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This devlog is about showcasing the content we are adding to our new demo, which gives us a good excuse to add a lot of gifs!

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Devlog #18 Filling the void with content

Hello everyone! This devlog is focused on showcasing the content we are working on in our demo. In addition, I'm happy to announce that the release date of our demo is set in stone now, as the release of it will be part of a larger event. We have been asked to not disclose the exact event and date yet, but we are super excited that we have been chosen! When we get the permission we will announce the date properly.

Start menu improvements

Let's start with our new background for our start menu:

ae menuanimation

We wanted to have something a bit darker than our previous background, and of course, just like the previous one, it is animated in-game as well! But while we were at it, we have also added proper access to the settings menu while you are in the game, so no more going back to the main menu to change the volume settings anymore.

Another important improvement is that we have added situation-sensitive tutorial popups. These will help new players to explain the basics of the game at the relevant times. These can be turned off in the settings menu for everyone else.

Tactical phase improvements

In line with the darker tone, we replaced the mono-color edge of the map with a bit more sinister:

end of map

The idea here is that the commander(player) is looking at the battlefield through a scrying orb. Hence the purple fog that surrounds the map.

Another important improvement is that we have redone the UI with the mentality that it should be readable at every zoom level, not just fully zoomed in, as we saw a lot of people playing at least partially zoomed out. I think the result speaks for itself:

zoom independent ui

New enemies:

There are 2 new enemy types to encounter. Let's start with the Inquisitor priest:

inquisitor priest

The part of the old clergy, who freely followed the new gods have established the Inquisition, which job is to uphold the new order. Those inquisitors that have been deemed worthy received magic staff and training in using magic.

Gameplay-wise they can only go into a so-called leader spot in an army, at least in the early game, so that means their number will be super limited. They are stronger than your average grunt though. In their case, while unarmored they have access to magic. Don't want to spoil their full spell list just yet, but their basic spell is called guiding light.

mage arrival

This spell does not do a lot of damage, but it guarantees to hit the target and ignore armor damage reduction. Plus makes the target easier to hit till the end of the round which makes it the focus of other enemies as well.

For the elite enemies, check out the dwarf soldier:

dwarf soldier

They are troops that represent forces that came with the invaders from the other dimension. How or why they are aligned with the invaders is a mystery for the resistance at the moment, but the fact remains, that they are here, fighting for the false gods and they have superior armor to anything humans have ever produced.

New options for the resistance:

Of course, to handle these new challenges, the resistance has received new toys to play with.

heavy armor ver2

The resistance now has access to heavy armor as well. Not as good as the dwarf one of course, but if the user can handle the stamina and movement penalty, it will make them last longer on the battlefield. Deploy your heavy unit well to counteract their slower speed.

In the demo, every resistance unit will start from level 3 to give the player room to personalize their team. That means you will have attribute points to spend on well, attributes, plus 3 skill slots. Of course, there is a default team ready to go for those who will just want to jump to the combat portion of the demo. Some example skills like aggressive stance:

aggressive stance

This skill belongs to the berserker attribute. While active, the unit has improved attack but reduced defense. As it is a stance it can be toggled on or off. You have to pay its activation cost when you activate it, plus at the end of every round, so to get the most ideal stamina consumption you want to leave it on for as long as possible.

The next skill is called reorganize formation:

reposition skill

This skill belongs to the soldier attribute. Normally you cannot go through units, but when you activate this skill you will be able to swap places with friendly units. The swap does not provoke an attack of opportunity. While in itself the skill is not really flashy, it is a great utility skill. It makes repositioning in melee a lot easier, plus can be used to save for example a low-health unit that is engaged with someone.

Let's check out a weapon skill next. This one is called hook shield:

hook shield

This skill belongs to the axe-wielding attribute, and I think the gif is very telling of what it does! Drastically reduces the enemy shield block chance as the axe user hooks their shield. The one tiny issue with this skill is that it counts as an attack and does no damage, so you will need some friends to take advantage of the situation!

Closing thoughts

Those who are following us for a while might wonder why I have not shown anything from the campaign portion of the game in this devlog. The reason for that is that we decided that this demo will be only combat-focused. The player will be able to check out the campaign map as well, and indeed they will be using it to choose the mission and organize their team, but the forward time button will be turned off.

The reason we choose to hold back the campaign portion is two-fold. For one, I felt that with the campaign portion included, it might be too long for a demo format. I'm still committed that I want to give you a chance to try it out and gather feedback about it, but probably in a different format like a limited-time beta or in early access.

The other and the admittedly bigger reason is that I felt that the campaign portion, especially the base building and the world map interaction is still a bit shallow. I have a few ideas on how to add a bit of extra depth there, but that will be a topic for another time!

So that's it for today's devlog! Thank you for your time, and as a reminder, you can wishlist Slaves of Magic on Steam here if you want to show us your support!

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