Take the depth of Dwarf Fortress, add a bunch of lazy mages and update the interface to modern standards? That's Mage Tower in a nutshell. We're building something really ambitious - a world that you can build to your own whim, while carefully balancing resources, knowledge, and external threats.

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0 comments by RedButtonGames on Sep 26th, 2013

To those who know me personally, much of the following information is review. For those who don't, hopefully this will explain quite a bit.

Hello - I'm Daniel Frandsen, the President / Founder / Lead Programmer for Red Button Games. Usually when I speak as the company, I use generic pronouns like "we," but since this post is more personal I'll be talking as myself.

The Past

Mage Tower has had a sporatic update cycle. I apologize upfront about not communicating what was going on, especially when it's part of my responsibility to keep company followers up-to-date. When Mage Tower began development (May 2012), I jumped in as a full-time developer. I planned on slowly ramping up other involvement through a part-time developer and artist, making a monthly update cycle reasonable. Since then, the other involved parties dropped off (through no one's fault), and I was contacted with a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity (August 2012). The interview process took a while, but I ended up accepting an offer (November 2012) shortly before launching Mage Tower on Desura (December 2012) and another update (January 2012).

Throughout the next 7 months, I moved across the country, sold my house, started a new job, and got married. My update schedule for Mage Tower dropped from then full-time to now just a sliver of the time I wanted to commit to it. Communication dissipated, and I became somewhat nervous to check Desura to see what new dissenting comment I would see. Finally, a new update released (August 2013), and I was happy to see people still interested and to see people who seemed to understand (on some level) what I might be going through.

The Future

Now that things are more settled, I have a bit more time to work on updates. However, I'm not going to depend on my time for the release schedule as much as I can help it. To help with that, I'll be working on making updates even smaller, making them more feasible to be on a regular schedule. Second, I'm hoping to bring on more people who would be interested in the project. I'm a bit...picky about who I work with, but it's become clear that giving more of my own time wouldn't make a reliable schedule.

I hope that helps explain my perspective and why things might be moving slower than you'd like. Trust me, I want to play the "full" game of Mage Tower just as much as you - it's just going to take a bit of time. :)

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Mage Tower Alpha - Demo - Mac

Mage Tower Alpha - Demo - Mac

Sep 4, 2012 Demo 0 comments

Take the depth of Dwarf Fortress, add a bunch of lazy mages and update the interface to modern standards? That's Mage Tower in a nutshell. We're building...

Mage Tower Alpha - Demo - Windows

Mage Tower Alpha - Demo - Windows

Sep 4, 2012 Demo 1 comment

Take the depth of Dwarf Fortress, add a bunch of lazy mages and update the interface to modern standards? That's Mage Tower in a nutshell. We're building...

Post comment Comments  (30 - 40 of 57)
stuntaneous Jan 4 2013, 5:10am says:

The aesthetic alludes to potential. What are you aiming to make of the game? How will it differentiate itself from Dwarf Fortress?

+1 vote     reply to comment
DrHojo123 Dec 30 2012, 3:05pm says:

will there be a damage system like dwarf fortress (Limbs cutting off and that) and will there be an adventure mode? if so I will consider this

0 votes     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Dec 31 2012, 4:59pm replied:

There isn't a plan to offer an adventurer mode, instead focusing on gameplay closest to the "Fortress" mode in Dwarf Fortress.

As far as features we're adding, we're developing in a very iterative way, so we're not sure what features will be in the final game. If a feature isn't fun, we'll cut it, and if we get a new idea that sounds fun, we'll add it. Since the game is so early, most of the focus has been on major systems and interactions, and we intend to make things as fun and deep as possible. That's not a direct answer I realize, but hopefully that gives you some idea of what our philosophy is.

One notable way we're hoping to expand upon the DF idea is to have external areas to interact with (villages, dungeons, hordes, etc). Rather than having trading elves wander in from a random location, you'll know what village they're from, see them approach, and have an idea of where your tower exists in the world.

+3 votes   reply to comment
yhann Dec 26 2012, 8:12am says:

I love what i have played so far. But need a lot of work to become truely interesting, i give it a 10/10 for the idea , i will change in final version depending of the upcoming features.

There are also gnomoria and Towns on desura, maybe you should go in a different way of those because of that you cannot do everything as DF, too complexe I think, you may choose your path, to say.

Good luck RBG guys !

+1 vote     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Dec 31 2012, 4:53pm replied:

As you mentioned, we're early on in development. We released the alpha early on purpose for multiple reasons - and one of them is what you mention. It'll be easier to find a way to differentiate by being transparent about the development process, and by noting feedback from players.

+1 vote   reply to comment
UndefinedM Dec 24 2012, 1:47pm says:

after trying the demo i can say there is potential, but we'll have to wait a long time before it'll be really playable..and 6 and an half € is really too much for what the game offers at this stage (ie, next to nothing)

+2 votes     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Dec 31 2012, 5:01pm replied:

Sorry to hear that. Hope you track the project so you can keep up-to-date on added features.

+1 vote   reply to comment
elunir Dec 21 2012, 9:00pm says:

You should really talk more to the Community when upddates etc. will come out. In the moment it looks like there is NO talking to the Community. Especially i couldnt find a forum to inform myself. Many other Indiedevelopers inform a lot more about their games.

+3 votes     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Dec 31 2012, 4:50pm replied:

This is something we'll be improving over time as we gather a larger following. Before publishing on Desura, we had a very small following - so it was more useful to spend time developing and planning. We don't know if that means setting up a forum, but more active communication is becoming a higher priority.

+1 vote   reply to comment
stinkytaco Dec 21 2012, 1:17am says:

I cought my son fapping yesterday. He was playing this game. It must be good, so I think i am going to buy it.

0 votes     reply to comment
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Mage Tower
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Red Button Games
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Released Dec 6, 2012
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Lowest Rated (4 agree) 1/10

This is currently the shell of a game (even for Desura). At the moment, it is only a construction sim, and a buggy one at that. Additionally, updates are slow to appear (1-2 month interval).

Gnomoria is much more polished and selling for less. Additionally, the pace of updates is much quicker (new patch every Tuesday; rarely skips a week, but delivers a larger patch the next week if he does). If you're looking to invest in a DF style management game, Gnomoria's return is much higher at this time.

Dec 15 2012, 11:20am by pancakebandit

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