What is it?
Chronicles of the Rift is a complete Role Playing Game creation system for the Unity3d game engine. All the features and code required to make an RPG function, all in one, pre-built, easily modified package. 100% free to use any way you'd like. Built specifically for the free version of Unity3d.
Nothing like this system currently exists. There are RPG creation engines, which are neither free or open, and operate on limited 2D engines. And there are basic scripting systems available on the Unity3d Asset Store, offering little more than a code template for you to start programming your own game.
Chronicles of the Rift will offer a fully built system, 100% ready to deploy a game from. You will still need to design your own levels, and create your own story and dialogue, etc. But the entire backend will already be in place and ready to start building.
Is this an 'actual' game?
No. I do intend to create one from this system, but that will be another project, after this is completed and available to everyone. (Unless of course, we hit the secret stretch goal.)
This project is the framework I will need to build my own game, only I'll be giving it away for anyone to use however they would like. Because that's how I roll.
Taking that concept a step further, I am designing a system that can be modified and altered without ever touching a line of code. The system will still be usable "out of the box" as it were, but being openly modifiable, there is no limit the number of mods that could potentially be made for this system in the future. The potential for community driven mods, expansions and improvements is one of the most exciting prospects of this project.
I tend to learn best when I can take something apart and see how it works. I know there are a lot of people like me who dream of having a fully functioning system to work with. But the close nit, anti-piracy, online-only, DRM world we live in today makes that impossible.
In a world where Indie developers share their knowledge openly, all developers can profit and produce better games. It's the next stage in the Indie Game world, and it needs to happen.
AAA games are built on the backs of thousands of developers and artists. Big name studios have the quality in the form of bulk experience from their employees. But Indie games have the vision and direction the corporate mindset lacks. Put the capabilities and quality available from bulk experience in the hands of Indie developers around the world and imagine what could happen.
Why a Dollar?
I plan to make this system whether funding is successful or not. When it came to identifying an arbitrary "goal" I didn't necessarily need one for this stage. How much money is raised will translate directly into how comprehensive the result is.
Only raise a few hundred dollars? The final system six months from now will be a more polished version of what is in the demo, with a few more systems attached. Raise a few thousand dollars and I will be able to implement a plethora of systems to rival the original Infinity Engine.
I'm running this campaign, not just in hopes of funding the development, but to spread word of this system to more potential developers and modders. Anyone who want's to create a high quality RPG, but thought they could never build such a system on their own, need look no further than the Chronicles of the Rift: Playable Games System.
How easy will it be to use?
The ultimate goal for this system is to be usable even if you've never worked on a game or looked at a line of code before in your life. That said, a "working" knowledge of the Unity3d game engine before hand would go a long way. Here is an example of what the system looks like inside Unity3d:
The "Item" script for that revolver is displayed on the right hand side. You can see a long list of parameters which effect everything about that item. Whether it's a weapon, or a piece of armor, what kind of weapon, how much damage it can do, what range does it have... All these things and more.
Every item in the game would use this same script, merely adjusting the parameters as you see fit. You can see this revolver in action in the video and the demo. Even the dagger and fireball spell, as well as all the armor, are using the same system.
Copy/paste that revolver, change the model to something else, adjust the stats around, change the effects it uses, and walla! A laser gun, or a battle axe, or even a Fez. Every aspect of this system is being designed around the concept of modular adaptability.
If you want to dive into the deep end and start making major changes on the coding side? Every line will be commented and explained so you can easily find where something like critical damage is calculated and make changes to the base code.
Why this Project?
I want to build an epic CRPG.
I've wanted to since the first time I played through Baulder's Gate. An avid reader at the time, that game proved that "games" were a medium for telling a story like no other. The sense of adventure when you are actively involved in that adventure is wholly unique to role playing games.
I never believed it was possible to do something like that on my own, until the rapid development of the Indie scene showed me what a single developer can accomplish.
To create what I wanted I needed a core system in place. While there are a few simplified systems available, the end results are all rather unimpressive to me. What I wanted didn't exist. So I've decided to create it.
Is this Crazy?
Yes, yes it is.
Can I try it out?
You can check out the playable pre-alpha demo if you want to see more than what was in the video. Get a feel for what is possible with this system. As it stands now it could already be used to create a full length game. But there are still many more features to come in the next few months, as well as polishing and improvements to make it as easy to use as possible.
