The No-Frauds Club ยป Onitar: The Pretense of War


The Pretense of War

This page is under extensive revision as of late-June 2022!
Last updated 26 September 2022

Onitar: The Pretense of War is a 2D RTS set in an original science-fantasy universe and made in the Antikythera engine.

In addition to being inspired by the RTS classic of Brood War, Onitar takes cues from real-time roguelites and RTS games with global conquests. It focuses heavily on procedural singleplayer or cooperative PvE gameplay, with PvP being supported but very much a secondary feature. It will support at least 4 players in its primary game mode.

Onitar has four distinct playable races, and its setting and gameplay facilitate large-scale conflicts without sacrificing any sense of individual unit identity. For a complete description of RTS mechanics, see the Xibalba page.

Key differences from Xibalba titles are:
  • Resources (at least in name; mechanical distinctions TBD)
  • The pretense system
  • The procedural nature of its primary mode


How did we get here?

Silent no longer.

The evil within.

Muted agents of judgement.


How did we get here?
Tech map

  • Single-worker internal construction
  • Conventional segmented tech progression
  • Shapely brutalist architecture; pale and deep blues, and dark greens, with chrome and umber accents

  • Cadet - Infantry, scout craft, and light action
  • Phalanx - Armor, assault craft, and entrenchments
  • Longarm - Siege, transportation, and gap-closing


Silent no longer.
Tech map

  • Multi-worker external construction, with terrain requirements
  • Localized tech progression, supplying connected soil for higher tier structures
  • Eclectic, polluted beauty; vibrant greens, pale tans, and deep browns, with pale blue accents

  • Fallow - Fragile, yet dangerous creatures
  • Vengeful - Durable and driven spirits
  • Purified - Potent aspects of a liberated nature


The evil within.
Tech map

  • Multi-worker consumption construction
  • No tech requirements, with workers producing structures commensurate to their tier
  • Nightmarish flesh and bones; deep reds, vibrant oranges, and skull whites, with sickly green and yellow accents

  • Torrential - Relentless, swarming forms
  • Somatic - Self-perpetuating demons and devils
  • Pustulant - Repulsive warriors of famine and disease


Muted agents of judgement.
Tech map

  • Single-structure autonomous construction
  • Upgradable structure tech progression
  • Smooth, impossible artifices; umber, with skull white and pale blue accents

  • Starlit - Deafening automatons with impressive powers
  • Eclipsed - Disquieting golems with stealth capabilities
  • Anonymous - Unknowable androids with disruptive tendencies


Campaigns in Onitar are called "conquests", and take place over a large world map divided into several territories. These segments of the theater contain a vital Obsidian, and are occupied by various military powers, with the endgame of each commander being to claim ownership over every territory.

Players begin conquests by selecting a world to conquer, and then an insertion point from a select few candidates. After consulting the world map and planning their initial course of action, they will soon find themselves embroiled in an initial skirmish, vying for dominion over their first Obsidian.

A conquest concludes when one commander takes control over all Obsidians. Commanders are defeated when they lose control of their last Obsidian. Defeated commanders and their forces can either be incorporated into their rival's war effort as vassal armies, or they can be consumed to provide additional pretenses.


When an invasion is launched from the world map, players are taken to battlegrounds called "territories". These environments are morphed based on the local Obsidian's configuration, with environmental changes ranging from bountiful overgrowths, manmade outposts, bleeding rivers, and cosmic platforms.

In addition to race-specific modifiers, territories have smaller variations from run-to-run. The overarching layout of a territory is never impacted, but localized areas are made distinct in order to test a player's scouting and map control without becoming rote after many playthroughs.

Territories grow in scope based on the number of human players that cooperate together.

Obsidians and Pretenses

During their campaigns across the many worlds of Onitar, players will seize control of valuable Obsidians that hold a variety of possible rewards. These boons, called "pretenses", warp and contort the player's techtree using the power intrinsic to the timeless superstructures.

Every territory contains one Obsidian, whose pretenses are always visible prior to launching an invasion. All possible rewards for claiming a given Obsidian are visible from the very beginning of a conquest, allowing players to plot a path towards their favorite rewards if they so desire.

Obsidians are also responsible for reconfiguring the layout of the territory that they reside in. This mutation of the environment is commensurate to the style of pretense that is selected by its owner - selecting a pretense sourced from the demonic Bloodsummon, for example, results in any local rivers running red.


Visions are an optional game element that allows players to "lock in" a certain amount of desired pretenses. This constrains the amount of variance from run-to-run and allows players to guarantee the appearance of desired rewards, though it does not confirm the precise placement of the envisioned pretenses.

Players can foresee up to 5 pretenses.


  • Conceptual
    • Pen game rules
    • Finalize territory interactivity (e.g. AI influences)
    • Flesh out all four races
  • Technical
    • Remove "Oldnitar" code from Antikythera
    • Vastly improve Antikythera performance
    • Revise Antikythera pathfinding, networking, and game state handling
    • Design and implement races
    • Design and implement pretenses
    • Implement the world map system
    • Implement the visions system
  • Production:
    • Complete art for all races
    • Design multiple world maps, each with variants for territories
    • Finalize game audio, including music