We hope this blackened electric letter is not interrupting any of your daily rituals. If that is the case, please finish the ceremony first and make sure you don’t leave the altar in a mess. Cultic Games is not going anywhere.
In this update, we’d like to focus on some improvements we made on Stygian’s environments since the backer demo, such as; Extended lighting for building exteriors and transparency radius.
Extended Lighting for Buildings
Gas light is a crucial element for the world of Stygian. It symbolizes the final and unfortunately ever declining stand of human civilization against the all-embracing cosmic darkness.
We wanted to see the flickering light of lanterns like dying glow-worms behind the windows of our populated buildings. In order to achieve that, we created a new shader that can produce different emissive color values with various parameters to get exactly the look that we’d like to portray in the game.
This process also required the utilization of some interior objects such as tables, chandeliers, bottles and sorts in order to keep the continuity and populate the now lit spaces.
Shall we have a look at the results?
With this application, in addition to the achievement of a deeper visual atmosphere, we’ve also managed to turn our functional buildings into natural indicators.
Player-centric Transparency Radius
Have you ever wondered what lies behind our buildings? With our new shader you’ll be able to explore the spaces behind the large environment objects and find more loot or probably more trouble in those once shrouded areas.
Border effect and radius is subject to change
You’ll be able to see the updated lighting yourself in the public demo but the transparency radius requires some more testing and probably won’t make it to the public demo build.
And yes, there is going to be a public demo. RPG players around the world should witness the glory of our beautiful doom, don’t you think?
Just before that happens, we’d like to make as many people aware of Stygian as we can by reaching out to streamers and Youtubers. So if you’d like to make a stream or a video about Stygian feel free to drop a mail to “email@example.com” with the subject “Stream/Video Request” so we can sort things out.
Or maybe you’d like to see Stygian in the videos of a content producer that you follow or know? It is the perfect time brothers and sisters! Even writing a simple comment beneath a video will surely help. You know, there are Lovecraftian games lists out there without Stygian in them. As we all know, this is a BLASPHEMY.
Last but not least, we are proud to present you the logo animation of Cultic Games:
In this update we’d like to share all the aspects of our Character Creation System, inform you about Cultic Games’ participation to Gamescom and finally talk about some dates for the backer demo and release. Get ready for a long and (hopefully) thrilling journey!
Let’s begin with a showcase video of Stygian’s character creation screen:
Character Creation consists of the following steps:
0. Indoctrination (Optional)
This is the step you say good-bye to your loved ones, shut all your doors and windows, fanatically repeat your “Ph’nglui Mglw’nafh” prayers and fast for weeks until you remove the last traces of your current identity.
1. Gender Selection
The horrors of Stygian do not discriminate based on your character’s gender.
The world of Stygian reacts to your gender. Different genders will have different relations with some NPCs but from a statistical point of view, both genders are identical.
2. Age Selection
In Stygian your character’s age is not just a cosmetic element. It plays two important roles. First, your age changes your starting statistics, second it changes the reaction of the world to your character.
[OUT OF TUNE SINGING] I know what it is to be young but you don’t know what it is…
Young: Young characters are in their physical prime and get 1 bonus point to Physique, Agility or Senses, but due to a lack of experience start the game with 2 fewer skill points.
Adult: Adult characters have the default number of points for attributes and skills.
Old: Old characters are in physical decline and get a 1 point penalty to Physique, Agility or Senses, but in exchange get to spend 2 extra skill points during character creation to reflect their additional life experience.
3. Archetype Selection
Jungian archetypes or Stygian archetypes?
This where you select your Archetype and its related background. You can have more information on Stygian’s archetypes from our campaign page, here. With your support the Explorer (our first stretch goal) is now added to the roster as well.
We’ve designed our Backgrounds to give you more options in defining your characters. What kind of an Investigator are you? An occult detective who specializes in paranormal cases or an ex-cop who earned his living by chasing criminals in the past? It is all up to you. Each Archetype has at least three unique backgrounds to choose from. Let’s have a closer look!
Scientist: Default background for the Academic Archetype. No special advantages or disadvantages.
Physician: You graduated from Miskatonic School of Medicine and spent the last several years away from physical conflict.
