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Genre: JRPG, Massively Multiplayer Online, Multiplayer, RPG
Developer: EPICBEYOND Studios
Inspired by the classic 16-bit ARPGs of last decades, KINGDOM·OF·LOOT is a brand-new, completely unique game. It's an ode to the classic 2D action-arcade games such as Secret of Mana or The Legend of Zelda, that became a fundamental part of gaming history and captivated players for many years.
KINGDOM·OF·LOOT will be released for PC, MAC, Linux.
KINGDOM·OF·LOOT seeks to bring back the timeless feel of these classics while answering the question: how would they have been if based in a global mass multiplayer system? An immersive persistent world to explore, tons of loot to collect, new friendships to forge and adventures to live.
KINGDOM·OF·LOOT strongly focuses on collecting, crafting and sharing in-game loot. You decide whether doing it on your own, with a small group of friends, a guild or joining hundreds of other players on your epic gear quest. Hopefully, appealing to your nostalgic self, KINGDOM·OF·LOOT seeks to return to the era when technology made the videogame industry take a different path and bring the opportunity for a new classic to be created.
Essentially, Kingdom of Loot will be a Diablo-esque ARPG that combines loot accrual, crafting, and random dungeon clearing all within the context of a competitive online multiplayer game.*
Whats does 'A' in ARPG stand for?
A stands for action. It's the concept of one versus many. You against the Horde. The odds seem utterly stacked against you, but only in terms of quantity -- quality-wise, you can do so many things the enemy can't.
After all, you're the hero.**
Action role-playing games count with elements of action and action-adventure games, emphasizing real-time control over your character. KINGDOM·OF·LOOT is no different.
Depending on your class you will eventually be a master of melee, ranged or magic attacks. Most of them are able to be upgraded to combos. High level heroes will be able to deal a devastating charged attack.
KINGDOM·OF·LOOT also brings to the table an active defense system where you can dodge, parry or block enemies.
While this might seem pretty much the usual basic features of 20-year-old classics, you should keep in mind that KINGDOM·OF·LOOT incorporates action based gameplay in a mass multiplayer environment. The engine not only has to deal with your end but also the action of the members of your party or guild.
In fact the game server deals with all the real-time action going on in the entire world, which proved impossible for the early attempts to add it to a mass multiplayer online game. Even today, limitations do exist. But that even adds up to the retro-vibe of KINGDOM·OF·LOOT’s true classic gameplay.
- MatUNight covered Alpha 0.01 with a Twitch livestream 1/2: Watch on YouTube.
- MatUNight covered Alpha 0.01 with a Twitch livestream 2/2: Watch on YouTube.
- MrMovees87 taking a little peek-sy doodle at Kingdom of Loot Alpha 0.05: Watch on YouTube
Designing a persistent world that is easily expandable is a challenge on its own. How do you create a vast world to explore without having to layout all its locations right away? A simple trick will do. Like in old times use an overworld map connecting all the different locations depending on which ever means are required to actually get there.
Simply walk there or use a boat or an airship ... no problem if you have a map taking care about just one thing - getting from A to B.
Encounters with monsters occur on dedicated maps only. There are two different kinds: Open Map, which everyone shares, and Instances, which only you or your party share.
New dedicated maps can easily be added by placing an entrance on the Overworld. Graphically, the Overworld and dedicated maps are seen with top-down view with optional parallax background layer, and weather effects like clouds, rain, snow, etc.
Towns are the social hubs of KINGDOM·OF·LOOT as they provide shops, crafting areas and also a “Soul Statue” to respawn. They use five layer parallax side-scrolling graphics instead of an top-down view. Some dedicated maps may contain rooms which are five layer parallax side-scrolling too.
- Vierbit demonstrating his world editor in a Timelapse Video: Watch on YouTube.
- Enhanced plattform gameplay mechanics demonstration: Watch on YouTube.
- Traveling by boat demonstration: Watch on YouTube.
- Parallax Side-scrolling Townhub demonstration: Watch on YouTube
The hunt for better gear is what KINGDOM·OF·LOOT is all about. Different strategies will get you better items. The most common, of course, is defeating monsters. Nevertheless, it’s an ARPG.
The MMO aspect allows for safe in-game item trade with other players, which is, next to crafting and enhancing items, your second most important source for better gear.
All gear is procedural generated and ranges from normal to magic, rare, epic, unique and set items. The latter will give you an additional bonus when more than one item of the set is equipped, and sometimes unlock a special character skin, called costume. Items also have sockets where one can insert special crystals or runes.
Enhancing / crafting items requires certain resources. You will harvest resources by prospecting parts of the environment with a universal laser drill. Over time your prospecting skill will improve enabling to drill even more rare deposits.
At this point, KOL does not provide a Story Mode or Campaign, which is maybe the biggest difference compared to the classics.
Like many retro style games set out to become a unique concept, KOL has its roots in fan games and took several iterations and failures to get to what eventually has become. While being a fan game we rapidly learned that the story or complicated quest arcs were mostly ignored by players in favour of a more casual play style of quick "dungeon runs". They prefer to stay online for 45-60 minutes which is enough time to complete a dungeon and hunt down some epic gear. It doesn’t mean we are not going to implement a story or campaign at some point, but for now, basic quests and tasks are given at the quest board in the main towns instead of a full fledged campaign driven story.
You will start your career as a Junior in your profession. Eventually you will promote to Master and then, Elder.
All promotions will unlock new skills and an enhanced class skin. KINGDOM·OF·LOOT incorporates a dynamic class system and will be released with six standard classes with the option to add additional ones via expansions.
Tier 1 Starter Classes:
Weapon: One-handed Sword & Shield
Role: Defensive Tank & Supporter
Weapon: Two-Handed Staff
Role: High Damage Dealer & Buffer
Weapon: Two-handed Sword
Role: Offensive Tank
Weapon: Two Daggers
Role: High Agility Damage Dealer
Weapon: Arrows & Bows
Role: High Range Medium Damage Dealer
Special: Can upgrade arrows by adding different arrow-tips
Role: Healer, Supporter & Buffer
The look of your character is what visually sets you apart from other players. You can spend some of your hard-earned gold on changing the color of your gear and your hair to your own taste.
You can buy paint buckets and dye at your in-game local store to change the color of your gear and hair.
Worn gear will not directly be shown on the sprite of your hero for the expection of set items which sometimes (having them all) unlock a custom skin. However, gear will be shown in a bigger display of your hero in the inventory.
Coloration & Paperdollsystem Demonstration: Watch at YouTube.
Claudi Martinez, our music composer and sound effects wizard, emulated the classic SNES sound chip to bring us back the nostalgic feeling of our early ages, using a 16-bit orchestral setup that takes one step forward on classic videogame music.
Feel free to listen to his work here:
We are aware of the fact that Massively Multiplayer Online games raise big expectations among most players, but usually these games are pretty poor and contain a lot of microtransactions; it feels like they only want to make profit. Most websites offering gaming news just moved on by simply ignoring them. This might be the right response towards some of the games, but certainly not for all of them, and certainly not for KINGDOM·OF·LOOT.
KINGDOM·OF·LOOT does not only have a lovely SNES style, both in its elaborate artwork and music, but also offers full online multiplayer action for a single reason: to play with your friends and make new ones. It’s about the social aspects of it.
As said before, most MMOs are free to play with microtransactions; it’s an established industry standard to fund and maintain the projects. However, we haven’t decided which way to go yet. Maybe it’s because we prefer making a good game first and worry about benefits later on.
No matter what direction we decide to take in the end, it will be for the sake of a good game.
KINGDOM·OF·LOOT is a labor of love. For us, being accepted into the Collective is like coming home. Bear in mind that most of our inspiration is taken straight out of Square Enix's most successful franchises.
We have a vision about what the game will be and its future. The game will be completed regardless of the outcome. We've been working under the radar without a budget for years. Money is not what keeps us going.
For us it's just a perfect way to express ourselves besides our daytime jobs and pay respect to the classics with something that hopefully will make people smile. Collective would be a fantastic way to build our fan base and gather direct input from gamers everywhere. That would be a big reward on its own and could be a stepping stone onto a next level via crowdfunding.
As Collective says – you guys know what makes a good game. So leave us a comment, get in touch, and tell us what you like and what you don't like.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to check out KINGDOM·OF·LOOT!
List of sources:
* -- NicheGamer // Carl Batchelor
** -- Charan // ARPG vs RPG: The Individual vs The Group
Matbtt// Cloud server computing, PHP & Database expert // Joined around the year 2001 when Presbyter asked him to help set up a forum and never got to move on because demand for his help never seized. Created all web applications and game server integration into a cloud service.
Presbyter// Project leader & Lead programmer // Coding is his lifelong hobby, started to code in Java when it was the brand new thing in 1997 and got stuck with it ever since. Worked on quite a few fan-games in his time and now puts all his experience into KINGDOM·OF·LOOT.
Vierbit// Pixel Wizard // Creator of all graphical content and maps. Joined around 2010 and created the unique graphical style of KOL while staying as true to the classics as close as possible. Also created the world editor from scratch.
Claudi// Music and Sound Effects // Latest addition to the team and music genius who managed to emulate the SNES sound chip to a degree we thought impossible. Creates all music and sounds for the game. You can listen to his compositions at his webpage: www.claudimartinez.com