World Tour: First stop, Shuicheng!

Pyrrhic Victory takes place in a vast world constantly at war. Yet across the war-torn lands exist those trying to survive each day. There are still natural gems of beauty scattered around the world, little pockets of untouched landscape rarely encountered but always treasured. Let us take a tour of the world Pyrrhic Victory is set in and see what remains when war is over.

During the tour we saw several ships anchored in the Shuicheng port, you can find them at: http://merakigames.ca/category/world-tour/shuicheng/.


Welcome, welcome, to the first complimentary continental tour! This tour is brought to you by the esteemed and world renowned Guild of Master Explorers: The Lost and Found. My name is Tsai Shan, and I’ll be your host and guide on this tour.

Now, many tourists wonder if this tour is safe. After all, we will be wandering across the frigid Mount Xue’feng, meandering through the deadly swamps in the heartland of the Rupani nation, forging ahead in the sweltering heat of the Slahor deserts and even paying a visit to the isolated Narsput and Kosekyan nations! Let me assure you, we’ve taken every possible precaution to keep you safe and (mostly) alive until you return home. As I’m sure you all know, I am an expert Watercaster and that alone should give you all the assurances you need. We have also hired the strongest warriors from Slahor and the most adept soldiers from Rupani to protect this caravan from bandits. To keep us safe from the elements we have survival experts and guides all the way from the Wajanderu Searching Wind Caste and trackers from Narsput (whom I’m assured have been tamed).

First we’ll start in civilized Rupani lands, where all good stories start. The Rupani nation first formed from tribes living within the Wu’kay Yu – a hundred mile wide swamp on the western half of the continent. We of Rupani are a hardy group of people! We were easily able to survive the harsh climate, deadly bug and animals and rapidly changing landscape. But don’t sit down anywhere, you’ll probably sit on a spider or stinger; both would kill you. Oh, stay out of the water too, as the eels will cook you, or something will eat you. Actually, just stay in the caravan and don’t move until we leave the swamp.

At the edge of the heartland swamps is the city of Shuicheng. Shuicheng is our largest port-city with large swaths of open coastline for even the largest warship to dock for repairs. Shuicheng has enough dockspace for a hundred Rupani warships, or twice that many civilian crafts. The old port is one of our oldest cities, having been the first city formed after Rupani fought their way out of the Wu’kay Yu. The grand city of Shuicheng has lasted more than five hundred years, and will easily last another five hundred. Please ignore the damaged buildings and the wrecked ships; some visiting nations don’t clean up after themselves when they stay and their shoddy craftsmanship falls apart rather quickly.

Shuicheng - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

If you’d like to go for a walk, I’d recommend visiting Z’in Seafood, freshly caught mubidak prepared by the famous Chef Z’in in enough ways to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. But be sure if it is your first visit to our fair land to try the Open-Faced Fish Sandwich; it is certain to whet your appetite! I am instructed to advise you to stay away from the southern docks, there have been some unsavoury individuals lurking and working in the area and you’d not wish to be caught up in their snares.

For myself, I’m staying with the Caravan, be back soon as we continue our tour of the grand nation of Rupani!

Artwork By: Patryk Kowalik

Meet: The Rupani Military – Warrior

Rupani Warrior Concept Art - Meraki Games - Pyrrhic Victory

The Rupani military takes war very seriously. Having been almost constantly at war for the last several hundred years, the Rupani nation has risen to the challenge by enforcing a mandatory 2 year military service for every able-bodied adolescent, male or female. Deserters from the military and those too weak to pass the tests bring dishonour to their family and ancestors. Many have been disowned by their families for failing, to avert the dishonour. Every child of a Fraehalder will have learned basic weapon training and many go on to have successful careers in the military. It would be a poor Fraehalder that didn’t know how to fight; it would be difficult to rally the militia, fight off invaders and keep their title. A Fraehalder that can’t fight would be quickly displaced by the King.

