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A 2D isometric, turn-based Role-Playing Game with the depth and challenge of old-school classics and a modern, intuitive interface.
A 2D isometric, turn-based Role-Playing Game with the depth and challenge of old-school classics and a modern, intuitive interface.
1,313 backers pledged $35,657 to help bring this project to life.

Gameplay vs. Story


I am Jesus,  the Director and Lead Designer of Lords of Xulima. First, I would like to give my personal thanks to the more than 800 contributors of this project. When you work on something into which you have put all of your effort and passion, receiving this kind of response to your project is simply marvelous. 

I'd like to share with you a little bit about the origins of Lords of Xulima and to let you know how I've approached the balance between gameplay and story.


There are players who only appreciate gameplay and have no interest in a game's story. For others it's the reverse, they feel that a great story can make up for poor gameplay. I am of the opinion that a video game should not be like a book or a movie and a solid game play system has to be the priority of game developers. That said, if there is also a good story to go with the game play, something that draws you into the game and keeps you interested, then the enjoyment of the game is multiplied. 

For Lords of Xulima, my number one priority was to create a great role-playing game. It is made up of all the elements that I haveve enjoyed while playing RPGs and is the culmination of all of the experiences I have had over the years from playing every RPG I could get my hands on, from the classics to the most modern releases. On our blog I have written a few articles about the different aspects of RPGs and how they have been implemented in Lords of Xulima: 


The story behind Lords of Xulima was conceived a few years ago as the framework to an epic fantasy novel that I was writing. Though I never finished it, I did carefully detail the time line, characters and all of the major events ranging from the beginning of the world until its end. If you’d like to know more about the inspiration for Lords of Xulima take a look at the first blog entry on our site.

While we were developing the prototype of the game and only had the basic mechanics implemented, back when Lords of Xulima was known only as RPGTest.exe, I started thinking about using the novel I had been working on as the framework of the game. At first it seemed far-fetched, if it’s difficult to make a novel into a movie, adapting a novel into a video game can be really crazy.

I read the mythology I had written again and again and, from there, I decided it could be broken into three parts that could function very well as a video game. Then, I began the laborious adaptation process, adapting both the story and the game itself. At first it all seemed very forced, but, little by little, the game system and the story converged so that after a while it seemed that they were perfectly made for each other.

Ironically, though I had prioritized the gameplay system over the story, I now feel that the story is the strongest aspect of Lords of Xulima. Its characters and the mythic background permeate every corner of the game.

The Mythology of Xulima

I leave you with the first two of the more than 50 passages that describe the mythology of Xulima, the first part of which (the first 24) can be found in the book “Bestiary and Mythology of Xulima”. We are only publishing part of the mythology so that we can avoid spoilers for any possible sequels. 

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Finally, we would like to comment a rather dramatic event that has happened to our Retro-RTS buddies, over at Super Roman Conquest. Basically, one of their backers held ~17% of the total raised fund, and withdrew it yesterday, with only 3 days remaining. If you like retro or strategy games, you can help them get back to the finish line (or help out morale if they already did).


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    1. Missing avatar

      Dave blanchard on November 21, 2013

      And no one got a big lebowski feel from the I am Jesus.

    2. Numantian Games Creator on November 21, 2013

      @Sirius: Thank you! We are glad you like it!
      @Chet: At least you wont't have to wait a whole year to have it, like in most Kickstarter projects :o)

    3. Numantian Games Creator on November 21, 2013

      @Frack: About finishing the novel, perhaps in the future, now I have too many things to do for the videogame version of this story. It would be a very weird case in which a story is first a videogame and then a novel.

    4. Numantian Games Creator on November 21, 2013

      @Will: That is a very good point. In Lords of Xulima, gameplay and story blend themselves perfectly. Soon we will publish a new update about the Narrative and Missions, surely you will find it interesting too.

    5. Numantian Games Creator on November 21, 2013

      @Darklord: LOL
      There are a lot of Jesuses here in Spain, I did not try to make a joke, but I can understand that from the point of view of an English or American has had to be very funny :o)

    6. Numantian Games Creator on November 21, 2013

      @Morrandir: Oh! You are right! What a mistake!
      Here you have the right link for the post Premade Vs Custom Characters:

    7. Morrandir on November 21, 2013

      Hey guy, just want to let you know that the link to your blog entry "Pre-Made vs. Custom Characters" is broken.

    8. Will Herrmann on November 21, 2013

      I think that for an RPG game, good gameplay and a good story are factors that are multiplied together. Say you have gameplay on a scale of 1-5 and a story on a scale of 1-5. The "total awesomeness" of the RPG overall is gameplay times story. If you have a 5 on gameplay but a 1 on story your total awesomeness is 5x1=5, rating it as a fairly poor game (I'd argue this is something like what happened with Mass Effect 3; it had excellent gameplay, but people largely remember it because of the unsatisfying conclusion to the story). If you have a 1 on gameplay but a 5 on story, you also have a 1x5=5 (it may be an excellent story, but if you can't progress through it in the game, then it's not worth the hassle of finding out how it ends). But if you have both a 5 on gameplay and a 5 on story, then 5x5=25 awesomeness!

      I think the gold standard of this is Planescape Torment, which usually tops "best RPG ever" lists. The gameplay and story were interwoven; for a gameplay reason you couldn't die (because saving and loading is tedious), so they made a story centered around an immortal (because it was an interesting idea to explore), and then used gameplay to take advantage of this story immortality in order to advance the story (at one point you infiltrate the enemy base by killing yourself at their doorstep so that you'd wake up in their morgue). This wasn't a game system with a story tacked on, this was truly a game system that was an essential part of the story. Granted, you probably will not do something quite so extreme, but I hope that you have the same mindset as you create Lord of Xulima; making the two support each other.

      And please whatever you do, don't give us a whole load of fetch quests :-)

    9. Frank Flury on November 20, 2013

      Why don't you finish your Novel?
      One game I'm also backing is "Shroud of the Avatar" by Richard “Lord British” Garriott brought the great Tracy Hickman onto his team to create the story for his game and write a complete novel for it as well.
      Not my business but I think it would be a great idea.

    10. Korg on November 20, 2013

      Amazing update, the articles of the blog are very interesting to read. If anyone is hesitating about backing or not this project just make them read that :)

      @Darklord Yeah like Dawn_ said, Jesus is a very common name in Spain and in South and Central America too.

    11. Chet on November 20, 2013

      Each update I get more excited!

      Is it Feb yet?

      How about now?


      GAAAHHH! I suck at waiting!

    12. Simon on November 20, 2013

      hehe. simply marvelous (: The first 2 paragraphs under "gameplay" say it all, in my opinion.
      This is why I love indie. With publicity companies you need to dedicate almost everything to graphics right at the start so your game can please the eyes and be marketable by them.

      Then, as a writer yourself, you will most definitely want a good story next, to hold it all together.

      Of course, none of that is complete without the right sound effects.

      By the time you get to gameplay, the releasing schedule and budget is your worst enemy. Such a shame its come to this for big devs. +1 for lords of xulima

    13. Dawn_
      on November 20, 2013

      Jesus is quite a common name in Spain ;).
      But, pretty sure everyone will have to read twice to understand it's his actual name ;).

    14. Darklord on November 20, 2013

      I am Jesus"

      You don't hear that every day!