The Lords of Midwinter

I’m currently working on the desktop version of Lords of Midnight and will be moving on to Doomdark’s Revenge soon, but in the meantime there are a few things that I have been thinking about for the future.

There are two projects that I would like to get off the ground.

The first is obvious, I would like to develop “The Lords of Midnight: 30th Anniversary Edition”. Yep, that’s right, 2014 is 30 years since The Lords of Midnight was released. For an anniversary edition I would like to bring in 3d rendering. Not a full freeform 3d world, just render the landscape from 3d models and textures. Part of the reason for this would be to up the quality and style of the imagery, but currently using 2d images has a massive graphic overhead. For LoM, the textures to support 3 resolution sets, for the terrain images take up 25mb compressed and 150mb uncompressed. The other area I would like to work on is the AI and game mechanic. Part of me wants to leave he current LoM pretty much as it is, a few tweaks here and there, but ultimately, not to tinker to far. To make bigger changes, I think I would rather have it in another product.

midwinter_skiingmidwinter_01

The second project is one that I’ve been contacted about a number of times since releasing LoM, and that is Midwinter. Midwinter was for Mike Singleton, to 16bit what Lords of Midnight was to 8bit. I think Midwinter is ripe for a full on remake and it’s one that Mike was considering for some time.

So, I’ve had a few conversations, and here is where I’m at.

I’ve spoken with Mike’s family and had the ‘all clear’ there. I’ve also spoken with Dave Gautrey who was the Maelstrom developer on the original ST and AMIGA version. He is interested in getting involved as a consultant to the project. I’ve also had early conversations with someone who could help drive the project forward, and help with the hoops required for trying to raise funding.

Firstly I need to assemble a team. As I’m not directly going to be working on this I’m going to need programmers. I’m going to need artists, 3d modeller, Texture, Concept. And I’m going to need a designer.

The idea is to start working on this project in the background to try and bring together the idea of what we want to do with the game. This is going to be large scale development, and the initial core team will be on the project for a least 12 months and anywhere up to 2 years. That’s a budget of at least 300k. Now, unless I’m very lucky and someone out there has a spare 300k or so that they want to throw my way, getting a budget together isn’t going to be easy, nor quick. So I need to find some people who would be interested in joining the team long term, but in the short term would join the team, like the rest of us, as part timers. During the first few months, and without deadlines, the focus will be to define the game; drill down and expand upon the original design, put together concept art, and get a working visual engine running. As we go through these stages we will get a good idea of what the game is going to be, what assets we need to create, how long it’s going to take, what the team size needs to become, and therefore what our funding requirements are going to be, and how we are going to raise that cash!

(If you are interested in getting involved, give me a shout… )

Now, I’d really love to be able to do both projects… but then I think I’m looking at closer to 1m to fund two teams… anyone got a spare 1m that they’d like to use for funding reboots of the two best Mike Singleton games and two fantastic franchises… ?

EDIT: I thought I’d better clarify. The Project Midwinter is higher priority than LoM:30, if I could do both then I would, but if I can only do one, then it will be Midwinter. I’m putting the finishing touches to The Lords of Midnight desktop version ( Windows/Mac ) then I will start on Doomdark’s Revenge for the same platforms as LoM and in the same style. In the meantime, the planning for Midwinter is underway…

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18 thoughts on “The Lords of Midwinter

  1. it would be fantastic if this got off the ground. tried to get into midwinter acouple of months ago, but struggled. I’d love to be able to play an updated version.
    Kickstarter?

  2. Was never fortunate enough to play Midwinter (never had an Amiga etc!) but I’m now tempted to dig out an emulator and original game to see what I missed.

    The task will probably be much easier with the release of Midnight PC and perhaps Doomdarks – as people can see a bit more of a track history then … but I think Kickstarter – and appealing directly to the fans of the originals … is perhaps one way to go.

  3. Start a kickstarter project to raise the funds…I for one would surely pitch in! :)

  4. I’m really looking forward to this. Just one thing, carefull with the rates. KS+Amazon snatch 10% that should be going to project. Might be better to do the crowdfunding on a site that takes a lower percentage.

