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I gave this a try I think almost a month ago. Spent a solid 48 hours making a crazy detailed island, then went to add a good storyline.
Sadly the game currently makes doing so impossible. You can't place monsters, you can't make complicated quests, you can't add any real life to the story beyond what you can add via a few lines of text.
It's a brilliant idea, and I really hope it reaches a state where you can make a working rp inside it, but it's not there yet.
This isn't to say it's crap, just a fair warning in what to expect if you want to try it currently.
PS: Please note I said I tried it under a month ago, so things may have improved a bit here and there.
To find an intelligent person in a PUG is not that rare, but to find a PUG made up of "all" intelligent people is one of the rarest phenomenons in the known universe.
Kazuhiro, thanks for your feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to report your thoughts on the game.
Regarding story creation, you can actually do much more than add a few lines of text. Each actor can be given a full dialogue tree, with multiple choices for the player to select. Each choice can branch to other text. In addition, you can set tasks, which also allow you to control your dialogue.
For instance, you can have an NPC (actor) request the player to talk to someone else or go to a certain location. Whether they have accomplished that task can change the dialogue. You can assign tasks with an icon that the player sees (such as a Key labeled "Find the lost key"), or assign "hidden" tasks, which allow you to keep track of progress through the story.
All your actors are "aware" of these tasks, allowing the entire island's population to be scripted to tell a dynamic, interactive story.
You cannot place monsters because creature encounters are controlled by the game logic, per the layout/terrain of your map. That said, this is a good feature to bring up. Do you (and others) think that creature placement would be an important feature?
By the way, even if you never finished your story, please consider logging in to publish your map. Even non-story islands are very fun to explore and clear!
Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!
Making use of Reiner's Tilesets I see. Great place to get decent 2D graphics, all for free. Good luck with your game, I may give it a shot if I ever get some free time.
Originally posted by Unreal024 Making use of Reiner's Tilesets I see. Great place to get decent 2D graphics, all for free. Good luck with your game, I may give it a shot if I ever get some free time.
Indeed! You're the first to notice (and say so). We're a really small operation (you're talking to him), and I was able to license some of the graphics from a couple sources (as credited in the game). I'm not an artist, and I put a lot of time and effort into customizing and integrating them. I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think!
First storybricks, then Islands of war, now this!
We don't even know if this type of game will be successful yet, and there's already 3 companies making the same thing!
Never trust a screenshot or a youtube video without a version stamp!
Originally posted by username509 First storybricks, then Islands of war, now this! We don't even know if this type of game will be successful yet, and there's already 3 companies making the same thing!
That's the excitement of an emerging genre. Island Forge is very different from these other games.
Island Forge is fully playable (now in beta), and we're looking for more island creators and storytellers (as well as adventurers to explore the world).
We're a tiny operation (me), and I've been working on this for quite a while. I've always wanted to provide creative players with the tools for building maps and stories. That's what Island Forge is all about!
Island Forge provides a unique balance of brand-new player-created content and old-school RPG. Have at it!
I'm gonna be honest- progression in this game feels like I'm a rat on a treadmill, endlessly hacking away for some trivial reward rather than roleplaying an adventurer on an epic adventure. I think the main problems with the game are how much work it is just to do the most basic tasks and how agonizingly repetitive the gameplay is.
When I started playing I was pretty confused as to what the heck I aught to be doing, as there was next nothing in the way of a tutorial and the icons used for menus are ridiculously small and unintuitive. After getting my bearings I decided to try to get a set of gear, only to discover that there's no such thing as "shops" or "currency" in this game despite several buildings being misleadingly labeled as such. I was determined to get an axe, as I had set my character build to specialize in them and I did not want to eternally stick with the set of default clothing. But before that, I wanted to try my hand at killing a few monsters.
