Rituals of the old features

At this point all the features are subject to change!

This list represents our current situation and plans for the future. There are absolutely no guarantees that everything on this list will get implemented nor can we say with a certainty when these features will get implemented. Also keep in mind that the items on this list are not in any particular order and the list might be incomplete.


In order to understand ourselves as a race you must first put aside all you've been taught about the history of our species. It is most certainly a bunch of nonsense and utter humbug invented by primitive and backward men wearing their fancy suits and ties and imagining themselves kings of logic and centers of creation.

In the true histories of men, of which only a few have ever heard of, it is passed down by an unbroken chain of oral tradition - never before now written down - that there once was a time, long ago, when the first ancestors of men looked up to the stars from their forgotten birth home and reached out and spread their seeds across the galaxy over the span of hundreds of millions of years during the mythical past of the mankind. That's right.

We are not of this Earth.

The wisdom and technology of the first ancestors was unparalleled and beyond anything since. But like all things they had their time in this world. And mankind fell, hard, and was nearly extinguished.

TODO: continue history

Rituals of the old takes place on a planet where occupation by the great galactic imperium has ended generations ago freeing the people from serfdom. The troops of the imperium were suddenly recalled to fight in a far away war for the immortal sun emperor on the other side of the galaxy. The troops left behind all the technology that they could not carry, leaving it scattered around the globe. The old machines are now mostly broken or defunct due to lack of maintenance. The primitive inhabitants of the planet have reverted back to using more primitive tools in their daily lives.

The world

The world of the Rituals of the old is calm on the surface. Players are not forced into conflict unless they actively start taking sides and looking for trouble. As you dig deeper things will start to reveal themselves as they truly are. A world torn with deep conflict between the past and the present. The influence of the cult of the immortal sun emperor is still very strong, but some people have started to doubt the word of the invaders and have revived the worship of the old gods which was forbidden by the great galactic imperium. The use of magic is also still forbidden and it's practitioners are persecuted and burned alive on the stake, but after the fall of the imperium the followers of the old ways have been forming covens in secret. Deep beneath the earth, sensing the changes in the ether dark and terrible things have started to awaken from their slumber...


The technology level in the game is a mix of medieval, modern and futuristic with the primary focus on medieval.


Our inspiration comes - beside our twisted imaginations - from a variety of games and other sources such as the Ultima series (mostly Ultima 7 and the Ultima Underworlds), Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday, Sword of the samurai, Moebius: The orb of celestial harmony, Phantasie III: The wrath of Nikademus, The Elder scrolls III: Morrowind, Plague of the moon, Planescape: Torment, Another world, the literary works of H.P. Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley, Lewis Carroll, Frank Herbert, James G. Frazer, Eliphas Levi and many others.

What is it all about?

