We are slashie and jucarave (a.k.a Slashing Dragon and Exodus Destiny Dragon from the Ultima Dragons Internet Chapter UDIC). We are two game developers who love classic RPGs and we have a bit of indie game development experience behind, including Ananias Roguelike (a game available on Steam, iOS and Android with over 100.000 installs), a game dev youtube channel with over 1700 subscribers and many other game projects done for the past 10 years or so.
In the past, we have worked together in a couple of fan-projects including a 3D dungeon crawler remake of Ultima 4 (Stygian Abyss), and a demake of Ultima VIII into an even more classic engine. (Morgaelin)
For a long time, we have wanted to create a tool which allows fans from classic game franchises to bring their reconstruction and fan projects into reality. So, we ran a crowdfunding campaign and were able to get some funds to kickstart the project.
We are planning to create an open source game engine from scratch with which you’ll be able to create your own adventures. It will come packed with ready to use content based on Denzi’s cc-by-sa 3.0 oblique tileset so you can jump straight into map making, NPC design, and scripting to develop your game. (Note that you can use your own graphics too if you want!)
You can see demonstrations of the engine here (we’ll be posting more as development goes onward with your contributions)
What kind of game will you be able to create?
The engine will allow you to create 2D top-down RPGs using orthogonal grid maps with a hybrid real-time / turn-based mode (real-time for normal gameplay, turn-based for combat).
The core of the engine is inspired by the Ultima VI engine, which means you can model your game world as a continuous single scale map where all action takes place (including combat) and you will be able to engage in conversation with NPCs to obtain information and advance through the game and its plot, using plot items to resolve puzzles and uncover secrets and exploring the vast world to find surprises.
What We Are Doing
We are developing a game engine and a Game Editor. All the development will be released under an open license so you can use it in both free and commercial projects.
We will deliver a free, open-source game engine which you can readily use for your project including a content pack (Medieval Fantasy) and a simple game editor including Objects and Monsters managers.
There are some additional things we planned doing but didn’t make it on the crowdfunding campaign; once we are done with the basic scope, we plan to create another campaign for these
- Full game editor including Character and Magic System managers.
- New themed content packs (Space, Modern, Futuristic, Western, Steampunk, etc.)
Supported graphics styles include the oblique perspective characteristic of the Ultima IV engine, as well as a 3/4 front facing perspective similar to traditional jRPGs ala RPGMaker, and a full top-down perspective for more symbolic, old school games similar to Ultima V.
The engine will include two medieval fantasy art packs from Denzi: one will allow creating maps with an oblique, Ultima VI like perspective, while another one will allow creating older school looking top-down games.
Music and SFX
The engine will support situational music triggered by game events or tied to game locations, as well as sound effects for the game actions. Supported formats are MP3, OGG and WAV.
The engine comes bundled with a basic SFX pack. Music is left to the game developer to find for his own game.
- Multiple characters party: You will be able to have NPCs and pets join your party, they will follow you around and you’ll be able to command them in combat if needed.
- NPC Schedules: They wake up every day to go to their jobs and come back home in the night. Schedules are customizable per NPC.
- Day and Night cycles: Reduced visibility during the night, different enemies activity.
- Camping: Make camp in the wilderness to recover your strength, beware being ambushed!
- Party AI: When in battle mode, other party members can act on their own optionally, selecting a proper target for attack or running away based on general parameters.
- Dialogs: Create a history which is unveiled by talking with NPCs, finding clues and using the information you obtain from them to travel the world.
- Crafting: Gather elements from the world and combine them between themselves or other items to create new items. Obtain leather from dead animals and create clothing from it, bake bread (of course!), create weapons using metals in a forge, and more!
The games created by the engine will be accessible for desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux), mobile (Android, iOS) and also playable from modern browsers.
Supported input modes
- Keyboard: Movement will be done using the arrow keys, numpad or WASDpad.
- Mouse and touch interfaces: Movement will be done by touching the map in the cardinal direction the player wants to move (without pathfinding). Drag and drop will be supported for inventory management.
Scripting and Programming
The engine will be released under the MIT License, allowing you to use the engine for both commercial and non-commercial works, without you having to include any modifications or additional source code. All community contributions will be welcome of course.
Why make another RPG creation kit?
We want to enable enthusiast developers to create RPGs of this particular style more easily and bring them into many platforms. Since we are seeking a particular style of games, we decided to start from scratch in order to not be bound by the limitation of existing engines.
Why did you go for this particular style of engine?
We feel this kind of engine strikes a good balance between a visually pleasing world while still allowing the developers to expand the content at a lower cost (for example creating new art by themselves or hiring a pixel artist). Work on 16×16 tiles on a limited color palette is much cheaper than higher res, higher color depth, (although the engine is not limited by resolution, that’s what the starter content kits will look like)
Also, we already have a pretty cool and complete cc-by-sa tileset available that we can use as a basis for people to create their games.
Will I be restricted by the provided tilesets?
No, you can add custom tilesets for your game.
- Turn-based movement with scrolling.
- Keyword-based dialogues with conditions and prompts.
- Up to 6 party members with AI settings for battle and the ability to move in solo mode.
- Inventory management and item containers.
- Turn-based tactical combat.
- Reagent based magic system.
- Day and Night cycle and NPC schedules.
- Stairs, roofs, and multiple stories buildings.
Game Editor Features
Will make use of Tiled to edit the maps and place objects and markers.
Edit the dialogs and the behavior of the characters in the game.
Monsters and Object Editors
Define properties for the items in the game and the monster races
Other editors (Planned for future versions)
- Assets manager
- Interactive World objects (signposts, magic gates, plaques, levers)
- Magic spells
- Screen editor: For character creation and cutscenes.