16th February 2015: UPDATED Graphics of Character creation video.
Today Flintlock Studios have announced that Lithic hits Steam Greenlight.
Lithic, coming from the Greek and literally meaning “of the nature of or relating to Stone” is a real time strategy game with distinct RPG elements set in a dark fantasy world and a rich Stone Age environment.
Build the origins of society in a universe where magic is abound, yet untamed and the environment is as much the enemy as the creatures that inhabit it are. You take control of a Creator Spirit, utilising a similar mechanic to the “Hand of God” control system.
The AI in the game will deal with the tribe’s basic needs such as sleep and hunger, allowing the player to focus on the more important game events.
To be successful players will be able to explore the concept of cultural and technological evolution from primitives incapable of speech through to advanced stone tool creation. The Aim of Lithic is to guide your tribe so that you may return home to the outer plane from whence you came.
- Expansive single player story campaign.
- Randomly generated Skirmish Mode, adding infinite replay value.
- Brand new dark fantasy world to explore and develop.
- Four base races to pick from, each with a unique playstyle and visual aesthetic. A fifth Race, the Ix-Aan can be unlocked during gameplay.
- Intelligent technology advancement, new technology is learned when related tools are used or relevant tasks are performed.
- Cultural development: Art, traditions and ritual all evolve depending on in-game occurrences.
- Procedural language system: Your tribe develops language as needed, evolving better communication and allowing for more complex tactics to be employed.
- Influence system: control your tribe through subtle compulsion or through direct possession.
Lithic includes some excellent features such as Permadeath (explained in the interview below) and the passing of knowledge which all comes from the basis that your tribe starts off illiterate. Flintlock Studios explained a bit further below on their Website
‘Each of the tribes within Lithic are illiterate, and so knowledge cannot be passed on through reading. Each character will have their own tech tree, which will show the skills they have learned or been passed on by other members of the tribe. Death within Lithic will be permanent and once a character dies, any knowledge they held is lost. Players will find themselves adopting different strategic techniques to be able to pass on knowledge within tribe members so as not to lose skills the tribe may have been reliant on.’
Flintlock Studios have also provided a vast array of blogs keeping their audience updated with their progress, including:-
- Responding to criticism
- New race reveal -The Hob-Aan (This one is a really good read, crazy little folks this lot)
- Food at Flintlock
- Story Telling: Who are the Creators
- Magic In Lithic
There are many more blogs and updates which can all be found here We highly recommend you check them out.
Before the exclusive Interview with Flintlock Studios , head over to their Greenlight page and help Lithic make it onto steam.
Exclusive Interview with Flintlock Studios
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Im very pleased to welcome Dev Jon, Dev Tom ,Beki and Mac of Flintlock Studios to My Games Lounge. (luckily Dev Jon & Dev Tom ended up in the gaming industry with those first names)
Could you please introduce yourselves and what you all do at Flintlock studios?
My name’s Jon, I’m the lead designer and co-founder at Flintlock Studios. I’m the man behind the story and lore of Lithic.
I’m Beki, I’m the Community Manager for Flintlock Studios. I run the marketing and admin side of thing.
I’m Tom, I’m the Lead Developer and Co-founder at Flintlock. My job is pretty much the technical implementation of what Jon comes up with, taking his crazy ideas and trying to make them work or telling him to go away and have a rethink.
I am Mac and I am a fish.
As always first question, where did your interest in the gaming industry begin?
Jon – Birth.
Tom – I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember but for the industry it was probably about 10-12 years ago when I first got involved in gaming online rather than just gaming at home.
Jon – Was probably about 10 years ago when I started playing MMOs and having a more active view on the development of video games rather than just playing them themselves.
Beki – When Tom told me I was.
Mac – 1983 when I was working for Nintendo and I designed the Mackerel Entertainment System. My interests waned after that after the flop of Net-Dodger Turbo Extreme.
When was Studio Flintlock founded?
Tom- We were officially established as a company last year but it was about 12 months before that, that we were discussing games and ideas.
Jon – Back then I was just a glorified writer and here I am sat nowadays with my head deep in code doing things I never thought I would be doing.
