Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness Update #30

Following several months of silence, the new Kickstarter update for GrapeOcean Technologies' isometric party-based RPG Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness shares a bit of lore, touches on late backing and backer surveys, and then spends a good few paragraphs talking about the brewing and drying features of the game's crafting system. Have a look:

Ho there adventurers,

The Festival of Böor draws nigh! Each year in Isilmerald, the people prepare for Böoreste, Night of the god of Cold. Children gather bundles of sticks to burn as offerings to Böor to ward off the cold; women and men prepare for the heart of winter with warm blankets and strong drinks (it is of little surprise how many children seem to be born in early autumn every year). In Isilbright, a massive effigy is built for Böor, and burned at the stroke of midnight on Böoreste to ensure the god's favor in the months to come. With any luck this year, spring might come a bit early. But it has begun to look like the snows may last a while, and rumors are spreading that dangerous things have begun to walk the countryside on particularly cold nights...

The past three months were the busiest we have ever been while working on Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness. Our initial plan was to extend the brewing and drying system and finish one of the most complex quests. While implementing this complete quest and its subquests, some unexpected bugs emerged. To maximize our efficiency, most of our developers and QA team were assigned to bugfixing, getting rid of the issues in the quest and many of the bugs from our pre-Kickstarter development as well. To summarize, over the past few months, we focused on three things:
  • Processing inquiries from you regarding the BackerKit surveys (mostly in September)
  • Extending our crafting system and implementing it in the game engine and UI
  • Lots of bugfixing (we fixed many old and new bugs)
Funding status and surveys

You are awesome! Due to late pledges, our total funds raised from crowdfunding are now nearly $150k! We processed all inquiries that required manual action in BackerKit, so there are only 2 errored credit cards and 57 (of 3708) backers who haven't completed their BackerKit survey yet (if you are one of these, please contact us, as it seems we were not able to reach you through the email address you used when backing).

Brewing and Drying

We have extended the concepts of the brewing and drying systems based on your feedback, making them much more complex and exciting.

Brewing. We have introduced a heating device slot to the UI, which allows magical items (typically cauldrons) to be equipped. They allow you to regulate the heat of Brewing on a three-tiered scale (Low, Medium, High), opening tons of new options provided you have sufficient ability in the Brewing & Drying skill. While the maximum heat level (High) is rarely used (it usually overheats your mixture, spoiling your ingredients), some extremely rare recipes will succeed only on High heat. In the hands of very experienced alchemists, these recipes allow the creation of the most potent potions in Isilmerald.

While Brewing is enabled only once a character has invested a minimum amount of points into the Brewing & Drying skill, characters with zero skill can still use the new "Infuse" feature. Infusions involve combining ingredients in the absence of heat, allowing their essences to blend together without any skillful manipulation. There are fewer options available to a character choosing to Infuse instead of Brew, and ordinary potions created in this way are typically much less potent than their brewed counterparts. However, some plants have traits which react poorly to heat; thus, you will find some unique recipes for powerful potions which require Infusion and strictly prohibit the use of any heat in their preparation.

We are currently working on the concept of "additives,” which allow you to add certain ingredients (typically powders) after the brewing process has started, in the same fashion that you might add salt or pepper to a soup. Since this is work-in-progress, we can't reveal many details about what additives might do; suffice it to say that they will add interesting complexity to Brewing.

Drying. Here we have also introduced a heating device slot, enabling magical items (typically candles and lanterns) to be equipped in the Drying process. Candles will always provide Low heat, while lanterns allow you to regulate the heating on a three-tiered scale in the same fashion you do it when Brewing. The second tier (Medium heat) will change the chemical makeup of your powders, resulting in some unexpected changes in the powders' effects. Just like with Brewing, the third tier (High heat) normally ruins your ingredients (turning them into ashes), so this heating level is only used by the most competent alchemists.

One additional note on Brewing and Drying: Always make sure to identify magical cauldrons, lanterns and candles before use (you don't want to imagine what a cursed, evil lantern or a candle enchanted with wild magic will do...) Keep this in mind before deciding to replace your good ol' ordinary candle with a shiny magical lantern that your Lore skill is too low to identify.


With the crafting system more fully in place and the worst of the bugs fixed, we can continue polishing the complex primary quest we have been working on, and can also resume working on content development in general (including the implementation of Kickstarter stretch goals). Stay tuned for the next update. We have a lot in store for the next few months.

We wish you a warm and joyous Böoreste!