A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Renditions of the Awakening is a First-Person Real Time Strategy game where you summon demons, herd them around the map like terrible cats and help tend to their needs enough to keep them from going HAM. More portals appear when enough chaos has been generated. Not all demons get along and there is no unsummon. 

To beat this demo you must kill the keep and its Chairman. Generate chaos without letting witnesses escape to warn the keep if you can possibly manage it. Avoid being where attack squads are likely to search if/when plan A doesn't work. Good luck.

Play more than once to permanently unlock all nine special items. They will re-spawn for you in future plays (unless you used cheat code menu, hotkey 'c' or 'f10' by default).

Controls: Left click to select portal words and interact with clickable things, right click to throw meat to help feed hungry demons, shift to sprint, space to jump, and tab to gently shove demons out of your way if they are blocking you. Type "invert" on the keyboard if you need to toggle inverted y axis

v2.14a - uploaded 23 Sep 2020:

Improved the chaos meter - you now hold left click to spend chaos, which will give  you a portal if the meter was 100% full and spawn you a meat instead if not!

Improved alertness mechanics for the keep to be more forgiving at low alertness levels but more punishing when fully panicked

Tweaked hand-feeding demons to fill them 25% fuller than before, so they will eat less meat during combat

Reworked the intro again! This time the right way, with lots more audio and tutorial and embedded jokes

v2.13 - uploaded 17 July 2020:

Reworked the intro and added tutorial for the chaos meter

Plus more bugfixes

Let me know if Linux / Mac builds don't work ;)

Install instructions

File is a .zip, just unzip  (winrar or 7zip or winzip all work) and drag the folder to anywhere on your hard drive and then run the .exe inside

Tested on Windows only, let me know if broken on other platforms please

Download

Download
rota-win.zip 1 GB
Version 2.14c Oct 05, 2020
Download
rota-linux.zip 1 GB
Version 2.14c Oct 05, 2020
Download
rota-mac.zip 1 GB
Version 2.14c Oct 05, 2020

Development log

Comments

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My last playdate was 4 days ago, so this doesn't include your update from 2 days ago...if it's a minor change, it shouldn't affect the review XD Anyway...

If you don't read any further, I implore you to do this one thing:

Make more levels.

You've spent so long on trying to get the intro level "right", and it's hindering fleshing out the game. Building and trying out a variety of levels will help figure out what really clicks and what doesn't.

OK, that's off my chest. Now to comment on the latest demo:

Would it be reasonable to say RotA feels like it's trying to do a roguelike from a different angle? I mean this in a great way! You're trying to meld chaos/randomness and having strategy still matter. It's going to be tough to get just right (this is why testing a ton of levels is important), but you can do this!

I do like the change to the chaos meter, although I didn't know it could generate meat! (Doesn't tell the player in-game yet, unless there's a trigger for that I didn't hit)

Having the starting area caged works perfectly fine. Helps prevent wandering mistakes and it's really obvious "yo, you have to do something here".

No obvious gameplay bugs.

Issues:

1. On one run, I won, but all my demons had been dead for about 5 or 10 seconds? It could have been a double KO kind of thing, which is hard to replicate.

2. Not 100% clear what constitutes a win. Do you have to destroy both the building and the boss? I think there was a time I did both, and victory wasn't triggered. But the keep guards had also seen me summon a demon, so maybe that had something to do with it? I'll have to start videoing this stuff next time to show you XD

3. Still have no idea what "Did you hear that ding?" means. If I were forced to guess, it means the keep alert level went up, but not sure. Can you make that meaning more clear?

4. If being stealthy matters when you fight the keep, it's so hard to tell. One run, I got to the keep with a maximum red !!! alert, and out poured a TON of enemies. That makes sense, because I wasn't stealthy. But a different run, I managed to get to the keep with a yellow ? alert only, and...out poured a TON of enemies. If there were fewer guards in the stealthier run, I couldn't tell the difference.

5. Is there a way to do a regular jump with the jump shoes instead of the long bouncy jump? There were times all I wanted was a quick hop (to grab food before demons could), and the bouncy jump was more of a hindrance than a bonus.

