Lithic is a real time strategy game with distinct RPG elements set in Flintlock Studios’ dark fantasy world, a rich Stone Age environment. Players will be able to explore the concept of cultural and technological evolution from primitives incapable of speech through to forming advanced stone tool creation. Build the origins of society in a universe where magic is abound, yet untamed and the environment is as much the enemy as other creatures are.
In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. - Charles Darwin
If the above statement is true, what happens when you apply that concept to a fantasy world?
Lithic begins with the Ix (a race of reptilian humanoids) completing a ritual that brings the gods they worship into the Material Plane. The resulting energy destroyed a large section of the planet and all but wiped out the Ix. The gods, ethereal Creator Spirits, are now grounded; their immense powers ebbing away as their connection with the Ethereal Plane is slowly severed.
Upon their descent some of the Creator Spirits were thrust into the bodies of creatures on the planet, whilst others were bound to the trees and rocks, the rivers and soil. Those lucky enough to find themselves bound to the sentient denizens discovered that they could influence their host's behaviour, this chance occurrence allowing them to use these primitive tribes to find a way to return home.
In Lithic, the player controls their tribe through the eyes of a Creator Spirit. This is mechanically similar to the timeless “Hand of God” control system but has an added layer of dynamism in that Tribes-members have their own needs and will meet them without player intervention. This means that the player need not focus on the micro-management prevalent in RTS games and can instead influence the parts of the Tribe that require attention at any specific moment.
The environments of Lithic are lush, untouched by the hand of settlement. Vast forests and jungles, yawning plains and grasslands, rivers, quiet coastlines and tundra all paint a vibrant virgin environment to survive in and explore.
Planned Features for Lithic
• Expansive single player story campaign.
• Randomly generated Skirmish Mode, adding infinite replay value.
• Brand new dark fantasy world to explore and develop.
• Four base races to pick from, each with a unique playstyle and visual aesthetic.
• Intelligent technology advancement, new technology is learned when related tools are used or relevant tasks are performed.
• Cultural development: Art, traditions and ritual all evolve depending on in-game occurrences.
• Procedural language system: Your tribe develops language as needed, evolving better communication and allowing for more complex tactics to be employed.
• Influence system: control your tribe through subtle compulsion or through direct possession.
Studio and Timeline
Lithic is in active development by Flintlock Studios, a small independent team based in the UK. It is being built in Unity 3D and is currently planned for release on the Windows platform in 2015. Flintlock Studios is aiming for an Early Access release via Steam. Lithic is currently on Steam Greenlight.
One of the main aims of Flintlock Studios is to create games where the player feels invested in the storylines and the creation of our own dark fantasy world helps to achieve this. For us we believe that the game is as much about the journey and the story as it is about winning. You might not win the games that we have created but we are sure that you will have fun trying. We feel that the sense of achievement that was present in a lot of retro games has been lost and we want to bring this feeling back but without the retro graphics, using the latest technology that is now available to us.
We have a sad announcement to make today. We will be postponing Lithic for the time being. Before we go into further details about why, we would like to make clear that this is not a rushed decision. This is one of the toughest decisions we’ve had to make as a Studio and one we made with careful consideration of other options before going down this route.
There’s been a number of factors that have made us reach this decision but the two main reasons have been down to a lack of an animator and some massive Unity bugs.
The Unity bugs we have covered previously in a blog post and whilst we had scheduled in time to deal with one possibly two of these kind of issues, we hit a few more that broke the game in ways we didn’t even think were possible.
As you know we also launched a Kickstarter that was ultimately unsuccessful. We really wanted to use the money from the Kickstarter to improve on the animation of Lithic which we personally feel is the currently the weakest element of the game. Without having an animator we feel that the game is not up to the standard we want and releasing it in its current form could be fatal to us as a company.
We want to make it clear that Lithic is not cancelled and we have no intention of letting it become a distant memory either. We are just taking a break from it to explore other options so that in the future we can hire an animator to get it to the standard that we want it to be.
We’ve tried to be as honest as we can throughout this process but we know we’ve made ended up making some false promises about release dates. At the time we fully intended to make those release dates and we are aware that we’ve let you down as well as ourselves by not meeting them.
That said it’s not all doom and gloom! We have come back to the New Year with a new project that we believe is achievable with our current resources.
We are not announcing anything on this new game just yet. Because a) we like to keep you all completely in suspense and b) we want to be able to show you something that is more than just a concept. We think that you will find this game as interesting as Lithic, just in a different way!
Finally we just want to thank each and every one of you for the support that you have given us so far with Lithic. We are disappointed that it has come to this but we remain hopeful for 2016. We plan to keep you as updated as we can with development of our new project and hope that you will keep supporting us as we do so.
If you have any comments or questions about this we've opened up a Forum topic here on our website.
Jon, Tom and Beki
Looking back on everything that has happened with Lithic and Flintlock Studios in the past year
What we have been working on in the past month of November on Lithic
Part two of looking at Mecanim and how we are using it in Lithic
A look back on what we've been working on during October
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