- #8 New Stretch Goal #5
- #7 Last 24 Hours
- #6 Game Mechanics/Rules
- #5 Stretch Goal Poll Question
- #4 IceBlink Engine Web Site Launched
- #3 Stretch Goals
- #2 Map Creation
- #1 First Two Days
IceBlink Engine Overview
This project will develop a Role Playing Game (RPG) 2D engine and toolset as well as a demo adventure game module created with the toolset. The game is inspired by a few of my favorite games; The Bard’s Tale, SSI Gold Box series games, Baldur’s Gate, and Neverwinter Nights (1 and 2). The intent is to create a game engine that results in a virtual table top, Pen and Paper type feel in a single player computer game. The game engine will be free once completed, but the toolset will initially only be available to backers of this Kickstarter project. The toolset will allow anyone to create their own adventures to share with the rest of us. Please help us complete this wonderful project. We really appreciate any support you have to offer. Thanks again!
- Map travel: The game engine uses a grid-based system for movement and distance determination. From these maps you can transition to other maps, start conversations with other NPCs, encounter enemies, discover hidden locations, etc.
- Conversations and Narration: The conversation system is designed to create an engaging story where the player's actions actually make a difference. To accomplish this, we are creating a conversation system (similar to that from Neverwinter Nights) that allows the player multiple dialog choices and the NPCs will react according to your actions and choices.
- Turn Based Combat System: Encounters take place on a grid-based map in a separate window. Combat is turn-based and functions similar to the way it was with the SSI Gold Box games. Each player and enemy takes a turn to move, attack, cast spells, launch arrows, or run away screaming.
- Encounter Scaling: NO SCALING of encounters or quests… don't try and take out the local dragon threat at level one... bad, bad decision.
- Races, Classes, Skills: The races are the basic ones. You can play a human, elf, or dwarf. The classes available will be a fighter, rogue, priest and mage (we would like to add more through stretch goals). Most classes will have class only specific skills so building a party is not a trivial activity.
- Inventory: Inventory is handled at the party level similar to the way it was done in games like Dragon Age Origins. We feel that this is a convenient and quick way to deal with equipping and using items.
- Toolset: A toolset will be included with the game that will allow you to create your own stories to share with others. The toolset is designed to help you easily create and edit areas, conversations, narrations, encounters, containers, items, creatures, etc.
Stretch Goal #1 ($1,000)
- Add four more classes (eight total)
- Add two more races (total of five now)
Stretch Goal #2 ($2,000)
- Allow for the creation of custom classes, races, skills/talents, spells, etc. This will require a significant change to the code to make them data driven.
- Add editors to the toolset for creating custom classes, races, skills, spells, etc.
Stretch Goal #3 ($2,500)
- Create a quest/plot wizard for the toolset that will allow for quick and easy creation of basic quests.
- Create a script generator for the toolset that will allow for quick and easy creation of custom scripts that are not already available in the stock scripts that come with the toolset.
- We will create a custom AI wizard. This wizard will allow for quick and easy creation of custom AI scripts for NPCs and Creatures without needing to know how to code or create your own scripts from scratch.
- Allow for plugin use with the IceBlink Toolset. You can create your own plugins that become part of the toolset's functionality to allow for custom editors, wizards, new features, automation functions, etc.
Stretch Goal #4 ($3,000)
Stretch Goal #5 ($3,500)
The IceBlink Engine is a simple 2D, grid-based and turn-based engine. The intent is to create a game engine that results in a virtual table top, Pen and Paper (PnP) type feel in a single player computer game.
The game engine is designed to be flexible and customizable in many ways. For example, you can change the portraits of your character and companions and their map token/icon at any time. The portrait sizes used are the same as those used in Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights. The conversation system is the most important feature of the game engine. It is designed to allow players to interact with the world in a meaningful way. There is a narration system as well which helps describe events and areas similar to the way a DM or GM would. Combat takes place on a grid map and is turn-based. The encounter system allows for strategic and fun combat to take place. It functions similar to the way the SSI Gold Box games did.
