One Step From Eden, an indie game designed by developer Thomas Moon Kang, is currently slated for a release sometime later this month (its Steam Store page simply lists an early 2020 release date, but it was announced elsewhere for January 2020 and there’s currently no word to the contrary). Its core gameplay mechanics are primarily inspired by the Mega Man Battle Network series, which was a Mega Man spinoff with a style of battle that featured an idiosyncratic mix of real-time and turn-based combat centered around a deck-building mechanic.
In a typical round of combat in Mega Man Battle Network, Mega Man faces off against an a enemy or enemies, each side with its own 3×3 grid on which they can move. A turn begins by selecting a number of compatible “chips,” each with its own combat or grid-altering abilities, that are then used in real-time. Combat is paused once a gauge fills up that allows players to then select a new slate of chips, after which they can continue using their newly-selected abilities in real-time once again.
One Step From Eden iterates on the MMBN formula in a few key ways. Most notably, whereas MMBN is a story-based adventure, One Step From Eden is a roguelike, meaning that the majority of its gameplay is combat, rather than having battles slotted in between lengthy exploration segments as in its primary inspiration. Additionally, combat takes place entirely in real-time. The “Custom Gauge” that pauses combat in MMBN has been replaced by an automatically-refilling gauge that tracks points required to use abilities. Less consequentially, the 3×3 grids have been upgraded to 16 space 4×4 grids as well.
Kang, who has been developing One Step From Eden for just over three years, was able to transition into working as a game developer full-time following a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $70,000. While the full game has yet to be released, its Discord community has already developed a number of functional mods based on its initial demo version, some of which Kang has commented influenced the design of the actual game.
Keep an eye out for One Step From Eden this month, when it’s expected to be released on PC and Nintendo Switch.
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