A Game Designer Without a Team: Programmer

Hello everyone. I’m trying to find someone to work with me in Wendigo, as a programmer.

First and foremost, what about the game itself? It’s a role-playing game that brings the player (different backgrounds with three different starting locations) into a fantasy world in the middle of a war. Through his choices (that will influence the places he visits, the people he knows, what he can and cannot do, and, most importantly, what he knows about the war), the player will be able to change the life of those he meets, for the good AND for the bad, and even affect, if he plays his cards right, the outcome of the war. The game has multiple endings, of course, but more than that: it has multiple paths that are available through dialog choices, combat choices and also depending on how the player chooses to approach each level, promising drastically different playthroughs (the game is supposed to be no more than 10 hours long, possibly much more if the player chooses to fight constantly).

Let’s look at each individual aspect of the game:

The setting:
Here, you can read an excerpt of the design document that talks about the setting. Well, generally, it’s a fantasy setting because it has magic and made up creatures, but magic is very rare and special, and there are no elves or dwarfs like we usually see. More than that, there are drastically different societies inside Wendigo‘s world. Some will have near-futuristic technology, others will live in huts in the forest, but something will be common: weapons. In essence, it’s similar to a medieval world with guns, only they are designed to be part of the setting, rather than an alien element (there will be absolutely no real modern weapons, despite frequent similarities). These differences will help give an individual charm to each location, and provide something unique to offer the player.

The war sprouted for political reasons, but nobody really knows what it’s actually about. There are different and conflicting opinions, even inside the high ranking officials of the army, and that ambiguity will be the driving point of the plot, and will make each decision the player has to make regarding the war a lot harder. In any case, there is a big twist towards the end of the game. But the aim of the plot are the characters and how the player chooses to deal with them, in each particular playthrough.

The Character System:
Wendigo‘s character system is designed from scratch for the game. Somewhere between Vampire Bloodlines, Arcanum and Fallout, it is a skill centric system that will be both easy to understand and deep. Depending on the skills the character possesses, the plot of the game will unfold differently, because the choices available will be influenced by that.

The Combat System:
The combat system for this game is the first real hybridization of turn based and real time combat. Thanks to the implementation of two very innovative features, I managed to preserve all the tactical depth of turn based combat (and that also means the game doesn’t play by itself, like in, say, Neverwinter Nights) while benefiting from the apparent realism and intuitiveness of real time fights. It is point and click (there will be a description box, like Fallout‘s), and doesn’t rely, AT ALL, in the player’s physical dexterity: it’s all about the strategy.

Character positioning will play a big role, as well as combat preparation. It is not party based, but the player may be accompanied by allied NPCs (Fallout-like). Fights against large numbers of similarly equipped/skilled humans will be very hard, and will only be possible with strategic thought. But don’t worry: you won’t have to fight ANYONE if you don’t want to, since there will be as many (if not more) diplomatic paths as violent ones.

Skill Usage in Dialog and Elsewhere:
Dialog choices will be largely influenced by character skills/stats and previous choices, possibly more than we’ve ever seen (we’ll see how that unfolds) and will be a big part of the game for most playthroughs. There are, however, no dice rolls, inside or outside dialogs (including in combat). Instead if dice rolls, there will be relatively complex equations to determine the time required to perform a certain action (or even if the character is able to perform it at all). Time will play a significant role in some levels, specially in stealth operations (being caught while picking a lock isn’t so good, is it?).

I’ve been designing Wendigo in a design document since March this year. There is no real game, right now, and that’s why I’m looking for a programmer: to build the game. The mechanics will have to be tweaked, obviously, but the basic design is done and we definitely have something to work upon. So, what am I looking in a programmer?

  • Good programming skills, probably C++, depending on the chosen engine (I’m currently thinking about OGRE 3D);
  • Passion about oldschool RPGs, enough to dedicate himself to the project and contribute, if he wants, to the design.