The Rupani military is large horde led by a single General – a position which is acquired through trial by combat. Under the General is a Sub-General, his/her direct replacement if the General perishes.  Further down the chain of command are the Commanders. Commanders report to the local Fraehalders, but take orders from the General and the King alone. The rest of the army is made up of the warriors (as seen above), the archers, cavalry, engineers, and Watercasters. The military transports physicians on loan from Yi Shae Yu’an Moshu – a Rupani medical school to treat their wounded and sick. We’ll see more on the other parts of the Rupani Military later.

As Rupani is heavily focused around their Navy, they have developed their fighting styles around ship fighting; the equipment which the Navy and Land Army use are nearly identical.

Rupani Warrior Armour - Meraki Games Inc - Pyrrhic Victory

Rupani Warrior outfit. The traditional armour of the military is a steel breastplate, pauldrons, bracers and greaves with a wooden shield. Naval soldiers don’t wear the pauldrons or greaves.

The Rupani nation produces (and steals), a vast quantity of quality steel. They forge all weapons and armour (except for shields) out of steel to ensure maximum strength. When on land, the soldiers wear steel greaves, and pauldrons which are too heavy to wear on a ship. All of the plates are held together with dark green leather straps which are treated to prevent shrinking and stretching when wet or heated. To ensure that a soldier can escape drowning in their armour, quick release compression clasps are hold the front/back plates together – this allows the soldier to swim out of their armour in seconds if they fall into deep water. Warriors also carry round wooden shields. The shields of soldiers are typically painted with their ancestral family crest.

Rupani Warrior Weapons - Meraki Games Inc - Pyrrhic Victory

The warriors typically use Rapiers, although they also field spear warriors. Every soldiers carries a Sgian, a type of curved cutting knife.

The Rupani warriors tend to attack with skill and speed, preferring the rapier over thicker weapons. Most warriors are adept with rapiers and are able to create a tough guard with their rapier and shield, while rapidly attacking the foe. Due to this agility, the Rupani don’t fight in formation, attempting to overwhelm the enemy with sheer number and personal skill to rout their foes as quickly as possible. In the event that they lose or break their rapier, every warrior carries at least on Sgian, a small razor sharp knife which has saved the lives of many soldiers. While rapiers are issued to soldiers by the military, Sgians are typically passed down through the family.

Unfortunately, this style of combat is weak against charging foes, such as cavalry. To prevent a total rout from a soldier cavalry charge, the Rupani military trains some of its soldiers to form spear-walls. The spear-walls are made up of soldiers with increasingly longer spears which rest on the shoulders of the soldiers in front of them. The front row has the smallest spears and hold shields, while the back row wield spears up to 4 meters long. This bristling wall of spears (not unlike a porcupine) is daunting to charging cavalry and infantry alike – if they can position the spears between the enemy cavalry and the rest of the army. In addition, palisades will help in defensive engagements, and their own cavalry are often seen skirmishing with opposing cavalry when possible.

For those that favour a strong navy – Rupani is right for you. If you have questions or comments we’d love to hear from you; drop a comment below (or on our facebook or twitter!).

Rupani Warrior - Meraki Games - Pyrrhic Victory

Sneak Peak – Warden

I hope everyone that observed Lunar/Chinese New Year had a good two weeks. I know I rather enjoyed the orange-chocolate that came out for the festival – a perfect welcome to the year of the Monkey!

Today we have a sneak peak of the Warden, a unit in the army of the Nation of Kosekya. The Warden is similar to a Centurion in the Roman armies, enforcing order and leading soldiers into battle, but without the funny hat and with a few extra tricks. Every Warden is a Lightcaster (a person capable of manipulating light, which is Kosekya’s speciality) and is able to reflect sunlight and moonlight off of their armour to blind incoming foes, inspire allied troops or act as a beacon for a rally point. Their lightcasting abilities also allow them to signal allies or order troops across the battlefield.

