Inspired by Ultima: Epica Rex (Update: Now on Indiegogo!)

Epica Rex is a proposed isometric multiplayer RPG, currently attempting to raise development funds via KickstarterIndiegogo. The developer describes it as being inspired by Ultima (Ultima 8 and Ultima Online in particular) and Minecraft, and the final result he is hoping to achieve is a hybrid of the play styles of those games.

Once developed, players will be able to download both the client and server software; hosting your own game is highly encouraged! The game is being developed using the Unity engine that has become increasingly popular of late, although the 3D capabilities of the engine are not being taken advantage of in Epica Rex; the game will be built using a 2D toolkit that runs overtop of the Unity framework.

You can check out more information about the game at its KickstarterIndiegogo page, and I’ve also added a download link for the client/server tech demo that the developer has released to the newly-created project entry I set up for it at the Inspired Works subdomain.

The First Age of Update: Gary Blauvelt has moved the fundraising campaign for Epica Rex away from Kickstarter and over to Indiegogo, which offers (among other things) longer campaign terms (you can now contribute to the game right up until the end of February), payouts for only partial funding, and PayPal support.

20 Responses

  1. Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

    From the “character sprite sheet” image on the Kickstarter page it appears as though permaunderwear is in full effect. I find this unacceptable.

    • Don’t read ahead. There are nude bits. The ones shown on the sprite sheet are the adjustment models pasted so I can fit hats, shirts, pants to the animation states. Though, the nude bits can be controlled by server admins if they want to allow them or not. So if you want to expose your pixelated glory to the world, just join a server that allows it =)

      • Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

        While I was half joking, that’s actually good news. I’ve always found it mildly insulting when games attempt to be realistic but don’t have the decency to treat me as an adult with respect to nudity. Devs have no problem showing decapitation, etc., but god help us if anyone sees genitalia! Thanks for the update and keep up the good work on the game.

  2. BK says:

    Looks interesting though I do not personally Like Minecraft/Dwarf fortress/H&H type of gameplay. I wish there was a project like this (super ambitious) but with more medieval/society based setting, not survival or building. Something which would feature what UO was actually planned for, before it they started to develop it in the wrong way back in 97.

    • I’m not sure what you mean by ‘more medieval/society’ building. The first age “The Archaic Age” is nothing but pure medieval/fantasy. You can even turn off magic if you were looking for something less Swords and Sorcery. As for society building; you and other players can build your own township with owned lands, find wandering NPC’s; recruit them as guards, shop keepers, farmers, gatherers, and even craftsmen. As an administrator you can even restrict building from players, and provide a completely pre-fabbed world with the editing tools and set archetypes skill classes if you want people to fall into certain skill trades.

      Think of Epica Rex as a Multiplayer World Kit.

      Enjoy!

      • BK says:

        Thanks for response but it still isnt this. I mean I would like something Ultima-based, like 4 continents/4 kingdoms in Ultima I Sosaria and each kingdom is basically rival and players can take a part in basically everything: economy, politics, illegal/legal activities (like producing illegal potions or bounty hunting). Something like Origins portrayed UO before it was released. According to videos its more survival/building type of game rather than medieval RPG/economy simulator. I know its still in progress but some cora basics have already been achieved and it doesnt look anything different to me than Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress. Roguelike/constructing type of gameplay.

        Will I be able to stealth somewhere and strike somebody from behind with a daggerr and assasinate him? Doubt it. End of story.

    • Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

      That is an interesting response. How was UO originally planned? Survival and building seem intertwined with the foundations of many single-player RPG “stories”. Most human conflict is born from the protection of or quest for resources necessary for survival (land/shelter, food, water, etc.). Was the original UO concept more “single-player” oriented in the traditional sense (as in ignoring these things)? If UO conceptually diverged from some initial plan it’s worth study.

      • BK says:

        Yes, conflicts, wars. But I was talking about the inner society, the inside view of the City and the townfolk, as UO, not huge countries with population over 5000. Nobody will make the online game (except if its some cheap browser strategy) with real wars over territories, resources etc. Most RPG’s are centred around the small map with its towns, cities, villages, wilderness etc. And this is where all the economy, trading, conflicts, politics are supposed to go…but UO has little of all these features. UO is only centred around mindless PvP/PK’ing and its all about sync dumps and cross heals these days. UO has little to do with how it was planned..to be a fully persistent world with scarcity of resrouces, politics etc. Nothing like that. So what I mean is that there needs to be a great project like this one, with the exception that it will actually make the game like UO was once supposed to become. We do not have the game like this..at all.. Most RPG’s are centred around dungeon farming and/or PvP. There’s no game I described at all. However there are plenty of boring games like Haven and Hearth or Dwarf Fortress where the gameplay is completely focused on building and territory. And its crap. Why you may ask? Cause with 5 players online and the huge world it sounds as funny as playing UO solo, on your own shard. Games like these require huge mass of population, or it should not be called MMO. Unlike pre-made medieval society, where you can live, make forture, die (permadeath) etc.

