Text-based open worlds.

I was playing Fabled Lands (fan-made java version, not shitty art steam one) some time ago and I remember being impressed by the sheer amount of content packed into the series, given that it is still an incomplete, very limited book saga. It blows out of the water almost everything you can find in modern rpgs: Become a ship captain, a pirate, uncover treasures, slay inmortals, take sides in a civil war, ascend the hierarchies of a decadent empire, become the chosen one of the death god (peerless magic sword included), awake and then fight an ancient vampire lich, make your own mighty fortress with vassals included, meet dragon gods at the end of the world, explore alien spaceships, fight against the fae, clockwork knights, ancient demons and dream monsters, slay dragons in order to become one (even thought it triggers an epilogue), awake the setting equivalent of King Arthur and restore a ruined kingdom, fucking time travel and many, many things more. Like, seriously, this crap puts to shame pretty much all kitchen-sink settings out there, oozing pure, bizarre charm and always using magic in creative, very twisted ways to either aid you or mess you up.

Makes me wonder why no one else tries something similar. While there is a few text-based open worlds out there, none actually tries to go apeshit with the adventures despite text being the most flexible crap you will ever have at your disposal, nor a single one is as expansive or deep. Hell, even the random events in Fabled Lands lead to weird, very memorable encounters like getting your hair turned into literal gold or even uncovering secret areas and adventures. Is just weird that we have so much imaginative stuff in the 80s and 90s and then suddenly modern settings are all stale and too self-serious for their own good.

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You may shill. Bump.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Gladly.
      The original art is also pretty insane.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous
        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous
          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous
            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous
              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous
      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It is also an strange mixture between extreme use of magic yet too little mysticism: We have settings that despite being overtly supernatural in almost every facet do almost nothing creative or interesting with it, nothing imaginative or wonderous.

        Is that the art from the book?
        Let me get this straight, this was an old-school RPG book kind of thing, and people grab the rules and made it into a videogame without the art?

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Java version supports the art if you rip it from the 1.05 big build. The official steam release uses it occasionally in the text boxes.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I just downloaded a pdf of the books and none of those images appear, in fact the game is pure text entries. Where is this art from then?

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          You downloaded the smaller file size versions. If you're looking in the share thread on tg they exist with images.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >then suddenly modern settings are all stale and too self-serious for their own good

    Unfortunatly when you are a corporation I guess it's safer to just vomit-rehash and create sequels of the craps that made money in the first place rather than to inovate.

    Bump

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It is also an strange mixture between extreme use of magic yet too little mysticism: We have settings that despite being overtly supernatural in almost every facet do almost nothing creative or interesting with it, nothing imaginative or wonderous.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Very true, but maybe some kind anon will share somethig interesting that might be both interesting and recent.

        (And if I may do a little shilling even if the game is not open world; "Magium" is not really original but may be interesting for some)

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Fascinating topic, OP, and I’d love to explore more. So I should aim for the Java version?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Yes or the books
      The steam version ruins the art style and changes the combat to some weird tactical shit that doesn’t really fit the style of the original game. Additionally class specific quests are now available to everyone giving you less reason to replay. I’m all for supporting the devs or whatever but I would rather just buy the books than play a downgraded version.
      I’m not really a fan of how all these gamebook rereleases are trying to be normal video games when they were really fine as their own niche. They did the same with lone wolf.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Art is the biggest turn off for me: The original was peak Sword and Sorcery aesthetic, feeling utterly magical and over the top without becoming ridicule (like, look at pic related: it's pure soul). Steam is just cartoony, all clean stuff that might as well be taken from a cheap korean mobile game.
        It doesn't help either that FL java has much more content than the official version by virtue of having book 3 and book 6. They promised both as DLCs, but we will see.

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Ah man, I loved that thing.

    An open-world sandbox text-based game is such a good idea.

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    All those features sound fun but the most important question is can you put your text penis in any text women (female)?

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    This is actually cool and reminds me of a concept I had back when I was working on a solo runescape text rpg. Might actually try out the steam demo.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Update. Tried the demo. The text contrast is pretty rough and also a bit blurry. Might pick up one of the books. Anyone with the physical books have an opinion based on normal or large format print?

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Is there any way to get rid of blue skin? Utaku is too easy with it on. You seem to know more about the game than me op.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Going throught the book and I can't find a way to get rid of it either. Maybe you should go no-Japan for difficult adventures now, or try to get into the court.

      All those features sound fun but the most important question is can you put your text penis in any text women (female)?

      Funny that you bring that up, because in the old Yahoo group there was a dude that made a plugin for the java version (book 2 I think) that added romance, but sadly said group got nuked with all others and all fan made content and plugins are gone, which is tragic. That said, just roleplay in your head that one of the princess you can save is now your waifu (some let you stay at their places or give you free services, I think)

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Don't forget to grab the illustration zips. You can rip them from version 1.04 and place them in 1.06.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I wanna make my own game like this someday but I’m still learning to code.

