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Tenebris Terra Incognita - coming to Early Access on September 30th

TenebrisGame

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 26, 2023
Messages
2




About the game
Tenebris: Terra Incognita is a complex turn-based RPG in a grim science fiction setting.
You will face a harsh journey through an uncharted planet teeming with terrifying monsters.
The player's task is to rescue the human expedition from the crashed ship Solaris, overcoming serious obstacles along the way.

062f337d3766ac0cb25144956c4cb9eb.jpg


Characters
Over the course of the game you will have access to 23 different classes with their own unique mechanics.
We are big fans of such series as X-Com, Disciples 2 and HoMM, so we want to give players a similar experience,
thanks to the deep customization of characters and the career progression.

bd67fcd6b338265be606364dc7d94a02.jpg


Monsters
The game release is planned to have 3 global locations - biomes with their own monsters.
Each type of monsters will differ significantly both visually and tactically.

In the beginning the players have to face the bugs of the Misty Wastes.
The giant insects are highly tenacious and ever since the first encounter they have been attacking human scouts in an organized manner.
These bugs are extremely aggressive, presumably because of their instinct to protect their colonies, which poses a serious threat to the survival of the expedition.

003557337ce7f4e71046f5bb6a1fe2e7.png


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Starship "Solaris "
The vessel serves as the base for the player. This is where you are going to plan your missions into the dangerous world of Tenebris.
The ship's command crew of 5 colorful characters will assist you throughout the game.
They will give you the main and side storyline assignments.

757227f713c5ecf22e7c98f07655b5b1.jpg


Here you can buy weapons and armor, hire new recruits, and treat wounded characters.
In the hospital you can buy combat stimulants to strengthen your soldiers, but funds are limited, so use them wisely.

89e54c987c79cdff11f6322c1f268859.png


Will you manage to conquer the dark planet and save the expedition?
Its fate is in your hands and the stakes are high!



When should you expect the game?
We expect to release early access on Steam in the fall of 2023 and then move on to a full release.
We are in the process of polishing the public demo now, and we plan to publish it in the next couple of months.
We already have a page on Steam, and we'd love you to add the game to your "Wishlist".
https://store.steampowered.com/app/2280060/Tenebris_Terra_Incognita
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
What are going to be the role-playing elements in this game?
They will be mainly mechanical. That is our focus.

Talent trees and their combination inside an archetype. Each character will chose a subclass at lvl 10 and lvl 20, each time they gain an additional talent tree up to three total.
A new subclass can completely change the gameplay for a given hero. For example, it can change a hero from a support role to an attack role, with a whole range of new skills and modifications of old ones.
ss_bd107414206c4a64c20e39d7f2e1f32bd7be445a.1920x1080.jpg


Lore play is pretty much secondary in the game. We have no branching story lines or dialogues. There will be a main story line through the game and multiple side stories.
 

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
grim science fiction setting

Doesn't look grim at all. But hopefully the gameplay can be good.
The beginning of the game is pretty light, both visually and mechanically.

To ease the players into the game: location are brighter and more earth-like just like the monsters(bugs) we encounter. Units are more basic with recognizable abilities and classes. The story itself starts off as simple as it can. The further we go the darker and more complex everything gets. At least we try to make it so.

We want to always have something new, something more evolved the further into the game we get. This is true for player units too, they get more unique and deeper with each subclass they open. I'll will make some visuals to better showcase this in some days. For now here are some work in progress lvls.

Locations become more otherworldly...
LocationReel.jpg

These are from missions a bit further in the "misty wasteland" biome where the bugs live and our ship crashed. For the following biomes it will be gradually become more and more alien.
 

luj1

You're all shills
Vatnik
Joined
Jan 2, 2016
Messages
13,744
Location
Eastern block
No worries, its just a semantic/art nitpick of mine. Focus on gameplay and making it fun and tactical imo.
 

ERYFKRAD

Barbarian
Patron
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
28,509
Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Is the roster of heroes pregenerated or will there be some character creation? Is there a player character and is the player character a laptop guy or an active field operative?
 

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
No worries, its just a semantic/art nitpick of mine. Focus on gameplay and making it fun and tactical imo.
I'm happy to answer questions about our project and show what I can. There are tons of visuals we did not share anywhere yet, and who knows when we get to it. So posting a small example is no problem at all :)

Will drop some more info with visuals about characters soonish. Their careers, skills, equip, combinations and how it translates into combat tactics.

Here are some concepts for monsters in the next biome. This is at early stages but should reflect the overall direction.
Screenshot_4.jpg



Is the roster of heroes pregenerated or will there be some character creation? Is there a player character and is the player character a laptop guy or an active field operative?
There is no character creation. All heroes are divided into archetypes. And have a career tree where they can "evolve" in a higher tier class. There are 5 - tier1 units, 8 - tier2 units and 10 - tier3 units. A total of 23 different classes with their own visuals. Every class has their set visual that does not change. We do have unique characters with their own look (not in demo tho).

There is no definitive player character. Players are referred to as "Lieutenant" and are not represented physically in the game world at all. A "ghost commander" in charge of a brigade to manage. Everyone can decide for themselves who they role-play as.
 

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
As promised. Let's start with what we call "career" trees.

Career
Each archetype has an evolution path, there are two varieties. First is where the branching comes at tier 3 - medic and marine. Second is where the branching comes at tier 2 already - heavy, technician and scout.
We are trying to diversify the classes so each has something unique or modified or double down and deepen what they already had.

Here is the example of technician career.
Screenshot_6.jpg


You start as a technician who has a unique class mechanic that is called "droning" which plays around the synergy between drone skills and attack skills. The drone is a support drone and has only support abilities like armor repair, while non drone skills are damaging ones. The synergy is based on a mixed use of abilities, the support abilities buff the character with improved chance for activating the offensive abilities secondary power. The offensive abilities have a chance to give random buffs to the team with each shot. So ideally you'd want to mix things up to increase the chances of getting buffs.

On tier two, we have a choice to make.
One of the trees goes the drone way, where we expand on the drone synergy and add more gameplay options by introducing a secondary offensive drone. (top row)
The other one mutates the class from a support class into a damage dealer - a machine gunner, removing the drones completely. Instead of drone synergy this class gets a piercing chance with some nasty debuffs. (bottom row)

On tier three, they advance further.
The drone tree gets a class that can transform their two drones into one making it a super-drone. Or have a trinity between them and the 2 drones empowering each other. (this is still work in progress and more of a concept than fact, even the art is still a concept)
The machine gunner evolves into a small battle armor - Armatus. It expands the class into a full hybrid. You can chose to lvl it into tanking, damaging, or a bit of support. Maybe a strong mix of them all.

These changes can be huge, changing up the class completely. That is also reflected in the talents.
With each new tier you get a new talent tree BUT you keep the previous one too!

Will go into talent tress and abilities in the next post.
 

Skorpion

Educated
Joined
Jan 31, 2023
Messages
347
Look pretty interesting, will keep an eye on this one.
Art in particular has a nice crispness to it instead of generic shapes and washed out colors.
Also nice callback with the claw hand on the teir 3 Armatus
 

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
Talents

Each archetype starting class has three starting "active combat skill". And can open up three more in each talent tree, so at tier3 there will be 12 active skills to chose from, and most will have improvements available through out the archetype talents. This will allow to create different builds, for different play-styles.

You will be able to fill up all the hotbar slots(6) at tier1, if you so chose...
Tichnicos.jpg


There are other talents to complement the combat ones further:
- stat increase, (Auto guidance system)
- unique effect, (Emergency welding)
- active combat skill, (Long burst)
- active combat skill improvement, (Power system balance)
- ambush modifiers, (Auto activation)
- combo hit modifiers,
- team mate bonus

Here they are visually represented for a better example...
Screenshot_7.jpg


There are also classes that completely change the character, and that comes with replacing active skills and their improvements in the talent trees as well. So when a player goes for the machine gunner, all the drone and SMG active combat skills are being replaced for HMG skills. Talents in the technician tree, that are not compatible with the machine gunner class are also getting replaced so there won't be "useless" skills for the new class. This might sound complicated or overwhelming across three talent trees - unfortunately there are no easy ways to provide high variety. We are trying to make it as convenient as we can in these circumstances so you can transition relatively effortless into a new class.

It also might seem that there will be a correct build and wrong build - it is not, we are avoiding this as much as we can. We aim to make builds more of a preference, you can play the technician as a full support, or as a damager, or a hybrid between them, he is also oke-ish as a front-liner at the beginning of the game due to his medium armor and some talents. Most classes have a variety of possibilities to builds and roles, some still have a stronger one but you can make them what you want. Like the heavy is better at tanking and controlling - still can be made a full damager. Medic has more focus on support - yet you can build him into a damager too.

There are a few exceptions - some skills will be available to certain classes such as stronger cleansing skills to the medic or support technician, strong damage skills to scouts and marines, aoe to marines and later to technician and flamethrower heavy, control skills are mainly for all kind of heavies and ofc Armatus. As said before, each class has their "thing", a strong side but not excluding other possibilities!

This is what we aim for. In addition to talents, we have equipment.

Equipment is an other block that deepens the character builds.

Next week will get to drop some info on that too.
 

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
Looks like something worth following.
Glad you like it!

