Realms Beyond – A classic turn-based fantasy RPG

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Source of Inspiration #5: Phantasie

Phantasie boxesBy now we can safely assume that you have heard about roleplaying games, but have you ever heard of a Roleplaying Odyssey? Let me introduce you to Phantasie, a game where the front of the box promised such an experience. And for the most part, we can acknowledge that it pretty much reflects the memory we have of the game.

Looking back, Phantasie might have been a pure Ultima derivative. It featured a large world for you to explore on foot as you searched for the next town or dungeon. However, it did not feature 3D dungeons. Instead, you would kind of unveil the passages of each dungeon on some kind of map screen...

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World Building #2: Where do you start designing an open world roleplaying game?

Dragon Avatar

Up to this point, most of our blog posts have covered sources of influence and inspiration and some general game mechanics. What we have not covered at all so far, is the world of Realms Beyond. That’s where I come in…

Some of you may know me as “Dragon” in our forums and I am the Creative Director of Realms Beyond, which means, I am overseeing the creation of the content that you will eventually play in the game.

I do have a background in game design and I’ve worked on numerous roleplaying games before, in a variety of capacities, and when I joined the Ceres Team some time ago, the first order of business was the general world design.

Dungeons & Dragons Player HandbooksWhile we’re using assets and code from the never-released Chaos Chronicles project, we decided early on to create the actual content for Realms Be...

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Source of Inspiration #4: The Bard’s Tale

The Bard's TaleWhen The Bard’s Tale by Michael Cranford was first released, it foreshadowed a feature that would become standard in games today—an intro. In the case of The Bard’s Tale, it was an animated title screen that was reminiscent of a cartoon, showing a bard playing a song. Bard's Tale Intro Screen
Naturally, the lyrics of the song appeared as text only on the screen but this was pretty impressive stuff in 1987 on the C64! The bard would stop playing to take a sip from his mug once in a while. One of the listeners sitting next to him would imagine the adventurous scenes portrayed in his odes, appearing and disappearing in graphics bubbles above his head.

One of the interesting and often overlooked things about The Bard’s Tale is that its character system was actually pretty similar to that of D&D...

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Sound Design #2: Attentive music matters

On the technical side, modern computer game development, especially in the field of roleplaying games, it appears, is very heavily focused on the visual presentation. Eye candy sells, there can be no doubt. Many will argue that music and the sound design are somehow important, too, but for the most part, it is the graphics that draw players in.

Back in the early days of computer games, computer RPGs never really considered graphics as their key focus. A large part of the reason was that hardware limitations kept things in check and so, game designers turned to music and sound effects to create the proper atmosphere. Nowadays, we have come to think that a bunch of hyperrealistic graphics with some epic music underneath make for great atmosphere, but you really couldn’t be more wrong.

Music ...

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