Sunday, May 17, 2020

Super Secret Stretch Goals?!

Project Summary

Welcome to another update from Nox Archaist! We've made solid progress since our last update. All content is now complete. We are now focused on bugs and polishing items identified during content creation. By next update we estimate that we'll either have started final testing or will be very close to doing so!

Project Status


  • Core game engine - Complete!
  • Game box, map, coins, jewel, writ, postcard, artwork, usb - Complete!
  • Double Hi-Res Splash Screen - Complete!
  • Mockingboard beta sound driver and music for town/castle/combat/dungeon - Complete!
  • Quick Combat stretch goal - Complete!
  • Finish creating content (e.g. maps, NPC schedules and dialog) - Complete!
  • Finish writing game manual, do printing - second draft complete
  • Main game boot menu - Complete!
  • Add music to splash screen - Complete!
  • Combat and economy balancing - Complete!
  • Character creation dialog - Complete!
  • Final testing - Starting soon
  • Bug fixes - Ongoing
  • Duplicate floppy disks and usb drives, assemble boxes, ship!



Poll from Last Update

If you missed the previous update, we asked you whether you planned to play Nox Archaist on an emulator, real hardware with floppy disks, or real hardware with a hard drive card. The results are...

Emulator: 12 people
Hardware (floppy): 4 people
Hardware (hd card): 10 people
So that's 14 people on real hardware versus 12 on emulators! Although some of you admitted that you'd probably start on the metal but switch to an emulator for convenience. It's hard to lug your Apple IIe to the local coffee shop...

Super Secret Stretch Goal #1 - Quest Log

A quest log in an Apple II game? Really? Yup. Mark was not sure we'd have enough memory or disk space for this feature so he kept it secret from everyone until just now.

Fear not, Nox Archaist is still a game designed to be played like CRPGs of old, complete with hand-written notes in a spiral-bound notebook. The quest log was layered on top of that gameplay style as an optional tool to help reduce note taking for those so inclined. And, the quest log will not contain any clues that the player did not learn when the quest was acquired. So it's purely for convenience, it does not affect the difficulty of the puzzles in the game.

Please bear in mind, an Apple II quest log is of course much more limited that the quest logs we are used to in more modern games. It tracks major to-do items, not every opportunity for adventure that crosses the players path. That said, there are 50 defined quests which it manages.

Without further ado, here is a sample screenshot:








Super Secret Stretch Goal #2 - Second Save Slot

Things worked out to squeeze in a second save game slot! In CRPGs we've probably all saved the game after a tough battle and then wished we didn't. Now, in Nox Archaist, when you save the game, press 1 or 2 to choose the slot.

Like the quest log, we saw this as a quality-of-life feature that shouldn't detract from the old school nature of the gameplay itself. You certainly don't need to use the two slots, and if you're going for ironman mode, you can try playing the game in one marathon session with no saves at all.


Informal Poll #2 - What's your Class?

Last month's hardware poll was such a success, we're going for another one. So here goes!

Nox Archaist is a class-free system. You don't have to choose a class up front, instead, you build up specializations in different abilities and skills. But that being said, you can still specialize in certain "classes" - if you want to be a fighter, be sure to build up strength and melee skills. Want to be a mage? Better increase your intelligence!

So here's the poll - in RPG's (either computer or pen & paper), what's your favorite class and why? Please leave your answers in a comment below. Thanks, and see you next month!



-Mark, Chris, and the 6502 Workshop team

Website - http://www.6502workshop.com
Discord - http://discord.noxarchaist.com
Twitter - @6502Workshop
Forums - http://forums.noxarchaist.com
Facebook - http://facebook.noxarchaist.com
Kickstarter - http://kickstarter.noxarchaist.com










Thursday, April 9, 2020

Defending the Realm

The Story Concludes

The water slaps against your face. You find yourself clinging to a broken timber, sand and rocks scraping against your battered limbs. You cannot remember the details, but you have a dim recollection of the shock of icy water, finding the floating timber, and the shouts of men surrounding you. As the night wore on, the cries for help faded away.

