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  1. #1
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    Sacred Fire - a psychological RPG with flavors of Banner Saga and Darkest Dungeon

    Hey everyone,

    I am a long time RPG gamer and veteran developer, and since forever I couldn't shake the feeling, the newest RPG I was playing, weather it was mainstream or niche was all nice and good, but didn't provide a meaningful experience. I couldn't justify the time needed to get to the rare situation that a RPG confronted my value system or expanded my understanding of myself.

    I must smile when I remember back the hype machine for the first Fable game, I truly thought it would be what I was always thinking about as a designer. But instead of depth and meaning you kicked chicken around. Things got better with the indie revolution and I did enjoy game like the Banner Saga and the Shadowrun DF, HK.

    That was the moment I realized I had to do my own RPG, if I ever want the experience I was looking for. A role-playing game flavor, focused on characters, where you actually role-play internal and interpersonal conflicts, not just external conflicts (battles). After long years of iteration, here comes my mix of narrative and tactical role-playing wrapped in a time-efficient format.


    Teaser showing gameplay, visuals and storytelling, voiced by Doug Cockle, the voice of the Witcher

    Sacred Fire is a turn-based, psychological RPG about survival, power, and the search for meaning, inspired by ancient Caledonia.


    Build your will to show courage in battle and cunning in the throne room. Rise through renown, blackmail, or loyalty. Inspire others to crush Rome or to build a nation.

    THE GAME:

    • Use tactical thinking in a story full of risk-based choices and combat.
    • Enjoy a fast flow of narrative twists and turns.
    • Inspired by the pen & paper RPG experience, explore NPCs’ motives, stay in character and play to your strong sides.
    • Choose how to solve conflicts: use force, smarts, skill, looks or empathy.
    • Express your take on story events in inner monologues shaping your personality and inner strength.
    • Manage your relationships and renown to increase your impact on the story.
    • No magic, no dragons: solve real conflicts, fueled by real motives, with real solutions. Your heart hides all the monsters.


    Check out our Steam Greenlight Concepts: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=800757379 If you like what you see, up-vote us! This is our passion project and every fan is appreciated.

    Please let us know what you think. Is there something missing in this post? Is there an aspect of the game that got you intrigued and you would like to learn more about?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by kingfall; 08-12-2016 at 07:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    This is how the game looks in motion:


  3. #3
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    Liked the teaser, but the voice spoil it a little for me. It steals focus. I was thinking more about another game than yours, while I sit and seeing your trailer. Then another voice in the same quality had done a lot for me.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your feedback. A lot of people recognize Doug's voice, as he made such a great job as Geralt in the Witcher games. If you thought about The Witcher while watching our trailer, I hear what you are saying about stealing focus, but still, we are honored to be in such a good company.

    We are confident we can stand on our own feet, as we do lot of things differently than other RPGs, as we are basically rethinking the Choice & Consequence mechanic in the genre. The whole point of using numeric personality models and have a rule set governing your characters psychology is to blend narrative and action seamlessly and enable a new level of role-playing.

    We use the personality model to make the player's interaction with the story tactical. Choices, and their consequences, are the core elements of Sacred Fire:

    • You have to earn the right to make a tough call.
    • Ideas shape your character as much as actions.
    • You always know the consequences of a choice.
    • You have to earn the right to change the story.

    The combat in Sacred Fire blends powerful storytelling moments, personality tests, and turn-based tactical moves into one flow. Each turn the player chooses one of four goals of your attack or defense: survive, provoke, intimidate and gain renown. However, a wide variety of different actions result from these four goals based on by how much you overshoot the probability check. If the goal is to survive, you will defend and attack in the most efficient manner, affecting hit points only. To provoke, you can taunt the opponent, parry like you were sparring with a child, or play nasty and hit a sensitive place.

    To intimidate, you can split objects in half, shoot an warning arrow, or take a hit without nudging. To gain renown, you will intentionally dodge in the last possible moment, block arrows without dodging, or pull off a devastating attack.

