Jun 202013
 

We feel like we’re at a turning point here at Zeboyd Games. We’ve released some fun RPGs over the past few years (and in fact, we just released a new RPG earlier this month which you should definitely play if you haven’t already) but now it’s time to take things up a notch. Now it’s time to get serious.

First up, we’re completely overhauling our RPG engine. XNA is a great set of tools that has served us well, but now that it’s no longer being actively supported by Microsoft and the Xbox 360 is on its way out, it’s time to move on. We looked into Monogame and though it has many strong points, in the end, we’ve decided to go with Unity for our next RPG. Unity is a very popular multi-platform development tool that is being used by more and more developers each year. In recent months, we’ve seen announcements for Unity support by both Sony (PS4 & Vita) & Nintendo (WiiU, though sadly no 3DS support yet) in addition to the platforms Unity already supports (PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android). No promises yet on which platforms we’ll be supporting with our next game, but in addition to PC, we’d especially like to add Mac, PS4, and Vita to our list of systems that can play our games.

Creating a new RPG engine on Unity is a lot of work (which we started earlier this week) but won’t be nearly as hard as starting from scratch since we do have our old RPG engine to use as a reference point. However, we’re not going to stop with just replicating our old engine’s functionality in Unity. Some of the improvements we’re hoping to add include:

Larger, more animated sprites (think Chrono Trigger).
More interactive environments.
Improved User Interface.
A particle system for enhanced visual effects.
On-map battles (no separate battle screen) & enemy groups that detect & chase the player.

We also have some fun ideas for gameplay (picking and choosing some of the best elements from our past games while adding some new ideas as well) but we’ll save the details on those for later.

We will be doing a kickstarter later this year for our next game. We will, of course, be using our own funds from royalties of our past games to finance the game as much as possible, but a successful kickstarter will give us some extra freedom to make the game that much better (can afford more development time, an awesome huge soundtrack from Hyperduck, etc.) and generally relieve some of the “Are we going to be able to finish this before we run out of money?” stress. Details on the game & the kickstarter will come out over the following months but for now, I can tell you that the game is all-new (not connected to any of our past games or anyone else’s existing IP), the game’s acronym is CSH, it’s a distant future sci-fi spy RPG starring a female protagonist, Β and it’s not a parody. There will still be plenty of humor in the game but we’re going to focus on making the plot & characters deeper & more interesting than our past games. Basically, we’re shooting for a Lunar or Chronicles of Prydain vibe with the story.

These are exciting times here at Zeboyd Games. It still boggles my mind that in about 3 and a half years, we’ve gone from being casual hobbyists to a full-time 2-man indie studio that has released four full-fledged RPGs. Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past; the best is yet to come! πŸ˜€

 Posted by at 4:54 pm

  34 Responses to “The Future of Zeboyd Games”

  1. Didn’t you mention this game a few months back, or am I thinking of something else? Anyway, glad to see you’re going with a female protagonist. We don’t have nearly enough of those in video games. Also looking forward to the more serious tone with some sprinkles of comedy every now and then. I’ll admit I haven’t played any of your previous games, mostly because I’m not a fan of parody games but this seems just right up my ally especially since it’s a Sci-fi game. Anyway good luck on your kickstarter and PLEASE bring this to VITA

  2. Hooray for gender representation. All I want to recommend to make it a solid game is that you consult a female writer for characterization and dialog. Tomb Raider (the new one) proved that a more realistic characterization of a female character can still be engaging to male fans, so don’t be scared to push some limits!

    I wish you all the best on your Kickstarter. I’ll definitely be checking it out. πŸ™‚

  3. Great choice on engine. I just finished Breath of Death VII and are playing Cthulhu Saves the World and was thinking to myself “I should create a tile system and make a similar game”. A few years ago me and a mate searched high and low for alternative engines (had our own engine at the time) with better tools, and nothing came close to Unity. Just be aware that it takes a bit of time to understand at first.

    Good luck, your future looks bright and I can hardly wait to see what you guys turn out πŸ™‚

  4. Can’t wait, I will support your Kickstarter.

  5. I’m sure it will be the best scifi RPG since Albion :).

  6. I’m somewhat happy that CSH won’t be a parody. A game that is Phantasy Star V in all but name wouldn’t feel right as a parody.

  7. I hope that CSH, whichever form it takes, retains the Fast-Paced Battles that your RPG engine was known for.
    If you want to discourage level-grinding in your future games, then instead of completely removing the ability to do so, you could add a “diminishing returns” aspect to the XP system. Level-Ups all need the same amount of XP, e.g. 100 points, but battles become near-worthless when you reach the recommended level for that chapter/scenario/dungeon.

  8. The main thing I’d love to see is an expansion on FFV’s class system. It might just be because of the Job Fiesta going on right now, but something like that with even more and unique classes would be fantastic. The PA games seem fairly close to that, but I just can’t stand the PA IP these days and that’s been kinda keeping me away from what otherwise seems like a great series.

