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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox - Crowdfunded RPG

Default Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox - Crowdfunded RPG

March 19th, 2012, 20:50
Zerotown sends word of an indie project seeking crowd-funding from indiegogo called Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox. The game is turn-based with procedural elements - here's their description:
Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox is an indie game development project founded out of Brisbane, Australia and is involving over 30 people from all over the world in places like California, Scotland, Great Britain, New Zealand, and more. The aim is to recreate the amazing turn-based, first person RPGs from the golden age of PC gaming using modern game engine technology.
Rich classics such as the Might & Magic series, Eye of the Beholder and the like have inspired this new title which, when finished will put its players into a literally infinite fantasy world filled with procedurally generated content. The Sword of Ahkranox isn't trying to compete with the larger, professionally developed RPG titles out there, but instead our aim is to fill a large gap that we believe has existed in game technology since the mid-nineties. It is definitely a must-have for all enthusiasts of the quintessential RPG.
The game's procedural engine can generate an infinite number of weapons, items, spells, monsters, dungeons, cities, countryside and even dialogue, allowing the player to explore the game with no end and no reason to stop, and the best part is, it's all persistent. You can go back to any place you've been in this infinite world and it will still be there.
Imagine The Elder Scrolls with an infinite world
More information.

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March 19th, 2012, 20:50
Wow, that bolding is really aggravating. Think I'll stick to those other 12 Kickstarter games I want to contribute to.

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March 19th, 2012, 22:06
I think it's a fascinating, ambitious project and I'm considering donating. It looks like an infinite roguelike RPG (including an overworld) with modern 3D graphics and classic step-based 1st-person view / movement. If they can pull that off with some deep gameplay it could be amazing. The other videos in the gallery section show off the gameplay a lot better than the trailer.

I've been following their development blog and there are some very interesting systems going into this. Fascinating stuff if you are interested in the mechanics behind procedural generation.

It's unfortunate they couldn't use Kickstarter though I understand it's because of regional limitations (they're based in Australia). I bet it would get more exposure and more backers on Kickstarter.
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March 19th, 2012, 22:33
…hmm, although a Might&Magic-like would really intrigue me and I can even see where it could work procedurally, there is simply not enough meat here for me to put hard money down. A group of nobodies spread over the globe, 3D graphics from hell and a incredibly low budget do not strike me with confidence, and the apparent lack of a party doesn't fit the proposal well. Instead, I feel that this kickstart comes too early.
I'd advise the team to post a far more detailed design document, a development road map and most certainly some background on the team and their dedication to this project, and we might still get a deal done.

Edit: Oops - thanks for the link. Seems I judged a bit too early. They're hiding their blog well, though! Need to check this out. Kickstarter only working for US based efforts?

Edit II: Alright, that blog is certainly answering a lot a of questions, except for a few:
- why not directly link your blog on the kickstarter site?
- what do they hope a paltry $8k will buy them, exactly?
- why do they still promise a playable demo on their website for xmas '11? that would've been a good foundation for their crowdfunding effort.
- what about a party system?

Still, there is more meat to that, after all. Now, if the thing'd just look a little more appealing (I don't mean hd 3d graphics, but, you know, art. I'd settle for m&m3-quality any day, but it needs to work for what it intends to accomplish.)…
Last edited by Moorkh; March 19th, 2012 at 23:03. Reason: stupiditiy
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March 19th, 2012, 22:52
Alas, not a fan of procedural generation, give me hand placed - or reasonably close to hand placed - every time. Compare and contrast the wonderful map of Lords of Midnight against the mish-mash of Doomdark's Revenge (that is, as long as you are of a certain age). I just didn't feel much incentive to explore the latter.

Still I wish the project well, even though the field of new crowdsourced projects seems to be getting a bit, er, crowded.
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March 19th, 2012, 22:56
I'll contribute within the next few days, though I would prefer a simpler procedure. My threshold for contributing is much lower at Kickstarter, where I only need three clicks to be done.

The game looks interesting, and I would love to play some part in unearthing the next indie gem (it may or may not be this game, but it seems to have potential).
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March 19th, 2012, 23:19
Yep,they just missed out on my 25 bucks by the way they handled the contributing format. I tried.
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March 19th, 2012, 23:35
Ugh I don't want an infinite Might & Magic/Eye of the Beholder, honestly, I'd rather have a short, hand crafted, well written one…

I don't think I'll be sponsoring this.

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March 20th, 2012, 02:49
So much crowd funding these days. Yeah, I'm going to skip this one too. While the concept sounds interesting, I don't really know who these guys are, and while it's up to them on what their awards are, $25 for a digital copy of the game is bit too high for me.
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March 20th, 2012, 15:48
While it looks interesting, this infinite fantasy generator thing turned me off a lot. I prefer manually placed, cleverly established dungeons, locations to randomized ones. This approach generally led to dull, repetitive gameplay in other past RPG attempts, also lots of bugs. Daggerfall is a good example of this. They also mentioned names like EoB and M&M. As a fan of both these series I recall carefully constructed dungeons, not computer generated ones. No offense but, I always see these random things as lazyness, not innovative.

Simply it's not suitable to my taste. I can't find the game immersive if I know all I can find ahead will be some randomly generated town, NPC, dungeon, loot, etc. The devs even said dialogues will be generated. It may lead to some disastrous consequences on the quality of the game.

I think I'm going to pass this one.

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Last edited by Gokyabgu; March 20th, 2012 at 19:05.
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March 20th, 2012, 17:16
Something that baffles me is how a game like this, which seems to have reasonably high production value, requires only $8000 while Wasteland 2 a million bucks… I realize there's a difference in scope, but a x120 difference? They may be closer to completion but Inxile also has "a year's worth of clocked time" on their end. Maybe procedural generation explains it in part…

Which brings me to add I dislike that concept as well. It's almost become a buzzword in the indie scene since Din's Curse, Dredmor and a few others. Apparently it's popular though. I've been asked several times if mine was too and apparently the expected response was yes every time.

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March 20th, 2012, 17:28
Originally Posted by Charles-cgr View Post
Something that baffles me is how a game like this, which seems to have reasonably high production value, requires only $8000 while Wasteland 2 a million bucks… I realize there's a difference in scope, but a x120 difference?
The folks working on Wasteland 2 will be earning a salary, not volunteering their time. That's the main difference.

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March 20th, 2012, 17:35
I believe that randomization has potential but they gave up on it too soon.
I've been waiting for the game that will prove me right, but I don't think this is it.

And even if it is they certainly don't sell it very well, I don't know what to think of following statements such as "the Sword of Ahkranox isn't trying to compete with the larger, professionally developed RPG titles out there" with "Imagine The Elder Scrolls with an infinite world" (!!) and boasting that it "will change the games industry forever" (!!!). I suppose it's good to be ambitious but this seems way too unrealistic. I hope they're right but I think I'll have to wait for the reviews.

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March 20th, 2012, 18:28
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
The folks working on Wasteland 2 will be earning a salary, not volunteering their time. That's the main difference.
It hit me shortly after submitting how dumb my comment was. No there's not just Brian Fargo working on his own dime. Duh.

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March 20th, 2012, 19:14
Procedural content is understandably not to everyone's tastes but I think it can be compelling when done right. Just look at the success of Dwarf Fortress, Minecraft, and the constantly thriving roguelike scene (Rogue, Nethack, Angband, their offshoots). It all depends what kind of experience you're looking for. These are definitely different experiences than traditional hand-crafted RPGs.

I imagine this game will be very sandbox-oriented, and the story / narrative emerges as you play rather than being pre-determined. Sort of like what happens in Dwarf Fortress.

I agree that they ought to polish up their presentation a bit and present the game concept a bit more clearly.
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March 20th, 2012, 19:48
I don't know that the gameplay could support itself without an interesting, handcrafted world. At least not at the level of depth of might & magic. Maybe if it had the depth of a hardcore roguelike.
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March 20th, 2012, 23:11
I'd have been more interested if I didn't already switch off when they were saying something about a magical sword protecting the world blah, blah, blah. Sorry, you have to do better with your lore for my tastes.

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May 31st, 2012, 01:54
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I'd have been more interested if I didn't already switch off when they were saying something about a magical sword protecting the world blah, blah, blah. Sorry, you have to do better with your lore for my tastes.
Glad to see you looked real hard into this one Dhruin….I knew you made this post because it came up in their kickstarter comments. Too bad, they made their goal and if you look at some of the videos it looks quite excellent, in a neat roguelike way.

Too bad this site wrote them off.

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May 31st, 2012, 06:14
I put the game in front of tens of thousands of readers for them to decide for themselves. What did you do to support them?

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May 31st, 2012, 07:50
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I put the game in front of tens of thousands of readers for them to decide for themselves. What did you do to support them?
Sure, you posted the news-bit despite being personally disinterested in it. And yes, you posted the news-bit in a neutral manner and saved any editorializing for the comments section. And alright, maybe you did wait for several other posters to comment before offering your own opinion so as not to unduly influence the tone of the discussion. And maybe this did provide a decent amount of extra exposure directly to what one might expect to be their target audience.

That's all well and good but it misses the real problem. You're not allowed to have opinions other people disagree with because as your avatar clearly shows you are a robot. Actually a robot connected to the internet forming opinions at all is kind of terrifying. Err… All hail our new robot overlords?
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