Veteran crowdfunding developer, Chris Parsons has returned to Kickstarter with a follow up to his relationship-focused space game, Sol Trader. In Ealdorlight, players engage in step-based roguelike combat set against a procedural storytelling backdrop. It’s a chance for Parsons’ new studio Revelation Games, to build on his unique gameplay ideas and improve where Sol Trader faltered.

Parsons’ is seeking $50,685 on Kickstarter to create his 3D RPG for PC, Mac, and Linux. Unlike his previous campaign, Ealdorlight is still in the beginning of its development. This will allow the team to cultivate and utilize feedback in a more useful way then on the previous project, which was already nearly complete at the time of funding.

While Sol Trader was generally applauded for its attempt at incorporating procedural generation into character development, the end results weren’t always seamless. This lead the game to receive mixed reviews on Steam. Good idea, rough execution. Ealdorlight builds on this foundation to give the procedurally generated history of each playthrough the weight it deserves.

At the start of each game, players must make all significant life choices for their character from the age of 3 until 20. During this time the game is busy generating a new history for the kingdom, society, and every character you’ll encounter. The randomized hex-grid world creates an entire backstory of heroes and villains who’ve lived and died before your character was born. Some of whom may have left behind ancient legendary gear for you to uncover on your adventures.

Ealdorlight takes place in a medieval kingdom where magic is considered rare and mysterious. The protagonist learns that the people they’d believed to be their parents had actually found them wandering lost as a small child. Soon after this revelation they encounter the mysterious Ealdorlight who warns them of the darkness invading the kingdom and invites them to take the place of the King.

Hero Seeking Companions For Adventure

From here players set out to travel the land, gaining influence and connections as they discover their true heritage. As players uncover more about their identity they are able to unlock more of their skills and potential. Similarly, as you discover the history of different legendary weapons and armor you will learn how to wield them more effectively in combat. This is going to be important, because combat in Ealdorlight can have lasting consequences.

The game uses a realistic damage model. Bones, skin, organs, and limbs are all in jeopardy when you face off against an opponent. Even if you manage to survive the battle enemies could still leave your character permanently maimed or captured. As such, it’s important to utilized the step-based combat to your advantage and not rush into things.

There are some really clever ideas behind this project. This helps keep the simple graphic style from detracting from the experience overly much. Even so, you can definitely see how early it still is in the game’s development. The Kickstarter goal would grant the team just under a third of their projected budget for Ealdorlight. They’re planning to secure the rest through a mixture of contract work, grants, and a publishing deal. The plan feels a little risky, even for a crowdfunded title.

About the Author

Joanna Mueller

Joanna Mueller is a lifelong gamer who used to insist on having the Super Mario Bros manual read to her as a bedtime story. Now she's reading Fortnite books to her own kiddo while finally making use of her degree to write about games as Cliqist's EIC.

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