  9. Well, you’ve already got my Kickstarter pledge, as soon as it’s up! And I’m really looking forward to the “16-bit” remakes of previous games, hopefully on a portable platform of some kind (seems like Vita is easiest, and that’s fine with me, or 3DS). I know, nothing has been announced, but I want it. πŸ™‚

    I’d love to see a Vita Zeboyd collection.

    Here’s to hoping the Kickstarter blows any goals totally out of the water.

  10. These news are exciting as hell. Even without being a big RPG fan, I loved your games and will definitely back your next project, whatever you decide it to be.

  11. Great job guys!

    Truly an inspiration.

    Looking forward to your next RPG.

  12. Big fan of your games so far! I’m really counting on you guys to be able to make RPG that will be nearly or as good as the old classics!

    I’m really happy about 2 thing you said in this post!

    1- “More interactive environments.”
    Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 was a great game IMO and I had a lot of fun playing it BUT: The environment was boring as HELL. It undermined my fun a little to be honest. At the end I was literally just running to the next monster because I knew all I had to do is check for chest and I wouldn’t miss anything…

    2- The next game won’t be a parody!
    So far all your game on PC (Well at least all the games I played) were a parody. I had great fun playing them until the last. It was justified for penny arcade’s so it didn’t “undermine” my fun like the environment but I seriously hoped that your next game would be more serious and that’s what you are planning so I’m really looking forward to it!

    Continue the good work!

    PS: I know it’s really time consuming but if you could take the items a step further in your next engine it would be great! Something that’s more resembling to those old classics. (Heads, Chests, Arms, Boots, Rings, Shields, More consumables…) You can always do it in iteration from game to game πŸ˜‰

  13. I can’t wait to see what you guys have next, now that you can move on from PA and work on your own ideas. I’ll definitely be backing your KS, as my first one ever.

    Although I’ve bought all your games from XBLIG, I understand the desire and need to move. I just hope it is to a place I will be able to follow.

  14. As many others have commented, I too am looking forward to your next game and its kickstarter.

  15. Look forward to seeing you guys jump to some Nintendo platforms. They really need a nice RPG boost in the arm!

  16. Chances are, you folks will have my best pledge yet.

  17. Good to see you moving on from Xbox.

    I hope you consider the Wii U seriously. Its where I am moving to first this console generation and would love to be able to play your games on it and put them on the gamepad to play around the house. I will probably get a PS4 in late 2014 or 2015 after it actually has games, but I think games will be slow to help the ps4 at the start since so many of them are PS3/4, Xbox 360/One. Until a lot more games are next gen only, the systems will likely sell a bit slow. Am looking forward to kingdom hearts 3 though.

    Anyway, since you are thinking of new games to play, have you ever thought of trying something like Dragon Force? That is a woefully under-utilized style of game and one I think you all could do justice too.

  18. This is one Kickstarter I won’t want to miss.

    I’ve loved each one of your RPGs so far. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to Insane difficulty in your new one.

  19. Congrats guys, looking forward to the future.

  20. Seeing how each of your games has been better than its predecessor, I don’t see CSH being anything other than fantastic. I’m really psyched to back this.

    Guess it’s time to guess titles!

    Celestial Savior Hyperduck?
    Counting Sheep on Hyperion?
    Cool Space Happy-times?

  21. You already have my pledge. Keep rocking the RPGs, Robert, and the rest of the Zeboyd staff.

  22. I really love the games you guys make, I can’t wait to see what kinda stuff you will bring out in the future.

  23. I’ve been following you guys since Cthulhu Saves the World and your progress as a team has been outstanding. It’s hard to believe the team that did Breath of Death VII, 3 years ago, are the same guys that just released Penny Arcade 4. Continue the fine work, I look forward to whatever your next games will be.

  24. Good luck with your next project. Am loving PA4 at the moment, and am looking forward to whatever else you guys develop.

  25. Cosmic Super Heroine? Cunning Space Hunter? The possibilities are endless! Pumped for CSH. My wallet is ready for that KickStarter.

  26. Awesome – welcome to Unity, I think you will soon see that you can save a ton of time (especially with stuff like particle effects).
    Can’t wait to see something a bit more serious from you guys and hope you create a kick ass kickstarter πŸ™‚

  27. Can’t wait for CSH! Day 1 backer.

  28. I hope you go iOS. It is pretty much all I use now.

  29. Already excited about CSH!

    I think you’ll really enjoy using Unity once you get the hang of it. It’s really weird to learn, but so much of the work has been done for you. Particles for example are dead easy.

  30. I’ll start putting aside money now.

  31. Ditto! I am so stoked. Day one buy and backer for sure!

  32. Sounding better and better by the minute. Let us know when the time comes to fund it, because I’m sure more than a few of us will gladly be willing to help fund your newest gem.

  33. Can’t wait!

  34. As someone who bought, played and enjoyed all your RPGs, I can say that you have my pledge when you do release the kickstarter.

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