6. One of my runs, I got rival demons multiple times, so was stuck on 3 demons for a while. It would be kind of frustrating for a new player. Suggestion: the intro level only has a limited set of demon types, none of which will hate each other. Introduce more demons and the hate mechanic in the second level.

7a. I'm having a hard time phrasing this point, and breaking it into a few  parts, so I hope it's clear enough.

It seems an important signal to the beginner is missing--how to gauge army strength. Remember that the player is just learning the game. They'll have no idea how strong the keep will be. Although it's clear one demon is stronger than one or two enemies, the newbie has no baseline to tell how many demons they "should" have before attacking the keep. This information becomes even more unclear, because the keep will vary in strength based on how stealthy they were.

A possibility would be to move the stealth mechanic to the second level. The first level will give the beginner a baseline on what a keep will look like if they stealth correctly.

7b. An "average" beginner will have about 3 summons after clearing the bottom and approaching the keep. Is this planned? Do you want the player to be confident or unconfident of their army's potential by this time?

7c. There are 2 branches to the starting area (meaning, hanging left or right to avoid fighting the keep right away). It gives an unclear signal to the beginner. Are these important areas, or are they just bonuses? Or maybe it's designed to teach how far to stay away from a keep to avoid triggering it?

In combination with point 7a, it feels like these are too many decision points to be made by a new player.

It's a fair level design, but not so suited for a tutorial level IMO. There's already enough being taught without giving the player the additional burden of trying to figure out if tucked-away areas are optional. So kind of like point 6, it feels some mechanics/ideas could be introduced in a later level.

8. Final point, and this might be more due to my inexperience with the game. A design reason to have different demons is that some are better in certain situations--a layer of strategy! But there are things working against this. Summoning a demon is basically random for a long time, until the player learns the language. (I haven't tried to learn the language in order to emulate a beginner better). This COULD be fine if
a. The player can learn what demons are better in which situations. (In RotA, this is hard, because it's possible to summon ANY demon from the very start of the game. It makes the learning curve really tough! Most RTS campaigns unlock unit types over multiple scenarios to make things less overwhelming.)
b. Even if the player doesn't have full control of the type of demons summoned, the player has some capability to nudge the game state to play to their demons' advantages.
c. It's not important in the early scenarios to have the most suitable demons, as long as you have a lot of them.

Most demons don't seem very different in effectiveness right now. The big bug's stun/air throw might make it the most desirable? Besides that, I haven't really cared whether I got a frog, or lightning, or twin...having enough demons was way more important than the types.

I do expect you have plans to make the demon types more impactful beyond the hate mechanic. But this ties back to the beginning point--simply making more levels, and seeing how all these things tie together. I'm eager to find out what more you have in store!

9. You may have noticed a recurring item in this feedback...all the game mechanics and units are being introduced in the tutorial level. Spreading them over multiple early levels will:

a. Reduce the chance of a beginner feeling overwhelmed.

b. Allow the player to digest and master the mechanics.

c. Give the player something to look forward to in future levels. This could also be enhanced by dialog. eg, The narrator mentions in the tutorial he only picked up a few demon words at first (so he could only summon a couple demon types). This would feed into the player's anticipation that there's more awesome stuff later.

Anyway, that was a mouthful. I hope I didn't come across as harsh/too negative, or telling you that I know better than you how to achieve your vision. I'm positive you have additional thoughts and plans, and I'll be around to watch them come to fruition!

great new update and starting points and some fun new demons!

Made a last minute bug fix (since analytics told me nobody had downloaded yet). New new version is now live

(+1)

To be honest, I was skeptical about how fun the game would be, but enjoyed watching you work on stream. Now, I've finally given the demo a chance! (v1.29)

Good: 

I wanted to play the tutorial level again to figure out what I could do differently. (And to find that darn secret! Haven't yet...)

You bill this in the stream as an "RTS", and I was skeptical just watching the stream about how much strategy it has. But there were enough potential decision points that felt meaningful to think, "Yeah, I see where this is going."

