Hey, everyone! VS Dave here.

Magic. It’s one of the coolest things about RPGs, right? There’s something so satisfying about smacking down an enemy with a blast of ice, a bolt of lightning, or in a pinch, unleashing a vicious buff to take the upper hand in battle. Magic spells sure are versatile!

Well, put on your most enchanted wizard hats and robes, because today we’re going to talk about magic, and share some examples of how spellcasting works in The Hand of Merlin with Marko Pipal, Lead Programmer at Room-C Games.

Take it away, Marko!

The Hand of Merlin: Dev Blog


Yo peeps!

Over the last few months, we’ve been busy adding all the things to the game. Like what, you ask? Well, just to name a few:

  • Encounters for Marca Hispanica (zone 2) were added at a break-neck speed
  • Enemy AI was worked on to make the baddies move around in a smarter looking fashion
  • New music and SFX
  • Enemy skills made and ready for use
  • Levels produced like maaaad
  • And of course: moar spells!

We’ve expanded the set of spells to tier 2, meaning there should now be six spells available in any future build of the game. Some spells were reshuffled in tiers, and three more spells are added. Mat is taking his sweet time with adding spells because they have to fulfill a specific role in the game, making some of the harder fights possible instead of easier.

If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a quick rundown on unlocking spells in The Hand of Merlin: Every time you reach a node, we pick a random encounter from a pool for that specific node. Arcane nodes, and by extension, arcane encounters, have a chance to feature another guardian character, the same race as Merlin.

Each time you meet one, it provides one core essence, which is a currency item used to unlock spells in the guardian core you currently have active. Once you unlock at least one tier 1 spell, tier 2 spells become available. We have plans for the third tier as well, but those will come at a later point.

One of the spells that Mat made is called Warp. It applies a ground-based aura that affects all units, but in different ways. It applies Positive Warp to all allies and Negative Warp to all enemies. The effects of both buffs are similar, but opposite: allies get +4 movement and enemies -4 movement.

For some of the slower units, this effectively means they cannot move at all if they got caught in the area. Any enemy units that end their movement in the area will become afflicted as well (note that everything is subject to balance changes).

It also looks pretty nice, so here’s a visual of it.

One of the spells we’ve had for a while now is called Thunderbolt. It deals a lot of damage to one unit, and I’ve somehow managed to talk people into making it look like a laser. In one of our Steam discussion threads, I said I would try sneaking one in the game, so here it is:

Thanks for reading! If you want sneak peeks into the development process, join our Discord server and ask questions, we’ll be happy to answer each and every one of them.


As always, if you have any content to share or questions for the team, please feel free to reach out via our socials. You can stay in touch with me and the rest of the Versus Evil team by joining our Discord and following us on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook.

~ VS Dave