Sandbox RPG
Rituals of the old is a sandbox RPG. A game where you are free to live in the game world and do what ever you want in the confines of the game world and it’s rules. Our focus is on providing an interesting world with lots of lore and background stories. This is not a plain sandbox game – we don’t only provide you with game mechanics and throw you into the world. And this is not a plain RPG game – we do not have a storyline for you to follow and the world is not in need of saving, but you’re free to create your own stories. This is a sandbox RPG – we have the game mechanics in place for you and you’re free to roam and explore the living world supported by immersive lore and background stories.
You can build anything you like - our build mechanics simulate the challenge of real work in a light and engaging manner. You will need to procure the tools and materials suitable for each task. For example if you plan on building a wooden house you will need planks, hammer and nails. And if you plan on making a brick house you will need a masons trowel, mortar and bricks.
Work simulation
Instead of clicking on something and waiting, the players have to do the actual work in the form of minigames. Simulating the challenge of real work creates value for the work and lays down a foundation for a stable economy. It also encourages cooperation between players by creating an environment where doing all the work by yourself is impossible due to the fact that one person cannot master all the skills and also because there would simply be too much work to do.
Common resources are not created out of thin air. The raw materials have to be mined, harvested and collected. Each society lives off the material wealth of the land and trades for those resources which it cannot otherwise procure. So, for instance, when an NPC character is spawned with full gear the resources for that gear are reduced from the resource pool of that society. The resource pool, in turn, is tied to the work the society does and ultimately to the limited natural resources which are actually available in that area. This gives the game economy a chance to work since it doesn’t have to deal with artificial inflation caused by resources and material goods being created out of thin air.
Scarcity of food
Food is not abundant in nature. You cannot simply walk around for a bit and survive off the land without effort for prolonged times. Scarcity of food creates an environment where the players have to plan ahead and cooperate with each other to flourish. Harvests are seasonal and the winter is coming… and it’s a long, cold and deadly.
Each season lasts about 15 days in real time and one year of game time is approximately 2 months. Latitude affects the length of seasons in relation to one another. For example near the poles the growth seasons are shorter and the winters last longer.
It is not enough simply to eat to stay alive and healthy. You have to eat - diversely - to get all your proteins and vitamins. You will also need pure water, warmth and enough good quality sleep. The worse you are, the easier it is to fall sick and there are some terrible diseases out there spread by spoiled food, dirty water, other people etc.
Survival against the elements is not a big deal if you live in a warm house with plenty of everything, but out there... it is another world. Surrounded only by weeks of wildnerness at a walking pace and left to your own devices with nothing more than a knife and tinderbox to aid you - even the smallest mistake might cost you your life. You have to keep up your strength by drinking enough water, you have to find food and you have to keep warm and dry. Turning in for the night in your makeshift shelter the mosquitoes and smoke from the campfire keep you awake and in the morning you are worse off than you were the other day. You also drank from a polluted stream and now you have a diarrhea which further increases you predicament and increases your need for liquids. You have to decide whether to stay put and rest, or whether to try to find something to eat and drink. If you stay and rest too long you might not have enough strength left to hunt and search for water anymore. And if you don’t manage to catch anything you will have wasted all those calories which might have carried you a few steps further into the wilderness.
Farming is essential for larger communities to survive. Drought, fire, pests, cold waves or constant rains might ruin the crops. It takes a long time for the planted crops to ripen – several days in real time – and different food stuff ripen and are ready for harvest at different times. After the harvest the crops have to be processed and preserved for the winter and spring.
Animal husbandry
Animals need to eat too. Special care must be taken to secure the animals enough food during the growth season so they can survive during the winter. The animals must be tended and taken care of lest they get sick and infect the rest of the herd.
Mining is hard and dangerous. Mines need to be braced carefully or there is a risk of collapse, there is also a chance to hit a deadly gas pocket. Many ores are specific to certain areas and cannot be found everywhere. Ores deposits occur most commonly as veins.
Crafting items takes place as minigames. Some involve only context sensitive use of tools and materials in hand and some involve the use of machines and tools such as the loom, pottery wheel, melting furnace, anvil, etc.
Immersive UIs
Immersive UIs are used when ever possible. This means reduced amount of lists, menu boxes etc. Instead context sensitive interactions are used and represented by animations.
Realistic movement speed is always preferred over all other considerations.
Realism and difficulty
Simplified realism is one of our main goals in all game mechanics. We don’t wish to crush good gameplay but we do want the game to be hard and believable. In many cases full realism would be too hard core or too demanding for hardware. Simplified realism often works well enough.
We aim to make the combat realistic and somewhat historically accurate and based on fighting techniques and counter moves. If you get stabbed or shot and you don’t die instantly or bleed out the next day - you will most likely die a slow and horrible death from infections. If you don’t die you might be crippled. If you’re not crippled you will at least take a long time to heal and will most likely need help from others.
Dying will be discouraged by making it as unappealing as possible to the players through different kinds of punishments. There will also be several methods of respawning. For example you might ”almost die” but miraculously survive and you will have to lie and rest incapacitated (time based punishment) for a prolonged time. After you recuperate enough to move you will be weak for a long time and you have to gather your strength back. In another example you might be completely obliterated and resurrected through cloning from a previous body state – you will lose skills you might have gained. And you have to wait in the cloning vat until you have gained enough strength to crawl out weak.
You will need others to survive. The game has been designed in such a way that one person cannot master all the skills and jobs or hope to accomplish everything. There will be AI personalities with scripted routines and lives. The AI will run small societies. Players can step into this structure and assume jobs and other positions.
The game will have ritual magic. It will not be about throwing fireballs out of your hands or casting lightning spells. Magic will be a taboo. Witches are burnt on stake or executed. Also magic will not be available to the great majority of players - nor is it meant to be.
There will be religions. Most of them are practiced in secret and forbidden on the pain of death.
Features supporting roleplay in a ”not in your face” kind of way will have a lot of focus from us. This is the old school kind of roleplaying, not the number grinding, level up kind of roleplay where you run after quests to kill 10 rats and gather 10 herbs. Roleplay - as in people playing roles, living their character’s lives in the game world. Our goal is to make features which enable the players to roleplay and to avoid spoiler features which hinder the roleplaying experience – such as HUD maps, revealing announcement messages, etc. It’s all about being immersive.
Your characters will be flawed wrecks and they will fail again and again without the help and support of the society. The game is designed in such a way that no one can know everything and master all the skills. You will be able to create up to 4 characters per multiplayer key which you can assign to specific servers you wish to play at. Some servers may choose to limit the amount of characters you can play with and may lock your character in such a manner that if you remove it from the server you will lose all progress on that server.
Enemies and conflict
Rituals of the old doesn’t have enemies which always charge at you on sight. The game is very nihilistic in this sense. You will find trouble if you go looking for it or if you start taking sides. But none of those sides or points of views are absolutely correct (unless you think they are). Even the hardiest brigands can become your friends in the right circumstances (unless they are too busy robbing and murdering you). Don’t get me wrong. The game has – potentially - a lot of horrible violence, torture and other terrible terrible things, but even though the potential is there it’s ultimately up to the players and the servers owners to define what it’s all about. We provide you with the stage. You are the actors.
Drugs and alcohol
The game will have (some) drugs and (a large variety of) alcohol with a lot of effort put into modeling their effects on the human body. But not just alcohol, brewing and distillation are an essential part.
We are looking into including horses, horse carts, boats, buildable ships and air vessels into the game after the base game is done. No promises in case we hit a snag with mechanics or performance, but definitely looking into it.

