Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Game News Ash of Gods: Redemption, a lavish-looking Banner Saga-like, now on Steam Greenlight

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, May 8, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Ash of Gods: Redemption; AurumDust

    One of the more peculiar phenomena in RPGs in the past few years has been the emergence of the "Banner Saga clone" as a distinct subgenre. The latest of these is Russian studio AurumDust's Ash of Gods: Redemption, which incorporates card game elements into the Banner Saga formula and appears to sport significantly higher production values. The game is on Steam Greenlight now, trying to make it onboard before Valve close the gates. Skeptical? I was too, but the trailer makes it look pretty cool:



    Ash of Gods is a mix between a roguelike role-playing visual novel and an online turn-based strategy game. It has been heavily inspired by The Banner Saga series, Japanese visual novel games, and the spirit of The Darkest Dungeon.

    The game is being developed with Unity and will be available on PC in 2017.

    An emphasis on roguelike storytelling. The choices you make, the paths you take and the battles you fight inevitably affect the story and the world around you. Your team’s resources and time are limited, and on your journey you will face many choices. You decide who lives and who dies to ensure that you continue steadfastly along your path. If you rush forward mindlessly, you will gradually lose your characters, including the major ones. But even your party leader’s death will not lead to “game over”! Currently our story has 7 endings and only two of the endings are “good” and you’ll have to weather many storms to find them.

    PVP and PVE multiplayer modes. Live through the story and top the global ratings with your characters in multiplayer mode. Unlock new characters and cards, upgrade them and build your own unique strategy and tactics. Create clans, form alliances and do battle with your friends at your side.

    A new approach to tactical strategies. This is a unique combination of TBS, RPG and CCG in which your choice of cards and character classes determine your strategy and tactics on the battlefield.
    • The game is entirely devoid of any element of chance such as dice throwing. When you launch an attack or put one of your skills to use, you know exactly what the effect will be.
    • Many skills use up HP instead of the more traditional MP. For instance, an archer can kill his enemy with one shot, but he will lose a substantial portion of his health and become extremely vulnerable in the process.
    • HP and MP are equally important. Any of a character's resources can be damaged, and if you attack the MP, the character could lose one of his abilities. What's more, if a character doesn't have any MP left, any damage he suffers will cause him to lose double the usual amount of HP!
    • At the beginning of a fight you will receive five cards with different amounts of power, and their effect can turn the outcome of a battle. Each card has its own power that may only be used in a specific round of the battle.
    • А small team needn't mean a weak one. Opponents take turns to making moves, either performing some action with a character or using one of their cards. After all of a team's characters have made their moves, a new round begins for that team. This works to the advantage of small teams, as they will begin a new round sooner, which gives them the opportunity to use their strongest cards before their opponents can do so.
    Smart AI that steadily improves as it learns how to defeat you. The AI automatically adapts to your style of playing. This is the one game for which you’ll never be able to invent “imba” tactics or find an “invincible” team build.

    The visual style of Ash of Gods has been inspired by the work of Ralph Bakshi, The Banner Saga series, old-school Disney cartoons and the Soviet animation studio “Soyuzmultfilm” of the 60s. The character animation in combat scenes is based on live actors’ motion capture.

    The music of this project is the result of collaboration by these wonderful game composers: Adam Skorupa, Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz and Michał Cielecki (who wrote the music for such projects as Bulletstorm, Painkiller, The Witcher, EVE Online, Call of Juarez and Shadow Warrior).
    Rather ambitious scope for a game whose own progenitor is struggling financially. Then again, they're Russians, I guess they can afford it. If Ash of Gods looks interesting to you, be sure to go and give it a vote. More information is available on the game's official website.
     
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  2. Maxiegender: ⚧ Erudite

    Maxie
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    :nocountryforshitposters:

    explain further, don't hesitate to go into detail
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Sneaky Seal BTW is it AurumDust or Aurum Dust?
     
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  4. undecafgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    That style of naming again...
     
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  5. Fenixgender: ⚧ Arbiter

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    While I glad that my Russkies brethren shook off the fetters of stupor and did something at least good-looking again, well, those "self improving AI" is a complete bullshit or these guys are hidden genuises, but that's usual for Russia.
     
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  6. oasis789gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Yes, that smashing success that was Banner Saga, exactly the game that should inspire a thousand imitators.
     
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  7. MicoSelvagender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Monstroterratum Furiosum Patron

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    You may like Banner Saga or not, but it was a huge indie success. Even the second game, which underperformed commercially, sold over 100K copies - most indies would kill for something like this.
     
