My friend, we must part now but I will be with you…

A couple of things kicked in at the end of last year that made me take the following course of action… The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge are no longer available to purchase. What this means is that the mobile versions are no longer available and the Desktop versions are available for free but unsupported.

The main driver for this is my inability to support the games. I have spoken at length about the issues caused when Marmalade pulled out of the SDK market, and my ongoing battle with bringing the games to a new platform. iOS was the first to cause me problems. LoM hasn’t worked correctly since iPhone8, however Apple don’t allow you to set which devices your games work on, so I had to add a piece of text to store description to say that it didn’t work. Up until late 2019 I would get the odd support email from people who had bought it or upgraded their phone and the game didn’t work. To the new purchasers I could easily point them at a refund, and the upgraders all I could do was offer my apologies. However iPhone8 is two years old and pretty much the base phone – which means that more and more people are upgrading and new purchases are most likely to be an incompatible phone. This situation became too much and so late last year I removed the iOS versions from sale.

Google are making more and more demands of the apps on their store. I have had to make a number of listing changes but as of yet not had any requirement to change the actual game, but it’s only a matter of time.

GoG had to remove the Mac versions from their store last year because of the 64bit support requirement of Catalina. At the same time I removed the Mac Desktop versions from the Apple App store.

My work on the replacement version has been very sporadic. I made great strides early last year while I was working away from home in Bristol, and even uploaded test versions for preview, however since taking a contract closer to home, I have had no time to do any work. I made a decision back in July that had I not released the replacement version by the Solstice, then I would stop all work on it. The reality is, that outside of my day to day work, I just don’t spend time developing any more. And the fact that the game sits their uncompleted essentially stops me from doing anything else.

The second driver is that I am making some changes to my working situation. There is no need for details here other than to say that I will be making my company ‘Chilli Hugger Software’ officially dormant for the next six to twelve months. The main issue from this is that I cannot have any income coming in to the company bank account, otherwise it’s not dormant. Therefore the games would at least need to be free.

With the combination of the two things it was just easier to remove the games from sale completely, which I did across the board late last year. Once all the games were removed from sale, I intended to put the latest versions of the Desktop games on the site for unsupported download. However when removing the games from sale through GoG.com, they requested that they be able to keep the game on their service as an unsupported free download – I didn’t have any issue with this as their site listing is really nice!

I hope that this is not an end game rather just an acceptance on my behalf that it was time for the game and me to take a break. I started working on Lords of Midnight DOS in 90/91 and I released the Windows version in ’99 the remake has been available since 2012. I am hopeful that I will come back to Midnight development in the foreseeable future – I just don’t know how or when. I thought it important to make it clear that for the foreseeable future, there isn’t going to be a updated version of the game.

The code remains on GitHub should anyone wish to get involved. The current version works on Windows and OSX desktop, but only in a window. Technically it works on iOS and Android, but the resolution support isn’t there. As always I would be happy to work in conjunction with others, as sometimes, just being a team can make the difference – and I still want to see The Citadel produced.

I must take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me and the game over the years. It really is appreciated.

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The Forest Keeper

When Mike and I were talking about The Lords of Midnight remake, one of the things we were going to do, was start the game earlier.

The Novella starts with Luxor and Morkin at the Forest Keeper’s hut. They are on their way to The Tower of the Moon in order to be part of the Council of the Wise.

The Novella is effectively all exposition. It’s about giving you the player, the information you need to know, in order to continue on and immerse yourself with the game.

This came to mind the other day because I was asked about remaking The Lords of Midnight, again. It is something I would love to do. I’m just not fully sure anymore what it would mean. However, there was one thing that I remembered that we did want to do, and that was change the Novella into a Animated Graphic Novel, and split it up with the initial game play which would then start from the Forest Keeper’s hut.

The game would place in you a restricted map, inside of the Forest of the Moon, and you need to find your way to the Tower. This would allow for the Narrative to be blended with the tutorial, and thus, by the time the game starts proper, at the start of the Solstice, you would have all the information you needed without having to read any manuals.

Once you start to increase the production values, then maybe there is something that could be for a larger audience.

I’ve already had some conversations about the audio. About how to score the game.

And visually, we have an idea of how it would look. Most of you already have an idea from Jure’s art that was non-original style for The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge. But I place a gallery at the end of this post. But if you then take into account this image the Jure sent me the other day when were were discussing how we would make the game look…

A Vision of Midnight

The real issues comes down to the interface and the gameplay. What would we need to change in the actual game. The main thing is to stay in the narrative. Every decision we make must be based on the story, and staying in story. We would probably need to make a few slight changes to the original just to give it some breathing space.
And all that text… it’s problematic but it’s also the charm of the original, you wouldn’t want to get rid of it, but should some of it be lost? I really don’t know the answer to that yet. What if it was all spoken?

Now, if I could just find some money to allow me and Jure to work on it full time… or almost full time…

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