Escape the Mad Empire is a roguelike tactical RPG we recently announced for PC to be released late 2022 or early 2023. You can already add the game to your wishlist on the Steam Store.
It features party management, real-time tactical combat with instant-actions on pause, roguelike elements, base-building elements and pixel graphics.
The game is a bit of an oddball because it does not fit clearly in any sub-genre, which is both a strength and a weakness. A strength because the game is a ton of fun, feels fresh and will help pushing back genre boundaries. A weakness because it does not 'belong' to any clear-cut niche, which makes it more difficult to present and explain.
Roguelike? Not traditional enough. CRPG? With roguelike elements and 2D pixel art, no way! Base-building? Not really since it's not part of the core loop, it only happens between dungeon runs. RTS? Get out! Roguelite? Ok but that definition is so wide and associated to action-RPG more often than not.
Even describing it as a deviation from a known game is not easy. It's like a traditional roguelike but with party-based real-time combat and base-building elements. Or it's like Baldur's Gate II but with roguelike elements, lighter story content, wilder combat system and base-building elements. Or it's like Darkest Dungeon I but with top-down real-time combat and combat/spells mechanics that feel more CRPG-ish. Well, you can see where I'm going with this!
What is clear though is that one of the way the game stands out is through its real-time combat system which goes against the current turn-based trend. We really think that adding instant-actions on pause (no casting delays) help combining the strengths of real-time and turn-based tactical RPGs by retaining both the precision of turn-based combat and pace of real-time combat.
Escape the Mad empire is a fun, tactical RPG game with tons of depth so we have a LOT to tell about it. Over the following year we'll try to explain better what the game is about though a series of development logs. Here's a preliminary sample list of the discussed subjects:
- Game structure overview
- Battle system overview & real-time with attack on pause
- Tactical system: positioning, surfaces effects, cover, flanking
- Equipment system
- Crazy magic items, curse and identification
- About emergent gameplay, perma-death and drama
- Instability, injuries and unconscious systems
- Character Classes
- Magic & skills system
- Dungeon structure and procedural generation
- Examples of monster mechanics
- Boss Battles and challenge rooms
- Epic Run Mode
- Stats and combat formulas overview
- Hunger and thirst management & more resources management
- About the story structure
- Hub structure and base-building elements
- Teams Management system
- Crafting system
After over 4 years of development, we are currently working on our 10th major milestone. The main goal of this milestone is to bring the gameplay in a quasi-ready state for Early Access. Here's the major objectives:
- Finish major Hub functionalities like basic crafting system, missions system, interfaces, character upgrades functionalities, library (skills unlock), graveyard, etc.
- Magic items overhaul (rarities revamp, balancing and new items)
- Instability system
- Skills upgrade system (all skill/spell will become upgradable)
- Combat system: revamp armor mechanic to include physical and magical shields
- General balancing and calibration
- Complete reward screen after missions
- New treasure chest rarity tiers and review loot balancing
- General tweaks, minor feature additions and bugs fix
The milestones schedule might be modified along the way but here's the currently major planned milestones:
- Milestone 11: tutorial and early game Content
- Milestone 12: story, Quests and immersive content
- Milestone 13: alpha release preparations
- Milestone 14: additional content (new apocalypse content, environements, stories, monsters, etc.)
- Milestone 15: beta release preparations
- Milestone 16: Early Access release
- Post-EA Milestones: TBD but at least iterations based on community feedback, gameplay content and end-game story content
That's it! See you for Devlog #1!