Nothing else. If you live in northern Portugal, then all the better, I can find us an office and computers (probably), otherwise all the work will have to be done via the internet (something that’s definitely not new). Depending on how things go, the game will be as much my creation as it will be the Lead Programmer’s, and the profits will be shared accordingly (also with the rest of the team that I’ll eventually gather). Of course, the game will only be completed in a matter of years, but I do plan to sell it worldwide, with, or without the support of editors or other studios.

If you are interested, please reply (here or to tiago.morbus.sa -at- gmail -dot- com). Don’t concern about whether you are qualified or not, we’ll see that after you contact me.

This text will be posted in multiple forums and boards, to help spread the word. If you saw it somewhere else, don’t refrain yourself from replaying here.



  1. Merv said,

    December 26, 2009 at 16:56

    Oh rapaz, tu vais te fartar deste projecto ainda antes de o começares…

    • Tiago Sá said,

      December 26, 2009 at 17:11

      Não me fartei até hoje e visto que quero fazer disto o meu futuro, duvido muito que me vá fartar. Mas talvez prefira outra coisa qualquer. Sempre gostei de carpintaria ;)

      • Tiago Sá said,

        December 26, 2009 at 17:13

        E já agora, nós já temos um programador, e dois artistas. O Quest Design está a progredir diáriamente, bem como a escrita dos diálogos. Aind aprecisamos de mais membros para a equipa, mas não estamos parados de todo…

        Bem, agora no Natal eu estou :P

  2. tespian said,

    April 4, 2010 at 18:39

    E então, que tens feito? Como vai o projecto? É que não tens feito grandes actualizações nos posts do blog =\

    • Tiago Sá said,

      April 4, 2010 at 22:20

      Postar no blog não é preciso para já :P Tenho estado a escrever diálogos e assim, o que posso fazer para já. É montes de trabalho, e fica já tudo adiantado para quando conseguir uma equipa concreta.

      Ando também à procura de financiamento… 70 mil euros ao longo de 3 anos, com retorno garantido e possibilidades de retorno até 2000% ou mais… Se souberes alguém… ;)

      • tespian said,

        April 4, 2010 at 23:09

        Ora bem, tendo feito um levantamento geral da industria portuguesa recentemente, as minhas duas sugestões são:

        – Seed Studios http://www.seed-studios.com/
        Provavelmente das poucas empresas portuguesas que está num nivel alto (a comparar com solo nacional). poderão talvez investir.

        – Game Invest http://www.gameinvest.net/
        Investiram no Hysteria Hospital ’nuff said.

  3. Renato Lopes said,

    June 14, 2011 at 22:58

    Ok, não precisas de postar no blog, mas apareceres de vez enquando era fixe. Gostava de saber mais sobre como o projecto está a correr. Sabes que estou curioso para ver o que sai daí.

    • Tiago Sá said,

      June 15, 2011 at 01:41

      Olá man. De momento está parado, porque não encontro ninguém para me ajudar. Portanto enquanto não tirar um curso de programação para começar eu mesmo a programar, dedico-me a escrever uma shortstory sobre o jogo. Já vai para aí nas 20 páginas A4 :P

      Sabes que é complicado pedir a outros que progamem um jogo que sou eu que crio, para todos os efeitos. Toda a gente tem ideias para um jogo, boas ou más não importa: quem as vê concretizadas num jogo são aqueles que sabem programar ou têm dinheiro para pagar a programadores. E mesmos esses…

      • Renato Lopes said,

        June 15, 2011 at 01:47

        Pois, compreendo o que queres dizer. É difícil chamar de nosso algo que não foi feito directamente pela nossa mão. Contudo isso vai-te complicar bastante as coisas. Já começaste a tirar o curso? Fala com o tespian, btw. O gajo tem-se safado bem em programação. Talvez ele alinhe.

        De qualquer maneira, 20 páginas dificilmente é uma shortstory xD Está mais para conto, mesmo. Depois deixa ler. Não sabia que gostavas de escrever :)

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