Equipment

Currently it is work in progress, and will be only partially implemented in the demo.

This is also a bigger part of the game, that is meant to give even more flexibility with builds through item bonuses. Players can have up to 20 characters in their rooster and take 4 on a mission.
That means they will need tons of equipment to be readied up. And that is what we deliver. Items are randomly generated in a "diablo" style, where depending on the item type it can get various bonuses with different values.

Item types that you will be able to see in the demo are (anything beyond tier1 is WIP and has no final form yet):

light / medium / heavy - armor
light / medium / heavy - helmet
primary weapons for each class
secondary weapon for some classes

Each class has set slot types and slot amount. At tier 3 all characters will have 6 item slots. Some of item types will be class unique, others will be shared between multiple classes, and one general slot for all the classes.
All of the items are meant to be equipped on characters for them to give their bonuses, we do not have "inventory items" planned at this moment.

Loot can be found in interactive objects or as a reward for successful mission completion...
Screenshot_8.jpg


All the items are separated into tiers, just like the characters.
More commonly called "rarity". Basically there are White (1-10lvl) - Green (1-20lvl) - Blue (10-30lvl) - Purple (20-30lvl) - Orange (30lvl) items. (colors are not final ofc)
We might add one more tier for unique items (who knows?) and we plan on doing "equipment set"s which is just a concept at this time.

Equipment bonuses are the more important part for the build creation. This is also being worked at, and only around half are in the demo.
Bonuses are separated into different categories, some are simple, some for specific purpose and others are more complex and interesting.

Done:
- Flat stat increase (hp, accuracy, dodge etc)
- Flat resist increase against control effects (fear, knock, paralyze, etc)
- Flat item improvements (additional armor, damage)
- Additional damage against targets under different effects (bleeding, burning, stunned, etc)
- Adding more counters to a skill applied effect (bleeding, burning, poison, etc)

WIP:
- Different effects triggered after dealing critical damage.
- Different effects triggered after receiving critical damage.
- Different effects triggered after killing an enemy.

At a concept phase (not sure about the double bonuses but the other two will be done for sure):
- % to apply an effect with each shot.
- Bonuses that modify active combat skills.
- Double bonuses where one or the other will have a chance to trigger.

Some examples of generated items from the upcoming demo...
Screenshot_9.jpg


Depending of the item rarity, they have different amount and types of bonuses. (this is also WIP, might easily change)

White - no bonus
Green - 1x tier1 bonus
Blue - 1x tier1 bonus + 1x tier2 bonus
Purple - 1x tier1 bonus + 1x tier2 bonus +1x tier3 bonus
Orange - 1x tier1 bonus + 1x tier2 bonus +1x tier3 bonus + 1x tier3 bonus OR 1x tier4 bonus

If we do an additional rarity it will be considered and end game item and be much more powerful than the orange ones.

The sets will have special bonuses. For example giving an additional action point which means the character could do at least 2 skills in their turn, and even more if they have improved skills that do not use action points.
(by default everyone has 1AP except enemy bosses, in the first act that is)

As you can imagine there is a huge variety of possibilities. With a bit of luck (random generation) and a plan, you will be able to do some cool stuff!

Gonna finish the equipment - skills - combat in the upcoming days, as of how this translates in to the gameplay and comes together.

Will be dropping more info periodically about different game things. Like levels, biomes and other stuff too, but later.

If you have more questions do ask, will try to answer them :)
 

Late Bloomer

Scholar
Joined
Apr 7, 2022
Messages
3,066
Looks fun. Wishlisted.

Hope the price is under 30 usd
Has good replayability
Has at least a decent amount of graphics, sound, resolution options
 

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
Looks fun. Wishlisted.

Hope the price is under 30 usd
Has good replayability
Has at least a decent amount of graphics, sound, resolution options
There is no set price yet however it will not be more than 30 usd.

We are waiting for the demo to be done, and published to steam so we can get feedback on the game.
There are many options to consider, and depending on how the demo will be received we can do calculations and forward planning.



How the classes - talents - equipment translates into the gameplay.

As mentioned before, there are multiple viable builds inside a class, with working hybrid ones.
There are classes to chose from that have different focuses.
There are many items that can sway a character into one way or other.

And you have a team of four characters on a mission. Which you can not only form your gameplay depending on class, but their talents, and equipment, AND the other characters in the group.

We considered multiple ways how characters can play together, main ways are:

- Combo attacks where a character who is ready to do a combo (has combat concentration buff - from a skill they used or killing an enemy or from an item) will join in when an other character uses a skill that triggers combos. The concentration buff will be consumed and a combo attack will be done - this attack can be modified in the talent trees.

