Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Nox Archaist featured in Open Apple podcast - April 2017

Check out the April 2017 Open Apple Podcast!

This episode has an interview with Mark Lemmert, co-founder of 6502 Workshop. The first hour of the show is loaded with information on Nox Archaist including the current status of the game, hints at game content and the backstory on its development.

This episode also talks about Woz, Light Cycles 3D, SFX Audio and more.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nox Archaist S1E2 Part 1: Cow-A-Pult

Nox Archaist is a new role playing game in development by 6502 Workshop exclusively for the Apple II platform and emulators, with both floppy and hard disk support.

Check out our latest mini story using the Nox Archaist engine to demo the newest features in the game:

The Nox Archaist story line is still under development. Any names or characters used in these mini stories are not intended to depict real or imagined NPCs, events, or bovines in the actual game. Any similarities are coincidental.

Nox Archaist S1E2 Part 1: Cow-A-Pult

In the last episode the wizard Ojithar warned us that the nearby ruins contain a great evil. Of course that's where we are headed, there's bound to be treasure! 

New game play elements to look for in this video include:
  • Combat Scenarios
  • Spellcasting Special Effects
  • New Tile Graphic Animations   
  • NPCs Outside of Towns

Watch for more details in the next issue of Juiced.GS

About Nox Archaist
Nox Archaist, by 6502 Workshop, is a 2D tile based fantasy RPG with a classic Apple II look and feel. Our mission is to develop a modern evolution of the Apple II RPG genre, while exploring how gameplay might have advanced in tile-based RPGs if large scale development had continued on the Apple II platform after the 1980s.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Nox Archaist featured in Open Apple podcast - March 2017

Check out the March 2017 Open Apple Podcast!

This episode has an interview with Craig Peterson, who got involved with hardware and software development very early in the life of the Apple II, info on KansasFest, and mentions recent Nox Archaist news at 00:54:45.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Nox Archaist on Twitter!

We are excited to announce that progress updates on Nox Archaist are now available on Twitter!

In addition to our regular blog posts you can check out new Nox Archaist artwork, game features, and more on the @6502Workshop Twitter feed.

If you have any suggestions on Twitter content you'd like to see, or suggestions anything in Nox Archaist, please feel free to contact us on Twitter.

Thanks for your support of the Nox Archaist project!

Mark & Mike

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tech Talk: NPC Pathfinding in Nox Archaist: Part IV

In an earlier blog post about the A* based algorithm we developed in Nox Archaist for NPC pathfinding, we challenged readers to solve the following puzzle and promised to publish the solution.

How does Nox Archaist enable NPCs to navigate around dynamic obstacles like the player and other NPCs even though paths are calculated in advance rather than every time the NPC moves?

For NPCs in transition from one map location to another, the Nox Archaist movement manager will select a move from the precalculated Nox A* path only if the path coordinates are not blocked. If the path coordinates are blocked, then the movement manager identifies the next unblocked path coordinate and uses a simple flocking algorithm to select the next move. The next unblocked path coordinate is the flocking point. 

The flocking algorithm determines the direction of the flocking point relative to the NPC, without considering obstacles. For example, if the flocking point is to the west, then the NPC will move west. If the flocking point is to the northwest, then the NPC will move either north or west, determined by a random number. If the move is blocked, then the NPC moves in a random direction and will try again next turn.

Since flocking algorithms are very simple, it is certainly possible for a NPC to wander off and not find its way back to the Nox A* path. We’ve found that this is unlikely because single tile obstacles like the player or another NPC are pretty easy to navigate around. In the rare cases where an NPC does get a bit lost, we expect this behavior will add some life to the game and keep the player on their toes.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

What is the status of Nox Archaist and what will the game be like?

By Mark Lemmert

What We've Done So Far

Developing Nox Archaist over the last year has been an exciting experience. In this time the project team doubled from two people to four. Much of the game engine was completed, including fundamentals like map movement, towns, NPC conversation, and day/night transitions. Dynamic features new to Apple II RPGs were developed such as swimming, horse jumping, tall grass where mobs can hide, and many more which we’ve saved to surprise you in-game.

Thank you very much to all the retro computing fans who have taken the time to post a comment. We really enjoy hearing from you!

