Astral Ascent

Created by Hibernian Workshop

Astral Ascent, a 2D platformer rogue-lite on PC and consoles with four worlds to escape, if you can beat the Zodiacs, 12 mighty bosses!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

More than 12 Zodiacs, new Room types and much more! ✨
about 1 year ago – Thu, Nov 25, 2021 at 11:59:48 PM

We did it! We have added a new world to Astral Ascent - The Red Barrens.

It includes 2 new Zodiacs (Leo and Sagittarius) who are even more dangerous than the Fragmented Plains Zodiacs (Taurus, Virgo & Capricorn), 8 new enemies, new interactible elements, new spells and much more (as you will discover below)!

However, we want to take a bit more time to polish all this new content before giving you access for the Playtests, we think it's not very relevant to give you access and get feedbacks we would already be aware of, therefore we will probably release it during second part of December.


More than 12 Zodiacs - The Star Guardians

You might remember the Star Guardians stretch goal from our Kickstarter Campaign, it was supposed to be an extra room shared for each worlds with stronger enemies to fight there. We kept the concept but had the idea of using more Constellations as enemies and they are actually much more than enemies as we consider them as mini-bosses, we have already added 2 to the game: Pegasus and Lupus!

Star Guardians Room

Those bosses are less powerful than the 12 main Zodiacs but will still be a hard challenge to overcome and you should not underestimate them. They can only be met by going through the new Star Guardians room.

Pegasus

Those constellations bosses will give you great rewards so you may not want to miss fighting them. 

Also, we will add more with time to get at least 4 for final release to be able to find one different randomly in each world. Let us know if there is Constellations you particularly like and would like to see there.


Yalee kingdom and Andromeda's bar

In addition to the Star Guardians room, we added two new unique rooms in the game with the purpose of giving you guaranteed access to rare power-ups: Auras and stone altars.

The Yalee kingdom is a small village hidden from the hostility of the world where several Yalees live in peace, they will welcome you and offer you a free Aura to help you in your adventure.

Yalee Kingdom

But as you can see, citizens of the village have been kidnapped and it will be your duty to find the missing Yalees in the world and bring them back to safety, the more of them you save, the more Auras choices you will have in the Yalee Kingdom.


In Andromeda's bar you'll meet a new NPC: Andromeda the tenant.

She will give you access to special beverages that will grant you stone altars effects in exchange for a special currency: the difficulty stars (the ones you collect depending of the difficulty you select in each room and that you can use in Difficulty Lotteries altar)

Andromeda's bar

These 3 new room types allow more varied runs and each world takes a little less time to complete as we imagined these rooms to be fast to complete.


New Heroes spells and gameplay features

We added 5 new uniques heroes spells for both Ayla and Kiran with new impressive visuals, unique animations and gameplay features, we hope you'll have fun with them in your future runs!

Some of Kiran and Ayla new spells

We also added a little gameplay feature, upon performing a fall attack the character dash will instantly reset allowing you to get even more mobility!

Dash reset on fall attack

Reworked landscapes

We received a lot of feedbacks regarding lisibility of the game, so we did rework (again) landscapes background and elements of the game to give you a better readability. We think this new iteration is finally solving the issues we had!

Fragmented plains landscape
Red barrens landscape

New Game + System

Finally, we are in the process of designing and implementing a New Game+ system for Astral Ascent giving the opportunity to those of you overcoming the Red Barrens to play with a bit more challenge. You'll be able to activate various different penalties and personalize your experience. 


We hope you love the recent changes we made as much as we do (we are having so much fun playing the game with all the new changes!) and don't forget our Backerkit shop and our Discord Server to speak with the community and give us feedbacks on the game!

Hard working team

Have a wonderful day,


-The Hibernian Workshop Team

New world, bosses and spells are coming soon! ♐
about 1 year ago – Wed, Oct 27, 2021 at 09:16:03 PM

New playtest version coming next month!

Good news everyone, there will be a new playtest version on November, we want to make a major content update by adding a lot of new content to the game and what most of you have been waiting for:  the Red Barrens (world 2)!

