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Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire

Experience the epic coming of age story of a young woman, told in near-real-time across a 12-hour period
in this tactical turn-based adventure.

A thousand years after the fall of a spacefaring empire, a young princess named Tahira travels the far reaches of her barren kingdom, alone but for her trusty horse, Iba.

When word reaches her of an army wielding the devastating technologies of the past, she finds herself thrust into the most challenging night of her life as she fights to become the leader her people desperately need.

Tahira is out on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam, GOG and the Humble Store.

Rotoscoped Character Animations

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.


Large Scale Battles – Control up to 20 characters as you fight against the vast army of the Astral Empire in large-scale tactical turn-based battles.

Guerrilla Warfare – Even the odds by ambushing enemies, taking cover and knocking foes off cliffs and rooftops.

Meet a Rich Cast of Characters – Spend time between battles exploring the environment and talking to your companions.

A World in Darkness – Discover a shattered world, where the shadow of the past hangs heavily over all that remains.

A Tactics Game for Everyone – Four difficulty settings, catering for beginners more interested in the story and to seasoned tactics veterans.

A Musical Journey – The soundtrack features instruments, sounds and textures recorded while travelling in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The Team – Tahira was created by a three-person core development team and a small group of contractors who were inspired by real-world travels through the Middle East, Nepal, and India.


Development Blog

Keep up to date with Tahira’s Development. We’ll post media coverage, our monthly Kickstarter Development Updates and breakdowns of our creative process.

The Sounds of Tahira

Max LL


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 Holyland

Sound Designer

Brendan, previously of the award winning band Dahnoir, is currently studying sound design at RMIT.

Sam King

Sound Engineer

Sam is a producer and sound engineer who operates out of a recording studio he built with his own two hands, Merloc.

Creating Tahira

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.

Peter C

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 Castle

Lead Writer & Creative Director

Peter is a published travel writer and award winning creative writer. He enjoys traveling off the beaten track.

Tom Cox

Lead Programmer

Tom graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of IT in 2012.

Peter Simpson

Lead Artist

Peter worked as a Photoshop Artist and Illustrator for 10 years before writing his book Practical Anatomy for Artists, which was published in 2010.

Contributing Writers

Adriana Cleaver


Adriana is a writer and artist with a BA/BVA in art history and curatorship focusing on photomedia and film.

Hannah Tonks


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).


We’re always up for interviews, previews, or anything else that involves us talking to you. Click below to visit our PressKit().

You can also contact us directly at peterc@whalehammergames.com