      • Wow. And I thought I was being ambitious with my dream. You’ll likely never find a game that you’re thinking of. And not because no one will ever design it, but because human nature to not conform to the core ideals of a designed system. People will always find ways to ‘use the system’ even under the most ideal RPG system to get ahead in the path of least resistance.

        Anyway. It doesn’t look like you’ll be swayed by Epica Rex, nor does it look like I should try. But that would be your loss. The tools I will be providing in Epica Rex are pretty much the things you listed that you wished were in a game; the only feature I can’t control is how people use them. I would also like to nip it in the bud that this is not an MMO or an MMO simulator/shard. This is nothing more than a multiplayer game (A multiplayer experience).

        In your lifetime; you will probably never see a game with player made towns of 5,000 people (Players or NPC’s). One, managing people to conform like that would be an anomaly; and more than a full time job rather than fun; Two, the technical aspects in regards to having thousands of people (PC’s or NPC’s) in a single area would not be easy to handle. With NPC’s you could probably fake some things, but they would be rather boring (ala Two Worlds – And that was done with a large team of developers).

        As far as wars over territories, over limited resources? Hmmm, yeah. Epica Rex will have this built into it. Resources are not infinite. The world isn’t infinite (just quite large, can be scaled up or down depending on the population you think you’ll get). In fact (as a single example) some of the rarer more useful resources such as a type of energy crystal will only spawn in a certain type of desert of which only one of these deserts will exist in the world. So players will have to find said desert. Be able to survive in the desert. And then defend the resource from anyone else trying to capitalize on it (should they want a strict monopoly). Other resources such as iron, copper are not some sort of renewable spawning resource. You’ll need a pretty good surveyor (to locate larger veins and then a miner to get at the iron and extract it). Which is unlike Minecraft where iron is just laying all over the place for everyone.

        In your other response you mentioned being able to sneak into a place and assassinate someone? Yeah. Epica Rex will have that too – both against players and NPCs. Assassinating a player who is the leader of an alliance or group has consequences for that group (and that player). Assassinating an NPC leader will stop marauders and raids that they establish from their base of operations.

        I’m really not sure what you’re looking for BK – but good luck in your search. Epica Rex is a multi-player driven experience and RPG that people can customize to the nth degree on how they want their world to appear and be run. It has a lot of influences, but don’t assume it will clone those influences.

      • BK says:

        I am not really sure what was the purpose of your novel. I think I clearly stated I am NOT interested in the 5k ppls strategy game with micromanagement/world building gameplay. I am down for full RPG experience, something like early Ultima games were BUT, with the exception that a player can take ANY role in the medieval/fantasy society. In Ultima you were either the Stranger or Avatar whos goal was either kill a bad guy or do some other quest. In my vision the “perfect” multiplayer game must gift players the ability to be and play anybody..something UO tried to give, but most players ended up being grifers/seekers of PvP. In other words, I am not lookign to build worlds and watch how NPC’s wonder around this world and moderate/manage/construct it. I am looking to be a part of society and do whatever I want, even if its not written in the manual, it does not mean it can be featured in game (*picks a candle* *lights a torch* *throws a torch into the stack of hay* *walks away*)

        I wish you good luck with your project though as I said before, I am not fan of building/management games. I’d rather wait for another UO-like masterpiece to come out. I am sure you are doing a great job and I wish you all well though I am just not interested in that type of gameplay and I know there aint much players who actually are, except if this is another money-sucking browser strategy, which I cant call a fully standalone game anyways.

      • *facepalm* Stilll…not…just…a…building/management game.

        Well fine. It’s a building/management game.. Good day sir!. =)

  3. Just a heads up. The Kickstarter page will be closed down in the next couple of days. I have moved funding to IndieGoGo instead, and extended the time period for the campaign into Feb of next year. http://www.indiegogo.com/EpicaRex/x/1839560?c=home

    • Jc says:

      Any reason for this (basically a curiosity question: why do you prefer the latter?) ?

      • I actually wish I knew about IndieGoGo beforehand. It has a better rate for ‘funded’ projects (4% take rather than 5% that Kickstarter takes). They offer a flexible system where if you don’t make your goal, you can still use the money raised (but with a 9% take from IndieGoGo). They also offer the option to use PayPal (Kickstarter is Amazon based which doesn’t allow PayPal transactions at all). Plus I wanted a longer campaign, and one that wasn’t in the middle of the holiday season (which is not related to which one is better). The difference is, Kickstarter has a higher profile, and larger user base…which is only useful if you can kick up enough noise to attract the attention. While I have a network of people I can reach, I haven’t fully established enough of a base to kick up the noise a Kickstarter account needs to get attention. And this isn’t to say IndieGoGo doesn’t have a large base, but it doesn’t have Amazon.com behind it either. IndieGoGo works better for me. Wish I had started with it instead of interrupting the campaign.

        LOL. Regardless, still moving forward with the project and hope to have the new engine up and running a little after New Years.

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      Thanks for the update…I’ll post an update and make the necessary changes.

    • Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

      My only advice to you is to be prepared for failure in that you should expect to complete the game without significant crowdfunding. Despite the recent craze, the best games, game concepts and most-needed ideas are ignored as the general public has no imagination and you/I/we don’t have the marketing savvy to feed it to them properly. I know that sounds really cynical, but I believe it to be generally true. -Any- money raised is a success, so I agree with you that IndieGoGo is the better choice despite the inherent reduction of potential exposure. How much you make relies almost exclusively upon your marketing skills and time dedicated to it.

      I wish you the best, but even in a market shifting toward indie successes it is a damn tough time for everyone. On a personal note, my greatest fear is that even if I realize my game perfectly no notice will be taken. Many great artists fail to engage people until long after their demise, should their work even remain ’til then. This is the sad way of the world, yet the occasional success keeps our hope alive.

      • I will trudge on even if I fail to reach the total goal. I won’t be as well equipped and be able to get things done as fast I would like in that case; but it wont deter me. My only advantage I have is the networking I’ve been establishing over the last two years what with the minecraft community, Machinima, and of course my boss who has his foot in the door of a few folks who may listen.

        One of the behind the scenes reasons why I moved to IndieGoGo was because I needed to extend the campaign to a period after the holiday. All of the advice I was receiving (of course after the fact) was not to do it during the holiday season. And it would give more time for me to produce a larger demo more on par with my final vision (the tech demo was quickly written and didn’t feature as much as I would have liked). So now in the background, I’m coordinating with some larger YouTubers from Machinima to get the word out.

        This too may fail, even with the target crowd on YouTube of about ~400k if you average the subscribers. The game may still fail to connect with all of their audiences because it may be ‘too retro’ or not simple enough for people to grab a hold of. They may just not like the genre, or mock it as a minecraft clone (which is most certainly isn’t – but I find people are quick to jump the gun on that one when I have looked at other projects). But even if I can get 1% of the total subscriber base interested, the project will get funded. Right now it’s all about making sure people hear the words ‘Epica Rex’ – creating that vibrating ring of buzz words.

        With all that said, and even with the networking and even after the hard work; I’m prepared for the eventuality that it won’t work out. I’m prepared to hit this funding campaign a couple of times, even if the first fails.

        And if it does fail… disappointing sure, but life will go on and I’ll probably still work on it as a hobby.

        I was looking at your project Sanct, and it looks pretty keen and truly a labor of love! And if you need help in anyway that I can provide, let me know. Part of success is the networking.

      • Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

        Well that’s really good to hear. When reading about your project I felt it had some overlap with the general spirit of my own (though our approaches are radically different). A couple of years ago I had a Kickstarter campaign which failed badly, leaving me disillusioned and full of self doubt. In retrospect I largely understand why it happened, but you never really forget the taste. Thus I have the propensity to caution those pursuing that path, especially when I feel anything like empathy for them.

        Thanks for the compliments on my project. The journey’s been a roller coaster of exhilaration and fear, the latter often due to the scope of my objectives threatening to extend beyond my ability to implement them. Feels like a miracle in progress at times, like I can’t believe I’ve actually gotten this far.

        Also thanks for the offer of help. To make a successful game these days you pretty much have to either hire many specialists or literalize the “all” in Jack of all trades. I can do design, programming, graphics, music composition and hardware, but when it comes to guys in suits or marketing I fall on my sword every time. And the suits and marketing are the usually the last bridge between a good game and a popular one, even for indies. For now let’s keep each other within bowshot and continue the journey onward.

      • I have mixed feelings on what would happen if I didn’t make the funding. On one hand, I’ll still have what I have been working on – it’ll just take longer – and I’d try again. On the other hand, I think – If I didn’t make it this time, what would change the next time around.

        The key bonus is the community I work with already is pretty supportive. But it’s also sometimes like herding cats and I need to constantly prod them into action. Very few take any initiative on their own. I don’t blame them though on that account, it’s not their baby or is it a critical invention that is essential for life. But once I rile them into action, they seem to go along with the flow, and it seems to be building up more and more as I continue to pitch it. I’ve been trying to sew together smaller communities with larger ones, giving them boosts with my own community. You’d think that with 2k followers on Twitter, and 12k subs on YouTube, that you’d get more than a couple dozen people into it. But …cats… herd. Yeah. LOL

        Then is the worry that a retro-style 2D game wont appeal to many people. Those that like the idea are in love with the concept and the tech demo. Hopefully I can change more minds in the next month when I release a testable version more in line with the final game. But the style may not suit the mass audience.

        Time shall tell!

        Take care =)