Terrain of Magical Expertise is a RPG video game adaptation developed by Neo-C Productions LLC and Chris Niosi, based on his well-known series of the same name. This adaptation bears an alternative timeline seperate from the TOME series and it's TV TOME Adventures incarnation with new designs and a new storyline.
The game consists of the player, who will play a nameless semi-customable White Hat Hacker character, joining alongside the Dandy Alliance to face off against new enemies and learn new techniques. The game is stylised and played similarly to Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, and Mario & Luigi, where the players are given options and button pressing maneuvers to progress in the game.
A Kickstarter for the adaption was launched on September 29th, 2017 at 12:00 PST for a goal of $75,000. In the span of 48 hours, the campaign reached far beyond its goal, passing the second stretch goal. The campaign ended on November 4, 2017 with a total of $111,162; which is a slight homage to Kirbopher's known "Kirbopher1111" screenname.
Niosi is directing, writing and animating all of the character designs for the project. Niosi, Mike Luckas and Zack Frost are designing characters for the game. Luckas reworked the overall appearance of the Dandy Alliance with some tweaks from Niosi. Michael Scott Prinke is the head game developer and programmer of the project. Yoav Landau and Weston Durant return to the project as composers and sound designers. Blake Swift also returns to do sound design for the game and reprise his role as Alpha.
The game not only features reworks of the designs but also new additional characters and internet guest-spots of well known internet personalities such as The Game Theorists members, as well as Puddin' and Dumplin' created by Nick Landis, Grant Smith, and Kirran Somerlade from their Dragonball Xenoverse mods and even artificial monsters are shown in the game. Similar to the series, fans of the show also contribute with character designs to serve as background characters or fightable opponents in the game by backing through the Kickstarter. Based on the selective tier, participants are given a survey and an Assignment-of-Rights contract permitting the team to use the likeness of their characters as well as the ability to provide any necessary information or material for the character. Backers who donate to the highest tiers gain direct contact with Niosi in terms of design and their characters will be featured as important opponents in the game. There were many occasions where alternative contests have taken place which allowed fans whom either backed the original campaign or have not to be given an opportunity to be placed in the game regardless, most of which involved a contest of sorts.
The game is currently in production, with a free demo available ichi.io, and is set to release in the year 2020; which is the exact date that states the release of the MMORPG TOME within the web series.
History and ProductionEdit
According to creator Chris Niosi, the development of the game dated back since the original series' concept in 2004. Niosi initially wanted to develop a linear Flash grid-based RPG game based on his experiences role playing with his friends online, but his interest in animation led him to develop the story into a 76-episode series for Newgrounds entitled "TV Tome Adventures".
Around 2010, years after the conclusion of the original series, Niosi thought of developing an episodic based Flash platform game involving the player having the ability to switch characters and face on enemies from the series. Due to the lack of resources for a programmer, much like it's predecessor, it led to the development of the 2011-2014 web series.
During mid-production of the second series, a party-like board multiplayer game was taken in consideration in which four players would travel in a grid-based platform while facing several surprising enemies. The game would've taken place in-between the first and second season of the second series and Niosi has also began working on a serious game story for the concept. Due to dysfunctional issues between Niosi and the acquired programmer as well as the concept having both too much innovations and an ambitious but unique concept, development fell through as a result.
On 2016, during the release of the finale of the second series, the decision to make the game a turn-based RPG has been finalized. The initial concept was to have the show taken place in a fantasy setting with the main cast performing in-character until the ending reveals it to be a tabletop-esque roleplay from the start. However, under the influence of YouTuber James Rolfe's review on "Atari: Soulquest", the main story as well as the inclusion of the "Campaign of Champions" arc was developed instead. After acquiring a development team and raising a crowdfunding campaign, production for the final game officially began.
