Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Indie RPGs: One Goodbye, One Hello

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 26, 2011

Jason Compton recently made it official and announced that he has canceled The Broken Hourglass as a commercial product. I’d heard this off-the-record about a year ago, and by this point most people following the game expected as much. It’s been a long time with little to no updates. While sometimes big delays in updates may only be that the indie in question is up to their elbows in hard work (honest!), going dark for an extended period of time usually means that the project is failing.

This is a bummer. I know Compton has invested plenty of his own money and tons of labor into this project, and others have made significant contributions as well. The idea of an indie building on the foundation of the Baldur’s Gate / Infinity Engine style RPGs was pretty dang appealing. Maybe somebody will pick up the torch. IMO, though, I think at this point trying to do a game like that in 2D, with that level of detail, might be more trouble than an actual 3D game. But that’s just technology.  The actual concepts – turn-based-with-pause combat, party-based, heavy on story, etc. – are still ripe ideas for an indie to expand upon.

I’m sad to see The Broken Hourglass disappear. But with indie games, that’s often as likely as not.

However, as one indie RPG with great potential disappears, another one rises. The Legend of Grimrock is looking pretty awesome at this point. One could call it a Dungeon Master / Eye of the Beholder “clone,” but after a couple of decades it’s really not so much a clone as a modern re-envisioning of the game style.  From the new gameplay video, it looks like they adhering pretty closely to the Dungeon Master formula and style. This isn’t a bad thing.  I’m sure they’ll add their own twists and flavor.

The team, Almost Human Games, includes four experienced mainstream developers, and so far they’ve managed to do an awesome job of marketing and – we hope – putting together a decent game. It’s about time for another dungeon crawler like this! I’m just a tiny bit annoyed that their game is prettier than mine.  🙂

UPDATE: Just as I was publishing this, the Legend of Grimrock website got “slashnotched” – tweeted about by Markus “Notch” Persson.  It may be slow / down for a few hours.


Filed Under: Game Announcements - Comments: 8 Comments to Read

  • Barry Brenesal said,

    “Maybe somebody will pick up the torch. IMO, though, I think at this point trying to do a game like that in 2D, with that level of detail, might be more trouble than an actual 3D game.”

    Age of Decadence?

    I’m really sorry to hear about TBH, too, but they’ve never been very forthcoming with development news. Given Jason’s skill, and his love for BG2, this will count as one of my genuine regrets this year–and I’m sure a much larger one for Jason and his team. Any idea if he’ll be turning to another development project?

  • Modran said,

    /slashnotched… Heh, reminds me of penny arcade saying that they didn’t like linking to a site, because it was like aiming a deathray towards the poor server :).

    I hadn’t heard of TBH. It’s still a shame to see an indie stop.

    I’m a little too young to have had the chance of playing dungeon master, and LoG looks pretty good indeed.

    Get better soon, by the way ;).

  • LateWhiteRabbit said,

    Legend of Grimrock looks beautiful and takes me back to my Eye of the Beholder days. I’ll definitely plan on getting it sometime . . . when I don’t have work or other games crowding the schedule . . .

    After all, Skyrim comes out in 11 weeks. The time until then may be my last productive weeks for the year!

    Answer to the older topic – “Why do so few players finish games?” Not enough time in the day!

  • Broken Hourglass finally breaks @ IndieRPGs.com said,

    […] Rampant Games Blog reports on the death of long-awaited indie RPG The Broken […]

  • mk2net said,

    TBH being cancelled is a huge disappointment. That game’s development website was what got me into the indie scene in the first place (and now most of my favorite PC games are indie’s…go figure). Age of Decadence is definitely still the torch-bearer for isometric RPG fans who want an indie game, but TBH definitely gave off that BG2 vibe that I love so much. I hoped against hope that they wouldn’t cancel it (following that one writer’s blog that gave actual updates), until now. Oh well, another great project bites the dust.

  • mk2net said,

    And speaking of Indie games, Rampant Coyote, do you have a post or anything in the works regarding Bastion? I just completed my first play-through, and it’s awesome. The voice acting is simply amazing…actually, it’s the best I’ve heard in a video game (and the rest of the game is awesome too).

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I don’t have anything in the works on it yet. I haven’t had a chance to play. If you want to a write up on it I’ll post it here or link to it, though!

  • Rats said,

    Grimrock looks awesome!