HeroesGrave Development

Introducing the Historian (+ Some Lore)

In order to explain the purpose of Historians I need to reveal some of the background to the world in Guardian.

My initial inspiration for the overall narrative came from the quote (of unknown origin):

History is written by the victors

I turned this idea around so that characters could control the flow of history in order to make themselves the victors. This idea went through several changes over the course of this year, and was eventually refined to: 'When only one story has an account of certain events, that story becomes the reality'.

Now the setting of the game is a world where characters would fight to ensure that their version of events became the only surviving story. The further their story diverged from (the current) reality, the more likely it was to be forgotten and lost. The further in the past certain events were, the easier they would be to change (due to less surviving records/stories).

This leads us to the Historians. Their purpose was to create and maintain records of the past, in order to stop others from changing it. To assist with these efforts in cases where records were missing or lost, they have the ability to take historic artifacts of significant importance, and relive the story behind them.

This then leads to interesting situations where a historian would find a new artifact within the story of the first. By making subtle adjustments to the story, they could ensure that the new artifacts would find their way into the hands of historians in the present reality, and so (almost) all of history could be rediscovered from a single artifact.

Historians are useless in combat, having no weapons of any kind, and very weak armour. However, they can completely turn the tide of the battle by making subtle changes to the past (For example, weakening a really tough enemy by changing their past to have them suffer a critical injury. The more 'famous' the enemy, the harder it would be to do).

The potential complexity means that Historians will be a player-only character. There's no point having AI-controlled historians running around, punching enemies, and dying (mostly dying). And regardless of all that, they will be a rare occurence on the battlefield anyway. Their main purpose instead lies in the narrative (more of which will be discussed in a later post).

Thanks for reading. I hope to begin some private alpha/beta testing soon.

Soundtrack Sneak Peek

Here's a quick preview of a song that will feature on the Guardian soundtrack:

Hope you like it.

New Character: The Legionnaire

The Legionnaire is a tough frontline fighter that becomes even tougher in numbers.

The normal "militia" units (swordsmen and spearmen, featured in previous screenshots) have been repurposed to provide more versatility while still making a decent frontline in levels where legionnaires are not available. The swordsman will be able to switch between sword/shield and a bow, while the spearman can switch to and from a crossbow.

More previews coming soon.

Introducing Guardian

Since the start of this year, I've been working on my first "serious game" (I've probably said this a few times before, but this time it's for real). I've done a few prototypes of this particular concept before, and have revised and redeveloped the idea a few times, and I finally think I've got something that is fun and not overcomplicated.


In that screenshot, you can see a fort, a bunch of enemies, a small pool of blood and a load of corpses.

A few seconds ago it probably looked something like this:

At the moment, there is a bit of confusion as both teams have the same units. This will not be the case in the final game.

A summary of gameplay

Gameplay in Guardian will consist of two teams trying to annihilate each other (as you do). To do this, they must capture all the outposts (the large flags/flagpoles). Of course, the opposing team doesn't want this, and when both teams come face to face there is usually a bit of violence. Reinforcements spawn periodically from outposts (hence the need to capture all of them in order to defeat the enemy team).

An important thing to consider is that the player has no artificial advantage over any other character. The only difference is that one is controlled by your fingers and the other by an algorithm that hopefully resembles intelligence.

In the future the player will also be able to take command over a small group of units (a squad) or even the entire army.

The path to Greenlight

As part of a business project for school, I've teamed up with a friend and we're planning to start selling on Steam this winter (or summer if you live in the northern hemisphere).

Currently, the AI is almost intelligent, the UI is almost usable, and once those are done I can start adding characters and creating levels.

Part of the way through the content creation process, we'll launch the greenlight campaign. At this time, a small number of people will be able to access the game through itch.io for helping out with testing. Once greenlight is done, Guardian will be launched on Steam as Early Access. At that point anyone will be able to purchase the game and provide us with valuable (or not-so valuable) feedback.

Until then, I'll do my best to keep this blog updated with screenshots, previews, and other interesting info. If you have a twitter account, you can follow me there (@HeroesGrave).

Hello, World!

Hi. I'm HeroesGrave (not my real name, a pseudonym).

I develop games (or at least attempt to). Most of that is programming, but I can do some mediocre pixel art, and I occasionally write some soundtrack music. I guess I also design games. Not that I would call game design on its own a particularly noteworthy skill, but nonetheless, I do it.

I don't have any fanatical stance on free/libre vs proprietary software. I just dislike whatever is broken or awful to use. I use Linux because it's convenient, quick, and most importantly, it doesn't get in my way. I keep a Windows partition around for composition though. Linux music tooling isn't quite there yet.

I know two programming languages fluently, and I can read and understand many others (for the most part).

The first I learned was Java, and I started by modding Minecraft. Never made anything useful, but eventually I discovered the awesome community at java-gaming.org, and started learning how to write my own games. That was over 4 years ago. I made a lot of cool prototypes over that time (well, at least I thought they were cool), but never really finished a game of reasonable complexity.

About 1 and a half years ago, I was looking for something lower-level to expand my skillset, and through some incredible luck, discovered Rust while it was at 0.8. It took quite a while to learn, but was definitely worth it. I authored ecs-rs and fixedstep-rs. I haven't written any projects in Java for quite some time.

I've participated in a few Ludum Dares over the last few years. I usually suffer from spending too much time on mechanics and not enough on polishing, resulting in a fun game that nobody can understand how to play. Lately I've sort-of stopped bothering with LDs, due to the decline in theme quality (okay, let's be honest: most of them aren't even themes).

Currently, I'm working hard on my project Guardian in order to get it on Steam this winter (Summer for those of you in the northern hemisphere). There'll be a followup post shortly showing the game.

I wrote this website (or rather, the software that generates this website). I'll probably throw the source up on github once I've cleaned up the code and made it a bit more customizable. That could be a while given how busy I am working on Guardian.

Anyway, that's me, for those few people who bothered to dig this far through my blog.