Features we're working on


We haven't started working on this yet.
We are working on this.
This feature is uncertain or waiting for something. Read details.
This feature is done.

Core features

Octree and mesher
Octree and mesher for world data. Storing, retrieving, updates, etc. A fundamental part of the game engine. We will use our own implementation called Terra.
Networking, ie. handling the transfer of data between the game server and game client. We will use Netty networking library for this. It's still a lot of work.
Basic UI
User Interface. It's the means through which you interact with the game. We aim to eliminate all the excessive UI metaphors and instead increase players' interaction and immersion with the game world.
The game launcher. This is what starts up when you click on the game icon. Sets up java and library settings for you automatically. Also contains settings, login, etc. The usual.
Verification and login server
This includes the registration of player accounts, logging in, safe handling and storage of user credentials etc. The security of our players is one of our major focuses.
Basic inventory handling for players and game world objects.
Player interaction with the world
Playing animations, collision detection, handling click events etc basic stuff.
Sound system
Sound event system so that we can play sounds.
Basic configuration system for settings.
World generator
World generator creates and handles terrain and different vegetation zones.
Player and world physics.
Entity Component System for handling entities.

Gameplay features

Gameplay features are waiting for core features
Waiting for core features. No progress on gameplay features before core features are ready.
Support for placing and breaking blocks.
Support for making items. The ideology here is that the less UI metaphors we can use the better. In the ideal situation we will have general animations for everything and instead of using UI workbench or such you will actually be holding items and attaching them to each other, building stuff from ground up from smaller parts. Working on actual objects on anvil, vice, using tools on them etc.
Most skill based actions will be minigames. What does that mean? When you pick a lock, you will be presented with a minigame where you will actually have to pick a lock. You wish to make a shirt? You will first have to use a loom to make cloth. It will be a minigame. You wish to brew alcohol? It will be a complicated minigame and it will take a long time to be ready. When you make a sword, it will also be a minigame - You will need blueprints to know what you are doing. Then you need a forge and you need bellows. You will first have to melt iron into a billet. Then you heat the billet and put it on an anvil and start hammering it with a blacksmiths hammer. You will also need your tongs to handle the hot iron. You will need your water or possibly mineral oil for quenching. You will need to sharpen the sword, make the grip, goard and pommel and attach them. And so on. As such it will not be a simple matter of clicking a few things from the menu and BLIM your sword magically appears. You will actually have to work for it. All these things will, hopefully, lead into balanced and working player run economies on multiplayer servers.
Farming and growth
Farming and growth will be semi-realistic and there will be growth seasons. Growth times will be realistically long (relative to the length of the day) by default. Getting food won't be just a matter of throwing a few seeds on to ground and gobbling up bread in a few minutes. If you live outside the society and don't plan ahead you most certainly will perish of hunger.
Animal husbandry
You will be able to grow livestock.
Combat will aim to be - eventually - semi-realistic. Most focus will be given to melee weapons such as swords. A fight between two unarmored swordsmen of equal skill should realistically last from 15 seconds to up to 2 minutes. Basically the first one to get a blow in wins. Combat will be event driven non-realtime strike-counterstrike/reaction based combat with timed windows during which the opponent can react.
There will be ritual magic in the game. I will not go into details. But it will not be the kind of magic where you throw fireballs at your opponents. Magic is rare, dangerous and magic users are shunned, hunted and burned on stake or worse.
Basic spawning and respawning
Player spawning and respawning will be handled in the most simple manner.
Advanced spawning and respawning
Player spawning and respawning will eventually be handled by an elaborate system where you sometimes die and sometimes you only end up near death and you are saved but in a very bad shape. There will be several varied ways to survive and to come back from death. Surviving and coming back from the dead will always come with a price. This will replace and complement the basic spawning and respawning.
Hunger, thirst, sleep, disease, mental health, permanent injuries and survival against the elements. Survival outside the comfort of civilized society will be semi-realistic and, difficult.
There will be electronic circuits, generators, batteries, wiring, transformers, vacuum tubes, switches, buttons, machines, etc. The goal is to make them semi-realistic and not dumbed down.
Mechanical gadgets
There will be mechanical transfer of force, ie. waterwheels, windmills, etc.
Space and planets
The ultimate goal is the expand Rituals of the old into space. We will design the game from ground up to support semi-realistic physics in space, vacuum, gravity, pressurised spaces, the escape of pressure, the consumption of air in enclosed spaces, etc. But the actual implementation of space and other planets is scheduled quite late in the development when everything else is ready and polished. Whether we will ever get to this depends greatly on whether Rituals of the old will be a financial success or not. Travel in space will be semi-realistic, ie. it will take extremely long to get anywhere. Humankind has not developed means to leave our home galaxy. Travel between stars - while it is theoretically possible in the game - is not a realistic prospect with the default settings. Traveling to other planets on the other hand in the same solar system will be possible but also takes a long time by default. The universe of Rituals of the old - against many of the more popular theories of modern day science - will be void of life. Most planets are inhospitable places - chunks of rocks incapable of supporting human life or life of any kind. The most you can expect is a rare algae or moss. Unlike in real life in Rituals of the old the humankind is alone in the universe.
Boats, airships and flying cities
