City of Steam Design Journal – Paragon Designed Items Redux

A look in to the design mechanics of City of Steam.

Posted By | On 04th, Dec. 2012 Under Article, Developer Journals | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

Developer Journal by ‘City of Steam’ Team.

When amazing people who want to play the game give us their hard-earned money, we like to reward them. When our early supporters gave us enough for the Paragon tier, we wanted to show our appreciation by inviting them to join in on the creative process. Going from an idea or sketch to an actual in-game item with animations and everything is actually a pretty long and involved process, so we had to phase it out as we move forward into further Beta stages in order to focus on our own content. Still, many great ideas and additions came from it, and we’re proud to share it.

And now, on with the designs! This time we’ve got four of them for you, from a 2-handed engine sword to a Steampunk ‘Vader’ mask, we’ve got it all. Let’s go through the four latest designs and show you some of the back and forth between our wonderful Paragons and ourselves.


“One Steampunk, red haired, goggle wearing Vader coming up!”


We sort of mistook this for a codpiece at first…

Uvhash wanted a rather imposing mask, after taking in his designer notes and the pictures he sent in we were sure we could make something fantastic. Fusing the goggles and facemask together with vials of liquid on the side, it makes for a pretty intimidating sight.

You can see how the concept turned out, which he asked us to include on his customized Avatar(it was a 2-in-1 concept drawing job!).

Ryuusei Cartwright:
“Calling it the Swiss Army Knife of weapons wouldn’t even do it justice.”

 After a lot of back and forth with Ryuusei, in the end this idea came out as one  pretty awesome design we might not have considered before, the Universal Hand:

“This 1H weapon contains all the componentry required to make it usable by any profession. It can produce magic, cut flesh, and fire projectiles, making it an amazing weapon with great variety of tactical uses. Unfortunately, these advantages come at a price of efficacy –it does less damage than other weapons.”

So what was Ryuusei’s response?
“Looks great! I like it, no complaints.”

All in a day’s work.



“When technology and the dead co-exist, only then can the wielder harness its strength”

While Ryuusei designed a very multifunctional weapon, Vinal had a very specific weapon in mind, from his drawings and the correspondence we had with him we could clearly see what he was going for.

With this very clear outline of what he wanted, we went to work; this was the result after our masterful concept artist was done!

A few things about this 2-handed behemoth we’re going to let you find out yourself once it’s in the game, but here’s the description for the weapon.

A family treasure of Albun. Both a greaser and an engineer. He had an idea of making a weapon which fuses the power of rock and energy itself. The trend caught on.” 

Basically, when wielding this sword you’re wielding a small engine, for that bit of extra POWERRR on your hacks ‘n slashes of course.  Now you can really hit like a truck!


“Power and elegance, forged into one design to create the perfect killing machine.”

Winterschill didn’t waste any time in sending us his ideas, and soon we agreed on these two sketches of a rifle, one for the weapon itself, and one for the color placement. He also gave us a very specific description and provided just about every detail on it.


So we went to work to make a rifle and a companion sidearm for short range. And this is how the Rin Insomnia Rifle, a high powered, long range weapon of pinpoint destruction, and the Rin MarkVIII Sidearm, a more compact version for close quarters combat, were born. Sleek, semi-automatic killing machines.

And that’s it for this week and another four of our Paragon supporters! And there are more on the way as we move forward. We’ve seen some of the final weapon models in-game already and they look fan-tas-tic, all of them are available everyone by completing a collection of their pieces (essentially “crafting” them for yourself)

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on these weapon designs, a real shame we have to phase out getting this extra from our top supporter packs… Not a decision we made lightly, but it was necessary to focus on our way ahead. We’ve learned a lot from our Closed Beta process; not just from talking to our player community about their game experience and expectations, fixing bugs or rebalancing gameplay, but from things like the custom item design, we’ve found that to really make this game into what we envision, sometimes we sometimes have to stop taking on so much and concentrate on the bigger picture.

The same goes for our own team; we’ve had to re-think our approach to making City of Steam so that we wouldn’t be in a constant, unending rush to finish everything. Now, we’re looking to have a better balance of delivering a good game without killing ourselves for it (we want to keep making other games, after all!). A chance to step back, breathe, and reflect has given us new perspective and renewed enthusiasm to get City of Steam out there for players to do what they do best: enjoy a good game.

-City of Steam Dev Team

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