Meteorfall: Krumit’s Tale

Slothwerks
May 8 · 6 min read

A couple months after the release of Meteorfall, while working on the Necrodude update, I started brainstorming some new designs for a game that eventually became Krumit’s Tale. I loved the universe that we created for Meteorfall, and I knew that I wanted to work on something that continued to build out those characters and that lore. I also didn’t want to create a direct sequel. Thus, Krumit’s Tale was born.

The intro screen from Krumit’s Tale

The (work-in-progress) App Store description reads:

Krumit’s Tale, the second game in the Meteorfall universe, is a brand new take on the deckbuilding roguelike genre. Dungeons are laid out in a 3x3 grid, and you’ll need to use your items wisely to survive. You’ll build your deck and earn perks as you fight your way to the Uberlich. Do you have what it takes?

Let’s take a look at what the game actually looks like -

View of the dungeon board in Krumit’s Tale. Krumit is the name of the green dude holding the box of tiles (the dungeon board)

Like the original Meteorfall game — Meteorfall: Journeys — Krumit’s Tale is a run-based, deck-building game. That means that in both games, you’ll start a ‘run’, lasting no more than 30–45 minutes, and death means the end of the run. You’ll also choose a hero, with a basic starting deck, and improve that deck over time through the addition of new, powerful cards. Thus, both Meteorfall and Krumit’s Tale share many of the same core values, and both games should appeal to the same core player base.

An early concept for ‘Tile Game’ (aka Krumit’s Tale) before any of the art was produced

What’s the gameplay like?

From there, Krumit’s Tale diverges significantly. In the above screenshot, you can see a 3x3 grid of enemies, items, and abilities. When you enter a dungeon, your hero’s deck (items and abilities) is shuffled into the dungeon deck (enemies)and then dealt out in a grid. The objective is to clear the dungeon by defeating all of the enemies.

Items and abilities can be acquired from the grid by paying the gold cost. You’ll earn gold by defeating enemies, or discarding items & abilities (tiles) that you don’t need. You’ll use the tiles you acquire to defeat more powerful enemies, and so on. At the end of each dungeon, you’ll add new cards to your deck, and select from powerful Perks (passive buffs) which you can build your deck around. Then, you’ll proceed to the next dungeon, and so on, until you finish your journey.

After clearing a dungeon, you’ll customize your hero with Perks — passive bonuses that you can build your deck around.

Fighting Monsters

Fighting monsters is a key part of the gameplay in Krumit’s Tale. To start a battle, you tap a monster. Doing so will bring up the battle screen. In battle, you can make use of up to 4 tiles you acquired in the dungeon. Tapping a tile will equip it, giving you additional options to defeat enemies. For instance, equipping a basic sword will increase your attack and allow you to defeat a monster more quickly, while equipping chainmail can block an enemy’s attack. Once you’ve equipped items and abilities, you press the big green button to attack. Using items in combat reduces durability, so you’ll need to be plan carefully about how to best use your items. At its core, Krumit’s Tale is a game about resource management: monsters to be slain, tiles you acquire, tiles you discard — all resources that can be used to help you finish the dungeon.

Greybeard battling a War Bear with ‘Mage Robes’ and ‘Health Potion’ in his inventory

Inspired by games that offer ‘perfect information’ such as Slay the Spire and Into the Breach, Krumit’s Tale also gives you a tip about what the enemy plans to do. This allows you to make smart use of your limited items and abilities in order to survive the dungeon. Besides basic attacks, enemies can also block or poison you. Some enemies have piercing attacks that ignore armor, and others are quick — allowing them to attack before you. As you encounter new enemies in the dungeon, you’ll be able to better plan how to build your deck to counter them in the future.

Deck Building

After each dungeon, you’ll add new cards to your deck in different ways. One way is through opening ‘Mint Candy’ boxes (treasure)at the end of each dungeon that present you with 3 different tiles — you get to pick one to add to your deck. The other way is the shop, where you can buy new tiles using gems. (Gems are earned when you complete a dungeon). Combined with the passive perks you earn after each dungeon, there are tons of ways to build your deck and be successful.

Opening a Mint Candy box and selecting a tile to add to your deck

The heroes in Krumit’s Tale play differently. The starting hero, Bruno, is straightforward. He focuses on big weapons and big armor, allowing you to go toe-to-toe with any enemy in combat. Other heroes like Greybeard rely more on targeted effects (such as Fireball and Icebolt) that allow you to control and manipulate the board more so than engaging in direct combat. The goal is that each hero should feel different and fresh.

So wait, this isn’t a sequel or expansion?

Nope! My vision for ‘Meteorfall’ is that it’s a world, filled with interesting characters and lore. Like Adventure Time (a major inspiration for Meteorfall) or Star Wars, ‘Meteorfall’ refers to the world itself, and there can be different games and stories that take place in that world. Meteorfall: Journey is the full name of the ‘current’ Meteorfall game (where you swipe cards left and right).

Meteorfall: Krumit’s Tale is the second game that takes place in the Meteorfall universe. Although it’s a totally different game that Journeys, it shares a lot of the same gameplay themes and DNA, and is linked through the shared stories of heroes like Bruno, Mischief, Rose and Greybeard, and villains like Swampalina and the Uberlich. Each Meteorfall game will build out the Meteorfall universe in new ways.

After Krumit’s Tale, we’d love to continue expanding on the Meteorfall universe with more games.

When does it come out?

Krumit’s Tale is still a work in progress, but we’re getting close to something stable that would be appropriate to open to a small number of alpha testers. The core game works, but is still a little rough around the edges and needs some TLC before it’s ready to really show it off to a broader audience.

Once difference between Krumit’s Tale and Meteorfall: Journeys is that Krumit’s Tale will be launching first on Steam. This is to take advantage of the Early Access program, which fits my iterative design philosophy. It will give me more flexibility in iterating on the designs based on feedback from the community — something I did with Meteorfall as well, and I’d like to lean in on with Krumit’s Tale.

Fear not — Krumit’s Tale is already playable on mobile as well, and will of course come to iOS and Android as Early Access concludes, with beta testing on those platforms going on in parallel. Krumit’s Tale has been designed from the ground up to look great on both landscape and portrait mode. Like Meteorfall: Journeys, my goal is for Krumit’s Tale to be playable one-handed in portrait mode, so that it can carry on the great ‘commute friendly’ legacy of Journeys. On PC, you’ll play in landscape and on tablets, it should hopefully be possible to play in either orientation that you prefer.

Follow Meteorfall on social media for more details, including opportunities to join the alpha test!

Slothwerks

Written by

Indie game dev working on a roguelike deckbuilder called Meteorfall and prototyping an exciting new project called Artifacts & Accessories

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