We hope to add the ability to build boats and airships of any shape and design which can be sailed smoothly through waters and the skies. The airships would mostly be powered by balloons, propellers or sails. The success of this endeavour depends greatly on how well we are able to overcome the obvious performance issues that are going to creep up and how well we are able to optimize the game. Do not expect this feature early in the development. It is not a high priority because of the time and effort required.
Simple AI
Simple fast AI that can handle pathfinding, attacking, etc.
Complex multilevel AI
Complex multilevel AI to replace the simple AI. Will support simulations of life in cities, villages and other habitats on top level and more detailed simulations of daily routines on lower level when player characters are in the area. Will support understanding of situations and interactions, reactions, combat tactics and understanding of what kind of tactics the player character is employing and of the general threat level to the NPC. NPC's will have jobs, friends, routines, frequented places, hobbies, opinions, personalities, beliefs, etc. and things done to NPCs will affect their opinion and they will communicate what they know to their surroundings. We will try to avoid magical ESP and to make NPCs resilient to clever tricks and abuse by players and effective in combat against player threats through statistical analysis of the tactics used by the players.
Cannons with semi-realistic physics and loading.
Projectile weapons
Hand held projectile weapons with proper trajectories, spread and semi-realistic physics and behavior.
Chat and voice chat
The ingame text and voice chats will be radius based by default. Sound insulating structures between the speaker and the listener will prevent the chat from being heard properly. At first the (text) message will get inaccurate, ie. "H-llo th.re!", then unreadable "H-,.- t .- ." and finally the message will disappear completely. You won't be able to speak or hear people underwater, in vacuum, etc. You get the general idea. The chat will support embedding of links, images and other media with previews (with the ability to configure these off both from server and client side. Permissions can also be used to limit their use to only certain group of users from the server side) and a proxy system for increased safety.
Capture and torture
The ability to capture and to tie up players and to torture them.
Skill system
Just like in real life people are born in the world of the Rituals of the old with different kinds of aptitudes. You cannot be good at everything. You will be proficient in learning some things, you will have difficulty in learning others and you will be mediocre in most things. No matter how hard you try you will never be able to master all skills, you are just born that way. This will, hopefully, lead into situations where players have to work together to thrive. You can learn skills by watching someone do something a few times and then practicing it yourself. You can also learn skills from books. We won't display any skillpoints to the player even though they do exist in the background. We think that would be counter intuitive and encourage grinding rather than the natural life and workflow.
Karma system will keep track of people's actions. Different kinds of actions and behavior will bring different kinds of rewards and punishments. The karma system will be designed in such a way that it supports our ideals of existential nihilism. There are no heroes or villains and the world is not in need of saving. In Rituals of the old one man's hero is another man's villain. The karma system will also enable us to balance several aspects of the game such as player - player interactions. While it does categorize some actions as constructive and some actions as destructive the data will be used to better define the personality of the player character and to give the player character opportunities according to his playstyle.
The cult of the immortal sun emperor, the thieves' guild, the brigands, the red sun, the coven, the company, the ancients, the great galactic imperium, the technoharmadan, etc. The idea is that there are different forces at play in the world which affect the world. Ideally we would like to achieve some depth to all this and not just have this typical "hey, here you go there are 4 factions, wanna join one we'll give you quests!" because that's dumb and annoying even if the storylines are good.
Personal notebook
You have a notebook with you. It will always be with you and you won't be able to lose it even if you die. Things in the notebook are saved on server side so if you play on a new server you will start with an empty notebook. One example how the notebook will be used: If you see an interesting engraving in an ancient temple you can take out your notebook and make a sketch of it. Later you can use that sketch to make those engravings with a hammer and a chisel. You cannot write in the notebook your own notes manually, for that you will have to use a regular book which you can lose. The notebook will in general reflect things your character knows. Sometimes you knowing things is enough. Sometimes even if your character knows things it is not enough. Some feats will require also aptitude and skill - and if you don't have the aptitude you cannot aquire the skill. You are not meant to be omnipotent in this game.
Each season lasts about 15 days in real time and one year of game time is approximately 2 months. Latitude affects the length of seasons in relation to one another. For example near the poles the growth seasons are shorter and the winters last longer.
It is not enough simply to eat to stay alive and healthy. You have to eat - diversely - to get all your proteins and vitamins. You will also need pure water, warmth and enough good quality sleep. The worse you are, the easier it is to fall sick and there are some terrible diseases out there spread by spoiled food, dirty water, other people etc.
Mining is hard and dangerous. Mines need to be braced carefully or there is a risk of collapse, there is also a chance to hit a deadly gas pocket. Many ores are specific to certain areas and cannot be found everywhere. Ores deposits occur most commonly as veins.
There will be religions. Most of them are practiced in secret and forbidden on the pain of death.
Drugs and alcohol
The game will have (some) drugs and (a large variety of) alcohol with a lot of effort put into modeling their effects on the human body. But not just alcohol, brewing and distillation are an essential part.
We are looking into including horses, horse carts, boats, buildable ships and air vessels into the game after the base game is done. No promises in case we hit a snag with mechanics or performance, but definitely looking into it.

