Hello everyone,

This month has been about the wrap-up and clean-up of all the game rules and UI implementation that emerged over the last three months. There are two big areas we successfully managed to unify:

UNLOCK & UPGRADE UNIFICATION

There is now a unified way how you unlock and upgrade unconscious ideas, new items, renown titles and insights about characters. There is now also a new, much more easy-on-the-eyes story character screen layout.

The unlocking happens in the story, as you explore it by role-playing the role you want to play. The upgrading happens from accumulated resources, be it experience, wealth, renown or goodwill. Goodwill represents all the positive feedback from all your relationships, be it sympathy, respect, trust or pardon. Gaining followers (groups of story characters, like freed slaves, following you into battle) also contribute to your accumulated goodwill.

The unified UI circle layout of the elements works nicely also for the 12 character creation traits. So the game gets to make a better first impression.

THE RACE FOR INFLUENCE

All the accumulated experience, wealth, renown and goodwill can not only be used to upgrade the corresponding elements that build up your character stats but it also directly represents your influence and social standing as a leader in the resistance against Rome. It’s so exciting to see the resulting smooth experience when all the pieces fall into place.

So this allowed us to rise above the usual implementation of artificial game score and artificial goals for each chapter. Now, if you want to advance to the next influence rank and gain the stat boost, you have to beat the story character occupying the rank above you. This is something I always felt was key to unify the game and the story part of the experience. Now exploring the story truly feels like a proper game, as you are always aware that you compete against the story characters and the story itself, as only a high enough influence allows you to avert a tragic ending.

A new standing in the social hierarchy boosts your psyche considerably, as our perceived positioning in the dominance hierarchy is directly wired into our human neurology and impacts how endangered, fearful and angry we feel.

EMOTION EFFECTS FINE TUNING

Fear and Anger intensity in the game ranges from 0 to 10 and we always felt there should be consequences for an impulse you didn’t resist smashing through the range thresholds. So now the overflow of emotion intensity charges or drains the amount of accumulated control %. Also staying for a prolonged time in a state of extreme emotional intensity (be it rage, or terror) drains your control and in consequence drains your motivation, the core resource you use to boost your chance in all the story choices.

WHAT’S NEXT

Play-testers can expect a new build before this year’s Holiday Season. Regarding the development of Sacred Fire, we will shift now towards building the final visuals. Yay!

Cheers,

Andrej

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