The Way of Wrath - New Music Theme and Progress Update

Animmal Studio has put together a new progress update for their Bronze Age strategy RPG The Way of Wrath. The update shares the game's main theme composed by Zviad Mgebry, talks about some recent improvements in the realms of audio design, pathfinding and UI, and looks towards the future where we can expect a new demo showcasing the game in its current state.

Here's the music theme:

And the text bits:

Hello Warchiefs!

We’re back with a new progress update!

It has been an incredibly busy few months. A lot of new features and tech are coming together all at once. It was hard work getting it all sorted, almost like an adventure in itself! And it was all in service of a good goal, to realize the potential of our game and create for you an awesome and really fulfilling experience. It makes us very happy and thankful to have this chance.

Now, where to start? Hmm... Let’s start with music. We have a new main music theme!

A new original main music theme

Grab your best headphones, and make sure there are no weapon-like objects near you. Our melody may accidentally awaken the warrior spirit within you and you might accidentally destroy your earthly possessions (Sorry poor lightbulb). Have a listen!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. So much effort and thought went into developing the music style and setting the mood for the game. Our composer, Zviad Mgebry, started with several pages worth of notes from us and he really understood the essence of what we wanted to achieve. He did an amazing job of bringing it to life.

Each instrument was carefully chosen to evoke the spirit of the ancient world in an authentic way. Including some unique handcrafted instruments!

The theme had to reflect inspirations from many ancient cultures but also stand out in its own style. The pacing had to remain fresh and have that “magic of the unexpected” all good game soundtracks possess. All the symbolism of the Thein tribes had to be woven in through the composition.

Huge progress with audio

Together with our sound designer Beso Kacharava and his team at POSTRED Interactive we have developed a lot of game sound systems. Including the footstep system, where each surface generates a distinct sound. From now on, walking in the snow will have this awesome cozy & crunchy feeling to it!

We also created a dynamic wind system that changes sound depending on where you are in the world and what the current weather is. Bone-chilling wind gusts will greet you as you ascend tall peaks or stand next to narrow mountain passes, and howling winds will dominate the soundscape during terrible snowstorms.

The new dynamic ambient tracks will bring the game world to life. Frozen bog ambience got some of the most high-tech treatment. The audio team used custom spatial dynamic audio systems and binaural audio recordings. Through the creative use of dynamic sounds they recreated the emotional and psychological effects nature can evoke when exploring such environments. If you have ever been alone in a forest during twilight hours, you’ll know how the most ordinary sounds can become eerie and otherworldly as your mind plays tricks on you.

A lot of game features have a new sound design. It would surprise you how many individual sound files are involved in creating something as simple as UI notification.

Each notification sound has to serve a purpose. What emotions should it evoke? Reward, urgency, satisfaction, loss? Is it a unique sound that should be very memorable and demand immediate attention - like a leveling-up event - or does it have to be almost invisible, yet remain satisfying, like a sound for picking up loot? Each answer may come in the form of one or multiple sound effects and they can feature truly bizarre combinations of audio sources. Can you guess which sounds the audio team used to create XP-Gain notification?

Pathfinding and Movement

Pathfinding and Movement upgrades are finally getting into a polished state. This proved to be an especially tricky thing to accomplish. The system had to work with multiple controls (AWSD/Gamepad, Mouse Hold, and mouse click modes), and two different combat modes.

We added new turning animations for improved aesthetics. New ladder/ledge climbing and jumping functionality really opened up what we can do in level design. Especially during combat. But it will also enrich exploration with many new hidden areas for you to find!

Hud and Menu

We’ve completely overhauled the game HUD. It now dynamically switches between mouse & keyboard and Gamepad controls. We have added new functionality to switch weapon sets and arrow types directly from the HUD. We updated art and UI composition to work well with both real-time and turn-based combat.

Almost all the game menus are now implemented with new art, improved layout, and gamepad support.

GWB Game awards

The Way of Wrath was nominated as a finalist in GWB Game Awards. We’re very happy to be in the company of such amazing games and congratulations to the winners!

What’s Next?!

Our main goal right now is to prepare an updated demo, where you'll be able to play part of the all-new story and experience many gameplay features, as well as try out different origin stories. We have a few more features to tackle and polish before we’ll be ready to share this new update demo. You will be able to play it next year during select game festivals and special beta events. We'll make announcements about play opportunities in advance.

With pathfinding and movement systems overhauled, we are now ready to return to NPC activities and routines. We want to put our Motion Capture System to good use and give NPCs many extra activities to do besides just standing around. And with the fort management, resource outposts, and all those cooking spots, there is a lot for your allies to do!

With new hunting/stealth gameplay, we’ll need to update areas of the forest where you encounter wild animals. Large predators will need wider areas to roam, and players will need ample new hiding places!

Thanks to stretch goals unlocked on Kickstarter, we can add cool new gameplay features to our pet system. We’ll be adding a few key new features for the upcoming demo, and then we’ll continue adding more ways to interact with your digital friends in future updates.

As we decided to give new story starting points to each of our character origins, we’ll be going through the story in more detail to make sure it all comes together nicely and gives a balanced and fulfilling walkthrough no matter which origin you choose.

There’s plenty of interesting work left to do, but we are getting very close to the next stage of development where we can share our game with the community, iterate based on feedback and player insight, and prepare the game for release. After working so long on these improvements, we can’t wait to hear your feedback and ideas about our game!

Stay tuned, and we’ll be back with more updates.

As always, if you have questions or feedback, you can reach us through comments on Steam Forums, our website, or our Discord Channel.


The Way of Wrath Team