+1 Medicine, -1 Melee Attack, -1 Ranged Attack
Psychiatrist: You have a diploma in Psychiatry. For a long time, you believed the supernatural existed only in people’s minds.
+1 Psychology, -1 Supernatural Defense
Researcher: You were a research associate at Miskatonic University. Years of physical inactivity has taken its toll on you.
Faster Scientific and Medical Research, -1 Physical Defense
Patrician: Default background for the Aristocrat Archetype. No special advantages or disadvantages.
Prodigal: Your inherited a considerably large legacy from your parents and had the chance (or the misfortune) to afford being repulsive.
Starts the game with extra jewellery, lower Sex Appeal
Bankrupt Royalty: Your family went bankrupt and lost almost all of its property. You had to learn the facts of life the hard way.
+1 Survival, starts the game with less Cigs
Cursed Bloodline: A terrible sin committed in the past still haunts your family. You meddled with the occult to lift the curse to no avail.
+1 Occult, +3% Critical Failure Chance
Gangster: Default background for the Criminal Archetype. No special advantages or disadvantages.
Thief: You have a past in thievery and excel at moving silently but you often choose to run away when things get hot.
+1 Stealth, -1 Melee Attack
Con Artist: You can persuade people into believing you are the prince of Arkham but often shy away from physical conflict.
+1 Speechcraft, -1 Physical Defense
Hitman: You were a hired gun for the mafia. You carry the weight of the dead bodies you left in your trail.
+1 Firearms, +50 ANGST
Adventurer: Default background for the Explorer Archetype. No special advantages or disadvantages.
Big Game Hunter: You were a trophy hunter, seeking glory in conquering the wild. You learned to keep your prey at a distance and shun the opposite scenario.
Higher damage to beastly enemies, -1 Melee Attack
Pathfinder: You used to earn your living as a guide in uncivilized territories. You prefer to move with a lighter load for better mobility.
Lower chance of random combat encounters, lower inventory capacity
Mountaineer: You tested your endurance in the past by reaching the peaks of tall mountains. You rarely leave things to chance and act cautiously.
+1 Athletics, -2% Critical Success Chance
Detective: Default background for the Investigator Archetype. No special advantages or disadvantages.
Ex-cop: You have a past in law enforcement. The things you witnessed on duty left their mark on your mind.
+1 Firearms, -5 total Sanity
Occult Detective: You encountered the supernatural in some of your past cases. Those experiences still haunt you.
+1 Occult, +50 ANGST
Bounty Hunter: Your bounty hunting past taught you how to approach your targets unnoticed. For the right amount, you brought them, dead or alive…
+1 Stealth. Can only be chosen by Materialistic characters.
Secret Society: Default background for the Occultist Archetype. No special advantages or disadvantages.
Depraved Occultist: Like Crawford or Rasputin before him, you have an unholy aura of sexual magnetism but tend to neglect occult studies in favor of carnal pleasures.
Higher Sex Appeal, slower Artifact Research
Alchemist: You are adept at the esoteric art of the alchemy and focused your medicinal studies solely on transmutation.
Considerably higher Medical Research Rating. Medicine skill can’t be used in game’s challenges.
Demonologist: You summoned a daemon in your past and learned forbidden knowledge from this infernal being.
Starts the game with “Children of Pazuzu” spell, -5 total Sanity
Mesmerist: You were a practitioner of Mesmer’s magnetism techniques and learned a lot about psychology from your former patients, along with their darkest secrets…
+1 Psychology, -5 Total Sanity
Actor: Default background for the Performer Archetype. No special advantages or disadvantages.
Juggler: You earned your living as a juggler for a long time. Your moves tend to be more flashy but also riskier.
+2 Throwing, +3% Critical Failure Chance
Busker: You were a busker in your past and know how to survive in the streets though you never had much of a wealth.
+1 Subterfuge, starts the game with less Cigs
Movie Actor: You had some roles on the silver screen. You have “it” but also have a tendency to fall into addiction easily.
Higher Sex Appeal, lower Addiction Threshold
Private: Default background for the Soldier Archetype. No special advantages or disadvantages.
Marine: You served as a member of the Marine Corps. Screams of your fallen squad mates still echo in your mind.
Starts the game with “Aimed Shot” ability, -5 total Sanity
Military Intelligence: You served in the Military Intelligence. Your position kept you away from active duty for the last few years.