    • You have to control your emotions to perform optimally in combat.
    • Equipment doesn’t win a fight. It only sets the stage.
    • Letting the opponent attack you from behind is a valid tactic.
    • You can win the game without killing.

    You can read more about the straegy/politics/relationship aspects of the game on our Steam Greenlight Concept page:
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=800757379
    Last edited by kingfall; 11-12-2016 at 08:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    I feel like the lists of design decision above can be explained better.

    Choice Making

    You have to earn the right to make a tough call

    If a story choice you want to make is out-of-character or simply tough for the personality youíve developed, you need to pass a probability check. To boost your chances you can use willpower points.
    As a reward, making a tough choice develops your personality and helps you level up.

    Ideas shape your character as much as actions

    Inner monologue give the playerís character the ability to interpret and comment on whatís happening in the story. What are your thoughts on failure, injustice, or brutality in a scene? What is the motive behind your choice to help someone?
    Itís your interpretation and motives that affect your characterís empathy, create guilt or strengthen your ideals.



    You always know the consequences of a choice

    We never mislead the player into a wrong choice. Our goal is to create an experience where the player always has a smart option out of a tough spot. Notice a trap, sense an ambush, spot a hidden blade, make a leap of faith. You just need to have the will to make the extra effort to actually use it.

    You have to earn the right to change the story

    You do not start out as a leader; you have to compete for influence within the group of potential rivals or allies. NPCs donít just get angry if they donít agree with your choices. They have their own agendas and will try to undermine your choices.

    Combat



    You have to control your emotions to perform optimally in combat

    Fear weakens your attacks. Anger makes you ignore your defense. Save your willpower points; you will need them to help you keep your cool. This way you can intimidate, provoke, and wear out your opponent.

    Equipment doesnít win a fight. It only sets the stage

    Collecting and crafting beautiful items is important, but not only for the protection they provide. Items such as armor also affect how comfortable and confident you feel, and how memorable, attractive, and menacing you appear to NPCs.
    But what wins a fight is using your willpower to overcome fear. Use these willpower points to boost your chances of keeping your cool, to ignore pain, and to regain self-control when you go beyond your physical ability.

    Letting the opponent attack you from behind is a valid tactic

    Weíve all seen the scene. The hero stands still, the opponents circle him, and the hero dodges in the last moment. Itís good storytelling, but horrible tactics.
    What makes this a valid tactic in Sacred Fire is that IF you pull it off, a display of confidence and skill like that intimidates your opponents and affects their performance. Furthermore, showing control and courage like that will earn you the respect of NPCs.

    You can win the game without killing



    All fights have context within the story, and a winning condition other than defeating the opponent. In some, if you can gain enough respect through displays of skill, your opponent will give up, or you can intimidate them into fleeing. In others all you have to do is survive until help arrives. Combat in Sacred Fire is all about the tactical choices that you make.

    The game AI recognizes if you choose not to land a decisive hit, or if you do not use lethal-force in combat at all. All NPCs you fight have complex agendas and their own survival is high on their list. They will rarely fight till their last breath.
    The writing also gives options how to avoid, prevent or end a fight before it gets out of control.

    If you like what we are doing, up-vote us on Steam Greenlight Concepts: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=800757379

  6. #6
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    It's Screenshot Saturday, so here you go, a new screenshot from Sacred Fire. If you feel like smashing an axe to get some order into politics these days!


  7. #7
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    Today is a great day for Sacred Fire, as we got our first media coverage and it's on PC Gamer: http://www.pcgamer.com/how-a-debutin...e-its-trailer/



    Thank you all for your support!

