Monday, January 23, 2017

Hellenica is now available on Steam and!

The day has finally come!

Hellenica is now available for PC on Steam and!

Pick it up, tell your friends, and start saving Greece!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hellenica Party Intros: Scylax, the Wandering Magian Part 2!

We're finally wrapping up Hellenica's party intros with some of Scylax's unlockable skills!

Before jumping in, there are only five days left until Hellenica is released! Hop on over to Steam and wishlist us if you haven't already.

Alright, so last time we introduced Scylax, one of Hellenica's magic users. (Check out Part 1!) Today I'll tease a couple of his other skills, starting with Fire Wave.

Fire Wave is great for close quarters, especially when you can group up some enemies using your other party members' pushes and tosses.

Once Scylax has powered up his Intensity, Fire Wave becomes even more powerful.

The empowered version of Fire Wave shoots out a line of flames in four directions, dealing a massive amount of damage if you're able to position Scylax just right.

The next skill, and some of our testers' personal favorites, is called Fire Blast.

Fire Blast combines Scylax's affinity for area damage with the joys of tossing characters. Also, he can use it on himself or party members for a classical take on the rocket jump:

When empowered, Fire Blast deals more damage and launches targets even farther, which can be very useful on boats and other tight levels with a lot of verticality.

Just be careful you don't knock your own party members off the edge!

Friday I'll be putting together a post on combat in Hellenica in general since our turn structure is somewhat unique. Check back then!

And let your friends know Hellenica is launching Monday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What’s the difference? Story writing verse Hellenica writing.

Salutations! So I’m Siobhan Gallagher(posting from Victor's account), co-writer and editor for Hellenica. This was my first time writing for a game; normally, I write short stories for online and print magazines. And yeah, there are quite a few differences in technique and style, as well as challenges.

For a branching story, you will meet the same characters in different locations at different times, which means some characters will need multiple introductions, and those introductions will vary depending on whether you talked with that character a lot, a little bit, or not at all. As you can imagine, this is a lot of extra writing for just one set of dialogue. For example, you can meet Brasidas as a forlorn-looking Spartan in Rhodes, or trying to buy a train ticket with iron bars in the Acropolis, or as a turtle on the Isle of Circe.

Meeting Brasidas in the Acropolis
Meeting Brasidas at the Isle of Circe
Since there's a plethora of paths leading into a scene, story-related issues crop up. On the one hand, we wanted every choice to have meaningful impact, where the player traveled would effect the layout of the story. On the other hand, the player may miss vital plots points, which would make the entire story less coherent.  One solution to this is to have rumors. It's easy to have a town gossip kick off a conversation about an event outside the player’s path, which informs the characters and can even influence future choices.

You could liken it to building a structure with blocks, where everything has to fit together (or it falls over), but some blocks are interchangeable. Whereas a linear story is more like working with clay, there’s more flexibility in how you might shape it, but still requires discipline--or you wind up with a lousy pot.

If you like science fiction and fantasy stories full of adventure, weirdness, fun or dark (or both!), check out my bibliography--some of these publications are free to read online.

"Lessons in Blade and Barrier" (found in the link above)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hellenica Party Intros: Scylax, the Wandering Magian

Hellenica launches in one week! Tell your friends on Twitter and wishlist the game on Steam!

And since it's Monday, here's the next character intro: Scylax, the Wandering Magian! Scylax is an expert swordsman traveling the world on a quest to find the True Fire.

His adventures have brought him experience, wisdom, and even a powerful weapon, but if you've ever played any role-playing games, you already knew that.

All of Scylax's skills, including his basic sword attack, deal Magic damage, which is doubly effective against Heavy defense types.

In addition to his sword, he also controls powerful fire magic thanks to his training as a Magian. Cauterize is a starting skill that can be used to damage an enemy or heal an ally at range.

Anytime Scylax uses one of his skills he gains a level of Intensity, his passive skill. These are represented by tiny flames hovering around him.

Once he reaches level three, his flames will turn blue, and his next skill will be empowered. An empowered skill is much stronger than the normal version, often dealing more damage, affecting a larger area, or even having a new unique effect.

An empowered cauterize, for example, has its damage and healing scaled up two-fold, and it affects an area instead of a single target!

There are few things sweeter than a 5-target blue cauterize.

On Wednesday I'll show off some of Scylax's unlockable skills and their blue-flame variants. Come back then! (Part 2 is now live!)