You crawl ashore, spluttering out sea water, still clutching your knife. Every muscle aches from struggling against the storm. Now, ship- wrecked and bereft of your sword and armor, how can you hope to investigate the Dark Void and destroy the Cult?

Raising your head, you see a figure approach, carrying a glowing torch. As the figure steps closer, you see that the light comes not from a torch, but from the tip of an oak staff. A black robe envelopes the figure, with a low hood that completely obscures the creature’s face. A Cultist? With a cry you struggle to free your knife from the clinging seaweed. As you look up, you see that the figure is simply standing there, holding out their hand. You slowly take the hand and pull yourself to your feet.

As they lower their hood and smile warmly, you realize that even though you swore to defend the realm from shadow and darkness, perhaps you don’t have to do it alone.

(for earlier installments of the story see our posts on Kickstarter.)

Content Creation

We're 98% complete on the content creation:

Villages - Complete!
Towns - Complete!
Castles - Complete!
Keeps - Complete!
Ruins - Complete!
Underworld - Complete!

The remaining items are a few odds 'n ends like tweaks to boss battles, adding damage to certain tiles (not good to wade through lava), and allowing NPCs to be attacked. Yep, everything's fair game, but watch out for the guards (and the brute squad)!


Uharad Keep - Is that Lady Susan and poor besotted Sir Edgar in the courtyard?




Project Status


  • Core game engine - Complete!
  • Game box, map, coins, jewel, writ, postcard, artwork, usb - Complete!
  • Double Hi-Res Splash Screen - Complete!
  • Mockingboard beta sound driver and music for town/castle/combat/dungeon - Complete!
  • Quick Combat stretch goal - Complete!
  • Finish creating content (e.g. maps, NPC schedules and dialog) - 98% complete
  • Finish writing game manual, do printing - second draft complete
  • Main game boot menu
  • Add music to splash screen - In progress
  • Character creation dialog
  • Final Beta testing
  • Bug fixes, combat, and economy balancing
  • Duplicate floppy disks and usb drives, assemble boxes, ship!


What's Next

By the next update we're aiming to have all content complete, be well into fixing all known bugs in preparation for final beta testing, and possibly be started on the main menu and character creation.


Deep in the Underworld can be found the Secret Apple II Testing Lair - Home of Nox Ffred Dragon


COVID-19

We've taken time to asses the risk to the Nox Archaist project created by this unfortunate development in the world. Overall, we think the risk is low, but not zero. A significant risk reduction for the project is that most of the physical materials for the boxed sets were ordered and received months ago, so we’re not as exposed to supply chain problems as we might be. The manual is the only major physical item which hasn’t been procured yet, and it is being sourced through a supplier who does printing locally.

One possible disruption might be getting people together to do the disk copying and final assembly. We all live in different parts of the world and travel is of course an unknown at this point. Whatever happens, know that we will do everything we can to navigate through the obstacles as quickly as practical and we will of course provide updates as things unfold.

Other Projects

This Kickstarter for a clear case Apple IIe or IIGS caught our eye - Mark and Chris have already backed it. Imagine that clear case computer running Nox Archaist!

Poll

We'd love to know if you plan on playing Nox Archaist on real hardware or emulator and if real hardware whether you plan to play on floppy disks or a hard drive card (CFFA, BOOTI, etc). Nox Archaist will support all of these platforms. We're just curious to know what the current state of retro gaming is in this regard.

If you're up for sharing, please post a comment!


Until next time, stay healthy and safe!


-Mark, Chris and the 6502 Workshop Team

Website - http://www.6502workshop.com
Discord - https://discord.gg/kwcFxVp
Twitter - @6502Workshop
Forums - http://forums.noxarchaist.com
Facebook - http://facebook.noxarchaist.com
Kickstarter - http://kickstarter.noxarchaist.com











Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Nox Archaist on Discord!


We invite you to join our Discord server!





Check out the sneak preview screenshots of our new castle we posted in the Ye Olde Pub channel!



