In Until the end you are the intruder, not a hero trying to save the day. You cannot level up, change class, or find a magic sword. Survival is you. How you get home, the opportunities you create and the type of challenges you face, it all depends on your choices. These choices (over a hundred of them) impact the items you get, the supplies you collect, who you fight against, and ultimately which house you return to.
When AT launched in December, you could go through many encounters without bloodshed. The new ‘Passive Run’ update, which is now available, allows you to return home without fighting or killing anything. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s also not an options setting that lets you turn off fights. Rather, it’s a different kind of challenge, defined by the decisions you make at each step of the process.
Observation, not reflexes
To fight is to read and react. Coming home without a fight is a matter of patience and observation.
During a meeting, you enter a large room, four jars are seated behind a stone table covered with a white cloth. Three of the jars are filled with the supplies you gathered along the way: bones, leather, and sticks. One of the jars is empty. Reaching the center of the room, a creature hits its staff on the ground and gestures towards the cloth-covered table. Walk forward, and a second creature roars after you and returns to the same table.
Creatures want to trade supplies, they don’t know who you are, but they’re traders, maybe you have something they want. You can blindly trade bones for sticks, sticks for leather, etc. Or, you can spot the empty pot, notice the creatures are missing some herbs, and offer them some. It earns you a special item, it’s something sacred to them, but they see it as a fair trade for herbal remedies.
By reading the description of the item, you will learn who the creatures are and what they are used for. It fills a certain tradition and gives you a clue on how to be successful in future dating without a fight. Every encounter in AT allows that kind of flexibility. Fight if you want, but there are always alternatives.
Gameplay rather than settings
AT has only one parameter related to difficulty, combat speed. You can adjust it to 100%, 75% or 50%. It slows down the fight for you and your opponents. It doesn’t make the fight easier, you still have to read and react, but it does give you more time for both – which reduces the experience of timing and reflexes.
Beyond combat speed, the challenge is designed into the gameplay. The gestures creatures make, the encounter setup, the environments near and next to the creatures, are all there to help you spot opportunities to avoid combat. We want players to control the experience, from the experience, rather than through a settings menu.
When designing meetings for AT, we imagined walking in a forest and meeting a mother bear and her cubs. What would we do? How would the bear react? How would we communicate?
Every creature in Until the end is territorial, and many are honor-driven, but none of them are bad. Most have never seen a human before. If you enter their home with your sword drawn, ready to fight, you say “I am a threat!”
Posture and actions are important AT. If you trade with creatures, they will ask you to put your sword away. If you run away while an exchange is in progress, they will see it as disrespectful and attack. If you fall into their den while they are eating, they will think you are there to steal their food. You walk into their life out of the blue, the way you behave determines their reaction.
For us, games are all about immersing yourself in a world and feeling the kinds of things the main character feels. In Until the end, that means less advice and less getting started, but it’s also what we believe makes games unique: the ability to experience things firsthand.
Until the end
Great sugar games
Unto The End is a hand-crafted cinematic platformer on a desperate journey home. Master combat through improvisation and observation in intense swordfights. Identify opportunities to use artifacts and trade supplies An adventure told through your actions, how will you get home? Features: Read-React Combat: One-of-a-kind, skill-driven and proficient combat system designed and built from the ground up specifically for 2D. Fight intelligently and strike tactically with your sword and ranged weapons in fierce one-on-one and group battles. Focused on Player Skills: A challenging single player experience with minimal grip. All of the Father’s abilities are available from the start, and mastery of these skills, along with careful observation of your surroundings, are key to survival and success Ruthless Terrain: From cavernous underground ruins to challenging mountain ridges, overcome environmental challenges and death traps as you travel through a world of meticulously designed landscapes