Archive for April, 2007

Birth of Shadows

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

I guess it’s about time that I announce the name of my next game.  My new RPG is called Birth of Shadows.  I have been working on it since September 2006.  It will be ready for release this November 2007.  I am using a new artist for this game as the asset requirements are much greater than my first one.  The new artist is Mark Jones.  His web page can be found at http://www.mjonesgraphics.com/ for those who want to view his previous work.

The project is shaping up to be a fun game.  It is currently on schedule, though I do still have some big challenges remaining.  However, I estimate that around 80% of the code is already completed.  Even at this early stage I can play a meaningful network game that handles lag quite well.

One of the biggest remaining hurdles is the quest code.  I recently finished the quest design and am in the middle of coding the various components.  It is actually pretty complex as there are many components that must interface with the quest design.  For instance, I must associate a quest with the source NPC and the target NPC, which can be different.  I need to associate items with enemies, which are looted when killed by a player.  These items may update a quest and the kill itself may do that too.  Quests can have multiple requirements where each can be a different type.  In addition, I need a way to edit the quests as well as load and save them.  Those issues aren’t even all of them.

I am focusing on the quest design now since it is so important to the game.  While it’s nice to have a large part of the combat completed, it is essential that I provide a reason to destroy enemies.  No matter how much fun it is to fight enemies, there must be objectives to make the combat meaningful.  Once I complete the initial quest coding, I will move on to character development.  This component includes things like experience from killing enemies, leveling from experience, allowing players to choose abilities and/or stats to increase each level, etc.  At that point, the game will have the required “trinity” of RPG gameplay: combat, quests, and character development.

Then I just need to add a ton of content and polish before the release :)