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Default Theseus: Journey to Athens - Released in Early Access

July 30th, 2018, 14:24
Theseus: Journey to Athens a historical adventure game with RPG elements, is currently available on Itch.io in early access, as the game is still in development and is scheduled to be released later this year.

Set in ancient Greece, this game features old-school adventure and role-playing mechanics. Your choices will have consequences. The primary goal of this game is to bring the ancient source material to life; if you appreciate classical antiquity and mythology, then this game should fit the bill.


Key Features:

  • Over 20 unique locations to explore, based heavily on classical texts like Pausanias' Guide to Greece.
  • Beautiful modern artwork created by artist Klaudia Jankowska
  • Detailed choose-your-own-adventure style cut scenes, decorated with historical artwork.
  • Turn-based combat with many different opponents and items. Party
    mechanics are included, but will your noble companions be willing to travel side by side with the wretched ones?
The ancient sources tell many different tales about Theseus and his journey to Athens. Now, it is your turn to step into Theseus' sandals. What will you seek to achieve, and how will you conduct yourself as you make your way to Athens?
And here is the trailer:

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July 30th, 2018, 14:24
As a classics fan this looks intriguing.
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July 30th, 2018, 17:18
I'm a big fan of mythologies, so unless I hear terrible reviews on this project, I know I'll be grabbing it when it is out.
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July 30th, 2018, 19:57
Looks like something I'd want to play - with Archaeology in the back of my mind.
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July 30th, 2018, 20:23
I will get it when it is on Steam. If I get this on Itch.io I will just forget about it…
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July 30th, 2018, 21:48
Nope, those graphics are a joke for 2018. Hell, the Basilisk Eschalon games had better graphics and those were years ago. That said, I do really like the ancient Greece setting. Plug that setting and concept into something like the Unity engine or other modern graphics engine, and it would be a game I'd follow very closely.
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July 30th, 2018, 22:42
I think it's just a demo.
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July 30th, 2018, 23:29
Hey there, I'm the one making this project during after-work hours. Really happy to see that RPGwatch posted this on the front page! As pointed out, it's a free demo for an in-development project. I'm all ears for any feedback, I am still working on the project and am interested to know what the community thinks.

I will likely update the demo later when I have a completed set of visual and audio assets for the first town.

Originally Posted by Silver Coin View Post
I think it's just a demo.
Yep, it's a free demo. When I was typing everything up to make the demo public, I called it a "pre-release" and "early access" demo that would be paid as if it was a larger kickstarter project. After talking with others I decided just to make it a free public demo that people can check out while I continue to work on the full game. Hence the confusion.

Originally Posted by Silver View Post
As a classics fan this looks intriguing.
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I'm a big fan of mythologies, so unless I hear terrible reviews on this project, I know I'll be grabbing it when it is out.
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Looks like something I'd want to play - with Archaeology in the back of my mind.
Classics, archaeology, mythology, those are the reasons why I'm making this game. I love ancient texts from Greece, Rome, and China, and I am also a big fan of computer rpgs. My goal now is to somehow bring the classical source material to life by turning it into an rpg. Ideally I will git gud and one day I can become a profitable indie rpg developer like Jeff Vogel, thereby being able to justify quitting my current day job.

Originally Posted by Darkheart View Post
I will get it when it is on Steam. If I get this on Itch.io I will just forget about it…
I plan to release the full version on Steam, it's just a lot easier to host it on Itch.io for now. Feel free to check out the demo, though, as it's free. I realise the original release was written as though it were a paid title, but I decided to go with just a free demo while I continue working on it.

Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
Nope, those graphics are a joke for 2018. Hell, the Basilisk Eschalon games had better graphics and those were years ago. That said, I do really like the ancient Greece setting. Plug that setting and concept into something like the Unity engine or other modern graphics engine, and it would be a game I'd follow very closely.
It's definitely not the prettiest game. I am a fan of the work the artist has produced, though. I think Age of Decadence and other CRPGs do well with the 3d graphics and are a lot more impressive than my game, but the scale and resources for my project is not at that level.

My artist did work on a few nice isometric mock-ups that reminded me a lot of AoD, so the next project may go down that road. I am making this game in GMS 2, but also plan to move over to Unity for the next project. I am a big fan of Spiderweb titles (currently backing Queen's Wish), and wouldn't mind doing another 2d title in that style.

