[GDC 2015] Hands-on with Inkle’s upcoming Sorcery! 3 game for Android

Written by AndrewH

Game development studio Inkle has been place in charge of Steve Jackson’s gamebook series Sorcery!, having already published two of them onto Google Play. We’d an opportunity to meet up with Inkle to speak about the Sorcery! franchise and, more to the point, get some hands-on time using the next installment heading our way soon, Sorcery! 3.

At GDC chairs are a rare commodity that are hard to find, especially on the showroom floor. So after we met up with Inkle in the IGF showcase we found a pleasant bit of flooring to pull up as our own, sat down and began talking about Sorcery! and the next one that could be heading our way. Should you thought the previous two games were good, Sorcery! 3 takes the franchise to a different level.

The first major change that one notices with Sorcery! 3 is the world map which keeps the initial art style it’s always had, but is now rendered in 3D. This allows players to focus and out in addition to rotate the map 360 degrees. It appears quite good to be totally honest. The map plays a significant role in Sorcery! 3, not just since you need to use it to navigate to places, but also since you need it to navigate time. Actually the sport essentially has two world maps now, one out of the present time period and one that is representative of quite a long time in the past.

Scattered across the main map in current day are light towers. Moving your characters to one of these towers and turning it on enables you to shine the light on the specific part of the present day map. What this light does is warp that area of the map in to the distant past. Players may then travel to that area on the map while the light is shining onto it and explore it as being it was previously in the past. So, for example, if a village is abandoned and decayed in present day, shining the light onto it will warp that village back in its history to when it was prosperous and populated. As you can imagine, this means there is a lot of intertwined gameplay and storyline between the past and present in Sorcery! 3.

An interesting side-effect of the time mechanic is when the rewind function works. In the past installments players could rewind amount of time in a particular portion of the game for reasons uknown, whether that be to repair a poor choice they provided or just to determine a different outcome. Instead the rewind functionality has become a part of the map having a scroll bar style feature at the end from it. As a side-effect of the, there is now a day and night cycle in Sorcery! 3.

The other big alternation in Sorcery!? is always that it is now virtually an open world game. No longer do you have to remain on the road you’ve chosen. You’re free to wander the world as you see fit, finding secrets out, doing side quests and general exploring outside the main storyline. Of course you can always just stick to the main story if you so choose. There are several other really nice changes coming with Sorcery! 3 but we do not want to spoil all of it.

Sorcery! 3 has some big changes to it, making it a significantly deeper game, much more so compared to franchise already is. If you’re eager to get your hands on the following installment, you will not need to wait too much time. At this time Sorcery! 3 is slated for release this Spring. When conversing to our friends at Inkle, they mentioned a target time period of April 2015 but that is if everything goes well with the finishing touches. Don’t wander too much off as we is going to be doing a live preview of the game soon on our TwitchTV channel.

Developer Website: Inkle