Well, Rogue is officialy going under the Maiden Royaume banner. To that end, a lot of the development updates will be going onto our website, however I'm also going to post the majority of them here as well.
Speaking of updates...
I've been working on this visual novel for a little while and I can safely say I have extended the story to a point where the game may be a little too long. To give you some context, the document reports there are over 20,000 words which are spread between the fourteen chapters. Is that too much to put into a visual novel?
Another update is that I've been working on the character art and code, both of which are in a little bit of a state so I'm going to hold off on showcasing those untill I have them at a reasonable quality.
Well, this post was a long time coming..
I've been wanting to announce this for a long while, but I've always held back because I never seriously considered actively developing it. The story of Rogue was written originally for College coursework, however after adding too much detail and spending too much time on it - the entire thing quickly became something of a labour of love and a source of deep satisfaction for me.
I plan to develop this into a full scale 3D Role-Playing game one day (with a 3D engine I'm working on in the background), but for now I want to make this into a visual novel so I can plan out the events and pan out who is introduced and where.
So what is this thing then?
Well, I discovered this game on the internet a while ago - Rogue. An 1980's DOS game developed by a small handful of people which defined an entire genre - the Rogue-like genre. I happen to like that genre and enjoyed playing Rogue in DOS Box at College -hehe, and then I read the back story and realized I could really add something to the original game. Thus where the 3D game comes in, my hope is that it will be a 3D Rogue-like game that will follow in the vain of the original Rogue game. Plus a decent story. The visual novel allows me to sequence it all, it also allows me to flush out the story and generally make it better. This is that visual novel.
Are you going to tell me what this thing is now?
Of course! If I haven't already bored you, please read on.
Because this story is being written for a Rogue-like game, a number of Rogue-like elements exist in the story. For instance the existence of the "underground network" which consists of magically forming dungeons, chambers and other randomly built structures for adventurers of the land to explore.
In this world, the position of 'Rogue' is more of an occupation than anything else. Yes, by nature Rogue's are antagonists, they pillage dungeons and steal great treasures for themselves - the four protagonists are no different. While they are listed as protagonists, they do go dungeon crawling which leads to the killing of it's inhabitants and the looting of treasure chests. Although dungeon crawling isn't the centre of the story, it's definitely a corner stone of it. The rest of it is a mixture of character development, discovery and world defining events.
The idea of the story is to lead up to the second where the character set, that is defined in the first story, embark on an adventure to acquire an ancient treasure. One that's been featured in many an old game - the Amulet of Yendor. This story is a prequel to the original game released in 1984 effectively.
He's was forced out of his home at the age of 12 because it was discovered that he was living on his own, and this was against some housing rule in his home town (name pending). Thus he was forced to wander the world in search of, well, a purpose. What was he to do? His mother had gone out one evening to collect a nocturnal fruit from the market (names pending), but never came back. He sat there waiting that night, expecting her to show up... but after three days, his heart sank. But, after all this time, he always maintained hope - ever since that night, he had the distinct feeling that someone was watching him. Could this be her? Where is she?
We join this first protagonist at the age of 19, at the start of the story.
Every year, a champion from the inner cites would travel to her quiet village in the countryside, to keep the magical barrier that kept evil away from their frail people. One year, the champion came and strengthened their legendary protection as per usual, to show her gratitude however she had drawn him a picture of the man in a heroic stance. The champion knelt beside the little girl (aged between 4 and 6) and saw something special in her - a flare that was lacking in the rest of her passive race. He told her that she was destined to be an adventurer - she never forgot that afternoon.
We join this protagonist at the age of 15, attempting to become what she was told she was destined to be.
Born into wealth, this happy young girl was determined to follow in her parents foot-steps. They were both professional Rogues, and one day they struck gold - literally. However this sweet girl never quite enjoyed exploring the depths as much as her parents, and thus didn't seek to develop her skills further. However, after being talked into it by her sister, she agreed to go on a short crawl through an easy local dungeon one evening. While there, she was separated from her sister and forced to find the bottom floor alone. On the second from last floor however, she stumbled into a chamber that contained a huge broken sword standing in an open metal cage at the centre. It was taller than she was, never the less she took the item and brought it home after finding her sister again. They told her it was a powerful weapon that shared its intentions with the user, and its abilities. But she never went back to dungeon crawling, despite having this advantage. Many years passed and she was asked by her mother to go and watch over an Inn she had recently bought -situated in a small hamlet in the west. She left the next morning and became the Inn keeper.
We join this protagonist at the age of 18, doing what she always does.
She's not much of a magician, she failed every magical examination and never took the education seriously. But she was interested in exploring. Due to her lack-luster performance in education, not many people took notice of the girl - who had come from a single parent household which was starved of money. Eventually she asked her mother if she could leave education and explore the world instead, and against her better judgement - she agreed.
I still haven't got much of a back story for Cradle, so I'll leave it there and update it when I think of something.
Narrative // 60%
Scripting // 15%
Art Assets // 5%
Music Assets // 5%
Learning the Framework // 70%
Organizing Distribution // 90%
This will probably be a commercial release, depending on what the final product looks like and how pleased I am with it. I plan on releasing this onto all major PC platforms and, if it comes to it, selling this through stores like Desura, Ubuntu Software Centre and others that will accept the game.
And that's it really, did that all make scene? No? Lovely. This is more of an announcement post anyway - using it to let people know this things being developed (and that the idea's taken).
Thanks for enduring this essay of a post if you had the patience to read it all, if not.. well I don't blame you. I don't think I'm going to re-read this to be honest.
©Copyright - Joshua Dowding, Maiden Royaume 2011-2012 -seems legit