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I’m learning to code to make a game like this (plus get a job lol) but it’ll probably be a long time before I have anything worth shilling on Ganker. Good news is book 8 is coming out apparently.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah, seems that it will be about the nugreeks. Pretty cool in general, hope it's more connected than book 7.
      What's your idea for a fl-styled game, by the way? Same fantasy stuff or another genre? There is also Legendary Kingdoms doing the same thing, but honestly I find FL better and less railroady regarding quests. Still, can be a good inspiration specially for having mass combat rules.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I really haven’t decided if I want to do fantasy or sci-fi yet. I’ll just get the game mechanics hammered out first and then go from there. But ship combat/customization will be a big focus.

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If anyone ends up playing physical, a sweet lass made combined sheets so you don't have to mark up your books.
    https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/185098/fabled-lands-gamebooks-1-7-play-sheets

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I feel like all that's missing is an engine, since modern studios are hacks and indie groups/solos are normally amateurs willing to delve. Take ChoiceScript for example, they made a text-based engine and suddenly people flock to them writing text based games. Do you know if these guys have their engine available/for purchase?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I mean, I think the java version is open sourced. If someone wants to make their own Fabled Lands it should be as easy as getting the fork from the github.
      That said, it is also very archaic on top of being tailored by a very niche gamebook series. Understandably not many people are interested in making plugins or total conversions.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous
  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I've been working on a text based open world rpg for the better part of the last 6 months and it's really starting to resemble something playable. I just finished the limb targeting in combat and dismemberment along with armor/clothing equipping/ limb replacement. Over the last few days I've implemented a craftable in game computer the player can lug around to interact with various other computers or security systems. Simultaneously, softwares can be collected and saved to this craftable pc to be used in the future, like a door unlock hack. There are 44 various pc components at the moment but the player only needs one of each of the 4 base components for it to run. There's a portable player camp system, full combat, variable firing rates, working ammo, loads of items to loot already, a full day/night/week/month cycle, npc dialog... Of course there's a few bugs still and I have a lot of reformatting to do still but it'll take time. If anything it's fun and keeps me busy.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I was thinking of making a text-based RPG myself. I had just gotten to the point in using windows API where I was confident in going forward with it, when my hand and arm got kinda fucked. Programming for hours on end is no longer really an option, and it's taken ages to improve.

      Your game sounds really cool, and I figure it must be easier for a one-man team to make a game in text than 2D or 3D. Is it post-apocalypse? The rundown house and mix of melee skills with modern firearms gives that vibe.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Sorry to hear about your arm, anon. I believe in you regardless. It does have a post apocalyptic setting, but to what degree, I haven't truly figured out. And if I had known what I know now after having gotten so far with my game, I would have used a light graphical library if anything, for the rendering of individual screens/maps/etc.

        Very based anon, and autistic in a good way. Reminds me quite a bit of Zork mixed with CDDA. It will have any quest content? Something planned for the future or just layind down the basics for now?

        Thank you! I had actually came across CDDA after starting my game, but of course it serves as heavy inspiration now. Along with Kenshi and original Fallouts I suppose. Quest content is coming soon. Most of the underlying structure exists already for it, it's just a matter of finalizing the in game computer as it will be used as the quest log as well. It's fastly approaching a beta state of play, where I'll likely release it on steam (and piracy sites of course). The goal is there to be several several overlaying systems allowing the player an open approach to how they play.

        Explain more. This looks cool. What language are you using? Tools?

        Skill based dialog choices, turn based AP combat, craftable hacking tools (with their own BIOS lol), squirrel information brokers (because fuck you), all sorts of armor, consumables, weapons, gear to find, full and semi auto rifles and individual ammo generation, in depth stealth with lighting system based on time of day, interior lighting conditions, weight carried, etc. You can cut the legs off an npc and leave him where he lay. Or he might cut yours off. If an npc kills you, you respawn having lost all your gear to the npc who slayed you. There's an in game note taking journal, player camp system with offsite storage... there's more to come as well. All in time.

        Also it's all pure python that I compile to .exe for local distributions. It's lightweight and essentially runs through cmd. Not the biggest fan, but I also don't give two shits either. Eventually I'll start from scratch again implementing a light graphical library such as tkinter for creating environments through. Thanks for reading my blog.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          WOW! In python too?! That's what I use. I really like the look of what you have here and am totally excited to play it. Thanks for replying. Do you have any code or advice? You've done so much already. I'm thinking about skipping my CCNA course work and programming now...

