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Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous, a retro RPG inspired by 80s classics, now on Kickstarter

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Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous, a retro RPG inspired by 80s classics, now on Kickstarter

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 17 December 2016, 00:02:34

Tags: Stirring Dragon Games; Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous

The IBM PC compatible has been the dominant computer gaming platform since 1990 or so, leaving rivals such as the Commodore 64 and the Amiga by the wayside. Unbeknownst to most, a small hobbyist scene has continued to develop games for these platforms over the years. I usually regard these projects as mere curiosities, but sometimes the amount of effort that goes into them is impossible to ignore. One such unignorable project is Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous, a very oldschool RPG inspired by Ultima and other classics of the 1980s (but mostly Ultima, I think). The game has been in development for several years, and now the developers, Bruce and Laura Gottlieb of Stirring Dragon Games, are ready to take it to the next level with a Kickstarter campaign. Mainly for physical costs, because they plan to release it on a C64 cartridge. But don't worry, the game will work on PC as well, via a "special PC platform" - presumably some sort of custom-made emulator. Here's the pitch video:

There's a lot to read on Unknown Realm's Kickstarter page, but the most impressive part is the game's feature list, which includes many desirable hardcore RPG features, as well as various modern touchstones such as cutscenes and user interface conveniences. I'll quote part of it:

Alive World:
  • Open world with lots of secret locations to discover.
  • 64 different day, night, and seasonal monsters.
  • Landscape reacts to the choices you make. Locations, characters, and game world will be impacted by your decisions, and your actions have real consequences.
  • Dual-mode exploration using either overworld view or zoomed in location view.
  • Traveling NPCs and settlements – stumble upon a gypsy caravan, traveling merchants or bandit encampments!
Interesting NPCs: Just because our NPCs have 8-bit brains doesn't mean they have to be dummies.
  • Find NPC or animal companions to join your cause.
  • Hire mercenaries to aid you on those really dangerous quests.
  • NPCs might strike up a conversation with you or blurt out for you to get lost.
  • NPCs can treat you differently based on their mood or how well they know you, or react to what they see you do or hear you say.
  • NPCs may travel between locations in the game.
  • Some monsters might even talk with you, if you happen to speak their language!
Very cool stuff. If Mr. Gottlieb wasn't a veteran game programmer and member in good standing of the Ultima fan community, I would say it was too good to be true, even. Stirring Dragon are seeking $65,536 to finish development of Unknown Realm, which is a nice programming reference but seems like a lot of money for this kind of project (although they already have almost half of that so maybe not). You can secure a copy of the game for $19, with retro ziplock bags and other physical goodies available from $49 and up. The estimated release date is December 2017.

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