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Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees

Chris Koźmik

Silver Lemur Games
Developer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
381
Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees (a sequel to Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown :D) in development.

Website: https://www.silverlemurgames.com/legendsofamberland2/

So, some of you were waiting for this. I'm happy to announce that development of LoA II starts officially tomorrow (just released Stellar Monarch 2 today and LoA II was next on the queue :)). It's a direct sequel, like 95% code will be reused. If you liked the prequel there are extremely high odds you will like that one too, if you hated the prequel you will hate that one as well. It's an evolution, not a revolution. It will be basically a very similar game with improvements (lessons learned from LoA I), adjustments, slight changes in the design principles (less roguelike more classic RPG). There will be changes in some mechanics, but not to the extend of changing the nature of the game but rather by replacing the parts that were not that great in hindsight (for example regular items will be semi randomly generated while unique items will be hand crafted).

As for the release date, I have no clue yet. I would say somewhere in 2023 is the most likely date EDIT: 2023. This time there will be no Early Access (no need since the code is basically well tested already and I now have access to some people who offered to early playtest it).



THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT (YET)

I'm planning a sequel :)

There are no dates yet and it's not in development yet but I have been collecting some assets from contractors already (for like a year already) and I'm discussion certain mechanics and the like.

If you want to participate in the very early pre-production phase:
1) Join the "secret" Steam subforum (instructions how to join here): https://steamcommunity.com/groups/SilverLemurGames/discussions/0/3084382396867371167/
AND/OR
2) Join the Discord https://discord.com/invite/Xs6x7qj

Currently discussed:
* Mechanics (on Steam "secret" subforum)
* Music style (on Discord, "Music fro LoA II" thread in #legends-of-amberland channel)
* Name of the sequel (on this public thread https://steamcommunity.com/groups/SilverLemurGames/discussions/0/3274688652643523353/ )

Prequel: https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads/legends-of-amberland-oldschool-open-world-blobber.121565/
 
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Darth Canoli

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Perched on a tree
* Mechanics (on Steam "secret" subforum)

Wow, discussing game mechanism, pre-production on a steam forum...
Good luck anyway.

My two cents:
  • Find a good game designer with good ideas and skills complementary to yours, ditch the steam forum, go for nicer pixel art and grab some UE financing.
  • Or do something like "The quest" (great quest design and better/more rewarding exploration) but party based with your combat system but real pretty pixel art (check popular pixel art games) and great sound effects and music.
 

tentanz

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Codex Year of the Donut
I'd like to see mazes or some actual puzzle-solving in wizards towers. iirc all I had to do was put his magic balls back together to get to the top.
 

Dorateen

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Messages
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The Crystal Mist Mountains
Yes, I'd like to see more engaging dungeon design. Traps and secret doors. Zones that are inaccessible on one level, requiring the player to explore further in another direction and find a way around obstacles. The overland map was done rather well in this regard, I would like to see that methodology transposed into indoor locations.

Which leads to the inclusion of a thief/robber type class, so you can now lock those chests.

And find a way to include ranged combat.
 

Butter

Arcane
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
5,273
It's important when thinking about making changes in a sequel to not lose sight of what worked well in the original, and doesn't need to be changed.

I like the efficiency of menu towns.
I like speed at which combat plays out.
I like the variety of races and classes.
I really like the encumbrance system (how it only affects what you can equip, not how much you can cart around).
I like the enemy variety, and their sprites.
I like the music.

The biggest issue I have with Legends of Amberland is the simplistic dungeon design. Illusionary walls, secret doors, traps, and riddles should all make an appearance in the sequel.
 