Playable (Dandy Alliance)Edit
- The Troublemakers (Rockoon, Skeight, Archy)
- The Tales of the Terrain (Unkown Former Leader/Founder,Unknown Leader, Serpentine, Demonking)
- The New Victors (Neomutant, Technote, Abombaton, Kilamari)
- The Soupy Slime Siblings (Doubling, Splat)
- T-Bones (canon name TBA)
- Granda (canon name TBA)
- The Twin Blades of Night and Day (Sunlong and Meiden)
- Hyprelynx (canon name TBA)
- Elescope (canon name TBA)
- Neutral Cybernetic Spellcaster kid player
- Neutral Humanoid Brawler kid player
- Backer Characters
- The Game Theorists (Mattheorist, Stephastream, Gaijingoom, Ronnieditor)
- Father-Daughter Team (Puddin and Dumplin)
Much like the original web series, there is a system all players must go through to create their characters. However, this system is a bit more "specific" than the one from the original. There are 3 subcategories one must go through; Race, Elemental Alignment, and Combat Class.
- Humanoid: The most Human-looking; extends to fantasy-type beings like Elves and Orcs, etc.
- Animalistic: Beings with creature-like qualities; anything from mammals to reptiles to even plants!
- Cybernetic: Robots, Androids, or any sort of lifeforms heavily altered by technology.
- Morphological: Shapeshifters made of slime, rocks, vapor, or other unusual substances.
- Natural (Natr): Those that are one with nature; represents plants, air, and the earth itself. Overpowers electronic technology and some Natural attacks can temporarily turn you into a Flower that can only defend itself and strike opponents.
- Technical (Tech): Those that are proficient in technology; represents steel, electricity, and lightning. Cancels out mysticism with science! Some Technical attacks can Paralyze you, decreasing your stats and possibly skipping your turn!
- Crystal (Crys): Those that embrace magic and mysticism as fact; represent ice, water, and stone. Defeats the darkness of demonic fire and some Crystal attacks can Encase you, causing you to lose a turn unless you're broken out of your prison by your own force of will or a powerful-enough enemy attack!
- Infernal (Infr): Those who embrace the 'misunderstood' demonic arts; represent fire and even a touch of darkness. It burns the precious nature of the world to the ground and some Infernal attacks can Curse you to be burned by a haunting flame when you start your turn.
- Neutral (Neut): Those who are balanced in their expertise and don't necessarily align themselves with one specific element. They are capable of learning many types of techniques but don't have any particular elemental strengths and weaknesses.
- Brawler: Specializes in hand-to-hand combat; higher focus on speed to quickly take down enemies. Can perform Strike combos of up to 6-Hits!
- Spellcaster: Specializes in magic usage; higher focus on MagicAttack and MagicDefense to reign your various techniques upon the enemy!
- Weaponary: Specializes in a particular type of weapon; higher focus on AttackPower and DefensePower to beat down enemies in one fell swoop with Critical Hits!
- This is the first TOME-based project since TV TOME Adventures where Mike Luckas was involved visually in the production.
- The game is so-far only to be released on Steam for PC and Mac. Although console and mobile support (e.g. Nintendo Switch, Xbox One) is also taken to consideration, several factors such as publishing deals make the option less likely. Although PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS support is out of the question.
- The Dandy Alliance and Rockoon are currently the only characters to have their voice actors reprise their roles from the TOME web series. Although Kira Buckland (whom played Foreva in the web series) and Edwyn Tiong (whom played Giga in the web series) voiced utility players in the game, it is not revealed whether or not they would reprise their roles.
- Chris Niosi confirmed that selective characters from the TOME web series and it's predecessor TV TOME Adventures would return for the game, as well as new characters for the game.
- The reason for the game to not be an actual MMORPG as depicted in the web series is not only due to the new direction they want to exploit for the game but also because of the limitations that there small team has.
- A racing mini-game will also take place in which players have the option to choose 1 out of 3 names for the car the Dandy Alliance will drive.
- The character animations are done in Flash CS6 while the game engine is built in Unity. Initially the animators were exported into heavy JPEG sequences which became a time consuming and heavy spaced process which resulted in the game's slow build but a plugin in Unity, which allowed more direct SWF edits, allowed the exporting to go at ease and allowed more builds such as 32-bit to be developed.
- Backers voicing their characters is not a guarantee and not a probability due to the technical difficulties of managing it as well as voice acting is mostly prioritized to the main and major characters.
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