Finally, Leo will not stop you anymore from going further into the game and you will be able to enjoy a preview of what is coming to Early Access which means a lot of new things!


Second world : the red barrens!

We have made a lot of progress regarding art, backgrounds and new gameplay features.

The Red Barrens

In the first world, you had bouncy mushrooms and explosive dandelions to play with. In this new one you will have fire wisp altar and lava burst portals!

These new level design elements are both useful for combats, but you will see that portals will also be used in exploration room to have new fun ways to gain height and explore the rooms!

Fire wisp altar and lava burst portals

Orchestral surprise

Our music composer, Dale North, worked with an orchestra to record some of his awesome compositions! These records give  a new dimension to the music and we are amazed by this work, we hope you will be too!

New summons and new challenges!

As you may know, our current demo only features one challenge/summon: Virgo.

We increased that number from 1 to 5 new summons available! 

Capricorn, Taurus, Leo and Sagittarius will lend you their powers, if you have what it takes to take on their challenges! Each of these challenges is different and require talent relevant to the Zodiac you face. Virgo was all about speed, Capricorn is about memory and Leo about strength.

Each summoning has a different use in fights and they are all really unique from one another!

Capricorn summon
Leo Challenge

New spells concepts!

We have just starting working on new spells ideas and concepts for both heroes signature spells and common spells. Some of them are already integrated in the game and that you will have the pleasure to test out in the next playtest version!

Earth spells concept
New water spell

Finally, 3 new bosses in game!

We have done it! 3 new bosses in the next update making a total of 5 bosses available to fight in game! 

  •  Virgo has been added as the third and last boss for the first world!
  •  Leo and Sagittarius were added as new bosses of the second world! 

We hope you will have a great time battling them and withstanding their epic attacks and spells!

Virgo
Sagittarius

Event : Game Made in France 2021!

Last week, we were part of the Game Made In France 2021 event. Over 12000 people tuned in to follow  the two famous french streamers DamDamLive and MisterMV play Astral Ascent demo! This was really great and Alexandre and Louis were there giving developers insights about the game.

You can find the replay here! (Be warned, it's in french!)

There were also the DechartGames streaming duo that made an english stream for the event! You can find their replay here!

On that note, don't forget about our Backerkit shop and our Discord Server to talk with the community and give us your feedbacks on the game!

Hard working team

Have an excellent day,

-The Hibernian Workshop Team

Painted Ayla figure, new Playtest version and more!
about 1 year ago – Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 04:24:50 PM

Painted figure preview

During last update, we made a poll to get your opinion about having Ayla fully painted (for no extra cost) and making it available on our Backerkit store to cover the additional costs from manufacturer. 

You were 98.2% voting yes! So the figure is available again on the store (as you already backed you will need to wait a final survey before final shipment to add it to your order, you should not add it now)

We also received the first pictures, not final, from Limited Run Games manufacturer painted version and we love it!

preview of Ayla painted figure (21cm height), not final!

New Playtest version is here - 0.21.0

Thanks so much to everyone who joined our Playtests sessions on our Discord Server. We registered 171 unique testers and 56 of you took time to answer our gameplay survey. This helped us a lot

Playstests allow us to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the game and a lot of changes were made according to the feedbacks we received. Seeing many people sharing an opinion confirms that something needs to be changed on a specific feature. An example of that is that several players reported utility spells were slow to use so we made them instant and you can now do it while performing any other animation and it is much better!

Kiran performing teleport utility spell during one of his attacks
0.21.0 is here!

We have just launched 0.21.0 on Steam Playtests branch (visible on game main menu). It also comes with a new survey if you have the time to fill it after playing it would be very nice.

To keep track of all the changes that we do, we decided to create Patch notes for each updates that we make. You can see the Patch notes dedicated to this new update here.  This version should be the one used for Steam Next Festival starting October 1st.

These Playtests sessions are like a pre early access as we are able to collect many meaningful feedbacks and we are training to make frequent and stables updates so we can keep a similar rhythm during Early Access. 


