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About the game and the backstory

The Rituals of the old is an easily customizable sandbox multiplayer voxel building game with stories and adventure plus a well designed modding API.

Rituals of the old takes place in the distant past of mankind. In the last 100 000 years the humanity has spread throughout the galaxy, progressing and regressing in an endless cycle of war and disaster. Countless of civilizations have risen and fallen to dust, forgotten forever.

It is yet again the end of the era of enlightenment.

Our story begins on a small and unadvanced planet untouched by war. Generations have passed since the fall of the great galactic imperium in a war of attrition against infighting factions and the technologically superior technoharmadan - both civilizations now extinquished by atomic sparks.

The fall of the Great Galactic Imperium has freed the simple people of Koto from a life serfdom and servitude. Hushed whispers of social change are spreading slowly. The worship of the old gods once banned by the cult of the immortal sun emperor is being resurrected in secret. Brigands and dark creatures have been seen in the countryside. There have even been rumors about the resurrection of... the rituals of the old.

Technology and other details

The technology in the game is a mix of medieval, modern and futuristic with the main focus on medieval. You might for example see a guard wearing a chain mail armor scouting the perimeter of a town wielding an energy weapon, one of the very last few of it's kind.

The items and technology that you mostly see in the game are items like swords and old tools. There will be blacksmiths, tailors, bakers, windmills, etc.

And of course there will be ritual magic and ancient creatures. But magic and witchcraft are taboos and witches are burnt on stake.

You will see bandits, brigands, guilds, religions, strange languages, otherworldly spirits, farm animals, wild animals and other creatures.

The mood of the game is that of a melancholy beauty. Not dark but not too sugary either.

The game is semi-realistic as a rule and the difficulty is hard but not artificially so and without too much grinding. You will need others to survive.

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Dear development diary...


I’ve been neglecting you. I’m sorry.

I know it’s not a good excuse, but I’ve had so much development work to do I haven’t been motivated to write about it.

The main reason for that is that on top of the actual work it is very impractical to update so many blogs (Indiedb, Tumblr, Gamejolt, Jmonkey forums and our Discord).

Even while the contents are pretty much the same the thing is all of these places use a different formatting. Want to bold that text? Have to do it manually for each site. Want to add in image? Every site has their own method to do it.

It’s very frustrating.

On top of that I hate most of those sites for being so unbelievably outdated and not-nice to us. It’s always a struggle to log in and start posting. I don’t like the UI on one site, the appearance on another, the uploading system on third, etc.

So why update so many blogs you ask?

Because of maximum visibility around the interwebs and in the search engines. It wouldn’t be much a problem for big game studios with lots of followers. But as a small studio just starting out - if we ever want anyone to know about us we have to push our feet through all the doors to all the possible places where someone might notice us.

Ideally, though, I suppose I would prefer to run a blog only on one site - on some obscure site that I haven’t discovered yet with nice UI and features, easy to use and with fast posting with the possibility to link images or upload them or whatever.


test 02

test 04 high

test 03

Work on the animations is going forward. And we've been working on and testing some Physically Based Rendering textures that you can see above.

We've decided to use 8K (8192x8192px) mega textures for terrain. That will span an area of 2 x 2 meters. After that the texture will tile.

We might possibly add variations for the mega textures - up to 4 textures - to make the tiling less obvious. But even by itself 2 x 2 meters is a relatively large area and the terrain should look rather nice.

We are also working on adding proper animation handling and animation blending which will eventually become a part of the game, but right now the priority is to be able to test animation in the game environment and smooth out any quirks that might be left.



I've decided the scrap the book that I've been showing around and start over from scratch.The reason for this is that after thinking about it for a few days I wanted to create the best possible rig for books. The new book and rig will support realistic page turning when it's finished. In other words when you turn the pages and keep turning them one side of the book will get thinner and the other side will get thicker.

In other news the work on networking continues slowly but steadily and should be in usable condition soon enough.

The style of the trees has been locked in and we're doing a connecting blocks design.

connecting trees

This is the 25 cm thick variation with cut (ie. rounded) edges on the logs to give some smoothness to the trees. Three blocks are used for the connections and one block is used for the sloping (upper right corner).

We will probably do some test renders during the coming weeks - combining everything relevant we have in a forest surrounding to give ourselves a better idea how everything fits together and whether we need to make any changes or whether it just works.

Some of the concerns we've discussed internally are possible clashes with the low poly bloxel freestyle hybrid visual appearance we've been working on and texture resolution being either too high or two low.

Color theme has been pretty much decided now. You should be able to see more on that later.

Wagons and carriages

Wagons and carriages


Been working on an undercarriage of a wagon. The idea is that players can build their own horse drawn wagons and carriages block by block on top of undercarriage...

Audiovisual Feedback Based Simulation

Audiovisual Feedback Based Simulation


This paper deals with UIs from the perspective of the gaming industry. We have outlived the need for excess gamification of useless UI metaphors and abstract...

Happy birthday Rituals of the old!

Happy birthday Rituals of the old!


Rituals of the old has been 1 year in development. Happy birthday!

Magic and spoilers

Magic and spoilers


Lately I've been working on the magic system for Rituals of the old. Spoilers are particularly something that vexes me greatly and I'd like to talk about...


A bit confused as to what it is, but will track for now.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Pilvinen Creator

I know what it is... but you've hit the heart of the problem! It's really difficult to express "What is Rituals of the old" in as few words as possible. I've been trying to work ON and OFF on that for several months and I'm never really happy with the result.

Rituals of the old ... is a multiplayer sandbox RPG voxel game that takes place ~100 000 years in the past in an alternate timeline on another planet. But that's just the history, background story and lore.

You build stuff, you craft things and you explore the world. You live an alternate life in a world with medieval'ish world with some futuristic scifi elements - from the PAST - and the game has a lot of focus on economy, society and tries to support roleplaying between players with good design decisions.

Pirates, livable and buildable gypsy wagons, robbers, ships and airships (hopefully), alcohol brewing, drugs, torture, farming, magic, animal husbandry, semi-realistic (hard) survival, seasons, black powder guns and cannons, gore, swords, windmills, (hard) mining, realistic little details, ancient technology (electronics), steam machines (hopefully) off the top of my head.

Sounds confusing? I suppose it is. I might have to give up trying to explain it and just let everything speak for itself.

The concepts themselves have been tested for several years as a mod on another game platform and I have to say it worked very well.

There is hope for us yet!

I'm sorry I did not reply earlier but it seems Indiedb does not send me notifications for comments.

But I'm happy to discuss everything about Rituals of the old at length and really love feedback and ideas. Best way to reach me is through our forums or through our Discord chat channel.

I will link both here:


Reply Good karma+3 votes

This actually sounds really cool! Kind of a shame its a multiplayer (only?) game (since my connection won't let me play it properly), but to each their own, i guess.

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Pilvinen Creator

I'm sorry to hear you don't have a proper internet connection.

The main focus is definitely on multiplayer. Personally I don't really much care about single player games in this genre.

But be as it may - we're going to have a single player mode also and it's going to be free, as in 0$.

We're going to run the multiplayer server locally for the single player mode so it won't require very much extra effort from us to make it happen.

Some features which depend on internet connectivity or on the help of other people might have to be turned off but a great majority of features will be there.

And it also makes financially sense for us to release the single player mode for free - we should be receiving a lot more attention since you can just download the game and start playing the single player. And if you like it and want to play with others - that's how we're going to try to make the game's continued development viable, by selling multiplayer keys.

Reply Good karma+3 votes

Ok then :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
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Rituals of the old
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Star and Serpent
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Latest tweets from @pilvinen2

Concept art. Martha the carrion spirit, bust model, by Kreaptuus. Ritualsoftheold.com #gamedev #indiedevT.co

Jan 9 2019

It's 2019. Where are Maria and Luisa? #nintendo

Jan 5 2019

Happy to new year to everyone from the Rituals of the old project! Ritualsoftheold.com We are still looking fo… T.co

Jan 2 2019

#Java #coder, you're our only hope! Let's make a voxel game together. Volunteer position, passion project, 2 yrs in… T.co

Dec 3 2018

We at Star and Serpent are now a proud patrons of Paul Speed on @patreon, and you can be too: #NewPatron #indiedevT.co

Nov 25 2018

Oh, apparently #YouTube was tweeting all my #streaming tests 🤔 What a confusing UI. I have a bit faster internet n… T.co

Oct 28 2018

We've switched to a self hosted #blog that you can find at: Starandserpent.com #tumblr & #gamejolt were too n… T.co

Oct 21 2018

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