Amulets & Armor is back … well … coming.
Amulets & Armor is a game I worked on during the years of October 1994 to December 1996. It was a unique arcade RPG game originally intended to be sold on BBS’s and played like a MMO allowing groups of 20-30 people on the server at once. It used a home grown Doom style (2.5D) engine, all in-house built resources, a novel spell casting system, and plenty of levels. We drew on our love of everything old school D&D and pen and paper gaming in general. Expansions to the original game were intended to immediately flow publishing. However, deals changed and with the end to the MMO BBS concept, the game was re-factored to be a solo or 4-player co-op adventure. Finally, after 2 years of work, problems occurred in the upper management level, and the game was barely published with less than 100 copies sold.
It was heart breaking and I considered the project dead and moved on. I got out the game industry as the dot com era lured me along the idea that somehow I could make it big on stock options. But I always kept one eye on the gaming industry. More years passed, the dot com bomb busted, and rattled again, I found myself heading for a regular day job either working on educational software or, now, embedded firmware projects. Its a good living and I can’t complain, but I felt like Amulets & Armor was never completed and my dream was never finished.
In Jan 2013, I was contacted by Bacter. He explained that him and his friend Mzbundifund were working on a Let’s Play project at SomethingAwful.com where they make videos showing what it’s like to play the game Amulets & Armor multiplayer, make fun of the game, and generally have a great time. At first, the game is all jokes as people point out the dated graphics and the obvious bugs/issues of the product (many of which I still want to fix), but after awhile, the videos show a certain charm coming out of the game. Likewise, the crowd watching this sometimes bizarre creation are also pulled in by the fun antics of Bacter and Mzbundifund, interestingly deadly levels, humorous creatures, and general question of “what’s next”.
So, to this end, I have contacted the David Webster, the current owner of the game, and got his approval to release it to the public and improve the product. To that end, I am working on creating a “Community Edition” that will have the following goals:
- Release the game in full to the public
- Port the game to Windows and possibly other platforms
- Setup an editor to allow custom levels
- Create a community website, wiki, and a place for players to talk and share
- (if possible) Setup a server (or servers) for players to join up and play together
- Continue to improve the product
- Have fun
Just like you, I want to see this game get some more attention and grow. From time to time, I’ll be soliciting you, the community, for feedback on where to go next or how to solve a problem. In return, I’ll try to post regular updates on this site on where I’m at and what I’m doing. Sorry if it gets a bit “programmer speak” at times, but thinking out loud helps me get past some of the problems.
Subscribe this series and enjoy.