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Greetings fellow Cultists of the Dreaming Sheikh!

In this update, we’d like to share some detailed information about our Rest System. As you probably know, resting in Stygian is not a just a mere tool for refilling your depleted stats in the blink of an eye but a defined side system of preparation, risk assessment and research. We, the folk at Cultic Games tend to do all these before going to sleep, don’t you too?

First things first! Let’s have a look at our Rest Screen:

Outsider does not socialize

In Stygian resting also represents the idle time your character and companions spend before going to sleep (or leaving for the Dreamlands). Each character has 5 Rest Points to allocate to a variety of activities which are connected to the acquired skills.

The descriptions of our Rest Activities are as follows:

Note: “Gouging your own eyes out” activity is discarded in the current build for balancing reasons.

Socialize: The character spends her time socializing with a companion, increasing the sanity of both party members.

Related Skill: Speechcraft

Keep Watch: The character stays awake and alert to possible dangers. Decreases the encounter chance while resting in Danger Areas.

Related Skill: Survival

Psychological Treatment: The character provides therapy to a mentally disturbed companion, raising the sanity of the target.

Related Skill: Psychology

Medical Treatment: The character provides medical treatment to herself or a companion, raising the health of the target. Requires Doctor’s Bag.

Related Skill: Medicine

Weapon Maintenance: The character performs maintenance on weapon to improve its performance until next rest.

Related Skill: Firearms or Melee

Physical Exercise: The character performs a series of physical exercises to improve physical endurance and ease the mind until next rest.

Related Skill: Athletics

Gambling: The character takes part in a gambling session in a suitable rest area, gaining Cigs in the process. If things go right…

Related Skill: Subterfuge

Scout: The character scouts the surrounding area for an escape route in case of ambush. The progression escape route will be opened more easily should the party get attacked.

Related Skill: Stealth

Reconnaissance: The character investigates the area to find the best spot to camp, providing a tactical advantage should the party get attacked.

Related Skill: Investigation

Pray: The character prays to the God of her faith, raising the sanity of the character. Requires a religious item.

Related Belief System: Divine

Read: The character reads a book or other publication in relation with her belief system, raising the sanity of the character. Requires a book.

Medical Research: The character searches for a formula by examining medical components in the inventory.

Related Skill: Medicine

Scientific Research: The character searches for a blueprint by examining science related crafting components in the inventory.

Related Skill: Science

Occult Research: The character studies a chosen tome, manuscript or artifact to gain more insight on the forbidden arts. Occult research is used for learning new spells along with identifying the powers and maledictions of artifacts.

Related Skill: Occult

Rest More: The character spends her remaining idle time by resting more, gaining additional health and sanity points.

Related Skill: None

The report screen you get after deciding on the activities

Our next stop is the updated Character Screen, ladies and gents. We aimed to create a detailed yet streamlined and functional design.

Blue highlights indicate the statistics affected by the character element you hover your cursor over

The right portion of the screen is dynamically designed to allow the viewing of Secondary Statistics, Perks and Abilites or ANGST tabs while preserving the primary statistics area of the screen. With this approach, we wanted to make the attributes, skills and other core character data always visible while checking other statistics such as perks for easier stat comparison and character progression.

No, we’re not done yet. We wanted to conclude our update by delving more into the realm of the unknown. At your discretion, we present you the Grimoire of Stygian:

Seeing any “magic torpedos” around?

Nothing further will be discussed about this issue since we already meddled with the dark forces enough…

Until the next update cult brethren!

Continue dreaming the glorious fall.

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Greetings Listeners of the Forbidden Melody!

In this update we’d like to share some of the musical compositions you’ll be hearing throughout Stygian and share our composer Asli Kobaner’s thoughts on the process. We’ll also be unveiling more on the production plans of Stygian.

Please note that all the tracks are still work in progress. This means we’re still measuring the sanity levels of the captured subjects while exposing them to Stygian’s music constantly. We will update you on the results.

In the meantime, here are some samples:

Desolate Arkham

This track will be accompanying you through some of the hubs in south Arkham.

The Bank of Lunatics

There is something wrong with the Bank of Arkham.