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Hell yeah anon I appreciate the positive feedback! Being completely honest, I wish I had wrote certain aspects completely differently now that I've learned new methods of doing things. I already said it earlier as well, but I absolutely should have utilized a graphical library, even if keeping the text interface and style. It would have made for much better window population and the creation of an actual separate game environment rather than running through cmd as it does. But in the end, just keep at it I suppose. I never thought I would have got as far as quickly as I have, but I've just been piecing it together. Even days when I feel have been wasted and I despise the thought of touching my keyboard, I still work on it for a half hour or so. Makes for good long term progress, anon. We're all gonna make it.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Hey man, same anon you've been replying to here. Do you think pygame, tkinter, or libtcod(py) or otherwise could help? I've used pygame and libtcodpy for my dumb attempts at roguelikes. Dude, I'm so pumped by what you have here. Can I help? Can I do anything? Sorry, it's just what you're doing is what I want to do and I'm beyond excited thinking about it. I studied hard at python and c++ over the summer but had to stop because of my ccna course. I'm pretty much going to be coding all weekend now because of this. Anyway, anything else you wanna say about your game has my complete attention.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Pygame or tkinter were exactly the libraries I was looking into! If it's any interesting to ya, I can compile my latest build when I get home in a few hours and I can upload it for ya if you'd wanna check it out. Its only a few mb. To be honest, I've thought about looking for help with it before but it never seemed feasible before really. I'm not against the idea, as I'm sure another hand in it could mean fantastic things. Hell yeah.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Pygame or tkinter were exactly the libraries I was looking into! If it's any interesting to ya, I can compile my latest build when I get home in a few hours and I can upload it for ya if you'd wanna check it out. Its only a few mb. To be honest, I've thought about looking for help with it before but it never seemed feasible before really. I'm not against the idea, as I'm sure another hand in it could mean fantastic things. Hell yeah.

                Here's a fresh build if anyone wants to check it out. Only about 4mb, should run on any windows pc no issue considering how light it is.

                files dot catbox dot moe/64wnto dot zip

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                thanks for the dolphin porn!

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Awesome! I will check this out later today and see what you have here. Thanks a lot for sharing. I'm really excited! I'll keep you updated itt

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                [...]

                Here's a fresh build if anyone wants to check it out. Only about 4mb, should run on any windows pc no issue considering how light it is.

                files dot catbox dot moe/64wnto dot zip

                Just realised that this build is literally broken due to my recent integration of unicode characters. Works on my machine lol. Gimme a bit and I'll fix the issue.

                [...]

                If I may interject for a moment, I would recommend to directly use a game engine like Godot, it's going to be much easier to make a pretty custom interface than with tkinter, pygame or other, which honestly, are shit to program with.

                Here's some tutorial example if you want to see what it's like: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpwc3ughKbZfkSPko3azFD4dd4IHSiQeE

                I think there also are python bindings with Godot, so you won't have to rewrite all your code. If you really want to stick with a python GUI, look at PySimpleGUI.

                [...]

                What do you think of the game system ? I heard it's just a simple 2d6 throw for success/failure, or do you have some liberties on how you handle problems/encounters ?

                Thanks for the advice anon! Something to look into for sure.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Do you have the version fixed yet? It wouldn't run in my sandbox. Really excited still!!

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Sorry anon! I suppose I could link ya the pure .py files and if you have a python interpreter installed, you could run it internally easy peasy. I could walk ya through it too. It runs I swear anon.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Also I assume it crashed right after the "Do you want to view your character" screen? It's an issue with how the compiling script handles unicode characters. It runs fine as a py script but not as an exe lmao. It'll take a while for me to strip out the characters seeing as how deeply integrated it is right now. Either that or find a better py2exe script I suppose.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Sorry anon! I suppose I could link ya the pure .py files and if you have a python interpreter installed, you could run it internally easy peasy. I could walk ya through it too. It runs I swear anon.

                Also I assume it crashed right after the "Do you want to view your character" screen? It's an issue with how the compiling script handles unicode characters. It runs fine as a py script but not as an exe lmao. It'll take a while for me to strip out the characters seeing as how deeply integrated it is right now. Either that or find a better py2exe script I suppose.

                Alright anon! here is a (much older) build that will still give you an idea of where I was taking it at the time. This one works solidly (from what I remember) and can be ran from the main.exe. Please note that MOST things have changed since this release.

                Simultaneously, I added another version of the 0.7.5 (current build) but as .py files. Assuming you have python installed, this can be ran either in console or through idle by running the main.py script. I added a text file with all this and more info as well. This is for sure the copy you are gonna wanna try to run though. It has dismemberment, better combat, loads of bug fixes, armor and clothing... If you have any questions, let me know anon!

                files dot catbox dot moe slash ltxi5k dot zip

                thanks for the dolphin porn!

                You're welcome dolphin porn anon!

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                I will 🙂 got some class work to catch up on but I'm going to find time to fit this in during the next couple days. Thanks for putting it all together like this!

