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Hi all! I'm working on a micro-CRPG / sim called Innkeep. It's a bit of Ultima 7 style classic CRPG, meets a modern day-by-day narrative survival sim like This War of Mine, with thematic ideas taken from Les Miserables (think, the crafty master of the house character, Thenarndier).

Basically, I wanted to try and capture elements of what I like about CRPGs (narrative progression, interesting characters, the feeling of being in a world), but with a static location. The idea I had was to have a game set in that classic RPG location, the humble inn, where you are the one wearing the apron, and the people of the world come to you. You serve them food and drink. You tell them about recent rumors, and maybe share a joke or two. You hire bards to play music and keep everybody having a good time until late. And then you rob them. In their sleep. A little bit...

The game will have some light sim elements. You need to manage your stock of food, drink, firewood and candles. There is serving to be done, and you will need to do a bit of "creative" cooking. But the core focus of the game is really about "looking after" your guests. In the evening while serving, you are on the lookout for identifying which guests you want to try and steal from in the night. You need to eavesdrop on conversations, observe them at a distance, and use your silver tongue to try and wheedle out some clues. Once you have your mark, then, in the dead of night you can let yourself into their room, prying open backpacks, wiggling rings from fingers, slipping chains from necks. If you have done your job properly, they should be far too drunk to notice a thing. And with that extra cash you can keep this show on the road, despite the difficulties of wartime scarcity. The idea is not to force you to play a mustached villain, but to have a bit of fun, and at the same time to try and push you towards having to make choices about who you will or will not rob, and why (a bit like with Papers Please).

Ever since I started part time work on the project a few years back I've kept track of my progress via dev diary videos on youtube. Maybe check out an early video to see where I was starting from (like, can-use MS Paint but don't know what a layer is computer drawing skills), and drop in on the most recent video to see where things stand today. It can help you get a sense of how far I've come, and what kind of game it is shaping up to be. Then if you are on twitter, consider giving me a follow. I also have a site for the game here, (although I'm still in the process of upgrading it so it might be missing a few links). I'll keep an active eye on this thread so I can answer any questions you might have, but I also have a discord channel if you want to chat more directly. Finally, you can learn more about ongoing development and get access to extra stuff like music tracks (by John Halpart) at the Patreon page.



The Welcome Hall - Start Here! / Hi guys.
« on: April 30, 2015, 10:24:22 AM »
A few weeks back an admin from these forums contacted me on Twitter and suggested I make a thread over here about the game I'm developing. It's taken me some time to get round to it, but here I am.

My name is Daniel, and I'm currently working on a game called Innkeep! in my spare time. I've been an avid PC gamer for some 16 years starting with playing stuff like Magic Carpet, Outpost and Ultima Underworld on my friends 486 dx. Baldurs Gate I & II and the original Fallouts were kind of a golden age of gaming for me. Then I started to find my way back again when I discovered Dwarf Fortress in 2008, got on Steam in 2010, and gradually started following more and more indie titles in development. The last couple of years have been a blast. So many great indie titles. Gunpoint in particular though was what finally pushed me to start making something in game maker as well.

I've always been fascinated with games. That dovetailed pretty well with being introduced to Tolkien when I was only about six or so. You can imagine that my little brain nearly exploded when I saw MB's board game Heroes Quest for the first time.  I must have played it hundreds of times. When my friends and I got bored of the scenarios I'd invent new ones for us to play. I did something similar with little choose-your-own adventures. Later on I mucked around with game design as a teenager back in the 90s using Quick Basic and did quite a bit of work on a text-based adventure / RPG where you were a detective. It had a night/day cycle, hunger, transport around the city via taxi with talkative drivers, all kinds of amazing stuff that nobody ever saw. But I lost all the copies I had of it... Heh. Ah well. From 1998-2004 or so I also did some building on a Wheel of Time MUD. I guess that establishes my nerd credentials. These days I'm working as a translator/interpreter for an animation studio in Tokyo. But I hope to be returning to teaching/research in a less crowded place in the near future.

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