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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Erebus RPG for Windows, Linux, Symbian and Android

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My current project is Erebus, a real-time RPG. You can download version 0.6 for Windows, Linux and Symbian (Linux must be compiled from source; Android is also supported from source, but I haven't released a binary to Google Play yet.)


I plan to have a series of quests rather than just one single big quest. Generating quests/content is one of the most time-consuming aspects, so doing a series of shorter quests helps breaks the task down. Currently there are three quests, but more will be added in time. Version 0.6 also introduces the ability to play a randomly generated dungeon.

It shares some ideas with roguelikes (randomly generated levels, option for permanent death, optional keyboard controls, and of course the whole idea of a single player hack-n-slash dungeon crawl), however I didn't want to restrict the game to an axis-aligned tile-based world, or to being turn-based. Passageways/rooms are defined as convex polygons, and scenery can be any size or location. Quests are defined in external XML files.

I'm using Qt to develop Erebus. This is the official API for Symbian which I wanted to support (after seeing the potential for lots of downloads on my other apps like Wifi Remote Play), but also allows easy support for many other platforms including Windows, Linux and Android (via necessitas). Whilst usually thought of as a GUI API, Qt is a complete application framework, providing all of the low level APIs useful for games like windowing/input/networking that you'd get in libraries like SDL, as well as higher level support for 2D graphics. I ended up using it for the UI too, which greatly simplified development.

Erebus is Open Source, released under the GPL v3 or later. Almost all of the game art comes from 3rd party Free sources (with particular help from Open Game Art and Flare.)

Older versions have been reviewed - v0.5 at Free Gamer, and v0.3 for Symbian on All About Symbian. It's always a bit nerve-wracking for me to see someone writing about my work, but the coverage is good, and any constructive criticism helps improve the game.

The Symbian downloads have now passed 57,000, with mostly 5/5 reviews, and an average rating of 4/5 (to the nearest integer - Nokia Store doesn't show the fraction). (It was also an interesting lesson to me to not get too down from random negative ratings - after an inital 5/5, the next two in a row were 1/5 with comments like "boring", leaving me rather depressed - thankfully the response after that has been different!)

Also see the main Erebus blog.

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