According to Mabbott, the goal is to approximate something like the old Gold Box games of yore, but in 3D and with the addition of destructible environments and physics-based interactions. To that end, Subterranea will employ the Dungeons and Dragons version 3.5 ruleset.
An abbreviation of the rather wordy plot premise:
Many decades ago, a fishing village called Gimlet grew on the side of the swamp like a small barnacle. The villagers of Gimlet scraped out a living, catching and selling the odd looking fish they hauled in from the swamp with their homemade nets.
Recently, a threat to Gimlet’s prosperity has emerged. Two survivors of a six-strong harvesting party returned from the swamp with a fevered table of a temple entrance found sunken near the centre of the swamp. The most brave (or foolhardy) of the harvesters broke through the entrance. When their screams rang out across the swamp from within the dark interior, the survivors fled for their lives, never once looking back.
Your party has answered the call and are gathered in the entry room of Gimlet Hall. You and the other adventuring parties eye each other nervously – will you help or hinder each other? A staff strikes the marble floor, the two massive doors swing open and a guard summons you to be addressed by the cabal…
Among the game’s planned features:
- Tactical combat with cover and elevation effects
- Create a party of up to 6 custom characters
- Heavy use of physics in destructible environments
About those physics and destructible environments–check out what happens roughly 30 seconds into this video:
The game’s presentation is obviously still a bit rough at this point, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little rush of glee when that bridge collapsed and the enemies fell to their deaths. Besides, the game’s in pre-alpha–there is plenty of time to polish things up!
Subterranea is planned for a simultaneous Windows and Linux release in March 2015.