State Of The Union

Well, folks, it’s been a long time coming. It’s finally time to officially talk about what’s been going on in this crazy mind of mine over the last 2+ years.

During the last year or so of the long death march that was the development of Family & Country, I started beginning to think about what was next. Even though I was still working on a game, the bulk of the work was already finished. It was more about dozens and dozens (and dozens!) of play tests, bug reporting, bug fixing, and the like. There was lots of work surrounding the marketing campaign. I was working like a mad man trying to get in contact with some generous voice actors, to fill the last remaining spots in the game. I know that seems like a lot (it is!), but I wasn’t really doing any hard code development. Since I was in a holding pattern for a lot of the time, I had lots of time to think…

…And when I have lots of time to think, ideas start to take shape.

The first thing I had to tackle was the idea that I was done spending time doing the following 2 things:

  • Working on projects for other people

  • Creating Rose of Eternity games based off of existing RPG engines (NWN Engine, Dragon Age Engine, etc.)

It was all good and fun doing this from 2004-2014. But I’m 36 years old now. I’m married. My daughter is almost 2 years old. We just bought a house last fall. I just don’t have time to spend on the projects of others (i.e. Ossian Studios), or on games where the engine restricts what I can really do. I need to take everything I’ve learned over that decade, and make something wholly my own.

Enter, a new engine:

I was fortunate enough to get a little experience with this engine while working with Ossian Studios on The Shadow Sun. In all honesty, it was one of the reasons I took on the contract. I didn’t care about the money, I cared about the experience that I would be able to leverage one day. Today is that day.

The next thing I had to address was how to realistically create my next game. Most people who really know me know that I’ve always had big dreams for this game franchise. Way back in 1999, I knew what type of game I wanted to make. Unfortunately, I’m not there yet, and it would be foolish for me to think I can attempt to create a AAA title, in the vein of Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3. It’s just not possible.

I mean, can I really make this with my current resources?

What about this?

Um, yeah, I think you know where I’m going with this. I have to do what’s within my means, and realistically, making a tactical turn based RPG makes the most sense, and for the following reasons:

  • From an engineering standpoint, while still complex, it’s still something that I believe I can tackle well enough. This doesn’t include art, animations, music, etc., but those are things I can worry about later. For now, it’s all about prototyping all the various systems of the game.

  • Rose of Eternity has always been a game with multiple layers of combat systems, like Unison Abilities, Last Resorts, Passive Abilities, Bonds of Battle, etc. Said systems will be a natural fit for this type of game. And since I already have a large list of these implemented over 3 games, I’m already ahead of the game.

  • There is a market for these types of games. Arcadian Atlas raised 95K+ in funds from kickstarter over the summer, for instance. And at the same time, the market is not flooded with these types of games.

  • The story I intend on telling still fits within the overarching narrative already seen in the first 3 games. In fact, it expands the hell out of it, game world/lore wise.

So that’s it, folks. The next game I intend on making will be a tactical turn based RPG and I’m using Unity to do it. These last 2 years have been fun, but now it’s time to get back to doing what I do.

Till tomorrow…