When the iPhone SDK first came out, I signed up as a developer, downloaded the SDK and started playing around. One of the first projects I started was to port TME to the iPhone. I played around for a while, started converting from c++ to objective-c, and then decided that as it would never be an official project then I should use my time more wisely and work on something else – which I never really did.
I briefly discussed the concept of an IOS port for Lords of Midnight with Mike Singleton, but we never really got anywhere.
I actually felt passionately that Lords of Midnight could be developed on modern technology and reach out to a whole new market. The new demand in casual games on portable devices, means that now is its time. And the platform that Apple have developed has allowed games that are about their gameplay to get out to a large non gamer centric audience. I believe that a lot of people would love to get lost within the world of midnight. The gameplay is simple but effective, and as engrossing as the game is, it’s a good pickup and putdown game. Perfect for the portable game player.
When Mike contacted me four weeks ago to discuss the concept of bringing Lords of Midnight to iOS, it pretty obvious that I was excited, but I was also suddenly very nervous. It was now time to put up or shut up. It’s time to actually do it.
Lords of Midnight is a much loved game. It was pretty revolutionary in its time. It’s an amazingly atmospheric experience. And I know a lot of people who would lynch me if I helped to produce another Citadel! My number one concern for this project is – to not f*** it up! My number one item at the top of the design document is – to not f*** it up!
So with that in mind, what are we going to do?
Let me firstly assure you that we are not developing a freeform, realtime, 3d game. We are not developing the Citadel. We are not going to f*** it up!
Lords of Midnight is about the landscaping. It’s about those 2d panoramic views. It’s about moving some characters and pressing night and the end of the turn and waiting for the dawn to break to find out what happened.
So, the landscaping stays. Yes it will get an update. Graphically we will try a few things to help us justify bringing a 27 year old game back to the future. If you’ve followed the history of TME with the Lords of Midnight and more importantly Doomdark’s Revenge, you’ll have an idea of some of the things that means.
We’re going to make a few changes to the AI. Nothing drastic. This is not about turning Lords of Midnight into the style of RPG/Adventure games that are currently available. The AI in lords of midnight works – it’s a little simplistic, but it’s perfect for the style of game. However, there are a few little things that no longer sit comfortably, and to be fair, probably didn’t when Mike originally coded them. So there will be a couple of tweaks and additions.
The affect of these additions is that the game will not play like it used to. In spirit it will be the same, but don’t expect to be able to fire up the emulators and watch the old spectrum game play exactly like the new one. There will likely be some surprises, but I think everyone will enjoy.
Multi-User. Some of the AI changes are about making the game work better multi-user. Although the first release will not be multi-user, it is definitely our intention to allow you to play games against your friends.
The game remains turn based and not realtime.
Ok, more details to follow…