Pathfinder: Kingmaker Updates 26-28, $731,035 and Counting

The folks at Owlcat Games have adopted a machine-gun pace when it comes to posting updates in the final days of their Pathfinder: Kingmaker crowdfunding campaign. Since we last checked, three new updates have appeared. Update #26 describes some of the kingdoms adjacent to the Stolen Lands, and talks about the spell sound effects. An excerpt:


To the north lies Brevoy — a turbulent land of byzantine intrigues and generations-long feuds. Stitched together from two different nations, Brevoy never became truly united. Two centuries ago a ruthless warlord known as Choral the Conqueror has taken over Issia and Rostland. These two countries shared a long history of wars, and the warlord united them into a single kingdom, held together by little more than the iron grasp of Choral himself and his noble house Rogarvia. For the following two centuries, the Brevic politics became an undercover power struggle between two former nations' ruling elites: Issian noble houses and Rostland's Aldori Swordlords — a loose association of noble families, bound together by the secrets of the Aldori school of sword fighting and an agreement known as the Swordpact. Decade after decade, these uneasy bedfellows smiled at each other, secretly waiting for the ideal moment to stab each other in the back.

A decade ago, every member of house Rogarvia suddenly disappeared without a trace, leaving behind a power vacuum pregnant with strife that could easily turn into a civil war. Running out of options, the Aldori Swordlords made a risky political move: they helped an unknown adventurer to establish an independent nation in the unclaimed Stolen Lands, hoping to nurture an ally for themselves. Only time will show if this plan will save them, or backfire terribly.


One more thing: The sound of Magic

We already told you how we create magic spells in our game. In this update, we will expand this topic a little bit more and tell you how we work with sound effects for spells.

As mentioned earlier, Pathfinder: Kingmaker will have more than 300 magic spells. Sounds like a ton of work, right? Luckily for us, there are many spells with similar mechanics, so we don't have to make unique assets every time we need a new spell. Instead, we decided to create a set of basic sounds which can be combined into a complex spell sound right as a spell is cast.

In terms of sound, most magic spells can be characterized by their Type (bursts, impacts, channeling and projectile sounds) and their Domain (elemental or magical). For example, the sound of casting a Fireball can be constructed from a fast fire burst and a wind burst sound, and if we want more beauty in what we hear, we can add a special "magic" element which will embellish the final mix.

Keeping that in mind, we designed a Unity component, which allows us to add as many sound layers as we need to a visual effect. Plus we can change their volume and pitch if we feel that a specific basic sound is too loud, too low or too high for our needs.

Update #27 celebrates reaching the $700k stretch goal that will add an extra story chapter to the game, and introduces a new, quite ambitious, $900k goal – a Goblin companion. A bit on that:

The Goblin’s Tale

The goblins of Golarion have a bad reputation, to be sure. Of course, that’s usually the perspective of someone who hasn’t spent much time around goblins and has never seen the positives goblins have to offer.

For example, goblins can be especially devoted. Whether to their four goblin hero-gods, or to you. Of course, their attempts to earn your favor can be much like the family cat leaving dead animals on your door step, except it might be someone’s fingers. Such is the way with our goblin hero Nok-Nok, which is much like the sound his skull makes when his tribesmen beat it with clubs. (Which happened enough that he was mistaken for a drum at times.) He’s not only eager to help, but he’s incredibly effective in tormenting your enemies until they beg for mercy – or a swift death.

At the start of Kingmaker, however, Nok-Nok’s fallen on difficult times – very difficult times, as his tribe intends to use him as a sacrifice. You’re the only one who can save him… and as far as Nok-Nok is concerned, your arrival is divine proof that he’s destined for greatness. He should know, because as he explains, he’s the fifth goblin god, and you’ve earned his favor.

As it turns out, Nok-Nok aspires to be more than a warty, scabby head-drum – he is convinced that he is a deity-to-be. He’s just having some difficulty making anyone else realize it. He can recite many tales of heroics and can expound at great length on how he’s bravely fled from dogs, how he set fire to his own hair when he couldn’t find firewood (he neglected to cut it from his head first), and how he’s learned how to block kicks and punches by using his head as a shield. And that’s just the beginning of his legendary journey to greatness.

Nok-Nok is a skilled thief. He excels in scuttling about, valiantly stabbing enemies in the back, and setting off every trap in the area (so much so, Nok-Nok’s attempts to disarm a trap come very close to being literal – the trap usually threatens to dis-arm him). He does, however, have an incredible resistance to pain, attracts an unusual coterie of “pets,” and embraces various junk and trinkets you find on your journey as if they were hard-won trophies of his heroics.

If you lend him a helping hand, Nok-Nok’s quick to call you family – play your cards right, and he might even let you be among his worshippers of Nok-Nok (the Fifth, or in his words “the Fith” or sometimes, in other’s words, “the Filth”).

And finally, update #28 announces an upcoming Reddit AMA with Alexander Mishulin and Chris Avellone on Monday, July 10, 2017 at 6:59pm GMT, and shares a work-in-progress music track:

Capital Music Themes

Inon Zur provides us with the overall musical atmosphere for the Stolen Lands, which has completely won our hearts. And having these music "anchors" we are happy to expand our audio content into different directions to match the diverse environments of the Pathfinder universe.

As one of those directions, we are planning to add some "traditional folk music" themes that you will hear at populated locations - towns and villages. And check out what we had got just yesterday. It is still work in progress, but we already like how it sounds :) So, let's listen to what our citizens love to perform!

The creator of these themes, Dmitry V. Silantyev, has a great background in folk music - he played domra and accordion in a folk instruments orchestra before his career as a music composer. We have known him through our work on our previous projects, and we believe that his music will enhance our adventures in the Stolen Lands.