We're busy getting ready for our appearance at PAX East next week (yikes!) and as part of that, we've put up the first screenshots from Sorcery! The shots show the main game interface, along with the spell-casting, combat and map in action.
Like all good fantasy stories, Sorcery! starts with a map, drawn specially for us by the excellent Mike Schley. But the map is more than just an illustration: it's there for you to explore, with all its locations and details containing adventures to be discovered, explored and survived...
Cloth and dirt
For the look and feel of the app, we've been keeping to Frankenstein's strong material aesthetic, with fabrics, photographs and shadows. But we've been looking abroad, to Nepalese, Tibetan and Indonesian influences, to get the look and feel right. The background for the inventory page, for instance, is a Vietnamese national dress, an ao dai, photographed at super-high-res. Sorcery! was originally inspired by Steve Jackson's visits to Nepal and that mixture of Western fantasy and Eastern flavour is part of what made the books so special.
The inklebook flow
Those of you have seen Frankenstein will recognise the main reading interface, of course; we've kept the flow of slips being stitched together, although the look is now canvas and string. But there's also now a persistent UI showing the core resources the player will need to husband on their long four-book journey: their stamina, wealth and provisions.
The Spirit Guide
There's one other detail up it the top right: the player's animal Spirit Guide, who's taking over the role of Libra, Goddess of Freedom from the original books. Your Spirit can be prayed to receive aid: but the nature of the Spirit also changes as you read, to reflect the kind of character you are.
In Sorcery! we don't have one single good/bad spectrum to rate how you play: we measure six different qualities, from your bravery to your empathy, from your nobility to your recklessness, to allow you to mould your character and your experience as you play. Sorcery! is part-gamebook, part table-top RPG.
Combat and Magic
There are two other core mechanics in Sorcery! - the spell-casting, and the combat. There's a hint of each on our screenshots page, but we're going to save the details for the moment - particularly for the combat. (If you peer closely, you might get a hint of what we've done...)
Coming to PAX?
If you are, do check out our panel on storytelling, alongside IF legend Andrew Plotkin, Tengami creator Phil Tossell and adventure game don Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games. And if you say hello, we'll let you have a play...