The Shadow over Blackwood is a dark and stealthy multiplayer action-RPG set in a vampire theme. This game is a bit like a multiplayer RTS-variant of the game THIEF, featuring typical RPG elements, random events, a crafting system and multiple spells and items. It actually is my latest game project which I think stands out due to its novel and original game concept.
A dark scourge has come over the small town of Blackwood. Vampires lurk in the shadows and wait for proper opportunities to strike uncautious victims and suck their blood in order to get more powerful and fulfill a dark mission, instructed by a mysterious voice from the shadows. As a consequence, multiple guards (NPC’s) are patrolling and protecting the city. Moreover, a pack of reckless soldiers of fortune, so called vampire hunters (players), has arrived in the town to hunt down and kill the vampires for gold.
As a natural consequence of being humans, the vampire hunters do not have any supernatural powers and need to rely on a vast array of weapons and equipment. In contrast, the vampires are able to cast various magical spells and can transform into different animal forms, like rat, wolf and bat, providing particular advantages. For example, in rat form, vampires can easily hide in bushes and scout the area, the wolf is fast and a decent fighter as well, while the bat is the ultimate choice for overcoming obstacles and quick escapes. Since vampires will not stand a chance in an open fight against the guards and hunters (at least not on lower levels), they need to rely on backstabbing and stealth tactics, while the hunters need to offensively track down and kill the vampires. The vampire hunters always act as a team in coop mode. The vampires, however, being guided by a mysterious voice from the shadows, are rivals by default – they may kill each other, or choose to ally with other vampires.
Guards, villagers and other NPCs are powered by a state-based AI that is very similiar to such AI’s you might know from games like THIEF. There are many randomized aspects and events, making each game a different experience. For instance, stationary guards might be on different positions each game, patrolling routes can be unpredictable, chances are that a guard stops and looks around, etc. The game also features a realistic field-of-view system so that it is possible to backstab enemies without being seen. In addition, vampire have access to a complex crafting system allowing them to create different powerful magical potions.
Player controlled hunters are optional so that the game can also be played vampires vs. AI/NPCs only.