Dev Diary #2: What is Verticality?

Tactical Zaz
Level 8
3 years ago (edited)

Hello again folks! You've been many to ask what we mean by Verticality, so Zaz (Game Director) is back with some answers!

Hello fellow adventurers,

As you already know, Verticality is one of our Core Pillars. But what hides behind that word?

From the very beginning, we decided that we wanted our players to be able to do things other Tactical RPGs wouldn't allow them to. Things like flying, climbing walls without being limited to ladders, pushing enemies over the ridge... and of course we wanted enemies to do the same! Flying, climbing and even burrowing to give your party a rough time. In essence, we wanted to recreate all the crazy stuff you can do in a tabletop game using all the magic and powers of Tabletop RPGs.

Hello good sir knight, may I nibble on your shoulder? 

Our engine was developed for this. Our world really is 3D - even the “air” is actually part of the game’s grid - allowing you to accurately track movement while flying. On top of that almost every type of surfaces can be scaled using Spider Climb, and the battle grid even goes below the floor to allow specific creatures to burrow and move underground. 

Cubes... Cubes everywhere!

This enables us to create very interesting levels and combat situations, and is the reason why we call Verticality one of our Key Pillars. The world of Solasta has been designed to foster many vertical locations for our players to fully use their abilities to move around in 3D space... and they better be careful, because our monsters will surely do so! In the other hand, one of our biggest challenges is to give the players the right tools to play in this vertical environment. The camera system is critical, to let you see what you need while moving around the battlefield. Efficient controls are also essential, since you will need to give orders not only on a flat grid but also in space.

Our current "See Through" System allows you to see your characters through walls when needed

Expect to experience vertiginous rooms, fight flying creatures harassing you while you try to climb up a fragile flight of antique stairs, fall to your doom when shoved over the ledge by massive monsters, and get your ankle tenderly nibbled on while crossing a sandy area.

Prototype of some slightly more extreme cases of Verticality in Level Design

But how does it work with Stealth? Well, that will be for another time...


3 years ago

it is a truly incredible thing what you are doing! At this point I wonder if you have also thought about specific equipment such as ropes, grapples, climber kits, etc. etc. to give various bonuses to the checks.
Another thing that comes to mind immediately and if part of the scenario is destroyed. I give an example. I see in front of me 3 spiders that are crossing a 10ft wooden bridge (so I can jump or fly over it in case) and my magician uses fireball to destroy it and make them fly over the precipice is it possible?

Level 10
Newsletter Link Kickstarter Backer
3 years ago

I so love that your space is a 3D cube rather than a 2D square. That is awesome, and will make this game stand out as something truly unique in the cRPG genre.

Tactical Zaz
Level 8
3 years ago

Thanks for your comments, and yes, you can destroy passage, including those with enemies on them, which makes them fall, and then you need to find another passage, but there will always be a way.

Climbing is an important part of exploration at the beginning of the game, but we expect players to use magic to make that much easier as soon as they get spells like fly or spider climb, which is fair, and we don't want the game to become too crazy about micromanaging movement, too.

But ropes are the basis of every adventurer's pack, right?

Level 4
Steam Link Newsletter Link Weaponsmith (Bronze)
3 years ago

I love the verticality of Solasta and it the dungeons so much more immersive and even a little more scary about falling long distances.  My only complaint was with the camera not being able to see enemies on the wall that my characters could see and attack.  My second complaint with the camera is that I would like to be able to rotate the camera flat to the ground and see straight ahead on the same plane as my characters' eyeballs.  With the current mechanics, there could be a giant red dragon sitting in an open field 100 meters away and my characters can see it, but the camera cannot.

I don't want to cheat.  The camera should be anchored to my characters, but I should be able to see through their eyes.