Introducing The Story - a modern text-based RPG

The Story (or Opowieść, in Polish) is a game I’ve wanted to create since I was a kid. The idea of harvesting the power of human imagination to turn simple text into vivid imagery has always fascinated me. I’ve always liked writing stories; and I liked creating and playing games - so being able to combine the two would be a dream come true to me.

Now, when you hear the term “text-based game” you probably conjure images like such.

Otchłań Ain’t those some pretty letters, though probably incomprehensible to most of you :)

This screenshot is from the game Otchłań - a Polish Single User Dungeon game.

All such text-based games share some common features:

This kind of games blossomed long ago, when we did not have fancy graphics cards and thousands of megabytes of RAM. I find them very unique in today’s world of photorealistic 3D graphics - those text-based games tap directly into your brain and make it, your mind, your graphics card.

When playing such games though, I’ve always had one particular problem - everything was dark. I couldn’t help it. The environment of such games - coloured text in an ocean of black - made my mind imagine the presented world in dark colours. I had problems imagining a sunny day scene when the text that described that scene was drowning in the sea of black.

I had more similar issues that could not be helped back in the days. Therefore, when thinking about early concepts of The Story I stopped and thought: we have the year 2017, why would I stick to that ugly console. Those games back in their times had little choice, but now there’s plenty of better options.

So I’ve decided to add the very important keyword to my game concept: modern. I would like to utilize some more powerful techniques to enhance the text-to-imagination effect apart from just raw storyline. Some examples include:

Alright, if you’ve managed to go through all that wall of text, I believe you deserve some image.

Opowieść/The Story The English is bad in this one, I know, okay?

This is a very early concept. The background is black but it’s ok since it’s night time :P Really though, as I mentioned, the background will be more dynamic, it’s just black on this particular concept. Most of the time, the default background would probably be the same as the avatar background is, the one above my nickname.

The arrows are there to move around by clicking them instead of typing north, south, etc.

The blue text at the bottom will display short-lived events happening right now, like something howling in a distance or some NPC giving you a strange look. They’ll float-up as they happen, linger for a few seconds for you to read and then fade-away or float-away to make space for other events. They are there to make the world feel more alive.

I have not yet settled on what stats will your character possess so the menu on the right is just a filler for the time being.

The weird thing at the top of the right menu is a filler for the minimap.

Also, have I mentioned I plan to make the game available for Android as well? :) That’s a topic for a future post.

That’s pretty much it for the introduction. There’s some more concepts to talk about, that did not make it to this post, and which I might describe in some later posts: