After eighteen months of hard work, determination and overcoming obstacles, Malevolence the Sword of Ahkranox is finally receiving the magic update. The game’s sole developer, Alex Norton, released the update on Friday, and already has community-reported bugs fixed with more on the way.
What is Malevolence the Sword of Ahkranox?
Malevolence is an infinite roguelike RPG that is currently on Steam Early Access. Players take on the role of the Guardian of Ahkranox. The guardian is a being that seeks to destroy evil and dark forces that plague the world of Ahkranox.
It is the first ever game to contain a literal infinite world. On your journeys, you will come across a variety of biomes, dungeons, towns and more. The game does not have a class system, allowing you to create any character type you wish. This feature also allows players to change their character as they wish.
The game also has a number of online functionalities, such as claiming locations, dimension stones, leaderboard, and permadeath characters leaving remains upon dying. There are plans for further online features as the games development progresses.
What does the update bring?
The update completely revamps the magic system of the game. Previously, players gained spells by buying or finding spell books. They could then learn the spells assuming they were the required level. Now magic consists of spell gems and spell discs.
These allow the player to craft their own spells using the gems. Different gems have different effects. Some are offensive, such as fire, ice, and lightning. Others are defensive, like shield and healing. The discs come in three different forms — three slots, five slots and seven slots. The more slots a disc has the more spells you can cast in a row. For example, a seven-slot disc could cast, heal, fireball and poison. Just like all other aspects of the game, the gems are procedurally generated.
Included in the update are boss monsters in dungeons who too can use magic. They are far tougher than their ordinary counterparts and protect the master treasure chest at the bottom of the dungeon (pictured above).
A new online functionality was also included, where permadeath characters leaves a corpse upon dying. If other permadeath characters come across the corpse on their travels they can loot its possessions.
Why did it take eighteen months?
While developing the new system, Norton ran into a few complications that majorly slowed down his progress. As stated in our interview, Norton broke the extent of what a DirectX9 can hold within the EXE. Reaching the extent means he could not add any further code to the game, prohibiting him from adding content.
Due to this, he had to either release the game as it was at that point or find a way around it. After several months, Norton had created his own scripting language that allowed him to continue development.
This update is 230% bigger than all the previous updates the game has received. That enormous size, the obstacles Norton faced, and being the sole developer led to eighteen months of grueling work.
What is next?
At present Norton is working on fixing any issues reported by the voluntary testing team and the community. Once all problems are fixed he is getting to work on the next major update — enchantments. This update is going to allow players to enchant their weapons and armor with a variety of different effects.
Exactly how this system will work is currently unknown. Norton will release details on it as development and testing progress. The road to a full release has been anything but straight for Malevolence. Nevertheless, as development progresses, it is coming together nicely.