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Default Monomyth - A first person action RPG/dungeon crawler [In Development]

May 10th, 2017, 17:50

Steam Greenlight:



There once was a guy who played King's Field 20 years after its first release and thought: "Wow… this is really cool! But I wish it had better controls and better combat and was much, much prettier."

I've been developing a free movement dungeon crawler for a bit more than a year now.
It is called Monomyth and was originally planned as a pretty simple King's Field clone, but in my "research" for the project a whole lot of other games also left an impression (such as the original Ultima Underworld, Arx Fatalis, Thief, System Shock, etc). So here we are…

Key features:
Development focuses/focused so far on the following aspects:
  • Free Character Movement: No grid based movement. Monomyth is a free movement dungeon crawler like King's Field, Ultima Underworld or Arx Fatalis.

  • Action oriented real-time combat: At the end of the day Monomyth is an RPG with character- and item-stats having a strong impact on how well you do in battle. However it is also strongly dependent on the player's skill. You have to actively swing your blade, cast spells, dodge, parry and block. Weapons have certain movesets, range and the combat is based around a stamina system the player has to keep an eye on. There are also optional lock-on mechanics. This is probably unusual for a first person RPG but during playtests it worked really well with melee combat. Ranged combat and spells will not allow lock-on however.

  • Blades, bows and spells: The game currently features the three basic RPG archetypes - Warrior, Thief & Mage. There are several melee weapons, certain stealth mechanics and obviously spell casting. I'm not sure how restrictively I will separate these three in the end though since there is….

  • Free character development: Means no classes. The character is developed by investing points into character stats. But, much like in Ultima Underworld, the player is not necessarily bound to a certain archetype/playstyle. However if you sprinkle your EXP all over your character sheet you will very likely end up as a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none.

  • Enemy Infighting: This is a nice detail I introduced in the AI a while ago. Enemies actually belong to "factions". Certain factions don't like each other much and as a result they'll fight each other whenever they meet (it's also the code base for a "Charm" spell - as seen in Dark Messiah).

  • Dynamic Encounters: Enemy spawns in Monomyth are bound to resting at certain checkpoints within the world. This activates the respawn mechanism, which is slowly (not necessarily all at once) replenishing monster spawns, spawning traps throughout the map and even unique monsters. The monster spawns themself will feature variations, so there might be a single monster spawning, several monsters, or maybe even a patrol.

  • (For the lack of a better word) Metroidvania-styled world layout: Of course this game is one big dungeon crawler and to a certain extent it is separated into different areas or "floors" if you will. However, areas are strongly interconnected and finding for example a passage in one area might lead you to an unexplored part of another area. It is definitely not the "clearing out all monsters and moving on" type of level design. I want the areas to be more creative than that. My main goal here is to marry the horseshoe level design principle of e.g. Dark Souls with the extensive level design of Thief. Which is quite a challenge, since the horseshoe principle is very much opposed to Looking Glass' more open design principle. The solution so far is to practice the horseshoe principle as a connector between areas, while the areas themself remain more open. So in a sense it is a lot like Ultima Underworld, except instead of stairs connecting areas you basically have a separate area that acts as a hub, which slowly opens more and more, the further you progress through the game.

  • Outdoor areas: While being a dungeon crawler, Monomyth will also feature outdoor areas. I thought that might be interesting.

  • High-tech medieval setting: This is probably the thing Thief had the biggest impact on. Monomyth is set in a medieval fantasy world. However primitive electronics and steam powered machines are very common. Dungeons are filled with pipes and electronic lights, castles are full with gears and mechanisms, enemies range from savage to what could be considered high-tech.

  • Deadly environments: This was a lot of "fun" in King's Field 4 (except for the invisible lava field right in the beginning). In Monomyth environments are quite hazardous. There is hot steam coming from leaking pipes, there are chambers filled with poisonous gas, electrical hazards, pitch black caves with steep cliffs and traps. Lot's of traps. So you always have to be on guard.


I'm trying to get the game on Steam Greenlight by the 15th of May (we'll see how that works out). Unfortunately I have to prepone this entire process a little (mostly due to the current legal implications Steam Direct would have). Planned release is Q4 2018 (or 2019 - you know how it is). This year my focus will also be to release an alpha demo for all the good people to test, enjoy and play around with.

I'll use this thread to update you on the development, answer questions and take feedback.

You can also follow me on twitter if you want: https://twitter.com/rattower

Thanks for reading!
Last edited by RatTower; May 19th, 2017 at 01:07. Reason: added steam greenlight video
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May 23rd, 2017, 19:53
Monomyth was greenlit today!
Thank you for your support RPGWatch!

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Today, 10:59
I'm currently working on level persistence (e.g. items that have been picked up are actually gone on reloading an area, etc).
I realized I could easily add dropping items from the inventory into the world, where they'd stay indefinitely.

But this only makes sense if there's some kind of inventory management system in place, so here's the question:


Which kind of inventory system do you prefer?
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Today, 12:19
Hey this looks great, good work. I missed your Green light campaign, I'm glad you made it. I'll keep tabs on your work!

PS - inventory management - I see the current winner in the poll is a weight free, infinite inventory like Skyrim. I hope you don't go down that route - proper inventory and resource management is part of the fun of dungeon crawlers for me, it forces you to make difficult decisions! But good luck with it whatever you decide.
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dungeon crawler, game development, indie game, king's field, rpg
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