Screengrab via Scraping Bottom Games/YouTube

Fictorum is the perfect indie game for people who want to watch the world burn

Play as a full-fledged wizard in this new indie game from Scraping Bottom Games.


Nahila Bonfiglio

Internet Culture

Published Jul 12, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 12:11 am CDT

An enticing indie game that has managed to stay mostly under the radar is coming in August 2017—and it should spark the interest of gamers with an appetite for destruction. From Scraping Bottom Games comes Fictorum, a spell crafting game set in a procedurally generated world.

This indie game’s style and background recalls Skyrim, but that is where the similarities end. Rather than beginning the game as a low-level mage who then must wander the map and fight to build up skills and discover spells, you begin this game as an established and powerful wizard who can combine runes to create a multitude of powerful spells.

The ambitious map is created via algorithm, meaning the experience will be different every time. Instead of just randomizing loot or enemy placement, levels will expand with changing layouts.

When we spoke with Chip Flory, lead developer and co-owner of the company, he told us about the inspiration for this game.

I really enjoy playing wizards in video games. In so many that I have played, there is no nuance to it, it is, ‘I’m casting a fireball, and it is the same fireball that I always cast,'” he said. “In movies and books you see wizards being tactical about their magic, so as soon as we combined that idea with the destruction system we knew that we had something really great.”

From the start, the creators focused on the eventual players. They discussed everything that made them love a game—and everything that typically turned them off. Followers that are constantly in your way or stealing your kill (here’s looking at you Lydia) will be absent from Fictorum.

We wanted to make sure that anytime you are in a level, there is not a lot of consequence, other than not getting a reward,” Flory said.

This means those random, violent urges that most gamers feel can be indulged. We’ve all been there. You’ve been at it for hours and are just about ready to call it a day, and then you get a little trigger-happy and when you reload you’ve only managed to kill the one guy who was essential to continuing the quest you were halfway through. But, I digress.

Fictorum eliminates the possibility of screwing yourself over in these circumstances. The biggest consequence of, say, destroying an entire town, will be losing out on the loot it had to offer. The main objective of this vast, magical world is enjoyment.

Customization options, though less extensive than games like Skyrim, allow you to change attributes of your character like skin, hair, and outfit colors, as well as hairstyle and facial hair that fit your desired look. There is no female character option unfortunately, and you can’t change the appearance or fantasy race (elf, dwarf, dhampir, etc.) of the base character.

Flory said he’s confident the game will deliver on its promises, but we have to keep our excitement in check. No Man’s Sky and many other projects have taught us that things don’t always go as planned, and when the development team is small, it is much harder to bounce back. That being said, this is an indie title we think is worth keeping on your radar.

A playthrough can take anywhere from four to eight hours, according to Flory. This short duration encourages the replayability that this game is really shaped around. The simple main storyline is heavily supported by a multitude of sidequests, and full autonomy is given to the player. You can keep an eye on for news and updates about the game.

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*First Published: Jul 12, 2017, 6:00 am CDT