A semi-roguelike game inspired by the literature of Jorge Borges, Umberto Eco & Neal Stephenson, and the games Europa Universalis and Dark Souls.URR aims to explore several philosophical and sociological issues that both arose during the sixteenth and seventeenth century (when the game is approximately set), and in the present day, whilst almost being a deep, complex and highly challenging roguelike. It explores questions of philosophical idealism, cryptography, linguistics and the writing and formation of the historical record, and will challenge players to hopefully think in ways and about themes that are rarely touched upon by games.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Announcing one year of *full-time development!*

9 comments by UltimaRatioRegum on Jul 5th, 2014

So, last week I hinted towards a big announcement that had come through about URR’s future, and today I’m actually able to talk about it.

Short version: I’m going to be working on URR full-time for the next year, starting around September! And not a Kickstarter to be seen.


I’ve been thinking about this a while. As regular readers will know, URR has rapidly become the project in my life I care the most about, and whilst I’m currently doing a doctorate in one field of social science, I want to move into game studies before my first academic job. It started to seem that taking a year “out” would be the perfect way to combine these objectives – I could finally work on URR full-time and push ahead with it, whilst simultaneously having time to start publishing in game studies in anticipation for jobs further down the road. With a full year I know I can easily finish the entire worldbuilding segment within a year’s full-time, and that’s hugely exciting to me, and I really want to finish this block off. This means adding currencies, ships, ocean travel, mountain passes and caravans, and not to mention building interiors, NPCs, and weapons, armour, and combat mechanics!

However, even if I was fixed on the idea, there were still questions of where I was going to live, how I’d get by financially, and so forth. At first I considered doing a Kickstarter or similar – I’ve been critical of many KS campaigns in the past, and I continue to feel it can turn into a very problematic situation, but that was what I first considered. However, through a combination of trying to live frugally and the kindness of a family member, I’ll be able to survive this year. I recognized I could still have tried a Kickstarter instead, and I feel I would have had a high chance of success, but now I’d been given this option I specifically decided not to go the KS route. Sure, it would boost the publicity of the game somewhat, but it would also take several months to start the campaign, run the campaign and do the rewards (even  if they were all virtual/game ones). Having been given the option not to, I don’t want to “waste” months of my URR year not actually working on URR! I also didn’t want to blur the line somewhat with URR and the involvement of money – right now it’s free, will always remain free, and I didn’t want to introduce money to the equation if I didn’t have to.
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Another reason to not do KS, alas, is that in the next few months I’m not going to be able to do much URR work. Through no fault of my own the completion of my doctorate has been dragged out beyond what it should have been, and the next few months (July/August and probably September) are going to have to be very thesis-heavy. It’s annoying that this might eat slightly into my URR year (as I’ll be moving house in early September), but there’s nothing to be done, and focusing on my academic work now means that as much of next year as possible will be free. Doing a KS would just further eat into the year, and as above – now I’m lucky enough to have the option to not KS, I think the arguments for KS falter against the arguments for not doing one and starting URR coding the moment my thesis is submitted.


I’m… more excited than I can say about a year of full-time URR coding with some game studies on the side. I’m amazed things have come together after what was probably the hardest year of my life (for reasons I may post in a later blog entry and that had nothing to do with my PhD) and I’m already now figuring out the right order to go about the coding in this next year in order to achieve the worldbuilding-completion goal. There’s also a second half of the announcement I can’t say until next week, which – whilst very significant from my perspective – is secondary from the perspective of you fine blog-readers, but is just to do with my living arrangements for the next year and my continuing academic shift into game studies.


.There you have it. The next two or three months will have unfortunately have little URRing due to a very unfortunate position I find myself in academically, so 0.6 will be pushed back a few months, but from the screenshots I’ve been posting in the last few entries, I hope you’ll all agree it’s looking like it’ll be worth the wait. The next few months will therefore have some URR updates when there is stuff to update you on, but also probably a greater number of general games criticism pieces on my devblog than usual. After that, hopefully starting at some point in September, I’ll be working on URR full-time for a year! I cannot wait. Thanks to everyone for your support thus far, and I hope you’ll join me in the UNCONTROLLABLE HYPE for next year.
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Until then you can keep up to date on my devblog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. The devblog is updated weekly on Saturdays (or sometimes Sundays), Facebook a few times a week, and the Twitter roughly daily. Stay tuned... 

