SanctuaryRPG is without a doubt one of the more interesting games i’ve ever had the opportunity to cover in our Indie Spotlight section. An old school throwback to the era of text-based games, these guys have been working hard to bring you a game that utilises ASCII art to create character models and imagery. I’ve been talking to the Game Director for this project, Daniel, to see what inspired him to begin this project, and where we can expect it to go in the future. SanctuaryRPG has an ever growing community of supporters on Reddit where you can keep yourself updated with all developments yourself, alongside their website - links to which you will be able to find at the bottom of this article.
Q: It’s unusual to see a text-based game being produced now, what made you want to try and recreate this classic genre of game?
A: With the ASCII art style, we were aiming for a nostalgic feel of old school games such as Zork, Nethack, and LORD.
We’re here to prove a statement that you do not need fancy graphics to create awesome gameplay. Games such as Dwarf Fortress proved that with good enough gameplay, a game can be pretty awesome regardless of the medium.
Q: Can you give a brief overview of the story and gameplay elements that you’ve already implemented into this game?
A: While I can’t reveal much of the story, as it is a work in progress, the combat is turn based, but feels more like an action RPG at times.There is a nifty combo system, as well as weapon specific perks. Players can train in multiple weapons, and maybe even romance a cow! The world is pretty lighthearted, with some serious RPG undertones. Players can choose from six unique classes, and nine unique races. In addition, a robust loot system allows for players to further customize their character.
One of the main draws of the game is that it’s very easy to get in and out of; you can play for 5 minutes or 5 hours. Their user experience is very snappy and the game will run on almost any hardware configuration.
Q: How many people do you currently have working on this game? What future developments can we expect to see?
A: We currently have a staff roster of around 10 and growing. We also have multiple internal projects in the works as well.
Q: Are you intending to release this as a purchasable game, or will it be a free to play project?
A: SanctuaryRPG Classic will be released as a feature-complete free game, complete with all the bells and whistles.
It’s certainly great to see this sort of game being produced, and old school gamers from the text-based era would certainly love this kind of throwback to that time. The developers of this great project are proving that you don’t need incredible AAA graphics, or really even any graphics at all to create a great, immersive game.
Due to the free-to-play nature of the project, SanctuaryRPG is certainly worth checking out for any gamer - it’s a relatively unusual genre of a game with the kind of features that really deserve a look. I really appreciate the use of ASCII art to create the character models within the game and it adds a nice touch to the build. I’m sure they’ve got lots more in mind for this development, and I look forward to seeing it. Make sure you check out the development blog and subreddit for this game below.