Author Topic: Fenlander - A Parser RPG  (Read 370 times)

Jubal

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Fenlander - A Parser RPG
« on: January 09, 2022, 11:38:12 AM »


Fenlander is a small RPG/Adventure game, built with a text parser engine. It was made for the Historically Accurate Game Jame 5. I've been wanting to make a game for a jam for a long while and thought this was the time to get round to it.

In Fenlander, you play as an ordinary resident of the fenlands of East Anglia in the medieval period, trying to smoke enough eels to pay your rent. Life seems simple: there's reeds to be cut, peat to be dug and eels to be fished for. But getting the right balance between those activities can be a matter of life and death, as can learning from and interacting with your fellow villages and the beautiful, dangerous, ever-shifting landscape around you. The fens are ancient, with reeds that seem to whisper of things we have long forgotten - but for all that, they never stop changing.

The aim of the game is to store enough smoked eels to pay your rent (which, yes, is literally paid in eels). You have three main tools - your glaive, spade, and scythe - to gather materials from the fen that you can use for producing food and for selling to other villagers. There are four fellow villagers - Lennerie, Moll, Hob, and Dickon - who you will probably need to interact with to win: they can buy and sell important items and give you key bits of information. You also have four whimsically named skills: Harnsering for hunting/meat and eel cooking, Hickathrifting for strength and resilience challenges, Surefooting for careful, balanced challenges, and Skeining for social challenges. These can be improved by keeping an eye on the landscape around you or by getting help from friends in the village.

The game is text-based, with an original soundtrack and location art. Please do play it and let me know what you think!






The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Pentagathus

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Re: Fenlander - A Parser RPG
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2022, 08:18:07 AM »
Moist

Jubal

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Re: Fenlander - A Parser RPG
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2022, 10:05:48 AM »
That is a quality that could be attributed to wetland environments, it's true.
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Jubal

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Re: Fenlander - A Parser RPG
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2022, 10:03:57 AM »
I do have some more plans for Fenlander in the coming months, and I've done some recent bits of side-work:

  • I worked with a friend of a friend who wanted to play, to get Fenlander working on her Mac computer. It was a bit janky, I had to rip out the whole sound engine to get it to work so there's an unsolved problem there still about what was going wrong with the audio, BUT everything else basically worked fine so given I've never tried to get my games running cross-platform I'm actually reasonably happy with that.
  • I've submitted a conference proposal to talk a bit about Fenlander at the Middle Ages in Modern Games twitter conference. It's only a tiny game but I think that opens up some interesting space to talk about medievalisms expressed through design constraints etc which people might find interesting, and it'll be a much more breathable thing to put together than trying for a heavier paper especially this year with my thesis writeup still going on.
  • I'm thinking about packaging up a version of the engine that I used for Fenlander and LIFE in case anyone else wants to use it in future. No idea if there'd be interest, but it's not a project that should take much work.

Fenlander does definitely want more content too, but I'm less sure when I'm going to carve out the time for that.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...