Schmidt Workshops is developing a new CRPG called Islands of the Caliph. The developer wanted to wanted to make a game that captures the feel of the old RPGs he played in the 1980s, while presenting a different kind of narrative that is not based around European mythology.
The Middle East and surrounding regions have a rich history and interesting folklore that has not really been explored in games to the same degree. Different styles of architecture, environments and people will inhabit this imaginary island empire.
Each island will have a different look and feel, and each city will be unique. In part, the low resolution textures will help facilitate more variety, which is a very important part of any exploration based game.
Sultans and palaces, ancient ruins, jungles, deserts and oceans, and many other locations will create a vibrant multi-textured backdrop for this adventure. Players will experience a diverse and complex world, with puzzles to solve and mysteries to unravel.
From giant scorpions and other mundane "monsters," to more supernatural beings like ghouls and jinn, Islands of the Caliph will introduce players to some of the creatures of folklore of Arab, Persian and African cultures among others.
This game combines grid based movement of older RPGs with a more active approach to combat. Mixing different approaches to gameplay is one of the more experimental aspects of the game. It is an attempt to draw from the nostalgia of old dungeon crawlers, while keeping the gameplay simple and fun for an audience that may not appreciate the slower, turn based models of the genre.
"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations" said Orson Welles.
"I see it as an exercise in exploring limitations. Just like the idea of using pixel art, and a limited color palette to create a unique visual style, reintroducing limits like the grid based movement, will lead to innovative gameplay that has yet to be explored." - Schmidt Workshops