The story of how ihobo games are making Silk, a neo-retro game with the exploration of classic tile-based games like Eye of the Beholder, Drakken, and The Lords of Midnight. and a unique Advisor system where who you hire determines the choices you can make.
As we head for our final Alpha version of the game, I've updated the Advisor Generator to expand the range of names, including adding new Celtic columns to the name tables for Advisors from Roman Celtic regions like Britannia and Germania.
In building the list of names, I included some from the Welsh language... but I'm not sure about this. It is possible (for instance) for a Roman Guide from Germania to have the name 'Elisedd', which is not historically accurate. I could restrict the Welsh names to Britannia, but it would be quite a bit of work as it would need an entirely new set of name columns just for that one region, which will be awkward to thread up in Excel.
Do you think we should include Welsh names in our name tables? Let us know!
We are close to being able to declare war in Silk for the very first time! The Save Game is implemented, and is just being tidied up and integrated into the menus, and we are producing the troop sprites required for testing the new battle system. Once all this is into the build, we'll be shipping Alpha 006, the very last of our Alpha versions... and we'll be heading for Beta.
I am hard at work now completing the final region, the Han Empire's 'western territories' in the great Sea of Death, the Takla Makan desert. With the map now entering its final phase I am proud to announce that the world of Silk is 258,379 square leagues, or 3,079,526 square miles. This makes us more than fifty times larger than Daggerfall, which was only 62,000 square miles. In other words, Silk has the largest handcrafted open world of any game ever made.
Just to note that the rough cut of the Takla Makan desert landed today, and I will thus be starting work on the fourth and final region of the game. I've already done the historical work, and have a list of all the settlements (the Han Empire kept such great records!), and Buddhist shrines for the region, but they all need placing.
Meanwhile, terrain sprite production continues apace, and the Save Game is what our programmer is working towards right now. The last Alpha build should land in the next couple of weeks, fingers crossed.
The map expansion is coming along nicely, with the entirety of the Parthian Empire and the relevant Silk Road territories of the Roman Empire all now added. You can see the Roman regions of Syria and Mesopotamia in the picture to the left. This completes the entire western side of the Silk Road, although we still have the great Takla Makan desert in the east to complete.
We are working towards a new Alpha build that will have numerous updates in it (including new Advisor Portraits), and we'll let you know more about this as we get closer to completing it. However, the map expansion won't be in the new Alpha as we don't have all the new landscape sprites to support it yet.
What you will get, though, are the Battle scripts and combat systems (although not the Troop systems yet - still working on the sprites for this!), and a substantial overhaul to the core engine that should make movement smoother and provide an increased field of vision.