You can try the webplayer here: CRPG pre alpha
Or download one of the standalone demos here:
Instructions are available on the Forum if you need them.
When will it be released?
The system itself will become available in three stages, only the Alpha stage will have a definitive release date. The rest will be partially determined by the stretch goals. Of course, I want to release this as soon as possible, but I also want to ensure it's a quality product.
As soon as all the core systems are in place and functioning I'll release the Alpha version. Which may, or may not be, entirely user friendly. Or well commented, completely bug free, etc, etc.
Alpha will be the base version of the system, but fully usable for those who want to get their feet wet early, or just want to lend a hand with improving or debugging the system. There will be lots of room for suggestions here, improvements, additional features and the like.
The current target for Alpha release is mid August of this year.
This will come when improvements and suggestions from the alpha stage have been implemented. When all known, major bugs have been eliminated, and the system is all around "complete."
At this point there may not be a manual yet, much of the code could remain poorly commented, and some of the systems may be complicated or difficult to use. This would be the time for input and suggestions on things that could be simpler, need more explanation or descriptions, or requests for written tutorials.
Then Final Release MK I
This will include a manual, basic instructions and tutorials on all the systems and how to make changes. As well as code descriptions and comments for every script.
At this point the project will be "done" and I will be shifting my attention toward building my own game with the system. I won't be abandoning it and moving on to another project, to the contrary I will continue to support, develop, and expand the system over the time it takes to create the content for my game.
Over the course of the campaign I'll release updates detailing the various features to be included in the Chronicles of the Rift system. Feel free to ask for specific things you'd like to see covered in the Comments section.
You can also browse the Forums if you are interested in learning more.
The ultimate goal is to build a system where you can define the type of gameplay you want and then build any kind of game. Developmentally speaking, the completed MK I won't be very far from a lootfest, action RPG, or a turn based strategy game, or even a real time strategy.
Some modifications in the right direction could drastically alter the basic gameplay for varied results. I'd like to eventually incorporate as many such modifications as I can, whether built myself, or from the community, to create as powerful and intuitive of a system as possible.
That creates a world where an Indie game developer can spend more time building content and story, without spending months or years reinventing the same wheel that's been around for decades. Or they could start with a full system in place before making modifications to see their own gameplay vision come to life.
This is where additional features will be implemented or expanded with further options. While much of what is seen in the demo will be expanded on and improved whatever happens, many of the systems I would like to include will require a substantial time investment.
I'll seek to implement as many of these as I can, of course, but a certain level of budget will improve the odds considerably.
Some crazy, one time offers from my personal catalog of creative work.
Level 1 and Up:
Show your support on the Forums with a unique Backer only badge, choose between three different styles; Medieval, Steampunk and Cyberpunk. Backer badge will directly reflect the level you support.
Level 2 and Up:
Gain access to the complete digital catalog of Pixelation Games for Android (sorry, no iOS currently). Including a few that are no longer available online!
Level 3 and Up:
A copy of The Islands of Perpetual Light, a young adult fantasy novel. The first in a series I've been working on. This book is not currently available through any other outlet.
Level 4 and Up:
Novel will be signed and have a unique cover art designed specifically for this campaign! With a special forward thanking all of the backers!
Level 5 special access:
Guaranteed Pre-Access to the first game created by Pixelation Games with the Chronicles of the Rift system. Months before public release!
Level Six extra special access:
Permanent Pre-Access to ALL Pixelation Games from the future! (Release date for this reward is TBA, future rewards cannot be given out in the present.)
While this permanent reward may be available again in the future, it will never be such a low price again!
Risks and challenges
I'm really quite insane for thinking I can do this AND give it away for free when I'm done. It's a terrible, HORRIBLE, business model, this 'giving stuff away for free' idea.
It really kind of hinges on this other crazy idea that people would like my idea so much they might throw a few dollars my way like some Florencian Thespian quoting shakespear in the streets. (No offense to street thespians.)
The biggest risk is only a few people pledge, I have to focus on some other means of income, and it ends up taking me a year to complete this project in my spare time. Time, however, is all it needs. Running short on the budget doesn't mean it can't be finished.
As for challenges? Well, doing all this on my own is certainly challenging enough. But I probably wouldn't be doing it if it was easy. A few years from now I intend to be able to to say "See that RPG over there? I made every last part of it!"
This project is just the proving ground.
- (30 days)