On the Edge of Madness

If you haven’t noticed, at Dark Gaia Studios we’ve been on a bit of a DLC binge lately. Back in June, we released the Combat Overhaul for Legionwood 1 on Steam, followed by a nice helping of engine upgrades in July. Last month, the Director’s Cut DLC for Legionwood 2 went live, adding extended endings and a slew of other cool things, hot on the heels of the long-awaited Journey to Charn expansion. All of these additions are part of a plan to refresh our existing games throughout the latter half of 2016, to bring something new to the table even while we’re busy working on Episode 3 of Heroes of Legionwood.

Now, with the Legionwood series squared away, we’re finally turning our attention to something altogether more horrific as we proudly announce Edge of Madness, a free DLC for 2015’s Lovecraftian adventure RPG Mythos: The Beginning which will be available this October.

edge-of-madness

Probably the biggest DLC we’ve done so far, Edge of Madness is a free update for Mythos: The Beginning which adds over 2 hours of new, playable content while also building upon and overhauling existing game features. Unlike any of the Legionwood DLCs, Edge of Madness makes a bunch of detailed changes to the original game, and even contains some complete system rewrites. We’ve never overhauled any of our games to quite this degree before, but the major goal of Edge of Madness is to make Mythos feel like a brand new experience.

The reason for such a huge update is pretty simple. Looking back over the last 12 months since its original release, it’s clear to see that Mythos is probably our most polarising game. This isn’t really surprising. From the very onset, Mythos’ design was bound to be hit-and-miss; as an RPG trying to be a survival horror adventure game, it was never really sure what audience it was trying to capture, and a number of pretty glaring design flaws (mainly in the combat system) didn’t help. This is kind of the point of Edge of Madness, then – it’s an attempt to “reboot” the game, consolidate its confused design into something more focused, add depth to the RPG elements while keeping the horror intact, and turn Mythos into something that’s actually fun to play.

Here are some of the more notable features we’re working on:

Expanded character creation and combat overhaul
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I’ve always felt that Mythos works as a survival horror game, but a large reason it didn’t resonate with players is because it didn’t quite do anything interesting as an RPG. Skill checks were too arbitrary and combat was either too hard or outrageously broken, depending on your character, meaning most builds turned out the same. In Edge of Madness, we’ve overhauled the entire combat system and completely rewritten the skill and damage formulas. Combat is now a viable option, and different character builds feel more meaningful. You’re now able to select your character’s starting talents and skill checks are far more prominent in the game world, giving you more ways to progress through a given area.

Rewritten dialogue and endings

One of the more glaring criticisms of the original game was the dialogue. It was voice acted (and pretty horribly so), which limited how much input the player’s choices could actually have on a given conversation. In Edge of Madness, the heavily panned voice acting has been removed and new lines have been added to flesh out the conversations. NPCs now have more dynamic reactions to what the player says and will exhibit more autonomy. If you’ve offended somebody, or made them lose confidence in you, it’ll now be far more obvious.  In addition, all of the game’s endings have been expanded with extra scenes that provide more resolution to the player’s choices, making them feel more weighty.

New areas and scares

edgeofmadnessscreen

Since we’re focusing on making Mythos feel more like an RPG, that means we have to address length and pacing. At ~6 hours long, Mythos is a pretty short RPG, even for an RPG with a heavy emphasis on adventure game elements. While Edge of Madness won’t turn Mythos into an epic, it will (hopefully) make the pacing feel a little more natural. Most of the new content is interspersed throughout the mid to late game, where good scares are noticeably lacking in the original release, and focuses on psychological horror. From a first person dungeon crawl in an underground cavern to a paranoia filled chase through a dense forest, there’s plenty of new stuff to prevent your character growing complacent.

There’s plenty more in Edge of Madness that we haven’t mentioned, but this dev blog is getting a little too long as it is. Trust us when we say Edge of Madness will make Mythos feel like a brand new game. It’s coming for you this October.

 

 

About dgrixti

I develop games and I write. I'm studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and I've been published in a number of literary journals all over the world, and my first actual book is being launched in July 2012 by Disposable Fiction. I like writing speculative fiction, horror and literary fiction, sometimes all blended together. You can find elements of my writing in my games, because I consider my games stories that happen to have gameplay.
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