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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Forge of Legends - December Developer Update

Default RPGWatch Feature: Forge of Legends - December Developer Update

December 28th, 2012, 16:15
In this second installment of developer updates for Forge of Legends, it's developer Jeff Sullins, talks about bringing the different parts of the game together leading towards something playable.
The last few months have been busy for Forge of Legends development. One of my goals has been to bring together the various pieces of the game into something that is playable. For nearly a year I've had the core game engine, data, and a few scraps of user interface completed. I've decided it's time to make a push toward joining these pieces together into something I can show to players and testers.

While I am still a long way from a beta or a true demo, the creation of something I can give to people and that can be "played" is an important milestone. If nothing else, it gives me concrete coding goals and helps me stay on track. To avoid any confusion with my progress being called a "demo," I'm referring to it with the less-exciting name "dev snapshot."
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December 28th, 2012, 16:15
This looks fairly interesting and gave me a Bards Tale vibe, at least as far as the adventurer's guild goes.

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December 28th, 2012, 16:25
Bard's Tale is certainly one of they key influences for the game (after Wizardry). Thanks for taking a look
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January 3rd, 2013, 18:46
I wonder what the release date is for this game.
Looks fun and just the way i like it.
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January 3rd, 2013, 20:29
Ah, the release date. Well, I have been sharing a date of "late 2013" for awhile, but I think I have also started floating "early 2014" here and there.

It is difficult to estimate, sometimes, because I am a one-man shop and I have a lot of code left to write (and my coding schedule varies).

Then there will be testing, testing, and more testing… and no doubt other things I haven't foreseen.

I CAN say that a lot is complete — there are significant components and core code already in place. Most likely, I will be able to refine the release date as I continue to progress. When I have news about a release, demo, or something along those lines, look for it here on RPGWatch!

Also, thanks for the positive note
Last edited by empireforge; January 3rd, 2013 at 20:58.
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January 3rd, 2013, 21:21
Looks really good, I am a sucker for these games. Just don't talk as long as Grimoire and we will all be happy.

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January 4th, 2013, 09:29
Originally Posted by empireforge View Post
Ah, the release date. Well, I have been sharing a date of "late 2013" for awhile, but I think I have also started floating "early 2014" here and there.

It is difficult to estimate, sometimes, because I am a one-man shop and I have a lot of code left to write (and my coding schedule varies).

Then there will be testing, testing, and more testing… and no doubt other things I haven't foreseen.

I CAN say that a lot is complete — there are significant components and core code already in place. Most likely, I will be able to refine the release date as I continue to progress. When I have news about a release, demo, or something along those lines, look for it here on RPGWatch!

Also, thanks for the positive note
Well, keep up the good work.
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January 23rd, 2013, 17:55
Hmm - just my type of game. Bring back Wizardry, although if your release projections are as accurate as David Bradley's we'll have a few years to wait yet .
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January 23rd, 2013, 22:36
Hehe.
Bringing back Wizardry is more or less exactly what I had in mind. As for the release date, I'm working way too hard on this to let it slip too much. And, perhaps more importantly, I have OTHER games I want to code next!

So much in the queue!
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January 23rd, 2013, 22:43
Originally Posted by empireforge View Post
And, perhaps more importantly, I have OTHER games I want to code next!
Forget those other games, we want Wizardry!!! .

Oh and you do realize that this would be a magic Kickstarter, if you need some funds to finish it and can tolerate that kind of thing?
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January 24th, 2013, 17:33
It's interesting that you mention kickstarter. In fact, I had every intention of doing a kickstarter — went quite far down the path of planning for one — but then I changed my mind.
Why? Several reasons. Perhaps this is a topic worthy of its own thread, but, what the heck why not right here

A couple of reasons I did not launch a kickstarter campaign in 2012:

1) First, and perhaps most significant, is that I see Forge of Legends as a very niche game. What I mean is that I expect it to appeal well to a select audience (people who want to see more Wizardy and Bard's Tale titles) and to have little appeal to people outside of that audience.

Why should that dissuade me from doing a kickstarter? Well, my thinking goes that this same select audience might very well also be kickstarter funders. That's great! Except, it would mean that I would expect a large percent of the people who might have purchased the game one day to instead have paid money into the kickstarter campaign. Why is that bad? Well, it's not really bad for the game. However, it would mean that I would have few customers left after finishing the game.

In effect, I'd cannibalize sales with the kickstarter. That has its pros and cons, of course. I would sink the money into one thing: more art. Art is my only significant cost at this point.

But to summarize reason one: I fear that at the end of the day, a successfully funded Forge of Legends would have cannibalized its customer pool, and I'd be left with a prettier game and no sales.

2) Second, Forge of Legends is more-or-less a Freshman effort. I've written games before, but none intended for sale. I expect there will be many things I learn from doing this first title, and that those things will put me in a much better position to fund/kickstart my second title, whatever that turns out to be. Although, this doesn't mean I couldn't kickstart my first AND second titles I suppose… but, that's my line of thinking.