So between the 4 of you what was the first thing that was decided, was it the name of the game? The type of game or something else?
Mac – That we are an equal opportunities employer but we won’t employ Tuna.
Tom – We wanted to make something that was unique, something that wasn’t a reimagined previous idea. At that point we didn’t have a setting or a gameplay style, we just knew we wanted to make something that we hadn’t seen before and that we wanted to play.
We then posed the question what happens in a fantasy world before the normal high fantasy age. Out of that grew working in a prehistoric game world.
How long did it take you to come up with the background story of Lithic witch included the race known as the Ix (a hive mind of reptilian humanoids)?
Jon – Well we still are. The basic premise came together over a period of months whilst we were discussing the different races we wanted to include. We came up with several different concepts as to the overarching storyline of the game and we sat down and picked one. From there it evolved into something that is quite wide at the moment but it’s still growing – at a rapid rate I might add.
Did you have the entire basis of the story planned out before you began or have you added parts as you go along?
Mac: Read up. Noob.
I would like to point out to Mac here that the purpose of this question was to attain some brief information for our readers that may not have been keeping up to date with Lithics progress.
Tom – We are still working on the storyline of the actual campaign so whilst we have the background story laid out the single player campaign story is still in the process of coming together.
Jon – We’ve got a start and an end.
Tom – That’s about it.
As mentioned the aim of Lithic is to return the creator spirit to its rightful home, How do you achieve this goal.
Tom – You reach that goal by taking a small group of prehistoric characters and facing the challenges of the environment, finding enough food, and dealing with other tribes. The main opponent in the game is the environment and that’s really what’s different about Lithic. There are other tribes and dangerous animals but they aren’t inherently your opponent, only if you make them so.
In your press release the phrase “death means just that, Death” could you explain a little more about this and how it will impact in Lithic.
Tom – Well we mean permadeath really. If for whatever reason one of your characters in your tribe dies they can’t come back
Jon – There’s no respawn, no resurrection.
Tom – So we wanted to include permadeath in the game with it breaking the flow. So what permadeath means in Lithic is that if a character died all their skills and knowledge go with them because technology that’s been learned and skills that’s been learnt are all unique to each character rather than a single tech tree.
Jon – We decided to include the mechanic because it adds a layer of attachment for the player. The player will care about their characters a little bit more and hopefully take more of an interest in the individual characters.
What do you hope to achieve with Lithic?
Mac – World Domination.
Tom – From a personal point of view I want to make a game that I’m gonna enjoy playing and other people will enjoy too.
Jon – One of the main premises that Flintlock Studios was founded on was that we wanted to make games that we wanted to play. What we would really like to do with this game is play it and also be able to raise enough money to make our next game.
Tom – From a business side of it our aim is to sell enough copies at early access to finish the production of Lithic and to get started on our next title whatever that may be.
After you have spent so much time building and developing a game, can you sit down at home and enjoy playing the game after all the hard work or do you get it finished and move on?
Jon – As we said in in our previous answer we want to make a game that we want to play. I personally feel if you are making game and you don’t want to go home and play them yourself then you should probably rethink your project.
Tom – From my point of view I suspect I will play it. The bits of the game that we do day in, day out at work are just parts of a whole, so we are not really exposed to the game, we are exposed to the bits that make up the game until it is ready to play.
As pointed out in your blog here, you previously attempted making Spirit of Sail. What do you feel you learned from this?
Tom – obviously Beki has written a whole blog post on this – I think the main thing we learned, well 2 mains things, the importance of PR and marketing and that Devs can’t do that when trying to develop a game and that no matter how enthusiastic about your game if the project is going to require a budget that is too high, you can’t do it.
Jon- for me the main things are, that I didn’t have enough understanding of the actual technical side of video games development and for us to succeed as a studio. I needed to expand my knowledge on programming and animating. I knew that for our next project I was going to have to be doing that alongside writing and lore.
Beki – I learnt that Flintlock Studios needed a Beki.
Mac – I concur.
Now we just have a few extra questions with some fun ones thrown in for good measure.
If you do have any spare time, what games do you like to play? (honestly readers, Here the answers will be Bloodbowl by Dev Jon & Dev Tom, Beki will be the Sims J, Mac maybe finding Nemo) So Flintlock any other game apart from those?
