Ealdorlight (pronounced "elder-light") is a single player role playing game, set in a low-fantasy kingdom, where players must influence, cajole and fight their way to the throne. The game generates centuries of history and society each game, giving players a whole kingdom of characters and relationships to explore and exploit, alongside turn based story-focused combat and an open quest structure.
Players travel the land, meet characters, perform quests and attempt to discover their true identity, different every game. Learning about the pasts of other characters gives the player influence over them, and learning who they truly are allows a player's character to become more and more powerful. Along the way they will discover ancient weapons with hidden pasts, recruit allies, fight those who get in their way, and finally build a strategy to overthrow the King.
Ealdorlight is currently in pre-production and will be on Kickstarter in May 2017 ahead of a PC, Mac & Linux launch in early 2019.
Players take the role of an young villager in a remote community. At eighteen your parents reveal a forgotten past: as a small child you were found lost, ragged and abandoned in the centre of the village. The few words you spoke were in a strange dialect, unknown to anyone in the area. Your parents decided to take you in and raise you as your own, but your true parentage is unknown.
Whilst wandering that evening in the forest nearby, trying to make sense of this news, you have an encounter with a strange being, telling you of darkness at the heart of your homeland and inviting you to rule the kingdom by taking the place of the current King.
Building on the tech from Chris Parsons' first game Sol Trader, each new game of Ealdorlight creates a randomised hex-grid kingdom and generates several hundred years of its history and people. Settlements are founded and spread, are attacked or abandoned. Roads are built, crops are planted and wars are fought. Peasants, nobles, heroes and villains of old are born, live and die, creating legends and leaving ancient weapons and armour behind them for you to find. Your character and everyone else you meet are their direct descendants.
It's through generating history that Ealdorlight tackles a common failing of procedural games: that everything can feel the same. By giving every house, barn, town, village, spear and sword a historical reason to exist, everything in the game is part of the story and has purpose. Ealdorlight goes further by building history into the core gameplay: for example, learning your sword was used to slay innocent villagers in an attack 200 years ago will unlock its power, but a power that tends towards evil deeds, despite your good intentions...
The character is found at a young age by a different set of people in a different village each game, and is given the same prophecy. Each playthrough means discovering a different past and encountering different enemies. The quest structure is open and procedurally generated, meaning no two games will play the same: you might find a lost animal for a farmer, preparing food for a wedding feast, deliver important scrolls to the mayor’s scribe, or investigate the disapperance of a missing person. The quests are layered on to the procedural world, but thanks to the generated characters the circumstances are always different. When completing quests, you will be rewarded with reputation, gold, ancient items, and introductions to more powerful characters. Along the way you may discover who you are and where you came from, which unlocks your own skills and abilities.
Ealdorlight is Chris Parsons's second game after Sol Trader and his first under the new Revelation Games label. Chris started his professional video games career as a AAA programmer at Elixir Studios for four years. After working on Republic: the Revolution and Evil Genius, Chris founded his own software development agency, before returning to games and releasing Sol Trader as a solo indie title in 2016. He's now expanded the team and is switching to Unreal Engine for the followup.
|24 Mar 2017||Announcing: Ealdorlight|
"Ealdorlight is the natural follow on game from Sol Trader. I've taken all that learning and technology and ploughed it into a fantasy setting, whilst tightening up the main goal and taking the gameplay a step further.
I'm back on Kickstarter in May 2017 to confirm this is the game people want me to make, and to gather feedback from the amazing Kickstarter community to make Ealdorlight even better."
Chris Parsons, Revelation Games