Nox Archaist - 8-bit RPG for Apple II, Mac, and PC (Canceled)
Nox Archaist is a retro 2D tile-based role-playing game with an Apple II feel. A fantasy RPG in a world ruled by swords and sorcery.
Click here for the reboot of this campaign!
Nox Archaist is a tile-based, 8-bit, sword-and-sorcery role-playing game modeled after the iconic RPGs of the 1980s. The game is currently under development with an expected release date of Dec 2018. We launched this Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce a collector's edition loaded with feelies!
Our goals for this project are to both capture the retro-gaming experience from the 1980s and explore what might have happened if commercial RPG development had continued on 8-bit computers to the present day.
If you're hardcore enough to play Nox Archaist on a real Apple II we will send you the game on old-school media - 5.25" floppy disks (4 doubled-sided disks estimated). We've also ensured the game is playable on modern Mac and Windows PCs via emulator.
We are developing Nox Archaist from scratch, in assembly language, on real Apple II hardware. We're talking handmade quality bits here. All 8 of them.
Nox Archaist is available with a bunch of cool stuff and comes in an old-school retro plastic bag or a full-color box loaded with feelies, all with professional custom artwork.
- Full-color game box
- Fabric map of the Nox Archaist world
- Nox Archaist game manuals
- In-game rewards such as your own waterfall or recognition as Lord of the Realm
- Game artifacts
Click here to meet the project creator, Mark Lemmert, and take a tour the Nox Archaist feelies.
Nox Archaist is set in a sinister world ruled by sorcery and swords. Adventurers brave enough to explore Nox Archaist will encounter engaging NPCs and a vast storyline within a non-linear world. Hordes of vile enemies will block your path to fame and riches.
Gamers will enjoy features like skills-driven character development and strategic turn-based combat scenarios which integrate with the game's storyline and push the boundaries of the Apple II platform.
New Apple II tile-based RPG gameplay features we've implemented include:
Brave heroes who enter our world will experience:
- Engaging Game World Interaction
- Dynamic Combat Scenarios
- Robust NPC Conversation
- Deadly Dungeons
- Much More!
We chronicle the history and progress of the project at www.noxarchaist.com
Next are a few gameplay videos which tell a mini-story to demonstrate some of the features we've packed into Nox Archaist. More videos can be found on our website.
The videos feature early versions of some music tracks from the audio CD included in some tiers, which is intended to be played on a stand alone CD player during gameplay or digitized for use on other device
- Retro Computing Roundtable (October 2017)
- Open Apple Podcast interview (September 2017)
- Assembly Lines Video Podcast reviews Nox Archaist (Sept 2017)
- Nox Archaist presentation at KansasFest (July 2017)
- Open Apple Podcast interview (April 2017)
- Chris Freeman and Matt Herrick Podcast: October episode
- Spam Spam Spam Humbug Podcast: October episode
"I greatly look forward to exploring this realm!"
-Lord British, Ultima Creator
"I can’t wait to play this game on my Apple IIgs!"
-Rebecca Heineman, Bards Tale III creator
"I'm excited to see old-school development of the Apple II in 2017. Nox Archaist looks to bring us all back to the origin of high-fantasy CRPGs."
-Ken Gagne, Editor-in-Chief, Juiced.GS Magazine
“It looks like they are aiming for quite a bit higher level of detail than the Ultima’s ever reached on the 8-bit Apples because they are doing things like swimming, you can swim under water, and your character’s head shows above the water, you can sink into swamps and all these sorts of things. Really nice attention to detail while still having that very 8-bit high res graphics tile based aesthetic”
-Quinn Dunki, Co-Host, Open Apple Podcast
“I love it that when you go to bed your character actually appears in the bed instead of just standing beside it saying, 'You’re asleep now'"
-Mike Maginnis, Co-Host, Open Apple Podcast
"As someone who enjoyed the original Ultima games on the Apple II, I am really looking forward to Nox Archaist! It’s got that old-school feel but with modern gameplay elements. Awesome!"
-Chris Torrence, Host, The Assembly Lines Video Podcast
- Genre: Retro RPG, Fantasy, Sword-and-Sorcery
- Play Style: Open world with turn based combat
- Player Characters: Up to six
- Architecture: 8-Bit
- Apple IIe, IIc, IIgs: Two disk drives and color monitor strongly recommended
- 128k RAM
- 5.25" Floppy and Harddrive (real and emulated) supported
- Mac OSX: Emulator. OpenEmulator recommended (free)
- Windows: Emulator. AppleWin recommended (free)
6502 Workshop is the grassroots game development effort of a small team of technology and graphics professionals.
The original Workshop crew was fortunate enough to team up with old-school Apple II veterans who are excited to help make Nox Archaist the best vintage gaming experience that it can be. These include Elizabeth Daggert, former lead programmer for Lode Runner Online and Peter Ferrie (/aka Qkumba), a software developer for companies like Microsoft and Symantec by day and grand-master 6502 assembly-language programmer by night.