Also, please help spread the word about Hellenica's launch! Here's our launch trailer for easy linking:

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hellenica Party Intros: Brasidas, the Exiled Spartan Part 2

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you've got a fun weekend planned. I, of course, will be playing Hellenica, as usual. ;)

Today we're wrapping up Brasidas' party intro with two of his unlockable skills: Iron Vanguard and Tribute to Ares! Go ahead and catch up on Part 1 if you haven't already. Really, I'll wait.

First up, Iron Vanguard. Brasidas is able to channel his extensive Spartan training and create a makeshift vanguard all on his own. When used, four Iron Spartans will spawn in the spaces adjacent to Brasidas until the end of the enemy turn.

Iron Vanguard is perfect for blocking off a chokepoint or walling in an ally on the brink of death. And, since it's Hellenica, you can push and toss any of the Iron Spartans around the level for some great bounce damage.

Next is Tribute to Ares. Brasidas is unique in that he can unlock a number of passive abilities to aid both himself and his allies. Tribute summons down a totem on each recently defeated enemy's space at the end of the player's turn. These totems will persist for the remainder of the fight and grant an attack bonus to any ally that moves onto that space.

This is great for longer fights that are centered in a particular area, as the bonus damage can really add up over the course of a fight.

Whew! That's three party members down. Next I'll be introducing Scylax, the Wandering Magian, so check back Monday.

Also, please check out our Steam page to wishlist Hellenica and visit our Twitter and share our announcements with your friends. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hellenica Party Intros: Brasidas, the Exiled Spartan

Just twelve days until Hellenica's launch, which means we're prepping our togas and olive wreaths for the celebration. Help support our launch by wishlisting us on our Steam page and retweeting our updates on Twitter!

It's wednesday, which means it's time for the next party member introduction. Meet Brasidas, an exiled Spartan on a quest to prove his innocence and redeem his honor.

Brasidas is a veteran Spartan warrior, which means he knows how to handle himself on the battlefield. Accustomed to fighting alongside his armored brethren, he excels in a tight vanguard of his allies.

Brasidas has a unique passive skill called Protector that allows him to split any damage received by an adjacent ally. Since Brasidas has the Heavy defense type, his share of the damage will also be reduced by half.

This is a great way to keep squishy allies in the fight when they are threatened, but be wary of area of effect attacks that might be used against you!

His basic attack is a spear jab, which differs from other melee attacks in that it can strike diagonally or pierce up to two spaces in a straight line.

His final starting skill is called Shield Bash. This hybrid offensive and defensive skill deals moderate damage and pushes the target one space. It also applies a one-turn debuff that reduces the target's damage by half.

Like all repositioning skills in Hellenica, if Shield Bash is used on an ally, no damage or debuff will be applied. This means it's safe to use on your allies strategically without any penalties.

Friday I'll show off some of Brasidas' unlockable skills so check back then! (Part 2 is up!) And remember to check us out on Steam and Twitter!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hellenica Party Intros: Nephele, the theomechanist Part 2

It's still Monday in a few places, and that means the next part of our party intros series is due!

Last time I introduced Nephele, our affable and outspoken theomechanist, and today I'd like to explain a couple of her unlockable skills.

Nephele is one of the major damage dealers in your party, but sometimes you have to be clever to make the most of her talents.

For example, here's her skill Sky Shot. When used, Nephele will fire a volley of arrows up into the air that will do a ton of damage upon landing. So what's the catch?

The catch is that the arrows won't hit their targets until the end of the player's next turn! So, you need to plan ahead and target an area you think enemies will be standing in the future. Of course, you can also make use of any repositioning skills your other party members have to setup the shot.

The other skill I wanted to reveal is called Power Shot. Most of Nephele's abilities deal Physical damage, which means any enemies with the Heavy defense type will take reduced damage. Power Shot deals piercing damage that ignores this penalty, and it also hits all enemies in a line.

If you're able to shove some enemies around, this line shot can be super effective.

Each of these skills costs some steam pressure to use, so tracking that resource is central to utilizing Nephele effectively.

Wednesday I'll introduce our third party member, Brasidas! He's another completely different character altogether, so check back!

Also, if you haven't already, please visit our Steam page and wishlist the game! Sharing these blog posts and retweeting us on Twitter also helps immensely. Thank you!