The price point for the full release will be somewhere between 5 to 10 dollars, I think. I'll likely update the free demo, too, when all the art assets for the first town are completed. I hope you'll check it out sometime.
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July 31st, 2018, 00:48
Originally Posted by Antiquity Games View Post
I think Age of Decadence and other CRPGs do well with the 3d graphics and are a lot more impressive than my game, but the scale and resources for my project is not at that level.
Age of Decadence is ugly as hell. You made the right decision.
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July 31st, 2018, 01:20
I think I will nitpick and point out that Theseus was from Athens; it Crete he journeyed to.

moo > ^O^/\-/\
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July 31st, 2018, 01:24
I think the game could be fun, but I can't recommend it in its current state. I was able to play the first few minutes, talking to Theseus' mom, and made a save. Then I went hunting with my tutor and tried to save afterward; that consistently results in a fatal error.
(I pasted the error message under "Comments" on icth.io.)

The controls are simple (a positive imo) and it seems like the story will be interesting. I hope the save game situation can be fixed.
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July 31st, 2018, 01:49
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
I think I will nitpick and point out that Theseus was from Athens; it Crete he journeyed to.

moo > ^O^/\-/\
Theseus was definitely famous for his actions in Athens and Crete, but the ancient source material has his birthplace as Troezen. He was born to Aethra, who is King Pittheus' daughter; King Pittheus founded Troezen. King Aegeus of Athens was said to have slept with Aethra when he passed through Troezen, and Aethra later gave birth to Theseus and told him about his Athenian heritage. After attaining adulthood, Theseus marched up to Athens and slew many bandits and monsters on the way; the sources aren't in agreement about the exact number and order of his deeds prior to Athens, but that is actually a benefit when you are making a game that involves branching decisions.

Essentially, the most detailed source for Theseus is Plutarch's Life of Theseus. Pseudo-Apollodorus is also a fairly detailed source that provides some unique information. Other sources have a lot less info, like Hyginus, or only mention Theseus in passing (Homer, for example). There are some interesting sections of Bacchylides, a very ancient source, that I also used while making this game (not in the demo, but there are two later scenes/locations based on Bacchylides in the current full version).

Anyway, I basically went through and searched all the mentions of Theseus I could find in the historical record. I was thinking about adding citations into the writing, but that seems a little excessive.


Originally Posted by Hak'n'Slash View Post
I think the game could be fun, but I can't recommend it in its current state. I was able to play the first few minutes, talking to Theseus' mom, and made a save. Then I went hunting with my tutor and tried to save afterward; that consistently results in a fatal error.
(I pasted the error message under "Comments" on icth.io.)

The controls are simple (a positive imo) and it seems like the story will be interesting. I hope the save game situation can be fixed.
Thank you for pointing out this error; another user also complained of this issue. I will fix this today and upload a new version of the demo, sorry!

If people are playing right now, I would suggest avoiding saving. The demo only includes the first town, and any fight can be "replayed" until you survive, so saving is not essential. Either way, it's an embarrassing error so I will fix it right away and re-upload the demo.

Also, glad to hear you saved Connidas. If you take the coward's way out of the situation, you might find yourself with a new item (which does not have a proper visual asset yet… but the special combat ability has been implemented). Still, Connidas is probably more helpful alive.
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July 31st, 2018, 01:51
Originally Posted by Silver Coin View Post
Age of Decadence is ugly as hell. You made the right decision.
Hah, maybe! i have heard that criticism of AoD a lot, but honestly I always liked the look of AoD for some reason. Still, good 2d graphics are hard to beat.

Anything with a vaguely classical theme will always grab my attention. I also really, really liked the choice & consequence gameplay and deep story in AoD. It is definitely one of my favourite games of all time.
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July 31st, 2018, 03:47
Originally Posted by Antiquity Games View Post
Hah, maybe! i have heard that criticism of AoD a lot, but honestly I always liked the look of AoD for some reason. Still, good 2d graphics are hard to beat.

Anything with a vaguely classical theme will always grab my attention. I also really, really liked the choice & consequence gameplay and deep story in AoD. It is definitely one of my favourite games of all time.
How would you describe your studio Antiquity Games?
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July 31st, 2018, 05:31
Originally Posted by Antiquity Games View Post
Hey there, I'm the one making this project during after-work hours. Really happy to see that RPGwatch posted this on the front page! As pointed out, it's a free demo for an in-development project. I'm all ears for any feedback, I am still working on the project and am interested to know what the community thinks.

Classics, archaeology, mythology, those are the reasons why I'm making this game. I love ancient texts from Greece, Rome, and China, and I am also a big fan of computer rpgs. My goal now is to somehow bring the classical source material to life by turning it into an rpg.

…It's definitely not the prettiest game.

