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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsStone Story RPG
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standardcombo
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« on: July 29, 2014, 03:03:44 am »




*Updated Aug 31, 2017*

VISIT STEAM PAGE




Stone Story is an RPG set in a dark and vile world. The game's fluid ASCII art is painstakingly animated in plain text by a single insane game developer. Currently in closed alpha, the game features 8 locations to explore, each with an epic boss fight, mind-blowing ASCII cutscenes and plenty of loot to discover. Much more content is planned once the project reaches beta.

In Stone Story you don't control the main character directly. You tell it which items to wield and what location to explore and an artificial intelligence takes care of all the combat and looting. That doesn't mean this is an idle game. Potions and special abilities are maximized by good timing, while boss fights can require quick item swaps if their pattern changes. An expansive item crafting system allows you to combine otherwise disposable items--rewarding experimentation and making full use of all the gathered loot. The casual play contrasts with the retro visuals, creating a unique experience that blends nostalgia with modern design principles.

Stone Story will be published on the web, Win, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.
Initial language support will be English, Portuguese and Chinese, with more added later.

Sign up for the mailing list to get important updates, such as when the game is released!

See the game's Steam page.

Press Kit here.






The game is instantly recognizable by its unique visuals. Its characters, environments and items are all richly animated in plain text. In this ASCII style, the artwork is constructed entirely of keyboard symbols, such as parenthesis, hyphens and commas. The artwork is rendered in greyscale with a fixed-width font based on Courier Sans. Some color is used to highlight important gameplay elements in an otherwise black and white world.

I studied classic animation decades ago, yet only began studying text-based art in 2013. I draw inspiration from artwork done mostly in the 90s, continuously improving the minimalist line-art style you see here. One of my goals with Stone Story is to show what is possible with ASCII art. Much more is possible still.

I care a lot about user experience and try to make games that can be played by anyone, at their own pace, with as few instructions as possible. I believe games are fun because they teach you something.

Throughout the devlog I cover the artwork process and discuss the game design as it evolves, if you dare to dig through 2+ years of work!



























Stone Story in the News

Pocket Gamer - Aug 28, 2015
Rock Paper Shotgut - Sep 7, 2016
Indie Nova - Oct 29, 2016
Top Shelf Gaming - Nov 17, 2016
Kill Screen - Nov 22, 2016
Gaming On Linux - Feb 13, 2017
Niche Gamer - Fev 17, 2017




Try the particle system demo (requires unity plugin)



Pyramid Builder

Can't wait for an awesome ASCII adventure? Play Pyramid Builder, my first Ludum Dare entry in August 2016. It's not as polished as Stone Story, but it's a complete experience and was made in about 60 hours. When I saw the theme for this game jam I had a fun idea and took a break from Stone Story to put it together.

Pyramid Builder is a God-simulation and resource management game where your goal is to grow a small civilization, strengthen your fleet of delivery boats, and build a pyramid in the least amount of days possible.

« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 10:42:34 pm by standardcombo » Logged

8-Bit Ape
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 04:10:51 am »

Great to see some more of your work. I've been enjoying your posts in Indie Game Developers.

Are you going to stick with the same two tone colours? It's very striking. I've also been using a limited palette of colours in the game I'm working on. Definitely helps give it some character.

Looking forward to your updates!
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standardcombo
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 10:11:51 am »

The game is mostly white on black or black on white, changing between those two to represent night and day respectively. At the moment I'm using 4 tones between black and white. The two grey levels have proven useful for toning down the backgrounds, so the character, pickups and enemies stand out. The palette supports 64 colors and due to the nature of the game some things may become colored later. Additionally, I'm playing with the use of red for specific UI cues to solve locations where users are having some difficulty understanding (e.g you don't have enough resources to buy something).
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 10:14:59 am »

How will you approach sound?
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standardcombo
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 10:20:41 am »

How will you approach sound?

I'm not sure yet. In the current design the beginning of the game has no sound, then sound begins as part of your progress.

In terms of style, it would have to be chiptune/square waves but I haven't done any pre-production on that yet.

To match the quality level of the visuals, there would have to be sfx for all actions, cues, for each enemy and item.
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standardcombo
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 12:01:29 am »

In the last couple of days I've focused on the weapons system. Had to rewrite a bunch of stuff, and still changing all the UI to catch up but its pretty cool now that you can equip various things onto either the right or left hand. This will pave the way for the game's itemization and I am even considering making the whip a player item. Once this system is complete it should be very fast to add new and interesting equipment.

Equipment plays a role not only in combat, but also some hidden secrets throughout the game are only triggered if you are using the right equipment at the right time.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 01:55:53 pm by standardcombo » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 02:47:17 am »

This looks really cool!
I'm looking forward to more, I'm following this.
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standardcombo
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 12:25:17 am »

Made this in homage to the game that got me interested in ascii art



Still neck-deep in UI rework. Transitions always give me a hard time.
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 01:48:46 am »

Usually I'm not a big fan of ascii graphics, but the way you bring them alive with your animations is awesome! Will follow. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 07:54:43 am »

I've been seeing your stuff in one of the art threads. You absolutely must make this game come true. ASCII is happiness. ASCII is life. ASCII is god. No, seriously, these animations are bad ass.

I'm now monitoring this thread Blink
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ndke
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 08:17:14 am »

Awesome animation, it's really cool!
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jctwood
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 08:22:17 am »

These animations are absolutely incredible! How do you create the animations?
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jiitype
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 08:38:57 am »

Aww, those animations are really charming.
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Kurt
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 09:08:12 am »

I don't think I've seen anyone make ASCII look as nice as you have. Smiley
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standardcombo
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 02:45:42 pm »

Thank you all for the support! I will finish this game, hopefully by the end of the year.

I just type the animations into a text file and iterate on them until they're good. Eventually I'll make a tool, but i've tried some tools out there and typing is still faster. The only downside is that it's impractical to include meta data such as colors.
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standardcombo
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2014, 04:36:39 pm »

Yay, we're approved for Wii U development Smiley
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ndke
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2014, 02:31:43 am »

Awesome :D
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standardcombo
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2014, 11:14:44 am »

Was waiting for the Comcast dude to fix my internet

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s-spooky g-g-ghosts
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2014, 11:19:48 am »

Clearly bats. Do you have any previous experience with ASCII or is this your first shot?
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2014, 11:33:38 am »

Cool. The idea for the game sounds interesting and calming. Following!
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