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  8. holla_cabezas_de_mierdagender: ⚧ Cipher

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    won't be as hard as it might otherwise be since:

    "The game is entirely devoid of any element of chance such as dice throwing. When you launch an attack or put one of your skills to use, you know exactly what the effect will be"


    I hate that style of game development that somehow believe deterministic results are superior to random elements. Its nearly impossible to model war/combat properly without the element of chance. This line of thinking seems too be a prevalent belief among millennials for some reason, I can't explain why, but it is almost always a younger person who thinks 'random' is bad in regards to combat. They seem to associate it with inferior technology or something and somehow believe that since we now have 'modern technology' it should allow for a simulation that is fully deterministic instead of doing it the 'old' and 'inferior' way like they had to in the past due to limited computer power.
     
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  9. Maxiegender: ⚧ Erudite

    Maxie
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    yes it's a bother
    especially people babbling about their attacks missing the target while at they same time they themselves utilise dodge in their builds what the fuck
     
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  10. Sneaky Sealgender: ⚧ Aurum Dust Developer

    Sneaky Seal
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    Thanks for the question, I'd like to say that we have fancy self-teaching neuro network, but it's actually much simplier. The AI will adapt to your playstyle and counter it via:

    1. Depth of prediction in behaviour tree + access to the best cases in pre-generated prediction tables.
    2. Unit picks.
    3. Unit parameters adjustments.
    4. Specific card generation.
    5. Accessing your cards.

    Here are few examples:
    1. If you continiously perform great the AI will be using moves from the decision tree branches with the higher change of winning.
    2. If you build a tanky team set up very soon you'll meet enemy parties of damage dealers that will take tanks apart quickly.
    3. If you make a set up with lots of healers, enemy will field units that negate healing effects and deal damage to healer's MP.
    4. If you invest into building a powerful deck the AI will build a deck with equally powerful card with opposite effects.

    So you'll be able to use a powerful team build for several battles, but each time the next one will be harder and you'll be forced to change things around.

    It's AurumDust and thank you a lot for the post.

    Honestly, we didn't think of it right away, and later people did point out that the game might get mixed up with those mobile Clash of Clans clones but at that point we were already invested into that name both emotionally and by using it across various platforms so now we will just roll with it.

    Well, it's a great game and we give Stoic the deserved credit (we did actually reach out to them early on and got a blessing of sorts), but I have to point out that we're not trying to make a few bucks by creating a lazy clone. The visual do look similar - but it's simply because this 2D drawn style is not commonly used in western RPGs and does look really cool. We also really do work hard to implement some great ideas in the game mechanics, narrative, combat system. All the guys on the team did have various game development experience but what got us together is the dream to make a game that we can all be proud of.

    Don't mean to be rude but that's some odd reasoning. There is nothing wrong with the rolls and hit/miss chances, the system works great in the DnD like rulesets it is just that we wanted to do it differently. By dropping the randomnesss the focus of tactical thinking shifts towards positioning and calculating the values of the parameters on the field, as you know for sure whether you can finish of the enemy or if you need to heal/protect your team member right now. The random factor will still be there in the form of the cards you get in your hand each battle - you'll be getting a hand of 5 out of your deck, so each time the battle will play differently.

    You can actually read more about how we came up with the combat system here: https://ashofgods.com/news/new-approach-to-turn-based-strategies/
    Also you can try it out yourself in this web-based prototype http://game.aurumdust.com/. There is no AI yet so you can either play against yourself in 2 browser tabs or look for an opponent on our discord channel https://discord.me/AshOfGods
     
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  11. Maxiegender: ⚧ Erudite

    Maxie
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    Thanks for the clarification, I wish you good sales and us an uncline
     
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  12. Fenixgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    Fenix
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    As I said... :)

    I wasn't interested in Banner Saga, but your game actually interested me.
    But it should have good tactical layer for it, or story (in second Idon't believe at all).
     
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  13. oasis789gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Banner Saga's commercial success represents the victory of first-mover advantage in the kickstarter boom era (which Ash won't repeat), and aesthetics over substance and design (which if repeated, doesn't really belong here). As a tactics game it is utterly devoid of merit. Featureless and flat square grids! Even strategy games from the SNES and PS1 era have more interesting combat.

    So... Your AI is deliberately crippled unless players do well? Hmm. I understand that there is substantial disagreement in the design community over what constitutes "good AI" in games, but doing consistently dumb moves is definitely not included.
     
