Hero of Allacrost

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Hero of Allacrost, or simply Allacrost, is a 2D single-player RPG licensed under the GNU General Public License and was founded by Tyler Olsen in June 2004.[1][2]

The team's official description of the game is as follows:

Hero of Allacrost is a single player 2D role-playing game that shares similar appearance and gameplay with classic console RPGs. In Hero of Allacrost, the player will explore rich environments, solve challenging dungeon puzzles, and fight strategic battles in an active-time based system.

The game will be released in modules, rather than waiting until the entire game is finished to make a release. Once a new module is released, players can download it and install it, which will make more content available for the player to continue the game from where they last saved. Each Allacrost release will contain a new chapter of the story. Each section is released when it is completely finished.[3]

It is written in the C++ and Lua programming languages using the SDL library.[4]

Design[edit]

Allacrost's design is inspired from 2D console role-playing games that were common in the 1990s. The two games that it draws most of its inspiration from are Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. Allacrost's main design goals are:[5]

  1. Emulate the look and feel of the current generation of games while still being original.
  2. Create a free role-playing game, which can played by an amount of people as large as possible. This means that it must have low hardware requirements, support Linux, Windows and Mac OSX and be available in multiple languages.
  3. Focus on gameplay and story, not on graphic effects.
  4. Dispense with time-wasting gameplay elements (micromanagement) which other RPGs often contain.
  5. Be intellectually challenging.

Features[edit]

Some of the features of the game include the following.

  • Multiple Point Attack System or MAPS is one of the key features of the battle system. MAPS defines multiple targets on enemies which the player can select to attack (head, arms, etc). Each attack point has certain resistances and weaknesses, and furthermore a successful hit on certain attack points may induce a status effect such as decreased agility or temporary blindness. The major purpose of MAPS is to allow players (and the enemy AI) to develop multiple strategies for defeating their opponents.
  • Skills are different from most common RPG systems. In Allacrost they are divided into attack, defense, and support categories. Skills consume certain amounts of skill points (SP), depending on how advanced the skill is. Some skills require no SP, but are much less powerful. Furthermore, it will not be a simple matter to regenerate SP between battles, which requires the player to not lavishly abuse high-level skills.
  • Elemental and Status Effects have multiple severity ratings that determine how potent a certain effect is (poisoning, strength boost, etc.).

Story[edit]

Being a RPG, the Allacrost Team places a great deal of emphasis on providing a compelling story for the game. The story is actually written in novel format, and the story implemented in the game is based off this on-going novel. Being that Allacrost originally started as a short story and not a game, the team decided to continue the novel-based game approach. The story that will be present in the game will not be exactly the same as it is presented in the novel.

Synopsis[edit]

The main protagonist is Claudius Toratine, a young knight of the kingdom of Harrvah. As a young child, Claudius was adopted by the Taolin family after the village he had lived in was raided by the Muabi, a tribe of natives, and his family murdered. The tale begins with Claudius on a mission with several knights-in-arms to unblock the water supply leading to the capital. After doing so, they return to the capital to find it ablaze with evil demons overwhelming the castle town's defenses. Claudius and the returning party of knights rush to the battle and by a chance of fate, Claudius narrowly ends up saving the life of his king from a surprise attack. The demons eventually withdraw, leaving the town half destroyed with dead bodies filling every street. A few days later the king addresses Claudius personally, informing him of an ancient legend which tells of a hero who will appear when their world is in peril. The king requests for Claudius to alone seek out this hero of legend to give their people hope. After an emotional farewell with his adopted family and his dear sister Laila, Claudius departs on his new assignment.

Origins[edit]

Allacrost began not as a game, but as a short story which Tyler wrote in early June, 2004. Upon sharing it online on the AnimeSuki forums and receiving much unexpected praise, Tyler mentioned the possibility of using the story as a basis for an open source role playing game. A small handful of interested parties contacted Tyler stating that they wished to work on the game he proposed. The initial Allacrost team consisted of 3 programmers, one graphics artist, and one musician, and the project's domain was registered on June 10th, 2004. This date is cited as the project's birth date. The deepest roots of Allacrost extend even further back to 1996 when Tyler wrote some ideas down in a journal for a RPG that he hoped to one day develop. The fundamental base for the game's story as well as some of the core features available in the game come from this journal source.

First Year[edit]

The initial team of five originally focused on deciding upon the feature set for the game. The team's project registration was approved by Sourceforge on July 26th, 2004. By the end of summer 2004, a minimal amount of progress had been made with the code as the team discovered that their lack of experience in game development had greatly hindered the rate of development that they hoped to achieve. On the programming team, much of the first year of Allacrost was spent discovering how to design a suitable engine for the game logic to run upon. The original team members also focused on choosing a defining style for the game's artwork, which was largely resolved by a talented artist, Brett Steel (Safir-Kreuz)), who joined the team in Fall 2004. Allacrost quickly had a wide selection of quality music thanks mostly to the arrival of Ryan Reiley (Rain). The team released the first screenshots for Allacrost on February 1st, 2005[6], which detailed a title screen and a simple map populated with sprites.

Second Year[edit]

Development on Allacrost was somewhat hindered due to poor choices in the software libraries that the engine was built upon. Much of the programming work done during this period involved researching alternative libraries and replacing the ones that did not meet the project's needs. Engine development was the major focus for the programming team during this period. The much smaller artwork team worked hard to produce enough sprites and map artwork in order for the team to be able to release their first demo, while the sound and music team continued to build a comprehensive library of music for the game's soundtrack. One of the difficulties the team faced during this period was the team itself; the team had grown to around 15-20 individuals by this time, and managing the team became a difficult and time-consuming task.

Third Year[edit]

The third year of Allacrost saw its first release. A tech demo (version 0.1.0) was made available on October 2nd, 2006. [7], and a second set of screenshots from this demo were posted shortly before the release on August 31st, 2006. The tech demo featured a single map, a small number of NPCs, random battle encounters, a basic but functional battle system, and a simple party menu interface. The demo was immediately available for Windows, OS X, and Linux (by source distribution), but these were quickly followed by a FreeBSD port and an unofficial Debian package. After achieving this milestone, the team set their next goal on expanding the content and features of the demo. Progress toward this goal continued throughout the rest of Allacrost's third year, and just after the project's anniversary date, on June 11th 2007 the team released a second tech demo (version 0.2.0). This release featured two maps, many more NPCs, visible enemy encounters on maps, a simple shopping interface, and many more updates.

Fourth Year[edit]

The Allacrost team has recently released their third demo, v0.2.1, which was labeled as a small improvement to their previous demo with some new features added.

Contributors[edit]

Allacrost has a long list of contributors throughout its history.[8] The people whom have made the most significant amount of contributions include:

Programming team[edit]

Artwork team[edit]

Composition team[edit]

Version history[edit]

See Hero of Allacrost release history for more details.

External links[edit]

References[edit]