Shadow Remnants announced

Johnathan Davis of Shorebound Studios writes in to tell me about Shadow Remnants, a 3D turn-based tactical RPG.

The premise:

In Shadow Remnants, you play as Drake, whose family was slaughtered by invading Entarians two years ago. Now a foot soldier in the royal infantry, he fights for vengeance. The closer he gets to the truth, the less he’s sure who the enemy is. The war, the royal family’s involvement in a cover up and the corrupt power within the relics — nothing is as it seems. The land of Avatia is plagued with evil and shrouded in darkness. Uncover the truth, unearth the ancient artifacts… Fight the darkness.

Man, “the darkness” is always doing such lousy stuff in RPGs. Stupid darkness!

The devs say that they’re looking to give the player choices which can “completely alter the storyline.” Color me interested, though there’s no word yet on what exactly that means. Maybe you can choose to make friends with the darkness? (If only you could talk to the monsters!) I’m guessing that they don’t actually intend to create multiple, totally independent plotlines based on player choices, as that would be a crazy amount of work; but who knows? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

Speaking of seeing, here is a video showing off the current state of the game engine at this early stage of development:

It isn’t shown in this video, but the combat system evidently makes use of a timing-based charge meter mechanic where you can affect a character’s damage output on an attack-by-attack basis. The devs also seem to have put quite a bit of thought into making the game’s 13 characters classes interact in interesting ways, which is always a good sign. There’s more to say about the mechanics here (and the devs aren’t shy about saying it), so hit the jump if you want more details.

Shadow Remnants is planned for release on Windows, to be followed shortly thereafter with ports to Mac and Linux. There is no release date estimate yet, however. As is now customary, the developers are looking for funding through Kickstarter, and the speed of their progress almost certainly depends upon whether or not they receive the funding they require. They say that they’ve been approached by publishers, but prefer to stay indie. Me? I’d prefer that, too. If this game sounds like your cup of tea, then go ahead and help them stay out of the clutches of the darkness publishers.

As promised, here is more about this game’s mechanics. I exchanged a few emails with John about this, and received this rather detailed overview of how things work:

Our combat system is very similar to Final Fantasy Tactics with the additions of crafting, our skill charge meter and the ability to deal more damage based on the combination of skills. The skill charge meter is what determines just how hard a skill hits for. For example, if the damage range for the Fireball spell is 300 – 400. If you peak the meter when you press the button, it will deal 400 damage (not including crits, etc). This feature can be disabled in single player and multiplayer for those who prefer the classic approach.

The crafting system will offer a  wide range of gear combinations to fit your party’s needs. You may want your healer to have a substantial mana pool to keep those heals coming in or you may want him to deal more damage to undead and give him a boost of magic damage. There are combos that you can do in between classes. For example, the rogue can land expose armor from behind then you can follow up with the warrior’s heart strike which causes the target to bleed. Next, strike with the vampire using his drain spell (if the target is bleeding, he goes into a frenzy, increasing his damage by 25%). This is just one example of the many combos you can perform amongst a wide range of classes. This will cause the players to really plan out their moves effectively. If you did this in reverse, it would obviously be less effective. Each class also has passive skills. For example, the Knight’s passives are Passive: Using a polearm increases the range on all spells and attacks by 1. Using a mace increases strength by 20. Using a shield increases all defensive stats by 15%.

The movement system is move-and-attack. Your character’s movement range is based off of stats and gear. There are boots and other items that can increase a character’s movement range. The character’s take turns based on intiative.


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