In any tutorial, you have the tension of what to explicitly tell the player and what they should figure out on their own. The food mechanic felt good here. At first, I thought you had to throw meat at the demons when they got hungry. But then discovered the demons will walk up to you to eat.

However, one thing feels strange. I can walk into a empty house, and see that there's no meat. But demons destroying that house will give meat for...reasons. This is counter-intuitive. Not sure if this needs to be explained explicitly.

To add:

List of keys and controls somewhere. Some other comment mentioned the tab key does something? I never figured out how to sprint, or even knew it was an option until reading other comments.

A pause button. Due to prior gaming experience, I figured Esc would display it, but it's not obvious for a new gamer.

Problems:

In the very starting house, I had a problem opening the door! It's not clear that you need to walk up closer to the door, then left-click. (I tried right-clicking without being close enough, left-clicking without being close enough, walking up to the door and pressing space bar, and walking up to the door and right-clicking before figuring it out.)  Maybe the dialog could include the word "left-click" somewhere.

Imagine someone walks out the door, summons their first demon...then makes a sharp right. It's a large area with almost no resources and is the opposite direction of the goal!  The demon(s) will quickly get hungry, and it's hard to recover.

The sleep mechanic. On stream, you'd mentioned you want the player to explore the map. But the sleep mechanic almost directly discourages exploration. It feels like I have  to stand still and do nothing for 30 seconds every 2 minutes. An idea is that only combat causes demons to become tired (or, simple walking around doesn't increase tiredness so quickly).

The combination of limited food and sleep is an additional damper on exploration. The tutorial encourages the algorithm "If the demons are not tired, beeline towards the next source of meat or portal. If the demons are tired, stay in place and don't do anything." It feels like there's not very much time to explore.

Both times I played, I "destroyed" the keep, but it was confusing to see the end game screen. The first time, demons were banging on the door, without obvious progress. I walked around the keep, got sort of close to the item, and then got the victory condition. The front wall of the keep was still standing.

The second time, I was not very close the keep, chasing around some archers. It went to the victory screen after they all died (I think?). I don't remember if I had collected the reward item in the keep or not. Then, some enemies spawned or respawned 30 seconds after being in the victory screen.

When I get time, will try to reproduce these.

A suggestion here: as the keep is "killed", pause all other action, and point the camera on the keep. As the keep crumbles, the player will know "Oh, I did it...and what is that special item in there?" Afterwards, switch back and let the player grab the "prize".

Wow such an epic comment! I talked with you on stream last night but wanted to post so others can see. 

I agree it doesn't make sense that houses drop meat, they need to for gameplay reasons tho so I'll have to think of a reason why at some point.

Controls are viewable / rebindable in the unity launch options but I plan to add them into the game itself so you don't need to close and relaunch just to change keybinds. Tab is a small friendly shove in case the demons are blocking you in a corner though and shift is the default sprint key. I do have a narrator tip that will tell you about the sprint button if you didn't ever press it in the first few minutes but that audio doesn't play if you tapped shift even once. I'll update it to only disable after at least a full second of sprinting and that should help. 

Which button should pause the game by default besides escape key? Keyboard letter i pauses as well but I can't think of anything more intuitive than esc. 

Thanks for the tip about the door. I'll make the clickable range wider so it's easier to figure out. 

Demons needing to nap is frustrating for a lot of people but I do need to keep some conflicting behavior from the demons because that's what makes huge armies unwieldy. Planning on giving the player something to do while standing still to address it, like scan sleeping demons to see their stats, or maybe sing them a lullaby to help them recover sleep faster or something. I recently changed them to only get sleepy while engaging in combat as well. 

It's hard to figure out when's the best time to end the level after the player destroys the keep. I think for the full game I'll add a pop-up that will let you escape to the campaign map if you choose to, or let you keep exploring until you make your way to a map exit. 

I honestly can't thank you enough for the feedback though, for reals. You are helping me make a better game and that means the world to me.

