Cyclopean Announced

Indie developing house Iron Tower Studio always expressed a wish to work with other projects after Age of Decadence is released, and Cyclopean appears to be the first.

Cyclopean looks to be in very early design stages and probably won’t ramp up into a full game until Age of Decadence is released, but we’ll keep an eye out.

Cyclopean is the working title for a turn-based RPG project currently in the design phase. The game is inspired by, and to a large extent based on, the stories and mythos of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, and takes place in 1923 Western Massachusetts. Based on the strength of the concept and some samples of the writing, Vince has offered me the lead designer position for this second team of Iron Tower Studio. I’m calling this second team (Team Omega).

I chose the name Cyclopean because it was arguably Lovecraft’s favourite adjective, meaning (big) in the context of his stories, not (one-eyed). I like the way it sounds and I don’t want to call the game (Shadow Over Arkham), (Look Out, It’s Cthulhu!) or something else entirely predictable and lame.

The player starts out in Lovecraft’s most famous fictional town, Arkham. Over the course of the game the player will travel to several other locations in and under the State of Massachusetts, and come in contact with cultists, law enforcement, hapless citizens, shadowy organizations, criminals, otherworldly creatures, and if he’s lucky, horrors beyond imagining. The game will concentrate on dense, quality writing in Lovecraft’s style, thrilling dialogue, and stimulating turn-based combat versus people and other things. Emphasis will be placed on quests with many possible solutions and outcomes. Players will not be restricted to fighting evil, but may ally themselves with those who wish to bring back the Great Old Ones, as well as various other organizations. Details to follow. The player will be able to pick up autonomous NPC support, a la Fallout, during the game. Influence over ally’s basic AI will be available, but equipment changes will be limited.

A concern already raised is that Lovecraft’s canon does not suit itself to a computer game. I think the locations, creatures and atmosphere established by Lovecraft are entirely adaptable, not just as a colourful background to the same tired old RPG themes, but as an entire game experience. Any established body of work translated to a computer game, or any other form of media, will have to be bent somewhat to accommodate its new form. It is my belief that a more faithful translation of Lovecraft’s world can be implemented as a fun and worthwhile CRPG.

Finally, here are a few things which will not be in Cyclopean: immortal and chatty NPC’s with abandonment issues, elves, giant rats, sewers, black and red hellscapes, and Monty Python references.

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