Category Archives: tower of destiny

Unfinished business


In the picture above, Maja when was a kitten sleeping on a mousepad in my “old office”.

What is the unfinished business I’m talking about? Well, lots of games get started every year, and many of them, for a reason or another, are canceled. This doesn’t happens only in the AAA studios, but even at “indie level”.

In the video below, a work in progress of a 3d roleplay game called “Tower Of Destiny”. The project was abandoned about 3 years ago because the coder quit. It should have been a 3d dungeon crawler, with some “outdoor” zones. I think I’ll probably redo it as plain 2d dungeon game sometimes in the future.

In this other video a more recent work-in-progress. It’s the 3d version of one of my older games, Universal Boxing Manager. I didn’t hear back from the coder since June this year, so while I cannot officially say that it won’t be done, I don’t have much hopes as well!

So you might start to understand why I’m making mostly games I can code myself recently? Disappearing artists/writers are a pain, since you need to look for a replacement (and in the case of art, redo even the art that has been already partly done), but when a coder disappear… means the game can’t go on, especially if you’re not able to finish/continue coding yourself or if the coder used a different tool/language you’re not familiar with.

This just to show that being indie it can be a real pain as well, since there are many more problems than people might think. And now, let’s talk about something else…

Bionic Heart promotion!

I’ve updated Bionic Heart to use online activation, and like I did for Heileen 2, I’m offering two downloads: one without voices, which is about 32-35mb, and one with voices which is about 169-173mb!

The game will be only 4.99 for the weekend, so grab it now!
Only $0,2 each ending! (it has 24 endings)

Roommates game

So I got the first sketches from artist for this new game. As you can see, lots of interesting people… the 6 characters below are the dateable one. Max and Anne are the two main playing characters (the game will be playable as male/female). There are two bisex characters, can you guess which ones? πŸ™‚

Do you think the male characters are sexy/interesting enough? I have no doubts the females are πŸ˜€


And for this week is all. Ah no, wait: there are rumors that a certain game with a winter theme MIGHT be really finished shortly… but maybe is just a rumor! Who knows? Keep following me on twitter/facebook/blog to know more.

What is a “casual RPG”

As you probably know, I’m working on a RPG game called “Planet Stronghold”.

I am trying to do something slightly different with this RPG. I would even dare call it “casual RPG”, since it misses some of the classic “hardcore” gameplay elements. In particular:

  • there is no in-game currency. You can’t sell or buy weapons. This is probably the biggest difference from… well, ANY rpg I’ve ever played. What does it means? That you’ll have several weapons and armors at your disposal, but you won’t have to buy them. To get the best ones, the only way would be to solve some quests you’ll encounter through the story.
  • there is almost no “permanent death“. You can’t really “lose” in the game. This is also very different even if something similar could be already found in recent casual RPG like Torchlight, for example. In my game, if you lose a battle you’ll simply have the option to fall back and try it with a different team/equipment configuration. Of course there will be a few exceptions: in some particular plot situation you’ll face a hard battle but you’ll be warned to save before it. But I hate the mechanic of “save/try/reload” that is used in many RPG just to give the players the illustion that the game is longer (but in reality you’ll spend most of the time loading and saving)
  • there won’t be a huge map. I mean, a tilemap or detailed map as it is in many RPG, mostly JRPG. I was dubious if to implement this or not, but given the nature of the game, I decided to skip this. Since the gameplay follows the main story, you will be able to use a small map with instant traveling between each different location to complete side-quest, but not like you do in normal RPG/JRPG. If you hated walking endless hours in those insanely huge (and repetitive) tilemaps, you’ll like my game. Otherwise…I hope you’ll like the game anyway πŸ™‚
  • very few grinding. You won’t have to kill 500 ratsΒ  to get to level 2. The leveling up will be slow, and you won’t get much XP from battles, but you’ll get a big boost if you solve quests. Anyway, being the game linear, I’ll be able to craft each specific battle so hopefully that should lead to more interesting enemy encounters.
  • There also won’t be endless random encounters, unless you choose to adventure in the wastelands (so, there will be but will be entirely optional). I understand that random encounters are a good way to raise your characters levels without doing side-quests, so I’ll leave that option available for those people who prefer to fight than solve quests.

As you can see it’s quite different from a “standard”, traditional RPG. I hope the direction I took will be appreciated anyway, so far the feedback from the Alpha testers was quite positive (many says it’s the best game I’ve made so far, even if isn’t finished yet! :D).