Combat in this game is simply a matter of moving a few squares in the fog of war until the inevitable mob of monsters bumrushes you, then waiting around for a minute or two until your character slowly whacks them all to death. Repeat this about 20 or 30 times, either until your "health" bar looks like it's about to run out or you've seen the whole map. There seems to be maybe four different mobs in this entire game (with some graphical variations at higher difficulties), all of which do nothing but melee you, so I don't understand how there's supposed to be any strategy here.
In fact, the most complicated thing about this game is the damage formula- it's based on so many bizarre formulas and convoluted statistics that I still only have a vague idea what any of the stats actually DO in this game. Not that it really matters, since you don't have any real options (other than weapon type) for what equipment you get to wear. If you're still determined to get gear like I was, my experimentation showed that armor, shields and weapons tend to provide a significant boost against monsters, while the rest of the equipment was basically useless.
As I stated earlier, to get that axe I wanted it's not simply enough to kill a few monsters, get some gold and buy one in the shop. Instead, you have to collect random materials from monsters which in turn you transform into random production items. I spent ages hunting down the random materials I needed for the production item metal, which of course never showed up until after I had burned through the raw materials from at least four adventures.
During my adventuring, I quickly discovered that the health bar isn't like any other MMO- the minimum health actually goes BELOW 0, to a minimum of -100 before you get killed. The max health is 99, but if you go over that your health bar resets and you go back to 0 again (this is how you get experience points). This means it's important to trade in mats to the healer before any adventure to get this health to go up but not QUITE hit 100 health, otherwise the health disadvantage means you will inevitably get killed trying to explore the entire map. This strategy feels absolutely ridiculous in practice and means players will have less materials for crafting, which defeats the purpose of adventuring in the first place.
When I finally WAS able to craft a piece of metal I quickly went to the weapon shop and was ready to combine it with a piece of wood, only to discover that I needed to use up one of my valuable experience points as well. That's right, the same experience points needed to level up (they are NOT easy to get in this game) are used to make items. I grudgingly said goodbye to character progression in the name of semi-useless gear. But, since I had already decided that at least not running around naked was better than an arbitrary stat boost, I was satisfied with burning XP on basic equipment.
Now I consider myself a patient gamer, but trying to get one simple set of gear REALLY tried my patience. The twentieth time you've inched your way through the same map against the same monsters you start to not look at it with excitement anymore, but with a growing sense of loathing and annoyance. The fact that we have to do this to get ANYWHERE in this game particularly struck me. Do you really think it's too much to ask to have our starting characters do something other than run around in burlap sacks slapping monsters to death? You're telling me we have to spend countless hours grinding against the same monsters over and over again just to get beyond THAT?
The nail in the coffin for me was when I finally finished my set of gear, and I decided to level up. I saved up the 8 XP after more grinding and went to the training center. I got my stat bonus, and I walked out again ready to smash some more monsters... only to discover that ALL THE MONSTERS HAD LEVELED UP WITH ME. Gameplay wise, nothing had changed, except now all my gear does less damage and gives less protection. Meaning I have to do all that grinding all over again just to get back to the point I was beforehand.
As far as I can tell, leveling up in this game is completely useless, and the game does absolutely nothing to indicate this until after the fact. My growing frustration with the game honestly turned to anger at this point. There is something fundamentally wrong with dangling a carrot in front of a player for days on end just to snatch it away when they finally reach that stepping stone of accomplishment.
I can't bring myself to play this game again. I really can't. Sure, there are other maps available, but they do nothing to fix the fundamental flaws in the UI and gameplay. Regardless, here are some relatively simple suggestions I have to make the game at least playable, if not particularly coherent:
1. Replace the buggy, antiquated point and click movement system with arrow based controls
2. Make the movement and attack speed of characters something like twice as fast as it is now
3. Make the equipment menus actually close when you click elsewhere on the screen
4. Give mapmakers the option to add more than one of each building type
5. Give us some materials and extra XP to start out with so we can actually TRY OUT THE CRAFTING SYSTEM before collecting all these mats we don't know what to do with
6. Permanently set the level of novice monsters to 1, average monsters to 2, and expert monsters to 3.
I don't think ANY of this is too much to ask. It doesn't even involve changing the fundamental game mechanics or adding new content, just making player interaction a whole lot less painful. Especially that movement control bit. Seriously, the pathfinding is ridiculously wonky, and I can't make my character run away from monsters without him tripping over his feet every three steps.
