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  (40 - 50 of 57)
sheldonh Dec 17 2012 says:

WIll you be leveraging Unity's Linux support for release to that platform?

+3 votes     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Dec 17 2012 replied:

In response to this comment and d10sfan's below, we don't see a reason not to publish to Linux once we upgrade to Unity 4. Right now we're still using Unity 3, but knowing that there's a demand for Linux may cause us to upgrade the project sooner rather than later.

+2 votes   reply to comment
d10sfan Dec 15 2012 says:

looking promising by the way, you planning on a linux version of the game?

0 votes     reply to comment
Lochar Dec 14 2012 says:

Definately tracking but think would need to see more to support. Never played DF myself as just couldnt get past the interface but would love to see a 3d version make it out.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kuruku Dec 14 2012 says:

"Take the depth of Dwarf Fortress"

...hmm. I'm not sure you appreciate the amount of time and effort that has been invested into the development of Dwarf Fortress.

"add a bunch of lazy mages"

No problem there!

"update the interface to modern standards."

The depth of Dwarf Fortress AND a polished, fully featured interface! I don't like to be overly critical, but this might be more ambitious than you realize. I hope for your sake you have what it takes, as you have your work cut out for you.

Though I must say, you're doing a pretty good job so far. Keep it up!

+1 vote     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Dec 17 2012 replied:

We're aware of how ambitious the project is, which is why we wanted to be transparent about the development so early on, rather than work in the shadows for months (years?) before having anything to show. We're not expecting to catch up to DF quickly, but it's the type of game we're shooting for. DF is the easiest game to point to for what we want to build, since "chaos simulator" isn't a very wide-spread term.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Aarkreinsil Dec 12 2012 says:

I hope you add in all the crazy combat stuff like dismemberment due to being bitten/punched and people wrestling others by their teeth or toenails.

And don't forget the kitten leather bagpacks and fly brain roasts.

+2 votes     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Dec 17 2012 replied:

One system at a time is how we're tackling development. DF wasn't built in a day, month, or year...and all the cool stuff comes out of an interaction of systems. We have some notions of how things might interact, but we don't want to get too attached to any one event or experience until those systems are built.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Pheace Dec 12 2012 says:

concept sounds awesome, I'll be back when some of the depth is in :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
brataccas Dec 11 2012 says:

IS there enemy in this game?

+1 vote     reply to comment
RedButtonGames Creator
RedButtonGames Dec 11 2012 replied:

The game is still in Alpha, so the game is more of a sandbox at this point. As development of the game moves forward, there will be multiple groups to interact with, such as orcs, villagers, dragons, etc. However, you'll be able to determine how you interact with them. You could ally with the villagers to push back the hoards...or do the opposite, and pillage and plunder.

+5 votes   reply to comment
brataccas Dec 12 2012 replied:

this post you just said, made me buy this, :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Mage Tower
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Released 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 by pancakebandit

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