Combat Theme (Bank)

The conflict is imminent.

Let’s hear what Asli has to say on her work:

“Since the beginning of Stygian, I’ve been closely entangled with researches on game music architecture. I endeavored to develop a general approach by identifying the structural model and its sonic needs through collective brainstorming and individual work. 

In this context, quest flows supply a narrative ground to distinguish different sound types and musical content. Lists and maps specifically serve to track and categorize these materials: a general map for tension and release patterns throughout quests, an inventory of virtual instrument plugins, effects, sound banks and recorded performances, lists regarding the amount of diegetic and non-diegetic material. All these processes aim to bring out the sonic world of Stygian. 

I think the boundaries between what is “music” and what is “sound”- yes, this old issue- is relative, or at best, obscure. Similarly it can also be hard to separate the “musical” composition from the sound design when it comes to Stygian. Even though most of the audio materials are functionally categorized (such as foley sounds, ambiences or leitmotivs), they feed each other blending in various combinations throughout the gameplay. With an assemblage of these echoing, imitating, contrasting, looping, music is adapted to the variability of the gameplay duration. 

 As for the musical grammar, certain stylistic languages are employed:Indian ritual references, period music such as early jazz and late romanticism, and a wider array of musical expressions influenced by the works of Jonathan Harvey, George Crumb, György Ligeti, Alvin Curran, Stravinsky, Gerard Grisey and Fausto Romitelli among others.”

And here we present you the illustration you’ll be seeing at the combat loading screens. With this approach, we aimed to create a more general feeling of terror and ever-shifting, constant sense of danger instead of focusing on individual Mythos entities.

Do we need to say that the figure in the middle of the party represents your character?

Last but not least, we finally have a release date for our special backer demo. You’ll be wandering the uncanny streets of our doomed town in August, this year. We were expecting to land it in June but have decided to share a more complete experience. Expect more than a thirty minute long starter snack…

Welcome to Schmidt’s Antiques. No lighting applied.

As for the release date, we’ve been seeing the possibility of Stygian becoming a more defined and involving game each day as we complete the tools and systems which enables us to create more content efficiently. We believe we can turn Stygian into a longer and more polished experience from a humble indie title with a modest budget.

Let’s see what our extended demo has to offer, then we can talk more about our wicked plans. If we are not satisfied altogether, there is no need to hope for more.

We’re also working on the Dreamlands quest as we promised, along with the new archetype Explorer and her prologue chapter.

We have to go downstairs now. You know, unfinished business in the torture chambers and all…

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Greetings Fellow Collectors of Eldritch Artifacts!

In this update we’d like to share Stygian’s inventory system.

Let’s start with a video showcasing the system, and then talk more about its features and our design approach.

Stygian’s inventory consists of the following sections:

Paper Doll – shows all the items the player currently has equipped, including weapons, outfits, artifacts, a backpack and things of that sort. We are pretty sensitive about customization and aim to display the player’s choices with as many visual representations as possible. We’re also designing unique models for special items such as rare weapons and gadgets. We are keenly aware of the fact that we RPG players love to play with our dolls, preferably voodoo dolls…

Equip your character, in style…

Statistics – shows almost all of the secondary statistics which affect combat and exploration. Potential effects of the items will be displayed as a tool-tip in the form of colored numeric modifiers.

We haven’t forgotten you Min-Max scholars.

Party inventory – shows all items in the party’s possession. Stygian uses a shared inventory system so you won’t need to spend time shifting carried items from one character to another. Less item management, more black magic, count us in!

Did we tell you that we’re also fans of adventure games?

Item category tabs – grant easy access to all the items you’ll need to prolong your hopeless struggle against the shapeless horrors of the abyss. Tabs are divided into the following categories: Weapons and ammo, outfits, consumables, tools and gadgets, artifacts, books and tomes, quest-related items, miscellaneous, and of course the favorites tab, which can be customized by the player.

Quick items – allows you to set certain items to be instantly available during combat and exploration. Don’t forget to add your favorite smokes to one of the quick item slots. Cigarettes are essential for reducing stress but remember not to smoke them all because the Cigs have become Arkham’s rising currency!

As you can see, we tried to build upon the inventory features typical of western role playing games while balancing convenience and thematic flavor. We also chose to use larger icons for our items in order to include more detail, increase immersion, and show off the efforts of our talented artists.

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Greetings Fellow Dreamers of our Glorious Fall!

As you know, true art can only come from suffering (lot’s of hard work is a plus though). We’ve decided to make this update all about the new art assets of Stygian that we developed after the success of our campaign. For better or worse, you’re responsible for them! Take credit dear cultist.

Archetypal PC models with various stages of detail.

Textures and shadows are absent except the Investigator

As you can see we’re altering our characters to fit better with our vision of a more classically stylized game world.

And here you can see our new approach to character animations. We’ve changed our animation software, we’re now working full time with more animation artists and we’re extremely excited about what’s to come!

On the downside, we often find ourselves doing crazy looking body movements and gestures to express our characters to animators. We warn you, don’t make your best deep one moves in a glass office partition. People look

No texturing, test coloring.

Speaking of the deep ones, let’s check the evolution of our interpretation of the iconic creature. As you can see, the gills took most of the time!

Basic lighting tests in Riverside

Without darkness, there can be no light. On second thought,  forget about the light. It’s boring and almost non-existent in Stygian.

We’re working on a light engine for dark areas such as catacombs and crypts. Get ready to enter some combat scenarios holding your pistol on one hand and your good old lantern on the other!

Honest Bill’s Pawn Shop

There can not be an art update without a glimpse of our backgrounds, right? Just don’t ask about the fate of Honest Bill, we prefer not to talk about it…

And we’d like to conclude our update with a character portrait. Since we’re working on his dialogues these days, let us introduce you the owner of Schmidt’s Antiques, Isidore Schmidt. He has a thing for keys…

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Greetings Denizens of the Doomed Earth!

In this update we’d like to share more information on the advantages and side effects of Mental Conditions in Stygian’s challenging combat scenarios.

As we emphasized before, sometimes it helps to be mad in a world gone mad!

Mania

Increases Action Points but gives the character a small chance to lose control and attack the nearest enemy unit in combat.

Paranoia 

Increases Reaction but gives the character a small chance to attack an ally in combat.

Schizophrenia

Increases Mental Resistance but gives the character a small chance to enter a catatonic state and lose a combat round.

Psychopathy 

Increases Critical Chance but gives the character a small chance to lose a certain amount of Sanity after killing a foe.

Depression 

Increases Supernatural Defense but gives the character a small chance to lose his Physical Defense bonus entirely for a turn.

Obsession

Slightly increases the success chance of a repeated combat action but gives the character a small chance to automatically repeat a failed combat action until getting a success or passing a High Difficulty Will check.

Please note that all these effects are subject to change and are still being tested.

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Greetings fellow heretics!

It seems we have reached our funding goal! We’ll see what the last week will bring but you should know one thing: We’ve achieved this together! Your support and enthusiasm always motivates us to do the best. Thank you!

Now, does this mean the updates will stop? Of course not! Let’s continue with our portrait and concept artist Ege Bilgen and what he’d like to share about his work on Stygian:

A previous work of Ege Bilgen

“Greetings worshippers and fanatics!

Perhaps some of you have noticed that a magnificent twilight is upon us.

Yes, it is indeed the sign of our encroaching doom; a beautiful storm of sweet, all-encompassing sorrow. As the maddening end draws ever nearer, let me express dear fans and supporters, what an honour and pleasure it’s been for me, your humble portrait artist Ege Bilgen, to have taken part in this dark journey thus far.

   All of our portraits are hand drawn by pencil before being scanned for the digital coloring process.

That’s right, I have been… innocently requested, shall we say, to create character portraits for Stygian (There wasn’t any form of dark ritual involved of course, let me assure you). Now you might inquire, how does one exactly proceed with such a task? What kind of process goes into capturing the tragedy of a burdened and afflicted soul?

Final version

Well, it all starts with an idea, a conceptual insight for a character. “An honorable yet beaten man, at the end of his ropes.” the dark voices whisper. “A woman, proud and wise, yet she underestimates.” Now the voices cackle gleefully. “This one’s a naughty one. He’s a natural. ” The voices hang heavy in my mind.

I receive many such depictions. After a slight moment of feeling sorry for what the Old Ones might have in store for them, I immediately begin to imagine. I imagine these souls first at their best. I see a heroic nod of assuring stoicism, or a euphoric smile of untainted joy perhaps. Then…well, then I take it all away.

The innocence fades, their dreams vanish, and dwindling hopes of absolution become ash in agonizing cries. Now in my mind’s eye I look at these characters again. I carefully look to see what’s left of them, and what precisely made them to go on. Sometimes the answer is quite reassuring, and sometimes… not so much. With a heavy heart then I try to make you witness as well, as far as my humble talents allow me to do so.

 A strange and hopeless twilight of madness is upon the world of Stygian, and as the characters there somehow keep fighting on, I tried to imagine them staring right into it. Some of them endured many grave losses which cannot be easily compensated. Some of them found new strengths of frightening darkness and intensity. As the portrait artist of Stygian, I hope I was able to capture and reflect all of this adequately, and you will enjoy what I have created for you, dear supporters.”

It’s a privilege to have talented Mr. Bilgen on board.

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Greetings fellow admirers of the macabre!

In this update we’d like to give you more information on the creation process of our environment art along with sharing some images from different stages of production. Our environment artist Elwira Pawlikowska is responsible for breathing life into the eerie landscapes you’ll visit in Stygian. Her painstaking, authentic pencil drawing style and background in architecture made her the perfect choice for Stygian’s backgrounds.

Our environment artist Elwira Pawlikowska

Our creative director Can decided Elwira was the right choice after seeing such illustrations of the artist.

Let’s hear Elwira’s thoughts on the process:

“Hi there lone fighters against the forces of darkness! I’m Elwira – the environment artist responsible for giving the right shape to the Stygian’s settings.  

What was needed was a hand drawn 2D world reflecting the mood of Lovecraft’s universe, saturated with decay, hopelessness and madness.  

The first step was “research” ie becoming familiar with book and newspaper illustrations “from the era” (1920s), analyzing approach to contours, shading and texturing. It also meant browsing through plenty of images related with US industrial districts from the prohibition time and … photos of extremely weird mushrooms. 

The next step was making precise pencil drawings of my own designs (buildings, vehicles, plants, environment in general). After scanning them it was time for “digital inking” with a graphic tablet, which enabled the graphic crew to work freely with all the files, but also helped to maintain a retro feel.

Many visual aspects were already carefully thought out by the game designers  from the beginning, however there were still space for my imagination! The best moment was elaborating all the tiny little details of the ruined city, indicating, that something dreadful has happened there. As an architect of education I’m much more accustomed to creating than devastating. Thus creation of devastation for Stygian awoke dormant areas of my consciousness…”

It’s great to havc Elwira on board!

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Greetings fellow practitioners of the dark arts!

Don’t we all love skills in RPGs?

Skills reflect your choices, aspirations and experiences in Stygian. Different combinations will open different paths to reach your goals. With twelve skills and numerous perks, players will have many opportunities to shape their own fate and face the challenges of Stygian.

Let’s have a look at our Skills along with some of their related Perks.

Investigation: The skill of observing one’s surroundings; finding clues, hidden items and subtle connections.

Related Perks: Photography, Tracking, Questioning

Occult: The skill of comprehending the unknown; knowledge of the mythos and the other realities. Occult skill is obligatory for casting spells and performing rituals.

Related Perks: Spell-weaving, Ritual Mastery, Sacrifice

Psychology: The skill of sensing the motives of others, knowing the mechanics of the mind and stabilizing one’s and others’ mental health.

Related Perks: Psychoanalysis, Mental Barrier, Therapy

Speechcraft: The skill of influencing others with words, creating sympathy or fear in them and performing the art of lying.

Related Perks: Manipulation, Intimidation, Seduction

Melee: The skill of hand to hand fighting and close quarters combat with melee weapons.

Related Perks: Martial Artist, Fencing, Exotic Weapons

Firearms: The skill of operating all kinds of firearms from pistols to machine guns.

