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Scoundrels: The Risky Reef (by Randy O'Connor)

02-11-2014, 03:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Chicago!
Posts: 160
Scoundrels: The Risky Reef (by Randy O'Connor)

The Risky Reef is a pirate-ship survival game where you try to last as long possible as you plunder and fight through navy and merchant ships in an unceasing quest for treasure and money.

It's a game I'm making almost entirely by myself (sans sound/music) and continually changing. Mostly I just hope it's good at all.

No release date anymore because it's hard to estimate how long it takes to design a good game. I'm sometimes tempted to revert back to the massive procedural rogue-like with an alpha-release model.

Y'all might know me from Dead End HD, another iOS game I'm quite proud of, or Distractions, or as the lead artist on Waking Mars.


NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS THE ORIGINAL POST, WHICH IS ALL OLD AND OUT OF DATE. But I believe there's value in seeing what was originally posted.
Hi everyone, I want to tell you about a new game I started working on a week ago.

The goal is to create an approachable, systems-based game that I could release like Minecraft and other alpha-release games. I've been in a pirate-game mood and never found quite the game to scratch that itch. For me, iPhone games need to have that fun moment-to-moment gameplay to suck me in, so why not make an action-ish pirate game!

In "Rogues", you sail a ship around, fight other ships and steal from then, and sell your goods at ports (if they like you enough to not attack you on-sight).

It's going to be procedurally generated (eventually) and focus almost entirely on sailing around and fighting, though I want there to be a cool in-world economy of goods.

The plan is to get the barest roughest fun elements into the game, and then put it up on the store for $.99. If it gains any traction or as I get into it, I hope to continue working on it and refining and adding systems and art and other stuff. If it reaches a good enough point, I'll raise the price to 1.99, and if it gets even better, I'll raise it to 2.99, etc.

I'm a big fan of alpha-release, systems-based games, because you can actually support development, rather than me spending months/years on a project only to find out if you like it at the very end. The initial release (probably within a month) is going to be ROUGH, but that's the idea.

What I want is to eventually have a game where you sail around, it turns to night, the fog rolls in, you attack a ship where no one sees, steal all their stuff and then sink 'em, then sail near a port that's friendly to you, where you take your dinghy in and sell the goods for doubloons and valuables, and then take a moment to bet half your fortune in a smoky smuggler's den, only to have to flee the island as the port authorities decide you've caused too much trouble.

Mmmm, piratey goodness.

Finally, here's some art for a pirate board game I'm working on. I imagine "Rogues" is going to look similar.

And here is a look at the game right now! (Isn't she preeetty?)
[Circles are islands, squares are ports, and the red things are ships sailing around.]


-Randy O

(Also, feel free to check out my other games for iOS: Distractions and Dead End HD, and we're finishing up Escape Goat 2 for PC/mac/linux too!)


Last edited by randyo; 10-18-2014 at 11:40 PM. Reason: New title, new game!
02-11-2014, 08:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,311
Arts looks fun to play. You might want to change your app's name. Another game released with a very common name, Shifts, and as a result, it is almost impossible to google anything about it, which would definitely reduce sales...

So piratey customers looking for your game might be unable to find reviews of it easily and not buy.

And fans of rogue-likes who stumble across a game called rogues, which is not a rogue-like would also not buy...

02-12-2014, 12:34 AM
The art is really nice, and the objective sounds cool too.

Any definite roadmap as yet?

Game Designer at Hashstash.
Worked On:Circulets, Huerons, Splash Damage: Survive if you Can.
Survive the most amazing liquids ever in Splash Damage. Out on Jan 22 2015
02-12-2014, 12:52 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Bangalore, India
Posts: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to yadurajiv
Pretty islands indeed Hope to see more about the game aar!!

Yadu Rajiv - http://yadurajiv.com - @yadurajiv
Game Designer/Developer - Ux/UI nut
02-12-2014, 12:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Chicago!
Posts: 160
@iPadisGreat: I will definitely pay attention to the name, though I do want there to be some rogue elements (permadeath, challenging, procedural). For now I like this name, but I'll keep it in mind if I come up with something better. Thanks for the feedback!

Work purely on mechanics til near the first release, doing little to no art, so that mechanics don't get locked down by art. Then prior to releasing the first version, I'll do a first-pass on basic art.

As of today: You can move around and shoot with unlimited ammo. Other ships sail to a port, then to a new port, etc, except for a few "navy" ships that head directly toward you, and then start shooting until they or you are dead. There are ports, but they just shoot at you if you get too close.

Goals for first release:
-Get the in-world economy working so ships trade goods with ports and carry stuff.
-Get factions working. (I want 3 main factions.)
-Implement boarding of ships.
-Better ship movement, though probably not realistic movement.
-More interesting combat mechanics (being able to choose how you set up cannons, maybe a couple cannon types, limited ammo).
-Better AI
-Make the navy ships smarter in their choice of actions.
-Basic interaction at ports.

After first release, I'll probably start to figure out what areas to push on, but I'd like eventual weather elements, night and day, options to bury treasure, building the world procedurally, saving/loading/icloud, actually make it so you don't collide with islands (maybe I'll do that for first release).

Anyhow, I best do some work on it!
02-12-2014, 10:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Pinellas, FL
Posts: 1,771
I really like the game concept here. I would just encourage there be at least a certain level of polish when you release the initial version. I'm definitely interested!
02-13-2014, 03:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Koblenz, Germany
Posts: 274
Looks really interesting. Will there be a "Search and steal someone else's treasure" challenge? That would be a fun multiplayer. Destroy/capture 4 players to get the pieces of a map. Then get there in time and steal the treasure )

The Way Home - Incredible Time Travel Arcade Adventure [FREE]
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Have a crazy day :P
02-13-2014, 12:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Chicago!
Posts: 160
@ScotDamn: I definitely want to have some basic art in place and some notes of polish, but I want to release something in a rougher state just to get the system into people's hands. Like the way DayZ is rough in so many ways, and a lot of things break, but the game is fun.

The important thing before I release is for me to find a good rhythm to the game, and get that out there. Right now it has some push, but no pull, so I have to get those parts working for sure.

@Bleau: Oh man if I were a better coder... I'm an artist first, so the thought of coding multiplayer is terrifying. Maybe if this gets super famous and I learn how to make good network code, cause your idea sounds awesome!
02-13-2014, 10:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,546
I'm all for it, I haven't had a good pirate game since Plunderland! The art looks great, definitely keep with it!
02-14-2014, 02:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Koblenz, Germany
Posts: 274
Fully understand that. You should also insert some pirate talk and gibberish, even if the accent is wrong. That would be some funny rough :P

The Way Home - Incredible Time Travel Arcade Adventure [FREE]
You can also find me on Twitter!
Have a crazy day :P