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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why I'm doing this

So after talking to several different people about this, I thought it's probably a great idea for me to write a post as to why I started this project, and why I am continuing to do this project.

Originally, this game started out as a card game. That's right, a card game! It was still procedural, still had the same monsters, environments, items, spells, etc, but it was all played with cards and dice. So anyway, my wife and I (the only members of the team at that point) spent a very, very long time developing this card game from crappy paper cutout cards with hand-drawn artwork and writing on them all the way through to getting a professionally printed set made up, adorned with amazing artwork donated generously from the DeviantArt community. Once we had this set made up, and the game finalised, we then proceeded to look for investors to be able to self-publish the game. Unfortunately, we came up short, and very shortly afterward I became deathly ill (quite literally. I very nearly died) and that health scare lasted 18 months. Even now, as I write this, I am still about 3/4 of the way through my recovery. Still not 100%. Because of this time, almost all of our spare money and time went to sorting out the illness and paying medical expenses, etc, etc, and so finding investors seemed even further from our reach than ever.
However, I then had a notion. It had always been the plan to release the card game, and then develop a supporting PC game to accompany it and expand our market horizons a little. In the end, we decided to focus on developing the PC game first, and use the profits from it to self fund and launch the card game that we had put so much love and effort into. It was then that conceptual development of Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox began.
By the time the concept had been fully fleshed out, however, the views had changed yet again. My wife and I are avid gamers and have been since a very young age, and we have seen many games come and go. We have seen many games that had so much potential to be great get crushed into repetitive rubbish by money hungry publishing companies, or get rushed out the door without being bothered to reach their peak heights. I was determined to not let that happen to my game. I have been writing computer games for the PC since I was 10 years old, and I would be damned if I was going to put this much effort into anything other than perfection. And not just anyone's perfection. MY perfection. Growing up, I have always had the largest fascination with fantasy RPGs such as the Might and Magic series, and The Elder Scrolls series, and I have always had a very clear idea in my mind of what my ideal RPG would be. The Sword of Ahkranox is it.
I decided to really do this game right. Like most game programmers, I find it difficult seeing a project all the way through to completion, but this project I have dedicated myself to in a whole new way. I am spending large amounts of my own money to hire some incredible talent in the fields of voice acting, concept art and texture design, as well as music and sound generation. I want this game to have the professional cut of a modern game, but at the same time have the old-school charm of the retro magnificence that is the history of classic RPG play. I want it to be procedurally generated, but not in a predictable way that is found in every other so-called procedural game.
So that's what I'm making. My game. I am heading a team of around 35 people to make my perfect gaming experience, and no-one elses. It may make money, it may not. If it does, then great! It means that there are others out there as frustrated with modern RPGs as I am. I'll be able to take the profits and turn the card game into a reality!
If it doesn't sell well, then I'll still have my perfect game to play! And when it comes down to it, that is what I find important in this. I will be plugging this game everywhere, advertising it and selling it with gusto in every way that I can, but making money from the project is not my main goal. Making my ideal game a reality is my only goal here.

Because I can ;-)

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