Chris Koźmik

Silver Lemur Games
Developer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
381
Wow, discussing game mechanism, pre-production on a steam forum...
Good luck anyway.
It's a private forum for members who joined the group only. So, it's a perfect place for me to discuss such non public stuff since only the most dedicated and determined people will ever bother to join and therefore be able to read it :D

Which brings me to another point, most people provide ideas WAY too late in the development stage for me to be able to use those (for example in a few weeks I will conclude the music stuff and order the songs in advance, so those will be ready way before I even announce the project). If you have something to say (especially regarding the planned/proposed mechanics), this is the best moment to do so.
 

AdolfSatan

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
1,646
Just add complexity to dungeons and exploration, and enemy variety perhaps.

Avoid the classic pitfalls: ridiculous high-level gameplay and useless feature creep like lockpicking minigames.

I'd rather shave my dick with a dull, rusty blade than join discord or a steam forum.

RE: the music
Take more risks. All I recall is it being unremarkable. Not offensive, but it didn't add anything of worth to the game either, whereas there's RPGs whose tunes I could write down a decade after having played them. Strive to be like those.

In the chance anyone asks how to know what'll stick if you're not a musician: look for actually melody, something you can hum back and remember. Don't fall back on stuff that works simply because it's a succession of nice chords and arpeggios with no actual substance to it.
 
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newtmonkey

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Goblin Lair
Chris Koźmik

I agree with what everyone above has said regarding dungeons. The only thing I didn't like about LoA were the simplistic dungeons. Simply adding some puzzles here and there, or even some unique text-based encounters would be nice.

Phantasie I has some really great dungeons with unique themes and fun interactions, while still having comparatively simple layouts. I'd definitely recommend checking out that game (or at least a walkthrough) for inspiration.
 
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Snorkack

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong
Great to see you want to make a successor! I enjoyed the first one and thought it was a very solid one-man project which knew what it wanted to be and did exactly that.

You have a good technical foundation. I dont want to discus mechanical details, but let me share my biggest criticisms which I hope to be rectified in Part 2:
-You explore a generic fantasy world and fight generic monsters to solve generic quests. Would hope for something more surprising.
-The world was quite linear/gated. Don't be afraid to let the player walk into territory where he's not supposed to be (yet).

Looking forward to this!
 

Chris Koźmik

Silver Lemur Games
Developer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
381
All right, I'm concluding the discussion about music in two days. If you want to check the proposals and say something about the music please hop on the Discord https://discord.com/invite/Xs6x7qj ("Music for LoA II thread") and speak up by Monday (I will be giving the final directions to the composer in a few days).
 

Chris Koźmik

Silver Lemur Games
Developer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
381
Could use some feedback on the game description (for the store page, etc) :) There is short description and long one (both will be used).


==========================================
{SHORT DESCRIPTION}

Legend of Amberland II: The Song of Trees is a classic western RPG inspired by the games from the 90s. Light, fairy tale, epic, heroic, slightly humorous and without the need of endless grind to progress. Embark on an epic quest to fight the evil that lurks in Amberland.

==========================================
{LONG DESCRIPTION}

Inspiration:
The game is a classic western RPG inspired by the games from the 90s. You lead a party of 7 adventurers, manually assembled or premade, on an epic adventure to fight the evil which lurks in Amberland. It's light, fairy tale, epic, heroic and slightly humorous. One that does not take tons of hours to complete or require endless grind to progress. Basically, it's a love letter from the 90s, the golden era of RPGs.


Core Design Choices:

1) Classic, 90 degree rotation, FPP, turn-based, tile movement RPG.
2) Party-based (7 heroes, either predefined or manually assembled upon new game).
3) Open world with a big overworld to explore.
4) Fast paced combat. Quick travel. Easy inventory management. No excess grind.
5) Light, fairy tale like fantasy, epic story about heroes on a noble quest.


Mechanics:
Mechanically it’s 100% turn based (so you can go and make a tea in the middle of a fight) with grid movement and 90 degree rotation. All this is very fast paced, both combat and travel is really fast. The goal was to cut down the boring parts and flesh out the fun parts.

Overall, the mechanics are pretty traditional and straightforward with modern additions like weightless bag combined with equipment encumbrance system.

