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Dev Blog #5 : Choices

Those who played the demo of ARCH ULTRA released earlier this year may remember that you had the ability to let your ally die. This did not make any sense so ARCH ULTRA: Final Act will have a totally new set of choices.

At multiple occasions, the player will be presented with a set of choices that may or may not affect the story as some will be completely trivial. In the above picture you can see new choice in the library. This one is a moral one: Do you value life over ancient and forbidden knowledge? In this context, the Codex of the Architect is an ancient document that the Government actively tries to destroy. Each choice will not drastically alter the story but will instead give you different information and perspectives. The game will also feature at least 3 different ending.


Lore: The Police Reform

Today I am going to delve deeper into why Architech made a police reform in Upirkly as it is only vaguely mentioned in-game.

Prior to the reform, many police officers abused their status in society. It was not uncommon for a vampire to attack a human as some believe to be part of the "superior race". Police corruption was somewhat rampant. Once Bill Rwright won his first term, he started to change things up.

Nowadays, the police don't use lethal weapon anymore, they instead use Neutralizers which only paralyze the target without any kind of lasting damage. They also now have bodycams that cannot be turned off no matter what. Their visor helps them to hide their identity and prevent vampire bites. The green armband they wear signifies that they made a pledge to serve the interest of the Government and the people.


Video Preview

Today I will show you guys a video preview of ARCH ULTRA: Final Act. I will showcase the Upirkly area and the interrogation system. Keep in mind that this is very WIP and that there will be more NPCs in the final game. Enjoy!

Game Design

Dev Blog #4 : Fixing the Pacing

As mentioned in previous DevBlogs, ARCH ULTRA have a serious pacing problem. The player is dumped with a mountain of information and therefore get lost pretty easily.

In the past months, I have been rewriting the execution of the game's pacing so that it feel like an actual game. ARCH ULTRA: Final Act will be essentially divided like this:
-Exploration of Upirkly
-The first mission
-The infiltration
-Something that would spoil the game
-The last part that would also spoil the story

Each of these sections will have an "exploration sequence". I will also make more use of the objective system.

As you may have probably noticed I also reworked the game profile's CSS.

See you soon for more Dev Blogs!

Game Design

Dev Blog #3 : Question Mechanics

In ARCH ULTRA: Final Act, Paul will be able ask Rosia some questions to get more information on a specific subject.

When allowed by the game, the player will be able to prompt a discussion with Rosia by pressing the A key.

As you explore Upirkly, the player will unlock more questions to ask her (above are the default ones). You also unlock some as the story advances. Some answers will change after some events will have occurred.
Asking questions are not technically required to complete the story but they will provide useful context clues to better understand what is around you.

See you soon for more Dev Blogs!


Lore: The Rise of Architech

Today I am going to delve deeper into how the company Architech came into power.

Architech was founded by a man named Mark Rwright. It was famous for having invented the modern mobile phone that revolutionized communications. Over the course of the year, the company expanded to other domains such as scientific research, transportations and entertainment.

Despite all his wealth, Mark Rwright was fatally ill. After he died from an uncurable diseases called Sanguinie, one of his son inherited the CEO position of the company. This man is Bill Rwright. In an unexpected turn of event, he ran for presidency in the country of Upirkly.

He became objectively the most liked president in the history of Upirkly. Some even believe he is the reincarnation of a prophet. Many argue that he should be president until he dies. With the recent proposal to abolish democracy as a Global Mortal Right, people are excited that such outcome may be possible. The people of Upirkly now see democracy as an outdated concept of the past and that ditching it is required to move forward.

The opinion of the Helliosian Intelligence Agency differs. They think all of this is not organic. For them, abolishing democracy will lead to an even more dystopian society.


Lore: Rosia's Backstory

Today I am going to further explain Rosia Scarleit's backstory. It is briefly mentioned in the game, but I wanted to give to the full story there.

Dymunia (the world in which ARCH ULTRA is set) is a very religious place. Most of the major religion are part of a pantheon so the only dispute is about the right way to worships the different gods. Many see atheism as a curable anomaly. Over the years, many scientist wondered if mortal were "programmed" to have faith. One of them is a man called Richier Scarleit, determined to find an answer to that question using a scientific method.

He isolated his daughter, Rosia, from the outside world and raised her in a controlled environment. One day he accidentally gave her a book titled "The Conflicts of Shamaria". The book described the conflicts of many religious faction in a war-torn country. When he found out, he considered his experiment a failure since she was exposed to the concept of religion.

After drugging her, he sold her to scientific division of Architech to get back some of the money he had invested in his experiment. The leader of the division then used her to develop new vaccines, usually through unethical experiments. She was eventually rescued by a man called Lucien. Rosia saw sunlight for the first in her live at twelve years old.

The man who conducted those experiment was fired by the CEO of Architech as soon as he found out, although his research ended up being quite valuable for medicine. Rosia's education was completed by Lucien. And she became a valuable asset for the Helliosian Intelligence Agency. He explicitly told her to reject the concept of love and emotion as it would hinder her function as a tool of the HIA.

Game Design

Dev Blog #2 : Upirkly

In ARCH ULTRA: Final Act, the player will be able to explore a part of Upirkly that will essentially serve as a hub world where you complete some objectives to progress in the story.

Picture of the central area (there will be NPCs in-game).

The player will be able to examine the scenery and overhear conversations of random citizens (without needing prompt). I will also put a great emphasis on visual storytelling where the map will tell information about the setting of ARCH ULTRA.

Regarding the visuals, the map shown is the old part of the city but as you expect from a cyberpunk dystopia, I will put a lot of neon logos and ads to contribute to that feel in other parts of the city. I gathered 406 images to draw inspiration from. As an example, that fountain is inspired from that scene from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica:

See you soon for more Dev Blogs!


Dev Blog #1 : Addressing the Problems

If you played the demo of ARCH ULTRA, you probably noticed a lot of issue. The most obvious one is atrocious pacing of the game. The player is dumped with an excessive amount of information that is often more or less important. I have lately been heavily reworking the presentation of the game story so that the player will be able to breathe. In addition, I will add more examinable scenery and a fully explorable area of Upirkly.

Here's a list of some stuff that will change:
-There will now be highlights in dialogues
-Paul and Rosia walk animation have been reworked
-Improved light shaders
-Some maps have been remade
-Rewritten dialogues
-Improved dialogue box

I have not yet an exact release date for the final version of ARCH ULTRA, but it should be released in November or earlier.

Now here's work in progress images:


Second Demo Now Available!

The second demo is now available.
List of changes:
-French version added.
-Amount of dialogue was reduced.
-Books got shortened and are now dialogue boxes.
-Clarified some things lore-wise.
-Graphical fixes and additions.
-Added some sound effects.
-Transition volume was reduced.
-Probably more minors things that I forgot.