Cursebreaker Dev Blog 9 – Upcoming Playtest, Game Locations & Lore – The next playtest will go live on Friday October 21st!
Starting next week we’re opening an updated playtest version, which includes a bit more freedom to roam and more of an emphasis on the questing experience / main quest pacing. We’re obviously excited to hear your thoughts on how we’re doing, but at the same time we’re happy to get to show you a (mostly) functioning part of our game, especially for those of you who didn’t get to play yet. The playtest will go live on Friday October 21st, we’ll announce it on Steam as well as on our twitter (link) if you’re following us there.
In the meantime, we thought we’d show some of the explorable areas of the game and ramble a bit about their lore for immersion’s sake.
The Aercrest Manor
As the player, you’re placed in the shoes of Lord Rothar Aercrest – the feudal ruler to the remote woodlands of Imberthale. Your journey thus begins from the comfort of your family manor, where the Aercrests have ruled Imberthale for centuries.
Resting in northern Imberthale, the manor house overlooks the country’s largest lake – Thalefresh – to one side, while being surrounded by Lordswood to the other. The area’s aiming for a pleasant “noob aesthetic” with the intention of also accommodating a skippable tutorial further down development.
In southern Imberthale, a grand city sprawls in the shelter of Mount Silderstone and the branches of River Aure. Haywind is a new city, having previously existed as small mining and farming communities, Imberthale’s damp and cool environment only provided life with hardships. However, some decades back that all changed.
Fleeing the aftershock of a nasty war in distant lands, the Magi of Hydrobor resettled their academy west of Haywind. They brought with them the magical talents to manipulate the weather and soon Haywind’s crops flourished. The land prospered and from amidst the farms, a city began to emerge.
But as Haywind’s fortunes have grown, it has attracted some unwanted attention. A seeming horde of marauding bandits have laid siege to its countryside, bent on extorting the city for all it’s worth. Haywind struggles to defend itself – a problem further exasperated by the city mayor’s apparent incompetency.
While Haywind, despite its growth pains, is a city on the rise, Imberthale’s oldest city – Thornhill – is in decline. It is poorly administered and its ruler, the Lord-Mayor Goldbridge, is only interested in lining his own pockets. Nepotism and corruption run rampant and taxation resembles more of a protection racket, where soldiers rough up whomever fail to make payments.
As if that alone wasn’t enough, the city was recently beset upon by a deadly plague. As was befitting of his character, the Lord-Mayor locked himself in his keep while the people on the streets suffered. Some cry the plague must have been the result of witchcraft, of course.
But since the plague began to loosen its grip on the city, the majority has started looking on their “protector” the Lord-Mayor with increasing disgruntlement. Unfortunately their mood is also making the city’s soldiers behave even more heavy-handed than usual.
A swamp with a tainted reputation lies east of Thornhill. Providing cover from the eyes of the civilization and being hard to casually traverse, it has always been attractive to members of the criminal underworld, but also to those wishing to practice dark magics. As far as people can remember, the swamp has always been home to the dreaded ‘Witch of the Swamp’, or the ‘Silvermirror Witch’.
Perhaps in reality there have been many witches throughout the ages, at times even a coven. But where reality and peasants’ imaginations meet is that the swamp is indeed a dangerous place. Over time its witches have often abducted unsuspecting travelers and through gruesome experiments, turned them into various monsters that now prowl the swamp.
These old woods are sacred to the druids of Imberthale, some of whom reside here. They look with disdain upon the emerging civilization in Haywind towards the west and especially the Magi of Hydrobor – their tampering with the weather risks defiling nature’s sacred order. In their ignorance they may be inviting nature to one day lash back.
Mistywood also provides home to many different beasts, such as bears, snakes and spiders. But considered worst of all by the peasantry are the goblins, who have set up many small encampments throughout the forest. Logging efforts have without fault become ambushed by the little creatures and bounties on goblin heads are commonplace. The druids, however, appreciate the goblins as nature’s way of protecting itself from the greed of humans.
If you got this far, thanks for reading! As usual, we recommend you follow us on twitter, where we post progress updates and behind the scenes content regularly. Also feel free to engage in conversation with us on our discord server at any time, don’t be shy to ask us questions and maybe let us know which games you’ve been enjoying.