Ordinary World: The A.Typical RPG

By Alec Meer on February 14th, 2011 at 7:28 pm.

We sort-of posted about Pyordactyl’s indie opus The A.Typical RPG during that whole Indie Supper-Singing Thing (which we should probably do again some time), but now it’s actually an existent thing, with a demo and everything. Reminder to all indie games – make a demo. It really, really, really, really, really, really helps.

Anyway, A.Typical is an RPG set in the real world, covering student longing, loathing and lodgings. Boss fights against college jocks, dialogue trees about revealing your true feelings for The Girl, levelling up your social abilities – that sort of thing. Scott Pilgrim by way of Kudos by way of D&D, if you will.

The demo is, unless I’m missing something, incredibly brief, but acts as a proof of concept for A.Typical’s unusual combat and dialogue mechanics. The former is, alas, quicktime events. I’m not an objective witness for those, generally loathing them to the pit of my stomach unless they’re within a very closely-aligned context (e.g. Guitar Hero). The fight in here is pretty easy if a bit long-winded, so I don’t know how it’s going to evolve across the game. Conversation I’m more positive about, as it revolves around arranging your attitude in a manner that you think will suitably impress/intimidate/arouse/etc the character you’re chatting to. In the demo build I worry your choices are based more upon not having enough time than they are gauging the other character, but I don’t know the system well yet and it’s obviously a very early version of the game. The concept, I dig – as the game observes, it’s akin to how, in real life, you tailor your manner as well as your words according to what you believe of your co-chatter.

Both conversation and fighting apparently hinge on mental acuity as much as they do stats, so there’s a lot of scope for surprising situations and challenges. Definitely curious to see more, most especially in terms of the actions and consequences of conversation. Though I remain worried by the combat.

What else? The hand-drawn graphics are sweet, the general tone seems pleasantly self-aware and I’m charmed by the promise of applying boss fights and epic quests to every day situations. Obviously, the Pilgrim element is hard to push out of one’s mind, but it’s got its own voice as far as I can tell. The demo’s here, and there’s much more in this here video:

If you’re already so taken with it, you can preorder at Desura for a mere £1.99, or £2.99 for the Extra Cheese With Lightning Bolts Edition, which throws in alternate dialogue options and making of goodies. Also, more info on the official site.

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23 Comments »

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  1. Berzee says:

    “Reminder to all indie games – make a demo. It really, really, really, really, really, really helps.”

    Just so, Academagia!

    Alec Meer, should I play this demo? Should I play it, Alec Meer? QT Events and all?

  2. steggieav says:

    Played the demo and liked it. There’s some things I’m hoping they improved, but I’m considering preordering it. It’s also pretty cheap – about $3.

  3. Scone says:

    Speaking of indie rpgs, any of you played Embric of Wulfhammer’s Castle yet? It’s /u/’s darling and an extremely charming rpg/adventure/sandboxy game (though it’s got some fangs hidden underneath all that fluff and pink lingerie.)

    • noom says:

      Embric of Wulfhammer’s Castle looks rather interesting actually. Giving that a download. Thanks for the tip ^_^

  4. tanith says:

    Oh well. It almost looks like I have to preorder it because I use Linux and we have no games…

    Another lonely Monday. 2 Euros isn’t very expensive, so I might check out that demo. From what it looks like the demo is Windows-only, though.

    • Premium User Badge

      Arvind says:

      Sorry, my bad. Ubuntu got messed up (long story) and I have been meaning to upload a more polished demo soon. DOWNLOAD 10.10 FASTER INTERNETS

    • tanith says:

      Well, it works flawlessly with wine, though.

      Mhm, interesting game. I think I’ll be done for that!

      [edit]
      Especially the mixture between the slow pace of the game itself and the combat and dialogue system is refreshing.
      Not a fan of quicktime events, either but in this case it seems to work pretty well.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Arvind says:

    I have a cunning plan to use feedback from the demo to improve the mechanics and make the game better.

    I agree that the timing in the demo is a bit on the hard side, but the final game will have a difficulty curve that starts easier than the demo. I was worried people would play an easy demo and think the game was too easy. Game development is a double edged sword.

    P.S. I am the guy who is making this game.

    • Berzee says:

      A cunning plan indeed!

      Are you really going to write 16 responses to every step of conversation? That would be amazing, of course, and impressive.

    • Kerbobotat says:

      I have to say, I love it! Going to try the demo now, does the demo include Turn Based Football Battles? because thats what sold me on this game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Arvind says:

      What can I say? I’m nothing without my horde of slave Shakespeares.

      Serious Answer : Yes

    • Premium User Badge

      Arvind says:

      Well, kerbobotat, I suggest playing the demo. All will be explained ;)

    • Berzee says:

      I think most of us would admit to being nothing without our horde of slave Shakespeares.

    • golden_worm says:

      Good though your amassed Shakespeares maybe, I fear they will never live up to the glory of Portaccio!

    • CaptainCarnivore says:

      I found the UI a little confusing at first. The combat screen has a lot of info on and I didn’t know which bit I was supposed to be looking at and when. I didn’t have time to read any instructions before the combat started.

      The conversations suffered to a lesser degree from the same problem, I was clicking the thought bubbles at the top thinking they were doing something. When I realised I had to click the bottom items I wasn’t expecting them to toggle. I don’t really understand why the conversations are time limited (though blurting out something completely stupid by accident is how my real life conversations usually go).

      That said I like it, the dialog is funny and the art style is interesting and fits the context. I’m looking forward to see how it develops.

  6. 8-bit says:

    what kind of cheese, is it Stilton because I don’t like that, also how will the cheese be delivered?

    • Premium User Badge

      Arvind says:

      Metaphorical cheese. Delivered through caustic wit.

    • Premium User Badge

      RQH says:

      SOLD!

      Seriously, though, I’ve had my eye on this one since the Supper-singing article. Very glad to see there’s a demo, though at that price, I am prepared to buy it just on the merits of the above video.

    • 8-bit says:

      well…alright, but it had better be the best metaphorical cheese I ever ate.

      seriously though, a demo and a nice price is the way to every gamers heart/wallet and as soon as I have some money in my bank account in about a week I will probably preorder, always a fan of rpgs that do something a little different.

  7. Nomaki says:

    I’d say the combat bit is a major barrier to me buying this or being interested, but it’s £2/£3.
    I’m going to spend more than that on a twenty minute bus ride tomorrow morning, so it’s a no brainer.

    *Buys*

  8. Squirrelfanatic says:

    I know this is getting old, but…

    Will there be intrusive DRM? Will my computer need to be constantly connected to your warehouse seized servers in order to keep me legitimate to playing your game? How on Earth and in the Heavens will you keep those Pirates at bay? With a scimitar stapled to a shark that’s mounted on a parrot tucked into a cannon?

    Seriously though, there has been a lot of discussion on this topic for a while now. I realise that this might be not much of an issue for you at the moment, but I would be interested in your take on that nevertheless.