Tom – I’d like to point our here that we only play bloodbowl at lunch at work.
Jon – it’s probably my least played game.
Jon – I still play a fair bit of WoW and I’m excited for their next expansion. Which may or may not have been released by the time you release this. I also play a lot of indie games quite a bit fan of 8 and 16 bit platformers and I’ve got a bit of an addiction to ios games as well the big ones at the moment being Deepest Dungeons of Doom and Shurican.
Tom – I tend to play strategy games, turn based or real time. Occasionally with a what foray into RPGs but I suppose that’s a reflection of my gaming preference because given the choice I’d rather be playing a table top strategy with miniatures or a pen and paper role playing game.
Jon – you’re so hipster oldschool it hurts.
Beki – Aside from the Sims, recently I’ve really enjoyed playing Starbound although I’m waiting for their next stable update to come through. I also have recently got a tablet so that’s opened up a new world of gaming!
As mentioned above The Devs like a bit of Bloodbowl as can be read in the Blog here. With that in mind from the character select options of Lithic, would they make a good BB team, Im Thinking Neolithic rage maybe as a skill?
Tom – they’re all so primitive they would probably try and eat the ball.
Jon –I imagine the Ix would make a horrifying team and I can’t imagine anyone ever getting the ball from an Ur.
Beki – Jon’s just had an awesome idea for a silly blog.
Everyone is making re-makes or re-mastering games at the moment, what game would you love to see make a re-mastered comeback? Why?
Tom – I’m not a massive fan of remaking old games because the fact that the technology is now there to do that means that they could be made better rather than remade. I just think that the technology is there to take an old game as a seed of an idea and expand on it using the processing power of the modern computer. I think one idea that is interesting is playing the bad guy i.e. Dungeon Keeper, but if it was down to me I would expand it out to much more than just building a dungeon and turn it into something more like a reversal of a heroic fantasy.
Jon – It’s a tough question, there’s a lot of classics I’d like to see. If there was one game, it would be the old megadrive game Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday. Because having tried revisiting it recently, the graphics do burn the eyes and the incredibly slow response times on input make it too difficult to enjoy.
Mac – I want to see Net Dodger Turbo Extreme remade.
If you could be any video character and live in their world , who would you be & why?
Jon – Pacman.
Tom can’t decide, thinks he may want to be the dragornborn but Skyrim is cold.
Jon – Thrall form WoW – he’s practically Jesus.
Tom – I want to be the overlord from dungeon keeper, although I would be very low polygon
Beki – Yuna from Final Fantasy. I just want a Chocobo. Or be part of the Pokemon Universe. That would be cool.
Mac- A shark with a laserbeam on my head.
Thank you to Flintlock Studios for talking to My Games Lounge.
We here at My Games Lounge have followed Lithic throughout its development. The high level of attention to detail and the development blogs provide great insight into their game making process and the dynamics of the studio.
Lithic truly is an interesting concept which we feel for a God Game has great potential and goes even 1 step further back than some of its predecessors.
Gamers, if you’re an RTS fan then Lithic is one to watch, we will of course bring you any further updates on My Games lounge.
Thanks for reading.
Specification and Languages
Minimum System Requirements (early estimate)
- DX9 compatible GPU (1GB VRAM)
- 4GB RAM
- Windows XP
- Dual Core CPU (2.3+Ghz)
Recommended System Requirements (early estimate)
- Nvidia 6 series (2MB VRAM) or equivalent
- 8GB RAM
- Win 7/8
- Quad core CPU (2.3+Ghz)
For Early Access Lithic will only be available in English. We intend to localise the final version in as many languages as there is a demand for.
For Early Access Lithic will be available on PC only. Our plan for the final game is to port it to both Mac and Linux if the minimum game specifications will allow.
Studio and Timeline
Lithic is in active development by Flintlock Studios. An Early Access release is planned for Quarter 1 2015 with aims for a full release in 2016. Flintlock Studios aims to make games that are as much about the journey as they are about winning, bringing back the feeling of achievement that was present in a lot of retro games but with the technology available to us today.