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                [...]
                [...]

                Alright anon! here is a (much older) build that will still give you an idea of where I was taking it at the time. This one works solidly (from what I remember) and can be ran from the main.exe. Please note that MOST things have changed since this release.

                Simultaneously, I added another version of the 0.7.5 (current build) but as .py files. Assuming you have python installed, this can be ran either in console or through idle by running the main.py script. I added a text file with all this and more info as well. This is for sure the copy you are gonna wanna try to run though. It has dismemberment, better combat, loads of bug fixes, armor and clothing... If you have any questions, let me know anon!

                files dot catbox dot moe slash ltxi5k dot zip

                [...]
                You're welcome dolphin porn anon!

                So! I fixed the issue with unicode printing to the console. It feels muddy at first, as I can't get rid of the message in the intro window, but alas. This works much nicer and runs fluidly in all my tests. Here's the 0.7.5 working build. Still unstable as installing software to the in game pc will crash it, but everything else works. due to a rushed fix, some unicode characters aren't loading proper in game, but I'll fix that soon.

                files dot catbox dot moe slash fqtvzb dot zip

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Pygame or tkinter were exactly the libraries I was looking into! If it's any interesting to ya, I can compile my latest build when I get home in a few hours and I can upload it for ya if you'd wanna check it out. Its only a few mb. To be honest, I've thought about looking for help with it before but it never seemed feasible before really. I'm not against the idea, as I'm sure another hand in it could mean fantastic things. Hell yeah.

                If I may interject for a moment, I would recommend to directly use a game engine like Godot, it's going to be much easier to make a pretty custom interface than with tkinter, pygame or other, which honestly, are shit to program with.

                Here's some tutorial example if you want to see what it's like: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpwc3ughKbZfkSPko3azFD4dd4IHSiQeE

                I think there also are python bindings with Godot, so you won't have to rewrite all your code. If you really want to stick with a python GUI, look at PySimpleGUI.

                Finally came in. Going between the physical books is pretty cool.

                What do you think of the game system ? I heard it's just a simple 2d6 throw for success/failure, or do you have some liberties on how you handle problems/encounters ?

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                It's simple but the game is pretty brutal so I don't mind simple combat encounters. The exploration is the best part in my opinion. I roll a d6 to determine what character to play and just go.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Very based anon, and autistic in a good way. Reminds me quite a bit of Zork mixed with CDDA. It will have any quest content? Something planned for the future or just layind down the basics for now?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Explain more. This looks cool. What language are you using? Tools?

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Man, I really want to support the official game, but it's so clunky and tedious to read and interact with things compared to this Java version. If they could make the text less blurry and up the contrast and enable the ability to do classic combat, I'd probably pick it up. Instead I bought the books.

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Raylib is also a decent general use game framework. It has bindings for pretty much everything. My wife likes using the python bindings. I use the c# and go ones.

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If anyone wants to print out some maps for this I converted them to BW. You cna get them in color at spark furnace. There is some blocking on later maps due to color depth issues but it's mostly just in the ocean.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Nerech
      I hate that place like you have no idea. The magic check to not turn into a bird freak came out of nowhere.
      >Castle of the Dragon Knights.
      Easiest way to get early game equipment. Love that place.

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Finally came in. Going between the physical books is pretty cool.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Phat loot.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Got lucky on a knight and cave encounter. Gonna sell the rest and buy a couple of houses and life insurance if I can find it.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Extremely cool anon. If you can, please tell what do you think about Serpent King's Domain once you go south: I heard people say that book in specific is not as good as the rest, or at least not as interconnected.

      Also you may want to try Legendary Kingdoms in the future. It's on the same vein as FL, but party based and with less character costumization, alongisde longer questlines.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I know that the creators have expressed interest in letting fans essentially finish the series, so there might be something there. It's freaking huge compared to the rest of the books. I've only been to Sokara and Golnir so far, so it might be a while until I get to that book. Thanks for the recommendation as well. Looks interesting.

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Recommend me some good text games. The first one I've played was TiTS, and I really enjoyed it as a game and not just coom. I want more.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages: Visual novels mixed with strategy. Both based in the most complex and culturally rich tabletop setting ever writen, the stories are pretty good and their worlds do try to familiarize you with their peoples and folklore. Extremely recommended.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      What's TiTS? Is it that space game made by the CoC guy?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The original CoC guy, yeah.

  19. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Do basic weapons actually do anything? You don't get docked for removing them.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'm thinking about creating a house rule of -1 combat when weapons are unequipped. Otherwise it's in your best interest to sell your weapon immediately for the free 40 shards.

  20. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Is... is that game made in Java swing?
    Holy fuck, I thought that was impossible.
    Wtf, I could have been a game programmer my whole life.

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