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We've been monitoring the news regarding the next project of Almost Human, the studio behind the Legend of Grimrock games, for some time now. Surprisingly enough, we've now learned that Almost Human is put on ice, as a game-developing entity, but many of the people that worked there are now a part of Ctrl Alt Ninja, a new company with a new project - Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest.
Announced as a fantasy RPG in a world of ancient forests, massive standing stones and mist-clad shrines, the game promises a focus on intricate tactical combat, exploration, and story. It's been in development since fall 2016 and by now there are some early screenshots available on the official website.
Here's the game's description:
In the world of Druidstone, the druids of the Menhir Forest possess a great power: the power of reincarnation. When a druid passes on, through some mysterious process his spirit is able to return from the great void back into the world of living and to his former self.
But with every reincarnation the world itself seems to change: where there was only a thicket of bushes in the forest before, there may be a trail or a shrine of stones now. The ancient ruins in the forest change place and the tunnels and their inhabitants beneath the ground are all different. Even stranger, the denizens of the forest do not seem to notice this at all.
Druidstone is set in a vast procedurally generated forest filled with exciting locations to explore and of course encounters, the meat of every RPG. You will meet interesting non-player characters such as the insane Red Priests who worship a being called Oghmu and the mysterious Traveller. You fight deadly bosses and explore ruins and dungeons in an open-world single-player game. Some of the encounters are friendly but many can lead into conflicts which are resolved using a tactical, turn-based battle system on a two-dimensional grid. The game features roguelike elements, so that when you die the game begins anew with different levels and encounters. Some of the encounters even react to you being reincarnated, so even by dying you can gain deeper understanding to the mysteries of the Menhir Forest.
Even though there are random elements in the game, at the heart of Druidstone is an overarching storyline and key encounters which give structure to the game and avoid it being just a gauntlet with random monsters to kill. In fact, we can’t wait to tell you the epic story we have in our mind! In addition, there are the stories you create as you explore the almost infinite space of procedurally generated content.
In the beginning there is an idea
Who were the druids? Did they build the Stonehenge, and why? These were the questions we asked ourselves when we started the design process for this game. After researching the subject we realized that even today relatively little is known about the druids. Apparently they were (are?) a group of mysterious men and women who had a special relationship with the nature and performed rituals at the sites of standing stones. Who knows, maybe they even possessed some magical powers?
This idea really stuck in our minds and began to evolve. We started seeing glimpses of the imaginary world of Druidstone, a world of ancient forests, massive standing stones, mist-clad shrines, and of a darkness that was coming. And of course of the druids, caretakers of the ancient stone spirits of the forest. The world began feeling more than imaginary to us… And thus the world of Druidstone and also the idea for this game was born.
In Druidstone you are one of the druids and you have just been reincarnated in front of the stone pillar with its pulsating runes. Who are you? How did you die? Your mind is foggy. The rustling of the leaves and the wind carries ominous whispers. The darkness is coming…
The game will be released on Windows but the release date has not been set yet. But that is getting ahead of ourselves. The road is long and there is so much to do and so many ideas to explore. Better get hammering that keyboard!