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Pioneers - turn-based survival/exploration RPG (New build: Sep 24)


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#1 Eigen   Members   -  Reputation: 554

Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:33 AM

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Every journey begins with a single step.

Official Website


So, what is this game about? Well it's a turn based exploration game with some RPG elements where you lead a party of pioneers each with different professions, skills and attributes. You start out in a town where you first have to assemble your party from the tavern, plan out and buy equipment you need from the supply store and get yourself a ship. Or two. Then by conversing with different people you get quests, which may be to follow the steps of the previous explorers that never came back and find out what happened, find treasures, compose an accurate map, find contact with unknown native tribes and 'export' religion or simply be the first to disover a piece of the world. You do all that while surviving the harsh environments with seasons that change each bringing with them a different set of challenges, fighting wildlife and tribespeople, finding food and water and trying not to die of dysentery. With each part of the world you discover, you gain access to larger regions further away from home. It's not that you couldn't go there to begin with but you need more men and supplies, which means you need to collect more wealth beforehand.
What else can you do? One crucial, sort of, aspect of the game is communication. You see, when you encounter an unknown tribe you are not able to understand them because they speak an unknown language. All foreign communication in the game takes place in form of icons/symbols/glyphs that you have to decipher. To make the players life easier, animals and tribes both share the same system. When you see a wolf start to attack you and this certain icon appears over its head you better remember this, because when you interact with some tribes and the same icon appears, you know you better get out of there.
The game is currently very much in progress but check below for playable builds. The game uses only 4 colors. Different seasons have different palettes with different set of colors.

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(Click for full sized images)

Gameplay video from September 23:
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To see the previous videos, visit my YouTube channel (If you like what you see, subscribe)



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Latest version (Build 3, September 24 2012)

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Previous versions:

Build 2 (2012-06-19)
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Tech-demo (2012-05-19)
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Pioneers is also on IndieDB with over a 100 watchers and 8000 visits. Become a watcher also and you get all the latest and greatest updates, screenshots, other media and downloads.
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Occasionally my computer screen with literally some developments taking place on it appears on Twitch livestream (if you follow my channel you get an email notification when it comes online)
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Some mentions of the game I've come across on the web:
PCGamer magazine news item. Woot!
Considerably lengthy summary & review (in German)
A indie game blog mention (in Russian, generated a lot of downloads)
First mention in an indie games blog

Edited by Eigen, 10 October 2012 - 10:56 AM.


Sponsor:

#2 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7992

Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:25 AM

Wow, awesome, reminds me of Seven Cities of Gold . I will give it a try *thumbs up*.

#3 Eigen   Members   -  Reputation: 554

Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:56 AM

Thanks, I know of that game and have watched some YouTube videos but haven't played it myself. Some parts of the game are certainly inspired by that game.

#4 LennyLen   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4023

Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:19 AM

A very promising looking game.

For myself, I really like the graphics style you have gone for. I'm sure you probably know however that some people may be turned off by it. I also think it goes nicely with the music.

One thing that I would definitely want in such a game is keyboard control of movement.

#5 Eigen   Members   -  Reputation: 554

Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:13 AM

LennyLen, thank you. I know that not everybody is going to like the art style, but foremost it is the game I want to play, hence the game I want to make and I thought this sort of retro-vibe goes well with it. I'm not sure I could pull off a hi-res high-color smooth graphics like you see in all the Civilization and Colonization open-source projects and whatnot. I'm just a guy doing all the programming, art, sounds & music and I have to be realistic about what I'm able to produce unless I want it to take 3 years (which I don't).

The graphics aren't in final state anyway. I want to add a lot of detail here and there to make the screen look a bit more busy. It has to look good.

You mean controlling the unit movement with the keys and not the camera/viewport?

#6 LennyLen   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4023

Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:23 AM

You mean controlling the unit movement with the keys and not the camera/viewport?


Correct.

#7 Eigen   Members   -  Reputation: 554

Posted 24 June 2012 - 04:06 PM

Could someone on a Mac please check if the game runs. I've gotten reports that it doesn't. If it doesn't and it provides a crash log, in the "send to Apple" dialog, then please provide me with the log. I would appreciate it very much. Thank you :)

#8 Eigen   Members   -  Reputation: 554

Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:14 AM

So, I've been working on the town where the game begins and where you can go back between expeditions. You can find men to hire from the tavern, buy stuff you need from the supply store, get quests and so on.

I had done the tavern previously, but yesterday I drew the supply store you can see in the screenshot below. I also did the sidebar but the buttons need some work. And a quest button needs adding.

From the map you will be able to choose an area of the world where you want to go. The world will consist of something like 10-15 'levels' which are different in size and terrain type, so the random map generator still applies. The further away areas are larger and take longer to get there for which you need more men, ships and supplies which means you have to adventure trough the smaller areas to get some wealth before.

The travel time will be measured in seasons. When you sail out during spring, you will reach the nearest areas by summer. Or by next spring if it's far away. That forces you to think when and where to go. You can advance seasons by boozing around in the tavern but that will cost you.

It's all starting to come together and when I squint my brain it's almost starting to look like a game. Really exciting!

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I'd also like to remind you all that the game can be found on the IndieDB site and if you're a user there, make sure you click 'Track this game' button because that way you are always up to date with screenshots, videos, music and new builds. I've gotten some pretty decent feedback there and the news of the release of the last build was featured on the main page for a while.

Thanks!

#9 Eigen   Members   -  Reputation: 554

Posted 23 September 2012 - 08:43 AM

Just a little big update to say that this project is still going strong and even though these past few months have seen all sorts of ups and down, overall it's been really productive. Here's a new gameplay video to show the new developments:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLeeaAHmMUs

A new build for your downloading pleasure is probably coming later today, or perhaps tomorrow. Stay tuned! Posted Image

I also updated the first post with latest screenshots and stuff.

#10 Eigen   Members   -  Reputation: 554

Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:57 AM

So, here are the download links. I fixed a couple of things today and wrote a new piece of music.

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I hope you guys like it :)




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