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-   -   Lands of Adventure: An Old-School Style CRPG (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19568)

ProphetSword February 20th, 2013 02:00

Lands of Adventure: An Old-School Style CRPG
 
For the past year, I've been working on an old-school style CRPG called "Lands of Adventure." It's purposely supposed to be in the style of a lot of the CRPGs that were made in the 1980s, things like "Pool of Radiance," "Phantasie" and "The Bard's Tale."

The game has turn-based combat and is quickly approaching a demo. Even though it is inspired by old-school CRPGs, it has a lot of updated features that those old games didn't have, and will run on modern systems.

You can find my blog where I've been tracking progress here: http://landsadventure.blogspot.com/

I'm looking for feedback. Lots of it. I'm trying to decide if I want to pursue making the project a Kickstarter, but I haven't determined if there would be a large enough audience for it.

Here's a screenshot or two (or four):








Corwin February 20th, 2013 02:06

Looks a little like Phantasie, butwith improved graphics. Please keep us in your loop and we'll be able to help promote the game and pass on development news.

ProphetSword February 20th, 2013 02:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corwin (Post 1061185045)
Looks a little like Phantasie, butwith improved graphics. Please keep us in your loop and we'll be able to help promote the game and pass on development news.

Looking a little like "Phantasie" was no accident. This game was directly inspired by both "Phantasie" and the SSI Gold-Box Games. I wanted to do a game that directly reflected my love for both of them.

Fans of those games will find a lot of familiarity with this game that they will likely enjoy.

Also, what is the best way to keep you in the loop? Update this thread?

Corwin February 20th, 2013 08:08

You can update this thread, and/or PM either me or Dhruin. Several Indie devs keep in touch with us and we give them all the coverage we can. I have an article on S&S:U Gold ready to go and a review of Driftmoon ready for the game's release. We'll also be happy to do an interview later if you like.

Myrkrel February 20th, 2013 20:04

This looks interesting to me - I'm always up for more old-school RPGs with this kind of gameplay. I would certainly give the demo a try. I watched the video footage you have on your blog.

My initial feedback is mostly cosmetic. I feel the UI is a bit plain and could use a more artistic flair. Also, the dungeon environment tiles (walls, floor, etc) could be more interesting. I understand this is a work-in-progress though so maybe you have plans to spruce it up already. I also understand the constraints of being a one-man studio.

I hope this is seen as constructive critique - I really applaud your efforts and what you have made so far is certainly impressive. I look forward to seeing more.

ProphetSword February 21st, 2013 02:18

As I probably already mentioned, I'm working on turning this into a Kickstarter project. The whole point of that is to use the funds to get artists to make the game look better. I can only do so much with art given the assets I have available. I hope that people will understand what I'm trying to do and know that it doesn't have to look pretty at this point to be functional.

I even have a history of writing great games (I have several top-rated modules for "Unlimited Adventures" and a Hall-of-Fame PW module for "Neverwinter Nights"), but I'm not even sure if that will be good enough.

Myrkrel February 21st, 2013 05:22

Oh I know what you mean. It's a kind of tricky position to be in: better graphics will gain more Kickstarter pledges but you need the Kickstarter before you can afford the graphics.

But you'll have a working demo and video footage of gameplay - which is more than what many Kickstarters have (even some of the big name developers). A proven game / module design history definitely helps too.

There is definitely an audience for these kind of old-school games.

ProphetSword February 22nd, 2013 23:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by Myrkrel (Post 1061185160)
My initial feedback is mostly cosmetic. I feel the UI is a bit plain and could use a more artistic flair. Also, the dungeon environment tiles (walls, floor, etc) could be more interesting. I understand this is a work-in-progress though so maybe you have plans to spruce it up already. I also understand the constraints of being a one-man studio.

Thanks for the feedback.

The UI is something I definitely wish I could do more with. I just don't have the skills for that.

As far as the dungeon environment, I'm currently working on that. I put down some basic walls for the purposes of getting the system working, but now that I have time to get back to it, it's exactly what I'm working on.

The most important thing I can get is feedback. If I don't hear from people and what they think, I'll never know. I'm building a game I love, but I still want it to be good enough that others will love it too.

Roq March 5th, 2013 05:26

I like these kinds of games, but it does look a bit basic. Have you looked at Unity? You really have to reinvent the wheel doing this kind of thing from scratch. I don't think you need a lot of art assets for these games (viz Grimrock), but it's going to look very bland without a few good textures and lighting (which you get pretty much for free in Unity). Plus with Unity you can deploy easily on lots of platforms.

ProphetSword March 5th, 2013 21:20

Let me start by saying that I've turned this into a Kickstarter project. You can find the page here, if anyone is interested:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/…ool-style-crpg

The Kickstarter is to get artwork help. That is what I need to make the game look less bland. It's also to help give me the time I need to finish the game properly.

