January 2018 - Developer Update

Hey everyone, welcome to the first Developer Update for 2018!

We're going to be talking about a few things today, including our recent post about scope, a new addition to the team, updates to the combat, and more.

There are lots of screenshots and gifs for you today, so let's get right into it!

Post about Scope

We recently made a post talking about the scope of the project, which we highly recommend that you check out here.

In short, it talks about how we're lowering scope in terms of how many Kingdoms we'll be releasing.

New Programmer

We finally have a new programmer- please welcome Hock to the team! He'll be helping us with Gameplay and AI, and we're super stoked to have him on board creating Blades!

New Additions to Combat

We're close to the release of the Combat Module. We're currently implementing the final mechanics and features. Recently we added in hit reactions, buffs like Fiery, and environment clashing.

Hit Reactions: a visual indicator to show when you get hit

"Fiery" buff: light your sword on fire for increased damage, lasts for 5 seconds

Environment clashing: when your weapon is too close to the surrounding environment, your character will recoil after hitting environmental objects


Physical Materials

This is a minor addition that will help us develop many other features. We've set up physical materials in the engine, which will help us set up which parts of the map are made of stone, wood, metal, etc.

Physical Materials will allow us to have different footstep sounds, environment clash sounds, and much more depending on the surface material.

New Main Menu

Our past Main Menu was a little boring, so we spiced it up with an all-new environment created specifically for the start screen.


What could be lurking in this dungeon?



We finally got a chat box in the Combat Demo, so feel free to talk with your friends (or enemies) in-game.


That's it for this month's devblog, thank you for all the continued support! Next month will be even more exciting!

Let's Talk About 'Scope'

Hey everyone, Crimson here, I'm gonna be talking about scope today, something that has been in the talks for the past few months within the team and something that's been on my mind, I want to be as transparent with the changes as possible and why we're conducting these changes.

Let's talk scope, it needs to be discussed so we're not promising content that we can't deliver.

What is Scope?

First off, you're probably wondering what we mean by scope; scope basically means the extent of a project, how much we want to create and add into the game, and ultimately how ambitious it is.

A far better description coming from a third-party site, credit to GameCareerGuide:

The scope of a project is its breadth and depth. What are you making, and how complex does it have to be to achieve what you want?
Scope is something to be decided, not something to be discovered post-facto. This may seem silly, but many projects roll forward without someone taking a step back and asking, "What does doing this really entail?" 
Scope, most simply put, is the understanding of how vision meets execution. 

As a small indie development team, we have a certain limit as to how far we can go with the project, sometimes we have to 'take a step back' and ask ourselves how much is too much. You may have seen that some certain texts on the website have changed, specifically the number of Kingdoms that we want (from 100 to dozens), now why did we do this?

Picture hundreds of worlds, all unique and different, full of life and adventure; that sounds and looks great in your head but how can that be executed by a small indie team? Well, it just can't. Unless of course we want to continue this project for the rest of our lives, until we're old and growing gray beards, which that won't be happening.

Many indie teams end up in this deep abyss called feature creep, something I've been through in the past and thankfully I've learned from. Now, let's be honest, we've seen it before and we see it time and time again, indie teams showing nothing yet promising so much, it really helps with marketing, gets the hype going, and gets the imagination pumping. But when will that game that promises so much release? Probably never, or it does and most of the promises were lies.

We've decided to lower the scope, we're still going to have a lot of the features that we're aiming to have, but the amount of Kingdoms had to change for our sanity, and so we're not over-promising to our community.

The New Scope

So here's the things we have planned for Early Access release and for official release, and possible things that might come through:

  • The goal of 100 Kingdoms (which was over-ambitious since the beginning) is now 10 Kingdoms for release
  • Early Access release will contain from 2-5 Kingdoms, this is essentially an Alpha release, giving you all the mechanics and features, but still working on content
  • Possibilities: DLCs and additional content after the 10 Kingdoms, we don't plan on stealing your money, if DLCs are released, they'll be full of content, at a super reasonable price

Covert Games Studio doesn't plan on working on Blades forever, in fact, our goal is to only work on it for 2-3 years, then move on to the next title; something that may be more exciting and potentially higher in scope, that's the future though, right now we're completely focused on Blades of Orterra!

TL;DR: We're lowering the scope from 100 Kingdoms to a dozen or so for final release.

See you guys in the Developer Update, thanks for all your support, love you guys!

- Crimson
Creative Director

December 2017 - Developer Update

Hey everyone, welcome to December’s Developer Update!