Vryheid, while it's clear you're not an immediate fan, I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to detail the reasons why. This is what's great about participating in a small independent game's community. We are open to contructive criticism. Your post is a bit of a rant, but I appreciate that you're passionate and articulate in your feedback. The fact that you became so involved in the gameplay means a lot to us.
There are those who do like the style of the gameplay, but I understand that we're catering to a niche audience, in terms of the style and features. The game world is very open and requires some self-direction. I'm not sure when you played, but the Mainland now features NPCs that assist in guiding new players.
There is no currency as such. Instead, your character must earn XP and craft all items. The combined HP/XP system is unique, and ties experience to heath and items. Equipment is made of crafting materials that you earn on expeditions, along with the character's blood, sweat, and tears (HP/XP). This is an intentional departure from the traditional economic model, and another good reason people like to get involved with independent games. (Note that the economy was recently rebalanced to make crafting easier/cheaper.)
Overall, the game deisgn is intentionally less about character leveling and more about exploration. You are correct that weapons and armor help fight enemies, and the other items (enchnated rings, amulets, charms, gloves, belts, boots, spells, potions, etc) are auxiliary items that boost your ability. For those not into the old-school character system, more stuff generally equals better performance. The Player's Guide explains the numbers for those who really want to tweak out their character.
As you level up, you can wield a larger variety of equipment, to achieve the balance you desire. I understand this is not immediately intuitive, but the balance is there - your higher level gives you more (numerical) range to equip your character. Your "old gear" will actually perform even better when you level up (to a point). Similarly, I agree that when the creatures level up, it seems like you didn't gain anything. Similar to the weapons - the balance is there, but it is not intuitive.
The early game is slow, and I think you're right about either giving new players items to start with, or making the Mainland especially easy just to get started. Once you get over the initial buildup (which, as you discovered, requires you to spend most all of your earnings on healing), you can start to earn items. This is another old-school design balance that many of today's MMO players don't seem to appreciate or have the patience for. Thanks for expressing your experience of the early game. We're open to suggestions to streamline the early game - frustration is not the intent, and we'd hate to lose people just because they didn't immediately "get it."
Regarding technical issues walking around - I'm not sure when you tested this, but there was a Windows navigation bug, which was fixed recently. Thanks for providing your 6-points of improvement, as well. I will be reviewing all of this during beta to help improve the game.
We're hoping to build an intimate community of creative players and I hope you'll continue to be involved as we improve.
Overall, thanks for your input - this is what beta is all about!
Island Forge Beta 2 is released! This update includes significant gameplay improvements, largely based on community input (our thanks to the beta players).
We're excited to welcome new players. Island Forge is more playable than ever (more intuitive interfaces, more help, quicker path to craft weaponry and level up, rebalanced weaponry and creatures). Even if you tried it before, please let us know how you like the updates.
Island Forge is all about your creativity: Create islands and stories for others to explore!
Originally posted by Nyhm Island Forge Beta 2 is released! This update includes significant gameplay improvements, largely based on community input (our thanks to the beta players). We're excited to welcome new players. Island Forge is more playable than ever (more intuitive interfaces, more help, quicker path to craft weaponry and level up, rebalanced weaponry and creatures). Even if you tried it before, please let us know how you like the updates. Island Forge is all about your creativity: Create islands and stories for others to explore! http://islandforge.com
Currently at work, but I'm going to give this a go when I get home! Looks awesome!
Originally posted by anthonyman6 Currently at work, but I'm going to give this a go when I get home! Looks awesome!
Thanks anthonyman6! We're a small operation (me), and we're very appreciative of comments and compliments. I hope to see you in-game sometime.