Post comment Comments  (60 - 70 of 103)
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Jul 9 2012, 7:52pm says:

Alpha is good so far, I take it most of the skills are currently useless?

+2 votes     reply to comment
knight133
knight133 Jul 8 2012, 8:26pm says:

Will we be able to build ships

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum Jul 9 2012, 5:01am replied:

In the long term, yes, absolutely, and they will take up multiple squares (like large creatures do).

+3 votes     reply to comment
syntaxibles
syntaxibles Jun 14 2012, 8:48am says:

Looking very fine! i have been eagerly awaiting this game since the start of the yeah or a bit further back, looks like it's coming along great! can't wait to play the alpha, but I will be away for its release date and won't be able to play it :(. Will this compiled for linux operating system(so i can play on virtual desktop while im away) or will this be able to run on dos(avaible for my phone). cant wait to play! kepp up the good work!

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum Jun 15 2012, 11:17am replied:

Thanks! Yeah, I've seen you following, and thanks for all the feedback/ideas and stuff to date :). I do intend to make it playable on Linux (and Macs) as well as Windows from 0.0.1 onwards... though stay tuned for any problems in getting the thing to compile! That's a challenge for a fortnight hence...

+3 votes     reply to comment
syntaxibles
syntaxibles Jun 17 2012, 5:53am replied:

awesome, what will the control scheme be(amount of buttons etc.) and will the edge of the world loop?(e.g go far enough west and come out on the east side of the map) that would be cool. sounds like I'll have something to do on long plane trips then maybe. can't wait to see this game released!

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum Jul 8 2012, 7:55pm replied:

I'm not sure how it would work on phone... can you get a virtual keyboard up for games? I know exactly 0 about releasing for a phone, as Windows/Linux/Mac is proving tricky enough! The edge of the map doesn't currently loop, but I have toyed with making it do so at some later point. Well, tomorrow's the day!

+2 votes     reply to comment
samtam99
samtam99 May 21 2012, 8:36am says:

Just wanted to let you know that I've been following this project for quite a while and I like what I've seen. I like it a lot, especially the focus on making the world as dynamic as possible. I'm rather puzzled by the total lack of built-in quests, though: wouldn't it be better, maybe in the future, to use this advanced AI and world simulation system to implement quests which actually take advantage from those features, maybe with multiple paths, choices and consequences? I've always felt that, in most RPGs (even those more focused on giving players multiple ways to proceed through the game, such as Arcanum and the two Fallouts) most actions made by the player have little to no impact on the gameworld and, most importantly, the PC is the only active entity (actually, NPC parties acting against the player *have* been implemented before in Wizardry VII, but sadly that's the only instance I know of a similar feature making its way into a finished game). So it would be quite an achievement to finally have a RPG with an advanced world simulation system which, at the same time, features complex, branching quests and multiple ways to advance through the game.

Anyway, keep up the good work, because this is really looking amazing.

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum
UltimaRatioRegum May 22 2012, 8:10am replied:

Firstly, thanks a lot :). As for your specifics - I think it depends on what we mean by quests. There will be 'quests' in the sense of objectives (say, Empire X would like King Y assassinated) but they won't give you a QUEST for it; instead, the information is out there, and completing it will give you a reward, but by the same token, any NPC who does it will get the reward instead. You won't have a quest journal, but rather a kind of 'web' of alliances/allegiances you know about, and therefore allow you to consider how you might influence them. As you say, often the player character is the only entity who really does something, and I want to change that; ideally, I'd like to have the world in a condition where it can actually 'play' itself without the player doing anything. If you choose to spend the whole game, say, living in the woods and never going near a city, empires will still rise/fall etc around you as NPCs do the 'quests' instead. Cheers! First release of basic alpha is definitely looking on-track for end of June...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jakwattack
Jakwattack May 12 2012, 8:09am replied:

I shall start with fish then

+3 votes     reply to comment
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