Greetings fellow inmate,

Yes, we are completely aware of the fact that what you had to go through was not a fabrication of your mind. On the contrary, my dear, it was as real as the air you breathe or our darkening sun that fails to warm your soul as it used to… 

Let them believe in their petty, fragile reality and try to cure you like it will make any difference in the upcoming times. Oh, don’t you worry, the Black Day is nigh my dear…

Until our time comes, let me further educate you in our ways. They may call us mad but there is a structure even in madness… Let me introduce an old friend to you…

Hey backers, I’m Mehmet Reha Tugcu, the UI designer of Stygian and I’m here to talk a bit about our user interface. Our primary goal while designing the UI was to preserve the aesthetic of the game while maintaining the user friendliness of modern games.

                                          A segment of character creation screen

Much like the RPGs of old, our HUDs are highly decorative and textured. Even though our UI is a homage to the godfathers of the genre, we’ve tried to avoid their flaws like cluttered elements and confusing players with information overload. Hopefully older players will feel right at home using the interface while newer players won’t be overwhelmed by the depth of the game.

                                          A segment of trade screen

We’ve spent a lot of time on perfecting the typography. With a single glance, players will be able to discern the flow of information through the header fonts,colors and sizes. Stygian has so many different UI panels; the character screen, inventory, map, character creation, exporation, combat, grimoire, journal and much more. With a UI this vast, it was extremely important to be consistent with our design language so it would all feel connected and immersive.

                                          A segment of character screen

                                          Character Portrait Selection

Aesthetic wise, we used real paper, leather and marble textures on a lot of the panels. Our grimoire was made from scratch using paper scans overlaid on top of each other. Every scratch and burn mark on it was placed intentionally. The UI uses a lot of dark shades and textures that complement the game world. All of our panels open as pop-ups, you’ll still be able to see the world of Stygian around these panels. All these decisions were made to avoid immersion breaking transitions between the game and the UI.

                                          A segment of Grimoire

Stygian is primarily designed for PC and the UI takes advantage of that. Our inventory is huge and includes features like filters and a search bar. We also have a dynamic cursor with a gem embedded inside that changes color depending on what it’s hovered on. Most modern games develop their UI in the last few months, with Stygian we designed the UI with the game itself and as the game grew, so did the UI. Our exploration UI went through several iterations, we’re currently in the process of adding gemstones that represent the character’s visibility in stealth.

                                          A few of our Archetype symbols

I’ve had a lot of fun making the UI of Stygian, hopefully you’ll enjoy using it as well. Feel free to check out the details of the UI from the link below. It’s from an older version but it’s pretty close to what the finished product will look like. Take care!

For a more detailed look at the UI elements of Stygian:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/58888283/Stygian-UI

Ah, don’t you worry dear, you’ll learn more in time. Just be patient. 

Take your medicine now and be a good patient. 

Until we meet again in the filthy corridors of Arkham Sanitarium.

Team Cultic

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IGN Greece Interview

Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones Q&A

Answered by Can Oral

Creative Director @ Cultic Games


Hello! Thanks for the interview and your interest in Stygian!


1) How you came up with the idea of detaching Arkham from the earth and transferring it to a different dimension?

 

There are a couple of reasons behind the idea. First of all, we wanted to implement a variety of settings from a wide selection of Lovecraft’s works, including the ones that are located in Lovecraft County (his fictional New England setting), in Dreamlands, and even in some ambiguous locations that are included in his earlier tales. Mostly the ones that have been inspired by the gothic literature. In order to incorporate all those different timelines and themes, we’ve realized that we needed an interplanar setting. A doomed town lost in dimensions surrounded by a variety of Lovecraftian realities seemed like a good starting point.

 

The game forms its supernatural mythology purely around the work of Lovecraft. I also see it as a study on negative human conditions and darker side of our psyches, which are mostly neglected in some areas of the media, like video games for instance. I wanted the game’s world to be an isolated prison, which is run by different factions (the Mob and the Cult), therefore allowing us to harness the creative space in order to explore different types of oppression that have an impact on our civilization.

2) Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones is influenced by the work of H.P Lovecraft. Could you tell us some of his stories that inspired you the most?

It is true that every quest, companion or area inside the game has a connection to his works but I have to add that the knowledge of the stories won’t be a prerequisite to enjoy what the game offers.

 

The stories that have a strong relation with the game are “At the Mountains of Madness”,“The Whisperer in Darkness”, “The Terrible Old Man”, “The Call of Cthulhu”, “The Silver Key” , “The Outsider”, “Herbest West – Re-animator”, “The Festival”, “The Shadow over Innsmouth”, “The Shadow Out of Time”, “The Dreams in the Witch House”, “The Colour Out of Space” and the list goes on… As you can see, there is a lot of Lovecraft from different periods of his work in Stygian’s DNA but expect the unexpected in some of their interpretations.


3) Were you inspired by any other writers of the Cthulhu mythos like August Derleth and Clark Ashton Smith?

 

No. At the conception stage, I made the decision of getting the game’s inspiration solely from the works of Lovecraft. I thought that it would be easier to build our own interpretation without being influenced by other people’s ideas that were influenced by him. It was a matter of staying close to the source and starting to build from there, so that we can fill in the blanks with more freedom and with more inspiration from our own subconsciousness and experiences.


4) There is really a lot of depth in the character creation screen. Were you inspired by tabletop role-playing games?

 

Most of us are avid tabletop roleplayers in the team and we believe that character creation is one of the most crucial elements to an RPG because that single stage defines the “role” that you’re going to perform as the player throughout the whole game. We are almost obsessive about giving the player the right tools to shape his or her own experience on a multitude of levels from the chosen age to the chosen belief system. No two runs of Stygian should be the same.

5) Speaking of role-playing games, in my personal opinion there are less and less RPG each year that deliver a deep and rich role-playing experience. One of these RPG is Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones. How you managed to complete such a difficult task?

 

We are honored to hear that. I don’t know… I had the same concerns as you and one day the urge to make something that I really wanted to play became unavoidable so we started this insane journey. To make such a flexible and reflective game with such a small team is pure Lovecraftian madness and we’re still going (smiles).

6) Maintaining your sanity in Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones is crucial, as it is on several other games that were inspired by the Lovecraft’s work. Is there any character build that benefits from having low sanity or perhaps any spells that have a more powerful effect if you are close to madness?

 

Without giving any spoilers, I can tell that there is a certain quest in the game which can only be experienced if you have low sanity. Also, the mental conditions in the game has some interesting advantages as well. A psychopath is more dangerous in combat for example.

7) I played the demo of the game and I was fascinated by The Outsider character. How many characters in total can you find and recruit to you party? Are there any “otherworldly” characters like The Outsider?

Thank you, the Outsider is also among my favorite characters in the game. There is going to be a re-animated WW1 soldier, an Innsmouthian gangster and Randolph Carter’s wife, Sonia Greene Carter will be available in the game as companions.  


8) In terms of combat, why did you chose this turn-based tactical approach with emphasis on the positioning of the characters in an hexagonal grid?

We are deep HoMM fans here at the office and from the beginning I thought that kind of a combat perspective will also fit the illustrative, stylistic approach of the game. Combining the hexagonal map system with the action points system of Fallout, we had an interesting stage to play with and we’re still building on it to make combat as interesting as it can be.   


9) Will there be more than one possible outcome of the story when you reach the end of the game? Does the choices you make in dialogues influence how the story unfolds in the end?

 

There will be 8 different endings to the game. The people you choose to become friends with, the way you treat your companions and your character’s view of the universe will all have an effect on the ending sequences.

10) Any plans for developing a console or a mobile version of the game? Is there any chance also to see Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones on the Windows Store?

 

Not at the moment, but let’s see what the future brings… Steam and GOG are the platforms we’re aiming at the moment. I’m sure our publisher 1C will come up with new possibilities in the future.

 

Thanks a lot for the spot on questions!

https://gr.ign.com/stygian-reign-of-the-old-ones/60497/interview/stygian-reign-of-the-old-ones-sunenteuxe-me-ton-can-oral

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Greetings Explorers of the Forbidden Realms!

We all love our maps, don’t we?

                                                  The monsters do exist indeed…

The map system is also an important aspect of Stygian which adds another layer of gameplay to the experience with also the help of some basic survival systems built around it. Whether it’s a must-go destination of a quest stage, specific hub or the location of a random encounter, all points of interest in a given instance will be displayed in the maps of the game.

There are two kinds of maps in the game: Area Maps and the Regional Map. A good example of an Area Map is the map of downtown Arkham, which displays various hubs within the downtown area. These hubs will be accessed manually, through regular means of travelling in the exploration screen.

The Downtown Area Map with four different hubs which the party can travel to. Miskatonic University hub will be unlocked at a later stage and will feature its own travel map.

Then there is the Regional Map, which shows the landmarks and hubs in the greater area of the game world. The party is able to travel long distances in the regional map, but in order to do that, the player must acquire the necessary information pertaining to the location and content of those landmarks.

The Regional Travel Map has several features. Over at the lower left corner, there is a text log which conveys information about the state of the party members, modifiers they receive, changes about health/sanity points, general game logs about your encounters and brief notes/descriptions. In the middle there are three indicators, Kerosene meter, Health bar and Sanity bar. Next to it are resource indicators. On the far right there are two buttons. Respectively they are: the Halt button and the Rest button. If the party has in its possession enough resources, the player may wish to rest anywhere he or she sees fit.

Here’s how the Regional Travel Map looks like during a journey through the suburbs. Notice how the trip started from the location of a previous encounter and is bound for Dead Willows. 

Travelling on the Regional Map takes time and with time, your party gets tired and hungry. Travelling for too long will eventually deplete your health and sanity so you need to have a rest every once in a while, and to rest property, you need to have possession of sufficient resources. Travelling will also expose the party to encounters and events. Some will be rewarding, some will be harmful, some will be informative and some will be surprising.

There are two types of map encounters: Obligatory and Random. Obligatory encounters are derived from quests and appear at a certain stage during quest progression. They cannot be avoided nor by-passed and are crucial for the progression of some quests.

Random encounters on the other hand, as their name implies, will appear to the player through other variables and luck plays a big factor. Their selection by the game and their content will depend on the area in which the party passes through and the level of the party. The random encounters might take place as one of the many battle scenarios or as challenges in the style of a “choose your adventure” game, where the player will utilize its skills and stats through the selection of various dialogue options.

The player can view the Region Map anytime he or she wishes but the travelling option only becomes available when the party exits a certain hub which has an access to it.

The party is able to have some control over its choices as to how it wishes to approach some scenarios by the use of Sense Threat (Senses + Investigation) and Counter-ambush(Senses + Survival) stats. A successful Sense Threat check will provide information about the encountered situation and will grant the party a chance to engage or withdraw from it. A successful Counter-ambush check will grant the party a chance to avoid a possible ambush.

This takes us t-

(INDISTINGUISHABLE SOUNDS)

Uh, excuse us ladies and gentlemen…

(A BUZZING IMITATION OF HUMAN SPEECH)

We are hearing the call again.

Stygian calls us to do its unspeakab-

(SPEECH CUT OFF BY END OF RECORD)

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Greetings Brewers of the Forbidden Recipe!

We’d like to start this update with an announcement. The publishing of Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones will be handled by 1C Online Games the publisher of King’s Bounty and Men of Warseries. This cooperation will help bring Stygian to a wider audience, therefore hasten the doom of mankind, although they are not aware of it…

We’d like to thank the 1C Online team for seeing the potential of mayhem in Stygian. As you can expect, Cultic Games will retain its total creative freedom over the doomed town of Arkham and its unfortunate residents.

Now, let’s talk about some of the game systems and have a look at the Crafting System.

There are three main skills associated with Crafting: Science, Medicine and Survival.

With the help of your Science skill you can discover (or learn) blueprints of gadgets and contraptions. With the sufficient Science skill value and the right components you’ll be able to craft a variety of items from electric lanterns to prototypical weapons.

With Medicine you can discover (or learn) formulas of mixtures and drugs. With the sufficient Medicine skill value and the right components you’ll be able to craft a variety of items from cocaine to pheromone cocktails.

And lastly, Survival gradually unlocks new survival recipes which can aid you in your desperate struggle such as ammo belts and handmade backpacks.