If you have not joined the Playtests yet and want to, please check our previous update to see the steps to join.


More news

We have created many things for 0.21.0 like new level design elements that will give more variety to the fights and exploration as you can see below:

Exploding Dandelion weaken the enemies defenses

We have also created a new gambit type that allows you to unlock a gambit slot on a spell. This will be very useful for long runs to create the best possible builds.

Past months were mostly focused on improve the existing content of the game but we think we have recently reached (with 0.21.0 update) the level of quality we wanted to have in the game. 

Early Access is our next milestone and will now put all our efforts toward it with new summoning, new challenges, world 2 integration and new bosses fight for Virgo, Leo and Sagittarius.

Finally we would like to let you know that we absolutely love how the game is shaping up and your recent feedbacks were very good and motivating too.


Don't forget about our Backerkit shop and our Discord Server to discuss about the game development,

Hard working team

Have an excellent day,

- The Hibernian Workshop Team

Playtests are open, Ayla figure news & many changes! ☄️
about 1 year ago – Mon, Aug 30, 2021 at 04:08:43 PM

Last month we shared many design updates and a lot of changes all around the place and this month makes no exception: we did it again! And what better way to discover last changes than to discover them yourselves?


Playtests are open!

It is now possible for you to play the game right now through our Playtest versions of the game on Steam

We are making it available for backers and playtesters only to get your feedback on the new mechanics and how you feel about the game even if it has a lot of work-in-progress elements. For now it is focused on an improved version of our demo but we hope to maintain these Playtests open during the coming months to share with you more content and get your feedback about it.

Embark now for playtests!

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

First, join our Discord Server. Once you claimed your backer role, you can see #playtests-register channel and get a special playtester role there that gives you access to private #playtests channel where you will be guided and receive a Steam Playtest key.


Ayla Figure

We have great news regarding the 20cm height Ayla Figure. We have been in contact with Limited Run Games and their manufacturer (they received original model from our sculptor partner) and we have the opportunity of having a fully painted version! It comes at a higher price and we would need to sell a bit more of these figures by making them available on our Backerkit Late-pledge shop to make it possible.

Work in Progress 3D modeling from manufacturer

We are then opening a poll to get your opinion if we should make it available and get it fully painted or stick to the non-painted version: poll link

(you will not be charged anything more if we go for the painted version)


Iterating is key for rogue-lites!

We are now working on Astral Ascent for more than 2 years and it became clear to us that rogue-lites fun comes from the variety of situations you can find and this variety comes from iterations. We keep improving every aspect of the game and it turns out absolutely great! Most team members are playing the game on their free time because they are loving the how the game evolves so we think we are on the right track.

Here is a selection of our recent work:


Virgo animations are complete, she will be a very fast boss, be prepared!

Virgo - one of the 12 Zodiacs!

We have reworked the hub currency, it is now called "Sun Pieces" as we thought it would be easier to talk about it if it has a name and an unique shape and color. It comes with a new currency named Yalee Tickets for the stylist. As the stylist upgrades are only visuals it felt weird to use the same currency than the one that improves your gameplay. Yalee tickets can be found during your runs!

Debug to test new currencies

Stress-test of the reworked version of the freeze effect. It is now slowing down enemies before reaching the 10 stacks to freeze!

Burn effects now set stacks on nearby enemies when exploding and it can become very devastating!

We have also created balloons for merchants as it felt like a perfect way of locomotion in this aerial world (and also because we thought it was cool!).

We did not remember this narrative piece and even our Narrative designer did not remember it writing it but who wants to play Chesskers?

We are on all fronts as we now have all enemies from worlds 4 designed and all enemies from world 3 coded. We think that we will need to work on a lot of different matters once we release the game in early access and we want to deliver frequent updates with new content so it is important to us to start making this content before the early access release.

Concept of world 4 enemy

We have created a lot of new effects to add the variety we talked about earlier. Here are 3 of these new effects :

  •  yalee madness:  every spell launched spawns a yalee for a short period of time 
  •  transe: spells cost no mana for a short period of time 
  •  movespeed: player moves faster for a short period of time

There is more effects and the most interesting part is of course the combinaison and builds you can create by mixing them!