-user335

Hi so since you aren't streaming right now I don't know where to submit a bug but when i charge at a person using tab while they are getting attacked by a pig demon i get thrown across the map. Also another small thing is that the sword of the guy coming to exile me from my house clips through the door. Also if i am walking through a door while the house gets destroyed i get stuck into a wall for a coupe seconds. Thanks

Thanks for the bug report, were you able to reproduce getting thrown across the map? Sounds like the other ones are easier to fix.

Has potential but is basically unplayable as is.

1. No indicators of any sort (bars for demon conditions, sprint tiredness).

2. Items usually just get destroyed by the demons before you get them, and no indicator of what they do if you do get them (this mechanic seems intentional but is not user friendly).

3. Sprint arbitrarily runs out for no good reason, which is punishing to the user.

4. Food is a precious resource yet there really generally isn't enough of it and the carry limit is pointless. This is set up like a strategy/management game but you have no way of getting extra resources in some cases.

5. Summoning is very buggy, often the words will not appear.

6. Demons are way too uncontrollable. If some are tired you have to stop or they will die yet another demon might see something to chase and go really far away.

7. Sleeping is not a player friendly mechanic. You have to sit still for about a minute doing nothing hoping your other demons don't get angry for waiting. I recommend maybe having some different resources other than food that you can gather and balance instead of this.

8. Generally games should be designed where if the player makes good choices they are rewarded, and there is a way to make such good choices to win perfectly (or easily at least). As is, you can be easily frustrated by events that feel outside of your control. Recommend shifting the game format to challenging you to make choices about management rather than be in a constant lack of everything and have the demons freak out.

9. Suggest giving the player character a couple of abilities to influence outcomes. If you have demons trying to rest and one villager is running around would be better to just kill them with the player and let the demons rest.

10. Demons could level up or at least have their statuses restored by destroying things to remove the poverty mechanic.

Thanks for the excellent and very detailed suggestions!

We are considering a sprint meter and health bars for demons. This could be revealed or hidden according to player's choice.

I agree, the items being demolished by the houses is pretty unforgiving.

Stockpiling meat is a challenge until you get the carrying bags.

The demon words not appearing is a bug in the latest build - before, the words would disappear quickly after being selected. Now they persist until summoning is complete. Somehow this is causing frequent delays

I agree, the red trolls need a lower chasing/aggro radius, or a limit to the max distance they will wander from the player. They tend to chase across the whole map ruining any stealth advantage.

The sleep mechanic definitely needs to be improved & streamlined. We're planning to lower sleep time for smaller demons, and possibly create a new resource to replenish their sleep instantly. Like a cup of coffee.

We're considering more strategic abilities for the player - currently experimenting with a lasso. Also considering a knock down ability, by jumping onto villagers with springy boots.

We completely agree about a demon leveling system! This will be a challenging but exciting addition, likely in the works soon. Can make the demons grow gradually in size and possibly "evolve" at certain stages. 

Definitely an interesting concept. Had me thinking "is this what it's like to be a parent?" the whole time. Very solid demo. Great work!

A couple of the bigger things:

1. Definitely add more tutorial elements. Maybe pause the game and have a short tutorial overlay appear to show some main helpful tips. Then "click" to continue. You do a good job with this through gameplay. Figuring out what you do with meat when your first demon gets hungry, etc. The only thing I really wanted with this regard would be a short description of the items you pick up. A couple are pretty intuitive (like boots with springs on the bottom), but it would be nice to have something pop up saying "Boots of Jumping-Really-Forkin-High: Makes you jump higher". It would even be pretty cool to see the items in the pause menu. Maybe silhouettes of the possible items you could collect. Then the art fills in when you collect it. And you can hover to get a description. This might also make the player "intuitively" feel like there is permanence to the items they collect, for replayability.