Unlike most of the armies of Kosekya(and most of the armies in the world), the horse-mounted Wardens wear full steel plated armour (including cuirass, greaves, gauntlets, helm, pauldrons, etc) with a tough polished steel shield. They are literal knights in shining armour on the battlefield with exceptional training in combat and tactics. It doesn’t take much to route the citizen militia armies once the Warden has fallen, yet it is a difficult task to take down the mounted mountains of metal for that very reason.

Due to their skill in combat, it is common for a Warden to serve as bodyguards for the leaders of larger armies; a wall of metal against an ambush or charge. An especially skilled Warden might even be called to be the honourguard for a Governor of the one of the three Fortress Cities of Kosekya or even the King himself.

Enjoy!

Sneak Peak - Warden - Kosekya - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Artwork by: Cedric Cunanan 

On Slahor and Shishpars

I hope everyone had a great week since we posted some in-game screenshots of Pyrrhic Victory! The other day Andrey (our awesome 3d Modeler) presented me with some in progress screenshots of one of the weapons used by the nation of Slahor: the Shishpar. The Shishpar is a flanged mace with a sharp point on the top. With this deadly weapon you bash someone like a normal mace, but the sharp flanges rip through thin armour and skin with ease – and if that doesn’t work, you can always stab them with the tip.

While the Slahor army marches in formation, they don’t fight in formation – the versatile Shishpar works perfectly with the spears, claymores and falchions that other soldiers in the army use. The shorter weapon allows the Shishpar soldier to close the distance once the longer reach weapons have shattered the enemy defense. The flanged mace allows the soldiers to rip through most enemy armour and even crack wooden shields. Take a look below to see why the Shishpar is such a great tool for the job, and how we made it!

Shishpar First Stage - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

High poly first stage of the Shishpar

The first stage of creating the Shishpar was to create a high poly version of the Shishpar. This already looks amazing to me, and is a good starting point. It gives us a feel for how the weapon will turn out before Andrey spends too much time working on it. Getting to this point took about half of the total creation time, but modifications further down the line take a lot longer than making them now.

In this case, I thought it looked spot on, so he continued on – he perfectly captured what we needed.

Shishpar Third Stage - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Low Poly version of the Shishpar

Next is making the Shishpar low poly. Basically we want to turn the Shishpar into a low poly model so that it is smaller but still looks essentially the same as the high poly model. Smaller 3d models take less resources and load faster. In other words, we can have a bigger army of Slahor Shishpar warriors running around because our Shishpar isn’t taking up too much of the computer’s resources. While the resource save might not be much for an object as small as a Shishpar, every little bit helps when you reduce the polys for weapons, characters, armour, siege weapons etc.

Shishpar Second Stage - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

UV mapping the Shishpar

After the low poly version is creating the UV map for the Shishpar. This basically maps the Shishpar to a 2D map(U axis and V axis, like on a graph) that allows us to texture it and have the game engine know how to apply the texture. Once it is UV mapped we can swap out textures to create different looks – do we want a rusty Shishpar? How about a gold gilted Shishpar, or a pitch black one? Once the UV mapping is complete we can change the texture map much more easily.

One more screenshot before we’re done!

Shishpar Final Stage - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

The Shishpar now has texturing and proper lighting

I think it looks as great as the high poly version – while using quite a bit fewer resources! By now, Andrey has transferred all of the information from the high poly to the low poly, including baking in the different maps such as the normal map, used for by the engine to reflect light correctly.

That’s it for now – I hope you all enjoyed a look at the creation process for 3d weapons. We’ll have more weapons to post soon.

You can take a look at the finished Shishpar here with all the great detail Andrey put into it: https://www.artstation.com/embed/1877489

If you have any questions about the creation process, let us know and I’ll be sure to pass them onto Andrey if I don’t know the answer myself. Of course, also let us know what you think of the Shishpar. If you like what we’re making, please be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more posts, and share/retweet what you can to help spread the word.

See you all next week for more stuff in the works!

