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Game News Psychological RPG Sacred Fire resurfaces, coming in 2021

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Iceberg Interactive; Poetic Studio; Sacred Fire

    You might remember a game called Sacred Fire, a "psychological RPG" set in ancient Caledonia originally announced way back in 2014 and successfully crowdfunded back in 2017. We haven't paid much attention to the game since then and I admit that I assumed it was in some sort of vaporware state. In fact, developer Poetic never stopped publishing development updates and a preview build was sent to backers at the end of 2018. Today they announced that Sacred Fire has been picked up by Dutch indie publisher Iceberg Interactive and will finally be releasing next year. It's got a Steam page now, and a new trailer revealing much improved graphics. As you'll see, Geralt voice actor Doug Cockle is apparently still on board.



    I hope this message finds you well. I'm very happy to share with you, that we secured the funding to finish the game we originally envisioned in the quality you've seen in the last couple of updates.

    After talking to a dozen publishers, looking for someone who respects our creative vision, we partnered up with a privately owned small and indie-friendly label with 10 years of experience, Iceberg Interactive. We took our time and reached out to other developers who worked with them and they come highly recommended. They enable us to make the best possible game and leave us in full creative control.

    SCOPE

    With the full funding secured, we are finally able to answer the question of scope: Sacred Fire consists of 3 acts (the playable preview represents act 1). Each of the acts has 2 distinct branches. There are 5 distinct endings and 8 major achievements reward scenes. One playthrough is estimated to take 5-6 hours. With no filler events, in this time you'll get a full-length narrative, with the number of twists and turns you'd expect from a much longer RPG.

    RELEASE
    Sacred Fire will come to Steam in 2021.

    It's been a long road for all of us, and I apologize for the delay. Life has thrown my way some curveballs and for the most part after the Kickstarter, this was a solo development effort. Thank you for your unwavering patience and support. I could've met the summer 2020 release, but it would be a much shorter game with outdated art. This way we have the full envisioned story, better art, full voice-over, localization and we can work with several talented writers.

    TEAM

    As you know, you can play the game either as a male or a female protagonist. We are taking things to a new level, by having a dedicated writer, Jennie Kong from thatgamecompany (lead writer on their latest hit Sky), add the nuances to all scenes when you play as a female protagonist.

    To showcase this here is a retelling of our "Something More" trailer, now with a female protagonist, using a different tactic in the same scenario. While we are in the talks with a promising voice actress, for now, we use the original recording by Doug Cockle.

    Furthermore, the experienced writers from Talespinners, Ian Thomas (Pendragon Rising), and Matt Gibbs (Total War: Rome 2) will help us edit the final English text, so the entire story has one consistent author voice, but the polish of a professional production.

    This is all for now. Thank you for believing in us all these years. Thanks to your patience as well, this new role-playing experience can fulfill its potential.
    Always nice to see an indie developer catch a break. I imagine it might have helped that the concept behind the game seems less unusual now in the age of Disco Elysium.
     
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  2. Verylittlefishes Filthy Kalinite Patron

    Verylittlefishes
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    wtf is psychological RPG?
     
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  3. Darkozric Educated

    Darkozric
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    When you see that kind of intro/trailer in games expect the worse. Psychological my ass, they mean you'll have psychological issues after trying it.
     
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  4. Nyx Novice

    Nyx
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    Iceberg only publishes shovelware, so that's not a good sign.
     
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  5. The Red Knight Liturgist

    The Red Knight
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    They shouldn't have wasted time/money on getting new art.


    Artsy speak for figuring out which dialogue choice the NPC wants to hear, % chance of success in dialogue skill checks, and some limited fate points to pass important rolls you fail.
    (also I wouldn't expect more than a CYOA/VN with stats)
     
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  6. Verylittlefishes Filthy Kalinite Patron

    Verylittlefishes
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    sounds just like regular RPG
     
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  7. Zed Codex Staff Patron

    Zed
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    Codex USB, 2014
    MFW reading "Psychological RPG"

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Lady Error █▓▒░ ░▒▓█ Patron

    Lady Error
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    So a worse Disco Elysium basically?
     
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  9. Lady Error █▓▒░ ░▒▓█ Patron

    Lady Error
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    You think this will be better than Disco Elysium, Infinitron?
     
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  10. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    No, I just don't think it's that much like Disco Elysium.
     
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  11. Lady Error █▓▒░ ░▒▓█ Patron

    Lady Error
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    Seems like the closest match as far as RPG's go.
     
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  12. Verylittlefishes Filthy Kalinite Patron

    Verylittlefishes
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    what
     
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  13. KeighnMcDeath Arbiter

    KeighnMcDeath
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    So no combat? Should I order my straightjacket and rent a padded cell?

    That vid reminds me a little of the combat with the Cyclops in the Fighting Fantasy #16 Seas of Blood. Essentially a CYOA with stats.
     
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  14. Van-d-all Arbiter

    Van-d-all
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    Looks like VN with stats minus anime titties = 2/10
     
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  15. Tyranicon A Memory of Eternity Developer

    Tyranicon
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    Are those fucking Daz models? Are they using fucking sex game rendering software to make a "RPG" VN not related to fapping? Holy fucking shit Batman, I wish them luck but this is going to be a disaster.

    I'm all for supporting fellow indiedevs, but DAZ is such monumental decline I had to say something about it.



     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
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  16. Serious_Business Best Poster on the Codex

    Serious_Business
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    I have no psychology to speak of, only raw, stinking swamps and arid deserts that harbor no life ; beyond the Earth you can hear the echoes of strange pipes that play a music that you could never imagine, and perpetual screams of rage
     
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  17. Tyranicon A Memory of Eternity Developer

    Tyranicon
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    Just realized the dev is still active here on the codex.

    poetic, why did you choose to use modelling software most commonly used in porn games? Are these models animated in the full game or static like in the trailer?
     
