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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Termoil, a barely-announced tactical RPG by the maker of Proteus

    RPS just did one of their seminal "Oy boyo! Lookit dere" pieces on Proteus, an ambient musical environment non-game. Ed, the developer, was active in the comments. That made it a perfect time to ask about his next project, Termoil, mentioned in passing in the sidebar of his developer site at Twisted Tree Games:

    "Termoil - (early development) a tactical RPG inspired by XCOM, Blood Bowl, Age of Wonders"

    Inspired by the holy trinity?!?

    I asked Ed to tell us about Termoil. He further describes:
    "Anyway, it’s [going to be] a Tactical RPG ... with some dynamic inter-character plot stuff and an overgame that’s either Laputa, Apocalypse Now or Something Else."

    And he passed on these wonderful screenies:


    These are obviously a work in progress, with sprite in some shots having colors that bleed through their outlines, and in other shots having less shading. But let me just say that I think they look awesome, like little plastic army men vs little rubber monster toys. Yea there's that retro computer look to it, too, but I think that's secondary. The visuals make me feel like a little boy again playing out story lines and battles with my figures.

    Unfortunately, Ed said:
    "But for readability and ease of production, it might regress to looking more like this:"


    I am very excited for Termoil, no matter how far off it may be. Since I love the look of the colored screens and Ed's ambition to make a game that plays like some of the turned-based greats and combine that with an epic storyline, I'd like to hear some other impressions. And especially, I'd like you to agree that Ed should not switch to the regressed mode.
    Last edited by icupnimpn2; 13-06-2011 at 01:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    So...Dofus.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus groovychainsaw's Avatar
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    From what I played of Dofus though, it was nothing like xcom, blood bowl or age of wonders in terms of mechanics (and I found it mostly disappointing). IF those games are the inspiration for the mechanics behind a roving turn-based RPG this could end up being pretty good. Another one for my 'keep an eye on' list :-).

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    Looks pretty interesting. Nice art style.

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    Certainly more games should draw inspiration from blood bowl. Possibly too many draw from xcom.

    No, wait. Too many attempt to draw from xcom.

    Still, I too will be putting a beady eye upon this one.

  6. #6
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    Hello!

    I hear ya on the screens! I'll get back to you later tonight when i have more time to post, just wanted to say that I'm excited that you're excited!

    It would need a bit of tidying up before I share it, but I could post a link to the download for the current build (really just a mechanics'n'interface test) and talk about some of the rationale behind the design. Exciting to have a bunch of XCOM/BB/AOW connosieurs to show it to!

    (PS The colour-bleed one is inspired by '50s pulp comics and would require me to add shader support to the engine to do for real. Not impossible though!)

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    Ed: I really like the third (hand-drawn, big red monster) one. Looks terrific.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed K View Post
    Hello!

    I hear ya on the screens! I'll get back to you later tonight when i have more time to post, just wanted to say that I'm excited that you're excited!

    It would need a bit of tidying up before I share it, but I could post a link to the download for the current build (really just a mechanics'n'interface test) and talk about some of the rationale behind the design. Exciting to have a bunch of XCOM/BB/AOW connosieurs to show it to!

    (PS The colour-bleed one is inspired by '50s pulp comics and would require me to add shader support to the engine to do for real. Not impossible though!)
    Some design document or ruleset explanation or something would be terrific, thanks.

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    OMFG... i like this.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    I wonder why everyone lists X-Com as their reference, and very few list JA2.

    That said, it sounds good, and if we could get a sneakpeek at the ruleset and mechanics, you'll most likely have another pre-order in tow (I don't care for graphics, as long as the UI is clear and usable).
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  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilliput King View Post
    Ed: I really like the third (hand-drawn, big red monster) one. Looks terrific.
    I like the blue guy in the same pic. I imagine he's a member of George Washington's Continental Army.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilliput King View Post
    Ed: I really like the third (hand-drawn, big red monster) one. Looks terrific.
    This is actually the original mockup, so it's the oldest one! I could certainly get back closer to that style, as my main issue with the iso stuff was that it was getting very time-consuming to produce. That simple outline style is much easier.

