Red Crown: first chapter published!

The title says it all! We have published first chapter of Red Crown, a sci-fi novel which is a prequel to Minotaur game, on our website. You can read it here.

We tried to create an immersive reading experience. First of all, the novel’s richly illustrated.

“In almost every building, there was a shop on the first floor, and in every second shop, there were synthetics for sale. Many were tended by androids; they sat outside, sending invites to everyone who passed them by and who was stupid enough to have an open channel. Some were busy with clients: abusers like Bart with IR above 65%, daisies with high implant rate but without implants visible to naked eye, and their age-long opponents, nutcrackers, who were browsing through wares looking for something old an ugly to display on their person.”

We also picked up and looped great music to go with the story.

Lies - cdk ft. Quarkstar     

Credit to this awesome piece goes to cdk at dig.ccmixter

Turn it on, press play and feel yourself at home in Mira DC.

The road constantly changed elevation, sometimes reaching as high as fifty leagues above ground; every time that happened and they were passing another office skyscraper, Troy could see synthets in blue shirts and androids in white dresses within arm’s reach; as far as he could tell by their IDs, half of buildings in the city belonged to TFX corporation, a company which was founded by people of questionable background during March of the Damned nearly two hundred years ago. When he asked Jacob about how sawbones could get official support of their sept, the latter shrugged his shoulders and said: “They were talented people. Their talent was needed.” No wonder Mirians were so efficient.

Since text contains a lot of references to U7 vocabulary and lore, we used tooltips with additional illustrations and hotspots to explain some of it.

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We hope all of it makes for pleasant reading!

If you’re only in it for eye candy, you can download full HD wallpapers with Red Crown illustrations here.

The view was nice; Troy couldn’t see Axis pillar – it was hidden behind one of four large triangular structures surrounding center of Mira – but Pyrax had fifteen floors and was taller than most building near it, so he could see most of this half of the city. It was true night, short three hours of Hades and Logan both absent from the sky, and Mira was tangled in web of myriad artificial lights.

That’s it, no more images here for you, so go straight to reading.

Although Red Crown is a prequel to Minotaur and will be bundled together with the game, you don’t have to read the book to understand what’s going on in the game. We just thought it’s a cool thing to do, and it’ll be fun.

Don’t forget to stay in touch and follow updates: subscribe to newsletter here, become a member on IndieDB or like us on Facebook. Or do all of it:-)

Cheers from Mira DC,

U7 team

World of U7, part 1: introduction

We wanted setting of Minotaur to be detailed and well thought-out. So we sat down and created The Universe of Seven, or U7 for short.

We decided to go local (it’s a popular thing, right?) and limit ourselves to one continent. Of course, there are other places, but they’re pretty much like Undying Lands — we know about them, but there’s very little artwork.

That one continent is called Kyos, and Maxime Plasse, cartographer extraordinaire, did a great map of it (click for 1080p):

On our website, we have a fully interactive map. Seriously, you can click on stuff and things pop up.

Most of Minotaur takes place in Nova DC, first city among equals:

The abbreviation “DC” stands for “dome city”, or dome. Domes are a major landmark; when inside the city, you can see them from almost anywhere. That’s how it is in Minotaur, too.

Penthouse catwalk. A screenshot from Minotaur

Domes perform two major functions: they protect citizens from Demons, a hostile race of (usually) colossal creatures, and maintain objective reality inside.

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That’s right, objective reality. When Kyosians launched their first dome some 500 years ago to protect themselves from Demons, they found out that energy source they’re using, called Axis, adversely affects stability of reality. But they were like: “whatever”, and six new domes popped up. When it happened, objective reality in most places outside domes (or just Outside) collapsed.

Here’s how it works: let’s take a look at another DC, a northern city called Republic of Artas.

Inside, you can interact with others just like in “real life” (yes, quotes), but when you leave safety of the dome, you’re in your own reality (subjective reality, or subreality). Kyos Outside is shaped by your action and choices.

You’re not entirely alone, though. Thanks to a device called flux, invented about 300 years before the events of Minotaur, you can still detect other flux owners Outside, and move between your subreality and theirs. Larger flux field generators even allow you to form groups!

This concept of split reality, of Inside and Outside, is a cornerstone of U7, and an important part of Minotaur plot.

Well then, we hope you enjoyed this introduction. In next post of this series, we’re going to tell you about geography of Kyos. Join us here, or on IndieDB, or Facebook not to miss it!

With our subjective love,

U7 team

Uber Unter

Penguins, or pinz for short, are a prominent race in U7. Check out concept art for Unter, rock guitarist who abandoned his clan to be able to do what he loves.

