Dante Update #4: The Path of Woe

Update #4

In this update, we talk about the development of Champions, reveal a new giveaway, and also show you what Gencon was like! There’s also information about Essen SPIEL where you can meet us and demo the game.

“‘O you who come into this camp of woe,’

cried Minos when he saw me turn away

without awaiting his judgement, ‘watch where you go'”

– Inferno, V:16-18, Ciardi

Dear Adventurers,

As my consciousness returned, my eyes fluttered open to a suffocating gloom. Right ahead of me, a grotesque half-beast loomed. Its cold eyes see right through me. Assessing. Judging.

In this update, we will share our thoughts on Gencon and invite you to join us at Essen SPIEL, where we will fight King Minos during the demo games. We’ll also give you a sneak peek at what will determine the development of the player characters, start another community giveaway, and let you vote on the artistic direction for Cerberus.

  • Meet us at Essen SPIEL (Hall 3 – Booth 3E124 and see Dante in action! (book a demo here)
  • The Path of Woe — read about the character development throughout the game
  • Look back at Gencon with us
  • New community giveaway and the results of the previous ones
  • Next steps for Dante
  • Vote for the best look for Cerberus!

Essen Spiel — Meet Us in Hall 3, Booth 3E124

“… I was swept

by such a swoon as death is, and I fell,

as a corpse might fall, to the dead floor of Hell.”

– Inferno, V:138-49, Ciardi

The next big event that we’re gearing for is of course Essen SPIEL 2023. We’re excited to invite you to our booth in Hall 3 – 3E124, where we’ll have plenty of fun activities lined up for everyone who will drop by! We are going to demo DanteAwakenings (Chronicles of Drunagor), and Beaver Creek (a fast and fun family game by FourFun Games, our sister company).

The demo spots are limited, but come hang out with us either way to see the game in action, and chat with the game developers and other members of the CGS Team. We’re looking forward to meeting you and hearing your thoughts in person!

Let’s make Essen SPIEL an unforgettable experience together!

The Path of WoeNarrative Character Development

“I bowed my head. At last the Poet spoke:

‘What painful thoughts are these your lowered brow covers?'”

– Inferno, V:107-08. Ciardi

Where shrieks of lamentations echo and shadows reflect despair, I found myself surrounded by a heavy mist that clung to my very soul. I feel like I have been wandering aimlessly in these past days, free from the tormented memories of my past life. What a unique oblivion that dulled my pain. Yet, as I approached those eerie stairs that spiraled towards yet another circle, my memories, once lost, pierced through the haze like shards of broken glass.

At the beginning of Inferno (the poem), Dante becomes aware that he has lost the true way, both real and metaphorical, when he wakes up alone in a dark forest. Without knowing how he got there, Dante begins the journey that eventually leads him to the bottom of hell; a journey, which represents the physical act of traveling as much as personal and spiritual development. In a similar way, the Champions from this game will initially only recall fragments of their past (see Update #3 to see the work-in-progress character backgrounds we have shared).

Only during the adventure deeper into hell will the Champions, piece by piece, recover their memories as flashbacks that will narrate the story of the paths they took in life. Whenever this happens, players will have the opportunity to decide how their characters responded to different situations. These choices will build your moral footprint, and when the Champions receive an upgraded character card, the moral footprint will determine the path in which they will develop. Eventually, the decisions you will make throughout the whole campaign will steer you towards one of the final Goals.

Looking Back at Gencon

“So we went down to the second ledge alone;

a smaller circle of so much greater pain

the voice of the damned rose in a bestial moan,”

– Inferno, V:1-3, Ciardi

This Gencon marked a significant milestone for us. It was the first time we had the privilege of having a booth at the event, and we had an absolute blast meeting with backers, friends, business partners, reviewers, and the board gaming community in general. Thank you very much to everyone who stopped by and said hello!

It was an intense experience, but that intensity resonated deeply with our team. We had amazing discussions with our followers, demoed Dante, showcased Apocalypse, and introduced folks to Beaver Creek. The valuable feedback we received from those who played Dante, the connections we made, and the overall energy of it all only reaffirmed why we do what we do.

In the end, our primary goal is to develop products that unite the community; to allow people to come together and embark on an adventure they can share with those they cherish in their lives. Witnessing people strategize and collaborate, watching families having a good time playing our games, and hearing stories of a father playing Chronicles of Drunagor with his son across the whole country via webcam – these are the moments that drive us forward. This is why we’re here, and this is why we’re committed to constant improvement, all for the sake of our incredible community. We’re immensely proud to have earned your trust and to stand together, transforming ideas into remarkable games that create unforgettable moments.

