Our First Game

Latest News

Director’s Log #2 : Adapting the Ruleset

Director’s Log #2 : Adapting the Ruleset

Hey there folks! Our Creative Director & CEO is back with another article, this time going over how he handled adapting the 5e ruleset into video games.

Hi everyone,

I've been wanting to describe the philosophy we have in adapting the OGL/SRD5 ruleset to a video game for some time now. As I already mentioned in previous posts, I have played through all 5 different editions of D&D in the past 30 years - and thus seen the evolution of the Ruleset over the years. That doesn't mean I claim to be an absolute expert though, for there are many ways to play D&D on tabletop. For instance, some DMs prefer to favor roleplaying, immersion and imagination by keeping the rules behind their DM Screen, and forgoing miniatures & battle grids for the Theater of the Mind. 

As for my friends and I, we've always been playing with a player handbook for each player, a detailed character sheet and a grid with miniatures. We love the detail and accuracy that goes into tactical combat situations (though we also try to avoid power gaming and excessive min-maxing), which is a philosophy that will be reflected in Solasta.

 D&D Night at Tactical Adventures Office

Like many of you, I've also been playing countless video games adaptations of D&D - starting with Pool of Radiance and the Gold Box series, then onto Eye of the Beholder, Baldur’s Gate, Infinity Engine sequels, Neverwinter Nights from Bioware... I've also tried out less successful attempts, and after spending some time analyzing the good and the bad I came to realize that the most successful D&D-type games usually were those which stayed the most faithful to the ruleset. This is why when I first started describing the project, I said we were adapting the video game to the SRD ruleset, rather than adapting the ruleset to the video game. It may sound like a marketing tagline, but that's what I genuinely believe.

The 1st of the Gold Box Games, Pool of Radiance is emblematic for many RPG fans 

The first thing I did was creating a way to input rules into the prototype. I am not sure if this has been revealed yet, but we are using Unity as a foundation for our game. The main reason for using this engine, other than a solid 8 years of previous experience (Endless Space...), is that it's good at making tools and editors. One of the very cool things Unity offers is ScriptableObjects, which allows you to define code templates (such as Character Class, Character Feature, Spell, Weapon Type...) and easily develop editing tools for this data - so we built a system to edit the database with all the Ruleset bricks needed to make an RPG. 

One big question remains: how far can you go in making the ruleset editable, and when do you need to hardcode stuff? It is a fairly common software architecture question: should you make a super generic code or go straight to the point? Since we wanted to quickly develop a minimal viable product (MVP), the solution was a bit in-between: all the individual Rule Assets (such as Races, Classes, Items, Features, Spells, Powers, Monsters, Conditions...) can be edited, while the core is implemented in the engine. To illustrate that with tabletop - this is the same idea as having a core ruleset with the Player’s Handbook, then adding additional content on top of it with additional books (SCAG, XGTE...).

Going back to the technical side, if we take Spells as an example. By taking a generic approach and implementing a wide set of parameters, the bet is that we would be able to create most spells available in the SRD. Every time a spell has some new exotic effects, we need to add new parameters - which could then be reused for other spells. On the other hand, a procedural approach would mean that each spell is individually hardcoded into the game - certainly a quicker solution, but one that would heavily limit reusability. 

 Fireball, when diplomacy is no longer an option (well, it does count as Intimidation, right? Can I roll with advantage?)

The most challenging and thrilling part in making the most out of the SRD is using rules that are often neglected in video games adaptations, such as lighting and verticality (climbing and flying). Some games tried to implement these rules in a limited manner, but we've come to realize that this is a large investment you need to plan from the start. The reward however, is that you end up with crazy and funny situations - especially when implementing the 5th edition ruleset accurately (who wants to see a mage lose concentration when hovering over a deadly pit?)

That being said, there are still some elements that we need to adapt to work properly in a video game - especially when playing from a top down perspective. For example, a character could easily spot an enemy 500 feet away... But that would correspond to 10 game screens in distance. It notably becomes very hard to provide a meaningful and intuitive stealth experience with this in mind, so we have to reduce the distance to make the game manageable. There's also some simplification in displaying distance, using cells (5 'x 5 'x 5' block) instead of feet to avoid confusion and conversion problems for countries using the metric system. That said, while we are working on securing the core experience now, it is totally possible to include a setting to display distances in feet for the fans who prefer it.

Hope this post was interesting to you, stay tuned for more in the coming weeks and do not hesitate to ask questions or add feedback below!

Cheers,
Tactical Archimat

22 July 2019
Director's Log #1 : Announcing at last!

Director's Log #1 : Announcing at last!

Hey there folks, today's something a little different for you! How does an idea comes to life? What comes before a fully manned studio? I'll be leaving the stage to our Creative Director (and CEO), who will be answering all these questions and more, writing about the genesis of the Solasta project. 

Hi everyone,

First of all, we are very happy and excited about our official announcement. It always feels great to come clean and tell everyone about what you have been working on for so long. Thanks a lot for all your kind words and genuine interest in the project. It means a lot to us. We have been eagerly reading all your comments on our various community channels. We love getting involved in those topics, but we see a lot of questions asked already; some of which we will try to answer in the coming weeks / months.

On a personal note, I am delighted about revealing our game. This project has been an old dream for me. I have developed and released 11 games in the past 20 years with many different genres and platforms, and making a tactical RPG brings me back to the early 90s and the Gold Box series of games. 

