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The Art and Design of Reverie Knights Tactics

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Hello everyone! My name is EdH Müller, I`m the producer, director, and illustrator of Reverie Knights Tactics, and on behalf of the whole 40 Giants team, thanks for checking out our game!

40 Giants Entertainment is an indie gamedev company from the south of Brazil, and we worked on this game along in co-production with Hype Animation and Jambo Editora. Music and sound design was provided by Yo-Ho Musik Arsenal, and the game is published by 1C Entertainment. Our development journey started in 2017, and now here we are, publishing our baby on Xbox!

It is a special occasion for all of us, considering all these years Xbox has been in our lives, and the amazing tactical and RPG games we played on the consoles. So many memories! We’ve always been passionate about the genre, and when we decided to develop our own game, we knew we would face a lot of challenges during the development process that I would like to talk about in this blog post. But first, let me tell you what Reverie Knights Tactics is all about!

Reverie Knights Tactics is a turn-based tactical RPG with strategic battles in isometric grids where every decision can alter the story, NPC reactions and the way you customize the characters. You can craft new items and equipment from the treasures you collect on your travels through a fantasy world in an epic adventure based on the Tormenta RPG campaign setting. In battle, every character has a slew of unique abilities to choose from and based on the situation can perform special team attacks. You can also use many interactive elements on each map and crafted consumable items to change flow and result of any encounter!

Game Design

Creating and balancing the core systems – battles, character progression and skills – was the hardest part to get right. The game needed to favor strategy, but still be accessible and not too hardcore, and due to the number of player choices available in character customization, side quests and decision-driven, branching story, the difficulty of every battle can vary wildly. The skills available on each character level needed to be both interesting and useful, allowing the player to create different strategy approaches, based on their preferred play style.

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On top of that, every battle has extra objectives and each one of them grants the player some extra experience; managing the progression and level capstone to fit the game’s difficulty was hard and demanded lots of playtests and spreadsheets. Speaking of optional objectives brings us to the topic of Level Design. Each battle was always first sketched on a blank grid, then built in the game engine, placing a lot of interactive elements that allow the player (and the enemies) to block paths or create new openings, damage and control their opponents, to make sure each scenario not only looks, but also plays and feels differently.

Screenshot

There’s an awareness system in place that lets the player walk unseen through the grid, as long the character remains far enough from the enemy’s line of sight. Plus, each battle has a different set of extra objectives that encourages the player to go beyond, exploring the scenario and performing specific tasks to receive extra experience.

Early level design sketch
An early stage of level design process

The game also features a special alignment system based on core story decisions that push your character closer to chaos or order. Based on that, the story branches out and other characters reactions towards you change, affecting battles and dialogues. These decisions also affect the skills that will be available for each playable character, influencing your strategy options as well.

But it’s not just the gameplay design that sets Reverie Knights Tactics apart from other games, it is also:

The Artwork

As the game’s illustrator, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. All the artworks in the game were hand-drawn – nearly 400 sheets of paper were necessary to cover the entire game, and I did every single drawing with a mechanical pencil, using HB leads.

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I`ve been working with illustration for over 20 years now, on comics, advertising, CD covers, package designs for bands, drinks, anything that needs some good drawings on it, and of course, games! Working on Reverie Knights Tactics was delightful, definitely one of the best experiences I had in the field up until today.

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Lookout landscape sketch
The Lookout location in its early stages. Some really tight pencilwork on this one!

Drawing battle scenarios was the most challenging part of this project because of the high number of details each of them have, and their multi-layered nature. Hours and hours of sitting at my drawing table during weekdays and many, many weekends. My wife and my cats didn’t like that so much, but I hope you will agree it was worth it as you play the game. Not to forget, I had three amazing helpers during this trip: Marcel Budde and Leonardo Tomazi, who helped me out with sketches for the scenario assets, along with Carolina Mylius, the coloring artist who did the amazing coloring work over my drawings.

As for the characters, it was great to create new characters for the Tormenta universe, which is really popular here in Brazil. I took a lot of time to figure their silhouettes out, along with distinctive characteristics to make each character unique.

Carlos sketch
The original sketch of Mr. Garlos. Have you done your food crafting today?

I hope you liked this small sneak peek behind the scenes of our design and development journey and have fun playing Reverie Knights Tactics, which is available on Xbox One (and in backward compatibility on Xbox Series X/S) and Windows PC today!

Xbox Live

Reverie Knights Tactics

1C Online Games Ltd.

$24.99

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A turn-based tactical RPG with strategic battles in isometric grids where every decision you make can alter the story and the way you configure the characters.

Embark on an expedition to find Lennorien, the long lost elvian city to save your loved ones, while fighting the goblin menace that spread terror across the continent!

Lead your party of heroes, each one with distinct, special abilities and skills, allowing you to use multiple battle strategies to defeat your enemies.

Discover a fantasy world featuring deep map and scenario exploration in an epic adventure, visual novel style!

Craft new items and accessories from the treasures you collect and use them as tactical advantage every time you configure your characters.