    My motivation for doing the square-on Laser Squad/Rebelstar style is that it's much easier to make it readable and much easier to produce. I can switch the engine between tilesets and iso/square projections fairly easily, so it might be that I get the rules working in the square version (or an even simpler version) and then convert back.

    I don't have a design doc... or rather I DO have design *docs* - lots of notes and a few online things, but much easier would be to share the build once I've cleaned it up a bit. It doesn't need much doing to it, but I would like to make it a bit cleaner and I don't have much spare time at the moment. Maybe I'll try and squeeze it in this week.

    Regarding JA2 vs XCOM, I guess I preferred the neatly encapsulated missions* in XCOM and the slightly simpler combat mechanics. Didn't dislike JA2, just didn't grab me the same way.
    (* I should say I'm a total sucker for that neat tactical-strategic split as found in XCOM, Total War and Age of Wonders. I just love the way the two halves provide context and support for each other. Magic!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexing Vision View Post
    (I don't care for graphics, as long as the UI is clear and usable).
    Oops, meant to repond to this: I am a total usability whore, so clear and usable UI and controls are very important to me.

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    Inspired Blood Bowl? mmm, I think that is interesting only use all system: injuries, deaths, penalties and glorious skills.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    @Ed K - Sounds good, even though "simpler combat mechanics"... oh well. I'll reserve judgement for later! (The more complex, the better, in my books. Stats, skills, abilities, each of which mechanic- and rule-changing would be bliss!)

    Please keep us up to date! Not interested in betatesting anymore, but I'd definitely love to demo a finished product.
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    Lesser Hivemind Node Spacewalk's Avatar
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    That art style is to die for. The characters remind me of novelty erasers or the little rubber figures you used to be able to get out of vending machines. No problems with readability here, even in the thumbnails I could tell what was what.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Malawi Frontier Guard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed K View Post
    I don't have a design doc
    Good.

    Now get to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dehimos View Post
    Inspired Blood Bowl? mmm, I think that is interesting only use all system: injuries, deaths, penalties and glorious skills.
    Could you clarify? Do you mean I should use the whole blood bowl system (or similar)? I'm certainly planning on doing something very similar for injuries, (perma)deaths, and maybe skills. The part of bloodbowl that I'm not sure I can rip-off (heh) is the tackling dice-roll system, because it's so linked to the american football setting. I'm not sure I would want to rip it off quite that much anyway, as it's so nice and distinctive to that game.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexing Vision View Post
    @Ed K - Sounds good, even though "simpler combat mechanics"... oh well. I'll reserve judgement for later! (The more complex, the better, in my books. Stats, skills, abilities, each of which mechanic- and rule-changing would be bliss!)

    Please keep us up to date! Not interested in betatesting anymore, but I'd definitely love to demo a finished product.
    How simple is too simple? Blood Bowl? Age of Wonders? Those kind of things I'm thinking of, as opposed to Jagged Alliance level of detail. I'd still like to have lots of depth to the combat - my point here is to avoid too much pointless clicking and moving around.
    I have a half-formed theory about this, but I'll save that for a blog post when I resume work on the game.

    @Spacewalk - Thanks! I will definitely go back to that style and refine my process and solve a few graphical bugs. Here's a nice (but rambling) dev article that resonates with this sort of stuff http://altdevblogaday.org/2011/04/25/action-figure-fun/

    @Malawi Frontier Guard - Sure, let me give you my bank details...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed K View Post
    Could you clarify? Do you mean I should use the whole blood bowl system (or similar)? I'm certainly planning on doing something very similar for injuries, (perma)deaths, and maybe skills. The part of bloodbowl that I'm not sure I can rip-off (heh) is the tackling dice-roll system, because it's so linked to the american football setting. I'm not sure I would want to rip it off quite that much anyway, as it's so nice and distinctive to that game.
    Sorry, my english is poor xD

    Blood Bowl is fascinating because your "people" die or lose skills. Today, all games are rewards, achievements, skills, etc.

    In my opinion, a game where players can lose your legs or die (even veteran warriors with multiple skills) is hilarious.

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