★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion An epic turn-based strategy game

09-29-2011, 09:34 AM
#1
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Singapore
Posts: 70
RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion An epic turn-based strategy game

We’re Witching Hour Studios, an indie game developer based in Singapore, and we’re excited to bring you guys a preview of RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion, our first game for iOS!

Ravenmark is an isometric turn-based strategy game that draws on influences from forebears like the venerable Fire Emblem, Advance Wars and Final Fantasy Tactics, yet presents an strategy experience like no other.

[A Giant Tale on A Pint-sized iPhone?]

In a land known as Eclisse, where a great sun and three moons rule the azure skies, the ruling Empire of Estellion is beset by a great scourge from their past – the sun-eating mystics from the forgotten nation of Kaysan.

You’ll follow the stories of a host of conflicted characters under siege, as they struggle for survival under the weight of ruthless ambition and political intrigue. Each campaign in the game presents an account from a different side of the war, so this campaign’s dastardly villains may just become the next campaign’s heroes.



(Gameplay footage is from an alpha build and does not reflect the final performance of the game.)

[A Game of… Placements]

Skirmishes from the story are fought on 2D isometric battlegrounds, where the player will command a host of warriors to defeat the enemy’s armies. These battles are essentially turn-based; players may key in battle commands for all of their controllable elements without timed pressure at the outset of a combat turn.

When the player is satisfied with the commands issued for that turn, hit START and watch the carnage unfold! The acting speed (or Initiative) of a combat element will determine the sequence of actions in a given turn... Players must carefully consider how the order of actions will play out on the battlefield, or risk annihilation!

[Incisive, Effective Commanding with Standing Orders]

Players can issue “Standing Orders” to their controllable elements; Standing Orders are A.I. assisted commands that repeat a certain type of action each turn without requiring the player to re-issue the order. Each unit can be given a basic set of standard actions such as moving forward and attacking the nearest enemy, or standing their ground and attacking any unit that comes within range.



Standing orders would be given to all units at the start of a battle and are carried out every turn. As a commander making decisions throughout the rest of the battle, you'll have a set number of Command Points per turn to alter the orders or action of chosen elements, so choose wisely to turn the tide of battle!

[Formations – Boon or Bane?]

Unique to Ravenmark is the “Formation” system, which allows you to bind together up to three identical player elements on the fly, in order to share abilities of attached Support elements, or gain new formation-only abilities! These abilities are often crucial to winning a battle. But be warned: Formations also leave your elements with greater chances of being flanked from the side or rear! A general must be careful when to create Formations and when to break them up…

Watch Formations get into position in the story sequence below:



------------

A grand, rousing soundtrack accompanies this epic tale and its battles – it’s all scored by indie game music maestro Josh Whelchel, who’s also composing for bigwigs like Mojang (of Minecraft fame). The battle track in the trailer was done by him; check his other work out at www.jwmusic.org!

On 11 November (if all goes well), Ravenmark will be launched for the iPhone at a launch price of US$2.99, with Retina support out of the box. We intend to make a separate iPad edition of Ravenmark – which will be universal! So if you have iOS devices big and small, we plead for your patience while we try to get the universal iPad edition out the door after this iPhone release.

Anyway, TouchArcaders, the most important thing is - what do you want to see? Just for you guys, we can put up concept art, information about the world of Eclisse and its rich lore, maybe a music preview... We know you guys are the most hardcore of hardcore iOS gaming fans who love this stuff, so tell us and we'd love to oblige!

----

Nov 7th update - For those of you reading about RAVENMARK for the first time, we're serving up a juicy new action-packed trailer from the final build, with shiny re-done UI! Enjoy!


RAVENMARK: Mercenaries - Enter the multiplayer war for turn-based tactical supremacy!

Check out the Ravenmark saga on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RavenmarkSaga

Last edited by witchinghourSG; 11-07-2011 at 01:39 PM. Reason: New trailer
09-29-2011, 10:50 AM
#2
Joined: May 2010
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,741
Advance Wars has almost no RPG elements besides basic leveling, Fire Emblem has a few RPG elements (equipments, level up to 20, class promotions), and Final Fantasy Tactics is heavy on RPG elements. How about this game?

Ravenmark is looking good overall, although the battle scenes seem a bit bland (still pictures with damage animations) at the moment.

Follow me (@zeroxharuhi) on Twitter!

