A newsletter - Oldschool RPGs, Notable Games (so far), Notes on the Second Mellynd War, Monopolo, Iffermoon, PS: Old School, Blitzen

  • kentona
  • 08/27/2009 04:30 PM

..:: Issue #8 ::..


This thread is actually offshoot from a discussion started in the Screenshot Topic. The argument stems from the contention that "old school" games are in fact quite terrible and we would do well to dispense with the archaic game design principles it espouses. Others disagree, asserting that it fulfills a desire to experience new content in a familiar format. Nostalgia obviously plays a large role in the perception, as does the age of the people it affects. What is considered "old school" is largely a subjective speculation.

This is a very interesting debate and all are encouraged to voice their thoughts on the matter.

Notable Game Releases This Year (So Far)

"You know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?" -Anton Ego

Exit Fate

Exit Fate by SCF/Origami is an interesting twist on the Suikoden recipe for war RPGs, and this game has been a huge hit in the RM community and elsewhere, even being posted on the forums of Hockey's Future website. Now that's impressive.

Paradise Blue

Paradise Blue from Ocean is a neo-retro RPG with traditional gameplay elements and excellent custom 8-bit style graphics. Always on the RM community's radar since its inception, the full game has been released recently with a lot of buzz. No matter where it is posted, it is generating great interest and high praise.

Visions & Voices

Visions & Voices is an adventure RPG made in only three weeks by Karsuman and Craze. It combines elements of traditional RPGs with the exploration present in an adventure game in order to create a fun - and quite dark - setting to play in. This game has garnered much interest in the greater RM community with its dark storyline and intriguing gameplay.

Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis

Alter A.I.L.A Genesis by Neok is a side-scrolling post-apocalyptic RPG set in an engaging world and implementing interesting gameplay mechanics (most notably the aforementioned side-scrolling perspective). The demo has made huge waves in the RM community and has its fans eager for more.


Ascendence by Rei- is a traditional RPG with deep character customization, excellent production values and a post-steampunk-almost-industrial setting. Its fans celebrates its impressive, sometimes insane attention to detail in the sounds and visuals department, nice characters, and a good modified battle concept.

Hero's Realm

Hero's Realm by kentona is a throwback to early SNES RPGs in both style and gameplay. Despite its blatant nostalgic bid, the game has been received well in certain pockets of the RM community. Epically long, this game features a massive world map, lots of character customization and a plot centered around saving the world from demons.

And there you have it - my view of games that have made an impact this year, roughly in order of impactness. Of course, this is an RMN-centric view of the community because that is where I hold my base of operations in the greater RM community. I would love to hear other nominations and arguments for or against this list. I am genuinely leary about including my own game in this list, not only because it's rather vain, but also because it hasn't received all that much attention outside of RMN or GW. (I can go into great detail about its reception if anyone's interested...)

FUNdamentals of RPGs

In keeping with the self-serving nature of this SNEWS, this issue's game design section will focus on a series of articles called the FUNdamentals of RPGs.

FUNdamentals of RPGs Part I - The Role of the Player
FUNdamentals of RPGs Part II - Attributes and Skills
FUNdamentals of RPGs Part III - Story
FUNdamentals of RPGs Part IV - Quests and Objectives
FUNdamentals of RPGs Part V - Rewards
FUNdamentals of RPGs Part VI - Balancing

These articles discuss basic game design philosophies based on the book Swords & Circuitry by Neal Hallford and Jana Hallford. brandonabley once praised these articles as required reading for anyone new to RPG design. I wouldn't go that far but I think they provide a nice summary of important design considerations you should be aware of.

"The writing in NotSMW is, in general... superior to what you'd see in most RM projects, and hell, most commercial projects too." - The Real Brickroad

Who made it?

What is it?
Notes on the Second Mellynd War is a traditional RPG (formerly known as Universal Language) with strong storytelling elements and characterization.

Why should you care?
It bills itself as a story-based game, and, amazingly enough, it gets most of its praise for its story, plot, dialogue and characters! If you like strong storytelling in your RPGs (and many do), check out Notes on the Second Mellynd War.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Are you ready for the Monopolo Revolution?

Who made it?
Brent Murray (a.k.a. S4D a.k.a. silver4donuts a.k.a. Crazy Murray From Surrey)

What is it?
Monopolo is an RPG Maker recreation of the popular boardgame Monopoly.

Why should you care?
The eye of the S4D dramastorm turns out to be a pretty decent game after all! Excellent style and production values breathes new life into an otherwise dull boardgame.

Putting the spotlight on a oft-overlooked game

"Far out! Man!"
- Terabyte

Who made it?

What is it?
Iffermoon is a beautiful sci-fi platformer created in Multimedia Fusion 2 with a deep story and great production values.

