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Anybody Interested in a Fantasy-WWI CRPG? (Think Arcanum meets XCOM)

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by TakaTheTown, Aug 5, 2019.

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  1. TakaTheTown Barely Literate

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    Hi everyone, like many of you here I've noticed a small renaissance of the CRPG genre. It seems like almost every other month we get either a new game or expansion with which to test our mettle with. Believe me I'm not complaining, I've had an incredible time playing pretty much every one of them (Even some of the rougher ones like Torment: Tides of Numenera) and despite how much I've played I'm always left wanting more. This has inspired me to start working on creating my own CRPG building upon elements set by others and based around one of my personal favourite time periods in history, the era up-to and including WWI (1880/90-1920). Now this isn't a purely historical CRPG, as much fun as that would be, but rather a historic-fantasy with Elves, Dwarves, and other such goodies. In many ways it's similar to the world from Arcanum albeit a little further along their Industrial Revolution. Because of this progress however, magic has become but a wisp in the minds of the peoples save for miracles casted by the holy and other, darker sources better left unsaid. As such there would be a far heavier emphasis on technology/crafting in general (ex. Instead of gaining a lightning bolt skill, you learn how to install a solenoid along the barrel of your bolt-action rifle, electrifying your bullets against any grounded enemies) and perhaps you might even get to customize and upgrade your own tool shop over the course of the game, tinkering with weapons and armour to your heart's content. Obviously this is a monumental undertaking and a lot of help will be needed so who better to ask than you guys? I doubt there's few if any areas on the entire internet with a better grasp on what makes these games so great in the first place. I've attached a little google doc outlining some of the basics which hopefully might better convey my ideas, if there's any questions at all or you need elaboration please feel free to ask!

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BXPGdsQwbf_J8TrtNxuLuQX1zRfWcneaB0OYJQ0FcG0/edit
     
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  2. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

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    I've no idea? It could be made well or it could be worse than Black Geyser.

    What's the budget? Who does the writing? What kind of graphics are you aiming for? Do you have experience developing games?
     
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  3. TakaTheTown Barely Literate

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    All good questions. I'll try to answer them one by one:

    Budget:
    - Essentially zero at the moment but I'm not in any rush to get this out, this'll be more of a passion project if anything. My current goal is to complete a playable demo with a starter town, a few quests and possibly a couple other areas of interest. If I'm able to complete that meeting my levels of expectations then I might seek out further financing via a crowdfunding platform or some other form of investment.

    Writing:
    - Honestly have no idea, mostly just me at this point which I realise is definitely a problem for such a narrative-heavy genre where the writing can really make-or-break the game. I do have a plan on how the story will play out so to speak it's just the details and kinks that need working out. Thematically I want to focus on the loss of hope felt by nearly everyone involved in WWI, it was so terrible, so brutal, so inhuman that it subsequently changed the zeitgeist of humanity from optimistic to pessimistic. It's my intention to capture that feeling of melancholy, that loss of hope spurred on by the infernal industrial machine of war. What good are the actions of a few when over 50,000 men are dying every single day?

    Graphics:
    - The way I see it there's 3 options for me here each of which with their own pros and cons:

    Full 2D
    - Classic Baldur's Gate / Arcanum / Fallout style isometric 2D. Probably the easiest to develop for but visual character customization ( Hair, Armour, etc.) would have to be kept to a minimum, also has the highest potential to seem clunky and dated (in a bad way).

    2D Backgrounds With 3D Character Models
    - Pillars of Eternity / Tides of Numenera style pre-rendered backgrounds with 3D character models. Essentially a middle ground between the two extremes, more character customization than full 2D while still maintaining some of that classic CRPG look and feel. Will require the most work and has the steepest learning curve in getting just right.

    Full 3D
    - Divinity: Original Sin / Mutant Year Zero / XCOM style full 3D. In theory would play the best out of all them and the freely rotating camera would be a big plus. However, areas would likely have to be smaller and you'd lose some of feel of the original games. Most likely in between in terms of development difficulty although I could be wrong on that one, it might be harder than 2D backgrounds with 3D Characters.

    Let's be honest here they're all going to be hard
    :shredder:

    Experience
    - I mean I've made some space shooters in the past and studied Computer Science for a couple years at University so I'm not a complete numpty, just a small one. I know just enough to know what I'm getting myself into and by God it's a lot. Engine-wise I was planning on using Godot, especially if I'm going to go full 2D but I'm certainly open to suggestions. I could also do music and audio, I know that this isn't exactly the place for this sort of game but here's a cover I made a while back for Chrono Trigger's Corridors of Time for anybody interested:

    https://mega.nz/#!nQ4FAIpS!U8BDtvWatrP5rjzB5lDCTCxndZXhqHCZhXvi0Tjt2Gc
     
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  4. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

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    If you have a day job and want to work on the game in the evening, that's nearly impossible.
    If you don't have a day job, you're most likely not going to be able to pay freelancers.
    Pick your option.

    How much money you think you can raise on kickstarter? I'd say shelling out 5k bucks to create some demo assets, as well as hire a student director with a camera (and an interesting script) to make a campaign video is the bare minimum for a "successful" indie RPG campaign, and the most these guys raise nowadays is $30k. Is it possible to make a game on this budget? No, unless you can code AND create assets, and survive on potatoes for 3-4 years.

    So while I applaud your idea, I don't see how this project could be made. Unless you also learn how to make assets, and you have money to spare, and don't need to work for a living.
     
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  5. TakaTheTown Barely Literate

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    Yeah perhaps you're right, I suppose it's best to put this on the backburner for now. Maybe when/if I have the opportunity to pursue this full time I'll do so, I think there's still potential for a really cool PnP RPG if game development proves to be too much of a hurdle. If anything ever becomes of this I'll keep you guys posted, though don't expect anything much for a while at least. In any case thanks for taking the time to humour my idea.
     
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