Externus: Path of the Solari is a character-driven tactical RPG coming to PC and Xbox One. You can pre-order the game and purchase any merchandise from this Backerkit Store.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Weathering The Storm
18 days ago
– Tue, Feb 16, 2021 at 09:17:33 PM
We're a little bit later than normal with this month's update but we've been working on some cool stuff to be able to show you and talk about. We hope you're all doing well and keeping safe, especially with a lot of places seeing more inclement weather than they are used to. Do your best to stay safe and warm!
The Weather and Terrain Systems
We are finally ready to show off a little bit of what we've been working on that will have a profound effect on how battles are played in Externus. Jack has been hard at work on getting our weather system up and running and we are finally able to show a little bit of that in our test level.
Note: This level is just used for testing and may not appear in the final game.
Test Level On A Sunny Day
Test Level On A Rainy Day
Note: Depending on your screen, you may need to full screen the video to see the full rain effect.
As you can see in the video, we have some fun rain effects that show a change in the look of the environment. But how does it actually change the way you play?
Elemental Damage and Weather Effects
In our combat system for Externus, we have elemental damage from fire, lightning, earth, water, etc. to vary the combat and give the player an opportunity to change their tactics to give themselves an advantage. It won't just be differing enemies that have an effect on this but the weather will change this as well. As an example, you jump into a combat scenario where the weather is raining and you use a magic ability that does fire damage. That fire damage will be less effective since the water from the rain will have a negative effect on that. However, if you choose to use an ability that has lightning damage then you'll see that it's more effective in the rain. This will add even more strategy to battles in the game and certain maps in the game will randomly generate the weather so that battles can change every time you play them.
Terrain and How It Changes Combat
Another cool system that we implemented was made possible because we are using full 3D environments. This is our terrain system and it allows us to give every tile on every map a terrain "type" so say you're standing on a tile that is in a swamp then the game will know it's in water. Since that character is standing in water, fire damage will be less effective but lightning will be more. So, this will add a layer of strategy to every move you make. We have different tiles for swamp, grass, water, sand, and more depending on the environment. We'll also have environmental hazards such as quicksand and other things that you'll have to keep an eye out for. Make sure you're paying attention to every move you make!
We're very excited to see what combat scenarios happen when our weather and terrain systems work hand-in-hand. This will add a whole new layer of strategy to how you play the game!
Thank you all!
Once again, we want to thank you all for the success we've seen for Externus: Path of the Solari and we're excited to continue to share these updates with you when we can. We should start seeing some more visual updates in the next month or two, so be on the lookout for those! Don't forget that if you have any questions you can ask them here on Kickstarter OR over on the Discord channel at bit.ly/winterdiscord! You can also follow us on Twitter to see our latest lore updates every week!
It's a New Year, yes it is! The Building Continues!
about 2 months ago
– Wed, Jan 06, 2021 at 06:16:33 PM
Welcome to 2021
Hello everyone, we want to wish you all a Happy New Year! Last year had a lot of ups and downs and was a tough year for everyone so we're always happy to hear from you and wish you all well. We hope you all have a great year!
We're still very much in the process of building some of the core of the game and that's one of the big reasons we haven't been showing too much since the Kickstarter. So, we want to set the expectation that this update and next month will be a little light but we are planning to finally hit Alpha in March. When we hit the Alpha stage, we plan to release more footage of the game and show you a lot of the bells and whistles we've been working on. However, we do have a couple of cool things to show you right now.
One of the things we wanted to show off was our hide mechanic for rogues. We were thinking about how we can make rogues more unique in a turn-based game like Externus and realized that they aren't always used to their potential. In particular, the stealth aspect isn't always highlighted. So, we have been working to make sure that changes with our "Hide" mechanic. You can see that below.
The "Hide" mechanic, as you can see, is both something that can be used by you and the enemy. This should pose some additional challenges when facing certain enemy types. We can't wait to show more in the future.
Building A Scene
The other thing we wanted to show you is the process of creating a level from concept to reality. This will be the first time we show off the Throne Room of Alanon Castle as it will play an important role in the final game.