As to the Unity issue…I don't think that's the kind of game I'm trying to build. I appreciate what you're saying, but you might not understand what I'm going for.

Roq March 5th, 2013 23:47

I think you are making the type of game some people call a blobber. e.g. http://www.olderbytes.com/swords-and…-released.html
The question being as to whether you want to do something just like that or maybe extend it a bit technically as Grimrock did (preferably without the twitchy real time bits).

ProphetSword March 7th, 2013 04:08

Thanks for the information. Even though I was initially hesitant, I have started to look into Unity, and may even utilize it. Perhaps I can take everything I've learned from this game development and create something even better.

That being said, I have suspended the Kickstarter for my project. I received a lot of negative feedback and I'm not sure that the project would get funded in the end. Better to just finish it on my own and not worry about it.

Roq March 7th, 2013 10:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by ProphetSword (Post 1061187217)
Thanks for the information. Even though I was initially hesitant, I have started to look into Unity, and may even utilize it. Perhaps I can take everything I've learned from this game development and create something even better.

That being said, I have suspended the Kickstarter for my project. I received a lot of negative feedback and I'm not sure that the project would get funded in the end. Better to just finish it on my own and not worry about it.

Sorry to hear it didn't go well. It does look like you've got a bunch of stuff together though, which should give you a big headstart however you choose to continue. I don't think you'd have too much problem porting what you've done into Unity, once over the initial familiarization hump.

Unity is good, because you can get a prototype up quite quickly, just using cubes and other standard parts of Unity. But mainly because with the asset store and popularity of the platform you can already get a wide variety of standard art assets for free in some cases (and Unity has a lot of basic terrain stuff built in) or very little $. Art assets has got to be the biggest hurdle, when working alone.

Like any complex API, Unity takes some work getting to grips with. These are good:

Basic Tutorial. Explains some of basic ideas well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE8nZL5FdQc

Hack and Slash Tutorial.
http://www.burgzergarcade.com/hack-s…ngine-tutorial

Also it may be worth checking out some of the frameworks specifically designed for working with RPG mazes, such as:

UniRPG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTE_yJuNslg

ProphetSword April 1st, 2013 15:31

At this point, I think I owe you a copy of the game when it comes out as well as thanks in the credits. You steering me towards Unity has been one of the best things that has ever happened. I'm rebuilding the game in the engine, and it's coming along pretty well so far.

Here's an early screenshot of some of the progress:

Roq April 1st, 2013 22:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by ProphetSword (Post 1061190842)
At this point, I think I owe you a copy of the game when it comes out as well as thanks in the credits. You steering me towards Unity has been one of the best things that has ever happened. I'm rebuilding the game in the engine, and it's coming along pretty well so far.

Here's an early screenshot of some of the progress:


I'm really pleased Unity is working out for you, it occured to me that it might be good for this type of project when I was looking at it for other reasons and knocking up some prototypes. Can do stuff really easily that would take weeks to program in C++. Among (many) other projects, I notice that Guido Henkel chose Unity for his new project, which is also a first person party game: http://guidohenkel.com/.

The character generation screen looks like a big step forward in UI presentation! If you get the rest of the UI looking that good too, it could be a big improvement from a marketing point of view, I reckon (perhaps another would be to have a more original name for the project that might reflect the plot). Anyway, very much look forward to seeing future developments, so make sure to post them here. Appreciate your kind thoughts on the free copy and credit, certainly didn't expect that!

One thing I might add is that there are already signs of a big revival in this genre (i.e. step based party RPGs). Apart from Guido's project there's the new M&M X legacy project, a remake of Realms of Arkania 1, Lords Of Xulima and Cleve Blakemore's Grimoire is also… interesting. I suppose that's good and bad from your point of view, since it will expand the market, but may also raise the bar for this type of game.

Myrkrel April 1st, 2013 23:50

The new UI is looking good and I think Unity is a great choice! Unity is fast becoming the go-to engine for mid-range or smaller / indie RPG projects it seems. I have a game idea I've been mulling over for years that I'll probably use Unity for as well. And I hear Cleve's next project after Grimoire will also likely use Unity. Arakion uses it too. All of the Unity RPG devs should band together in a forum somewhere.

Anyway - I'm glad that you are still pursuing this project - keep us posted!

rune_74 April 4th, 2013 15:36

Wasteland 2 and SoTa is as well…using unity that is.

ProphetSword April 21st, 2013 22:24

Just to keep things updated, here are a few more screenshots. Everything here should be considered "in progress." The 3D screens do not have the character overlays or minimaps showing, and the combat screen may change considerably (as this is just a stand in, and also has no GUI components at the moment). Anyway, enjoy:






Roq April 21st, 2013 22:38

Looks really good - I like the fog effect and the gnarly tree in the first screen.

Carnifex April 21st, 2013 23:28

Start a KS for this and I'll throw some cash at it. Like, today!



-Carn


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