Key Features:
● Beautiful Hand Drawn Art: Meticulous multilayer artwork from pencil sketch to full detail color.
● Decision-driven Storyline: Make several decisions through your quests, affecting the story and other characters` reactions.
● Character Customization: Customize character`s performance attributes, skills, and accessories for heightened abilities!
● Item Crafting: Collect powerful items as you explore the world and discover combinations to create new items.
● Exploration: Travel your way through an expansive map, unlocking secret quests, solving puzzles, and exploring scenarios and evil dungeons!
● Up to Four Hero Characters: Control 4 different heroes, each one with distinct, special abilities and skills, allowing multiple battle strategies.
● Battle Phases: React to your opponent’s strategy and come up with the perfect tactic every turn, challenging you to think ahead.
● Interactive Battle Scenarios: Manipulate parts of the battle environments, and use scenario effects to your advantage!
● Multiple Battle Grids: Each battle contains a different isometric grid, making every battle an unique experience.

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GAMES

Next Week on Xbox: May 30 to June 3

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Welcome to Next Week on Xbox! In this weekly feature we cover all the games coming soon to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, and Game Pass! Get more details on these upcoming games below and click their profiles for further info (release dates subject to change). Let’s jump in!


Gravitar: Recharged – June 1 – Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Gravitar: Recharged - June 1 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

A lone pilot, far from home, must navigate an abstract universe of uncharted planets and space stations guarded by mysterious, hostile aliens. Complete missions in each solar system, navigating a variety of challenging environments, each with varying levels of gravity that will test your skills as a pilot.


Janitor Bleeds – June 1

Janitor Bleeds - June 1Janitor Bleeds - June 1

A retro-inspired horror game set in an old arcade where a mysterious arcade machine called Janitor pulls you to play itself, releasing a horrible force upon you. The only way to survive is to go deeper into the arcade and keep playing, but the further you go, the more the events of the arcade game start to influence the real world. When your eyes are glued to the screen, who knows what is happening right behind your back?


Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis – June 1

Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis - June 1Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis - June 1

Control your own Razore City denizen as you are tasked by the mysterious Shōkan Corp to investigate numerous bizarre happenings around the city and track down the mastermind behind it all, the strange girl in the fox mask, in this RPG adventure. Venture through the city, discovering twisted locations whilst levelling up your team of misfits to eventually take on Hell itself!

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Word Wheel by POWGI – June 1 – Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Word Wheel by POWGI - June 1 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart DeliveryWord Wheel by POWGI - June 1 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

The classic word wheel puzzle goes digital! Find as many words as you can from the letters shown, always using the middle letter! There are 120 puzzles to solve and 120 groan-worthy jokes to reveal! Up to four can play! Connect extra controllers to solve the puzzle as a team, or see who can find the most words.


Souldiers – June 2 – Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Souldiers - June 2 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart DeliverySouldiers - June 2 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Fight for your freedom in a sprawling fantasy world caught between the dead and the living. Hone your skills as a Scout, Caster, or Archer in a retro epic featuring puzzle platforming, metroidvania exploration and crunchy soulslike combat.


Surface Rush – June 2 – Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

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Surface Rush - June 2 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart DeliverySurface Rush - June 2 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Show your reflexes and reach the Surface! Surface Rush is an arcade style, skill-based game, where you must throw Pumpum and make him bounce through the ocean bottom. Explore 132 levels full of traps, find the hidden stars, and challenge your friends.


QUByte Classics – Jim Power: The Lost Dimension Collection by Piko – June 2

QUByte Classics - Jim Power: The Lost Dimension Collection by Piko - June 2QUByte Classics - Jim Power: The Lost Dimension Collection by Piko - June 2

QUByte Classics: Jim Power: The Lost Dimension by Piko is a classic action-adventure platformer that brings the special agent Jim Power, to save our planet from the supernatural alien, Vaprak. His forces are too strong, a direct attack would not be effective and that’s why Jim Power has to slip through the defenses and attempt to stop this threat.


EleMetals: Death Metal Death Match – June 3

EleMetals: Death Metal Death Match - June 3EleMetals: Death Metal Death Match - June 3

Pick one of six metalheads and shred your friends (or NPCs). Throw metal shards or dash into enemies to become the last one standing.

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Red Siren: Space Defense Match – June 3

Red Siren: Space Defense Match - June 3Red Siren: Space Defense Match - June 3

Pilot a cutting-edge robot destroyer spaceship, the Red Siren. Defend steel mines on alien planets, escort supply ships and explore asteroid fields! Fight hostile mechs, robots and jets in an endless conflict over the abundant resources of a faraway star cluster.


Super Perils of Baking – June 3

Super Perils of Baking - June 3Super Perils of Baking - June 3

Super Perils of Baking is a ground-up remake of Lillymo Games’ very first title, 2018’s 2D platformer Perils of Baking with storybook-like presentation and precise platforming.


TEN – Ten Rooms, Ten Seconds – June 3 – Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

TEN - Ten Rooms, Ten Seconds - June 3 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart DeliveryTEN - Ten Rooms, Ten Seconds - June 3 - Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

A challenging platformer in which you face a relentless gauntlet of ten-second deathtrap rooms in a desperate struggle to escape your fate and uncover the truth! Collect tokens, purchase upgrades, and learn how to overcome each floor’s onslaught of saw blades, cannon fire, lasers, bizarre monsters and more.


Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy – June 3

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy - June 3Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy - June 3

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy is a challenging roguelite RPG, with a table-top ‘feel’, a node-based open world & cool twist on permadeath.

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