  8. #8
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    With the new year here, let me wish you all a delayed but sincere Happy New Year. We were busy at work and laid out our road-map and battle plans for development of Sacred Fire:

    • Steam Greenlight Concepts, VOTE NOW: let's get into the top 100 Best Rated of All Time. We are already close!
    • Steam Greenlight, January 2017: let's start making some waves together and get the attention of blogers, youtubers and maybe even the almighty Valve
    • Kickstarter, March 2017: get some cool backer rewards, immortalize your name, get alpha and beta access and more!
    • Preview release, Summer 2017: get your hands on the first playable version for Firestarters Guild members and ALL Kickstarter backers
    • Alpha/Beta release, Late 2017: be the first to enjoy the full storyline in our Beta
    • Gold release: Spring 2018: own the sweet polished version of Sacred Fire




    Our roadmap is a chain of events, one leading into the other and building its results. A strong Greenlight campaign will be noticed the attention can give us an extra push to build a bigger community before Kickstarter. We can then get into appealing rewards to make Kickstarter more attractive. So then Kickstarter has a better chance to hit the goal in the first days. What next? A swiftly funded project can get more coverage and raise even more funds. The game is able to get more content and polish. We can even bring in more star talent, as voice over legend Troy Baker, Joel from The Last of Us, has shown interest and is watching our development.

    So to get to the Gold experience, your help is essential and we invite you to take part in the Sacred Fire development. Go to our web page and Sign-up to the Firestarters Guild to receive all the updates and benefits.

    We’ve are currently on Steam Greenlight Concepts, getting close to enter the top 100 of Best rated of All Time. We need one last push, vote for Sacred Fire now. If you use the Steam client, to find us in the Greenlight, you need to choose Browse 'Concepts' category.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by kingfall; 14-01-2017 at 11:47 AM.

  9. #9
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    Female voice actor tips

    Looking for an advice - we have a great voice actor Doug Cockle from the Witcher, who did the voiceover in our trailer and who will narrate parts of the game. Since Sacred Fire is a psychological RPG and inner life in general is a crucial aspect of the game, we will focus on narrating inner monologues. And we're looking for a female counterpart to Mr. Witcher in case a player decides to play with a female character.

    What are your tips for well known female voices in RPGs or video games in general? Who would you like to see/hear in Sacred Fire?

    Here's our trailer with Doug Cockle, in case you want to hear what we're looking for:

  10. #10
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    We have been hard at work and have some exciting news - right on track with our roadmap we just launched our regular Steam Greenlight campaign.



    Thank you for your feedback and encouragement during our Concept stage. Your reactions were overwhelmingly positive. You’ve become a vital part of this adventure.

    “I didn't realize it, til I saw this trailer, but I've been waiting for a game like this.”
    -Cypher-D

    “Looks (and sounds) awesome. Good luck!”
    -Aleonymous

    We’ve taken your comments and ideas and used them to further refine our official Greenlight page.


    • We’ve added a few juicy gameplay GIFs showing in-detail combat, politics and ambush gameplay

    • Added more details about Combat and Choice Making in Sacred Fire. These are important aspects of the game and deserve more information.

    • And we are particularly happy about a quote from Arnie Jorgensen, art director of Banner Saga.



    So now we’re turning to you again to help us to make Sacred Fire a reality.

    Head to Sacred Fire Greenlight page now and vote ‘Yes’.

    Every single ‘Yes’ vote is appreciated and important. We are always looking forward to when a new comment pops up and we had a blast answering them. Favorite us or follow, so you don’t miss important updates. And tell your gaming friends on Steam about Sacred Fire.

    Thank you!

  11. #11
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    The voting on our Steam Greenlight campaign is going great, thank you all for your support.

    Our first update is about Character Creation, as Sacred Fire is all about building a strong personality. You need both inner strength and social influence to guide the story into the direction you want.

    Character creation is our favorite part in any RPG. However, more often than not, the choices we make in the character creation screen are often inconsequential in the game once we start playing. We want to get this right in Sacred Fire and have put a lot of thought into how choices in the character creation screen will have a profound impact on every story scene and conflict you encounter.

    Our character creation and writing supports multiple playstyles, and lets the player gain an edge with either force, smarts, skill, looks or empathy in every situation. These represent the five conflict resolution archetypes you can mix and match to create a unique character and take your own path trough the story.

    The inspiration behind this was Fallout 2, where you had many options how to approach a situation, how to solve a quest, how to acquire equipment or firepower. This is what we support in our writing and design: many ways how to gain an edge, get to wealth, fame, love, influence. You chose what winning means and how to get there.