  5. Pingback: Singular: Lords of Midnight & Midwinter Remakes PC-Bound | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

  6. Hi Chris, Just noticed this on RPS, so you should hopefully get lots of attention for this project. I can recall loving this game although not being very good at it. However I’m an indie game developer and use the Unity game engine so would be interested in helping out.

    Check out my game energy island complex, it’s probably the closest type of game I have to Midwinter. http://www.kongregate.com/games/Arowx/energy-island-conquest-beta2

    Good luck and +1 Kickstarter.

  7. Bring it on! You can count on my support for Midwinter! Man I played that game – to sit on top of a snowy slope and watch the valley below for movement through binoculars. To ski for what felt like ages navigating only by compass, watching out for those choppers.

  8. Would be awesome to see a remake happen, I own (well still own if I can find the box) Midwinter and Flames of Freedom for the Amiga. My only concern would be that going “fully 3D” (as opposed to 2d images in 3d environment) could lose the feel of the original games, as many remakes have done. But after seeing the excellent job of the LoM for iOS, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

  9. An updated Midwinter would be great. I love that a lot of the classics are coming back from original teams on modern hardware – they come from a time when playability was everything because graphics could only be so good.

    We’re already getting Populous this year (as Godus) and Elite (as Elite: Dangerous) in 2014… both funded successfully via Kickstarter, so bring on Midwinter, that’s what I say!

    One thing I would say though is that you really need some concept work before you launch a KS. Potential pledgers love to see that you are capable of delivering, not just talking – even if you have a track record of previous titles (Just ask Peter Molyneux and David Braben about that!).

  10. Awesome news man! That game rocks!
    Must have been a legal minefield getting the publishing rights off Hasbro. More power to you dude.
    Mike would have been so proud. He would of smothered you in hugs and kisses.
    Peace out.

  11. GREAT NEWS!

    A friend of mine is a programmer and I am telling him for years now that it would be a great thing to relaunch midwinter.

    If it’s not to hard to do, it would be great to have a multiplayer option. E. g. 32 onlne-players start in the same world and need to meet/contact each other. Every player could collect strategic information on sites which can be shared with other players, e.g. for joint strikes agains General Masters army (GMA). Furthermore, the rage of radio communication (radio stations) could be limited, so that the players need to establish a network in order to contact those who are far away. This could be strategicaly important to e.g. coordinate attacs. It could also mean that occupied radiostations have to be defended against the GMA. Once a radiostation is destroyed, I could think of taking hardware from a depot to rebuild the radiostation (transportation in a Wolf.)

    Would be great if it would be a little bit like todays ego shooters. I mean, that the player can leave a vehicle and creep unseen into a site or sneak into a building.
    It would also be nice to find gadgets like snow-shirts who give the player a better camouflage.

    A Player who takes notice of a convoi moving into a certain direction (or who gets information on convois by interrogateing GMA soldiers) could also inform other players via radio so that they can prepare for a joined ambush. Here the different skills of the characters could come into play. E.g. GMA soliders could see children as unsuspicious and share information with them while others players have the skill to repair radio or vehicles.

    I could also imagine that the GMA is played by human players so that two fractions play against each other.

    Well, just thoughts. Since a white Landscape is very atmospheric but not very intensive concerning graphics, I think a lot of attention should be payed on gameplay and strategic challenge.

    One thing I loved about the original was sitting in the cable car just watching the mountains stepping out of the fog. So there need to be fog! Imagine you are underway in the fog and suddenly a convoi comes close to you. How scary!

    Since I mindwinter in real life (Norway and Sweden) I could send the developing team pictures from fog in the mountains. Once I had less than 10 meters optical range. I was lucky to have a GPS on me.

    And yes, kickstarter. I’m in.

  12. You have to do a VR port of the game for the Oculus Rift or similar, you could even have a tie in, depending on development time this could be ideal as VR looks set to make a comeback! Mention it as a stretch goal in your Kickstarter.

    Or you could sell Ski Goggles with a space to slot in a mobile phone device running the game, more of a gimmick but could be fun for a laugh.

    Good luck!

  13. Midwinter and Midwinter II were two of my favourite ever games on the Atari ST. Would absolutely fund the hell out of a remake! Get a Kickstarter!

  14. Would love a re-remake of Doomdark’s Revenge. One of my all time favourite games! :)

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