ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

Let Us Cling Together - To Build a T-Engine Game
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Author:  Fortescue [ Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Let Us Cling Together - To Build a T-Engine Game

Hello! I have worked on ToME 4 to help DarkGod out by redesigning Berserker, creating the new class Skirmisher, and contributing to expansion content that I can't talk about at this time ;) Look those up if you want to get an idea of my design style when it comes to mechanics. I am deeply appreciative of DarkGod's interest in my designs and I take it as a good sign that I might actually be OK at that sort of thing. I don't want to just improve ToME 4 though, I want to make my own game! I'm still brainstorming what to make it about, though, and that means now is probably a great time to assemble a team of people who would like to work with me to realize our mutual goal of creating a game we can all be proud of.

I really like roguelikes for a lot of reasons, the biggest being how easy it is to emphasize gameplay over other considerations such as graphics, sound, etc... However, as anyone who has played Dwarf Fortress knows, just because the graphics are not impressive does not mean the game itself is simplistic or lacking depth. My goal is to create a game that is simple to get into, but has enough depth and opportunities for expansion to keep developing a playable "finished" version for another 10 years :) You can thank Jeff Lait (creator of Powder) for that lofty goal ;)

So, who wants to come along with me on this ride? Post if you are interested, the kind of game you'd like to make / theme, and what technical abilities you bring to the mix. I will tell you straight up, I know how to program, but I am not good at T-Engine and do my best work in design, not code. That means to be a team we need at least one person who IS passionate about writing code, and doesn't mind implementing someone else's ideas (I think some people are misinterpreting this line to mean "and you don't get to contribute any ideas of your own", which is not what I'm saying). Custom music, graphics, and sounds would be lovely if we could get interest, but we could get by on public domain or cheap licensed material (Sound Rangers, etc...) if we don't.

Let us be realistic about this: I would expect you to spend at least 5-10 hours a week working with me on this project. I would spend at least that much time doing design work (I could easily manage an hour a day out of my full time job on writing down design stuff, it is how I wrote those things for DarkGod). Think about it, and be realistic with yourself. This will be a loooooong project, and I don't expect every team member to commit to working with me for 10 years, but unless people are willing to invest the time to code there will not be a playable game.

What do you get out of this? A chance to work as a team on a game, and if you have the drive to finish it, something to show off when looking for more opportunities in the future. My best friend started out making mods for Half Life (The Wastes, Action Half Life), and he ended up a senior programmer for Vigil and later Crytek USA. If you want into the games industry the best way is to have something you can show someone that you created (or helped create). Even if you're not interested in joining the industry, you get to make the kind of game you want to play, and for a lot of popular roguelikes (like Powder) that was motivation enough.

So, there is my pitch. Now for some sample ideas I've been toying with:

HereticRL - A remake of the classic FPS arena shooter Heretic, in the fast paced coffee break style of the original DoomRL (current version not so much). Main feature would be a unique gameplay system where you would always fire at a selected target every time you move, not just when you manually chose to fire. This would allow for proper recreation of circle strafing in a turn based game! The long term potential on this is maybe less than my next two ideas, but it is possible we could release HexenRL or even an entirely original property once we figured out how to make the basic concept of a game about active defense and shooting while moving work as a roguelike.

RetroRL - A much grander idea, a Roguelike about classic gaming. Classes would be based on iconic NES era figures in gaming (Castlevania, Megaman, Zelda, Mario, etc...). Just imagine giving ALL of these the Mario RPG treatment and you can see how anything can be translated into turn based tactical gaming. It would not be exclusively Nintendo based, but a lot of the most iconic characters came from that system. You would save the Video Game World by traveling across zones themed after different games, featuring classic enemies with enough twists to avoid copyright lawsuits! If you've ever played the game Reset Generation you get the idea. YOU SHOULD PLAY RESET GENERATION SOME TIME. Also if this went on for 10 years it would be really easy to keep adding more references to more franchises in the form of worlds, classes, NPCs, etc... Imagine the 5th year update, when the 16-bit invasion begins :3 Starfox! Sonic!

Ascend - A very different game than either of the first two. You are a mortal who has spent their life studying to unlock the power of the gods - magic - and wield it yourself. You succeed, and use it to challenge them for divinity. The game would be hub based, and each zone would be crafted to reflect the real (as opposed to popular) mythology of a real life regional culture, such as Hinduism, the Greek Pantheon, the viking pantheon, Shinto, etc... The mechanics would revolve around a Magicka-like system where the players actions were all spells that were cast by typing in combinations of elements to achieve specific effects, and the enemies would all require specific tactics and spells to defeat. It would be a little bit like Crawl in that you could "win" divinity without needing to defeat every zone, but the option to keep going would be there for a "better" win. Again, has the potential for an amazing amount of extension since you could just keep adding new pantheons and spells. They also wouldn't ALL have to be real ones, who doesn't love Cthulu?


So thats it, let me know if anyone is interested in collaborating on any of these ideas, or if you'd like me to help you smash out the details on your own RL concept. Just to summarize:

I need:

A Coder

I'd like:

A Spriter
A Musician

I would like to keep the team small with well defined responsibilities. I don't believe more coders = faster production any more than Tarn Adams does. Dedication and passion from one good coder beats passing interest from 5.

Author:  Sigh [ Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Let Us Cling Together - To Build a T-Engine Game

Hello! I am interested in programming for you. I've completed a couple of short term gaming projects, but nothing of this magnitude. I have been looking at getting starting on a personal roguelike project, to start filling out a portfolio. I love roguelikes, and tome, but I have zero experience with t-engine or lua. I'm not worried about learning it, although it will take a bit if time.

I'm a writer as well, if that came in handy. I written for (so far) an unreleased pen and paper rpg, and do lots of writing on my own.

Idea-wise, hereticRL and ascend both sound interesting. I like the concept behind decend, although the elemental system sounds complicated (but not impossible). I have notes somewhere about a mythic-level roguelike. Personally, I'm not as interested in retroRL, but that might change if I heard more.

Let me know what you think.

Author:  Fortescue [ Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Let Us Cling Together - To Build a T-Engine Game

I think all that sounds fine. I am of course open to any creative input from anyone else working with me. Most likely we can set up a github type repository like my last project (Skirmisher) had for easy distribution among people who want to help out. I'd like to have 1 dedicated coder, but they could review patches other people contribute and cherry pick / refactor if necessary to meet our goals for whatever the final vision is.

Come to #tome in if you want to talk live. I'm always in there, say my name or msg me privately and it goes to my phone.

Author:  Faeryan [ Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let Us Cling Together - To Build a T-Engine Game

I'm not able to do anything for the project but I just wanted to voice my opinion in Ascend. Theme wise it sounds just about perfect.

Author:  Fortescue [ Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let Us Cling Together - To Build a T-Engine Game

I'm a huge mythology fan personally, so having an excuse do to a whole lot of research into "real" mythology (as opposed to Marvel-ized, etc...) would be a lot of fun to me :) I started reading about "viking" mythology when I first had this idea, and that stuff is even more intense than I realized. Did you know that 4 dwarves hold up the sky? I didn't!

Author:  DL_dude [ Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let Us Cling Together - To Build a T-Engine Game

I'dd be really interested in creating some music for any of the 3 games listed, i don't know how this forum work, so could we discuss this over an email or reddit, i asume you're the one who posted this to r/rougelike?

Author:  Fortescue [ Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Let Us Cling Together - To Build a T-Engine Game

Yes, I am! Feel free to PM me on reddit or come to IRC for live chat. If you have google chat we can use that too. I'll send you my email address over PM if you msg me there.

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