Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire is a tactical turn-based RPG, set on a world fallen into a medieval dark age after the collapse of a spacefaring civilization.
You must guide Tahira, the 20-year-old princess of Avestan, on the most challenging night of her life as she fights to save her people from the genocidal Astral Empire.
You’ll fight large-scale tactical turn-based battles using guerrilla warfare tactics, including ambushing enemies, taking cover and knocking foes off cliffs. You’ll also develop relationships with those traveling with you and uncover secrets of a time when man traversed the stars with impunity.
Inspired by The Banner Saga, the characters in Tahira have been brought to life with a painstaking animation process called rotoscoping. It’s a process that was used by companies such as Disney when they created Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. While very time intensive (each of our characters has roughly 450 hand drawn key frames), it allows us to animate smooth realistic movement for our characters.
See The Claw in action in the opposing video.
A World Fallen Into a Dark Age – Explore a planet still reeling from the collapse of a galaxy-spanning empire. Learn the history of a former frontier world and the ancient spacefaring people who first explored it.
Turn-based Guerrilla Warfare – Control up to 20 characters as you fight against the vast army of the Astral Empire in tactical turn-based battles. You must utilize the environment to even the odds by ambushing enemies, taking cover and knocking foes off cliffs and rooftops.
Never Fight the Same Battle Twice – Tahira has no filler fights. Each encounter has been specifically designed to advance the story. Battles take place in large environments and feature multiple phases, ranging from the three-stage defence of a town to a desperate struggle to rescue trapped civilians.
More Than Just Fighting – You don’t just advance from one battle to the next in Tahira, between skirmishes, you’ll find yourself exploring the environment, learning Tahira’s thoughts about the world and getting to know the people who are traveling with you.
Near Real-time Experience – The majority of Tahira takes place over one night. The game is designed to give you a near real-time experience as you guide our heroine through the most challenging night of her life.
A Rich Cast of Colourful Characters – Including Baruti, an Avestan General; Claw and Hammer, a mercenary power couple attempting to repay a 20-year-old debt to Avestan; and Iba, Tahira’s loyal horse.
Tactics for Beginners & Experts – With four difficulty settings, Tahira caters to gamers just interested in the story, seasoned turn-based tactics veterans looking for a brutal challenge and everyone in between.
A Soundtrack Inspired by The Middle East & Central Asia
Featuring instruments, sounds and textures recorded while traveling those regions.
Keep up to date with Tahira’s Development. We’ll post media coverage, our monthly Kickstarter Development Updates and breakdowns of our creative process.
Max’s music is crafted from sounds and ideas collected around the world while traveling in India, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal and many other countries.
Brendan, previously of the award winning band Dahnoir, is currently studying sound design at RMIT.
Sam is a producer and sound engineer who operates out of a recording studio he built with his own two hands, Merloc.
When Pete, Tom and I (I’m also called Peter, just to make things confusing) sat down in July 2013 and decided we wanted to make a game, I had just returned from three months trekking in the Himalayas and two months exploring India. A few years earlier I had also been lucky enough to visit Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Israel. For me, those experiences were transformative and I wanted to capture what I found so exhilarating about traveling and to combine it with the kind of games that I love playing. I was lucky to have Pete and Tom by my side who believed that we could realise that ambition.
Over the last couple of years, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire, a turn-based tactics game set in a world with collapsing social structures, conflicting ideas about the future of the human race and a large and eclectic cast, has taken shape.
It all began with a picture. I had a basic concept in my head when I pitched Tahira to Pete and Tom. It was about a princess who returned home to find her city under siege. From that short description Pete produced the first piece of art for Tahira, the pencil sketch you can see to the left. From there we began to nail down aspects of the world, it was a frenzied stage of world building and concepting. A couple of initial setting and visual reference points were Journey, and Nausica: The Valley of the Wind.
Tom and I had wanted to make a turn-based tactics game for years. It was a genre that we fell in love with as we grew up, partly by way of Gameboy games like Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics and Advance Wars and later games like XCOM, The Banner Saga, Expeditions Conquistador, Civilisation IV and V and really any others that we can find the time to play. I’ve always found that turn-based tactics games have a wonderful ability to mix addictive gameplay with involved stories and character development and we found the prospect of doing that with Tahira very exciting.
We’ve been working on the game for two years and expect development on Episode One to be complete in 2016. It is my hope that when we’re done, we’ll have made a game that captures the excitement and adventure of going on a journey, but one that also reflects on some of the harsher realities of life in an honest and interesting way. From the beginning this has been a project inspired by the experiences of my life and I look forward to sharing them with you in the coming years.
Whale Hammer Games is a three person indie developer based out of Canberra Australia. We founded the company in July 2013 with the goal of creating fun games that address real world issues in interesting and meaningful ways.
Peter is a published travel writer and award winning creative writer. He enjoys traveling off the beaten track.
Tom graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of IT in 2012.
Writer and artist with a ba/bva in art history and curatorship focusing on photomedia and film.
Hannah is a writer, director and actress in her final year of a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree from the Australian institute of Music (Dramatic Arts).
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