09-29-2011, 11:41 AM
#3
Joined: May 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,286
Wilhelm scream FTW!

Playing Now: Lara Croft Go, Boxy Kingdom, The Shadow Sun
Waiting For: Lumines
GameCenter: -jjj-
09-29-2011, 12:42 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 575
Nice, TBS my favorite type!

GameCenter: williamsyee Twitter: @willzhw
Beta Tester profile: willzhw
Hero Emblems Skill Location Prison Life RPG Guides
09-29-2011, 09:34 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,494
Looks promising, keep us in the loop
09-30-2011, 03:38 AM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haruhi View Post
Advance Wars has almost no RPG elements besides basic leveling, Fire Emblem has a few RPG elements (equipments, level up to 20, class promotions), and Final Fantasy Tactics is heavy on RPG elements. How about this game?

Ravenmark is looking good overall, although the battle scenes seem a bit bland (still pictures with damage animations) at the moment.
Heya Haruhi! I'm Ian, the creative lead for Ravenmark. Cheers for the comment!

Having stills for the battle scenes was a decision we made since we have some great artists but lack animators. Do you have any suggestions on how we can improve on what you've seen?

Also, the game is more in the vein of Advance Wars where there's next to no RPG elements -- for now. We're trying to get the game out first and add those bits as we go along. Was thinking of doing upgrades, much like Kingdom Rush.

Last edited by Tebius; 09-30-2011 at 03:42 AM. Reason: Missed a line or two.
09-30-2011, 03:39 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjmedia View Post
Wilhelm scream FTW!
I know right! Hahahah, we haven't finalised the sound for death yet so we decided to have a laugh. =D
09-30-2011, 03:40 AM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by undeadcow View Post
Looks promising, keep us in the loop
Cheers dude! Is there anything in particular you'd like to see?
09-30-2011, 06:34 AM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tebius View Post
Cheers dude! Is there anything in particular you'd like to see?
Asynchronous online multiplayer. It's the killer/hallmark/make-or-break feature for nearly any turn-based strategy title on iOS, and often marks the difference between a single player experience of a few hours (brilliant though it may be), and a game that will live for years. (It is also a new paradigm within gaming, and the one thing mobile gaming devices can do on a whole different level than other platforms. To my mind, this genre of games is the single greatest asset of iOS and Android, other than the unique control methods offered by the touch screen and the portability.)

Once the multiplayer appeal and persistence is there, releasing expansions/DLC/IAP, building a good rep and hyping a sequel/other game by the same developers, and most other forms of financially meaningful activities (stuff that will get you dough ), becomes a considerably more accessible process.

Carcassonne lives on in great grace thanks to its multiplayer, whereas the Neuroshima Hex forum thread is filled to the brim with requests for asynchronous online play. Final Fantasy Tactics is awesome without it, but would have been absolutely groundbreaking with it...

Vocalist of Earthbridge and Neverlast
Game Center/OpenFeint/Plus+/[insert arbitrary game network, online character or multiplayer account here]: Ayjona
09-30-2011, 06:50 AM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayjona View Post
Asynchronous online multiplayer. It's the killer/hallmark/make-or-break feature for nearly any turn-based strategy title on iOS, and often marks the difference between a single player experience of a few hours (brilliant though it may be), and a game that will live for years. (It is also a new paradigm within gaming, and the one thing mobile gaming devices can do on a whole different level than other platforms. To my mind, this genre of games is the single greatest asset of iOS and Android, other than the unique control methods offered by the touch screen and the portability.)

Once the multiplayer appeal and persistence is there, releasing expansions/DLC/IAP, building a good rep and hyping a sequel/other game by the same developers, and most other forms of financially meaningful activities (stuff that will get you dough ), becomes a considerably more accessible process.

Carcassonne lives on in great grace thanks to its multiplayer, whereas the Neuroshima Hex forum thread is filled to the brim with requests for asynchronous online play. Final Fantasy Tactics is awesome without it, but would have been absolutely groundbreaking with it...
Heya, Ayjona. Thank you for the comment!

That's the long term goal for Ravenmark. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to accomplish that right now. Our short term goal is to have a hot seat function, down the road at least. With what resources we DO have, however, we're using to build a campaign world as a home for all the stories we intend to tell!

If Ravenmark does well enough, we have every intention of having asynchronous online multiplayer. Just the idea of it is exciting! The opportunity to play the various nations in multiplayer! =)