Gold Box is a series of CRPGs based on AD&D, produced by SSI (image from Luzur, RPG Codex)

Gold Box is a series of CRPGs based on AD&D, produced by SSI (image from Luzur, RPG Codex)

I worked on Solasta (before it was even called that!) in my “garage” for quite some time before starting this new company. I started by building a database of rules, character races, classes and powers. Then, I built a character generator. After that I made a first dungeon, a combat system, a magic system... all that leading to a first minimum viable prototype. We are still building on top of this prototype (the architecture was thankfully pretty sound), and it has been playable for about a year now. 

With a prototype in hand, more people started to be interested and believe in the project: future potential partners, employees, investors... It may be hard to believe, but when you start a new company - even with a good track record - you still have to prove what you are claiming. Bouncing this creative vision and prototype on the new team members, early testers, etc, also helped us clarify and finalize the vision of the game we are making.

Brave Baern taking on 4 skeletons on his own while his companion is taking a nap, very early "minimum viable" prototype

I have been very lucky with the team members who joined Tactical Adventures. Both talented and experienced people, many of them playing tabletop RPG on a regular basis. We are a small studio of 15 people, and it sometimes feels weird to claim we are making a CPRG of such a size. But a team of talented and motivated people can do wonders, and we also have the support of excellent partners who greatly complement us.

Even our carpet design is based a Battle Grid, we just need to roll initiative and we're ready to go

After the team was hired and got settled in our new office in downtown Paris, we have started building on my initial prototype, adding real art, features, and game content. We have already performed first playtest this winter, and learned a lot from our first players. Obviously, I can’t wait to get such feedback from you, and as explained in our Dev Diary Video we are working on a demo for you to get your hands on. As you imagine, our final game will offer a full storyline and campaign, which will introduce the original universe of Solasta. In order not to spoil all that, the demo is built specifically to put our Key Pillars to the test, and will feature a hand-crafted level that will not be part of the campaign.

As you may have guessed, we will have a busy summer working on that demo. We will also be touring on several Conventions, starting with Gen Con in Indianapolis. Obviously we will not go there just to show our good looks, we will have some cool stuff to boot: an early glimpse of the demo which we'll release later on.

We've polished the entrance of the Demo Level, time to play Spot the Differences!

Thanks for your attention. Stay tuned for more updates this summer!

Cheers,

Archimath

10 July 2019
Solasta Demo will be available at Gen Con 2019!

Solasta Demo will be available at Gen Con 2019!

You said "We want to see more Gameplay!", we answered "We will do that and more, there will be a demo!". You said "When?" and we answered "Soon!". How soon you may ask? Well... What about... One month from now? 

That's right, Tactical Adventures will be at Gen Con 2019 August 1-4 2019, Indiana Convention Center: Hall B, with a Pre-Alpha Demo - which everyone will be able to play at our booth! For those who won't be at Gen Con, worry not - we're still planning on having a Demo available to everyone at a later date!

What will our four heroes find in these ruins?

More Information:

  • The booth will be open from 9:00 am to 7:00pm Thursday to Saturday, and from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Sunday
  • This Demo Event is completely free of charges, no need for tickets (outside the standard Gen Con Access Badge) 
  • You don't need to register either, just drop by whenever you want
  • Keep in mind that this is going to be a Work In Progress, Pre-Alpha Build - so please forgive us if the ride's a bit bumpy at times!

Where to find us:

You will be there? Great! Drop us a word on Discord!

2 July 2019
Welcome to Solasta

Welcome to Solasta

Leave your weapons at the door and grab a chair. Let's talk, stranger, ale's on us. 

If you haven't already, we invite you to watch our Animated Trailer and our Announcement Dev Diary to get a better understanding of what Solasta is about - the passion project of a long-time D&D fan, who soon was joined by other industry veterans sharing the same love for Tabletop RPGs.

Earliest Visual Target of Solasta: Crown of the Magister

When it comes to making a game, there's often no shortage of ideas. It was thus important to decide on some Key Pillars early on, such as going for a grid-based / turn-based combat following the 5e ruleset, or controlling not one character but the entire squad. You can read about this in more details in the Game Info page

Another example would be Character Creation, an integral part of Tabletop RPG

We're very eager to show you more about Solasta: Crown of the Magister! If you too love D&D and Tactical RPGs, or even if you're simply interested in knowing more, don't hesitate to drop by our Forums or the official Discord Server to chat with us. And if you want to make sure not to miss our development updates, you just need to create an Account and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Cheers folks, see you soon.

25 June 2019
See All News

Our Team

The founder, Mathieu Girard, was co-founder of Amplitude Studios. For Tactical Adventures, he has gathered a team of experienced industry veterans, all with experience from major publishers or indie studios.

Brought together by our shared expertise and passionate about making games, we plan to remain a small studio of 15 to 20 people, efficient and focused on creating great games with powerful narratives.

We are all big fans of board games and tabletop role playing games, and the objective of Tactical Adventures is to design a unique experience on computers and consoles. Supported by experienced partners, we are a united and ambitious team.

Our Mission

Our goal is to recreate the feel of a tabletop RPG onscreen, through the faithful adaptation of rules and universes.

While computer RPGs have existed for almost 40 years, the technology has progressed, new forms of interaction have been invented, and Tactical Adventures has created some critical evolutions in computer RPG mechanics, which will bring the interactive experience as close to that of a tabletop RPG as possible.

Want to join us ?

There are no current openings, but if you are really talented at what you do and you would like to join us, feel free to contact us !



Contact

To learn more, contact us: