Here’s our July update regarding the progress of the development of Sacred Fire and a short piece by Andrej about RPG rulesets that inspired Sacred Fire.
We’re almost done coding the preview which is planned to be delivered to those of you in the Firestarter and higher tiers this summer (you can still back Sacred Fire on Indiegogo to receive it). Our coder Blade is putting finishing touches to our narrative/RPG engine and we have done a lot of progress in finalizing the writing for the preview.
Andrej has added unique failure consequences to almost every choice. This makes the whole narrative experience even more special. There’s a different consequence when you fail to quietly pick up your weapons or when you fail to speak up in front of other people.
In the former case, your sword may fall on the ground, make noise and somebody may notice, but definitely your anger rises and you lose your confidence.
In the latter case, nobody knows that you wanted to speak up, so nothing really happens. Although it may have a psychological consequences for you. That’s one of the areas when our psychological mechanics really shine.
Unity has recently added the possibility to use transparency in videos which is good news and it will substantially reduce the size of the Sacred Fire installation.
We’re also working on the final editing and proofreading for the preview. What’s ahead of us is also playtesting before we can send it off to backers. We will have a Discord channel to discuss things with the preview testers directly. After we collect the feedback, we’ll be able to estimate and plan the final release.
Keep your fingers crossed.
And here’s a short piece by Andrej, which was triggered by a question on an RPG forum.
What RPG rulesets inspired Sacred Fire
“The first inspiration and influence was a funny situation when I was a kid and briefly borrowed a D&D rulebook from a friend. I went through it and had to return it soon. The following day my friend told me he had burned it. He became convinced it was occult literature.
But it had the inevitable effect of me starting to create my own rulesets. As a kid I had no idea where to buy such a book.
Later I came across different systems in video games. I liked the Fallout traits and perks, but there were things I felt were missing, such as the simplicity of the alignment system in D&D and the lack of use of charisma.
One influence that stands out for me is the P&P ruleset of The Riddle of Steel, with its intricate set of detailed combat rules.
The great thing about P&P is the group of people and the GM. The bad thing about the P&P is the group of people and the GM. So another inspiration came when I wanted to do something outside the box and the GM just wouldn’t go for it. Or when someone was out of character and the GM wouldn’t call bullshit on it.
I was also inspired by books and movies. In fairy tales, the hero wins because he has a magic sword and a magic horse. In serious stories, the hero wins or survives with inner strength: cunning, willpower, beliefs, or hope.
Then there was a real life experience from rock climbing. Fear affects your performance in a brutal way. Yet, all the characters in the RPGs I played perform at a peak level no matter what.
I understood that the reason why P&P doesn’t bring these aspects (personality, emotions, motivation, relationships…) into the ruleset is that it would bring the live session to a halt for each interaction.
So my idea was to implement all this in a cRPG. There would be no slow-down as a computer can run the numbers and determine for example how likely it is that you find the courage to speak up to a bully. And it can crank all the numbers, such as:
– you predisposition to fear,
– your history with bullying,
– your history with this character,
– their appearance,
– their renown and allies,
– the circumstances you are in,
– and who is witnessing the situation.
I really hoped someone would make such a cRPG. I remember thinking Peter Molyneaux would do it, when he first started to talk about the first Fable. Then I thought that the next Elder Scrolls would do it. It wasn’t quite what I had expected.
That being said, I do like the Witcher games and the Shadowrun games. They have serious focus on storytelling and characters, where the devs don’t just think about WHO the characters are, but WHO YOU get to be to these characters.”
What are you favorite narrative and RPG games, that push the boundaries of storytelling and explore characters in depth?