Restless Ground

Gameplay gif2 (June 10 2017)

STATUS: Abandoned

PLATFORMS: iOs, PC, Mac… probably

Overview

Restless Ground (working title) is a match-3 game with RPG elements. Unlike other match-3 games, I wanted the puzzle component to make physical sense in the game world… so it represents the earth below your heroes’ feet.

Your playable heroes (or anti-heroes) are undead warlords hell-bent on revenge against their tormentors. Heroes can use their powers to swap and match tiles. Different tiles will have different effects; some will give you crafting resources, some will heal you, but most importantly, bone tiles can be combined to create skeletal minions to protect heroes from angry villagers. These, combined with a growing arsenal of deadly spells and skills, are the tools of your trade. Your trade is mayhem.

Combat takes place on a thrilling one-dimensional plane. As the guardians of your persecutors appear, you must strike them down to make it to your goal. As you defeat wave after wave, you’ll eventually be worn down, and die (again). In this state, you can develop your abilities and forge new demonic items.

Every time you rise from the grave, you’ll be more powerful than ever. But so will your enemies.

Rinse and repeat. Defeat powerful bosses. Exact revenge. Etc.

For updates, ramblings, rants and pedantry, read the devlog.

Features

(Numbers are subject to change and expansion)

  • 4+ playable characters with unique skills and ability curves.
  • ~9 summonable skeletons
  • ~4 game levels with endless stages
  • ~50 skills in ~10 schools
  • ~50 unique enemies to vanquish, including 13 mighty bosses, all with unique spells and effects
  • Thousands of procedurally generated weapons
  • A thrilling story. Probably.
  • 1 exciting dimension of battle

Art

I’ll be the first to admit my limits as an artist, so I’ve gone with a simplistic pixel style. By restricting myself to a slightly-expanded Pico8 palette and using repeated, simple elements, I feel like I’m able to deliver a game that is… if not beautiful… at least consistent and not-ugly.

Influences

1000000

I picked this up on a whim a couple years ago. I kinda hate dumb puzzle games, so I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. It, and its sequel You Must Build a Boat, are definitely what got my thinking about using the puzzle game mechanic in a more physical way.

Diablo 2

Remember when RPGs used to be hard and didn’t let you have any respecs? I loved that about Diablo 2. It really hit the sweet spot between being approachable and having to make mathy choices that really mattered.

Candy Crush

I only played this game for 15 minutes. I didn’t like it. It’s not for me. But whenever I’m on the bus, I can look over and see someone… SOMEONE… crushing candy. I figured if I made a game with that sort of interaction, minus the freemium trash and plus a coat of spooky paint… people might enjoy it.

Tools

Unity (C#) as the game engine
Aseprite to make sprites and animations
WMHelp XMLPad to edit XML
Excel/Google Sheets for balancing/prototyping mathy stuff
TBD for music/sound

Plot

TBD. Probably something occult and revengey.

Current State

Most of the game’s systems are in place and working (more or less). Now I am focusing on tweaking systems, finishing UI, writing a storyline and creating content.