The gameplay loop is usually the heart of the game. Our loop is straight forward as it hearkens back to some very specific classic CRPGs: the original Realms of Arkania and SSI's Gold Box games. These games had three basic gameplay modes and cycling through them was their loop
Grid Based Dungeon Exploration:
Like those games exploration is first person and movement is grid based. I've always liked this combination that allows for immersive environments while still being very quick and efficient to explore. Along with a grid based map it is always very clear where you've already explored. Dungeon features are easy to spot since they are also on a grid rather than needing to poke into every nook and cranny for a key or switch. Unlike some other classic CRPGs like the older Might and Magic or Wizardry games combat does not also happen in this view.
Whether from special events, npcs, or random encounters, the game transitions to a different gameplay system for combat.
Turn Based Combat:
Turn based tactical combat has had something of a renaissance in the last decade, but previously it was one of the standout characteristics of our inspirations. Rather than the more abbreviated combat of some of their contemporaries both RoA and the Gold Box games had turn based tactical combat where you control your characters individually on a grid.
Our combat is similar just with modern UI conveniences and some (optional) flourishes like combat cinematics. The combat system differs from the older games in quite a bit in practice since we have more complicated action point, ability, and movement systems. At its heart it is the same crunchy tactical gameplay.
Our inspirations also had an overworld travel system that connected the various points of interest and had chances for random encounters. We have a similar system just where you travel across the cosmic weirdness of Rift Space rather than the more traditional mountains and forests of fantasy.
This is a change from our inspirations. The original games all had town exploration be done via the same first person grid you explored dungeons. This made towns look more like dungeons than towns. While I always accepted the barebones nature of grid based dungeons it always felt a bit more off in towns. I was always more charmed by the menu based towns of Betrayal at Krondor, Darklands, or (less classic) Wizards & Warriors. We decided with more limited time it was better to infuse as much personality as we could into menu based towns rather than have them explored first person.
So there you have it. In Rift Riders you will travel Rift Space visiting towns and dungeons. You will explore dungeons in first person and engage in tactical combat. Look for more details about combat in a future update.