Why should you care?
If nothing else, amazing visuals:

Obviously that isn't the only draw. The solid gameplay and great story are also enthralling. Good lord. This is amazing.

This installments's Play Something! Challenge

THEME: Old School

Dragon Fantasy II by Ephiam
Generica by kentona
Cavern of Doom by bobthebobish
Knight's Crest by lolzallen
Castle Quest by Blitzen

In honour of the old school debate, this installment of Play Something! focuses on...the old school.

1. You don't have to actually finish the game/demo, but of course you should get far enough as to where you can say you've actually played it.
2. You don't have to like the game/demo. You're completely entitled to think that the games you picked suck ass. And that brings me to my next point, and perhaps most important...
3. After you've played the games/demos you picked, give something back! This is the most important part of the whole thing! Not just a "Looks good", or "That was fun", give something more. Write a review (and submit it to the site even), post your opinions on the gamepages, list bugs you encountered, hell, maybe we'll even get something that I couldn't even have imagined. Surprise me.

Find out what all the fuss is about and play these games!


Das Nice Comrade. Blarney!
..:: Games :: Articles ::..

The Spotlight section needs more classy and engaging interviews, hence Blitzen! Our most favoritest member named after a festive reindeer.

In his own words...

I joined when the site went up and I've done a pretty good job of not stepping on toes here so I stuck around. I've written a couple articles and recently won a pixel-art contest, which was nice. I'd like to think my reputation is that of "he could make such an awesome game why doesn't he just make the stupid game" and my answer to that is, "leave me alone I am tired and quite sleepy and I don't come on here to be hassled by the likes of you."

Game design is about a lot more than just having an idea and making it into a game. It's about understanding the relationship between the player and the designer and the relationship between the player and the technology with which they are interacting. To be a good game designer, you have to understand how to elicit emotion from your audience, how to compell them to feel and act in certain ways so that they might get the most enjoyable experience out of your game as possible. Unless you can come to understand how to create this emotional experience out of pure game mechanics, you probably won't understand how to make compelling games. Games don't just tell narratives, but create a narrative experience for players to participate in and manipulate. A game designer shouldn't be thinking of the kinds of stories he wants to tell, but the kinds of experiences he wants to create.

I am writing a screenplay or two and also working slowly on a couple academic research papers. I am going to school to be a history teacher, and my specialization is in Canadian narratives of the First World War, more specifically, in those that take place in obscure fronts of the war, such as Siberia, Australia, India, Transcaucasia, etc. All very boring, yes. I am also a hobbyist pixel artist and I use that for my games. There is a new Castle Quest demo coming soon featuring 100% custom assets. I also like to watch sitcoms, play guitar, and pursue romances destined for early failure.


"A man is, by his nature, a poltical animal." - Aristotle
- or -
"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." from the Wizard of Oz

People who are short tempered with animals and children.

i was friends with geodude before he was cool

Recognition for a dedicated member.

maia for her dedicated work on community projects (and her hot avatar).


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That is all.
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
Ratatouille is such a good movie.
"i was friends with geodude before he was cool" is absolutely true btw. i was a bastard back then

also, thank you!
i love that avatar

also, where, except here, was the play something announced?
Only here. I've been doing them here now, since they kind of fell out of favor for the mainsite/forums.
Whay. Put them on the main fourms again! It gives us (me) something to read and look at. =P
Not likely to happen.

Also, why has no one commented on my notable games list? I find it hard to believe that no one else has an opinion on it.
The games on it were all pretty nice. Never saw anything special about Exit Fate though. It also reminded me that I must play Paradise Blue.

Nice to see you decided to keep Snews going.
There will be one more issue (at least, that's the plan) before I go on my leave of absence.
Umm... Maybe Prophecy: Demon Kingdom and One Night 2: The Beyond (yes, I am aware that is my own game) should be considered for the list, as they have both garnered much attention on many sites both within and outside of the RM community and have both been featured on magazine cover discs for real gaming magazines.
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
Then they have publicity. Done!
This issue's Play Something reminds me that I have yet to finish Generica, which I stopped playing because I had some trouble getting to the Tower of Hope.
Thanks Dark Gaia! Like I said, I have a rather narrow view of the overall community. It's good to hear from others who have a broader reach.
Prophecy: Demon Kingdom is a decent game.

Legionwood is not, however.
You know, people say they read this, but the topics I've mentioned here made barely a peep. Surely a listing of "BIG" games of '09 would cause more of a contentious stir?

Sometimes I wonder if this SNEWS wouldn't make more of an impact as individual forum posts.
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
I've reviewed a game you mentioned in every Issue since I joined.
hahaha no
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