-Kyle

Pyrrhic Victory Screenshots

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone enjoyed the first Chapter of Fire Dance! Fire Dance, and the short stories to come are meant to give you backstory on the nations in the game and many of the main characters. It is a harsh world out there, especially for mages – keeping alive is difficult when the 5 major nations are often at war with one another. Of course, since most nations have assassins, magic and highly trained soldiers, allying yourself with one of the nations will usually keep you alive a little bit longer. As O’in found out, even blood ties can’t keep you alive in Slahor if you wield fire magic, but there are some in the world that do appreciate the good that fire magic can do (or at least, how destructive it can be against your foes). If you haven’t read Fire Dance yet, be sure to check it out here. We’ll be posting up the second chapter of Fire Dance in a couple of weeks where we will be introducing more of Wajanderu and follow O’in as he meets other mages and other people – people that aren’t trying to kill him for once.

Fire Dance Moon - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Chapter 1 ended under the light of Aurora, the blue moon

Since O’in will be heading to Wajanderu soon, I wanted to show you all some actual in-game screenshots of Wajanderu. Bear in mind that the maps are subject to change, not to mention they might not fit precisely into the game by the time we release.

First up is a small travelling trail through the large forest Herwald near Blauflus. Blauflus is the Wajanderu city which floats on a river on the eastern side of Mount Xue’feng. The Herwald surrounds Blauflus, from north to south and provides protection for Blauflus – enemies that attack are often beset by Wajans in the trees (at least until they burn down the trees). This particular portion of the Herwald is used by merchants travelling to and from Slahor and Kosekya (a nation we’ll see later).

The Herwald - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

A path through the Herwald

Mount Xue’feng is a massive mountain range similar to the Rockies in North America. Mount Xue’feng splits the continent in half, and ranges from freezing high altitudes to mellow almost tropical hills. A lot of precipitation is trapped on the western side of Mount Xue’feng, which is why a lot of Rupani (on the west of the mountain) is swamp and Slahor (on the east of the mountain) is a desert. It is difficult to travel across the mountain range, although there are a few mountain passes which will go between rest points. The below is one such point high up in the mountains. Since Wajanderu has many citizens from Narsput, and since Wajanderu and Rupani are usually closely allied, the two nations use their magic to keep the pass clear. Narsput citizens moved the mountain earth and bolstered the sides of the mountain to prevent avalanches/rock slides, Rupani moved the snow and Wajanderu keep snow and earth from blowing back into the pass. The joint effort allows caravans to pass through with little trouble or delay, which would otherwise be impossible. The passes through the mountain are based loosely on Noctis Labyrinthus on Mars – cold (for different reasons) and imposing with their sheer cliff sides – you can’t climb out, only keep going forward. With a guide you can get through the mountain, but without…

Mount Xue'feng Pass - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

A mountain pass through part of Mount Xue’feng, kept safe by the magics of three nations.

Do you see the tiny black dots inside of the red circle? That is a hint to the size of Mount Xue’feng and the scale of the task that the three nations have undertaken to shift this tiny part of it without getting anyone killed (usually). This is also the scale of game we’re looking to make, large maps with plenty of room to plan strategy and tactics with large (or small) armies. Perhaps in a defense having people climb high up on the mountain to drop rocks on the enemy’s head could prove to turn the tide in a defensive battle – it would be impossible for them to fight back if the enemy is far out of arrow reach.

This is the size of the actual soldiers in the mountain pass.

Soldiers in Mount Xue'Feng Pass - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Yes, this is the proper size of the soldiers. Mount Xue’feng is just really big.

Well, that’s it for this week – have feedback or questions? Comment here, or on facebook/twitter! If you like Pyrrhic Victory, help spread the word please with one (or more!) of the buttons below! If you found the tidbits of world lore interesting, we have Nation pages up for Wujanderu and Rupani, and we’ll be adding one for Slahor soon!

-Kyle

Fire Dance Part 1

Hey everyone!

We have released the first part of our multi-part story Fire Dance – a short story taking place in the world of Pyrrhic Victory. In Fire Dance, we meet O’in, the heir to one of the four cities in the Nation of Slahor.

Part 1 of Fire Dance has been posted here: http://merakigames.ca/pyrrhic-victory/short-stories/fire-dance-part-1/ – be sure to check it out!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for Part 2 of Fire Dance.

Desert Arena - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

-Kyle

We’re back in action!

Hey Everyone!

Well, what a year! I can certainly see the appeal in working on games full time as many of our fellow indie devs do – between familial illnesses and injuries, moving houses and other life-happens events sometimes it can be hard for a 100% part time team to find the time to update our amazing fans and work on the game and all the overall administratum that flows along with it. Really, where did the last year disappear to – even the snow seems to have expected winter to be another month or two from now!

So, as the boss of Meraki Games – I am sincerely sorry for not posting anything for you all over the last year; we’ll be posting more this year since we’ve already finished up a backlog of items that we want to post. As always, feel free to send us a hello if you’re wondering how things are coming along!

Onto the news:

Our budget has about doubled which will allow us to hire on some additional help – especially for music and artwork. We’re looking forward to using the budget to make Exile Saga even better!

As for Exile Saga overall – we’ve actually backtracked. We decided a few months ago that the retro look just wasn’t working for us. After analyzing the costs, it is actually more expensive for us to create good 2d pixel art for our characters than it is to create 3d models. We were often fighting with our engine in order to get it to do exactly what we wanted. Mark had gained a lot of proficiency, but it still takes longer than we’d like to set up areas and battles and they just weren’t where we wanted them to be. Rather than continue to fight with it, we’ve decided to move to Unity 3d which already has many of the major pieces in place and will allow us to make a beautiful game which we can be proud of and players will love. So far we’ve had great success with it and we’ll be showing some of the shiny new system in 3 weeks.

Pyrrhic Victory Meteor

We have some great new special effects

Exile Saga will continue to focus heavily on story with an Active Time Battle system – it’ll just look nicer, play better and be a lot more fun.

Now even more good news:

After long discussion and deliberation, we’ve decided to work on a second game at the same time. Primarily we’ve chosen to do this as it is often very difficult to maintain communication over large time zone differences when we’re working part time – often a couple team members are still at work while the others are working on the game. There is also the matter of length – Exile Saga is a massively long game which will take a long while to complete, our new game is shorter and will be completed significantly quicker. This will also give us more to show you, our amazing fans, as we’ll have two games worth of changes to show per month which means we should be able to maintain a weekly release schedule by alternating games – every Sunday that you come by, we should have something new and shiny, some lore tidbit, an epic tale from our writing team, or even just some tips on game design or writing to show you. Most importantly, since both games are 3d, we’ll be able to use knowledge and assets from one game in the other.

Thus it is with great pleasure that I present Pyrrhic Victory, a standalone 3d multiplayer medieval warfare simulator. Pyrrhic Victory is inspired by epic tales from throughout history – be it the legendary Battle of Troy, the Battle of Stirling Bridge in Scotland, or the battle at Heraclea during the Pyrrhic War where the game derives its namesake. There will be opportunities to play with friends and family in large scale battles – fight together or apart and conquer your enemies. Players will be able to take control of the army as the commander and oversee the strategy and tactics, or they can lead a handful of soldiers as they charge headlong into the enemy ranks (or flanks).

Of course, we have also developed a large world for Pyrrhic Victory to take place in – with six unique races and 20 odd mercenary factions every battle will be a struggle to the last. You can find more information on the Pyrrhic Victory page above. Next week we’ll be posting the new story: Fire Dance, a short story about what it means to be a Remedon Za’Abat in the Slahor society.

Check out Wajanderu and Rupani, two of our brand new nations below:

Pyrrhic Victory - Rupani Flag

Flag of Rupani

Pyrrhic Victory - Wajanderu Flag

Flag of Wajanderu

 

 

 

 

Well, that is all for this week – check back here on January 10th for Fire Dance, and Jan 18th for the final conclusion of Lamenting Tree!
-Kyle