HEART FORTH, ALICIA is a story-driven Platform-RPG/metroidvania adventure.
Alicia and Höstra are the only two children that haven't died at birth in decades. Along with the last bloodline of wizards, they live happily on an island in the sky named Auster. This floating island is the last piece of land that survived the catastrophe that destroyed the Old World.
One day Elthëlian, the Spirit of the Day, attacks their village and kills one of the wizards. Alicia and Höstra flee to a neighboring village in search for help. But Höstra becomes influenced by the Spirit and attacks Alicia, throwing her off the edge of the Island.
Down below, Alicia discovers that the Old World still remains, concealed beneath the clouds. Alicia fears for the safety of her people, and she sets off to find a way back home.
An involving and unfolding story
A 750-year backstory that gives place to the game's events
7 magical offensive powers, each one with hidden ways to solve puzzles
Over 20 special abilities, skills and upgrades
A defensive fairy with 4 spells of her own
Four offensive elemental fairies
A carefully designed world that is easy to navigate
A map engine to help you navigate said world
An inventory system An accessory system to modify 40+ gameplay mechanics
A night and day cycle
A scheduling screen for quests and appointments
Some NPCs with 24-hour routines
An in-engine cutscene system
We're happy to share that Sony has invited us to this year's PlayStation Experience, hosted in Anaheim on December 3 & 4! We'll be bringing a fresh new demo of Heart Forth, Alicia for attendees to dive into.
We'll be showcasing it at our little part of the show floor, in booth B1001. We love meeting fans, so drop by anytime! We will also have a few beautiful HFA posters to give away.
Still on the fence about attending? The Playstation Blog has posted all details about the event.
Just to pique you interest, this demo will let you choose between an action-heavy dungeon and a more narrative focused section. Both options showcase the game's visuals, cutscenes and gameplay, so don't miss out.
In the gameplay video above, Alicia explores and fights through an atmospheric and treacherous area in the Verillion Trail, East in the Valley of Ëliadin. This specific area is found early in the game, and although parts of it are meant for more experienced players, the game doesn't stop you from trying to reap the hidden rewards... if you survive!
This is actually the first video of uninterrupted gameplay we’ve released in a long while. If you haven't played any of the game's alphas or demos, it hopefully illustrates what it's like to play the game today.
It feels great to finally give you a peek into some of the improvements we've done to the game over the years. We'll continue releasing more of these in future updates.
What mystery lies behind this simple puzzle?
Beyond work on the new Elite Alpha build, a demo for PSX and another one for IGF 2017, we’re currently at work hammering out any bugs and adjusting level design throughout the first half of the game. Once that process is finished, we’ll shift our scopes to the second half of the game as we continue to develop the last 3 big game areas. The music, environment & enemy graphics for these areas are 70% complete, but we still need to work on creating, building and coding the necessary rooms, puzzles and boss battles.
Next up in development is the final boss battle and the ending sequence. With that accomplished, our final efforts will go into fleshing out the secondary or optional content of the game, like hiding all the additional powerups and upgrades, populating Blivek City, creating interesting sidequests, and finally implementing the backer rewards.
Our last update on the release date target was last November, where we forecast we'd have a near-finished version of the game around this time. Despite our committed work, even as we draw closer to the finish line with each passing day, we are not at that stage yet.
The pace of certain development areas hasn't been as brisk as we had anticipated and hoped for. We'll go over the wherefores in detail in the paragraphs below, but we're instead aiming to have a near-finished game by mid-2017. Once we get closer to that date, we'll update you with a more precise release window. We've learned a lesson when it comes to projecting release dates, and we've cornered the three main reasons why we need to push things back:
One of them is the development of cutscenes or pre-rendered cinematics, which require a significant amount of time to get done. There’s so much that needs to come together for each of these story nodes to be fleshed out and be narratively effective, and if we skimp on even a tiny aspect, the cutscene in general takes a hit and can make it feel rushed or lackluster. Special effort and dedication must always go into each storytelling node to meet the necessary quality standards, deliver the right emotional tone, and to push the overall experience forward.
Before a great storm, there is a moment of silence.
The second aspect that has required a lot of iteration and tweaking is making sure each bit of gameplay content is fun, creative, cohesive, tight and engaging. In very broad terms, this concerns game mechanics, dungeon/level design and enemy design. Translating elements from paper to actual gameplay is a process that needs experimentation before a final state can be reached, and some elements have required more time than others to get right. The sections yet to be developed still need their due attention, but at this point we’re happy with how most of this content operates in the game.
The third reason for a delay are some of our own development tools. We’ve optimized our workflow as much as we can, Lukas has made several external tools to make my life easier, but some aspects of said workflow are hardcoded into the middleware we use to make the game. This middleware is unfortunately close-sourced, so this means there’s some development limitations that we simply can’t change or overcome. This is by no means a problem when it comes to getting the game to the finish line; it’s just a timeline drawback that we have to manage as we move forward.
Such is the burden of choice!
I know delays are never welcome. Making a game of this scale is a gigantic endeavor that has demanded many willing sacrifices, and though I do outsource part of the game’s content to ease the load, HFA's core vision is still being fleshed out by one person.
Games tend to be delayed for a number of reasons. In our specific case it's mainly because we don't want to cut corners. We need to take our time to get things done the way they've been envisioned. Having said that, we are forging ahead as fast as we can; I'm personally working 12+ hours a day including weekends to get things to where they need to be.
We’ll continue to keep you updated on our progress as we move forward, and I thank you humbly for your patience, for believing in our little passion project, and for joining us in this journey. We have a bright road ahead of us and the end is well within sight—it’s just a matter of getting there.
There'll be over 100 of these upgrades hidden across the game world. Will you find them all?
Remember we livestream weekly development content every Tuesday at 1pm CST. To be notified when we go live, follow the channel and our twitter account:
We also recently opened a discord server just for Heart Forth, Alicia. Click on the link below to chat with us or with your fellow backers! Discord.gg
Hey! With the end of the year drawing near, it’s time we take a look back at the development stages the game’s gone through and the things we accomplished...
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