    Besides extensive visual customization (10 outfits x 10 faces x 10 hairstyles x 10 paint styles) you can choose valuable appearance traits.

    Traits like a “Melodic Voice,” “Fragile Figure” or “Vivid Gestures” make everything you do more memorable. They also evoke specific reactions. For example, “Fragile Figure” evokes the instinct to protect and you are less likely to be perceived as a threat.

    Beauty helps you win people over but also evokes envy. Menace helps you intimidate opponents and can prevent them from attacking.



    The personality and beliefs model represents a mature and nuanced take on the “good” and “evil” meters seen in some games. The goal is to bring over the pen & paper role-playing experience where a Game Master rewards you for staying in-character.

    For example, processing failure is easier if you have a strong belief that there is happiness possible in life. But the same belief makes it harder for you to risk your life. Forgiving is easier if you believe there is goodness in people, but you may be prone to being played.

    Believing you have the favor of a divinity can make you both courageous and arrogant. Ideals may be impractical in times of war, but being selfless helps you gain allies.

    Mood plays an important role in how effectively your character controls emotions and uses skills and judgment under stress.

    Mood depends on stress and comfort. Danger, pain from injuries, relationship conflicts, and traumatic memories can all raise your stress. Comfort and safety comes from powerful allies, a trusted blade in hand, luxury items and strong convictions.

    Having a high mood helps you win both combat and story confrontations, as it makes you more resistant to Fear and Anger. On the other hand, stress and discomfort make you prone to Fear and Anger.



    Using fighting, healing, crafting, and relationship skills develops both them and the associated Attributes: Agility and Strength, Intellect and Empathy, Beauty and Menace. The more intelligence you have, the faster they progress.

    Living through both success and failure creates positive and negative memories. It’s up to you to save up enough willpower to process the negative memories and use them to make you stronger.

    Story choices strengthen or weaken your beliefs. The pros and cons of positive and negative beliefs are balanced. The goal is to give the player the possibility to freely express different beliefs and explore their consequences.

    Authority expresses the inner strength of your personality. It’s the sum of memories, beliefs, skills, and attributes. Gain enough authority to level-up and:

    - Strengthen your willpower
    - Choose traits like “6th Sense,” “Unstoppable,” or “Stoic” affecting gameplay
    - Unlock ideas that represent your fundamental beliefs like “You Are(Not) on Your Own,” “Things Happens for a(no) Reason,” or “There is(Not) Enough to go Around.”

    Please let us know what you think!

  12. #12
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    We took the Steam Greenlight voting by storm - we currently have 1,050 YES votes and we are thankful for each and every one of them.



    We still need some more to get Greenlit, so if you like what you see, please consider helping us to get the word out, either by reaching out to friends, admins, bloggers and influencers, or let the people know on reddit or social media. We appreciate all the help we can get, thank you.
    Last edited by kingfall; 30-01-2017 at 11:50 AM.

  13. #13
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    We just made it into the top 100 games on Steam Greenlight. It took less than 3 days - you guys are awesome, thank you all!

    Let's see how far we can keep climbing.

    There is a thread on reddit about us, your upvote can help us reach even more fans, thank you: https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments ... turnbased/
    Last edited by kingfall; 30-01-2017 at 01:43 PM.

  14. #14
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    We woke up to a nice surprise today, we are already #75 in the Steam Greenlight. Thank you all for your continuous and unrelenting support.

    It's the first time we are making waves, well maybe ripples :), on Reddit as well.

    We basically need one last push to get to the top 50 where the Greenlighting happens.

    Who will be the hero to save the day today?



    This scene shows why relationships in Sacred Fire matter - they can be literary the difference between life and death.
    Of course not all relationships are friendly and how you manage the hostile ones is equally as important and affects also combat encounters difficulty.
    Last edited by kingfall; 31-01-2017 at 11:52 AM.

  15. #15
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    Thanks to you all, our Steam Greenlight is well underway. On day 6, with almost 2,500 votes, we are getting close to being in the top 30. That would be quite a feat for us and our community.