World and Storyline:
Storyline is a fairy tale, mythical heroic fantasy. You are the good guys on a quest to fight the forces of evil. The world is non linear, with very few locked areas. You basically can go anywhere and do things in different order. It’s more world driven than story driven. The priority was to make the world feel alive and let you explore it as you wish than follow a linear list of quests.

...storyline blurb goes here...


Technicalities:
The game was designed to look and feel like one of the old games while working flawlessly on modern machiens. Interface automatically scales to fit and adjust to any resolution. Controls allow playing with mouse, keyboard or gamepad in any combination of those you wish. The game is very stable and bug free, should run even on very old machines and has miniscule disk space requirements, it also launches almost instantly.

==========================================
 

Chris Koźmik

Silver Lemur Games
Developer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
381
What are those games? I feel like could name drop a series or two, but I am no pro at this.
You mean I should list which games inspired the game in the description?
 

Abu Antar

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth

Infinitron

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RPG Wokedex Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
No official announcement eh?



Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees is a classic western RPG inspired by the games from the 90s like Might & Magic, Wizardry, Ultima, the Gold Box series and others. Using the classic first-person perspective, over grid movement, turn-based system to travel in an open world with fast travel options and a quick combat.

You lead a party of 7 adventurers, manually assembled or pre-made, on an epic adventure to fight the evil which lurks in Amberland. It's light, fairy tale, epic, heroic and slightly humorous. It does not take tons of hours to complete or require an endless grind to progress. Basically, it's a love letter from the 90s, the golden era of RPGs.

Notable features:
* First person perspective, 90 degree rotation, over grid movement (like in the 90s).
* Turn-based (both combat and exploration).
* Party-based (7 heroes, either predefined or manually assembled upon new game).
* Fast paced combat, especially blazing fast against much weaker enemies.
* Quick travel to reduce backtracking.
* Easy inventory management with separate personal equipment encumbrance system and an infinite magic bag of carrying for items not equipped at the moment.
* Open world with a big overworld to explore.
* Quests (including both main storyline quests and side quests).
* Rich world lore (spanning between all games of the series, but no knowledge of prior games required).

Technicalities:
The game was designed to look and feel like one of the old games while working flawlessly on modern machines, especially on very high resolutions. It has very low hardware requirements and should run on even very old machines.

About the relation to the prequel:
The Legends of Amberland titles can be played in any order you wish. They share the same world and lore (historical events) but each has a separate and self-contained story. There might be some mild references to events in the previous titles of the series, but more like a flavor, so it does not hinder the ability to play those in any order.
 

Dorateen

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Aug 30, 2012
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The Crystal Mist Mountains
Looking forward to this and Sovereign. Thanks to these fearless independent developers, the spirit of Might & Magic is not dead nor does it sleep.
 

Chris Koźmik

Silver Lemur Games
Developer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
381
No official announcement eh?
I was not ready yet, I just setup the the steam page early :) Thanks for reposting!
But today I finished my current project (Stellar Monarch 2) so, officially, starting from tomorrow LoA II is the primary project in development :)

So, it's official now. I have edited the first post with some plans (just a bit, probably next month I will make a full fledged post with more details).
 

Chris Koźmik

Silver Lemur Games
Developer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
381
I loved the first game. The second game will introduce new classes?
Hard to tell. But that's not the priority for me, there are other, much more interesting, changes I have in mind :) In short, dunno at this point.

Ranged attack(like in MM3, 4 and 5) would be nice
Well, ranged combat is a can of worms. Such a big can of worms, that I actually made a separate topic about it :)
https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads/discussion-m-m-3-5-style-ranged-combat.144775/
Personally, I don't see it doable, but who knows.
 

Chris Koźmik

Silver Lemur Games
Developer
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
381

Luzur

Good Sir
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Swedish Empire
Eh? i havent played the first one fully yet geez
 

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