Mark Lemmert & the 6502 Workshop Team

Website - http://www.6502workshop.com
Forums - http://forums.noxarchaist.com
Twitter - @6502Workshop
Facebook - http://facebook.noxarchaist.com
Kickstarter - http://kickstarter.noxarchaist.com
Discord - https://discord.gg/kwcFxVp











Saturday, January 18, 2020

Nox Archaist Live Stream! (Sunday, January 19th)

Jarrod Kailef of 6502 Workshop and Kailef Dragon of the UDIC, will be hosting a live stream of the current pre-alpha build of Nox Archaist tomorrow, Sunday, January 19th at 1 PM Pacific time!


Come check out some of the awesome content and gameplay that we’ve created since our Kickstarter last spring!

Click here to watch.

If you visit that link early and “follow” Jarrod's Twitch account, you will get a notification when the stream goes live!"



Mark Lemmert & the 6502 Workshop Team

Website - http://www.6502workshop.com
Forums - http://forums.noxarchaist.com
Twitter - @6502Workshop
Facebook - http://facebook.noxarchaist.com
Kickstarter - http://kickstarter.noxarchaist.com

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Nox Archaist Target Release Date

Target Date


All of us here at 6502 Workshop hope that you all had a great holiday season! We look forward to the new year and putting Nox Archaist in your hands. On that note, as we draw closer to release, we've gotten a much stronger idea of when we'll be able to ship the game. We have every major remaining step defined and documented, and will continue to give you regular progress updates. 

The team is fully committed to spending the time necessary to realize the vision of Nox Archaist, and to do so without cutting corners on quality. It has always been our plan to produce a game that looks and feels like what you would have purchased off the shelf at your local computer store in 1990. If the legendary game developers of that era had continued to produce AAA-level RPG games for the Apple II, you would have found something like Nox Archaist!

Based on the scope of the remaining tasks, we estimate that our target release date is August 2020 (see below for details). 



Project Status


The core functionality of the game engine is complete. We occasionally add code in order to create  scenarios for specific quest lines or in a few cases adjust feature code to better align with the content. 

We are confident that the vast majority of the technical risk is behind us. The road map to completion is clear:

  • Core game engine - Complete! 
  • Game box, map, coins, jewel, writ, postcard, artwork, usb - Complete! 
  • Double Hi-Res Splash Screen - Complete! 
  • Mockingboard beta sound driver and music for town/castle/combat/dungeon - Complete! 
  • Quick Combat stretch goal - Complete! 
  • Finish creating content (e.g. maps, NPC schedules and dialog)
  • Finish writing game manual, do printing
  • Main game boot menu
  • Add music to splash screen
  • Character creation dialog
  • Beta testing
  • Bug fixes, combat, and economy balancing
  • Duplicate floppy disks and usb drives, assemble boxes, ship!


Content Creation

We're 70% complete on the content creation. Here's an outline of what's left:

  • Villages - 4 remaining
  • Towns - 1 remaining
  • Castles - 1 remaining
  • Keeps - 3 remaining
  • Ruins - Complete! 
  • Underworld - 0.5 remaining

For context, a great deal of time was spent creating the engine and also scalable content development tools and processes. We've only recently reached peak efficiency for creating content. 

Content Samples


Ghrodwir is the mountainous home of the dwarves of Wynmar. Like other towns in Nox Archaist it has it's own unique style and personality.

Bayport is a bustling port town on the Siderean sea:





















Nox Archaist Live Stream!

Jarrod Kailef (your very own Kailef Dragon of the UDIC) will be hosting a live stream of the current pre-alpha build of Nox Archaist on Sunday, January 19th at 1 PM Pacific time!


Come check out some of the awesome content and gameplay that we’ve created since our Kickstarter last spring! 

Click here to watch.

If you visit that link early and “follow” Jarrod's Twitch account, you will get a notification when the stream goes live!"



Mark Lemmert & the 6502 Workshop Team

Website - http://www.6502workshop.com
Forums - http://forums.noxarchaist.com
Twitter - @6502Workshop
Facebook - http://facebook.noxarchaist.com
Kickstarter - http://kickstarter.noxarchaist.com