTL — but we realized it’s not something we want to go with (by the way, if you do want to play FTL about sailing ships — buy Abandon Ship). Of course, we took some ideas from our own Blood & Gold. Russian classics Sea Dogs is our current reference to naval battles (programmer’s note: debatable).

In terms of the game’s setting, we’re taking inspiration from Waterworld (1995) and Master & Commander (2003) — sea, ships, sometimes very weird ones, naval battles in the fog. Also, we were greatly influenced by Snowpiercer (2013), with its idea of a state locked inside the train.

Feral Blue is a typical case of a game we’d like to play ourselves. But we hope it will be of interest not only to us, but you as well! For now, you can wishlist the game on Steam. See you there!

Importance of reviews

April 25, 2018  |  Eador, Эадор  |  8 Comments

Hi everyone!

It seems we managed to bring the universe of Eador to the next level — more than million of players own Masters of the Broken World now. Although most of this is “shipped copies”, as publishers say (which isn’t the same thing as “sold copies”), we’re still happy about this fact. We even made a screenshot of this historical event: Eador’s player count comes after such underrated gems like PUBG, Dota 2 and CS:GO. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with Steam Trading Cards!

fame

But we wanted to talk about something different. We often see people leaving negative reviews about the game with over 500 hours played. It feels like we’re talking quiet openly about the game’s good and bad sides. We even directly address the player with a warning inside the game itself. What motivates the players to spend hundreds of hours on a game, only to advice against getting it later? Players might not realize this, but negative reviews can be damaging for a game in some cases. Badly reviewed games don’t attract new people, which gets in the way of supporting a project in the long-term. So such person deliberately doesn’t want to help the game get better (which is possible through communication with the developer), but there is a desire to cause some damage instead.

forkids

Of course, it’s understandable when a game doesn’t start at all, and the money is spent on nothing — other players should be warned. Or if you spent like 3 hours in the game and it’s clearly not good — other players should be warned. But after 500 hours (or more)?

We’re not complaining, but we are wondering what you make of this. What do you think about reviews on Steam in general? Are they important for you? Let us know.

Eador — Celebrating 5 years

April 19, 2018  |  Eador, Эадор  |  3 Comments

Hi everyone,

It’s a big day today. Our first game Eador. Masters of the Broken World, came out exactly 5 years ago. It was and it is a bit rough around the edges, but still, to this day we’re proud of what we’ve managed to achieve with such a small team.

Naturally, this anniversary calls for proper celebration. So starting today and until Sunday, the game is completely free and yours forever, if you just click ‘Install Game’ on Eador’s Steam page in time. Tell your friends, share the news! Nothing beats free, right? Be warned though, Eador is notorious for eating your time like no other game — in a good way!

MOBW_5years_img_en

Some info for newcoming players. When you launch the game, you can see a banner to the left of the menu, that’s a newer game in the series, Eador. Imperium, which is currently on sale with a 50% discount. What are the differences between the two?

In short, Masters of the Broken World has this huge, non-linear and sandboxy single-player campaign, that will occupy you for the longest time.

We tried to experiment with this in Imperium, where we created five handcrafted story campaigns, and also added new heroes and units (keeping all the original ones), changed and introduced some new mechanics. A good chunk of the code was rewritten, and as a result, the game is much more stable. In both games you can create custom shards (maps) with different settings, where you can play however you like. So if you find yourself enjoying MotBW, we see no reason not to give Imperium a try. Just saying.

Thanks for sticking (and bearing) with us!

Eador. Imperium — Fixes and Medals

April 5, 2018  |  Eador, Эадор  |  6 Comments

Hi everyone,

Today we’d like to share our plans for the nearest future.

First of all, bugfixing. We could probably start with something more exciting, but we worry many of you might stop reading if there isn’t any mention of fixes at the start of the post. The thing is, we are constantly fixing the game in the background, but just in case we’ll note this one more time — all of your e-mails and messages are taken into account, and we do what we can.

medals

Secondly, the medals. It’s a tricky topic. On one hand, medals are very important in the early game, when each unit is valuable. On the other hand, there’s so little of gold at the beginning that paying extra 8 coins for an increase in defense can be quite unprofitable.