2. It feels like there isn't much the player actually does. I was collecting meat and summoning demons. Then just standing around waiting for them to destroy stuff. Maybe include some subtle "control" for the player. Nothing to overpower the chaotic feeling of the game, because that's what makes the game awesome and hilarious. An example would be something like a "rally call". When one of your demons is sleepy, you get the option to hit a button and rally your demons for nap time. Maybe a whistle. Then all your demons recall to your location and go to sleep, whether they are exhausted or not. This would be a good way to get your demons set on the same clock. I found there were many times I had to wait for a demon to sleep while other demons were standing around like "let's go man, what's the holdup?". Still allows the game to feel chaotic, but gives the player slightly more control. But I wouldn't allow this mechanic at all times, otherwise it could be abused to control the hoard's movement. Only allow it when at least 1 demon is in the exhaustion state.

Great game though! Feel free to bounce ideas off me any time. I was helping a guy in our East Lansing office design a game before I moved out here to our headquarters.

That is some solid feedback! Thank you so much! Some kind of tooltip system for the items is on the list of important things to do but I hadn't thought about silhouettes informing the player that there are indeed things to collect. I'll try to make that happen soon.

The rally call idea is solid too but you're right it would need some pretty strong limitations / drawbacks to prevent it from being overused. I don't actually want to make the player feel "in control" very often haha 

Things the player can "do" are under careful consideration going forward. We're bouncing ideas back and forth and considering all options. Current plan is to de-emphasize direct combat, but give the player key strategic abilities as the game progresses (besides summoning & feeding demons).

Other possible resources: picking up coffee to feed sleepy demons (instant sleep restore). Also lowering the amount of time smaller demons need to sleep will improve the gameplay.

Likely additional commands, abilities and/or spells will be forthcoming..

Glad to have demo'd this today at PAX! Cant wait to get my hands on the full version. The interesting concept and design pulled me in right away!

Thanks for the comment! PAX was a blast !!!


Well User335 Here's my take on the game so far.

Finding and remembering where the portals are seems to be key before starting havoc and completing a mission. Because of this, what will stop the player from Looking around every nook and cranny for items? Perhaps a locked door where you have to find the key, or setting up guards restricting access protecting something valuable, or have guards chase you away if you get too close would be a good way to go.

Good dialogue. Can quickly exhaust it but hey this is a demo more stuff will be coming soon, and I'm looking forward to it. :)

This game has potential.

Thanks for the feedback!! I figure exploration doesn't need a nerf because on later levels you'll have an army accompanying you, demanding food and whatnot and kinda forcing you to keep moving in general. I'm planning on making the guards smarter / more disciplined in later levels too

The dialogue with characters was very cool. As a player, I didn't feel like I could do much. The goals are shown when hitting escape, or pause I think? I was confused at first what needed to happen. I was able to easily take down the castle. I assume you'll be adding multiple levels. I saw some problems with animations but I don't think that's a deal breaker. I was very surprised by the dialogue with characters. You had them say some awesome stuff and that really shocked me.

Thanks for the feedback!! Yeah, multiple levels is the plan, with increasing difficulty as you near the final castle. I'm planning on improving the tutorial bits before taking this demo to PAX West in a month too

Additional commands are keyboard f to toggle fps displayer, f1 to hide player and UI, f2 to slow time and f12 to take a screenshot, which will be saved in the game's data folder and titled RotAScreenshot with a time stamp

How do I enter the hellcarrot cheat code on 1.10? Are there any other cheat codes?

Just type 'hellcarrot' on the keyboard and you'll get a bunny each time. Other codes currently in the game are 'frozdy' to toggle flight mode on and off (will probably end up being an epic player item in the end), and you can press the cheat button (default is c) 30 times while standing in range of a portal to spawn one of each demon except the hell bunny but that will also turn off all the rest of the portals on the map so good luck!

1.06 has broken buttons on the defeat screen and sometimes you have to alt+f4 to close it. Will post a new version as soon as I can to fix it

(1 edit)

Updated to v1.02 and made many improvements to visual stuff, combat, animation, pathfinding, demon behavior, audio (bugfixes and cat sounds added) and more

Edit: and with a file size of 666MB, I feel pretty sure this version will not be replaced until after the Denver Indie Expo on Dec 15th

(-1)

Updated to v1.01 and fixed 5 large bugs plus several small ones