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The Lays of Althas: Sundered Order is a single-player, medieval-low-fantasy RPG being developed by Epoch Games, utilizing Epic Game's Unreal Engine 4, for Windows PCs. The game will feature an expansive, living world that will evolve and grow by itself, instead of revolving around the player’s actions.
The game is currently planned to be released Chapter by Chapter, with each bringing new regional content and gameplay features.

The World of Althas

As old orders crumble and new powers rise, it is time for you to forge your destiny.
Ever since it's early history, Althas has been a land shaken by conflicts. In the early days, these conflicts pitted the Anointed Kingdoms of Men against dark and demonic forces that threatened them. However, with the passage of time, the world has changed: the Anointed order is eroding away and new powers are rising. Another war looms on the horizon, a war of personal and political motivation. Thenodar, a burgeoning new kingdom in the North, and Anorthile, one of the last of the three remaining Anointed Kingdoms, now prepare for a war that will shake all of Althas. Old demons and new enemies gather in the shadows of both lands as each sets their sights on the ruined wilderness known as the Feralands.

Gameplay Mechanics

There are many features we aim for in The Lays of Althas: SO. The game is in the early stages of development, so many of the features listed below are subject to change:
    • Open World: Adventure on the continent of Althas. A large, open-world awaits the player with full freedom to explore. Regions will be released via Chapters.

    • Deep Lore: The world of Althas has a rich history which is represented throughout the game. Interact with environments, NPCs, and as well as read through in-game books to learn more about the world.

    • Dynamic and Active World: Instead of a world that revolves around the player, we are creating a world where the player must learn to revolve around it. This approach will allow for date-based events to occur in Althas, even if you aren’t around to see them.

    • Adaptive Skill-based Combat: The game aims for a skill-based, first-person, system. Giving the player full control over melee swings and stabs, as well as engaging ranged combat and stealth.

    • Magic: Magic is a rare ability that the player will have to work hard to unlock in the Sundered Order period of Althas. When utilized correctly, it possesses a myriad of usages that can be extremely beneficial.

    • Dynamic Factions and Wars: Factions will make decisions and go to war with each other. Battles happen dynamically, according to the timeline and based on causes-and-effects within the game.

Epoch Games

The Lays of Althas: Sundered Order is being developed by Epoch Games, an all-online, global, volunteer development team. We are dedicated to making this game as great as possible, and to make Althas a truly epic RPG experience. Being volunteers, we’re doing this for free - our motivation comes from our desire to create great games. Members of Epoch Games hail from all over the world; we are an international group, with members from The Americas, Europe, and Asia, all working together online to bring you the best game experience we can. Visit our Team's IndieDB page.
For more news and discussion, please visit our Official Forums. If you're interested in joining the Epoch Games team, please see our Jobs link here.
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Welcome back, it’s been a month since a lot has happened in our development, and we would like to show it off to you! Recently we had a conversation with Ben Kelly one of our “Level Designer” who created this awesome tunnel creation tool to help ease workflow. Let’s hear from him how his tool works

What is your background in and how did you become apart of epoch games

In 2018 I decided I wanted a career change and started teaching myself about Environment Art, 3D modelling and Game Design. Since then I've worked on a number of solo projects I've posted on my portfolio on Artstation. I was then contacted by Epoch Games in May 2020 and offered an interview for the role of level designer.

What made you think of creating this tool

Once I finished the 2D layout on my first cave I was looking at spending a ton of time blocking out tunnel segments - or having to use a library of existing models and try to make them fit my layout. I've been using Houdini on and off for a couple of years, and it got me thinking there might be a way of making a procedural tool to make tunnels. It started off with a really simple test: can I make a curve in Houdini, then use a sweep to make a tunnel, invert the normals, apply collision and bring it into the engine? The test worked, and it grew from there, based on what I felt the tool needed in order to work properly. Using Houdini Engine is really rewarding, as it's quick to build and test tools and the integration with Unreal Engine is fantastic.

Could briefly explain what houdini is.

Houdini is 3D modelling software that is best known for its use in special effects for Hollywood movies. It has a different approach to modelling with a non-destructive workflow that builds models via nodes rather than the traditional way of moving vertices around. It has a steep learning curve, but is gaining popularity in the game industry as a powerful tool for procedural modelling.

How will it assist with the development of The Lays of Althas: Sundered Order

This first version is going to save time and give better flexibility for level design. The alternative is having to model a section by hand or find existing tunnel section models and try to make them fit - that can work, but it's slow and can be limiting and can make levels feel very flat. With the tunnel tool we can make any size and shape we want in a few clicks. More importantly, because it's procedural, we can make changes on the fly. So when it comes to play-testing we can run through a section, tweak it, run through it again and that's all done in real time without having to leave Unreal Engine and go into a modelling package, or search through a library of assets to find an alternative model.

I'm also working on V2 of the tool, which will take these block-out tunnels and subdivide them, apply noise, materials and scatter rocks and vegetation on the floors, walls and ceiling. Once that's in place it's then a few clicks to go from block out to final game-ready mesh, which is a huge plus.

When it comes to "blocking out" / rough drafts what are some ideas you use to form a level

I like to try and understand how the level should impact the player's character arc - are they discovering a secret, acquiring new gear, finding an ally. Then try to get inside the head of the NPCs - why and how are they using the space and what's their motivation for being there in the first place. Once I've got this in mind I then start gathering references - that could be looking at documentaries, playing other games, looking up images and then the ideas flow from there. With a non-linear game like Lays of Althas I also try to make sure there are multiple ways for a player to progress and move through a level, where possible.

We appreciate Ben Kelly for creating such a useful tool, see below some images of the tool in action and here’s a link Ben himself in video form explaining his creation !







A Look at our UI

A Look at our UI

News 2 comments

We wanted to show some of the in-game menus that will be used in game.

1st Look at our Caves

1st Look at our Caves

News 2 comments

A Showing of natural cave system that has been around for centuries, with only mild human modification and tunneling done in that time.

Landscape Texture Improvements

Landscape Texture Improvements

News 5 comments

Talking to our “Environment Artist” Kevin Eriksen about the new created shaders for the game.

Thenodrim Militiaman Armor

Thenodrim Militiaman Armor

News 4 comments

An overview of the Thenodrim Militiaman Armor, and its many forms.

RSS Files
The Hawk and the Stone: Chapter 1

The Hawk and the Stone: Chapter 1


This is the first chapter of "The Hawk and the Stone" in a .pdf file. Download and you can open it with e-reader apps like the Kindle app and of course...

The Hawk and the Stone - Chapter 2

The Hawk and the Stone - Chapter 2

Other 2 comments

This is the second chapter of the story Hawk and the Stone. The file is a PDF format. Illustrations by: Joan Maldonado, Owen Yulefield, and Ruo Yo Chen

Comments  (0 - 10 of 450)

Game looks neat. It reminds me of my D&D maps.
I came here because I checked after several years the MERP (I'm still so angry at WB for doing that).
I wish you the best of luck! The game looks really good.
Greeting from Argentina.

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hey! just passing by to see hows everythings going and to say hi if even anyone remembers me! so long since ive took a peek, im always gonna be on the lookout for this project!

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where i can get the game?

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names_are_useless Creator

markoman141992 Still in the works friend. We will update you guys when there is new information.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

How are you planning the "timeline based events" to occur with new regions being released as chapters, as you said in the gameplay mechanics.

Will players have to start a new game to experience the events across the whole map, or will the new region timeline events occur after the old regions events have transpired - according to region release order?

If the latter is the case, then wouldn't it mean that any player starting a new game with 1+regions would be limited to waiting for the original region to finish it's timeline, before the next one could begin it's own timeline - according to the release order.

I struggle to see how you can get these timeline based events to smoothly occur for the entire map if you are planning to release regions one by one.

-from an old merp fan

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names_are_useless Creator

A very good question Guest.

Effectively yes: each Character a Player rolls up would effectively "start from the beginning" of the Timeline. New events are planned to be opened up with every new release. Some of our earlier releases (our currently planned Prelude) will be outside the "regional" releases we plan, taking place BEFORE the main Timeline events (hence the "Prelude").

We also have a plan of separating "named" and "sandbox": "Named" Characters would effectively be characters with a defined history, look, basic attributes and skills, etc and have a very defined "main questline" (a more "railroad" kind of RPG experience), whereas "sandbox" characters would be a bit closer (something more akin to Skyrim).

We will release more details about this in the future. Thanks for keeping up with us since MERP :)

Reply Good karma+4 votes
names_are_useless Creator

I'm sorry our next update is taking so long ... there is a lot going on behind the scenes. We want to make sure our next update is a big one, and once we get that one out, to be updating more regularly.

Our project is still alive, we just don't want to be posting updates of material already shown OR in an incomplete state.

Reply Good karma+4 votes

Do you have an approximate ETA for when we can expect the next update? Or at least the percentage left until the update is fully ready to go?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes

Can we get an update, please? As a late Christmas/ New Years gift? Pretty please?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes

Its been 3 to 4 months since there last update are they going to post anything new?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
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