Thank you from the depths of our hearts for your unwavering support.

Feedback from the Demo Sessions

“And they honored me far beyond courtesy,”

– Inferno, IV:100, Ciardi

Apart from meeting people and demoing Dante, we’re also incredibly happy that we have received very useful feedback that has already contributed to several tweaks in the game design. Overall, among the aspects that received the most praise were the fact that the game is accessible to play, the entertaining three-dimensional combat, and that cooperation and teamwork can lead to incredible plays.

On the other hand, we can improve the game by amplifying the sense of danger and making the Confrontations longer. Although the Demo Box experience was streamlined on purpose, we felt that we should revisit the design and try incorporating some changes. Since we got back from Gencon, we have been working on new features and we have already adapted several ideas for the sessions we will play during Essen SPIEL:

  • players really enjoyed Sin cards, which are cards that represent the negative influence that the Inferno exerts on the bodies and spirits of the Champions. Sin cards can be played in two ways: you may either Resist (trigger a negative effect to get rid of the card) or Yield (trigger a positive effect but keep the card – which is usually not ideal). Before Gencon, we were actually thinking about simplifying the Sin cards by removing this double use, but after we saw the overwhelmingly positive response of players who appreciated having this additional gameplay choice, we started investigating this mechanic to see if it could be utilized even more.
  • we have further clarified several gameplay effects that did not turn out to be intuitive enough, and we are now also examining all other effects and actions to prevent similar issues to those pointed out during the demo sessions;
  • we have changed the color of the Vigor points (Dante’s version of Stamina) to prevent confusing it with health.

In the end, we can’t overstate how much we appreciate the feedback and constructive criticism from the community, as it helps us evolve the design and gameplay mechanics of the game even further, as we strive to come up with solutions that will allow us to deliver an amazing game. We have to thank all of you who read these updates, everyone who spares the time to share their ideas in the comments here or on our Discord server, and of course all the people who stop by and talk to us during the gaming conventions. Thank you for helping us make the game better for everyone.

New Community Giveaway

In the previous giveaway, we asked about your thoughts on storytelling, and it was amazing to see that a large part of the community shared their opinions. We are incredibly happy that we are able to communicate with you like this, as it provides us with amazing feedback. Take a look at the link below to see the results of the previous giveaway:

In a new giveaway, we’d love to hear your thoughts on crowdfunding updates! What do you like to read about? Do you even read them? Which crowdfunding campaign was the most fun for you? Join the new discussion and let us and others from the community know! As a thank you, we will give away a pledge from the upcoming Dante campaign to one random person who participates.

Previous Giveaway Winners

The winners of the previous two giveaways are João O. and Adam T. Congratulations! Please check your email (including the spam folders) for a message from Rick, or get in touch with us directly at customerservice@wearecgs.com

Next Steps

“But at the far end of that valley of evil

whose maze had sapped my very heart with fear!

I found myself before a little hill”

– Inferno, I:12-15, Ciardi

In the last update (Update #3), we asked you to share suggestions for what you think would be the best name for the game. You have been absolutely fantastic, and so we now have a list of over 150 different ideas that we are going through. Once we shortlist those that fit the story and the theme best, we’ll open another poll for you to choose your favorite.

During the weeks following Essen SPIEL, we will launch closed playtesting of Dante on the Tabletop Simulator, to get additional feedback on both the gameplay mechanics and the story.

Vote for the Best Cerberus

“Cerberus, the cruel, misshapen monster, there

Bays in his triple gullet and doglike growls

Over the wallowing shades; his eyeballs glare”

– Inferno, IV:13-16, Sayers

Finally, we’d love to bring you closer to the process of the development of the game. In the picture below, you can see three sketches of Cerberus, the three-headed hound who tears apart the sinners in the third circle of hell.

When we embarked on the creation of Cerberus, our primary objective was to encapsulate the iconic image of the three-headed dog while upholding the essence of its traditional representation. However, we also wanted to infuse some unique elements that would align with our vision of this beloved hound from the depths of hell. The main idea was to honor tradition while adding our distinctive twist to it.

Help us find the proper visage for this horrifying beast by letting us know which version you like most in the poll at the bottom of this update!

Thank you, adventurers, for being here with us as we prepare to start the descent into the deepest circles of hell. We hope that we will meet many of you in person at Essen SPIEL!

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. We wish you a great week!


CGS Team