Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 25, 2011
I’m currently sick with a rather fast-acting cold. As I was still working a bit on Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon through a haze induced by both illness and medication (counteracted – or exacerbated – by a dose of Red Bull), I got decidedly un-productive and decided to make a collage of the maps from the game. Amusingly, in the process of doing so I found a couple of issues I needed to fix (the flaws are still there in this picture, but I’m fixing them for the release).
This image could perhaps be viewed as a spoiler, though not much of one, but if you wish to remain unsullied, don’t look to closely. I think the testers who have already played may have some challenges identifying all the maps at this resolution.
This shows the six “outdoor” areas, which don’t have the same hand-drawn quality as the indoor ones. And as you can see, some of these are vertical maps, as the levels do get pretty vertical. Really, most of these maps have problems being shown in two dimensions. In one case I had to break the dungeon into two areas with two completely separate maps simply because it was too hard to read the layers.
But the maps are really intended to be an aid, and not an exact representation of the level. Secret doors and areas aren’t always shown.
People keep asking: When is the game going to be released? I don’t mean to tease folks with details from a game that looks complete, but never quite deliver. The experience is 10x more frustrating on this end. There are still a few dozen high-priority issues with the game that need to be addressed one way or another, in addition to some more polishing and fine tuning. And the demo has to be finished (which will resemble the pilot). And I still need to finish the manual, the strategy guide, and a bunch of biz / marketing / website stuff.
So that’s a lotta stuff needs to happen, and I can’t nail down when all of these things are gonna come together. But I suspect we’re talking weeks, not days or months at this point.
It’s impossible for me to be unbiased about this game. I know it’s not going to appeal to “everybody” – in fact, it was specifically designed to appeal to a niche. Maybe that niche is only a few hundred players, in which case I really shot myself in the foot. But hopefully there are a lot more of you out there who have (or can have) a soft spot for an old-school style of gameplay that was ridiculously entertaining not that many years ago, but largely abandoned today. And hopefully you’ll find this low-budget, tongue-in-cheek, modern expansion on those concepts to be fresh and lots of fun.
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