Author Topic: [Idea] "Caldera's Wrath" - a text-based RPG  (Read 2944 times)

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Offline Escheron

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[Idea] "Caldera's Wrath" - a text-based RPG
« on: November 08, 2015, 06:07:44 pm »
I had an idea earlier for a text-based adventure for z80 calculators. The idea is to create an experience similar to MUDs - or "multi-user dungeons" - but with respect to the constraints of a z80 calculator. Let me be clear that this is strictly in the conceptual phase, as I'm unsure if memory or processing limitations will even permit it. Nonetheless, I thought I would share some of the ideas I've put together so far.

- Environment and Gameplay -

The game world would consist of a series of interconnected "rooms." Rooms are abstract and not measured by any tangible standards such as width or height, so there's no logical restriction on the number of features or interactive objects a room can contain. A room can be a house, a chamber, a trail in the wilderness, a dungeon floor, a pool of water, etc. Some of these rooms contain obstacles that make passing in certain directions more difficult. The player character has several skills at their disposal that are used to determine their probability of success when interacting with these rooms. For instance, there's an athletics skills that determines how effectively the player can climb walls and mountains, or swim across bodies of water.

Upon starting the game, the player rolls a character from one of five distinct character races. The player's choice of race determines their starting stats and major skills, and what (if any) special feats they'll possess. Instead of assigning a rigid class-based role to their character, the player powers up by training all of their skills independently. Each major skill has a sort of experience level associated with it. Every time a skill is successfully put to use, it gains experience points and eventually levels up. There are no necessary restrictions on what equipment or spells the player can learn to use, as long as they train themselves to meet the necessary prerequisites first.

The player's environment is largely interactive. The player can mine resources and harvest food, poach enemies for their furs and leathers, recruit NPC allies to fight alongside them, propose marriage to specific NPCs, or go around killing friendly NPCs and taking over villages and kingdoms. Some of these actions have long-term consequences or will invoke alternate endings.

- Plot and Setting -

The setting spans two major regions - Ardenvale and Anomyr. The player is free to explore the entire game world at their leisure, and can even bypass major quests and head straight for antagonist's stronghold, assuming they've amassed enough power to survive the conflict.

The plot centers on Ardenvale, which has recently come under the threat of the blackguard Gul Wraith, who is plotting Ardenvale's destruction from his stronghold at the summit of Caldera. Gul Wraith has unleashed four demon generals to lead an army of hellspawn in a conquest of the regions. Gul Wraith continues to draw strength from the terror wrought by his minions, and is mustering to use this strength to awaken the inactive volcano Caldera, blanketing the sky in ash and plunging the world into an era of perpetual darkness.

Lord Caelendal's armies are beginning to thin at the hands of Gul Wraith's minions. Out of desperation, Caeldendal pulls several prisoners from the dungeon depths, offering to pardon them if they will serve in the volunteer brigade. The player assumes the role of one of these prisoners, who undergoes basic training in Caeldendal's "Hall of Beginners" before being thrust out into the world to fend for themselves. The player can report back to Lord Caeldendal for major quest markers or general direction, or they can assume free reign over the world and engage in a number of sidequests. In fact, they can even ignore the threat of Gul Wraith, return to Caelendal after becoming significantly more powerful, and attempt to take over the kingdom for themselves.


Attached to this post are a couple of concepts - a mockup showing the basic textual interface, and a map design outlining all the wilderness areas between the two regions the game takes place in. Villages, castles and dungeons are all sub-maps that will be documented separately.

All in all, I estimate a total number of rooms in the game will range from ~1100 to ~1500. The wilderness areas alone comprise around ~550 rooms.

Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: [Idea] "Caldera's Wrath" - a text-based RPG
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 02:54:47 pm »
I think the premise is nice, but I'm not sure a text adventure would do this justice. I think a bit more complex style of game would really bring this world to life.

Offline E37

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Re: [Idea] "Caldera's Wrath" - a text-based RPG
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 05:16:49 pm »
If you are still interested in continuing, I'd like to help (at least with the game engine).  ;D
I'm still around... kind of.

Offline chickendude

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Re: [Idea] "Caldera's Wrath" - a text-based RPG
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 06:06:02 am »
I agree with Art of camelot, the idea sounds really great, but i'm not sure that a text adventure would really give it what it deserves. Maybe something like calc84's Steins;Gate, but drawing pictures for each screen is probably more time/memory consuming than using tilemaps anyway (especially as the E:ToR engine is getting close to being complete). It'd be cool to see what comes of this, though.

Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: [Idea] "Caldera's Wrath" - a text-based RPG
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 10:04:05 am »
@chickendude: That was one of the gameplay styles I was thinking would work pretty well with this. Kind of like Shadow Gate for the NES. It might do better with a hybridized system where you travel an overworld to get to dungeons and towns and then go in the first person view to explore them.

Offline Escheron

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Re: [Idea] "Caldera's Wrath" - a text-based RPG
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 08:19:28 pm »
I had considered the idea of a first-person perspective with scenery, but adding graphics would eat up valuable screen space. If I'm going to describe the player's surroundings in vivid detail, I'll need all of the screen reserved for lines of text.

The reason I wanted to use a text-based approach in the first place is because sprite-based graphics are rather restrictive. With text, I can describe any level of detail I want. Not so much with two-dimensional sprites and tiles.