…I am making this game in GMS 2, but also plan to move over to Unity for the next project.
I appreciate the response to my comment. And also that you are pricing the game at a very low price, now it makes more sense to me, when you explain where you are at right now. And your historical angle is a breath of fresh air when it comes to rpgs. I think moving to Unity (eventually) would be outstanding, and would be very interested to see what you can do with that kind of technology. Good luck!
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July 31st, 2018, 07:43
I don't care much about graphics as long as the gameplay is tight.

Thanks for responding in the thread, Antiquity Games! I also love the mythologies of different people of the ancient world.
I will try to give the demo a go during the weekend, but will ultimately buy it on Steam for convenience sake.
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July 31st, 2018, 08:08
Originally Posted by Hak'n'Slash View Post
I think the game could be fun, but I can't recommend it in its current state. I was able to play the first few minutes, talking to Theseus' mom, and made a save. Then I went hunting with my tutor and tried to save afterward; that consistently results in a fatal error.
(I pasted the error message under "Comments" on icth.io.)

The controls are simple (a positive imo) and it seems like the story will be interesting. I hope the save game situation can be fixed.
Fixed it; thanks again for catching this bug. Essentially, my save game script was unnecessarily attempting to capture a variable related to the tactical combat system. I just removed that line from the script and now everything seems to be working well. I tested it on my regular laptop and was able to save it everywhere, and am about to test it again on another computer.

For everyone who downloaded the old version: I deleted the old demo file, and uploaded the updated version. You will need to download it again.

I will have to study up on how patch/version updates are handled so I can do this more efficiently.



Originally Posted by Darkheart View Post
I don't care much about graphics as long as the gameplay is tight.

Thanks for responding in the thread, Antiquity Games! I also love the mythologies of different people of the ancient world.
I will try to give the demo a go during the weekend, but will ultimately buy it on Steam for convenience sake.
I'm also a Steam user, it dominates the PC gaming field I think. I will upload it on Steam at some point, I just need to do a bit more research. I believe they require a fee of about $100 and you need to have a business entity. Whereas, sites like Itch.io will just let you register and immediately post a title, which is a lot more convenient (but then again, there can be a downside to not having entry standards).

Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
I appreciate the response to my comment. And also that you are pricing the game at a very low price, now it makes more sense to me, when you explain where you are at right now. And your historical angle is a breath of fresh air when it comes to rpgs. I think moving to Unity (eventually) would be outstanding, and would be very interested to see what you can do with that kind of technology. Good luck!
Thanks! Unity does look like the direction I need to start heading in; there are a lot of good resources online. I found 3 on Udemy.com that were created following a kickstarter, and they are specifically focus on game making (2d, 3d, and then a focus on RPGs). I haven't made my mind up on the setting for the next project yet, though. Ancient history has too many promising moments.
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July 31st, 2018, 08:47
Originally Posted by Silver View Post
How would you describe your studio Antiquity Games?
In boring, concrete terms, it's essentially me and a handful of people that I contract with to handle tasks outside my skillset. For example, I have an artist and I send her lists of assets that I need.

In terms of the goal, I want to see the Classical Greek and Chinese worlds reborn beautiful and new. You will find that all the games I produce (right now just this one and an old visual novel) are heavily based in the primary source material. At some point I might make a game where I try to apply a classical text like Plato's Laws or the Book of Lord Shang to the modern world, but essentially the goal remains the same.

In terms of gaming roots, I have been playing for decades. I have always enjoyed old school adventure games and rpgs, so I think the old Sierra games and some historically-themed rpgs like Darklands have been very influential. I think we're seeing a lot of games coming out that have similar roots, too, which is really nice. We mentioned Age of Decadence earlier, which has the strongest choice and consequence gameplay I've ever seen, and it also brings back that old school, easy to die, no mercy gameplay of titles from the 80s and 90s. Spiderweb is still kicking it; Nethergate and the Geneforge Series are some of the best games ever, and I have high hopes for Queen's Wish. Yet I also like games with a faster, smoother, minimal ui style; Teudogar is a great title that really improved on Ultima 7 by replacing the combat with a true turn-based, detailed system, and also gave it a truly historical theme.

I could go on forever, computer rpgs are definitely a terrific artform and I think there's a lot of potential to excite people about the classics and, at the same time, do our ancestors honour and make them ever more relevant.
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July 31st, 2018, 11:09
@Antiquity Games
If you make reference to Theseus' ship you get bonus points from me.
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July 31st, 2018, 11:12
Looking forward to playing the full game when it's released, as a Greek I'm even more intrigued by your interpretation in a good way!!

Congratulations and keep it going!
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