Arbiter is a single-player character action game about transformation. You play as a young boy and the newly appointed Arbiter, Ashe, who is responsible for defeating the demonic spirits that plague the world. This is a passion project I’ve been developing on my own for about five months now.
Spirits are split into two types: Ethers (white) and Umbras (black). The Arbiter has the unique ability to transform between these two types, making him the only human capable of defeating spirits. Attacks by enemies of the same type as you will be absorbed, while attacks of the opposite type will inflict damage.
The game is story driven, but you’ll be able to choose in which order you complete the levels. There will be a mix of linear and non-linear segments, and they’ll be filled with a large variety of unique enemies and puzzles based on the transformation system.
Levels will also have NPCs, items, upgrades, secrets, and optional bosses scattered throughout. Arbiter will have around six levels in total, making the final game about five hours long. I’d like it to be a short, polished, challenging experience with multiple endings that naturally encourages people to replay it.
The tutorial level focuses on an area completely corrupted by spiritual energy, but there will be a large variety of levels throughout Arbiter. Villages, fields, mountains, forests, castles, and more will all be prevalent throughout the game’s missions.
Arbiter is focused on fast-paced, challenging combat and mastery over the transformation mechanic. Enemies, levels, and your own resources will all be affected by your current form. It’s kind of like an action game version of Ikaruga, but it’s also heavily inspired by games like Kingdom Hearts, Dark Souls, Zelda, and Mega-Man!
By defeating standard enemies and collecting spirit orbs, you’ll be able to unlock new techniques, while defeating bosses will unlock spirit abilities. Techniques include things like combos, heavy attacks, and combat maneuvers while spirit abilities are more destructive finishers. You’ll be able to equip the spirit abilities that best suit your play-style and create unique combos by chaining them together.
- Transform to combat the spirits throughout the world! The transformation system affects almost every single mechanic in the game.
- Fight using light attacks, heavy attacks, parries, dodges, dashes, techniques, abilities, and more!
- Defeat tons of challenging enemies that all test your mastery over the game’s mechanics!
- Explore a world corrupted by spiritual energies and discover more about the spirits that hunt you!
- Unlock new upgrades, abilities, and techniques to change how you play!
- Experience a story about humanity’s survival against the spirits, with interesting characters, cutscenes, and multiple endings!
For centuries, the world has been filled with demonic spirits known as Ethers and Umbras — beings made of pure spiritual energy. These two races have been at war since their inception, with humanity caught in the middle unable to retaliate.
One day, two spirits known as Dove and Raven chose to help the humans, and gave one of them the power to transform into a spirit himself. This human was known as the Arbiter, and his job was to defeat and seal more dangerous spirits within himself. As a result, the war ended, and the spirits stopped their fighting in fear of being sealed for all eternity… except for some.
The Greater Spirits were much more intelligent, powerful spirits, and they did not fear the Arbiter’s judgement. Their increased power made it much harder for the Arbiter to keep them sealed within his body. As a result, he had to pass down his powers to a successor as he grew older and weak. This went on for six generations until the most recent Arbiter was killed by a spirit known only as The Grey.
With the last Arbiter’s death, the spirits sealed by the Arbiters of the past were released back into the world, free to cause havoc once again. In his final moments, the Arbiter passed his powers onto his successor and apprentice, Ashe, a boy now faced with an impossible task.
With the help of Dove and Raven, Ashe must now hunt the Greater Spirits that were released and seal them once more, restoring peace to humanity. But throughout his travels, he may find that the world isn’t quite as black and white as it seems…
Over the past five months I’ve developed a polished pre-alpha demo for Arbiter. It’s a short vertical slice of a fully playable tutorial level, filled with enemy encounters and a boss at the end.
Feel free to play it, stream it, record it, whatever you wish! All video content can be monetized, too. I’d love to get as much feedback as possible to help make the game as good as it can be.
I recommend playing the game with a since the tutorials are currently only designed with those in mind. The game is still, however, perfectly playable with keyboard and mouse, and I’ve included a controls document for those players so they aren’t left in the dark.
Arbiter will also be debuting at RTX 2017! For those of you attending RTX, you can find me and the Arbiter demo in the Indie Games Section, Booth #646!
The Arbiter demo is currently being hosted through itch.io. You can download it by clicking the link at the bottom of the itch.io page, linked directly below.