You can see the whole system at work in the showcase video below:

Lastly, there are two types of components which you’ll be using to produce your much needed items:

  • Specific Components: If the plan requires a specific item and that item only, it falls in to the category of Specific components
  • Components with Crafting Traits: If the plan requires an item with a crafting trait, any item that bears the same trait will suffice

For example if a plan requires an item with the Alcoholic trait, any kind of liquor or even pure alcohol itself will suffice to fill that particular slot. With this approach, we wanted to  open up the way for a flexible system that enables situations like using the clothes you wear to make bandages. And we somehow feel that you’ll find yourself in grim situations like this pretty often…

Feel free to throw away any questions you might have ladies and gentlemen!

Until we set sail for the black unknown with the elder race from the stars…

Team Cultic

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We Need To Go Deeper locked us onto the edge of our seats with its ever immersive co-operative game-play, giving no quarter for errors and hesitation. You and your crew will haplessly drift into the depths, like a moth would to a flame.

 

http://weneedtogodeeper.com/

 

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Greetings Restless Observers of the Black Stars!

With this update we’d like to invite you to our office (of course, we have got to exclude the catacombs section in our guided tour!) and share some insight and stories about the development process through the words of our team members, in a lengthy and detailed video interview.

Although the video is in Turkish, you can set the subtitles to English and Youtube will do the rest! In the next update, we’ll have an announcement to make…

Until we meet again in the twisting corridors of the mind…

Team Cultic

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Greetings fellow stargazers!

In this update, we wanted to focus on some of the features that you weren’t able to experience in the demo but will get to see in the full game. Without further ado, let’s begin!

Darkness Mechanics

Darkness itself will be one of your adversaries in Stygian. In a dimension without sunlight you’ll be needing the company of your good old lantern more often than not and of course this will come at the expense of your precious Kerosene.

If you find yourself in darkness without a light source you’ll start losing sanity. If you enter a combat scenario without a party member carrying a light source you’ll have serious disadvantages against enemies (especially the ones that can see in the dark; such as Pickman ghouls).

There are two levels of darkness in Stygian: Dark and Pitch-black. Pitch black represents a supernatural level of darkness that drains your sanity, even while holding a light source. Please note that we are not responsible for the strange visions you may see in pitch-black environments. Question your own dark past…

We’re also planning some pretty neat mechanics for pitch-black combat scenes if the production time allows.

And keep in mind that darkness will have some important effects on user experience in exploration as well, such as not being able to interact with the environment objects that you do not illuminate.

Localization

We’ve been neglecting the construction of a good localization foundation for far too long… Not anymore! Madness should be spread to other innocent tongues like wildfire!

For the last two weeks, we’ve been busy doing our bests to prepare the systems that will make the lives of Stygian’s potential translators much less miserable. We may have just saved ourselves from being the target of a lot of potential curses, hexes and malignant rituals. Pheew…

And here is our very first localized screen:

                          Turkish localization will follow the English release

Item Comparison

Are you among those who like to min-max your combat potential? Do you find yourself comparing every little stat out there to maximize the pain you’ll induce to your enemies? Then this system is for you! (You’ll die anyway…)

Whenever you check the statistics of a weapon, you’ll be able to see which stats are higher or lower than your currently equipped weapon’s, thanks to green and red coloured indicators.

If you like a deeper comparison, you can always see the stats of your equipped weapon with a simple right click and examine both items’ properties in detail.

Faction Mechanics and Hiding your Identity

The factions of Stygian will remember the rights and wrongs that you do to them. If you offend the Mob by attacking one of its members inside a populated area, they will come after you. You’ll be seeing bounty hunters patrolling the main hubs and almost all the mob members that you encounter will trigger combat.

If you offend Mob in an isolated area (such as the distillery outside Arkham city), you have to kill every single enemy in order to prevent the spreading of the word. If at least one enemy can flee from the combat, they will come after you.

Thankfully there is a way around that: hiding your identity. If you (and your party members) wear masks before things get hot, your enemies won’t be able to identify you. Ever wanted to be a masked vigilante? This is your turn. Just remember the fate of Betsy Ross, the last vigilante of Arkham. Such a sad tale it is…

This takes us to the end of our update ladies and gentlemen.

Until we see each other in the interweaving tunnels of forbidden data once again.

Team Cultic

 

To watch the videos:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1698219403/stygian-a-lovecraftian-computer-rpg/posts/2114701

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