Hi everyone! We are back now at the end of March with our promised monthly Early Access update. We here at Rockwell Studios would like to wish all of you a happy Easter. Also, we hope you had a good Passover and are continuing to have a blessed Ramadan.

We have been working hard throughout the month to improve Septaroad Voyager and to get the campaign ready for you to play. So far, we have 3 of the 7 prologues finished. Our goal is to finish the prologue and chapter 1 for every character by June. Here’s a look at the prologues for Emmerich, Mika, and Jomo.

Those of you who have been following our patch notes throughout the month know how much we have changed and fixed. For everyone, let’s take a closer look.

One of the most easily visible changes is the bigger and brighter spell effects. Here are the updated effects for Meteor, Ice, and Arcane Bolt.

We also completely remade the effects for area-of-effect abilities. Here are the updated effects for Fire Storm and Lightning Storm.

If you play Septaroad Voyager now, you’ll also see updated effects for most cleric, warlock, ranger, illusionist, druid, and mage abilities. Many of those abilities now also dim the world light to give the ability’s lighting extra punch. Those abilities also have a subtle slow-motion effect to make the more-powerful spells feel more powerful. Attacks now also stop their targets’ movement for half a second, making the attacks feel more jarring.

While building the prologues for the main campaign, we also focused on other ways to make the game feel better. For example, we improved the scrolling functionality in the combat action window. Before, the informational popup describing the ability did not update after scrolling. The player had to move the mouse in order to update the ability description. Now the ability description automatically updates after the scroll finishes. With attention to detail like that, Septaroad Voyager should feel smoother and more polished than ever before.

We also remade Halgdalir to make it feel larger and less generic with a stream, bridges, splashing waterfalls, improved smoke particles, and both dirt paths and stone-paved paths.

We are continuing to tweak the world map as we consider the different locations we will need in the campaign.

Throughout the month, we also fixed and added the following:

  • In response to a player request, we added a new controller scheme to let you bind “cancel action” to a controller button. This will let you cancel just one character’s action, without canceling everyone’s action like you would normally do by pressing the run button.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause an incorrect vignette color to load in certain situations.
  • Fixed camera transitions.
  • Smooth dimming/brightening of lights through scripts.
  • Can equip and unequip through scripted story events.
  • Simpler pathfinding that should remove most of the buggy movement where a character initially ran away from the fight.
  • Character names can be inserted in dialog.
  • Gendered versions of dialog for using “my lord” or “my lady” etc. Also will be used for localizations where men talking to women, women talking to men, men talking to men, women talking to women require different versions of the text.
  • Speech bubbles update location so if the camera or the character moves while speaking, the speech bubbles will show up in the right place.
  • Pause message shows up on the HUD if you are playing RTwP.
  • Cleaner autosave and loading animation.
  • Numerous graphical fixes and material fixes to meshes that had the wrong normals, materials that were not rendering correctly.
  • Fixed a game-breaking bug that could stop the game when recruiting a new character into your party.
  • Fixed particle collision. Particles effects for the druid’s lightning storm ability and the warlock’s fire storm ability depended on detecting the ground level, and they did not work before. Now the particle effects for those abilities display correctly.
  • Longer exit hallways from dungeon rooms, with the camera borders moved farther to the sides. Now there should be no more accidentally exiting the room.
  • Support for enemies going immediately to combat after being spawned. This will be used in scripted encounters. Those scripted encounters used to be a little silly when the ambush starts and the enemies go to their default wandering state.
  • Made decals for drawing walking paths over stone arches.
  • Fixed normal maps on some decals that were lit incorrectly.
  • Fixed a place in the yellow hills map where you could exit to the west when the way should be blocked.
  • Added particle effect that characters play on death.
  • Fixed a problem where NPC speech/quest indicators could disappear.
  • HUD elements stay hidden throughout conversations instead of appear and disappearing when the speaker changes.
  • New functionality for gameplay scripting that will help with cutscenes and other scripted events. For example, different events based on character gender, enemies can stay passive until scripted event makes them enter combat.
  • Maps containing a static texture (such as in the main campaign) instead of map tiles no longer crash.
  • Attackers stay facing their targets longer. Targets that get hit stay in place for a short time. This helps tie combat down a little bit, makes attacks feel more jarring, and makes particle effects easier to read.
  • Fixed an area in dungeons where you would not be able to exit to the south on a specific level.
  • Added empty rooms to dungeons to give players a breather, so the dungeons aren’t one long slog through endless combat until reaching the boss.
  • Faster running speed
  • Fixed bug where while setting up tactics, clicking on a condition will carry down into the menu below, unintentionally enabling or disabling tactics.
  • Better camera boundaries in several areas
  • Longer respawn time for enemies, automatic immediate respawn when entering a new dungeon room.
  • Additional decorative meshes for the Asian-themed Yamatai cities.

As you can see, we’ve been making lots of progress. We hope all of this is going to make the main campaign a major hit. We look forward to hearing your feedback when it’s ready for you to try.

That’s it for this month. Thank you everyone for your ongoing support for Septaroad Voyager. We hope to have a lot more for you next month.