Fantastic news in the RPG shooter community today with Wyrmbyte launching their Fig campaign for much anticipated title, Nightmarchers! Fig is the newest crowdfunding platform whose first client was Kingdoms & Castles and since has delivered games like Pillars of Eternity II. To celebrate we took a hands on look at Nightmarchers and also caught up with Wyrmbyte founder and president, Scott Brown.
Nightmarchers is an open world Hawaiian shooter with authentic locations and story jam packed with so much to engage with including the following:
- Deep, branching, narrative, based on player choice and consequence
- Over fifty skills
- Learn fantastic abilities from the gods of Hawaii
- Fully customizable weapons system
- Dynamic game play that adjusts to your level and game decision
- Over fifty outposts to conquer
Nightmarchers is set on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu paying tribute to traditional folklore and culture. Night marchers or Hukai’po are ancient Hawaiian warrior spirits that come forth from their burial sites to honor Hawaiian Akuna (gods) Kane, Ku, Lono or on the nights of Kanaloa.
They march in the darkness from sunset to dawn in procession honoring chiefs, chieftess or kings often joined by the Akuna. To gaze upon them or any forbidden parts of a sacred leaders body they march for, results in death. Always ready for battle, carrying spears or clubs, with torchesblazing, loud war drums beating, as conch shells blow across the air to let you know they are coming. You best get out of the way or stay hidden.
THE WYRMBYTE VISION
This is the setting awaiting you in Nightmarchers and one of the first things you get to know about Scott Brown and his team is how passionate they are to support a country and its culture as honorably as possible. This mission began when one of Brown’s favorite genre of game - post apocalyptic - became the focus for Wyrmbyte encouraged by the desire to develop one a paradise they all love. Mahalo, Hawaii.
OAHU - THE WORLD OF NIGHTMARCHERS
You have been chosen by the Akuna as your character Kai (which means ocean) to restore order after a cataclysmic event known as the great thunder which has destroyed much of Oahu. Since, ancient Akuna Kamapua’a represented by the pig, who existed before the family of Akuna you will meet in Nightmarchers has returned and taken over the island with his raiders.
As you first step into Nightmarchers those who appreciate post-apocalyptic games, like myself; will immediately look for familiar things - resources, weapons, shelter, is anything immediately harming you? It’s all there but what becomes apparent almost as quickly is how easy it is to not only forget you are playing a post apocalyptic game but that it isn’t being made by a triple A studio - the details are that exceptional.
So it was no surprise to me when Scott Brown shared that the scale of Oahu is exact due to developing the map, with the use of NASA maps. We do not adventure across the whole island but what's exciting is that the overgrown jungles and beautiful post-apocalyptic ruins available to explore are true to where they are realistically which I confidently predict is going to be even more exciting for anyone who resides or has been to Oahu, Honolulu or any part of Hawaii. Locals and honeymooners unite to restore Oahu!
MANA - THE POWER WITHIN
Mana. Everyone has it. Mana is not a term invented in games.
In Polynesian cultures mana is the equivalent to what is also known in Chinese culture as “chi” - life force. They are one and the same garnered, maintained and honored similarly according to each culture. Mana in Polynesian cultures is also knowing who you are, where you come from and your connection to the earth and each other.
Mana is in the words we use and everything we do.
As Kai, your mission to restore Oahu will be greatly aided by ensuring your mana is always at maximum as you become a demigod yourself receiving abilities along the way from the Akuna themselves, as well as the ability to transform into a niuhi (shark) or ‘io (Hawaiian hawk.)
COMBAT AND MOVEMENT
Even in these early stages combat in Nightmarchers is intelligent and progressive, making it exciting game play. The linear compass at the top of the screen guides the way along with combat displays in the top centre of the screen. Bottom left is an intuitive resources compass that switches to weapons when in combat and yes there are so many weapon choices!
Meeting my first Akuna, “Ku” was pure epicness I woohooed loudly in my lounge at my computer! Like any game with heavy stealth mechanics I hold my breath every time so might need Alexa or a post it note to remind me to breathe when I play especially as a nightmarcher passes me because they are true to legend in game and you will die if look at them. I can’t wait until you see how the UI lets you know how you are doing when this happens!
CONSEQUENCES AND CHOICES
There is so much in this game to grab the imagination, as well as the attention of not only RPG players but those who enjoy immersive combat, extensive skill trees and adventuring with consequences.
Factions you choose also give skills specific to them. The elements come into play with weapons and magic in the form of fire, lightning, mana and ice. If that isn’t enough, Akuna shrines you also discover come with abilities.
Yes there is crafting, we didn’t dive too deeply into this so I look forward to exploring the crafting over the coming months as well as keeping abreast of Nightmarchers development via Brightlocker, a platform similar to Patreon made especially for games which brings me to another observation spending such a short time with Scott Brown. Wyrmbyte are all about supporting those who support Indie development.
We talked about so many things as Nightmarchers appealed to my own bloodlines and love of cultures that will keep you here for days if I write it all but I won’t so lets round these insights off.
Yes, Nightmarchers will eventually be on Steam. Yes, suggestions are being taken for possible merchandise. Yes, Wyrmbyte will be making consistent updates supporting longevity and well rounded game experience and yes anything is possible right now if you want to support this game and get on the ground of its development to be a part of these decisions.
However something like this needs to be said where it is due.
In these Polynesian eyes Wymbryte have already succeeded with sincerest acts of strong mana for going to the levels they have to bring the heartbeat of a Pacific Island nation to life not only via the story lines, voice acting and knowledge behind the Akuna but also in the environment, via the factions and everything represented as man made. In all of this we learn about Hawaiian culture and representing this level of authenticity in Nightmarchers is invaluable for indigenous around the world. Wishing Wyrmbyte every success for these reasons alone tenfold PLUS many more times over as a gamer.