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  14. Sneaky Sealgender: ⚧ Aurum Dust Developer

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    Sure, thank you for your support.

    Haha, thank you. We do work on the combat asi I've described, as for the story - we are working with a published fantasy author Sergey Malitsky, who is both writing the games story and also working directly with the story game designer to account for various scenarios and paths the story can take. The story has a lot of traditional fantasy elements but it touches upon mature themes of sacrifice and genocide, though I can really only say "it's going to be pretty cool" and then you can decide for yourself, as liking particular stories tend to be a lot about personal preferencies.

    Can't argue about the Kickstarter - we are pretty late to the party, so it's a big concern, but we did quite well on the Greenlight so we'll see. We are too small for FIG.

    As for the combat/game design - that's the message I am trying to put out there - that's beyond the visual experience Ash of Gods will have solid combat and game mechanics. Both are equally important and in our focus of attention.

    That is a way to adjust the difficulty on the go. The better you farr - the smarter AI plays agains you and vice versa. Having the difficulty adjusted to your skill seems to be a better option that picking it yourself (though you will probably be able to do it, we are still figuring out how to handle this).
     
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  15. Eddard Starkgender: ⚧ Educated

    Eddard Stark
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    This is kinda out of the blue. Visuals look nice. It's great that at least some Russian devs are making actual games instead of social gaming schlock being churned out these days. Glad to see Ivan Magazinnikov on the team, at least someone from the awesome Elemental/Katauri bunch is trying to do smth worthwhile (hopefully).
     
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  16. Fenixgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    Fenix
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    Eddard, why are you looking so Russky?
     
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  17. Make America Great Again Parabalusgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    The combat system really sounds like something else, hope you can make it work!

    Banner Saga combat is pretty deep and Chapter 3 of BS1 on hard no loss is one of the harder TB experiences in recent memory, I would hardly call it devoid of merit.
     
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  18. luj1gender: ⚧ Savant

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    Horse shit, no such thing.
     
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  19. Xzargender: ⚧ Scholar

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    I have one of these devs in friends on Steam, and spoke with them for fair amount of time. They were always adamant to make Banner Saga clone for reasons I could never grasp, given that there are so many unused or rare art styles. I proposed medieval looking art, Pieter Bruegel type with modern touch, and still think it would be better choice. But they wanted a clone, resembling BS as closely as possible. Strange decision to do a clone of a game which was moderately successful, with sequel that flopped. Almost like doing Daikatana spiritual successor. Almost.
     
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  20. Rahdulangender: ⚧ Arcane

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    If it's happening I'll gladly take it. Provided you're cloning it might as well be something I enjoy as opposed to generic military shooters.
     
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  21. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Google Skyshine's BEDLAM, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire, The Great Whale Road
     
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  22. luj1gender: ⚧ Savant

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    So if a game uses rotoscoping it's automatically a Banner saga clone?

    You're so smart
     
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  23. Make America Great Again Kem0sabegender: ⚧ Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    The art style, animations, combat, Banner Saga did it "first". At one point i even thought they were licensing their own engine, then i realized they are just using unity.
     
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  24. Junmarkogender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Bubbles In Memoria Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    The villains look like a medieval Antifa :lol:
     
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  25. Sneaky Sealgender: ⚧ Aurum Dust Developer

    Sneaky Seal
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    Oh, cool, I'll let him know.

    We want to have a visual style that's reminicent of visual novels, comix books, and some classic animations (Miyazaki, old Disney, soviet SoyuzMultfilm). It is a style very similar to the one used by Banner Saga, but we do not want to change it just to be different. Also, even though doing oil painting style graphics would be cool - it will be a bitch to animate.

    I can go on a rant how it is not a clone, but as long as you're on board I guess it's not necessary, you'll see for yourself.

    First one did license Banner Saga's engine, second one is not on the same level of implementation, last one doesn't have the in-combat animations. Still, though, each one of them tried something different with party management, combat, etc. So each one of those is a game on its own.

    Here's something on the subject to enjoy:



    They do license the engine (or at least they did once), but we're using Unity. As for everything else - Banner Saga's art style is inspired by Eyvind Earle (they've even named a character after him), rotoscoping existed and was used in games long fefore that (original Prince of Persia for example), combat is a take on old school tactical jRPGs (Fire Emblem and Shining Force for example). They did a great job on putting those things together and inspired others to look into those areas, not just "good old days of the wRPGs".

    They will not stop you from making Terminus great again!
     
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