Related Perks: Gunslinger, Rifle Expert, Special Weaponry

A player character using his Investigation skill to learn more about the cause of death of the strange fossilized creature.

Science: The skill of understanding the rational world, making inventions, grasping the principles of scientific facts and researching mythos beings to find weaknesses in their metabolisms.

Related Perks:  Advanced Autopsy, Great Inventor, Metabolism Expert

Stealth: The skill of not being seen and heard, moving without being detected and eavesdropping.

Related Perks: Vanishing, Silent Running, Assassination

Survival: The skill of withstanding pain and extreme conditions.

Related Perks: Snake Eater, Camping, Sentry

Medicine: The skill of understanding the human body, curing diseases and stabilizing one’s and others’ physical health.

Related Perks: Xeno-Botany, Drug Expert, Purifier

Athletics: The skill of moving gracefully, dodging attacks and performing athletic manoeuvres.

Related Perks: Escape Artist, Exceptional Reflexes, Daredevil

Subterfuge: The skill of dirty tricks, lock-picking and stealing.

Related Perks: Cheat, Master Thief, Dirty Fighting 

An academic character using his Science skill on a wrecked fire engine to salvage some machine parts.

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Greetings dear listeners of Radio New England,

In this update we’d like to give you more information about the composing process of Stygian along with sharing some of our haunted melodies with you. Our composer and long time collaborator Aslı Kobaner is working tirelessly on making the auditory world of Stygian blend with the other elements of the game, such as visuals and emotional themes.

Stygian’s composer Aslı Kobaner

Let’s hear her thoughts on the music of Stygian:

“Hi Friends! I’m Aslı, a servant of the Sunken Lord just like you.

The music that shall accompany you in your journey in Stygian will hopefully materialize through my humble agency. I’d like to underline the word “humble” since I can define myself as a humble gamer, though an old and avid Lovecraft fan.

In the beginning, when we started brainstorming about the musical essence of Stygian, we extracted some key words: mystery, haunting, occult, desolation, tragedy… Bringing our lonely, forsaken world to life has been and still is a challenging task to fulfill. Those key emotions that will probably help you being immersed by the strange worlds of Lovecraft also led me to explore their musical substitutes: from dense textures to simple melodies, repeating rhythms to droning ambiances, all kinds of functional material. Especially through juxtaposition of these, multiple layers of distinct material, I aim to emphasize the contrast between the different planes of Stygian, different phases of the Stygian experience, thus depict its colorful diversity. 

In this journey, I hope to take strength from the legacy of contemporary composers, as well as some cult examples of vintage game music. And of course, from the dark lore of metal that take its strength from our lord Cthulhu!”

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Greetings fellow Arkham residents!

In this update we’d like to give you additional details about some of our gifts and their connection to the game’s lore.

Merry Folk from the Stars

Written by the mysterious Edmund Whateley and published by the equally enigmatic publishing house Cultic Press, “Merry Folk from the Stars” caused a wave of hysteria among children across the country. Some see the unholy success that came by the publication of this cursed book as the final nail in the coffin of our society.

Nothing is known about the book’s mysterious author Whateley.

Parents all over the country reported hallucinations, aggressive behavior, catatonic trances and even worse symptoms displayed by their children who read the book. Further complicating this dismal situation, Merry Folk could only be the beginning of what is yet to come…

Some say the book has a “hypnotic” quality.

There is a unique quest in the game concerning the shadowy author of Merry Folk and the clues you’ll learn from the actual book will help you complete it.

Merry Folk Figurines

We’re proud of these little rascals and wanted to shed more light on their design process. You can check their detailed 3D models in 360 degrees from the link below:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/38282269/merry-folk-from-the-stars

3D designs of our collector figurines.

Special Edition Game Tome

Some photos of the game tome no.001

Behold! The re-animator of dead skin is at work.

All the special edition game tomes will be manufactured by the veteran leather worker, Master Sebo. Your tome will be unique to you due to the variations in the leather stocks and the organic nature of the manufacturing process.

And at last; our cultist robe speaks for itself. You may have realized that we’re wearing the same robes in our Kickstarter video.

With this robe, you’ll get all the attention in esoteric rituals.

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