Latest Release: August 24, 2023 | Content Rating: 15+ (mild animated blood effects, crude language)
Those Who Rule (originally “Tides of War”) is a tactical RPG following the Fire Emblem formula, but with a lot of new twists to the actual gameplay systems. It’s a passion project of mine that started as a FE hacking concept back in 2015 when I was still in high school. It has now morphed into an indie project that I’ve built completely from scratch using the Unity3D engine in my free time.
Original post on Serenes for those curious.
Who Am I?
My name is Eldin. I started getting into Fire Emblem hacking when I was 15, and was TERRIBLE at it. I had little to no coding experience, but I loved Fire Emblem games and the thought of making my own was very exciting. So I tried my hand at splicing and the Event Assembler, made a huge mess, quit. Saw the Fire Shell project, thought it looked like a huge improvement, made a prologue (and another mess), and quit again. The community was extremely helpful through all of this, and I still had a ton of fun in splicing competitions, and playing every hack I could get my hands on.
Around this time I was also getting interested in coding, and was learning Python/Java as I was going into university for Computer Science. Around this time I reached out (“pestered multiple times” would be more accurate) to BwdYeti to ask if I could help with this shiny new project called FEXNA. I was obviously turned down, and for the better because I probably would have made another mess! Feeling extremely discouraged I gave up on my dreams of hacking and game development, focused on my CS studies, and eventually graduated and got a normal 9-5 dev job.
I’ve been doing full time development for 3 years now, and I do enjoy it! However… the story I want to tell, and the game I’ve always dreamed of making has been stuck in the back of my mind ever since I quit all those years ago. So, very slowly, I’ve been learning game development in C# and Unity3D this past year in my free time. This project is the result of that. A weird mix of inexperience, failure, rejection, but also of growth and community.
Why Indie vs Hack?
When I decided to start exploring game development, Unity was extremely attractive to me due to my professional experience with C# (and similar languages like Java). I also had ideas of completely new gameplay patterns from the normal FE (stamina based turns vs squad based, hexes vs squares, making direction facing important) that I thought would add a lot of tactical depth, and would be easier to implement with a clean slate. Also, I didn’t realize how far the tools had come for FE hacking, and just how many projects are now complete (TLP and EB being the main ones I remember).
Why am I sharing this with you all?
Game design is hard. Though I’ve been doing a lot of learning the past year, I’m still likely to make bad choices, and when I do, I need that feedback from people who love tactical rpgs. What community loves them more, and has an unusual aptitude for making them, than the FE hacking community? What I’m really looking for is a place where I can discuss the various design decisions and systems in the game and incorporate your feedback into making the game better.
How will Those Who Rule be distributed?
Right now I have an open Beta on Steam! Free for anyone to try, you just need to hit the “Request Access” button and you’ll automatically be given access to the beta. It contains just the prologue chapter, which is ~20-30 minutes of content. It is only supporting Windows for now.
The end goal is to release a paid version on Steam (probably between $10-20). Now that I’ve finished a lot of the foundational features of the game (initiative queue, dialogue, save, combat systems, etc) I want to start focusing on developing more chapters (aiming for ~18 total). I also still have a couple of systems to implement, like classes/abilities/combat mechanics, that I think would greatly benefit from community feedback.
If there’s one thing I remember from my days hacking, it’s to post screenshots with your project!
Twitter - for those interested in past updates
Discord - Love discussing all aspects of Tactical RPGs, and Discord allows me to get feedback and answer any questions much quicker.