We believe game industry lost itself between the two extremes: “games with real experience” and “casual/mobile timekillers”.
1st extreme is about everything from strange indie performances to AAA IP’s with hundred of millions budgets. There is one thing that unites them: they demands a lot. Long-time sessions, difficult rules, strong attention.
2nd extreme is about small games which are usually easy to start, fast and funny to play and pleasant to return to; yet their palette of emotions is a bit narrow and almost none of them could give you “real experience”.
But it’s possible to combine sharp & easy-to-learn
core-gameplay with deep and strong experience!
Of course we wouldn’t be the 1st there.
But this is our vision of RUINS.
We want to offer something new: a small, solid, sharp arcade game with fun mechanic and good controls.
And also a game with a dark and strong narrative experience, provided more via setting, atmosphere and art style, then via text or speech.
RUINS is an arcade indie game with simple mechanic and RPG-based metagame in a dark fantasy setting.
Genre tags: hack&slash, slasher, action RPG, arcade.
Setting: Dark, but a bit toonified Fantasy. We call it Grim Fantasy.
Platform: Steam (PC, Mac), mobile in future.
Disclaimer: here it is described how it will look in release version.
Prototype hasn’t got some of these features yet.
Core gameplay is simple: the hero is under attack by waves of monsters, he is slicing through them and avoiding attacks with “dashes”, getting experience and abilities, reaching new locations and enemies.
Yes, it’s that simple.
But it is not only about the speed of reaction: the gameplay force you to think about next moves, like a good slasher or action-rpg do.
At least, that is our goal.
Weapon and Skills
There are several weapons with different attack speed, range, area of effect, etc.
You can choose two of them and use any as for primary or strong attack.
Depending on that choice your character changes his specs and gains meta-mechanics (such as cooldown / overheat / combo …).
Combining weapon choice + attack types + upgradable character specs you’ll get thousands of possible combinations. But only one will be perfect for current enemy set.
And here’s why:
There are not just “unique enemies”, but also no similar attacks.
We made it so that enemies’ behaviour is based on their set of actions. Every action has about dozen customisable specs, designed to make this enemy an interesting and unique opponent.
For example – there is a “Shoot” action.
But the Shoot can be direct or ballistic, possible to pierce throw everything or explode on touching, freeze or poison, unleash several bullets in a row, can be a “laser beam” or hit from the top, like aerial bombing.
Our goal is to create a challenge where you need to adapt to enemies’ behaviour and disclose the perfect strategy against each of them.
Role Dying System
Disclaimer: this is how final version of the game will look like. Not all of these features are in the prototype.
You will die
You will die. You will die again and again.
And death should be meaningful.
Because, in a way, the whole game is about death and rebirth.
We are making an RPG with upgradable stats and variety of weapons (learn more about them)
So, could we make permadeath and loss of all progress, in fashion of rogue-like games?
Come on, game must be fun to play, not painful!
Generally, punishment for death is not what we’re aiming at.
How about solution that Souls series provided, changing “world tendency” or “humanity”? It works for Souls, but not for us: there’s not much “world tendency” can alter in our world.
In addition, we want our death mechanic and story (which is yet to be unfold) fit each other as closely as possible.
Therefore, we came up with idea of RDG – Role Dying Game.
Ask yourself: if you died and came back to life, would you be the same as you were before dying?
It’s the basic concept of RDG: death and rebirth should change you, as if you become a different person.
This will affect specs multipliers, preferences in the choice of weapons and not just that.
You won’t lose your progress or upgrades if you die.
Naturally, you wouldn’t want to die. You get used to traits of your character, to playstyle they provide.
But when this happens – it’s not a big deal. You will try something new, and, perhaps, new incarnation succeeds where the old one fell.
Of course, we have yet to try this system out before game is released, and things may be different in the final version. But you have the idea of our core mechanics and why we chose it.
It is not a fantasy universe as it might seem and as you got used to.
First, it’s not just fantasy. It’s cruel, glum and bloody.
Besides, there are no orcs and elves. But zombies – as you know, there is no successful game without zombies (sarcasm board).
RUINS art has a slight influence of comics, and it has no intention to make you sad or scared
We call this Art & Setting together Grim Fantasy – slightly toonified glum & bloody medieval world with creepy creatures, walking dead, and where magic is still not some trivial stuff but something supernatural.
The story will tell you about a fallen emperor who found himself beneath the ruins of his
kingdom without memories of disaster that had led to that.
He is wandering among decaying leftovers of civilisation, searching survivors and reasons of tragedy, but facing only cold ruins, strange artefacts and signs of the some reality distortion.
And also creatures who have no intention to leave him alive
Recovered memories and restored history of his Empire will reveal the truth that explains everything and gives the hope for salvation.
Or not – it’s for Player to decide.
The story may seem rather simple. However, it’s made to provide strong emotions and shocking twists – all in order to ruin each and any genre borders.
We were inspired not only by Souls/Berserk series but also by all kinds of brain-cracking stories. From “To the Moon” to “Bloodborne”, from “Firewatch” to “Last of Us”, from “Dark Tower” to “Song of Ice and Fire”.
They all united by a deeper layer of well-conceived history underlying the current narrative – and we do so.
And what’s also important: we did not intend to bury you under tons of text in the game. Unlike in this blog ;) Instead, we want to leave RUINS narrative pure and clean, putting much of the story in the atmosphere, mood, and some occasional places – like item descriptions in DS-series, but in our case it will be menus and diary.
We want to say special thanks to the some indie games that granted us inspiration, either just moments of fun:
Would you believe or not – we designed RUINS core-gameplay long ago before discovered any of those games. But it would be crime not to mention them :)
Have any questions / comments / suggestions?
We would be really glad for any feedback!
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