Server management

Persistent Safety Instigator. Integrated grief management. Rollbacks, snapshots, client side realtime preview of rollbacks with a time slider and the ability to mark/remove certain parts from rollbacks from different time periods/per player/etc. Seamless integration of the admin features into the lore of the game world plus cool effects. Intelligent rollbacks with rollback zones temporarily removed from the normal flow of the game. Automatic adjustment of rollback speeds by default for optimal performance so that rollbacks don't hose the whole server or cause unnecessary lag.
Surveillance and Entity Engagement Recorder. Total tracking of everything that the players do on a server with the ability to see all the events that took place in different locations replayed back to the admins second by second on local client - complete with chat logs. Like watching, winding and rewinding back a surveilance tape. Integrated to the game and lore as the admin seer ability.
Extended Surveillance Presence. The ability to summon/dismiss an extra admin HUD which shows information about the players in real time - their status, ratings and what they are currently doing.
The Book Of Knowledge. Store, share and retrieve local information about players, their histories and actions. Also shows the players' global ratings (number of bans, etc), name histories, age of the account etc.
Statistical Analysis Daemon. The SAD reality is that there will always be hacks and cheats - for almost every game in existence - and there is nothing that can be done to prevent this completely. That is why rather than spending enourmous amount of time on trying to keep up with the hackers we will instead put an extra effort on this type of general analysis tools whose function can further be customized by the server owners. SAD attempts to assist the servers owners to detect griefers and hackers. Server owners can configure automatic actions to be taken based on the information the server gathers on the players. These actions can include but are not limited to increased user surveillance status, automatic bans, permission or permission group changes and other custom actions. We will include default settings to cover most obvious cases, but how each server handles their server specific grief detection rules is left to them - making it more difficult and unpredictable for the hackers to circumvent detection.

TODO: Add more cool stuff

This serves as a final reminder that this feature list is not complete, may be missing important things and is subject to change over the course of time.

6/16/2017: Been so wrapped up in development -- forgot to update features! Only a small update this time to the status of different sections (duh, some that were ready went back to development to accommodate engine changes). Also added a couple of sections that we initially forgot to add.

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