Current Status
  • Programming for the Nox Archaist combat system is about half way done with the remainder mainly relating to enabling additional features. We have a proof of concept where up to 6 player characters can wage battles with multiple mobs using their wits, weapons, and spells. If that's not enough, you'll be able to summon allies to join the fray.
  • Dungeons are operational and we are currently working on completing that tileset. Artists Bill Giggie and Robert Padovan are using their years of experience as professional graphics animators in the movie industry to tackle this challenge and many others.
  • Rough schematics are complete for the inventory and merchant transaction systems. Just add programming :-)

Soon Nox Archaist will have a fully functional game engine and we expect to be ready to showcase additional features by this spring. At that point the team will shift focus to designing the Nox Archaist game world and story line.

What Will the Game Be Like?

Our development approach has been to build the game engine first, then tell the best story possible using the feature set we created. This method has been passionately espoused by Lord British himself on several occasions including the Book of Ultima and various interviews.  

With the game engine approximately 75% complete, we have a pretty good idea of the general feel and functionality that will make up the core of Nox Archaist. While these details are subject to change, we thought you might enjoy a glimpse.

Nox Archaist will be a fairly dark game. The powers of good will certainly be present but some of the most notorious bad asses in the fantasy genre will be integral to the story line.  Heavy hitters such as demon lords, death knights, as well as our own blood chilling supernatural creations will be found within. The Nox Archaist game engine has the capability to make their appearance more dramatic than mobs were in 1980s Apple II tile-based RPGs and we plan to push the limits of the platform as far as possible.

One of the most important design elements we are focusing on is the balance between combat and non-combat activities. Personally, I love both tactical combat and a rich story with interesting quests and puzzles. As a result, Nox Archaist will offer a complex story line set in a non-linear world and will feature a comprehensive combat system. In fact, the player will face challenging combat scenarios that will require a combination of battle tactics and clues found within the game to overcome. Quests, puzzles, and combat found in one area of the Nox Archaist world may contain clues relevant or necessary to challenges the player will encounter elsewhere in the game.

Ccmbat in Nox Archaist will take place on the tile grid, enabling the player to make tactical decisions such as:

  • placement spell casters and archers behind fighters. 
  • select a specific mob target for each player attack. 
  • aim area of effect spells at large groups of mobs
  • collaboration between thief/assassin and fighter types for increased critical hit chances.

Combat will offer many opportunities for varied tactics character development. A skill based system will allow the player to guide their character toward a specialty (melee weapons, ranged weapons, spell casting, etc) or blend abilities as they see fit. Damage and hit/miss will be determined by a number of factors including skill, base stats (strength, dexterity, etc), the physical size of the target, and various innate abilities.

Characters will be able to choose separate armor to protect their head, torso, feet, and hands. Lucky adventurers may find gear with magical properties, however be aware that not all enemies will be affected the same way.

While our skill based system provides flexibility to blend traditional character classes, those who enjoy classics such as thieves, assassins or mages will find robust role playing opportunities through skills such as critical hit and through the comprehensive spell effects in the game. Expect to see fireballs explode and lightning bolts fly as spell casters do battle.

These mechanics will be implemented in a way so that combat is not one-size fits all, and players will need to use different strategies and tactics to survive and thrive in the Nox Archaist world. 

Release Date

We are shooting for a release date in 2017. Our team is focused on creating an awesome new Apple II game and I am extremely confident that Nox Archaist will be completed.

Seriously. This game is going to get done. Period. If you haven’t already, check out this post on the Origins of the Nox Archaist Project and you’ll understand why :-)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Unknown Realm - an 8-bit RPG in development for Commodore 64, PC and Mac

There is another 8-bit RPG currently brewing, this one is being developed on real Commodore 64 hardware will also be available on Windows and Mac OS X via a special custom platform. The project looks very impressive so far and we recommend checking it out.

Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous is a new 8-bit medieval fantasy role-playing game that starts out in the 80's for PC and Commodore 64. It is designed in the spirit of classic RPGs such as Ultima & Bard's Tale. Boasting a size of 16Mbits, it is the largest 8-bit RPG to be made on a cartridge ever.

Check out their website at: