Hey there, world! I’m Mike Hanson, the guy throwing together a lot of the lore you’ll experience when you play “Tales of Illyria”. The great people I work with and I are responsible for providing gameplay that is not only engaging, but also cohesive. To that end, we study the heck out of source material to build what I call a “working world”. I want to provide a play experience that you not only interact with, but that seems like it could really exist, but let’s get on with it!
An important – and often ignored – part of making a good world is putting in the people and cultures that inhabit it. While the game is fantasy and has things like magic, I like to ground our lore in some amount of reality. Doing this serves two purposes:
1.) The world seems more real. When you see things you recognize, you connect with it immediately, and your mind draws natural conclusions. A guy in a robe wearing a deer skull? Probably a druid. Half -naked man in a fur waistcloth with an axe, why, that’s a barbarian.
2.) With a frame of reference in reality and history, we’re able to write a lot of lore very quickly because it’s based on things that already exist. If we want to know how our barbarians behave, we look no further than the Ostrogoths or Visigoths. When a city is besieged, I can wiki what happened on Malta so many centuries ago. We don’t have to make as many things up, and again, a foundation in reality afford us realism that the imagination simply can’t match.
For Episode 3 (you’ll have to wait on the title), I’m looking at a few groups from Antiquity to throw in the game and build our own nations off of. Without giving away too much, I’m looking at mid – to late – Roman barbarian groups and came across two in particular: the Gauls and the Franks. While very similar at face value, these cultures had totally different societies, structures, names, weapons and armor, and combat tactics.
The Gauls are the people who would eventually become the Celts. When you shut your eyes and think, they’re the naked, screaming blue guys charging into battle against Caesar’s legions. I’ve even used a very famous Gallic – Roman battle to play an important part in the early game. These are a people with round shields, spears, and shortswords. Berserkers in the clearest sense.
At a start contrast, the Franks (strangely, a Germanic tribe), are the fur – clad, mail – armored people you think about when you don’t know what vikings look like. Their primary weapon is an axe called a “francisca”, a tool so powerful they named themselves after it. The Franks were more organized, better equipped, and more calculating than their western cousins, and eventually drove them to Britannia, where Hadrian would fight them a century later.
With the history of the world as our backdrop, we’re adding a dash of fantasy to an already – cool reality. We want to bring the best experience in a package that you could almost inhabit, and if you’ve read the codex, I’ve written the world of Illyria to be functional and real.
I’ve swiped two groups from the pages of the past, but we’re always fishing for good ideas, and we always want to know what you think. Tell us about your favorite warriors in the comments, and let us know how we’re doing. In the end, it’s all for you.
Hail beloved Illyrians! We labored long and hard and [finally] the latest version is now live on Google Play. If you own the game already you should see the update available soon. Want to know what’s different?
Here, is the complete changelog:
- Requires downloading new media package – when Episode 2 launches you will be able to share content directories which allows you to have multiple versions installed all without using up precious storage space
- EP2 does not require a separate download in full – see above
- Updated trail graphics – oh they look so pretty!
- Updated background graphics
- Candy Man updated – hell to the yes
- Updated maps – ooo look at that wall!
- Combat improved – much needed, completely rebalanced and more fun!
- Pick plants on the trail – put that alchemy skill to good use!
- Furs now appear – characters now wear them in combat and on the trail during winter
- Enemies now have unique skills – combat will be more intense, and fun!
- Various improvements (we’re being coy, there’s loads more) – did we mention more fun?
- Last, but certainly not least at least a dozen more events – again, we’re being coy as many existing events have undergone a complete overhaul
- More player choices – remember that overhaul we mentioned above?
Of course, there are a few surprises that you will find when playing the game! You won’t be disappointed! Enjoy!
Like anyone else you’re probably wondering what’s changed from Episode 1 to Episode 2. What new features have we added? What kind of events will you see? More importantly, what new flaws will crop up – it’s a natural thing to wonder.
The single biggest element we’ve changed has to do with player choice. One thing in particular that many of our players found lacking upon release of the first episode was the option to have a more personal experience. For example, if you decided to keep your alignment evil you were at a disadvantage because a lot of the writing was done for saintly characters. That was partly because the writers were unfamiliar with the game at the time they put the content together. Part of that was also because we were nearsighted in our original approach.
Over time, Episode 1 was eventually updated and we phased a lot of that out to offer more freedom to the player. Unfortunately, it still left a little something to be desired. With Episode 2 – and the enhanced version of Episode 1 – we have made absolutely sure to include multiple scenarios which offer a unique experience for several different play styles. The main story in Beyond the Iron Wall for instance, has two different paths depending on a choice you make. I won’t go into detail about it here, mostly because we want it to remain a surprise for our players. That being said, no matter what choices and decisions you make in the world of Illyria they will now influence your gameplay experience more than ever!
As for what new flaws will crop up, we have done a thorough job of play-testing this time around. No game is perfect, and we would never claim our game is but we’ve done everything we can to mitigate issues that may arise during your time with the game. This is a game crafted from the ground up with extreme care, and more importantly it’s a labor of love from our entire team. We are all very passionate about what we do, and our ultimate goal is to provide a unique experience for our players. We hope you enjoy your time with it!
February 26 is approaching fast, and for the next couple of weeks we will be hosting loads of content about Beyond the Iron Wall here on the official website. Stay tuned for more.
We’re just as excited as you are!
Hail travelers! Bang your shields please! The sequel to Tales of Illyria, Beyond the Iron Wall will be launching Wednesday, February 26 on Google Play! To get everyone ready for the launch, we’re releasing an enhanced version of Episode 1 with some new content and engine updates! The new version of Episode 1 will launch this Wednesday (February 19, 2014).
Don’t worry, if you’ve already purchased Episode 1 you will be getting the new version for free! Just make sure you grab the update when it launches. This Friday (February 21, 2014) we will be hosting a sale for the first game which is going to run for two weeks! We’re not going to announce the sale price just yet – we want it to be a surprise – just be on the lookout for the price drop. This will give everyone the chance to play Episode 1 before jumping into the next game in the series!
Thank you Illyrians for taking this journey with us, we never could have done it without you!
Hail Illyrians! Have you ever thought while traveling the countryside on horseback that it would be nice to encounter something truly unique? We’re talking about something of your own design? Well, now’s your chance!
While our development team is putting the finishing touches on the game, our writers have nothing better to do but twiddle their thumbs (actually, that’s not true we work them very hard).
Anyway, head on over to our Facebook page and share your idea for an event! We’ll pick the best one and hand it over to our writers to flesh out and turn into a full-scale encounter. That’s right, they will take your idea and transform it into something you (and everyone else) can experience. We’ll also feature your name in the game credits appropriately for contributing!
The event will be open until Monday 12/16/2013 at 6PM EST! Take some time to draw up your ideas and then share them on the appropriate Facebook post.
Good luck everyone! Once again, thank you for being loyal fans!
We’ve announced via social networks over the last couple of weeks that the sequel to Tales of Illyria is coming soon, but that’s the extent of the information we’ve given. It’s high time we shared more about the development status with the community, wouldn’t you agree?
The writers have completed the game, and they’ve also produced a huge selection of side events! The development will now involve playtesting and fine tuning on our end. Of course, there’s still some more art that needs to be added, and there are some minor tweaks that need to be made to the mechanics and engine. All in all, we are right on track for a late January or early February release date.
Don’t worry episode one fans, we’ll be adding some new events to the first game too for those of you who aren’t ready to pick up the sequel just yet. Stay tuned for even more information.
Feel free to ask questions here or through social media if you have them!
The latest update to Tales of Illyria introduced native language packs for the game. The translations are not spot on, which means it’s possible there are be context issues, but the good news is that now you can enjoy the finely crafted events and story in your language of choice.
Support for the following languages has been implemented:
- Chinese Traditional
- Chinese Simplified
Any languages not included in the list will require a Google API Key to use properly. Unfortunately, it costs money every time someone uses a translation through the service. In the past we did use Google Translate to offer mult-language support, but it was quite costly especially for an indie developer like us. Even those who pirated copies of the game were able to access the language packs at our expense. That’s just one reason why we removed the Translate service support and moved to native language packs.
If anyone out there would like to help by improving the translations, we can certainly offer the necessary resources. Just shoot us an email, send us a DM through social media or leave a comment here!
Thank you very much for your continued support of the game, it means a lot to the team!
Unfortunately, we can’t reveal everything about the upcoming sequel. However, we can clue you in to a few facts so naturally we’ve decided to do just that!
The sequel to Tales of Illyria is going to take you over the wall, into the northern land of Vasena. There’s a lot of difference between the two neighboring realms: Illyria and Vasena. Without delving too far into the particulars, the beasts, lore and inhabitants are all remarkably different. On your journey, you’ll encounter the mighty djinn, dangerous sandworms, arcane undead, and much much more. Vasena is a world of magic and mystery, so expect the unexpected.
The story will take you all over Vasena, and maybe even into Illyria. What makes the sequel so much more epic is that it will largely be influenced by the decisions you make during your playthrough (the same holds true for the first game in the series but not on the same grand scale as the sequel).
Our skilled team of writers is doing everything they can to craft the best possible experience, no matter how you decide to play the game. We do understand that one of the weaknesses of the first game, was that it offered a lot of options and opportunities, but we didn’t flesh out some of those alternate paths. This time around, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Do you have any questions about the sequel? Feel free to leave your responses below!
Tales of Illyria is jam-packed with so many unique encounters, that during your play sessions you had to have experienced at least one or two events that stuck with you. In the interest of reveling in the massive amount of content that the game offers, please share with the team and community your favorite events!
Which events do you remember most? Why were they so special, and why do you like them? The team would love to hear your thoughts, especially since we’re currently working on the sequel. Who knows, maybe your opinion will even encourage us to deliver more events like it!
Were there any events you didn’t like? Which ones were the most difficult? Did you experience any that were a lot of fun?
Feel free to drop a line here or on one of our social profiles!
As you know, we previously announced that Tales of Illyria is available for the OUYA Android game console. We are also proud to announce that TOI will be playable on the GameStick when it launches later this month!
In case you’ve never heard of it (and if that’s so you’re probably living under a rock), the GameStick is an ultra-portable Android game console in the same vein as the OUYA. The GameStick is simply an HDMI stick about the size of a USB drive paired with a Bluetooth gamepad. For quick storage, the stick actually slides right into the back of the controller. Obviously, the entire setup allows you to display Android games, media and apps on a big screen TV through an HDMI port.
We’re still working hard to bring Tales of Illyria to other platforms, so please be patient with us. We do have plans to release TOI on iOS, PC and more. We’re also exploring the idea of implementing cloud saving support so that you can continue your playthrough across multiple devices.
As always, thank you for continuing to support our game and the team! Look out for the GameStick coming soon, it’s currently scheduled to launch on Oct 29, 2013.