The Dark Unknown: Patreon; Art Book Progress; NPC Schedules; Day/Night Cycle

There have been a few updates to The Dark Unknown’s Facebook page recently, which contain some big news for those of you who’ve been following the game’s development.

The pace of that development has been a bit on the slow side lately, which Goldenflame explains in this post from September 12th:

OK! I’ve decided to rearrange the order I was originally planning for these and start with the personal one, rather than sticking it in the middle.

For starters, yes, I’m definitely behind where I wanted to be at this point in the year. The other day, I was pointed at this: and it did make me feel a little better- I’m not the only one who’s not feeling that productive this year, and the last two years being complete dumpster fires has definitely not helped. That said, it still sucks, and I’m behind, my apologies.

Now, the personal bit- in 2 weeks, I am going to be undergoing a relatively minor surgery, but surgery nonetheless. I’ll be housebound for around 3 weeks. In an ideal world, I’ll be able to use that time to be extra productive! That’s what I’m hoping for. But, on the other hand, I might just play through Persona 5 while on painkillers. We’ll see. It could put me further behind.

I’m not even going to try to speculate on a finish date or month, until probably after the holidays.

However, on September 14th, he had a rather bigger announcement to make (not that the announcement of surgery isn’t a big deal, but what follows here will have a hopefully very significant impact on the development of The Dark Unknown):

Here we are: Wednesday of Announcement week, one of the two major announcements.

Tapestry of Ages Games is now on Patreon!

See for the full announcement, and of course the Patreon itself can be found at .

Finally, and most recently, Goldenflame had two smallish announcements to make:

One – The first draft of the Art of The Dark Unknown book is half done! I’ve completed the introduction and Bestiary sections, and hopefully the other half will go more quickly now that I know what I’m doing. The art book has definitely been more work than anticipated, surprise surprise, how often have you heard that about kickstarter rewards? But it will be worth it once it’s done. I’m pushing on getting it done sooner because it is a kickstarter reward and I’d like to be able to fulfill it sooner even if it delays the game itself by a bit.

Two- this is just an idea I’m floating and thinking about, but I’ve had a few ideas for possible DLC! These would be entirely optional and quite cheap, but it could be a way to make a little money on this project since I’m committed to leaving the actual game be free. Ideas include two mini-story arcs for after you win the base game, and I’m batting around the idea of making basically a crafting mod. It’s the kind of thing that yeah, would be cool to have be in the base game but I really do need to be keeping it from bloating too much. There’s a lot of interactivity already, but at the moment it isn’t quite that much.

Granted, we haven’t seen a release of The Dark Unknown yet, and likely shall not see one for a while yet. Still, if there is to be extra content added to the game, Goldenflame will need to start laying the foundations for it now.

The announcement from last Friday, however, is the biggest — and the most exciting. In fact, it’s so significant, Goldenflame felt it prudent to put only a short summary up on Facebook; the full update was published on the Tapestry of Ages Games website:

Friends, Ellusians, Avatars, it is my privilege to be able to announce that The Dark Unknown will contain NPC Schedules and a Day/Night Cycle!

I mentioned when I changed the game’s frame that I had moved the name of where you are to the bottom of the view, and then I was suspiciously silent about what I was using the top for now, and there was a sudden complete lack of screenshots or even many updates of what I was working on. So here is a new screenshot:

I was obviously inspired by Ultima V’s view of the sky, but unlike U5 my moons move in the sky to match their phases. (In U5, the moons were always in the same positions relative to the sun and each other, but their phases changed to dictate the moongates.) Interestingly, at the moment the moon phases have no bearing on the game whatsoever, but I included them anyway.

There is now time- grandfather clocks may be found here and there on civilized maps, and when looked at will tell the current time. Another change that I believe I have previously mentioned: time now only moves 5 times faster on the world map than the town maps. This change was necessary once I added day and night. Additionally, I have moved the command to change your weapons/armor to (R)eady- what used to be Wield is not going to be (W)ait, which is necessary once NPCs have schedules. One of the downsides to schedules is player frustration of needing to talk to Bob and Bob is asleep.

(Also, I removed the Awaken spell- I couldn’t cope with having to write what happens to every single NPC if you wake them up.)

The screenshot at the top of this article gives us a look at the new moon phase window that has been added to The Dark Unknown’s interface.

So…exciting news — and then some! — from Goldenflame Dragon about his long-in-development project. Of course, it’ll be a while before we see these features even in the online demo of the game that exists at present…but, as we wait for the day when we can all play the 1.0 version of The Dark Unknown, please do consider backing the project on Patreon.