+1 Subterfuge, -1 Physical Defense
Sniper: You served the US Army with your marksmanship in numerous situations. In combat, you take your time but you eliminate your targets eventually.
+3% Critical Success Chance with Rifles, -1 Reaction
4. Belief System Selection
Think like your character, act like your character.
As you probably know, Belief Systems determine how your character gains her lost sanity in the doomed Arkham along with providing you new ways to role-play your character. You can have more information on them here.
5. Portait Selection and Character Identity
You’ll be able to choose the portraits of some Stygian backers. Devoted cultists they are…
All of our portraits will be open to both genders.
6. Stat Allocation
Please roll three six sided die and write the results to the back of your character sheet.
This is the step you finally get into the fantastic world of numbers and shape your character’s attributes and skills according to your taste. Only the skills your background contributes to can exceed 2 points at this stage.
7. Character Summary
At this final step, you’ll be able to have a look at all your choices one last time and make the necessary changes if the need arises. We’re good to go now. Let’s begin our journey of </HORROR, LOSS and MADNESS! </voiceofmadnessfont>
The sacrifices have been made. We’re ready to go.
Good news everyone! Stygian will be on Gamescom with a playable demo this year. Sorry to inform you this late but we’ve been tackling with visa problems lately and didn’t want to give any false hopes until it’s %100 certain.
You can visit our booth in Bahcesehir University stand and try our Gamescom build at Hall 10 / Floor 2, area E-033. Come visit us so we can talk about the dreams we’ve been collectively seeing… We’re thrilled to communicate with our community once again and would love to hear your opinions on Stygian! You know the best ideas are the “borrowed” ones 😉
Us and our evil machinations…
This brings us to another important topic, our backer demo. The demo is ready and in internal testing for some time now but we’ve decided to give it more time in external testing to be sure it’ll work smoothly on different systems.
We’re bringing our own hardware to Gamescom which guarantees better stability within a controlled environment but we want to be sure about the performance and experience on different hardware and operating systems through more testing before we share it with you. This will also give us more time to polish some systems with the help of Gamescom feedback.
Landing page of the demo. Landing gears ready!
So we’ve decided to share the demo with you on 25th of September. It takes between one to two hours to complete depending on your approach and curiosity (we see you completionists!) and showcases all the major systems including character creation, exploration, combat, dialogue, inventory management, journal, spell-casting, panic states, in-game cinematics and more.
But, if you’d like pay a visit to our backyard (without digging out any corpses of course!) and help us with the demo testing, feel free to send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “KS Tester” and your Kickstarter user name written to the subject section. Our esoteric operators will return to you with details in September.
Do not forget to write the mail from the account you use to log in to Kickstarter.
Last but not least, we’d like inform you about the current state of the project. You pay our bills after all, don’t you?
From the engineering perspective, we’ve completed almost all of our core systems along with the several tools we need to breathe life into the world of Stygian. The rest mechanics have still some way to go, coding for crafting has not yet begun and the voice of madness dialogues will have a systematic overhaul in the following months but the baby steps are far behind us. This beast can run now and its hungry!
The stage is set and our actors are playing their roles.
The whole content of the first chapter is complete. Thousands of lines of dialogue have been written with alternative approaches exclusive to certain archetypes and belief systems. Hundreds of characters have been designed with modular heads and outfits enabling more variation. All the animations of the male player model are complete along with hundreds of NPC and enemy animations. Lighting, shaders and environmental effects are working beautifully. Almost a dozen tracks have been composed for different situations and areas. We’ve been recording our own foley effects for months to meet the unique sound needs of the project and the list goes on.
We’ve updated all of our background graphics after the Kickstarter campaign.
We are proud of the work we’ve done so far and believe that we’re achieving what we’ve been longing to play as gamers ourselves. On the other hand, we’ve also realized that Stygian, with all its intricacies and interconnected systems, will take some time to complete. With our current attention to detail and quality standards, it seems unlikely to see the release before the end of 2018.
We will continue to do our bests to make Stygian retain its unique identity. We believe that it will worth the wait, but after all, you’ll be the ones to decide.
We want you to see Stygian in its best shape: Our beautiful doom among the stars…
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:
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.