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Default Balrum - Kickstarter Launched

July 17th, 2013, 03:18
The developers of Balrum have sent news that their kickstarter is now live. The Balcony Team is asking for $50,000 to finish and polish the game. Give the game a look I don't think you will be disappointed.

An open world fantasy RPG with building, farming and crafting. For PC, Mac and Linux.

Now that Nasrus revealed his plot, the kings of Balrum sent their armies to the borders of the unknown lands captured by Nasrus. The power of the undead armies had been greatly underestimated. No one survived the battles. Without the armies of the kings, chaos has overcome Balrum. Large bandit clans formed and started to live by their own rules. Soon the kings of Balrum had fallen. Two little villages stood up against the new bandit rulers and decided that the only way they will survive is if they hide in the Dark Woods. No one dare enter the Dark Woods and this is what the villagers took advantage of. A horrible deal has been made, but the villagers are safe for now. The undead hordes of Nasrus are still waiting at the borders, but they can march into the heart of Balrum anytime their lord commands and there is no one to stop them. The people wonder why the good gods of Balrum, Adacus and Eogor don’t seem to be interested in the events that took place.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; August 3rd, 2013 at 08:18.
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July 17th, 2013, 03:18
I've been following this and talking with the devs a bit on their forum for a little bit, so I'm backing this project

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July 17th, 2013, 03:29
Maybe you can clear something up for me then…and perhaps suggest hey be a bit more explicit on their Kickstarter. By pledging, am I getting all 5 chapters, or is this game being sold in separate chapeters, episodic style? Unless I missed something, they never said exactly. Reading the body of text in their pitch, I get the impression you get all 5 chapters, but you can never be sure these days. The beta access mentions only chapter 1, but perhaps hat is only the beta.

The game looks cool, though, and I'll likely pledge, once I find an answer to that question.
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July 17th, 2013, 03:36
Yes, you'll get the full game if you pledge (At least thats my understanding) At certain levels you get beta access which will give you access to the first chapter as soon as it is completed. The beta is pretty much the first chapter if you prefer.

I'll post your concern to them. Maybe they can clear this up both on their KS and here.

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July 17th, 2013, 04:53
*shrugs* Maybe it was just me. Thanks for the answer.
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July 17th, 2013, 04:57
Building, farming, and crafting are elements of the Sims, not a crpg Magic, combat, exploration, loot, those are more along the lines of a crpg.
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July 17th, 2013, 04:59
Well, I asked them just in case. If it wasn't clear to one person, it may not have been to others …and that wouldn't be a good way to start their new KS campain. Might as well make sure its clear

Well, while most rpgs do not combine all those elements and sim games do so…They don't go against crpp deffinition either… many rpgs have included one or more of those elements to various degrees.

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July 17th, 2013, 07:00
This looks very promising!

The crafting looks very good. Also the game seems to be be heavily inspired by the Eschalon series which isn't a bad thing.
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July 17th, 2013, 07:08
Plus crafting is an extremely common CRPG feature these days, and I think it's become strongly associated with the genre. It's pretty rare to find a CRPG without some form of a crafting system.

Building is certainly more unusual, but I can still think of several classics where you construct some form of a home base, and it's always been a feature that I enjoyed.

Originally Posted by Galaad View Post
Well, while most rpgs do not combine all those elements and sim games do so…They don't go against crpp deffinition either… many rpgs have included one or more of those elements to various degrees.
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July 17th, 2013, 07:33
Sounds very good, actually. I really like their design approach - and it looks like Ultima 7 - only with better mechanics.

That's not bad, is it
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July 17th, 2013, 08:39
"nothing is random, everything is hand-placed" - i like a little element of randomness so that successive playthroughs won't be so predictable
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July 17th, 2013, 09:05
Originally Posted by SonOfCapiz View Post
"nothing is random, everything is hand-placed" - i like a little element of randomness so that successive playthroughs won't be so predictable
I prefer hand-placed - because the first playthrough is, by far, the most important to me. I absolutely hate random loot in a traditional RPG, because you don't get the sense that you're exploring something with a proper sense of place - and loot needs a good reason to be there, rather than something that's obviously "gamey" and generated out of thin air. Nothing is worse than knowing you can just quick load and get another result entirely.

Immersion is key in a game like this.

For an action RPG - that's entirely loot and combat driven, it's another matter.
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July 17th, 2013, 09:20
While I like the crafting aspect it seems like the focus is too strong on it.

Besides of that I think the entry price of 20$ is too high. And an early bird option is not even available.
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July 17th, 2013, 12:55
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Sounds very good, actually. I really like their design approach - and it looks like Ultima 7 - only with better mechanics.

That's not bad, is it
My first thought was 'Eschalon' … but then that game evokes …

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I prefer hand-placed - because the first playthrough is, by far, the most important to me. I absolutely hate random loot in a traditional RPG, because you don't get the sense that you're exploring something with a proper sense of place - and loot needs a good reason to be there, rather than something that's obviously "gamey" and generated out of thin air. Nothing is worse than knowing you can just quick load and get another result entirely.
I generally like a mix, especially when it replaces the NWN-style 'bash every barrel' approach. There are a few games that do this - have a number of hand-placed items augmented by a selection from a list of potential other items of lesser value or importance. This allows the game to shift balance based on main character or party classes, in other words to have more mana potions for magic users and so on.

But ultimately I agree with your basic premise - that hand-placing is a design aesthetic, that it means that you have a game with a sense of place and purpose.

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July 17th, 2013, 13:12
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
My first thought was 'Eschalon' … but then that game evokes …
Yeah, it looks a lot like Eschalon, but the crafting stuff looks brilliant.

I generally like a mix, especially when it replaces the NWN-style 'bash every barrel' approach. There are a few games that do this - have a number of hand-placed items augmented by a selection from a list of potential other items of lesser value or importance. This allows the game to shift balance based on main character or party classes, in other words to have more mana potions for magic users and so on.

But ultimately I agree with your basic premise - that hand-placing is a design aesthetic, that it means that you have a game with a sense of place and purpose.
Well, there are implementations of random loot that work better than others, I'd agree with that.

But if you balance your game with enough effort - you can hand-place and still provide for all classes.

I just find exploration gets cheaper the more random stuff you find. It's ok to have a certain measure of random drops from mobs, since you can't really predict which ones the player will engage in combat.

But when you go exploring off the beaten path, and you want to give players a true sense of being rewarded for their efforts - you really need to take into account where they go and what they should expect to find. The more hidden the secret - the more important it is to give players something that's actually useful.

If, as a designer, you're worried about power balance - you're not really doing it right. Rewarding creativity and curiosity with power is not necessarily a bad thing. Obviously, it needs to be tempered. But one key mistake I see very often is that level designers think about rewards only in terms of sheer power (higher stats) - foregoing the obvious alternative of utility and flavor items.

When you go out of your way to find secrets, it's really discouraging to find a bunch of crap with random stats.

Potions can be random, I suppose - but I actually prefer most things to be hand-placed. For instance, if you go exploring a Necromancer lair - it would be more appropriate to find mage-related items, including scrolls and mana potions.

That sort of thing helps immersion in a subtle but effective way.

Recent bad examples of how to implement loot include Dragon Age and Skyrim. Sure, Skyrim has some specific artifacts at appropriate locations - but most of what you find seems to be completely random.

Then again, TES games were never very good when it comes to item generation. Their enchantment system is simplistic and boring - and though the powerful artifacts are pretty cool, they're balanced poorly.

Dragon Age was just crap all-round. Typical example of lazy design - where 99% of the stuff you find in chests is completely useless. Even worse, they decided to make "pick locks" an actual ability - instead of a skill. So, you have to sacrifice power in order to gain access to crappy loot.

Stupid, stupid and more stupid.
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July 17th, 2013, 13:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Stupid, stupid and more stupid.
But other than that you have no strong feelings on the subject …

Totally agree

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July 17th, 2013, 13:45
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
But other than that you have no strong feelings on the subject …

Totally agree
Hehe, well, I recently replayed most of it - and it's just as stupid as ever

Don't get me started on the character mechanics and filler combat!
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July 17th, 2013, 13:59
For whatever reason, I can't say I've fallen in love with this game.
I'll back it definetly, but somehow I'm not overimpressed like with other projects I've participated in.

Is it me (got too old for this s.) or the presentation on KS wasn't done very good?

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July 17th, 2013, 16:30
will look out for this one if it gets released, but i've had my fill of toss-my-money-in-a-fire-starter.
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July 17th, 2013, 17:41
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
While I like the crafting aspect it seems like the focus is too strong on it.

Besides of that I think the entry price of 20$ is too high. And an early bird option is not even available.
Yeah, when you consider that Kickstarters for relatively well known developers / franchises (e.g., Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, Project Eternity, etc.) were offering a digital copy for $15, $20 is a bit high for an unknown developer making their first game.

Still, if this was party RPG I'd be backing it but as is I think I'll pass.
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