Apr 102017

The World

My name is Constantine. I took it upon myself to record the reality and events of this turbulent time, as truthfully as humanly possible.

Our beautiful world consists of vast seas, here and there littered with archipelagos and islands. The largest cluster of islands has approximately 2 million square kilometers of landmass. Other than that, there are a few other smaller archipelagos or isolated islands around the world.

The main cluster is mostly dominated by rocky terrain and mountainous ranges, with limited arable land, but rich deposits of minerals and ores. Because of this set-up, most commerce flows by the sea and air, on the magnificent steamships and airships.

The society, at least the middle to upper classes living on or near Capital Island, the largest piece of land, has been thriving since the invention of the steam engine. Which brought about an industrial revolution, changing the world. In the last few decades, the world has witnessed more technological advancement than ever before in its history.

Coal is the main resource fuelling the industry — power stations, land, sea, and air transportation, manufacture, and the military. But, in the more advanced facilities, special laboratories, and top military installations, first combustion engines omen a new coming age.

Capital Island is experiencing a record growth in commerce, population, and a boom of construction industry. New buildings are popping up every year in an architectural combination of clean ornamental geometry and functional industrial evolution. The culture in these times reflects the technological advancements and admiration for the modern machine.

Progress Above All

Apart from the insignificant isolated island states, every piece of land, everything, and everyone is controlled by one central government body — the Supreme Bureau. The institution governs every inch of people’s lives — from education, production, to consumption of resources — and also directs scientific research and cultural development. Nothing functions without the approval of this bureaucratic apparatus.

“Progress above all!”

Things were not always such. The world used to be divided in many island states and local domains. But the Supreme Bureau, with its ever-present motto and disciplined military might, arose as the dominant force and subdued the world under its watchful eye. Shortly after suppressing the last widespread rebellion against the authoritative regime, top seismologists on Capital Island detected a huge earthquake 450 miles south of the Bureau’s residence, on the high seas of the Meridian Ocean.

The main cluster suffered one of the worst tsunami hits ever recorded. In the aftermath of this nearly cataclysmic event, the military brass of the Bureau thought the rebels were still operational, abusing unknown unconventional weaponry. However, investigation of the epicenter of the quake ruled out rebels’ involvement. It was in one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters of the whole world — Mare Vaporum. The Sea of Fumes.

Mare Vaporum

No one really knows when or how it was formed. Mare Vaporum got its name from the vast amount of fumes that exudes from the water. The source of this specific behavior was unknown. The sea in these parts is unnaturally gassy and has higher temperature than the surrounding areas. The fumes obstruct navigation and make the water highly corrosive.

Due to low visibility and aggressive corrosion, both steamships and airships have long avoided this part of the world. Notorious sailors’ superstition also played a rather vital role in this, as many ships were lost without a trace in Mare Vaporum before.

Now, the Supreme Bureau decided to delve right into the mystery, sending diver teams equipped with bathyscaphes down there, into the deep. They sent out several teams to explore the underwater area. Some of the bathyscaphes never reached the seabed. Often the crew of these underwater machines had issues with failing machinery or hull-breaching. Some of them delved deeper, but disappeared without a trace, probably simply getting lost due to bad visibility caused by the fumes. No wreckage or debris of the bathyscaphes were found. As if there was something that didn’t want to be found.

But the Bureau did not give up. If natural powers, or whatever it was, were opposing them, it could only mean that something worthy must have been on the seabed of Mare Vaporum. At the end, after several failed attempts, their effort paid off! They found something…

Arx Vaporum

Something they must have found very valuable, as they did not hesitate to sacrifice human lives in retrieving the thing. Soon after, they launched new scientific projects and built research facilities on the nearest hospitable piece of land, the Katkennut Island. Grandiose projects in scale. Some of the experiments carried out didn’t end well. In fact, there are rumors speaking about catastrophic fire on the island. But the specifics were vague, newspapers only mentioning some kind of a natural disaster.

Then, a few years ago, there was another rumor among the intellectual elite of the Isles. The Supreme Bureau was building something big right in the midst of Mare Vaporum. A citadel, maybe a tower, codenamed the Arx Vaporum, dedicated to a specific scientific goal. They started to select people for the project. The selection process was very rigorous, employing elite engineers, scientists, workers, military, and other personnel. It is said they hired not only individuals, but whole families to help them build a new better world.

But what is this Arx Vaporum, and what secrets does it hold? We are not sure about this. What is known, but not generally acknowledged by the Bureau, is that they found something on the seabed that can change our future. The technological marvels of our time are only the beginning. But perhaps, there is something more sinister in all of this.