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  18. MotherMachinae Arcane

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    This Nethergate remaster looks dope.
     
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  19. KeighnMcDeath Arbiter

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Its funny, I might shit on a game but then play it later. Maybe I shouldn't judge so harshly from just a glance.
     
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  20. poetic Poetic Developer

    poetic
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    Hey Infinitron, thanks for posting this and yes, as soon as Disco Elysium released with positive reviews, I used it in my pitch as the case study for a role-playing game that shares similarities with Sacred Fire:
    - text heavy
    - non-combat focused
    - real-world setting
    - un-epic plot (struggle to be functional)
    - new ruleset
    - philosophical and psychological themes

    It also helps that the devs behind Disco Elysium played the early builds of Sacred Fire and liked it. But of course these similarities are on the basic design principles level, the setting, themes, tone, and implementation of these principles differs.

    To give people a little bit of context:

    1) Why call it a psychological RPG:

    If you have a role-playing rule set, where:
    - half of the attributes are not describing your body but your psyche,
    - EVERY check is influenced by your emotions
    - companions have their own personalities influencing the probability they will react one way or another and act based on the trust, respect and sympathy you gained with them
    - and the key to victory is to build up a strong will and resistance to emotions and pain
    then it kind of fits. It also sends a message you should not expect an open-world action RPG.

    2) is this a CYOA with stat checks and points to influence you chances: yes, absolutely!
    + There is proper turn-based combat, where you select your move, body part target etc. but with a lot of options how to gain an edge, with exposed AI checks so you know what influences the reactions. But there are no filler fights. We focus only on boss fights, duels with important opponents. The common action scenes or actions are solved with a simple check.

    The one negative thing that came up again and again in Disco Elysium reviews is that there are game mechanics involving time of day and running around that waste your time. I think there is plenty of RPGs where you explore dungeons, clear room after room of monsters using some party based skill and items combo. And that's fine, but it requires a lot of time.

    So if you are short on time, but like the role-playing experience where you use your wit to turn the odds, like you would in a pen & paper session, after a GM presents you with a situation where you hold the short end of the stick, and you come up with a creative solution how to flip the scene and win the edge, then you might enjoy Sacred Fire.

    Plus, there is a couple more mechanics that fit well with our storytelling, like:
    - competing with other characters for influence over important story decisions
    - unlocking insights about character motives and interpreting them in a hostile or friendly manner, adding another layer of self-expression

    3) character art: we use DAZ Studio, Cinema 4D, Marvelous Designer and Unity to produce the character art and animation. So what? It's like a filmmaker should worry what camera to use to shoot a story. It's the results that matters, not the tools. And like with all art styles, some will love what we do, some will not. Personally, I like in RPGs when the close up shot in character creation still looks full of detail.

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. Tyranicon A Memory of Eternity Developer

    Tyranicon
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    I think tools matter greatly in any media, as tools and your proficiency with them will ultimately shape your work. I can guarantee you that choosing the right cameras are very important in film.

    Not sure if you answered my question though, will the final game will have animations and not just still renders?

    Regardless, best of luck and I'll keep an eye on your progress.
     
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  22. poetic Poetic Developer

    poetic
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    Sure we agree on that, tools and skills matter, as they influence your resulting art. What does not matter, is whether someone else uses the same tool to create something mediocre. That's what I meant with the filmmaker example above: a filmmaker is not sweating over whether the camera he is using is not used by someone else to produce garbage. They choose the camera that gets the best result, that fits with their preferred look and goals. Of course it matters if he uses the right frame rate, color grading, cutting, post-processing etc. to stand out from the crowd.

    But I get where you are coming from. For example the game engine we use to develop the game, Unity, also used to have a bad reputation, because most of the games produced with it were mediocre. Now that games like 'Hearthstone' or 'Ori and the Blind Forest' use it, the perception is changing. Sometimes it's actually a sign that a tool is good when hobbyist start to use it en masse. Sometimes it means it's accessible and powerful. Sure, most of the results are mediocre, but it doesn't automatically mean the tool is garbage. In my opinion, DAZ Studio has a clunky UI compared to something like the Cinema 4D we use the most, which together with the Redshift render is an industry standard these days. But I myself was surprised that hidden away, it has all the advanced functionality you need for example to rig a custom 3d model like the centurion model we use in the trailer, or produce render passes for professional post-processing, etc.

    And to answer your question more precisely, we use a combination of slow-motion action scenes, as I like the look of slow-motion animated cloth, and when the scenes do not display a physical action we use an idle animation in normal time, like for example this close-up shot:



    This is a simple image, and the subtle head, eyes and mimics and hair animation is done with shaders in Unity.
     
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  23. Tyranicon A Memory of Eternity Developer

    Tyranicon
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    Thanks for responding. I suppose I have a knee-jerk reaction to Daz since I actually do work in adult gamedev, and Daz is very popular among new devs, resulting in a lot of subpar games. Which, like you pointed out, doesn't mean that games produced with it all suffer from the same problem just because it's an accessible tool. However, I can't shake the sense that Daz has a very high uncanny valley look on all it's models, and this seems to be persistent across the board with everyone using it.

    Not sure what to think about the facial animation. The wave animation of the character's hair makes her look like she's underwater, which I'm sure you'll inevitably get comments about. I'm currently working with an animator to get facial animator right, and it's very difficult (and expensive) so I can understand the predicament.
     
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  24. Crescent Hawk Arbiter

    Crescent Hawk
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    I have seen enough daz models to know where this is going. I am okay with this. Bring on all the big titty sorceresses please.

    I dont feel the latest daz models are that bad looking either. But work is required to make them look okay.
     
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