- Stacking same dot (damage over time) effect. By reaching 9 counters it evolves into a stronger version that will not lose counters until dispelled, target death or combat end. They are much harder to cure and require stronger skills. This is true for the enemies too, they can stack dots on player units too.

- You can get equipment that increases the number of counters for dots that you apply with a skill. You can outfit someone to apply enough counters to immediately make the dot evolve. And if you have more than one unit, well maybe the game will be too easy for you...

- Building multiple characters to go for armor ignoring attacks. To decimate the enemy numbers faster, or to efficiently defeat high armored tanky enemies. (a full "set" might make all of your skills to ignore armor)

- Equipping the whole squad with items that give bonus damage against some effect. To exploit different builds around some dot type or control type. Boink an enemy into a stun, and pile up on them while they are down.

- Maybe you like big explosions and nasty aoe stuff, well, you can do that with classes that use aoe - throw them together in a party and apocalypse comes early. Do you like flames and burning aliens? The heavy Phoenix-es are for you then :D

- Others like to have as much control of the battlefield as they can. That can be achieved, not easily - since control is quite strong - but possible.

- Perhaps you chose to go the "glass cannon" way and take only light characters with ambush talents so you have a few turn advantage over the enemies. Hoping that will be enough. (it can be)

And more... You get the point. There is room to play around. :D

All in all, we are trying to create a game where you can, and perhaps should evolve your gameplay with the characters. When they get a new class, you might want to consider finding new ways how to expand the ways you play, or how to better incorporate the new class talents and skills into your existing game plan. Don't shy away from the talent reset button, every time your character evolves there is a good chance you can chose better fitting talents from the previous tree.
 
Last edited:

Late Bloomer

Scholar
Joined
Apr 7, 2022
Messages
3,066
All in all, we are trying to create a game where you can, and perhaps should evolve your gameplay with the characters. When they get a new class, you might want to consider finding new ways how to expand the ways you play, or how to better incorporate the new class talents and skills into your existing game plan. Don't shy away from the talent reset button, every time your character evolves there is a good chance you can chose a better fitting talents from the previous tree.


Sounds awesome. Looking forward to it.
 

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
The Global Map of Tenebris.

This is one of the main screens, where we can chose which activity to start. Each activity is represented by a point of interest. These points can have multiple levels that can be completed one after each other.

These can be:

- Main mission. We have a main storyline that takes us on an adventure across the whole game. Sometimes there will be more than one points where we have to chose one, sometimes there will be more points and all have to be done to progress the story. As said before, story is still secondary and choosing missions has no overall effect on it. It is more of a role-play choice.

- Side mission. These are missions that do not progress the storyline. They are given by the NPC-s on the ship, and by the unique characters that might join your ranks. They are short, self contained stories with several levels.

- Sweep location(grind). When you need the extra something, be that money or exp for the squad, but there are no ways to gain it. These are the "pick me up" point that you can grind. Each is one point of interest and is 4 lvl deep. With a boss at the end.

- Boss fight. Sometimes, there are monsters wandering in from the further areas of Tenebris. Sometimes it can be a boss from our area that crawled out. These are usually apex predators coming in for a hunt. They are timed opportunity events, be fast.

- Stand alone level. This is a concept for now. We plan to have s one level extra short stories. Should be a very specific event that we participate in. Like, defending an outpost, or securing a position for x time.

- Special encounter. Just like the one before this is a concept. We are thinking of having missions that will require to chose units for different tasks while others fight without them. Like, at a sonic fence generator the technician is sent to repair it in the background while the rest fights without them and has to actually protect them.

We have much more ideas of what kind of missions there can be, but those are just ideas, not even concepts. Can't guarantee that even these concepts will be in the game in this form or at all.

Screenshot from the demo, getting ready for the second mission...
Screenshot_10.jpg


All points of interest have their info card. You can see that on the screenshot above. Here you can see the name of the mission, the recommended lvl (don't mind the misspelling, it is fixed :D ), the short task, and a lore description called Threat. As per usual a reward and slots to assemble the squad.

As you can expect, with progressing the main storyline we open up the map, find new biomes, new enemies, new points of interest. The clouds will disperse opening up a better look at the map, new objects will appear, and the world will be slowly filled with details. We are aiming to have a visually dynamic world map, with main features represented inside the levels. Such as the grey-greenish mist on the "Misty Wastes", or the damage on the ship suffered from the emergency landing.

Here is a minute long video of the map for the demo without the interface parts, so you can see the dynamics and atmosphere we are trying to create.
Global Map for the Demo (youtube link)
 

Skylord

Phantasmica Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
That's really nice, I might check it out tomorrow!
Nice! Thank you. Hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for posting the trailer, I totally forgot about it!

If you have questions or feedback, Iám happy to answer / receive them. :-D
 

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