Combat Behavior Preview

Greetings friends and fans,

It's been a while since our last update. Pandemics will hobble you like that sometimes. Still, we wanted to add something to the blog to let you guys know that, even when we're slowed, we're still working on Pharos.

With that in mind, let's talk about killing/being killed by things. Combat is one of the core experiences of our game and you'll be doing a lot of it by the time you reach your journey's end. However, the last thing we want to do is bog you down with encounters that don't matter; fleeting trash mobs and filler that show up only to be effortlessly beat down with a few taps of a button. Combat is somewhat avoidable in Pharos especially on the overworld as there's nothing worse than being stopped by random encounters when you're just trying to get a closer look at some point of interest you hadn't noticed before. We don't really promote grinding in Pharos either so what does our combat really represent?

Our enemies will need to be smart. We are currently building each enemy with a specific set of behaviors. Canines that rely on pack hunting tactics and follow the lead of a powerful alpha. Monsters that will sometimes devour other creatures in a combat encounter for a quick heal and a strong buff. Monsters that will shield themselves and panic if that shield is broken or explode when exposed to fire. Every encounter should be a fight but it should also be a puzzle to be deciphered and, eventually, exploited.

Just a preview of some basic behaviors one might encounter

Here's a throwaway example of what we mean. Currently, our Green Slimes will simply bite every adventurer they see. However, they prefer to eat beetles when they can. There are two types of beetles on Slime Island; one that is pretty normal and one that is entirely toxic. The Green Slimes don't discriminate; they will eat every beetle they see. So, if you find yourself in a battle with a slime and a few assorted beetles, simply kill the brown beetles and you'll enter your second or third round of combat with a host of poisoned slimes.

Sometimes you get lucky and the slime will poison itself!

Another example: our Red Slimes will "charge" themselves and "pop" as their main form of attack, dealing AOE fire damage every two turns. This can quickly bring your party down but you don't need to take this lying down. You can quickly disrupt a Red Slime with a water attack, dissipating its charge before it can attack. On the other hand, you could strike the same Red Slimes with fire, which causes them to immediately explode and deal damage to everyone in combat. This can quickly turn the tide of battle if you are facing numerous enemies and you are prepared to absorb the damage. However, if there are numerous Red Slimes in one battle, this approach can quickly turn into a deadly chain reaction.

Be careful not to use the wrong attack in this encounter...
View Comments

MIVS 2020 Recap

Welcome back! A happy New Year and happy MAGFest to all!

I'd like to send a warm 'Thank you' to everyone who tried out our little game and gave us feedback over the full four days of MAGFest. Your honesty and passion helped us take massive strides towards realizing the best version of Pharos imaginable.

It was amazing watching everyone run through our introductory scenario: exploring ruins, killing slimes, and dealing with everyone's favorite tyrant: King Gordian. Oh, he definitely left an impression on each and every one of you. I'm just happy that you guys enjoyed playing the demo as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Dan and I have big plans for the next few months. We are working on creating a final demo that will contain a complete vertical slice of everything possible on the first island. We hope to have this demo online once it is ready. Work and life events will probably end up slowing us down here and there but we're going to try to realize a perfect slice of Pharos that everyone can keep and play while we form the rest of the game's content. We have a long journey ahead of us. I hope you'll watch our progress and keep us honest while we bring it all together!


(Please enjoy our picture recap of the weekend below)


Wow! That is a lot of slime farming!

Day 1: Setup & Bugs

Booth setup, how does it work?
All the other awesome booths around us at MIVS
Not shown from this angle: me sweating and praying the game doesn't crash!

Day 2: It Got Better

Nothing like two pages of bugs and coffee in the morning 😁
Promotional Material
This build was much more stable than the day before

Day 3: We're Not Dead Yet!

Everyone was looking for an inventory screen, so we added one into the game build by Day 2
Look carefully: crossover potential perhaps?

Day 4: Teardown & Goodbyes

It was tiring. It was stressful. It was worth it.
Until next year, MIVS! 🙂
View Comments

Pharos @ MIVS 2020

Hey! I'm not sure if you all know about this event called MAGFest (it's only one of the coolest places to be for gaming 😉) but we submitted Pharos to their indie video game showcase (MIVS for short) a few months ago... and got accepted! As you can probably tell by the lack of updates since then, we have been pretty busy getting everything ready for the event. We're beyond excited to see everyone try out the game and will be at the event all four days, which runs from Jan 2nd to 5th.  Hmm...that's only two weeks away... 😲. Before I head off to finish up some remaining polish for our current game build, here is a preview of the new game screen:

We're giving you a few customization options for your first adventurer.

We wanted to give the player a character they can call their own, so you will be able to change the portrait, name, and profession of your starting adventurer. Here are the portrait options we have added so far:

Okay, time to get back to work. See you at MAGFest!

View Comments