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Homeland: A Running RPG

A few years ago I started working on this game, which until recently was just called "MapGame" (hey, I needed a name). Recently I found it in me to hunker down and work on this, a bit at a time. Now it's nearly at a point where I can show it to the world. Hopefully the world likes it! The current "running" title is "Homeland: A Running RPG".

The concept is simple: It's a simple RPG that rewards you for exploring the area outside your house. This can be a daily run, or a daily walk, or even a bike ride. As you explore, you will discover permanent Landmarks such as shops or harvest points. The game offers multiple systems of RPG-style progression to keep you busy! There are lots and lots of systems which will be described below.

World Map

The World Map Is Right Outside

My inspiration for this game was one day when I was bored out of my mind while jogging around the neighborhood. I had an app to track my run, but I felt it could be doing so much more to motivate me to run.

"Wouldn't it be cool if you went running and randomly discovered a shop that sold items?" 

​I remember thinking. And that day I went home and played around with a prototype project using the MapBox API. With that, the earliest prototype of this idea was born. The image to the right shows the current look of the procedural map. This one is the area around my house. I walked around and found the Small Cozy Village.

Landmark_edited_edited.jpg
WorldMap_edited.jpg

Discover Landmarks

As you explore, you will discover an array of fantastical landmarks, ranging from cozy villages with shops to mushroom caves where you can harvest resources, and even majestic formations that grant large EXP bonuses.

One of the major inspirations for this game was giving the player a variety of whimsical, interesting locations to discover. The art for these is indeed AI generated... but wait, hear me out! As I was playing around with AI art I realized that one thing it was VERY good at doing was generating interesting, whimsical and mysterious landscapes. It's one area where being a little "off" actually added to the charm. In fact, seeing how impressive these turned out was a major motivator for me to actually continue this game.

Landmarks

This is a small selection of some of landmarks you discover as you explore the world. The landmarks include potion shops, wizard towers, and a hideout in a grotto.

Please note that these are static images. You do not currently explore these regions directly. Nonetheless, I believe these pictures have mystical, mysterious properties that make these areas feel like they belong to another world.

The Town

Between Quests, Return to Your Home Base 

Any RPG needs a home base! Especially one called Homeland. In this game, when you're not exploring or in combat encounters (more on that later) you are managing your character in town. Here you can do multiple things:

  • Check your inventory

  • Buy and sell goods

  • Change or upgrade equipment

  • Build or upgrade buildings

  • Craft potions

  • Look through your explored landmarks

  • Check level-up rewards

  • Choose combat encounters

  • Pick a quest from the quest board (that is, prepare to explore outside)

In other words, this is where you use those resources you gathered while exploring the World Map!

Shop2.png
Town.png

Using Your Resources

Resources you gather (or purchase!) in the world can be used for many purposes:

  • Crafting

  • Building

  • Upgrading

  • Selling

In fact, it's possible to profit from buying goods from certain vendors and selling them to other shops for a profit! Note how the Shop Info tab on the left displays information about this shop's preferences.

I wanted to add this element to Homeland as it has always been a personal favorite feature from games like Mount and Blade. Find a shop selling something for cheap? Buy it and sell it elsewhere! Establish trade routes, which require you to actually move physically! Shop inventory refreshes each day.

Town Activities

Check out this carousel which shows various things you can do in town!

Combat Encounters

What's An RPG Without Some Combat?

Ok, there are great RPGs out there that have no combat. But this one does!

After all that effort gathering resources, it's good to have a challenge out there to justify building up your character.

In Homeland, there are several combat challenges waiting for you! The mechanics are rather simple, though you will need to progress in order to defeat some of the more challenging encounters.

The fight mechanics are easy to learn:

  • You fight multiple waves of enemies in a 3x3 grid

  • You take turns, though your character can make multiple moves per turn

  • Tap a button to attack with one of two equipped weapons

  • There are 20 weapons to pick from, each belonging to a weapon class of Axe, Sword, Bow, Spear or Dagger. These can be discovered, purchased and upgraded

  • Different weapons affect different enemy positions, target different enemies, require more actions, etc.. Pick and choose your favorite!

  • Use potions/items to heal yourself, buff yourself, or damage the enemy

  • Fight until you win. Or lose! There are no stakes, so experiment as needed with different strategies

CombatMap.png

Tutorials

A Good Set Of Starting Tutorials

I know that inherently there's nothing too impressive about a game having tutorials, but I found a way to make some pretty neat interactive tutorials that go beyond just having walls of text. These highlight the stuff you need to press so you can familiarize yourself with the UI.

The tutorials are also built into the (currently somewhat light) game narrative, featuring a colorful set of characters that each give tutorials about specific parts of the game.

Tutorial.png
Tutorial2.png

How Do I Play This Game?

This game is not yet released. I'm testing it out and balancing it until I feel comfortable even releasing an alpha.

However, if you are interested in helping me test this game, reach out to me at flavkupe@gmail.com. I can put you in the list and give you a URL. Be warned... it's still a bit buggy, and the balance is not all there yet. 

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