Our levels start as a basic grid that Moudy will build off of. So, in this first picture, you can see the parts he wants to add to the room.
In this photo, you can see that we have added some walls and allow the scene to get some sort of framework.
You can see the checkerboard pattern of our test levels, this is what we use to put the level in the game before we have the textures and artwork available. This way we can have created levels working in the game before we've added the art to them.
Now that Moudy knows the framework for the level, he starts to create the actual artwork that will be attached to the level. You can really see how the individual pieces will come together to make a beautiful throne room.
Going from linework to adding color, Moudy is able to choose the color palette that will match the scene and materials that the image will represent.
You can't have a good throne room without stained glass and this is the beautiful piece that Moudy has created for that. These pieces along with some custom textures for the floor and wall will bring the throne room to life.
This is how we plan to frame what you'll see for the Alanon Castle scene, this is how it looks prior to adding the artwork.
And here is where the magic happens! We have a throne room fit for an Elven Queen!
Thank you all for how you helped us in 2020 and we can't wait to show you all the great stuff we're making in 2021. We hope you enjoy this update and have a great start to the year!
Mapping The World Of Externus
3 months ago
– Wed, Dec 09, 2020 at 01:26:38 PM
Hey everyone, we hope you were able to have a great Thanksgiving (for those in the US) and are staying safe out there. We also wanted to start off our December update to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, or anything other holidays you may celebrate this time of year. Maybe you don't celebrate any of it and just enjoy some time off! We hope you have some time to rest, relax, and maybe sit down and play a good video game or two.
We Have Maps!
So, the big thing we wanted to have to show this month is the progress of the maps for a couple of our continents in the world of Externus and we can say, with lots of excitement, that Moudy delivered the goods with these!
First up is the continent of Alcretia, which you would have seen a part of in the pre-alpha demo (still playable via Itch here.) This is where the game will start as the party works its way through the continent.
Here is the original map that Kent created using a Kroger grocery bag when we were younger for our tabletop game. Note:Some location names may change in the final game as this was all done when we were younger and some names may need to change for legalities or to fit the world better.
Here is the new version made by Moudy to go directly into the game. Note that the roads will be generated in the game so the party knows the path it can travel along. This beautiful full-color map is what we always imagined how Alcretia looked as it highlights all of the landmarks and shows off how diverse each country is from a terrain perspective. We want each country to feel unique and that includes the terrain and how that can even inform the culture of each country. We're planning to dive deeper into many of the locations on the maps in the coming months. (More on that later.)
Finally, we have the second major continent of our world. This is the continent of Katrona and we will make sure your party has a reason to show up there. Let's start by showing you the original map from Kent again.
Here is Moudy's full-color version of Katrona. These maps are just one of the steps in bringing the world of Externus to life and we are so excited to be able to show these off. We've always been a fan of maps in roleplaying games and we feel these maps have a unique look due to Moudy's art style.
We hope you're as excited as we are about having these maps as you can picture a bit of the scale of our world. There is still a third continent to come later on but these are the two major ones we need for the story we are telling. Please let us know what you think of the maps and if you're excited to hear more about our world!
Plans For The Future
So, now that we do have the maps made and available we will start looking into some of the countries and locales you'll visit in the game more closely. We plan to do some lore videos with Kent and this will allow us to give you a bit of a visual to go along with it. This is something we figure can be done while being remote from each other.
As some of you may know, we usually get together as a studio during the holidays but things have changed this year with everything going on. So we've come up with some ideas for videos we can record from home or using Discord/Skype. This will include some lore videos and dev videos looking at the process. We're also planning to add a video version to our podcast starting with Episode 50. Look for that after the new year!
We appreciate you all for supporting us this year. It's been a weird year for everyone, so it means that much more to us that you have supported our work. We were able to succeed in our Kickstarter thanks to all of you and we're genuinely excited to be able to show you more each month. We were able to raise $2485 for children's hospitals last month with Extra Life (and you can still donate if you're able here.) So, again, thank you to everyone who has been able to help and support what we're doing. We wish you all a Happy New Year and please do your best to stay healthy and safe!
The Evolution Of Character Art
4 months ago
– Thu, Nov 05, 2020 at 05:38:33 PM
Hey everyone, we hope you're all doing well in the trying times that are living in 2020. We appreciate the support you all have given us this year and we wish you all the best. We're hoping this November update finds you well!
From Concept To Complete
We have been hard at work on a lot of things that we're unable to show about Externus. In fact, we talked about that on a recent episode of our podcast (You can listen to that here: https://www.winterborngames.com/podcast-episode-44/) Now we are able to show you some near-final art designs for a few characters in the game. Here are the characters that Moudy has been working on this past month.
Alrik and Amante Steele
If you follow us on social media, you have seen Alrik already but this is the first time we have shown the most recent artwork for Amante. The brothers have some similarities in their design due to their familial lineage. However, looking at Amante you can see that his armor is a bit lighter as he fights using his speed and agility powered by dual blades while Alrik is more of a protector using his sword and shield. The character of Alrik was initially created by our programmer, Jack, for the tabletop game and was designed to stay true to that original character. Amante was initially created by our community manager Trevor.
Here we show the evolution of Michael Keens and how he has progressed from just a sketch to his final art. Keens takes his look from his military background combined with a lighter armor fit for a ranged combatant along with some slight moderations. With his trusty crossbow, Michael Keens can be an asset to any party of adventurers. The character of Michael Keens was initially created by our sound engineer, Stephen.
Gabriel is the first of our major antagonists to have final artwork completed. He will play a major role in Externus as he is on the hunt for Osmund and the Solari. The design of Gabriel is based on him being a tortured soul who is beholden to the one he worships. The common belief is that he worships the Abomination, but others think he worships another. This is something you'll find out while playing the game. Gabriel was a character created by our studio head and main programmer Kent for the original tabletop game where he served as the game master (or DM).
As you can see, Moudy has done a fantastic job in bringing the teams' character ideas to life with his artwork and we can't wait to show you more of that vision in the coming months.
Extra Life 2020
For those who don't know, Kent and Jack from the team usually support Extra Life every year to help support the Children's Miracle Network charities. This year will be a bit different as Jack and Trevor will be streaming this year and we have chosen November 20th as our game day! We have also created a team this year, so if you want to join us and help raise money for charity you can join the Winterborn team by following this link. You can also just hang out with us as we play games or donate! We'll be releasing the exact times as we get closer and figure out the schedule of things so follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or check the Discord.
Again, thank you all for the support this year! We realize it's been a tough year for everyone and we do really appreciate your support. We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving later this month or any holidays you may be celebrating outside of the US. Join us for Extra Life!
Progress Is the Key! See How Far We've Come!
5 months ago
– Tue, Oct 06, 2020 at 02:42:15 PM
We hope you're all doing well! The team is still working hard on the background systems of Externus: Path of the Solari and I think we're at a point where we will see a lot of leaps forward in the next few months as we make our way toward ALPHA. For a little look at how far we've come since the very beginning, here is a short video of a VERY EARLY (we haven't shown it before) build as a proof-of-concept to a more recent build of the game.
We Have More Art!
Moudy has been hard at work on both refining the animations for our characters and getting some close to final characters done for the game. Here is how Alrik Steele will look in the final game.
IGDA Indies Showcase
In case you missed it, we were able to be a part of the IGDA's Indies Showcase hosted by Will Overgard (twitch.tv/viking_blonde). I (Trevor) went on to talk about the game and you can watch the replay below. We have timestamped the link to where the half-hour of Externus starts but we encourage you to check out the whole show as there were some really cool indie games showcased.
Join Us On Discord
Finally, I just want to remind everyone to join us on our Discord channel as we're looking to grow the community. Be sure to share the link with your friends and tell them about the game. We appreciate all your support and are thankful to those who have been interacting with us in the Discord channel so far. We're also taking questions for the podcast in our Ask A Question channel and you can ask us anything you wish and we'll talk about them on a future episode of the podcast. The podcast will return soon, we've been holding off recording for a few weeks just to give the team some time to focus more on the game so get your questions in and we'll answer them in the coming weeks!