You heaved a stone upon a stone to build your shelter and thus you’ve etched your mark on history.
The White Grave. Grim name for a grim place. A name given to the frozen valley and ruined fort nestled in its mountains. A land that spews hot fire from its depth, land of avalanches and landslides, land constantly reshaped. Land of deadly cold and blinding sun. Where nature's fury rages constant.
It’s said this place cannot be tamed, it shuns civilization, burying all signs of its existence. Only one structure stands in defiance to this claim.
Built from bones of the earth, the fort of the White Grave guards the only reliable passage through the, otherwise impenetrable, mountain range that split the Thein lands to the north from Empire of the south. It has been a sight of many battles and bears scars from them all. This will be a place where players make their last stand against the fury of their countless enemies.
Fort is the heart of the game. It’s a home base and shelter for the player and their allies. Area of the final battle and many important events of the game. Most of the efforts go towards securing and rebuilding this place. It was, and is, the most challenging area of the game for us to design and it is immensely important for us to get this right.
When we started thinking about the fort, the first thing that came to both of our minds was that we wanted for it to feel like home. We thought of our favorite exploration games and those towns, houses, or spots on the map we loved to return to, time and time again, after our long adventures. And this has been a constant guiding point in our efforts at building the fort, to capture the magic of that experience.
This is also a big reason we really want to launch The Way of Wrath as Early Access. We need your help and input in shaping this place to be the most memorable, engaging and personal experience it can be. We are putting all our efforts, experience and knowledge into getting this right. But, ultimate the game is to be experienced by you, the players, and with the genre as complex as a role-playing game it is almost always your input that turns the game into a great and engaging experience. We hope you’ll support and help us in this endeavor.
Visually we wanted the fort to be different and memorable so it could stand out, but also feel familiar and approachable. Fort architecture had to fit perfectly within the game world and harsh mountainous landscape it was built in. It proved quite a challenge, and we looked at many of the earth’s cultures for inspiration. In an effort to understand how the lands have shaped the cultures of the people living on them and how the people would shape and transform the land.
For some elements we didn’t have to look far. Our home country Georgia is in the mountainous region of Caucasus, and there are several regions within the country like Tusheti and Svaneti where even today people live in a very harsh landscapes and natural conditions. Famous towers and rock structures created by their ancestors were a perfect base for sparking our architectural designs. For others we had to take long journeys through time and space, scouring the prehistoric world for its architectural legacies.
The story of The Way of Wrath is told through time. Days to be precise. Each new day in the game is a story turn that advances the state of the world and the Fort is one place where this advancement is most felt.
At first it is a ruined, ragged place and morale of your allies is at its lowest. There is no shelter, food or much of a hope of surviving what is to come. People huddle in nooks and crannies amidst collapsed towers and buildings, shunning company and dreaming of warmth while freezing to their deaths.
Through the player’s effort, things can turn around. Resources can be mined to repair the fortifications and buildings. Clear rubble, fix the roofs, light the fires and create shelters. Food, alcohol, and warmth of fires can bring people together. Progress on the defenses and player’s acts of valor can inspire hope. (Or perhaps harsh disciple and tyrannical order will be what get’s the job done?)
Progress on the Fort and recruitment of new allies unlocks many activities, quest and experiences. From different crafting stations like a furnace, medicine mixing table, and shaman circle, open flame cooking or brewing stews in pots, to dueling ring and various minigames you can play with companions. Decorating your quarters with trophies, capturing animals for your farm pens. There are a lot of fun things to do.
The story is part of each activity in The Way of Wrath and all the characters have their agendas. Nothing is as simple as giving an order through the UI screen. Making sure allies follow through with instruction given to them will be a constant concern for the player. Simple jobs can turn into several day-long quests and morale, discipline, personalities, and competencies of the allies who are assigned tasks can have large consequences.
We will share more on this and many more details with the next Devlog entries in The Game Features series! We'll be sharing many of those in the next few weeks leading up to EA.
We want to thank again each of you for following and supporting us, and we hope to see you soon with EA and Full Game releases!
Cheers and we wish you happy 2020! - The Way of Wrath Team.