Sorry for the late update, but we're back! We've been mostly working on fixing bugs but we have a few things to show you! We look over the new 'Prepare for 2018' video, health bars, and improvements to the Hall of the King's lighting. Let's get right into it.

Prepare for 2018

We made this video showing off development highlights from throughout the past year. Check it out and see how much the project has progressed in 2017!

Improvements to Lighting

Lots of testing has shown that the Hall of the King was a bit too dark, so we've improved the lighting by adding in more chandeliers, adjusting the position of the sun, and more.

Health Bars

Initially, enemies did not have visible health bars, but after receiving feedback from our testers we added health bars and damage numbers. The visuals are being improved further, but we're liking how it looks so far. Let us know what you think.


The New Forum

We finally have a community forum! You can talk with other fans about the project or about miscellaneous topics, and we'll be using the forum for bug reports, suggestions and ideas, and much more!

Register now, and prepare yourself for an upcoming giveaway!

That's it for December's Developer Update. Keep looking forward to the Combat Demo, because we're aiming to complete it soon!

November 2017 - Developer Update

Hey everyone, welcome to November's Developer Update!

This is one of our biggest developer updates ever. It includes progress on the worlds of Orterra, progress on our Combat system, and much more.

Buckle up, this is gonna be one hell of an adventure!

The Combat System

The most important aspect in Blades of Orterra is the combat, and that's exactly what we've been working on this month:

The combat in Blades of Orterra is inspired by Dark Souls, Mordhau, and a few other games and mods. As we develop the combat system we’re experimenting with different mechanics and ideas in order to make it as fun as possible.

Basic attacks can be comboed with other basic attacks for fast, repeated strikes- when basic attacks are chained together they are called Combo Attacks. A player that has a maximum of 2 Combo Attacks can perform a chain of 2 consecutive attacks. Players can also perform a basic attack and then quickly initiate a Sword Ability for higher damage. Sword Abilities count as Combo Attacks for chaining purposes.


Players can switch between 3 Stances at any time by pressing Q (keybinds can be changed in the Settings). Each stance has unique traits, but all weapons can be used with any of the 3 Stances.

The Stances and their traits are listed below:


  • Able to perform 2 or more Combo Attacks, smaller weapons have more attacks
  • Will be able to move around while attacking
  • Has the lowest stamina consumption, however also has the lowest initial damage output and lowest knockback of the stances


  • A middle-ground between the Strong and Fast stances
  • Able to perform 1 or more Combo Attacks depending on the weapon
  • Can move around during the first attack in a combo, but the second attack will restrict movement (where the player can't move freely during the attack and the character will move according to the attack's animation). However, the direction of the attack may be able to be influenced depending on the attack
  • More damage, stamina usage, and knockback than Fast stance
  • Slower weapon swing speed than Fast stance


  • Able to perform only 1 Combo Attack- can't execute combos of basic attacks
  • Allows charging-up of attacks for stronger hits by holding the attack key, charging can be cancelled at any time
  • Highest attack rating, any enemies hit are staggered and their attacks are cancelled
  • Uses the most stamina out of all 3 stances


Defending Against Attacks

There are three ways to defend against attacks. Each uses up stamina and has different effects:

  1. Dodging
  2. Blocking
  3. Parrying

Dodging grants a split-second of invincibility and moves your character, which can allow you to find a better strategic position. Blocking stops stamina regeneration, uses up stamina each time you're hit, and decreases your movement speed, but will completely defend against attacks. Parrying is trickier; it requires that you parry at the exact time that you're about to be hit. An unsuccessful parry will leave you unable to do anything for about a second, but a well-timed parry will immediately stagger the enemy, giving you time to make a counter attack or create some breathing room.

The First Kingdom

We've made some progress on the First Kingdom of Orterra. While we can't show the progress just yet, here's two small sneak-peeks of Concept Art from which our Kingdom is being built from:


Loadout Selection

The Combat Module has a Loadout Selection screen that appears at the start of every round.

The player can choose from:

  • 3 Armour Types
  • 18 Different Weapons
  • 24 Sword Abilities

WORK IN PROGRESS: Godsend Stones

Jacob Parise is another new artist on our team. He's on board helping out with the 3D side of the game. His work will be this month's WIP show-off, the Godsend Stones:

The godsend system refers to a set of stones that grant the player a small passive bonus when activated. Only one of these stones can be activated at a time, and the buff received from activating these stones cannot be removed unless swapped with another stone’s bonus. Each Kingdom has a single stone that provides a unique benefit to the player. These stones are difficult to locate, but are typically discovered in a very scenic location.