Note that this won’t mean that the game will be easy. It will be if you choose the “easy” option. But if you pick the “hard” option, in the game you’ll have to face some really tough fights! That’s all for now, I’ll get back to writing more plot and coding more enemy battles.

p.s. For those who like traditional RPG, fear not. My other RPG game in development, the Dungeon Crawler “Tower Of Destiny”, will be much more similar to the classic “hardcore RPGs” πŸ˜‰

There would be still interest in a dungeon-crawler like Dungeon Master?

You might remember some time ago I posted some screenshots and even a video of a game called Towers Of Destiny. It was a first person 3d rpg, both outdoor and indoor. However, the project has been put on hold, for several reasons:

  • the expenses needed to make a decent-looking game would have been very high, probably x2-x3 times the amount needed to make one of my current games (VN, dating sims, etc)
  • a compromise would have been to go for a less detailed art. But I had fear that it would look crappy, even if judging by Spiderweb Games success, people playing old-school RPGs aren’t much interested in top-quality art
  • was still a lot of work – when you make something in 3d, there are many more problems than when doing a simple 2d game. Compatibility, performances, bugs, different programming tecniques required and so on

But now I was wondering if would actually make sense to make such a kind of game. Would YOU play/buy a sort of Dungeon Master 2010? πŸ˜€

I liked those games a lot, but I’ve played them when I was a teenager, so I’m not really sure if I would play them now. There was Might & Magic V on sale at GoG and I didn’t even buy it (also because I don’t have much time to play games anymore). Still, if I have to choose between the tilemap games (think about RPGMaker XP games) or a first person indoor/outdoor game like Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder and so on, I would have no doubt which one to pick (the second!).

Sometimes I think about hiring someone to code a simple 2d dungeon crawler game, maybe even in flash so can be played directly in the browser. But is not that easy, even the art required is a lot and needs to be planned carefully (you have to build up the visual with several layered images/tiles for the floor/walls/ceiling).

It sounds complex? It is πŸ™‚ Bah maybe I should hire people to do something else like a classic wargame or another card rpg game (since I love those).

Planet Stronghold: How Psionic Powers work

Today I’ve experimented with the Psionic Powers balancing. I raised one of my chars to level 25 (the highest currently attainable in the game) and checked how powerful the stats would be. This way once I know the maximum power of that power, I can simply scale down the effects level by level until level 1 (of course the power need still to be somehow effective even at lower level otherwise would be useless).

Psionic Powers in my game are the equivalent of the Spells in a classic fantasy RPG game. Since I wanted to keep the interface simple, I don’t have 50 “different” spells like in most games. Instead each Power has a value that represent the character knowledge of that specific power, going from 0 to 99 (even if at start of game each Power has a random value from 5-10).

Each Power also requires Psionic Points (which from now I’ll abbreviate into PP) to be used – sort of the Mana points in fantasy game. The difference though, is that rather than having “Heal Light Wounds” and then “Heal Medium Wounds”, “Heal Severe Wounds”, “Heal Critical Wounds”, in my game there is a different (more casual) approach: each Power has a basic “casting” value, but you can spend more Psionic Points to increase its effectiveness. The base effectiveness is influenced by the character level and the knowledge of that specific power.

A few examples with some non-definitive value:

Level 1 Psionic character wants to use the Harm Power. He can use it spending the base PP value of 5 and deal 5 damage.
Level 10 Psionic character wants to use the Harm Power. He can use it spending the base PP value of 5 and deal 25 damage (the bigger damage is because the character is higher level and has more knowledge of that specific Power).
Level 1 Psionic character wants to use the Harm Power. He can use it spending a PP value of 15 (base + 10 PP) and deal 5×3=15 damage.

So as you can see, a level 1 character can deal almost the same amount as the level 10 if he spends x 3 of PP. Of course, at level 1, if you use 15 PP you’re left with almost no PP, while at level 10 you still have a good reserve of them πŸ™‚

I think this system will still allow a good flexivity, but without filling the character “grimoire” with 50 powers that basically does the same thing, just in different proportions!

Another WIP video of ToD

ToD (my friendly way to call my upcoming RPG game “Tower of Destiny”) got a major update today, in the engine (programmer tested it on mac and surprise, works!) and in the maps. I decided to do a “stress test” of the engine by placing lots of sprites over an open space, like a plain surrounded by trees.

So you won’t face only grey cities, unholy graveyards and zombies, but you’ll be also able to relax in a more bucolic map. The engine was going slower with that amount of sprites to render, but isn’t bad considering: a) is still work in progress so can be optimized, b) the engine is running in debug mode, so the speed is already slower than its true potential

For the record, I’m surely not talking about a powerful/complex engine πŸ™‚ But it’s enough for the kind of game I have in mind. I’m sure players’ attention will be drawn by the enemies, the gameplay and the variety, but a nice art doesn’t hurt!

You can see a screenshot and a video below: