Quest Developer for the Middle Earth Roleplaying Project for Skyrim
@sjoerddz: Several of Epoch Game's founders (which includes myself) formerly worked on the MERP mod for Skyrim. However, none of the work on Althas came from MERP (all of MERP's work was too iconic to Tolkien, we want our own style for Althas).
Yes fans, we are aware that our website and forums are down right now (since last night). Should likely be back up by tomorrow.
@Brotapfelinhalierer: No worries, I feel the same way you do about weapons and armor in fantasy games. Functionality is an important focus in our art style.
@ryanhr96: Read the News update. We're only losing out on minimal landscaping work. And to answer you about the quality of our models: I think some minimal work needs done, but nothing that's slowing us down.
@PaulyG: Boy, what great timing, huh? :P
@sctheriault: Yes, we do indeed need help. Please check your private messages.
@Guest: Return of the King sure, as well as the Two Towers game before it, and I'll give credit to BfME1 for being one of my favorite RTSs in the early 2000s (that's saying a lot, considering how addicted I was to Warcraft 3).
However, I would argue that The Third Age was a terrible Final Fantasy clone (although perhaps the bland 2-dimensional characters and story were somewhat befitting when compared to most of the Final Fantasy titles ...), and don't get me started on my hatred for how BfME2 absolutely butchered Tolkien's lore, and took out the two best parts of the original BfME1: the battle map, where you could take regions Risk-style and felt like you were in a proper war, and the wall gameplay (which weren't just hindrances that could only be destroyed, but in fact proper defenses that replicated some of the fun siege scenes from the films).
But I digress, I'm with you on how despicable I find the LOTR and Hobbit IPs in the hands of WB. Not only because of the C&D, but more so with how poorly they've handled it (and not just the games ...).
@Insanity: On a few job recruiting sites, I had to select a location for our team (it was mandatory). There's a reason why Winston Salem was chosen, but I would rather not say in this chat.
@PrezThompkins: As mentioned, we are a fully-online team based all around the world.
@Owen: Yeah yeah, you did a good job on the flag :P
@ElfFriend: Thanks for the compliment. A lot of thought has been put into nearly every concept we've posted here on IndieDb, including the flags (there's real-world heraldic symbolism to the shapes and colors ;)).
Hello ralph ... anything you'd like to say about the game itself?
@Brotapfelinhalierer: The name didn't come out of thin air actually. The game is drawing heavily from Medieval heraldry with some of it's creature designs. Look up "Dauphin of France" to see what I mean.
@pkyrkos7: Hey, long time no see :)
We haven't decided on the size of this creature yet, but keep in mind that bigger =/= better ;)
@ModderForLifez: We'd like to have character creation. As for how much customization, we're not quite sure how much we'll have.
@TheLastSilmaril: Not sure, it's merely a placeholder name.
@MarcusCamillus: Any heightmap larger then Skyrim causes a problems with AI outside a Skyrim-sized area. To the best of my knowledge, this problem has still not been fixed (it's a Havoc issue, which Bethesda doesn't give access to modders). There's also the fact that the Creation Kit is far more limited then we'd like (such as importing animations). Also the way that the First Age is handled wouldn't work well with what we wanted for MERP. Believe me, we did talk about this idea already, but it didn't interest many of us (including myself).
Several of us from MERP are working on our own original IP now (Lays of Althas: Sundered Order). Look it up if you'd like, it has a lot of the same design philosophies as MERP did, just obviously in an original setting (it's nice not having to worry about C&Ds).
@TKAzA: Considering the project was meant to be single player in the first place ... Or are you referring to the idea of developing the mod simply between us devs and not releasing it?
Sorry, but the MERP team was always interested in making a game for Tolkien fans everywhere, and not just ourselves. Also the Creation Kit engine itself has proved far more limiting then we initially imagined when switching to it from Oblivion. We're now working on our own original IP (Lays of Althas: Sundered Order) where we can finally be free of copyright restrictions and working on proper development software.
As you may have noticed, we deleted the news regarding our new project.
@Sasha5163: The project has officially ceased. Several of us from the old MERP team are creating our own original RPG now:
No way are we planning to quit on this new project.
@paliusz1997: MERP has discontinued. Please follow our new original game project called "Lays of Althas: Sundered Order":
Read the front news page! We're working on an original game now called "Lays of Althas: Sundered Order":
@Masikota: Lack of interest!?
1. If we continued, we could have gotten into a lot of trouble (WB was well aware of us).
2. We spoke with WB. I would rather not get into the details, but MERP could never have continued to our level of quality if we wanted to legally continue the project.
3. There is a lot more problems then just the worldspace bug with the Creation Kit: new animations are quite difficult to import, M&B-esque combat that we wanted was nearly impossible to set up ...
Please don't make such wild assumptions, especially as most of us on the team put years of our lives into it.
Btw, many of us from the original MERP team are working on an original game now using CryENGINE 3 (a far superior tool to Skyrim's Creation Kit), which new guests on this page can't seem to read on the front news page. Its called "Lays of Althas: Sundered Order":
@ElfFriend: I've thought about the various types of arrows and their uses as far back as MERP's development. So yeah, we'll likely keep this idea in mind ;)
Speaking of arrows: it's always really bugged me how "fire arrows" in most games are basically just "higher-damage arrows" with no real hindrances. Fire arrows should take time to prepare, be somewhat of a hazard to the shooter, and create much heavier arrows (meaning they won't shoot as far), and have uses that are mostly kept to sieges. I'm definitely hoping we can better represent fire arrows especially in Althas.
Based on this news post we made several months back, I'd say the answer is no: Moddb.com
However, a few of us from the MERP project are working on our own original indie game now: Moddb.com
(we could use all the support we can get)
@vikingbeard: We will need voice actors for our game "Lays of Althas: Sundered Order" if that's what you mean. If you're asking about MERP ... Please read the news posts.
The Silmarillion actually covers the First Age (mostly). A Second Age mod would have a lot of the same copyright issues as Third Age MERP (Middle Earth map is copyrighted, a lot of Second Age character names are copyrighted since they appear in LOTR, etc).
A Silmarrillion mod is not particularly a good subject for an open-world game ... the story of Beleriand expands over thousands of years. If the Silmarrillion were to be made into a video game, I imagine RTS would probably be the best option, not an open-world RPG. Oh and plus Tolkien Enterprises (or whoever owns the rights to the books) could always send us a C&D as well.
@Guest: Is it really that difficult to click "news"? and go to "MERP status"? Not to be snarky, but we pretty much spell everything out there.
@Dessel11: You are, yeah :P
We are nowhere close to having a date yet ...
@RandomZombi3: Its an original fantasy setting, its not supposed to be attached to Tolkien's mythology he created. The only similarities between this project and MERP is that most of the people on the team (including myself) used to work on MERP.
Ok, there may be similarities you can find between this and Tolkien. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but we are trying to give our own spin on the fantasy genre ;)
We are fully aware of it ourselves (we can probably name every one of them more then most old MERP fans could). Blame Nuvendil if you want to blame anybody :P
But in all honestly, the shape of a continent on a map is not what is so important, but what the continent looks like on the surface. At least from my perspective.