New work-in-progress elements for The Garden

Papa Yalee new background
This is secret for now!

We hope you like these monthly updates! On our side it is always great to look behind and see all the progress that has been made recently.


Don't forget about our Backerkit shop and our Discord Server to discuss about the game development,

Hard working team

Have an excellent day,

- The Hibernian Workshop Team

Difficulty rework, improvements and opening playtest sessions ⭐
over 1 year ago – Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 11:06:06 PM

Last month we mainly focused on new enemies and a new boss fight but this month contains a wide range of improvements, this bouncing toad fellow is very excited: 

We really love this world 3 enemy, it has became one of our mascot!

 New mechanics

We have added a giant crystal you can destroy to gain crystals money, it feels very satisfying to do.

We have also reworked the Shards Altar.
Old behavior: it used to give you 1 shard for free 3 times when holding button. It took a lot of time and it was slowing run pace.
New behavior: you only need to interact once to get the 3 shards but they now cost you crystals to get. You can purchase as many as you want but these altars share a crystal counter price that increases for your whole run!

The altar also has a new look that we did not implement yet

One more mechanic we added is related to Fight Rooms (waves of enemies) where Zodiacs can appear and give you extra challenges (more elites enemies, don't get hit during the fight etc). If you success you will get even more rewards but if you fail you won't get anything so be careful!


 Finally, we added a new enemy that will try to run away and escape, if you can capture it, you will get special rewards!

 Difficulty rework & key currency 

We have done an important rework with difficulty points. We wanted to have it in our Kickstarter demo but had not enough time to implement it.  

First thing is that difficulty points that used to be red skulls in the demo are now blue stars and instead of being limited from 1 to 3 points they are now from 1 to 6 and display the actual difficulty of the room instead of a difficulty based on current progression like it used to be. (it was confusing because a first room difficulty 3 was much easier than a last level difficulty 1)

These difficulty points can be used in dedicated altars that can give you crystals or astral keys (we explain keys very soon). You can find these altars in merchant rooms and in first rooms of each new worlds. 

You can also unlock the astral keys when defeating fight rooms

But what to do with these keys? At specific moments you will be able to spend either one key to have a small reward or three keys to have a stone altar or relic altar.

This looks a bit complicated on paper but it plays really well! The design decision behind this change comes from our will to create a link between different room types. We want main rewards to be in Exploration Rooms but we think Fight Rooms (waves of enemies) are really fun too so now to maximize your explorations you need keys that you can find in the other room type. It makes room choices even more strategic too.



 More elements

Our art team thinks that world 1 is visually outdated in comparison with next worlds (all worlds are nearly complete) so we started to improve the first assets. Constance, our first intern since the creation of the studio, is making great work about it:

 We are also working on "defensive spells", we had gravity ball & 2 more in the Kickstarter demo but they were not good enough but really few people used them so we are completely reworking them.

First spell we made is a teleport:

We call them defensive because they do not deal damage to enemies but it can be movement spells, adding effects stacks to enemies and even more: anything that does not deal damage. Also they use cooldown instead of mana points. If you have any suggestions for these spells we would be really happy to know about it in our #suggestions channel on our Discord Server.

We are also making a lot of new gambits and relics for Early Access, we know some were not  good enough on Kickstarter demo so we removed them and we are working on new ones like these auto-target missiles:

Last small element we added is a "snap-jump" when jumping on platforms: you will get on it much easier.


We aim to have most of these new mechanics in our new demo of the game that should be up around October 2021. Your feedback were very useful during the Kickstarter demo and we really value having your opinion on the game so we created a new channel on our Discord Server. Once you claimed your backer role, you can see #playtests-register channel and get a special playtester role there that gives you access to private #playtests channel where we will ask people to join exclusive playtests sessions during the coming months.


Don't forget about our Backerkit shop and our Discord Server to discuss about the game development,

Hard working team


    Have an excellent day,
   - The Hibernian Workshop Team