In this dev log, I’d like to discuss the story behind how Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch came to be.
(Please note, this post will contain some spoilers for the first game.)
Fans of Lost Eidolons may recall a mission about halfway through the game. Eden and his friends are nearing the end of their fight against the Empire, and attack the capital city, Leroyaure. But when they arrive, they’re attacked by a strange undead knight, Gustave, under the command of the Prime Minister, Maurin – who later reveals to Eden that the Emperor is deathly ill, and secretly searching for a way to achieve immortality. But we don’t really come back to that in the first game, and there’s a reason why.
Before we began development of the first game, we put together a pretty ambitious history of the entire continent where the story takes place. This included everything from ancient lore, to what’s happening around the time of the game, to what might happen in the future, with lots of little plot-hooks for other games to explore.
One of those stories was about the Emperor’s true fate, and a secret research facility on an island off the coast.
<Gustave from Lost Eidolons, Chapter 15>
While development on Lost Eidolons was going on, we actually had another project set in the same world. Internally, we called it Project UR: a crafting/survival game set on a zombie-infested island, which would pick up where some of these threads in Lost Eidolons left off.
Project UR was ultimately canceled to focus our resources on the main game, but the concept for the setting stuck around, as did a lot of big questions about the world that we knew we wanted to explore in some way. Questions like: What happened to the Emperor? What’s going on with all the zombie stuff? And even more broadly, what exactly are the Eidolons, and how are they shaping the fate of this world?
<Screenshot from the canceled Project UR>
Eventually, these ideas and questions formed into a concept for a new game, which became Veil of the Witch. It’s a dark fantasy story about a new customizable protagonist, Ashe, who journeys to Anareios and becomes caught up in a conspiracy surrounding the remnants of the empire, the Emperor’s search for immortality, and the secrets of the Eidolons (which we get into a bit more directly this time around).
<Male version of Ashe surrounded by zombies>
Like the first game, Veil of the Witch is a strategy RPG, but with even more focus on combat and gameplay. Hades and Slay the Spire were among our inspirations as we outlined the project. Slay the Spire because a few of us played it to hear Clark Aboud’s music, and fell in love with the looping structure and deckbuilding elements. And Hades because we loved the addictive experience of a hack-and-slash roguelite whose story is designed to unfold over time.
Inspired by these games, the core concept of Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch solidified into a strategy RPG with extremely fast battles, streamlined skilltree-style progression, and various elements borrowed from the roguelite/roguelike genre. (I want to be careful throwing that word around too much, as people tend to have a lot of different ideas and expectations when it comes to that genre. But we can get into details about that another time.)
<Same Fireball, just faster>
As we got deeper into planning the game, a lot of other ideas have crept in – some from things we wanted to include in Lost Eidolons, others from different projects we’ve had ideas for. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’re very excited about how the game is shaping up.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek behind the scenes! We’ll be back in couple of weeks to talk a little more about the story and the world.
See you soon,
Jin Sang Kim, Creative Director