What ho, backers!
We’re back and excited to share some information with you about the free Serpent in the Staglands expansion! Titled “A Fool’s Banquet,” the expansion takes place in the Lachovinian Isles in the aftermath of the Moon Lord’s journey through the Staglands.
A New Engine and Ruleset
As we began designing the campaign for A Fool’s Banquet, we had a ton of ideas that we wanted to implement for the expansion and for future games set in this world. While we could have shoehorned some of these into the Staglands engine, we decided to do something drastic and create an entire new engine that was set up to handle all of the new really neat mechanics and optimizations we wanted to ad in. Thus decided, we started designing and have been spending the last few months building a new and improved engine that will have much faster loading times, better performance, has taken user feedback into account and will be able to support a lot of fun new features like larger maps and stealth systems as well as utilize the height of a 3d world. We have a feature list with some highlights listed below. The mechanics will be using a new ruleset that we think you’ll love as well, but the atmosphere, lore, items, characters and, most importantly, your saved games will still be there.
A Fool’s Banquet began with one premise: authentic castles, and heists and infiltration within. Castles are fascinating, with mazes of corridors, intrigue, workers, gorgeous courtyards, and secrets waiting for a good crawl, and to adventure through all that the way we wanted, we’ve created a ton of new systems and put them in a neat package we’re calling the Burning Candle ruleset.
The Burning Candle ruleset has been designed for the Serpent in the Staglands expansion, but will also be used on our new cyberpunk game, Copper Dreams, and you can see a preview of some of the mechanics and alpha art in action here. Right off the bat you might notice a few differences, one being the game is 3d. While we love pixel art, the move to 3d is necessary to create the interesting tactics that come from height and stealth, and opens up a lot mechanics that aren’t available in a low resolution 2d game, like more accessibility in controls, UI and text. To keep the aesthetic as similar as possible and something we’ll continue to enjoy working on, we’ve chosen a 3d style that utilizes the same filterless textures as pixel art, and are really happy with how it’s turning out. We’ll have some images throughout the year for you to check out the new Vol, now in full 3d!
The Burning Ruleset includes the following features:
A volumetric line of sight
Light and shadow system with dynamic lights for sneaking movement
Fully climbable and traversable height
Isometric view with four direction camera
AI with environmental tactics as well as last known position indicators
Turn based combat with timed resolution
Ailment based health system
Inventory items with a range of uses in and out of combat
Global clock with time of day lighting
Disclaimer: These stories in Vol follow specific characters, and Serpent in the Staglands leads directly into the expansion, so any plot discussion will inevitably involve spoilers.
At the end of Serpent in the Staglands, Necholai receives an unexpected summons from the East, and is preparing to sail there with a son of Erlein, a young Varuchov named Lucian. Through the series of events that Necholai’s meddling inadvertently triggered, namely the death of the goddess of portals, known as the Wandering Lady, many portals once opened are now sealed, causing the magic harnessed from gods to dwindle to nearly nothing over the course of the months since your original descent. As Necholai and Lucian begin their adventure in A Fool’s Banquet, their party has to cope with a world devoid of sorcery. Divine Magic, as it were, has been closed off from Vol, and all that remains is rune writing and some very disgruntled mages.
Playing as an acolyte for the Moon Lord that has been posted to gather information on the Lachovinian Isles, you and your fellow celestial spies are sent on a mission by Necholai, leading you to a dangerous castle with an elusive host.
We’ll have more updates throughout the year as the expansion comes together, and will be posting more in-depth explanations of features on our blog.
Hannah and Joe