The No-Frauds Club ยป Dreamhold

Dreamhold



Primer


Dreamhold is an isometric 2D action game set in the Xibalba universe and made in the Antikythera engine.

Dreamhold is inspired by RTS, roguelike, and action games. It will be the largest-scale title in the space, with up to thousands of units per level, allied and hostile factions, and wars fought on multiple fronts. It shares a setting with Cosmonarchy, and aims to explore conflicts and factions from a more intimate perspective than what is possible within an RTS, while also serving up a skill-testing, mechanically-demanding experience.

In Dreamhold, players act as thespians - elite combatants capable of endless adaptation. As thespians, players will change the course of stellar warfare, compete against rival thespians, and finally, be judged on their performance.

The core gameplay loop of Dreamhold is centered around controlling a single thespian from an isometric view, using WASD for movement, mouse aiming for general attacks, and home row keys for ability usage. Thespians will fight on the front lines of both manual and procedural battlefields, equip and augment gear, buy and sell items, entice a supporting cast, and put on a glorious performance for all to see.


Game Flow


In Dreamhold, players control elite combatants called thespians, and perform in lengthy campaigns called operas. Operas are made up of individual stages that take an average of 30 to 45 minutes to complete. Supporting casts, often AI-controlled, command the forces of regencies and compete for map control until there is only one regency left standing. Thespians operate on the front lines and often lead the charge into hostile territory, with the ultimate goal of bringing victory to their regency and defeating the stage's villains - powerful entities that act as Dreamhold's equivalent of bosses.

Even though Dreamhold is primarily a cooperative, player-versus-AI experience, this does not stop hostile regencies from deploying their own AI-controlled thespians, and players are often pursued and hunted by specialized attack squads. Regencies within Dreamhold approach the battlefield just as players do in Cosmonarchy, and the added tool of thespians are used to carry out more specialized tasks, assist in defense, defeat small armies, disrupt expansion attempts, and more.

Before an opera begins, thespian players select a loadout, called a lead role. The starting gear of thespians is packaged with their lead role and determines which early approaches they take, either solo or as a team. All gear provides some distinct benefit, with the only downside manifesting in the form of the opportunity cost of not using other equipment. Selecting ideal gear and enhancing it with augments is how players modify their thespian's capabilities, from raw stats and behaviors to active abilities and charged effects. All gear and augments, even those that the player initially brandishes, are replaceable.

When thespians arrive on a stage, a prologue begins where players scout their surrounding area for a suitable starting location for their regency. Thespians take stock of a level's design and clear the way for their allies in an initial performance that concludes by alerting hostile regencies to the presence of the player. Their supporting cast makes landfall and begins operating as an RTS player would - harvesting resources, constructing bases, training armies, and ascending up their techtree. In this vital early stage, thespians assist their regency in riposting initial assaults from hostiles, removing upstarts from expansion locations, and scouting for their next performance. Enemies slain by thespians grant trophies that are exchanged for crowns, the universal unit of currency that is used with vendors.

Thespians purchase gear and augments from item vendors and earn them from successful performances. Rewards for completing performances are telegraphed upon a performance's discovery, which informs them of what victory will entail before players begin performing. Augments are automatically extracted from weapons that are sold to vendors, and are slotted into newly-acquired gear at the player's leisure. These aspects work together to provide players with as much freedom as possible to stay the course of their initial gear archetype or shift easily into another style entirely.

More enemies are slain in grandiose performances as thespians expand their arsenal of weapons and armor. Some stages allow thespians to summon more hostile regencies to plunge the opera into a free-for-all, while others provide opportunities to summon reinforcements and stack the deck in their favor. A stage comes to its conclusion when thespians exhaust their auditions - extra lives in Dreamhold - or when they successfully defeat all villains in a given stage. When players are victorious and are satisfied with the state of their current stage, they move on to the next stage in an opera.