Update on Island Forge: Beta v0.9.8 released today with new feature: Exploration Medals of Achievement (read more in the player forums).
Many interface, balance, and gameplay improvements have been released already this year. Several folks from the mmorpg.com community have provided really constructive feedback (here and on our forums), and many of the latest updates are a direct result - We really appreciate your input!
We're very excited to have hundreds of registered players, and we're ready for hundreds more. Even if you've played before, you should check out all the recent changes. As always, your feedback is most welcome!
The Island Forge site ( islandforge.com ) is improved, and a new site feature has been added: the Atlas page shows a gallery of player-created islands.
Today I'd like to ask the mmorpg.com community for feedback regarding the site itself. Is it effective/enticing/tolerable? When you visit, do you feel you understand what the game is about? Do you want to play?
Thanks for any input (either here or on our player forums) - I've appreciated this community's responsiveness.
We're looking for more (beta) players to try Island Forge (create your own islands and stories).
Can anyone here recommend other forums with users who might enjoy games based on player-created content? Thanks for any recommendations!
ultima online 3?
Several updates released today (Island Forge Beta v0.9.8.4)! Friend and Chat controls have been improved. One gameplay rule change. Details on the player forum.
As always, new players and comments are most welcome!
New YouTube video posted, showing island editing, simple story authoring, and publishing your islands to the world (and brief gameplay).
I captured this as one continuous shot to show off how quickly players can edit and publish player-created content to the world, then jump right in and play it.
I'm sure the folks here watch countless MMO video clips, so I'd welcome your constructive input. What other videos would you like to see? What should I cover to better explain Island Forge?
Thanks for checking it out! Also please consider liking Island Forge on Facebook.
EDIT: Updated the Video URL - now with a keen score by Joel Day!
I like the game, buuuuuut when making some actors I had trouble sorting through the character models. If you could somehow label them it would make sifting through the menu a ton faster and easier.
Yes I played SWTOR.
Originally posted by HauvarnI like the game, buuuuuut when making some actors I had trouble sorting through the character models. If you could somehow label them it would make sifting through the menu a ton faster and easier.
Thanks for the input, Hauvarn. The reason I didn't name the actors was to prevent implying what they were for (so the author wouldn't think they could only be used in a certain way). That said, I see exactly what you mean, and I'll make a task to improve the actor lookup.
They could be displayed like the terrain and scenery, in a categorized tree. Would that be better, or is it easier to see them all at once, without having to open/close parts?
Have you published your island yet? I look forward to checking it out!
Originally posted by Nyhm Originally posted by Hauvarn I like the game, buuuuuut when making some actors I had trouble sorting through the character models. If you could somehow label them it would make sifting through the menu a ton faster and easier.
Haven't published it yet, been busy. I got to the point to start placing the actors but I could barely make out what each one so I just ended my session there and haven't had the time to pick it back up. Tomorrow will definately see another sit down to finish up my island. One other minor thing I noticed was with the rectangle style of placing terrain does not go up or to the left, only down and right. It isn't a big deal but I sat for around 30 seconds not knowing what was going on lol.
I think if you displayed them in a categorized tree would do wonders for people who have a hard time picking them out.
Hauvarn, I agree - the rectangle tool should really work in both positive and negative directions. I've added a task to improve that. I might not be able to get to this immediately, but I certainly appreciate your input!
We've been excited to have so many players register so far during Beta. Now you can help support this single-developer indie game by Subscribing During Beta!
Many MMO titles have huge budgets and require thousands of players to thrive. Island Forge is designed for a modest community of creative players who enjoy a world of player-created content. Each and every person who subscribes is important to us, and your support is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your interest in Island Forge!
Fantastic game, I'm already a fan!
Originally posted by Georgie212Fantastic game, I'm already a fan!
Thanks a lot Georgie212! I've been very excited to have so many new players. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
If you hadn't noticed, check out the Island Forge listing in the mmorpg.com Game List!
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