We are big fans of games that allow us the ability to create our own adventures such as Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures, NWN 1 and 2, and Dragon Age Origins. We wanted to give people the same opportunity, but with a much simpler system that does not require such a high learning curve or take years to produce a final product. The goal is to give writers the ability to easily, quickly and effectively tell their story. Is this better than those other games? Of course not, it is just different in many ways. So what does the toolset do? See the list below:
Map Creation: Currently, game maps are 800x800 pixel images so they can be anything from hand drawn maps to elaborate 3D modeled scenes rendered out to 2D. You could even use any of the many free tilemap makers out there if you so choose. For the demo adventure module, we will be creating all the maps in GIMP with a top down view approach.
Level Editor: Import maps that you created and easily place encounters, NPCs with conversations, define walkable and non-walkable squares, area transitions, containers, traps, OnEnter scripts, etc.
Conversation Editor: The conversation editor is the heart and soul of the game. Conversations are created one dialog node at a time. Each NPC dialog line can have multiple responses for the player to choose from. Each node can be assigned multiple conditionals and actions such as checking for variables, items, class, race, giving XP, gold, or firing off a custom script.
Encounter Editor: Encounters are very easy to set up. Just drag and drop a creature from the creatures list onto the encounter map. Also, you can define the loot drops for each encounter.
Creature Editor: Creature editing is done through the use of a property grid form which is very simple to use. You can use the creatures that we made and/or create your own. All creatures are shown in a tree view type layout for easy organization by creature categories (which you can define).
Item Editor: The item editor functions identically to that of the creature editor.
Scripting: the scripting language used for the engine is C#, the same that was used to create the game. This is a very powerful feature. Scripting is being designed so that it can be easy for beginners to use, but still very powerful for the experienced coder.
The game is being developed using C# and Microsoft’s .NET Framework 3.5. What does this mean? This means that it will run on any Windows 7 machine. It will also run on any Windows XP machine if you have installed or download and install the 3.5 .NET framework from Microsoft's website.
Bree Arts currently is a husband and wife team of Jeremy (slowdive_fan) and Tamara. Tamara is the lead artist for the project creating all the original artwork that will be part of the demo adventure module. Jeremy is the lead programmer and writer. I’m also known as slowdive_fan (on various internet sites); I am a Hall of Fame author and a Mod of the Month winner on the IGN NWN Vault and The Neverwinter Nexus respectively. I am the creator of the Chronicles of Charnia series of modules and campaigns in both Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 that offer over twenty plus hours of game play. I have hundreds of hours of experience working in both NWN toolsets. I also created many 3D models and metatiles for NWN2. See the following links for my modules housed at the IGN NW Vault and The NW Nexus:
Currently, the IceBlink Engine is in a working basic state. We wanted to get some of the main functions, systems, features and two classes working before expanding to an advanced version. For the funded project at $500, we will complete the advanced version of the IceBlink Engine and Toolset and create a demo adventure module that will have roughly 1-2 hours of game play. If we are fortunate enough to reach our funding goal, we have plans to add additional classes, skills, features and functions to the engine and toolset.
Risks and challenges
As with any project, there are always risks and challenges to some degree. Although I do not foresee any major risks or challenges with this project, there are a few minor risks and challenges involved.
The difficulty with the greatest potential, although small, is completing this project in time. There is always the risk that the due date can slip. Major bugs, having a full time job, family responsibilities and unexpected life emergencies are all things that can delay a project’s completion. When writing code or adding new features to a program; there is always the possibility of breaking existing functions. Bugs happen. We are giving ourselves more time than originally estimated in order to fix any unforeseen major bugs that could slow things down. There is a possibility of completing earlier than April 2013, but we want to make sure that the game is well polished and all feedback from the backers has been addressed. Also, we are constantly backing up the source code in multiple locations both locally and in the cloud just to be safe. I have a great day job so this is a part time endeavor and I have allotted a specific amount of time each week to the project in order to meet the April release date. We have done our best to anticipate any possible delays and to add the necessary contingencies to help ensure that we meet our due date. Although it is important that we meet our due date, we also want to make sure that we release a well-polished game that is virtually bug free.
One major benefit is that we do not need to outsource any of the work involved so there is no risk in someone dropping out or not completing their task.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I have received a few questions about the future cost of the game engine and the toolset for non-backers of this kickstarter project. Our intention is to have the game engine be free, but the toolset cost $5. So in the future, for those who did not get a chance to participate in the backing of this kickstarter project, they can still purchase the toolset for $5. When you make your adventure using the toolset, you will be able to distribute your adventure and the game engine to anyone for free to play, but the toolset must not be shared.
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