Everybody knows that being a musician is tough. Unter doesn’t even rent an apartment — just some space on service floor of Royce apartments (F25), accessible only via central courtyard fire escape.

But, you know, we’re not rich by what we possess…

Unter’s room concept

Don’t mind guitar that’s standing there in the corner… That’s just backup. Whatever lot Unter had, he poured into his main instrument. Behold Paulcaster (yes! Our imagination run wild with that name), custom pin-friendly P-80 version.

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Sliders to change voltage

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Deck with fully-weighed keys

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Triggers: assign controls

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Knobs to adjust tone

You can breathe out now.

Almost everyone on our team plays one or several instruments. We love music, and to some extent, Minotaur is about music, too. And we know what we’re doing. Paulcaster is a marvel of musical engineering!

First of all, Unter, being a penguin that he is, has flippers. And we all know they’re not hands.

There’s no way he’d handle strings with that… so Paulcaster has a custom deck with fully-weighted keys instead. Strings on P-80 are just for show… mostly.

Unter slides keys along the deck to change pitch and tuning, and shift octaves wheel controller style.

He changes tone by adjusting voltage; those things on the neck are called sliders, and Unter moves them to adjust amount of Axis going through the “strings”.

You have to admit this thing is sexy. And since Unter is a playable character, his Paulcaster is also instrumental (ha-ha) in his escape from the labyrinth.

If you’d like to read more about penguins in U7 (and you should — they’re awesome), you can do it here. Also, our Facebook page is managed by an angry penguin. We swear to Syl.

Cheers!

U7 dev team

Visualizing Mira

Most of Red Crown happens in Mira DC, and I wanted descriptions of the city to be thorough and consistent. Adam made it possible by detailing his original concept of Mira; he planned and visualized infrastructure and layout. It’s a work in progress, but we decided it’d be fun to share it.

Let’s build things up:

  • Heart

  • +Pillars

  • +Dome

View from the top with designated points of interest (click for lightbox):

And from the side:

City rail doesn’t just transport people.

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Each city struggles to maximize utility of every square league. Mirian City Rail carries its cargo in an unusual way.

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Zones are divided into quadrants, and then further into segments.

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Linkway branches.

Whether you’re moving towards Zone 3 or circling the city by MCR or Linkway (or even on foot), you’re going to pass the hunters.

We keep mentioning Linkway; here it is.

This place is nice… Hope to see you here soon.

Nick Green

On classes and jobs

Initially, U7 only had six classes. When we started working on Minotaur, it quickly became clear that they are all very combat-oriented. Unless someone makes their living by going Outside and, well killing stuff, they needed something else to do. A job to do.

Since we wanted to keep our world consistent, rather than randomly assigning stuff we decided to add jobs to rulebook in addition to classes. Neither is mandatory, just like in real life you don’t have to have a job (or a life, for that matter) or to be able to fight.

Each class has their class skill (manipulation for Aspects, proficiency bonuses for Officers, and so on), and jobs give you unique abilities as well. For example, in Minotaur, Nod can use Axis vision (his outfitter job skill) to help him visualize Axis currents. Which, in turn, lets him solve puzzles.

Axis vision [job] / Active / Self

Visualize Axis currents in the environment.

  • AV off

  • AV on

You’ll be able to try different jobs in Minotaur, where every character except underage Thea has one.

U7 team

Big Update #2: website

We’ve improved (hopefully) website structure and usability, and added some stuff here and there. But most importantly, we introduced a multilingual solution. We have already translated most of website into Russian, and hope to add new languages with time.

That’s something you can help us with, by the way. Let us know if you want to help translate U7, Minotaur and/or Red Crown in your language.

U7 team

Big Update #1: Minotaur

We’ve published a Minotaur page, which contains a lot of information about upcoming sci-fi visual novel/adventure game with 2,5D graphics. There are screenshots, videos and even interactive quest which lets you get the feel of the game.

Check out the teaser trailer:

There’s also a dedicated wallpapers page.

We plan to release for PC/Mac and tablets sometime in 2016. Make sure to check us out on Steam.

U7 team

Big Ideas

Our fellow Kyosians and pinz,

We salute you from our biggest Axis guns. There may be few of us now, but we certainly hope our numbers will grow. Is there any other purpose for this blog?

RM

Having said that, it will probably be a long time before we post here again, as we need to get busy with Minotaur and Red Crown. But we promise to come back once we have good stuff to show you.

They wrote this half a year ago.
Such lazy people.

Well then, don’t forget to subscribe to stay updated. We never sleep, anything can happen here while you’re away.

See you soon,

U7 team