|Developer||Wolfgang Wozniak (Wratmann@comcast.net)|
|Influences||Diablo, Dwarf Fortress, Legend of Zelda|
|Released||02 Sep, 2008 (R 1.3.3)|
|Updated||August 29, 2010 (R 9.01)|
|Licensing||Freeware, Closed Source|
|P. Language||Visual Basic 6|
|Interface||Graphical tiles, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Game Length||Open Ended|
|Official site of SilverQuest|
SilverQuest was born around September 2008. The project was conceived as a weekend project to see if we could make a competent game over the course of 24 hours. With my then development partner Jessica M. Vázquez Rodríguez (Arwym) we created something that became very popular in that development community. The original game server ran from September to October 2008, but had to be taken down due to the fact I was moving away to go to college in Florida for traditional design training. (Print, web, motion, logos, type, etc..)
When I finally got sort of settled in, and we brought the server back online and updated the client, two months had gone by. The development community had lost interest by then, and the game was dead in the water. I continued to support SilverQuest over the next 20 months by adding new features and keeping the server online all day and night. Getting developers who are using similar tools to make the same sorts of games to play other people's games was almost impossible.
Recently I've had to move the server to a less reliable host as the cost to personally run a computer and taking a huge loss every month was simply not cost effective, especially when no one was there to appreciate the work.
SilverQuest has generally been regarded as the most artistically, atmospherically, and thematically original Mirage Source engine game. Every time I revisit the world I created two years ago, I learn something new about the beauty of imagination and minimalist retro game design. I've actually done a few studies as to why and how it was so successful, and it shows me new things every time I log in.
Let me take these next paragraphs to introduce you to the (modern) concept behind SilverQuest. I don't usually explain the game to this depth, but I felt that similar competing games were such a different approach than the one I've taken with SilverQuest.
The game's art and gameplay are designed to evoke a much similar time in video games and game design. With ASCII art composing the visual world, the game's actual environment is left to the player's imagination. This minimalist game art is what made games like Zork, Final Fantasy (NES), King's Bounty, and so many other retro games come to life in the player's mind. Without imagination or cultivating that creative process in the player's mind, art, film, and games would be nothing. As video games and film special effects reach the uncanny valley where we cannot recreate nature to a physically correct degree, we lose the ability to place ourselves in the worlds the authors have created for us to explore. This is why the original Star Wars (for example) films hold up now and even 20 years from now, better than the more recent works that are done using computer graphics.
Enough about the visuals! The music in the game is all licensed under Creative Commons and is used legally (in case you all are wondering). The musical choices for each area evoke as someone said to me once. The music is "both familiar, yet distant. It reminds me of different times, and brings back other worlds for me..." A mixture of 6bit, 8bit, Modern Chiptunes, Classical, Foreign, World, Tribal, and Ambient is what enables people to be immersed in this other reality and lets them look through their screen as a window to another place and time.
Let's talk about the gameplay for a moment as well. The game is designed around working as a team to take on even the most challenging of dungeons and foes. There are three distinct classes, each of which are based on the three major stats in the game. Red Warrior is based on Hit Points and Strength. This is the front-lines class. The Blue Wizard is based on Magic Points and casting spells. This is the most diverse class. And lastly, the Green Thief is based on Speed and uses mostly ranged weapons. This class is hard to catch and if played right, will have more victories than defeats.
Foes are powerful, and it's dangerous to go alone. Take your friends.
The latest updates can always be found here: http://arwym.com/silverquest/