Thea And The Return Of The Giant
Last time around, I reviewed Thea: the Awakening from Muha. I felt it was only right then to return with an update about the free downloadable content (DLC) that Muha has added for everyone. This addition has a few impacts upon the game, and even allows players to adjust how difficult the game is, or to create a wider range of narrative, via their own custom events.
I have dealt with a large number of “content creators” that did not feel very satisfying. So I was naturally a little wary when I decided to deal with Muha’s offering. Often you do a lot of work but have tools which at best leave your own content feeling half baked. Even worse, the content you create is usually some separate map, or otherwise not related to the base game.
None of that is true of Muha’s content creation system. Modules tie directly into the game world without requiring anything else. Adding images is as easy as putting them in the folder with the correct file type. Everything is smooth and connects logically. Muha has an online assistance document which explains almost everything quite nicely. Best of all, the content creator will even check your work for problems and give you a text document output of anything wrong! Starting off, you will name your module. You can have as many modules as you like, with events in each. The only rule is that a game started with a module must retain that module to avoid crashes.
Once you have a module, you need to add events. You can rename the events and module using the quill icon, much like you can with characters and items in the game itself. The name of each event is the name displayed in the quest log if it does not complete in a single instance. Thus those names are very important, but ones that complete within a single portion of a turn are only a private reference.
When dealing with the event system that Muha studios used for Thea, one thing important to note is that every action is basically a branching choice. In some way it hearkens to a “choose your own adventure” setup, except that the results are generally going to be something you could reasonably predict. If you try to start a challenge, for example, you can expect to see a challenge. This is largely in the hands of the creator in this system, as your description should indicate what is going to happen. When looking at my created event in the picture below, you can see a number of choices in the boxes, along with some buttons. The add new output button allows you to type more text choices, leading to more branching options for the player.
Creating an event with multiple branches is simple, and each event or phase of an event can be set with prerequisites and a maximum number of visible options using the system. As you can see, my branching event had around 16 different phases, connected together through the choices of the player. One branch spawns a group of enemies to chase down in the world, and, in fact, links to a whole second event (Kill those Goblins in the event list image.) That event has a solid ten phases, meaning all in all I had about 26 different little phases. That includes some outputs linking to the same end result. However, for all that, it only took just over an hour total of my time to muddle through, learning the process and making a working event of that complexity.
The Logic Editor lets you attach requirements to any phase of an event, as well as additional rewards not tied to event completion.The Event Entry portion of the Logic Editor screen is a prerequisite system. Whatever is put in must be true, or the event or phase of the event will not show up. Thus you can have, for example, skill based options only show up if a minimum skill level is met. I put together an example where in the picture above I check to see if the village has food. In the top box of the picture above I typed village, thus naming that check. Below, I verify that the quantity of food at the village is at least 25. Where it says ‘List 1’ there is a dropdown menu of named lists. All named lists can be forwarded using the second portion of the Logic Editor to the following segment of the event, and chained all the way through (convenient for not remaking the list in each phase of the event.)
This section deals with the rewards. In the image I was very silly and said that the village has food so they get a ton of children. That many children is something extremely overpowered in Thea. I deleted this event prior to running a new game, but you can basically create events that completely alter the flow of the game. I wanted to show that here. You can give boons, or devastate the player with banes here. The tool allows you to do things that completely change the balance of the game, although wise use probably means restraining your crazier impulses!
That image above is how my big event starts in game. I used one of the default game images, and offered the player a few options for how to proceed. You can see that the options vary in difficulty a little, with the last option of ignoring the event set to zero difficulty. I set the event to only show if the player has progressed to a point where similar difficulty events could spawn, so it should be about as tough as expected. Each option branches off in different directions, offering different rewards. However, most of them return to the same end event rewards for equal amounts of experience and research, the two biggest resources in the game.
Had I wanted to, I could have used other art resources so long as they were the appropriate file type. In fact, doing so is very easy. You simply move or copy the file into the event images folder wherever the game is on your computer. The result is, as you saw, I can use the Gaiscioch logo as part of an event, or whatever else I wanted.
Using the image is as simple as clicking the image box and selecting it at that point.
The DLC does not just include the editor though. Muha studios added some events to the game, including the terrifying giants! These new opponents show up after a larger number of turns have passed in game, and they are strong enough to give even the most experienced groups pause. Dragons were already in the game, but even more of those are now present. The unique Slavic mythology viewpoint allowed Muha to add some interesting new creatures. And while the new dragon events are just as dangerous as the old ones, the giants are even more deadly. Engage them at your own risk!
My thanks to Muha for an entertaining game and a wonderful content creator! I can firmly recommend this game to those looking for something a little different than the standard turn based 4x game, and the DLC just adds to the experience. For the many hours of fun, behind and ahead, thanks to everyone at Muha studios!
About the Author
Robert joined Gaiscioch during the Rift chapter, and decided to stick around because the people are awesome! He has a long history of playing games, mostly RPG or Strategy, and has played MMOs since they were born of MUDs.
Aside from his gaming, he also enjoys reading and cooking. Robert has also been previously published as a contributor with Rift Junkies for several articles during the 'Storm Legion' expansion. He does not always use the moniker 'Jairone' but it is a frequent choice in honor of one of his Grandfathers, as it is based on his middle name of Jerome.