So right now I'm not planning to do a kickstarter. Maybe that's a mistake? I'm not certain. I suppose I'm keeping an open mind about it.
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January 24th, 2013, 18:34
Well, there is somewhat of a false dichotomy and here are some reasons why:

- Jam today is better than jam tomorrow, even if you just put it in the bank.

- Your Kickstarter backers help get the buzz around about your game, just as I have done here for games such as Legends Of Dawn, Legends Of Eisenwald (lots of legends!) and Skyjacker.

- Your backers will help you get your game greenlit on Steam (if you are aiming for that). Which you need to start doing some time before release.

- You can use your backers as a core group of knowledgeable gamers for helping to beta test the game. In many kickstarters backers even get to pay for that privilege .

- The value of a game starts decaying immediately after launch as it turns from the latest new thing into old hat. That will likely mean discounting the game after about six months. So you want to catch your premium price payers as early as possible.

- Your cost of sale on kickstarter is very low (ie only 5% of the value goes to KS).

There are some disadvantages to KS too of course: Running a Kickstarter is a full time job from the time you start preparing it through to the 30 days it runs and then you have to coordinate all the rewards. Plus if you fail you get nothing. And its not easy for a one man band - but see Josh Parnell's "Limit Theory", for instance.

My guess would be that for a self funding developer, the best bet would be to run a Kickstarter when you have something substantial to show and run it simultaneously with a steam greenlight campaign, as they can feed off of each other. The amount you can ask for depends largely on how much press coverage you can get for your game, which needs to be concentrated around the campaign dates. Many campaigns have fallen down here by asking for too much with too little PR.

My guess is that the market for a *good* game in the style of Wizardry, Eye Of the Beholder etc. is going to be pretty large. Just look at the success of Grimrock, for instance, and IMHOP that doesn't really capture the essence of those older games (it's too twitchy and too linear) - although it would be hard to replicate the technical quality of Grimrock with just one person, I reckon.

On 2) one thing to consider is that your first title will establish your reputation and it may be hard to spring back after that if you didn't get it right the first time.

Just my 2 cents anyway…
Last edited by Roq; January 24th, 2013 at 18:51.
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January 25th, 2013, 17:03
You make some good points (though I do not agree with every detail on every point). Perhaps I should reconsider. What you say about establishing a reputation is particularly compelling. More and better art resources would go a long way in that regard.

Realistically, the game is already far enough along to demonstrate significant portions for a kickstarter.

I *could* do it… just… *should* I. Heh.
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January 27th, 2013, 19:52
Originally Posted by empireforge View Post
You make some good points (though I do not agree with every detail on every point). Perhaps I should reconsider. What you say about establishing a reputation is particularly compelling. More and better art resources would go a long way in that regard.

Realistically, the game is already far enough along to demonstrate significant portions for a kickstarter.

I *could* do it… just… *should* I. Heh.
Another thing. I might tentatively suggest that you'd be better off with a less generic name:- Just about every upcoming RPG these days has "legend/s" in the title. "Dawn" of course is also popular right now so Dreammatrix have the ultimate: "Legends Of Dawn".

How about "Heart of the Crusaders of the Cosmic Forge". Now that's a good title! .
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January 28th, 2013, 16:31
HAha, very good title suggestion

I am still reconsidering the kickstarter thing by the way — you did get me thinking. I'd be curious to hear from others on this issue, as well…
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January 29th, 2013, 20:08
Originally Posted by empireforge View Post
HAha, very good title suggestion

I am still reconsidering the kickstarter thing by the way — you did get me thinking. I'd be curious to hear from others on this issue, as well…
Yes, I'd like to see what other Kickstarter backers here think, too??

Really like the look of a lot of the stuff you've done so far and noticed particularly the variety of different classes you appear to be able to roll. Currently, though the combat looks a bit static (and I don't understand exactly how it works from the description) as I don't think you've got any mob animation yet?

Have a look at this kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/…e-rpg?ref=live and this by the project's creator: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/1…p#.UQgb8meUOul

Personally, I think that game looks a bit run of the mill and is likely to be somewhat dull (not as if procedural generation, and Kevin Bacon system, hasn't been tried before, viz the first elder scrolls) - why not just buy something like torchlight if u want to play with a single character and no in depth role playing and progression? However, it probably shows some of the stuff you might need to have in to attract support - i.e. you would probably need to sex things up a bit with more animations & artwork.

P.S. If you think there's only a limited market - Look at the reaction to news here of a possible remake of Realms of Arcadia: http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19360. Most of us who played those games are still alive (at least from the neck up) and probably some of the younger pen/paper lot will be interested too.
Last edited by Roq; January 29th, 2013 at 21:00.
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