Who are you? What is this?
Hello, I’m McDichael, mostly a lurker of the FE and its hacking community, and I’m part of a small team of friends working on what is kind of a dream project: an original game in the style of Fire Emblem with the structure of some modern Roguelikes- namely Slay the Spire and Chrono Ark, but with the FE/SRPG fixins instead of cards.
Why is this here?
I post this here because a lot of the design is heavily based off of the cool concepts, design patterns, and QoL stuff that this community cooks up, so I thought it would be a good place to share, and more importantly, collect feedback. See, this isn’t just a shill post, we also have got a demo up for the Steam Strategy Fest where we are collecting feedback and impressions. We would all really appreciate if we could get some points about design and inspirations for future development from the passionate people here.
What kind of feedback are you looking for?
This is a demo open to the public too, so we are aware it is a little on the easy side. We wanted to show off a large enough chunk of the game without scaring people off so we erred on the side of being unchallenging. We hope you can understand that when you play.
It is an original game built from the ground up (well, in Unity), so we are also aware of little technical issues here and there, as well as a bit of a cluttered UI.
We are gauging the core concepts of the design, the gamefeel, and gauging general interest in the project. What does it do well? What does it do poorly? How is the art style? How is the music and sound design? Are we allowed to make and participate in threads asking for examples and feedback on skills and mechanics as we develop the game in the future? That sort of thing.
Here’s the details:
One night, a prosperous island kingdom was struck by a falling star. Ever since, the island has been shrouded in a mysterious starry fog. No one has left the island since this incident, save for some curious investigators. Only some investigators leave, with barely being able to recall what they saw. Vague recollections of a cult-like force that has taken over the royalty, and a strange undefined worship of that fallen star.
Lyra, the heir to the throne, was on a diplomatic mission at the time of the incident and was spared from the cosmic event. Dismayed at the state of her homeland, she has taken it upon herself to infiltrate the island and take it back in her name. She is accompanied by a set of strategic alliances who have various other motivations to visit the island, whether it be to help, make a name for themselves, search for missing family members, discover knowledge, or even plunders it treasures.
- A Roguelike, really?
Yes, have you ever played Slay the Spire? It’s hot.
But really, Roguelike hacks and concepts for them have been floating around the community, but tend to not go particularly far due to the issue with random map design. So, we have no random map design.
- So how does that work?
Like StS and Chrono Ark, you progress by following a world map where you can only progress forward, usually given a choice of which path you want to take. Sometimes you will hit a map, sometimes a random event that gives you something.
Each map is largely handcrafted, with pockets of random variance here and there, like some enemy spawn formations (though not really in this demo), chests and their rewards, recruits, loot, and some other stuff I’m forgetting, ask the lead designer.
- Is the tactics gameplay the same as Fire Emblem though?
Mostly. There has been a bit of rebalancing and tweaking of character stats and how they work, but the move → act → combat → end turn → end phase thing is largely intact. There are some changes to UI and some QoL that we are trying to fit around these new mechanics, namely the focus on skills.
- Skill Emblem?
Yes, but Roguelike-ified! The big difference between Astral Throne and Fire Emblem’s Unit progression is that in Astral Throne, each unit’s stats gain experience independently. When levelling up enough stats, your unit will gain a unit level, which raises their maximum HP and grants a choice from a pool of various skills.
We are trying to make these skills interesting and reward! They are the hardest thing to develop and we have plans for interesting mechanics synergies. There is a taste of those synergies in the demo, but we would like some feedback first before we go whole hog on them.
- Weapon Triangles?
Yes, 2! A physical one and a magic one!
- Must I rout the enemy?
Nope! That might be a thing you have the option of doing on some maps in the future, but we do want to have things be a little more varied than that. Plus, we feel Roguelikes like this should encourage a quicker pace.
Units and Classes
- Your main form of power progression is building a team of units
- Each unit has a specific class, base stats, growths, usable weapon types, and a name and a face
- However there are 2 types of units: Heroes and Militia.
- Hero units are the sort of main characters. They have special weapons, abilities, growth rates, and art. They are like Lords.
- Militia units build out your party. They can be a variety of different classes (e.g. Myrmidons and Fighters though we use slightly different words ;))
- You start a run by picking a hero as a leader, and depending on who you pick, there will be some mechanical bonuses and a couple Militia in your starting party
- You recruit militia within maps, and collect items for them as loot or through random events on the world map
- This is an Alpha, it’s still fairly early on in development which is a good time to get feedback, though there is some jank here and there
- Some edge cases in terms of what order you perform certain actions in have not been thoroughly tested and might cause a unit’s turn to not end. You can get around this by hitting the “End Phase” button most of the time
- Very rarely the game will lock up for no apparent reason
- The game is also missing some minor QoL features, but nothing is dysfunctional in the UI (unless it’s a bug we haven’t caught…)
- We hope to continue being present in this community so we can collect some good feedback and make the game the best we can
- We will continue to develop the game for however long and release it at a reasonable price when we feel it’s done; no early access, that’s what the demos are fore
- To make the game really the best it can be, we are also looking for a publisher for development support. The game was just made public recently, so now that we are out there, we feel we can start the search eventually
- Also, if you like what you play, give it a wishlist, it will be a good show of support
Some Screenshots to Catch your Eye