Unknown Realm: Lord British Will Appear In-Game
Some exciting news for backers of Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous
— Richard Garriott (@RichardGarriott) December 21, 2016
Congratulations to Stirring Dragon Games; this is a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.
It’s worth noting, as well, that there have been a couple more updates posted to the Unknown Realm Kickstarter page, the first of which answers a couple questions from backers:
First, how many hours of gameplay will this game offer? We estimate this game will have about 40+ hours of gameplay to complete the main plot. This doesn’t include exploring side quests or going back and playing with different characters and skill sets, which will add additional hours of gameplay. The game will also have multiple endings that players can explore.
Second, a lot of our C64 backers have had questions about the cartridge, and specifically, save game functionality. For our PC backers that don’t care about the C64 cartridge you don’t need to read any further. We’ll have a juicy gameplay update tomorrow. 🙂
We initially looked at other cartridge options that were available at the time for the C64 (such as EasyFlash) and quickly ruled those out because they didn’t have the capacity or features to accomplish what we needed for Unknown Realm.
With the size and scope of this game, it became clear the only real solution was to design our own cartridge. Consequently, the design of our cartridge has been integrally linked with our game engine from early on and is not intended to be a general-purpose game cartridge. In fact, the game engine itself has no concept of floppies (or disk swapping) and uses a proprietary file system designed specifically to work with our cartridge.
The most recent update, meanwhile, discusses some of the stretch goals that have been defined for the project:
Additional Tilesets and Seasonal FX
Currently we plan on having over 1500 tiles for the game. However, in the past we did some tests using alternate nighttime tiles and we liked the ambiance they added. Nighttime tiles will enhance the way a player experiences the night and day cycles in Unknown Realm and help reveal things that can only be discovered during the night.
Seasonal FX allow us to have variations on regular tiles such as fall and winter elements, and give us the opportunity to include some environmental fx such as washed out bridges and snowed in areas in the game. The winter season in particular opens up game elements we would like to include such as ice caves and survival components. You’ll also have to figure out how to protect yourself from the winter elements.
Additional Quest Cards
Reaching this goal will provide an additional four quest cards on top of the eight we have included in the budget. The quest cards correspond to actual items, artifacts, or puzzles that you will discover in the game. Unlocking these additional quest cards also means unlocking additional sub quests.
In keeping with the inspiration for these feelies (namely Bruce’s memories of playing old D&D modules like Tomb of Horrors), each one will be illustrated in a traditional pen and ink style. We wanted to incorporate that same kind of tabletop feel into the gameplay and increase the immersion by providing things you can hold and examine to help you solve quests in the game. These may be maps, an inscription to decipher, or a clue to help solve a puzzle. Even though you will be able to look at these cards beforehand, their purpose will only become clear once you uncover their context in the game.
As a reminder, Unknown Realm still has thirteen days (as of this writing) left in its Kickstarter campaign. It has raised $74,257 USD to date, and Kicktraq is still estimating that it will exceed $100,000 USD in total funding.