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, 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!