Thursday, May 24, 2007

By the Kilo

Over on the Ubuntu forums, I came across a post looking for whelp with a new game - Project Kilo is an ambitious new project to create a commercial grade RPG.



Arkhart


Now, often I see people talk about how they want to create the next Oblivion and give up when they find out that just using just a paperclip and some bluetack only gets you a bluetacky paperclip and really creating something like an RPG take significant dedication, talent, and desire. As such, it is easy to poor water on these little fires by replying to such threads with a dose of reality - that commercial grade RPGs take a team of paid developers and artists years to create. And that previous efforts have just stagnated to the point of no hope (think Arkhart).



However I remember when Hero of Allacrost was just the dream of their lead developer Roots and he was canvasing for support and plugging away regardless of negative responses. Now look where they are - Allacrost is really shaping up nicely and turning into an excellent game. If progress keeps up, it will be one of the best FOSS games out there.



Back to Project Kilo, it could fill a fairly significant hole in the Free game scene. There are few ambitious RPGs out there - maybe Open Outcast although that's not a traditional orcs and arrows RPG. MMORPGs are not the same thing so do not count as RPGs which contain a strong single player element and do not require learning the l33t rulez and befriending level 14223 sorcerers.



The fella behind Kilo seems determined so it'll be interesting to monitor any follow up. It looks like the project may use Crystal Space. The beauty of making an open source game is that there is no deadline or nervey investors so developers can dream - the trick is finding enough people whom share that dream to the point that they will help realise it.



Speaking of MMORPGs, Iris2 - the 3D Ultima Online client - is officially out. So UO players should be celebrating in their online havens. >:-)

4 comments:

  1. News travels fast.

    That was like Post to Blog in 1.5 days.

    ^_^

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  2. I think RPG are a prime example for the type of game that doesn't suit itself well to open source development: It's mainly story driven, so it is difficult to build a community (which keeps you going) when people just play the game once and then move on. And it's difficult to keep motivated as a developer if you don't enjoy the game yourself because you are already spoiled. :) Another problem is, that it's not easy to "release early, release often".

    I think it would be more promising to work on a really great RPG construction kit, something like RPG maker. To build a community which shares assets and creates plenty of small story driven RPGs.

    That would be a project I'd be willing to help with, but I haven't found anything that seems really promising in this direction yet. :/ I don't want to start my own, since as an INTP, I know that I would never finish it.

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  3. Mantar8:16 am

    Well, looking at the Morrowind modding community, I can say that certain types of RPGs should be an excellent fit for the open source model. There are tons of mods desperately trying to squeeze, stretch, and twist Morrowind to get more out of it -- which would be a lot simpler if it was open source, or at least maintained.

    I think if you gave people a decent base rpg with simple easy to use scripting/modeling/animation-importing tools, and attracted enough attention it could really take off.
    Not that that's easy to do. :)

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  4. I agree with Daniel but I also agree with Mantar.

    I think the trick is that for an open source RPG to work you can't look at it in a linear way. It can't be focused on story driven gameplay.

    Instead you must look to make it open ended, make it so the player has more control over their destiny.

    Think, if you like, looking at the roguelikes - which have a very simple story - where the world is randomly generated each time, so each game is different, and the player is free to roam where they can survive.

    Roguelikes are simple, a fully fledged RPG would be more of a challenge, but I think looking back to games like Eldar Scrolls II would be a good way to think about how to make it possible

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