Yes, as the title says. I’m talking about indie scene, of course, even if the same could be said even for mainstream games.
Recently, thing are starting to change. Not just Bioware, with their Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, or Bethesda with Fallout, but also other new entries like Drakensang, The Witcher, and so on.
And in the indie scene? Yes even here. Almost everyone knows about Spiderweb, Basilisk games and their Eschalon series is getting known, Amaranth with their Aveyond series, Aldorlea and their various big/small RPGs, and so on.
And I? I am working on it, I swear. Is quite funny to think that, despite RPGs being my favourite kind of games, I never released a real one!! The closest is Magic Stones but is more a strategy game with RPG elements than a pure RPG.
So this year I decided to do a real one. That’s why I started writing the RPG engine behind Planet Stronghold. I picked sci-fi settings for several reasons: first, the sci-fi setting is underused. There aren’t many good sci-i RPG, so I have less competition But also because I like the setting in particular.
Second, the engine can be easily adapted to a fantasy setting. So while this first game will be sci-fi (and if does well I hope to release a sequel), I can easily change the art and tweak a bit the attack system (to include melee attacks, spells, and so on) and make a fantasy RPG.
What is more important to me though, is the story. That’s why I’m trying to write a good story, with uncommon characters. Not just “the good” and “the evil” characters, but simply factions fighting each other, every one with their motivations.
I gave up the possibility to choose between male/female character in the beginning since would require too much work – so the main character will be a female, but I’m sure that male players won’t complain to play as her Anyway, in the game you’ll control a full party, so while the story will be told from her perspective, you will still be able to control a range of different characters.
There’s still much work to do before the game is released, but slowly, step by step, I’m building my system that will be cross-platform (pc/mac/linux) and will also be able to retrieve updates automatically and also notify the user of new downloadable content patches availables (I plan to release several add-ons in the months after the game release).
Today for example I added a new thing in the inventory screen: instead of just showing off the items as a 1 line text description+some icons/stats, I display them as BIG icons that make the inventory screen look really polished IMHO (enlarge the screenshot in this post to check for yourself.)