    In the meanwhile, we would like to ask what you think about the voting that happens on our site:



    More than 500 of you voted at https://www.SacredFireGame.com/#voting for their favorite character to raise the NPCs in-game influence.

    You can choose between characters that want to vengefully crush Rome, or those who want to survive Rome and build a nation. This way you can have a powerful, like-minded NPC ally inside the game.

    As a player character you are always free to choose your own path. It just makes things easier if an NPC has your back, or harder if you fight alone.

    It's also an interesting feedback to our casting/writing. What do you think?

  16. #16
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    The voting is based only on first impressions of the characters, as it represents the experience of your player character in the very beginning of the story - the only person your character knows is Wid, the others are new to you and you have to decide whom to join support or fight on critical decisions. If you play it smart you will soon gain insights into who the NPCs and their true motives truly are. The question how to go about the war with Rome should be more clear.

    What I find interesting is that the the faction hell bent on making Rome pay is not winning. I feel like there may be some hope for humanity after all If people are willing to look past the cruelty and revenge and wish to leave behind a better world for their children. Do not get me wrong, the patriots will still need to lead a very real resistance war, but the objective is to save as many of their own, instead of watching Rome burn even if it means to burn down with them.

    But then, players haven't felt the cruelty of Rome first hand yet. But what do you do once evil touches your live? I think this is a question that defines a person very deeply. This is the kind of questions we want to explore.

    From a developer's perspective it's good feedback on how people like/dislike the characters you envision as a writer at first sight. And than we can take it from there in many different directions, who the characters truly are.

  17. #17
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    I wanted also to expand on the description of the NPCs in the voting pool. It list traits like Diehard, Leader, Genius, Intoxicating and Likeable. We call them elite traits and there is 5 of them and they define your playstyle, as they predispose you to solve conflicts in a certain way. Be it force, skill, smarts, looks or empathy. You can pick 2 in character creation and thus create your unique playstyle. Here are the descriptions:


    Diehard - Your body is relentless, always ready to fight, to endure and to prevail. With this Trait you can go further, climb higher and fight harder, carving your own legend.

    Leader - People feel drawn to you, as you have a natural ability to lead, inspire and achieve great things. Although there is no party of NPCs to lead, this Trait gives you power over yourself and others

    Genius - You have the gift of insight. Your mind can walk paths no one has taken before. No matter where you start with your abilities, with this Trait, you will ultimately triumph

    Intoxicating - You posses the gift of a unique, almost otherworldly beauty. This Trait will bring you Affection and Renown, but also Envy and Hate

    Likeable - Authentic and graceful, you naturally attune yourself to others and easily win people over. Winning people over can take you further then any other talent


    Btw. this morning was a nice surprise: we made it into the top 20 on Steam Greenlight, with over 3,000 YES votes, we reached #18. Thank you all :) it shouldn't take long now, but we appreciate every fan, so if you like what you see, please please vote for us now.

  18. #18
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    Hey everyone we have some great news:

    We have been Greenlit today, thank you all for your fantastic support!

    It took 32 days and almost 4,000 YES votes. We are grateful and happy, it brings us one step closer to releasing the game.

    We are also hard at work on our crowdfunding campaign.

    We launch on Kickstarter on March the 15th.

    We have some fantastic rewards lined up, including a voicemail greeting with your name in the famed voice by Doug Cockle, also known as Geralt of Rivia.

  19. #19
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    Hey everyone,

    The big day is here and we are live on Kickstarter!



    We have also a developers' commentary video that defines what kind of role-playing experience Sacred Fire brings. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

    Thank you for your support, we appreciate every fan.

    Check out the limited backer rewards before they are gone.

  20. #20
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    We posted our first update, Mordhau gave us a shoutout and more are promised. The Commnunity Goals unlocked info about 2 more characters:



    We got to 20% in the first 24 hours, which feels good, but we are not out of the woods yet.

    More than 200 Eraly Bird rewards are gone, please help us make this a reality and go get yours now!

    You guys are doing a good job spreading the word, please keep at it. If you could take various sub-reddits by storm, that would help a lot.

    Please support us by upvoting this reddit post, thank you!

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