The Nox Archaist project was born in the early 1980s while we explored new worlds created by the Ultima and Bard's Tale series. Since then we've been driven to create our own fantasy RPG.
There was something magical about opening those classic games for the first time. The packaging, artwork, and cool hands on stuff was part of the experience that we want to recapture. To that end we recruited a team of awesome artists and are doing our best impression of a time travel device by stuffing the Nox Archaist game box with custom art and feelies.
The Nox Archaist Kickstarter may be the only opportunity to acquire the collector's edition artifacts and rewards.
Kickstarter may be the only opportunity because several key materials used to produce the Collector's Edition of Nox Archaist have minimum order requirements with our suppliers. Kickstarter's funding model helps us to manage those issues.
- Launching Nox Archaist through Kickstarter will allow us to deliver the game to you both at the best possible price and with awesome, professional artwork, packaging, and feelies.
- Funding will be used for the upfront materials costs to produce the physical game box, map, manual, and other items including professional services for the artwork, design, and layout of the physical items you will receive with the game.
- Receiving funding in advance enables us to commit to bulk materials purchases to keep the game price as low as possible.
Why Kickstart 14 months Before Release?
We want to make sure there is adequate time to ensure excellent products and quality control when creating the manual content, duplicating the disks, assembling the boxes and all the other activities associated with producing and shipping physical goods. Our team is working on the project part time. A bit of extra lead time will help ensure we provide you with a top notch retro RPG.
For us, this project first and foremost is about having fun and sharing that fun with 8-bit RPG gamers. Nox Archaist will be available as a fully playable free download. We estimate the free download version will be available within a few months after the Kickstarter rewards ship so that we can focus on delivering rewards and providing support to our Kickstarter backers.
Free? Why Be A Backer?
- For the immersive 8-bit RPG gaming experience that comes from opening a game box with beautiful art and loaded with feelies!
- To help achieve the stretch goals listed below, which benefit all backers.
- The Apple II collector's editions come with Nox Archaist on 5.25" floppy disks, which saves you the hassle of writing the free version disk images to floppy.
- Earlier access to the game.
- Encourage future game development. The more backers we have the easier it will be for our team and other teams to prioritize future 8-bit RPG projects.
- Copy protection is a long standing tradition and art form within the Apple II community.
- Copy protection for Nox Archaist will be written by legendary cracker and grand master assembly language programmer Peter Ferrie (/aka Qkumba).
- Why copy protect the 5.25" disks if a free version can be downloaded? It's tradition. It's fun :-)
The stretch goals may change during the campaign based on feedback from backers. Click here for more details on the stretch goals.
Thank you for your support! We look forward to producing the Collector's Edition of Nox Archaist and providing you with an immersive 8-bit fantasy RPG experience!
If you have any questions about Nox Archaist the game or the Kickstarter you can reach us by clicking the FAQ link at the bottom of the page, and then click "Ask a Question".
Click here for the Nox Archaist press kit.
Risks and challenges
General: Crowdfunding has risk. However, while no project is risk free, we believe the risk associated with Nox Archaist is relatively low.
With a game engine that has core elements complete, the remaining game development work is mostly in the category of storyline and quest development. To mitigate risk, we are using a development method that is similar to the method advocated by Richard Garriott, which allows the story to flow out of the engine rather than design an engine to tell a specific story. While we have created a storyline sketch, we’ve left it flexible enough that we can mold it to the contours of the game engine.
Prototypes for the physical items included in the various tiers have been created. Roadmaps for bulk production and delivery are already in place. Final production of the game will involve managing finances, coordinating with suppliers, creating processes for efficient assembly and delivery, and more.
We are confident in our ability to tackle these challenges. 6502 Workshop co-founder Mark Lemmert is a CPA and MBA with decades of experience in finance and business management in entrepreneurial technology companies. Co-founder Mike Reimer has years of experience procuring and shipping physical goods.
Prototypes: The reward photos show prototypes; there may be a few changes to the the artwork and materials of the final versions.
Game Development State: The gameplay videos reflect functionality of the game engine as it currently exists; there may be a few changes to the final version.
Map Materials: The Nox Archaist world map shown in the Kickstarter pictures is produced on thick, heavy canvas that feels great in the hand and resembles aged parchment. The map is quite flexible and durable, but may be slightly susceptible to scratches. However, with careful handling the map will last for many, many years.
Suppliers. If supply chain problems prevent us from providing a particular item in a reward tier we will offer a comparable replacement or a prorated refund.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)