★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

From the creators of Hoggy, Raptisoft- First look at upcoming Solomon's Keep!

04-02-2010, 05:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 446
From the creators of Hoggy, Raptisoft- First look at upcoming Solomon's Keep!

So recently, for a site I write for (IFanzine), I managed to get an interview with the creator of Hoggy, John Raptis. We discussed his inspirations, IPad plans, company history, favorite games, a preview on Solomon's Keep, and more! Check it out:

Just kidding. I'm not that much of an advertising douche. Can't post the whole interview here (click the link), but here is the part where we discuss the game:

Me: Could you provide us with a short description of your upcoming game Solomon's Keep?

John: Solomon's Keep is a game I've been wanting to write for almost ten years. The basic premise is, you're a young wizard who is about to graduate wizarding college. For your final exam, you have to take down a dark lord in his dark fortress. So the game begins with you and your teachers on a rainy night in the small town of Dead Hawg, and they explain the rules of the exam (they can only help you so much, etc, etc). Then off you go.

It's not meant to be a sweeping save-the-world adventure. This is just a little chapter in your personal wizarding life.

In gameplay, the game is literally "mini-Diablo." Diablo is the direct inspiration. You will fight skeletons, you will fight zombies, and you will fight demonic creatures, because that's what a necromancer has in his personal army. You can buy items to pump skills, and when you level up you're dealing with a Diablo-like skill tree-- except, and this is my personal little touch-- it's randomized. So each game literally *is* a different experience, and sometimes you have to cope with not having your favorite skill. On the other hand, sometimes you'll end up with a game where everything goes your way, and by the end you're some sort of demi-god slaying everything left and right. This forces you to be very aware of your play style. If you aren't getting such and such a skill, you'll need to make up the lack with magic items. If magic items are plentiful, you can spend money on some of the 'luxury' skills that you don't really need.

It's also set up so that a person could literally sit down and have a 20-30 minute adventure, start to finish, storming Solomon's Keep. This is a portable game-- it's not for spending days and days on. I think that's a problem some of the deeper iPhone dungeon games have had, just too much experience, when players really want to play in small chunks.

Me: By the looks of the video and screenshots, Solomon's Keep appears to be a dual-stick shooter. We've already noticed the awesome Medieval theme, but what else sets it apart from all the other dual-stick shooters in the app-store?

John: You'll find that Solomon's Keep has a lot of personality. As you storm the keep, Solomon is constantly yelling at you, taunting you, bugging you with traps or surprises. I wanted to make the final fight personal-- by the time you reach the top and face Solomon himself, you'll be so mad at him that you'll deliver the killing blow with relish.

Plus, each monster has its own little behavior-- these aren't simply "chase bots" with a different graphic. They force you to play in different ways. I don't think anyone enjoys "RPG grind" too much, no matter how doggedly they go at it, so I thought it might be possible to make it a little less grind-y. Of course, getting a good, devastating area-effect spell destroys all my careful balancing and you just walk through the dungeon like an avenging angle.

And, so far as I know, this is the first iPhone game that uses neither 3D graphics, nor a direct overhead perspective. And I had to use a lot of tricks to fit that many character poses into the iPhone's memory limits! So you get nice looking little 3D guys without the ugly look of low-polygons. It's a different experience!

Some screenshots and a video:

Youtube link | Pop Up

It should be out in the next few days. Look for it!

Last edited by TheProxy; 04-02-2010 at 05:33 PM.
04-02-2010, 05:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: the 56th realm of existence
Posts: 5,948
Dual stick shooter? Yaaay!

Beta tester of 54 games
Originally Posted by crex View Post
Thats a nice lookin gun.

04-02-2010, 05:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Earth......for now
Posts: 679
Send a message via MSN to rooteboy
04-02-2010, 05:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: where rice paddies grow...
Posts: 3,436
nice, looks awesome, but no melee? hope you don't get mobbed then xD

(゚、 。 7
 l、 ~ヽ

Last edited by aznriceboi13; 04-02-2010 at 05:31 PM.
04-02-2010, 05:29 PM
Ooohhh! Gauntlet kind of game!
Are you planning on adding other characters like a rogue or other kind of warrior?
edit: forget my question, I just read that the whole story is about a wizard.
04-02-2010, 05:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,079
Send a message via Skype™ to iVaro
This better come out after Revolt cools down a bit

I have beta tested 57 games,
Now a reviewer at App Score!,
I do tweet GameCenter: iVaro/OF ID:1Varo
04-02-2010, 06:16 PM
Hi Guys,
I'm glad you're excited about this coming out. This game was a labor of love, so I hope that comes across. While the iPhone didn't have enough memory to do every single thing I wanted, I think it still turned out pretty good. The only real shortcoming is that I couldn't fit a lot of dungeon background graphics in (that's the advantage of 3D, you can bend your polygons all over the place, don't have to have a seperate render for each angle).

There's no melee-- yet. It just has a *very* fleshed out wizard class. Comparable to a game like Diablo 2, I think. If you enjoy playing a wizard, this should give you a lot of flexibility.

My plan right now is, if it turns out to be worth doing (i.e. if the game doesn't vanish into total obscurity on iPhone-- seems to be a roll of the die, that) I am going to put out a Rogue version and a Warrior version very quickly ("Ah, you're here... we've lost one of our wizard students in yonder tower, and we hope a warrior of your girth can assist us!"). There's enough graphics piled into this that it wouldn't be possible for me to fold other playable characters into the space, so they'll have to be seperate versions. I'm sorry, but, eh, yell at Apple. If I port to iPad, I'll fold them all into one app.

So I hope you guys like it... it'll be only 99 cents for the first week, so snag it early if you want it. (There will be a lite version coming up sometime soon, too, but not in the first week).

Oh, one other downside... it doesn't run beautifully on first generation iPods, because those devices really are slow. So if you have a first-gen, be prepared for frame skipping-- there's a lot of ambience and effects that go on in-game that eat up processor.

Oh, and by the way, as you go along, you'll find a lot of nods to other games, classic and new, hidden and obvious. Even the first thing Solomon screams at you. I hope the game will make you laugh as well as give you sore thumbs.

Last edited by Raptisoft; 04-02-2010 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Added more and more and more awesome stuff
04-02-2010, 06:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 5,241
Looks fantastic, I will buy it as soon as it comes out.
04-02-2010, 06:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,099
I think this game just killed Catacombs. Looking forward to the release

Openfeint ID/Plus+/AC2 MP: Bahgett
Gamecenter: Hamburger Time
04-02-2010, 06:57 PM
I also just want to say that this is the first game in all of gaming history that has a skeletal dragon that pukes maggots.

For those that like spoilers, here is a quickly put together page that gives a brief description of all the game skills:

Also, links to storyline, more screenshots, and whatnot (official game page): http://www.raptisoft.com/solomonskeep

Last edited by Raptisoft; 04-02-2010 at 08:56 PM.