is a story-driven tactical game set in a sci-fi theme with a strong focus on turned based combat. While staying loyal to the core elements of the genre, we decided to introduce new gameplay features as well as elements from other genres, making Eternal Escape a unique experience.
Being passionate gamers for decades, we played and finished games from all kinds of genres, though most of all we enjoyed RPGs and TBTs (Turn-based tactics) in particular. We loved to play games like UFO, XCOM, Jagged Alliance and Valkyria Chronicles. Unfortunately good TBTs are rare finds these days, often lacking the complexity and depth of former titles.
After graduating from our game development studies in Trier, Germany, we decided to turn our hobby into one goal: Developing a turn-based tactical game that combines tactical gameplay with strategy and role-playing elements. We liked the idea to add more complexity to the game, while making sure the rules are easy to understand und it’s still fun to play.
While definitely a tactical game at its core, we like to add new innovative elements as well as elements from other genres. For instance we decided to go for a free adjustable third person camera instead of the usual isometric view, the introduction of role-play elements, like individual attributes, skills and classes. Moreover you have the ability to test and plan every action before executing the choices you make, therefore improving the overall transparency of your action's consequences.The game itself is divided into 3 parts:
Our protagonist grows up in a world that isn’t only spatially very distant to ours, but socially, too. The people of their time left earth to colonialize the expanses of space. Long before their birth, the home of our protagonist was colonized as well, even though it is surrounded by an atmosphere which is toxic for humans. With the help of advanced technology the colonialists planted an artificial seed on the planet, from which a tree-shaped megastructure sprouted. As it was grown-up, it was able to protect the people inside from the atmosphere, provide energy and space for working and living in its indoor cities.
Our protagonist is going on a journey that will lead them through all social classes. Their aim is to uncover their blurry past. Who are they? Where do they come from? Why were they wrongly convicted? They are imprisoned in the isolation part of the prison, as a riot breaks out and they are freed. The prisoners rebel against their wardens by force. A bitter fight for control over the prison starts to rise. The only way out of this complex is an abysmal deep elevator shaft. But the elevator ... disappeared without a trace.
The development of Eternal Escape is currently in the pre-alpha stage. The current content is not representative for the final release and might be subject to change. The story-driven game will be released episode-wise to allow earlier access to the game and still be able to expand the universe with new missions, areas, characters and skills over time. Each episode will be a stand-alone game with a self-contained story.
This project is flexible to changes suggested from the community. We're looking forward to reading your feedback and critiques. For more news and information check out our twitter account or visit discord or reddit!
Looking for a drafting software for story and dialogue, we found a possibility through our students in our team, provided by the Trier University of Applied Sciences. It offered the opportunity to use Articy Draft 3 (stylized “articy:draft”, in the following called “Articy” for simplicity). We saw this as a chance to explore the software extensively for our use. And it convinced us.
But what is Articy exactly? You can learn more about it on the official website (Articy.com). To summarize it, we can say, that it is very easy to create a clear story-flow and complex dialogue. Additionally, the software provides means to expand it via plugins and engine-exports, also into Unreal Engine, which is important for us.
So, after test duration of several weeks we know, that we are very well able to design our story-flow and dialogues for our game all within Articy. But that is not all. Moreover, we will file the majority of our data for the game in Articy. That includes characters, items, equipment, as well as skills, status effects, and some of the level information.
We were already hooked up with Articy back in march 2020, where we explored its possibilities and limitations and got to know how to use it effectively in the future for our project. In the course of this year, we recreated data structures from our Proof of Concept (PoC) and implemented them in Articy and we generated first test data. So we basically created a replication of the content in our PoC. Fitted to this structure, we wrote a plugin for Articy, which simplifies the content-creation and ensures, that the rules for our data were being complied to automatically.
The possibility to customize and extend Articy according to our requirements is one of the reasons why we can already create a majority of our data for our future game in Articy. Therefore, our story- and dialogue-writers don't have to deal with engine-specific things and can concentrate completely on their work.
At the end of the Vertical Slice Prototype (VSP) [Status Update 2020 Q2 | Vertical Slice Prototype], every Character and dialogue, skill and equipment is supposed to be depicted in Articy completely.
The ultimate goal is to create the content easily in Articy and then to export it per click into the Unreal Engine, so that you can directly work in the engine, without huge manual expense. The official “Articy Importer for Unreal” helps us thereby. It prepares Articy data for use in Unreal. We subsequently develop our own import process, that converts the data from Articy and makes it usable for our project, without much effort.
In our next blog, we want to give you an insight into character creation with Articy and everything that is part of it. Until then, we wish you all a wonderful start into spring and hope that you can enjoy the weather outside!
Since it’s getting colder outside, the time of story-telling has started. In preparation for this we worked on the subject of story and worldbuilding...
Hello, today we want to give you an outlook on how we will continue with Eternal Escape (work title) during the next months. As we mentioned in our last...
As we are already some months in the year 2020, we‘d like to give a quick rundown on what we‘ve done these last couple of months and what‘s to come...
2019 is coming to an end. Like last year, we want to take a look back and recapitulate the most important things that happened in no particular order.
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