There’s also the third side to this — identical medals. Every medal takes up one slot, so it would probably make sense to make some degrees for medals. It also opens up possibilities for the set mechanics. When it comes to battle system in Eador, we want every unit of any rank have its own use all the way to the late game. If you have some ideas on this, don’t hesitate to share!

P.S. By the way, we made come fixes in the code, and the Access Violation error should not come up as often. It can still be present on some systems though — if you are one of those unfortunate users, please send us screenshots with the error, we’ll see what can be done.

Eador. Imperium — Update notes (March 22)

March 22, 2018  |  Eador, Эадор  |  1 Comment

Hi everyone,

New update for Imperium is out! It includes the new ‘terraforming’ feature we talked about in this post and many other fixes.

2731

Update notes 2.73.1:

New:

– We added divine rituals able to transform deserts and deadlands into proper provinces:

“Foul Waters” (Temple of Morgaine, 2nd degree) — turns desert into swamp.
“Power of Life” (Temple of Sylvana, 3rd degree) — turns deadlands into forest.
“Bones of the Earth” (Temple of Gorbardin, 3rd degree) — turns deadlands into hills.
“Sea of Grass” (Temple of Kartach, 4th degree) — turns desert or deadlands into plains.

– The amount of experience earned by heroes for completing quests has been boosted and scales depending on their level, on rarity and value of an item or scroll sought, or the number and XP value of the monsters hunted.

Fixed:

– Fixed an error preventing a hero from taking another Crystal quest after completing one.
– Fixed an error caused by the Succubus’ “Enslave Mind” spellcasting ability being used twice per battle.
– Fixed an error with an enemy unit enslaved with “Word of Power” spell remaining in the hero’s army permanently.
– Fixed an error with the heroes’ “Item Maintenance” ability failing to work.
– Fixed an error with the Hunters guard ability to lower garrison upkeep not being properly reflected in statistics.
– Fixed an error with the heroes’ ability to lower troop upkeep not being properly reflected in their units’ description screen.
– Fixed a variable in text of the “Magic fabric” random event.
– Added hard limit to the amount of gold, gems and favor the player can possess. Gold and gems are capped at 1 million, favor at 100 thousands.

Eador. Imperium — Province terraforming + New update in preview access

March 14, 2018  |  Eador, Эадор  |  1 Comment

Hi everyone,

Today we’d like to talk about the new update for Eador. Imperium. And it’s not just all talk, by the way — playable beta version of this update is now available on Steam. So if you’re interested in trying it out, you can!

Now, what’s inside this update? First of all, more bug fixes. Big thanks to everyone who keeps sending in their reports and comments. As usual, we may not necessarily reply to everything, but have no doubt — each of your reported annoyances is double-checked, added to the bug tracker and into the work plan for the next patch.

province_change

We’ll post the full list of fixes next week, when the update arrives properly. Today we’ll tell you about the specific new feature — province terraforming.

Many of you noticed that during late game enemy AI starts bombing you with Chaos summoning, turning your provinces into ashy desert. Over time, your economy inevitably starts dying.

It’s hard not to agree the balance here is not really on the players’ side, and some counter-ritual is needed. Then why don’t we give you an ability to change the type of a province?

So pretty soon you can expect to be able to turn dead lands back to life. Here’s how it works:

  • Morgaine temple — lets you turn deserts into swamps.
  • Sylvana temple — dead lands into forest.
  • Gorbarding temple — dead lands into hills.
  • Kartach temple — dead lands into plain.

Rituals for such terraforming will work just exactly as other Master rituals. Final version of the update with this addition will soon be publicly available, and for now you can try it out in Public beta branch on Steam.

To access the branch, select Eador. Imperium in you Steam library, right click, choose ‘Properties’ and head over to the ‘Betas’ tab. After that, you’ll be able to choose ‘Public preview’ branch ‘from the drop-down list.