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"Legends of Phantastica: The Clockwork Tower" - turnbased dungeon crawler (developer)

06-11-2011, 09:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 14
"Legends of Phantastica: The Clockwork Tower" - turnbased dungeon crawler (developer)

Hi everyone,

I'm Cris and I'm posting for my studio, Variant. This week the game we're working on, Legends of Phantastica, went feature complete and so I thought I'd share it with you all. I've read the blog and lurked the forums for a long time, so I'm kind of geeked to participate for a change. =)

Our game is a dungeon crawler for all the iOS devices, in the vein of the classics like Rogue/Nethack, but we've tried to make them a little more accessible, akin to your Mysterious Dungeon and Shiren the Wanderer types.

The images I have today are from a couple months ago, as we come to the end of our alpha process, to show you what the game is and how it looks. We're now in the process of putting all the pieces together, polishing it, and running over everything with a fine-toothed comb.

Personally, I'm pretty proud of our artwork. We've got some great artists on the project, Ramon Rabang and Conrad Schmidt doing sprite artwork, Linda Smith on background and decorations (which will come in a future set of screenies) and Phil Manning on concept art and illustrations. These folks really exceeded what I thought to hope for.

As an iPhone game, we realized that people can't/won't sit and punch through a two hour game session, so we've done a lot to make each floor of the dungeon interesting but navigable. The result is each floor is randomly generated and made up of several unique rooms, which fit together like a Legend of Zelda dungeon, so that each room is an interesting experience, rather than one huge floor as a whole.

That way, players will be able to knock out a few rooms, enjoy, and then come back to it later and still have a robust experience.

Today in our development diary we revealed the full list of character classes that will be available in the game, and we're really excited to do so.

We're pretty confident that each character will add a lot to the game in terms of replay value, since each one will play in a uniquely different manner. There's one more side to this, that I wanted to talk about today but I realized we haven't even announced the feature on our own website so I guess I need to give it a little time first. =)

Regardless, we're pretty excited to share the game with folks, and we'll be putting out a lot more info in the runup to launch. I'll try to keep this thread updated, but I'd love it if you guys were to join us at our website, our facebook page or twitter.

Anyway if you made it this far down, thanks for reading! Looking forward to sharing more with you all soon!
06-11-2011, 09:36 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 2,377
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this looks fantastic! can you tell us anything about the control scheme and character classes/development?

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06-11-2011, 10:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Pokke Village, Indonesia
Posts: 1,329
Thread subscribed!! Great work guys!!
I hope gameplay vids came soon

Currently Playing: Crashlands, Pokemon Heart Gold, Digimon Re: Digitize, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd
Officially moved to android
06-12-2011, 12:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 14
Thanks guys, I appreciate the early encouragement! We'll get gameplay video up when beta launches. Maybe later we'll put up some alpha footage just for kicks. =)

But the control scheme is, we think, pretty darn intuitive. Each of the four sides and each of the four corners is a hotpoint, and a tap-and-hold on any of those points gets your character moving. To access your inventory, skills, status and all that other good stuff, just tap your character to open up the Ring Menu, where everything you need is at your fingertips!

As for the characters, the bulk of the info is in our development diary on our website, but here's a quickie:

From left to right, we have the Mage, Gunslinger, Brawler, Thief, Librarian and Undertaker.

The Mage is great with direct damage spells and magic resistance, but weak in a hand-to-hand fight.

The Gunslinger is awesome with ranged attacks, getting an extra bonus with firearms, but probably ought to keep her distance as well.

The Brawler is the total opposite not so great at magic or ranged attacks but his fists pack a wallop, not to mention any other weapon he can get his hands on!

The Thief can steal, and spot traps from a mile away, and can even sneak past monsters without them noticing. At higher levels he'll be all but invisible! Not a bad talent to have!

The Librarian is hardly an offensive powerhouse, but what she lacks in power, she makes up for in brains. She can identify equipment without having to use up a magical card, or even worse (and more dangerous!), guessing. Even still, her journey will be a tough one!

Finally, the Undertaker can manipulate life energies, and sap her victims stats and add them to her own. Moreover, she can summon creatures and bend them to her will!

So that's player classes. There is one more surprise that I can't wait to tell you about, but we've gotta officially announce it on our site first. =) This week, we'll put it out there and then I'll bring that update here!

One thing I forgot to mention earlier though. Naturally, Legends of Phantastica will be Game Center enabled, so we'll have leaderboards and achievements and the like. You'll be able to compare your skills against the best players everywhere not only in the Campaign mode, but for the hardcore dungeon crawlers, the never-ending Infinte mode as well!

So, okay. Good stuff. More details soon! Hope everyone's having an awesome Saturday night!
06-30-2011, 04:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 14
Hi all! So gameplay videos will be coming soon, we want to spruce things up a bit and get lighting in place, so it doesn't look so flat. But meanwhile, I wanted to introduce you to one of our big exciting features that we just announced on our development diary.

This is something that we're pretty excited about. We call it the Ghost Swap mode, but maybe we'll change that up. But here's how it works: (and I'm gonna grab this text from our development diary just so I don't have to write it up again.)

Legends of Phantastica: The Clockwork Tower is a roguelike – and as it happens, you are probably going to die at least once or twice. Sorry, it’s part of the challenge! But when you die, your character isn’t lost to the either! He or she can pass into the afterlife on our servers, and we will store your character’s name, stats, equipment and even some last words of your choosing. We’ll even try to determine what kind of alignment you’ve played as, whether you’re nice or kind of a jerk, and store that data too. Now, when someone else is playing the game, they might come across your ghost – and it may be helpful, or it might become another obstacle in their quest to unravel the secrets of the tower.

One special aspect of this, is that a friendly ghost can join up with your character, and you can switch back and forth between your character and the ghost that you’ve met. That way, an errant brawler in need of some magic defense (or offense!) can team up with a powerful ghostly mage, and use her abilities to topple some areas that would normally be a challenge for him!

It’s great fun, and a neat way to play with other players and their characters. We can’t wait for you to try it out and let us know what you think!

Speaking of, we're big on feedback. We just reworked the controls thanks to a lot of feedback we recently got from a local demonstration that we held with our friends at the IGDA Detroit chapter meeting recently. Now you'll have three choices to control the game - a hotpoint-based style, a revised style where every border of the screen is a control point, or you can even have a virtual D-pad if you like that. The choice is yours, and I think that's pretty cool.

Hope everyone's having a great Thursday!

Last edited by cwboyer; 06-30-2011 at 04:32 PM.
07-01-2011, 01:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 575
Liked facebook fan page and looking forward for your coming video!

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08-14-2011, 01:28 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,493
Any news on progress? The developer diary hasn't been updated since June... this one looks promising.
08-14-2011, 05:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 975

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08-14-2011, 05:58 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,556
Could this game have some links to Tales of Phantasia?

Either way, I'm look forward to this (like the multiple classes)