THE SANTHARIAN TALES RPG ADVENTURE

DEVELOPERS DIARY  6/2003

SAILING TO NEW HORIZONS

In the last update we've informed you that members of the Santharian Dream are already working on a new game project, after the cooperation with Sorren had to be canceled from our side due to the very disappointing inactivity on the Sorren side in various respects. For this reason we used the opportunity to get back on our own feet and rename the world to "Caelereth". We also found a good opportunity to continue our started efforts in game design by beginning a new cooperation, which proves much more promising. We decided to commence the realiziation of a textbased single-player RPG Adventure game with the Legendary Tales engine coded by Konstantinos Evgenidis (Santharian name: Humangus) - see the Legendary Tales site for more details about this specific engine (or read the most important details below). We are cooperating closely with the developer of the program and plan to integrate graphics (NPC pics, location pictures) as well as music in MP3 format , and - in case progress is satisfying - plan to substitute the current interface completely with a graphical one. Most important: The game will be non-commercial and once it will be finished you can download it  for free on the site and enjoy playing. At least that's the idea, but there's still a lot of work ahead...
 

THE LEGENDARY TALES ENGINE

Hello folks! This is Humangus, presenting you some details on the Legendary Tales programs, which we'll use in order to build the Santharian RPG Adventure you'll get to know as the "Mysteries of Nepris". Legendary Tales consists of the LT Engine (used to play LT generated modules) and the LT Editor (used to construct these modules). Legendary Tales is a complete world independent, advanced, text-based gaming environment which allows anyone to create or enjoy independent adventure modules set in any medieval, swords and sorcery fantasy setting. In this respect Santharia can offer content, as LT provides the means to integrate the stuff Santharian developers can offer. The features of the Legendary Tales engine can be summarized as follows:

Additional features are already been worked on and will find their way into the finished game (like support of music, etc.). Also data generated with the Santharian GDT Dialogue Builder can be integrated pretty easily into the LT environment, and we're already working on even better cooperation of the two programs so that integration of dialogues is easier for both sides and can be handled more efficiently.
 

THE SCENARIO

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The game setting takes place in the region around the fishing village of Nepris (eastern Santharia, province of Manthria, ancient Avennorian territory). We've already concentrated on this region for quite a while and have managed to develop many things here very thoroughly in order to prepare a realization of the region in gamelike format you can all enjoy.

You will start the game with a single character, but can aquire more party members (up to 3 additional characters)  in the course of the game of various classes like fighter, wizard, cleric, thief. During your journey you will encounter a lot of characters, to whom you can talk to and thus obtain larger and smaller quests. Though the game will have a main quest you'll have to solve (subdivided into various subquests of course) you're absolutely free which way to go and what to do next, what quests to solve and which one you don't want to persue. You should sharpen your sword as well, because you might encounter some unpleasant surprises when walking through dense forests, wet swamps or dark caves...

View picture in full size A first screenshot of a dialogue realized in the LT environment.

The game will be textbased and will look like a MUD or a good old text/graphic adventure, but  RPG elements will be stressed over typical adventure riddles. We intend to integrate at least 400 rooms embedded in a suspenseful story, with lots of in-depth Santharian information, so that you'll not only be able to play a nice little game in the setting, but can as well experience a lot of Santharian culture by reading poems in books or listening to some sailor's tales, visiting well-known locations etc. We'll try our best to make your trip through the Mossy Rocks Cove region as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.

Of course a good RPG adventure needs a good deal of planning concerning rooms and NPCs placement as well as quest design, but as you can see on the work-in-progress Master Map below some first important steps of these concepts were already realized.

View picture in full size Picture description. The work in progress Nepris Master Map (click on picture or eye symbol for more details).

A playable version of the game featuring approx. 20 already described rooms and 2 complete dialogues (including character portraits) is already available, though for developers only of course. We're working on more rooms and NPCs at the moment and have elaborated templates to make room and quest design more systematic and as transparent and as easy as possible for all developers.

Please note as well that the game is concepted as a first part of a possible series of adventures taking place in Santharian lands - the end of the game will offer various loose ends so that the story can be continued. But of course further adventures in Santharia depend on how the first LT module will turn out - way to go...
 

DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE

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A few notes on the timeline of game development: Development time of the game depends heavily on the amount of people helping to do smaller or larger things in the game context, be it room or item descriptions, dialogue making, quest concepting, game coding/script writing and various other game design issues which need attention. At the moment Talia, Bard Judith and myself are working actively on the project (we are mainly busy with room descriptions and dialogues), and we have the support of our artists, Faugar and Quellion, helping with character portraits, while Humangus integrates developed parts into the final game and further improves the LT environment to meet our needs for a more complex game.

We have some months at the moment to deal with the most important issues until Humangus will have to enter military service in autumn and will not be directly available for a whole year. During this time we should try to elaborate the most part of the game, which will then be integrated once Humangus returns. Estimated development therefore maybe around 1 1/2 years, depending of course on the support of developers for the project.

So whenever you think that you want to contribute with a small part in game developing, just let us know by posting at the Game Development Forum - however, initiative and enthusiasm for the project are a must!

Hope the information I provided for you was interesting and has answered some open questions.  See you at the next issue of the Santharian Game Development Diary!

Yours sincerely,

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