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Black Dragon Mage is an upcoming dark fantasy, action-roguelite, top-down horde shooter (think like Vampire Survivors) and there's a demo out now. Plus the developer had some words to say on developing with the Steam Deck in mind.

Fans of any of these bullet-heaven horde games will likely enjoy this one, and from my time spent playing the demo it was a lot of fun unlocking various upgrades and weapons to become god-like with power. A little rough around the edges, with some balancing needed to be done but very promising so far!

Writing about developing the game to ensure it works great on Steam Deck, the developer wrote up a blog post going over it talking about how the "Steam Deck is a Dev Dream come true", and it was interesting to read from a non-dev perspective too, on how they used the performance tools to help emulate lower-performance systems quickly and easy for testing. They even discovered a Proton bug which affected even the likes of Starfield. Worth a read!

Check out the trailer:

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Game Features:

  • Decimate legions of demonic enemies with magic projectiles and area damage that only grows more powerful. Decipher the weaknesses of ancient and mysterious boss enemies, and bring them to their fall.
  • Grow your might! Launch increasingly large volleys of fireballs, or icy orbs that leave frosty mines and freeze foes on contact, blast the undead with your arcane beam staff or harness the dark and chaotic power of the void itself! All primary weapons can be modified through stats, but also offer special upgrade paths called Masteries to unlock their full strategic potential and add to build variety.
  • Forge your own path by experimenting with your own combinations of your core arsenal & powerful ARPG-style defensive and offensive abilities such as the Shield of FrostSummoned FlameswordsSpiral StrikeFiery Pentagram! and more!
  • Level-up your attributes, weapons and abilities with every character level during a run, customize and tweak your build until it reaches dizzying heights of power; every run marks a new beginning!
  • Turn the environment to your favor using your (often outrageously explosive!) strategic genius, outmaneuver your foes by leading them into deadly traps! Laugh as you watch them hurl across the battlefield... Fools!
  • Endure the relentless waves, or...
  • Perish and return stronger by unlocking meta-upgrades and fresh weaponry in the Hall of Relics with the gold you've gathered during your tireless runs! Grab a new hat for your mage! One even lets you turn a portion of fallen enemies into bombs that can chain-explode...

Right now it's being tested worked well in Proton, but it might have a Native Linux build at launch but the developer said right now it runs better with Proton due to input issues.

Check out the demo on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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1 comment

datablob Feb 2
Solo Dev behind Black Dragon Mage here, thanks for checking out the demo, Liam!

Means a lot to us micro-indies, hehe. Glad you had fun with it, definitely agree about balancing. I'm currently updating the demo with new content, fixes and based on community feedback in anticipation of Steam NextFest (week of Feb 5th, exciting) where the game will be participating.

It's hard to describe how cool it is to get your own game running on a handheld, it's a bit special! I hope this inspires more people to try and tinker.

Last edited by datablob on 3 February 2024 at 10:23 am UTC
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