Thanks for reading this month's developer update, see you in the next one!

October 2017 - Developer Update

Hey everyone, welcome to October's Developer Update!

We have quite a bit to show off for this month's update- all of the weapon models for the Combat Module are complete! We'll also be talking about the current development schedule for the Combat System. near the end of the update, we'll talk about our new Halloween-themed tavern, our tavern music, and the nearly finished Light Armour. Let's jump right into it.

The Combat Module's Weaponry

The Combat Module includes 18 different weapons, split up into 6 weapon types. Today we'll be showing you all of them!

Lances/Spears Halberd Guan Dao Shinwa Spear
Sword and Shield Round Shield Roman SQ Shield Kite Shield
Warhammers Lucerne Hammer Morning Star Dwarven Warhammer
Shortswords Cutlass Broadleaf Blade Elven Shortsword
Longswords Shamshir Katana Rapier Longsword
Greatswords Bastard Sword Claymore Steel Greatsword

These weapons will have different stats, including damage, range, and speed. We'll be balancing them throughout the Combat Module's lifetime. Note that all of these weapons are Tier 1, that means they're not meant to look fancy!

Combat System Refactoring

The most important part of the Combat Module is the actual combat system. Due to some complications in schedules, we’ll be cleaning up the combat system to make it easier to work on. Crimson will be streaming this process every weekday throughout November on his personal Twitch channel. Check it out and watch as the game develops!

Halloween Tavern

The Tavern was dressed up for Halloween this month! We showed it off during the latest Tavern Talk. This is the first arrangement of seasonal maps where the world changes dependent on the current day of the month. We’ll be looking into decorating the Starting City for festivities like Christmas and Halloween.

Tavern Music

We finally got some official music for our Tavern, created by our music composer, Stratosfyr. We’ll be looking at making more tracks for the Tavern in the future. Have a listen!


The Light Armour is about 90% complete. We just have a few little details that need to be adjusted but other than that, players can walk around in the Light Armour set! Next up is the Heavy Armour. We’re excited to get all of these in the game so you can play with them.


That's it for this month! We hope you have a fantastic start to November, and Happy Halloween!

August 2017 - Developer Update

August 2017

Hey everyone, welcome to August's Developer Update!

As always, we want to welcome any new followers to the community. If you're still wondering what the project is about, here's a short description:

Set in a world floating in the sky, Blades of Orterra is a multiplayer RPG that seeks to craft an unparalleled immersive experience where players can adventure across 100 different worlds to master the art of the blade.

Today we have some eye-catching content to show you, things like the Heavy Armor for the Combat Module, customization interface, server browser, and some combat themes.

Heavy Armour

Shiny, heavy, robust and durable; the Heavy Armor is the second armor type for the Combat Module. It's heavy and slows down the player's movement, but it's more resistant to hits than the lighter armor types.

The Heavy Armor is still a work in progress since we're adding more details and rigging it, but it's definitely getting there. Let us know what you think of it on our Discord!

Customization Interface

The Customization Interface allows the player to choose their loadout, including their choice of weaponry, armor type, and abilities:

Server Browser

When we release the Combat Module we'll also provide the proper software to host servers for the Combat Module. Once your server is setup, it will appear in the server browser.



Starting today, we just recently released our first newsletter!

The newsletter will be sent via email as another way to help us keep in touch with the community. The newsletter will usually include the Developer Update blog but we'll also be sending exclusive things when we can.

Sign up to receive the newsletters below!

Calling all Game Designers, Writers, and Concept Artists

We're looking for a few positions to be filled in our team including game designers, writers, and concept artists. If you have any experience in these positions, please feel free to apply on our team page! We'd love to see your work and have you in the team.

That's it for this month! We hope you have a great start to September, see you next time!

July 2017 - Developer Update

July 2017

Hey everyone, welcome to July’s Developer Update, this one is short but sweet, enjoy!

Hall of the King Trailer

At last, the Hall of the King is complete and you can see it in our new video showcasing the finished environment. There are now details and clues added to the hall that hint towards what could have happened in that room. Enjoy!

The Hall of the King will be the playable map for the Combat Module.

Public Schedule

You may have noticed an increase in our streams and content- we’re trying our best to stick to a schedule that is found below. Things like streams, podcasts, and more are planned for the months ahead.

Development Livestream

A stream every Sunday on our official Twitch channel.

Mid-Month Podcast

A podcast focused on Q&A, development, and general discussion about the game and the team. We plan on doing this in the middle of every month. Let us know if you would want to see a regular podcast on our Discord channel!

Monthly Developer Update

Updates like the one you’re currently reading is on a monthly basis. We try our best to release each update at the end or beginning of each month.

Screenshot Showcase

We plan on releasing a screenshot of the game (progress or finalized shots) every other Wednesday to keep you all updated.


That’s it for this month, we apologize for the lack of content but most of the stuff we’ve been working on is behind-the-scenes. See you next time!

June 2017 - Developer Update

June 2017

Hello and welcome to June’s Developer Update, let’s get right into it!

In June we’ve expanded our team with new 3D artist Reckless, game designer Judah and writer BlackAbyss. They've been doing some great work, some of which will be shown in this month's update!

Town of Beginnings Theme

The team has been consistently working for these past two months, working hard on bringing an immersive experience through visuals and also through the music. Stratosfyr is currently working as our Music Composer; you've heard the Main Menu music, and now you can listen to the current theme for the Town of Beginnings, the city in which players spawn at when they start playing Blades of Orterra.

Let us know what you think on our Discord!

New Application System

Along with the addition of new developers on the team, we also improved our application process. The improvements include a form that’s separate from our Contact Us page, and asks more direct questions to make it easier for applicants who want to join the team.

Interested in joining our team? Apply by pressing the apply button on the right!

Player Cursors

The new game designer, Judah, has been working on designing mechanics for the game, including Player Cursors, which are crystal-like icons that appear above a player/NPC's head to indicate their status within the world. Here's a preview of our WIP cursor system:

In Blades of Orterra, Player Cursors indicate a player's reputation with the law. By default, each player has a green cursor, indicating that they are in good standings in regards to criminal activity. However, if the player is caught committing a crime, their cursor may turn either orange or red. NPCs also have cursors that indicate their role in the game.

A green indicator is the default indicator color for players. A player free of any recent crimes will have a green cursor. An innocent player who defends themselves against either an orange or red cursored player will remain innocent.

An orange cursor indicates that the player has recently committed a petty crime, such as attacking another player or being caught stealing. Certain quests may offer a large reward, but will require that the player becomes a criminal.

A red cursor indicates that the player is the most dangerous kind of criminal. These indicators are obtained only by killing another player. Players with red cursors can be sent to prison by other players, and city guards if caught within the city walls.

Hall of the King

Yet again, more progress has been made on the Deathmatch map, Hall of the King. This map will be playable in the Combat Module, where players will fight to the death until one fighter is left standing. Specifically, we made improvements in the materials/textures and the lighting, with many more still coming!

Quest/Task Board

The Task Board is an interactive board that can be found in most safe zones (cities, towns, etc). Players can interact with this board to get up-to-date with current events that are happening throughout the floors of Orterra. Players can also find Player Bounties on the board. After accepting a bounty players would then seek out and kill or capture a wanted criminal for a nice reward.

Note: The current UI concept is super experimental- we’re improving it currently.

That's it for this month's update, see you in the next one!

May 2017 - Developer Update

May 2017

Hello everyone and welcome to May’s Developer update!

If you haven’t been keeping up, the team has been super busy with real life stuff recently. However, we still have stuff to show, so enjoy!

As usual, if you’re just coming across this project, welcome! We’d like to leave our synopsis blurb here for any new followers reading this:

“Set in a world floating in the sky, Blades of Orterra is a multiplayer RPG that seeks to craft an unparalleled immersive experience where players can adventure across 100 different worlds to master the art of the blade.”

In this update, we’ll be showcasing the Knight’s Plate Armour, the new homepage for the website, and our Main Menu music!

Knight's Plate Armour

The Knight’s Plate is a set of medium-tier armour that will appear in the Combat Module. This is our first step to having player models that aren’t the default UE4 mannequin.

New Homepage

As you may have noticed, we’ve completely revamped our homepage to contain more information and to give a more ‘epic’ look. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go on ahead here!

Our future plans for the site include an official team page and an improved team application system. If you’re looking to join the team, feel free to contact us with your application and portfolio here.

Main Menu Theme

The first ever music reveal for the project, this track was created by our very own Zero. Over time our music will evolve but this is what we currently have for the Combat Module. Have a listen!

That’s it for the May development update. It was a little short but we’ll have a heftier month coming up.


Have a great start to your week, see you in June!