One can only wonder unless he or she enters the grounds of this mysterious tower…

— Constantine H. Darknoll, Chronicler

Aug 172015
Vaporum title concept art

Gigantic and scary, but strangely familiar

In today’s post, we’re going to have a deeper overview at what Vaporum really is, plus a recap of what you’ve might already seen.


Vaporum is an action-based dungeon crawler set in an original steampunk world. There is no party creation; you only control one character, and that character is deeply involved in a mysterious storyline. You move on a grid of squares, and everything happens in real time: exploration, puzzle-solving, combat. The game uses randomization in certain aspects to make every play-through a fresh experience. There might be some nasty surprises waiting for you in the dark corners of the complex, too. Immersion is one of the major priorities for us.

Setting and story

The game is set in a dystopian world where almost everything is controlled by a single governmental body — the Great Administration. As steam machinery is slowly being replaced by more modern diesel-powered achievements of science, something new looms over the horizon.

Our hero wakes up in the middle of a sea, weak and battered, with only a faint trail of memory. The only thing that’s plain and concrete in this sea of vapors is a megalithic tower-like structure, standing taller than clouds.

With nowhere else to go, the hero delves into the unknown…

Single character

At the game start, you do not create a party of adventurers. Instead, you control a single character. A character with a personality. Having just one character better suits Vaporum’s action-based nature, as well as his deep story involvement.

This also means that this one character must have plenty of options to choose from when striving for the optimal build.


There are no classes. You can build your character any way you want, starting up with a clean sheet. And boy, there are options to choose from!

To be precise, you don’t build your character; you rather improve your suit! As you gain fumium, the mysterious substance found in dead enemies and tubes across the complex, your suit becomes more powerful, unlocking new possibilities and bonuses for you to choose from. You often have to make an irrefutable choice between two possible upgrades which tend to contradict each other, leading to very different gameplay implications. This makes your every choice a hard and important one!

Then there are gadgets! These are items you can install into your suit which grant unique skills. You can replace gadgets with newer or even different ones, to change your play-style on the spot. Most gadgets can also be improved, again with a one-time choice between two powerful upgrades.

This fluid set of skills with the more static build of your suit make up for a rather unique system.

We think that tweaking a suit better suits the steampunk setting (pun intended 😉 ). We will have a detailed post dedicated to this topic later on.


In terms of movement, we follow the genre-traditional scheme of grid-based movement on squares. This allows us to create puzzles and gameplay situations that would be nearly impossible in a free movement system. We chose this movement type deliberately, as we like the old-school dungeoneering vibe!


Exploring the complex, you will uncover bits of story, nasty enemies, and mind-bending puzzles to test your mettle. To battle the odds, you will find items, gadgets, and various consumables. There are optional areas you will be able to explore to gain more fumium and powerful items, at a price of difficult challenges.


As everything runs in real time, including combat, the outcome of a fight depends on both your build and personal skills. We strive for a middle ground between tactical number-crunching and pure action — you will need both!

Each enemy type has a distinct set of strengths and weaknesses, and a set of attacks and defensive mechanisms. While some enemies might be dumb, following you to any danger, some others are smart and difficult to beat.

On the other hand, we’re not overdoing the AI to be as sapient as a chimp! While some games proudly claim to have imba-smart AI, we sure aren’t going that route. We believe AI should be fun to play against, not frustrating-clever or unchallenging-dumb.


Vaporum uses randomization for placing items throughout the complex, as well as what specific items spawn. This means that you will never find the same items at the same spots on two play-throughs.

We’re also tinkering with the idea of slight map randomization where the maps are always the same, but some paths might be blocked while others open, depending on the random factor. This would also make the game a little different every time you play.


You will come across various steam, diesel, and fumium-powered machinery that usually needs a component or two to work. These present main game puzzles you must solve to progress.

We are listening!

We are listening to what you have to say! So feel free to comment, like, share, or whatever! (The part with “like and share” is an actual order!)

Here’s our reddit post for just that!

Dec 192014

Hey, guys.

Here’s a video, introducing the story in Vaporum. This is where your journey begins…

The art for this intro was created by Daniel Mihalik, an upcoming talented comic artist from Slovakia, the captivating voice-over was mused in by Sebastian Hernandez from the USA, and the music was orchestrated by Karel Antonín from the Czech Republic.

We’d love your feedback on the visuals, sound, voice, and the story itself!