Monday, January 23, 2017

Hellenica is now available on Steam and itch.io!

The day has finally come!

Hellenica is now available for PC on Steam and itch.io!

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!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Hellenica Party Intros: Nephele, the theomechanist

It's finally Friday, and that means it's time for the next party member introduction!

Quick reminder: Hellenica is launching on January 23rd, and we'd really appreciate your wishlists/follows!

Now on to the next party member: Nephele, the theomechanist!


Prior to her adventuring career, Nephele was a temple priestess at a small temple of Apollo outside Athens. In addition to helping out with religious rites, Nephele's also in charge of keeping all of the temple machinery in tip-top shape. That is, when she's not tinkering on her own steam-powered gadgets.

In combat, Nephele sports a mini-pressurized boiler and her trusty steam bow:


Her steam bow can deal incredibly high single-target damage, especially when using her stored up steam pressure to hop up to high vantage points:


In addition to these basic abilities, Nephele builds up one unit of steam pressure each turn to power her unlockable skills. The first skill you'll get to use is called Depressurize. It uses up all of her pressure to push all adjacent characters up to 5 spaces:


Unless said characters hit a wall or fall off a cliff, that is. ;)

Check back in Monday, and I'll dig into a few of Nephele's other skills! (Part 2 is here!)

Also, you can check out the Diona intro from earlier in the week, as well as a series on Hellenica's other battle mechanics.

Remember to head over and wishlist Hellenica on steam and retweet our announcements on twitter! Thanks everyone.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Battle Manipulation Skills Part 3: Hazards and Traps

This is it! The final post about manipulating the battlefield in Hellenica. From me, anyways. Maybe you'll write one once you've played the game yourself? Take my hand, let's begin.

So, last time we spoke of falls and bounces, and while there's plenty of fun to be had rolling barrels down a ramp of enemy pirates and bouncing rebel Spartans off each other, we can do even better.

Eventually those bouncing tin cans will have to land somewhere, so why not have them land on hot steam exhaust or crushing mechanical gearworks?


Many of the levels in Hellenica are studded with environmental features that you can use to your advantage. Even if you don't, your enemies might, so it's important to at least be aware of the possibilities!

In addition to permanent features of the level, there are also a number of skills that will create traps that can be exploited.

Here's a shot of the effects of one of Scylax's fire abilities:


Everytime a character touches a burning space, they'll take magic damage. Knock a heavy enemy back and forth a couple times, and he'll have a pretty bad day.

Other times enemy characters will lay traps of their own, but if you're clever you can make them hit themselves:


Oof.

Hopefully this series has given you a taste of how Hellenica's combat differs from other SRPG's. I can't wait to see what crazy combos you set up once the game's in your hands.

If you're interested, head over and wishlist the game on Hellenica's steam page to help make our launch a success. We really appreciate it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hellenica Party Intros: Diona, the Arktos Part 2

Hellenica's coming out in 2.5 weeks! Head over to the steam page and wishlist it for us, we'd appreciate it!

Last time, I dug into Diona's bear form and some of the fun you can have with Beardozer. Check it out if the thought of running amok as a giant bear in ancient Greece sounds compelling.


Even in her human form Diona's no pushover. She has reduced HP and movement range compared to Beariona, but if you're willing to take some risks with her human skills, she still has great utility and can deal a lot of damage.

First up, her basic dagger attack deals piercing damage to help cut through heavy enemy units, and she gets an extra backstab bonus when she attacks from behind enemies.


With the Roll skill, Diona is able to ignore obstacles and blink four additional spaces. At the end of her roll, she'll perform a dagger attack against any adjacent enemies. That's potentially four backstabs in a single turn!


Diona's not only about damage in human form though. If you'd rather help support your allies more directly, you can unlock Artemis' Blessing, one of the few healing skills in Hellenica.


After two turns, Diona will transform into a thrashing bear again, so you'll have to consider your actions carefully in human form!

On Friday, I'll start introducing Nephele, our theomechanic priestess from the temple of Apollo. Until then, spread the word about Hellenica's launch and get your tactics-loving friends to wishlist it!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hellenica Party Intros: Diona, the Arktos

It's finally January, and that means Hellenica is launching very soon. If you haven't already hopped over to our steam page, do so and wishlist it! We'd really appreciate your support.

In celebration of the upcoming launch, I'm going to be posting introductions to the party members you'll meet in Hellenica. I'll have a new one up every MWF leading up to our launch on January 23rd, so check back often!

First up is our main protagonist, Diona. She's been with us from the very beginning, but she's gone through some serious changes as the game's developed.


Diona is a disciple of Artemis, goddess of the hunt, and as such has been granted the ability to transform into a bear for short durations.


I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.

So how does that work mechanically?

At the start of combat, Diona will transform into a bear. She'll remain in this form for three turns (player and enemy), granting a large boost to her health and movement range. She'll also gain access to a new set of skills that allow her to focus on disrupting and manipulating enemies (or allies!).

One skill you can unlock is called Beardozer. Once unlocked, Diona can charge in a straight line up to five spaces, tossing anything in her way behind her. Enemies, allies, barrels, anything.

Not only is this a good way to cover a lot of distance, it also lets you set up a cluster of enemies for an AoE attack or a line of enemies for a long bounce chain. Beardozing as your first action in a turn means the rest of your party can take advantage of the new positions of up to six characters.

Here's a two-step sequence I set up with Diona and Nephele that exploits a chokepoint to deal a ton of bounce damage:


After three turns Diona will revert to her human form, which enables a completely different set of skills.


Check back on Wednesday for part two where I'll go into the different ways you can outfit Diona's human form to play a support role or a damage role. (Part 2 is here!)

And don't forget to add Hellenica to your wishlist to support us! Thanks!