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[Kickstarter] Zaharia, an isometric CRPG set in a Middle Eastern style fantasy world

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A Kickstarter campaign launched for Zaharia recently.  They have a pre-alpha demo / prototype that you can DL.  I think this game looks really promising and I'm always looking for cRPGs that are not in the standard generic Tolkien style fantasy setting.  And it has turn-based tactical battles, which is my favorite.   

 

 

Some of the proposed features:

• Real time stealth system, similar to the one of Commandos series.

• Nonlinearity in the narrative and interpretative aspects, allowing the player not only to choose which quest to start from, without urgent obligations, but also to make a lot of choices and then solve a problem in more than one way;

• A Fallout-like open world;

• Lots of choices and consequences that dynamically influence the context of the game;

• A huge variety of abilities and statistics to manage, in order to craft and personalize one’s own alter-ego in every possible aspect;

• An original setting created from scratch, completely different from the usual fantasy worlds and inspired to the late Medieval Persia and Arabia;

• Living NPCs, provided with an IA that allows them to react dynamically to the player’s actions and to create really deep interpersonal relationships;

• No fillers, like useless fights, made to extend the game’s longevity in artificial ways;

• Presence of mature themes like slavery, sexuality, racism, theology, philosophy, morality, politics, and so on;

• Five main factions to choose, each one deeply characterized and different from the others;

• Innovative magic system that turns mages into something different from just portable siege machines;

• Fights are not mandatory in most cases, and it won’t be necessary to use a character who excels at combat to end the game;

• Tons of multiple choice dialogues, in order to grant the player a large range of interpretations;

• No moral dualism.

 

I'm pretty excited about this game but worried they won't reach their funding goal.

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zahariascreenshot.jpg
 
zahariaART1.jpg
 
A Kickstarter campaign launched for Zaharia recently.  They have a pre-alpha demo / prototype that you can DL.  I think this game looks really promising and I'm always looking for cRPGs that are not in the standard generic Tolkien style fantasy setting.  And it has turn-based tactical battles, which is my favorite.   
 
 
Some of the proposed features:
• Real time stealth system, similar to the one of Commandos series.
• Nonlinearity in the narrative and interpretative aspects, allowing the player not only to choose which quest to start from, without urgent obligations, but also to make a lot of choices and then solve a problem in more than one way;
• A Fallout-like open world;
• Lots of choices and consequences that dynamically influence the context of the game;
• A huge variety of abilities and statistics to manage, in order to craft and personalize one’s own alter-ego in every possible aspect;
• An original setting created from scratch, completely different from the usual fantasy worlds and inspired to the late Medieval Persia and Arabia;
• Living NPCs, provided with an IA that allows them to react dynamically to the player’s actions and to create really deep interpersonal relationships;
• No fillers, like useless fights, made to extend the game’s longevity in artificial ways;
• Presence of mature themes like slavery, sexuality, racism, theology, philosophy, morality, politics, and so on;
• Five main factions to choose, each one deeply characterized and different from the others;
• Innovative magic system that turns mages into something different from just portable siege machines;
• Fights are not mandatory in most cases, and it won’t be necessary to use a character who excels at combat to end the game;
• Tons of multiple choice dialogues, in order to grant the player a large range of interpretations;
• No moral dualism.
 
I'm pretty excited about this game but worried they won't reach their funding goal.

 

 

It looks good but I'll wait for others, like Keyrock or Indira, who have a better knowledge of all things game related to comment before I decide to pledge :)

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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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You put way too much faith in my, Bruce, I'm flattered. :blush:  

 

I LOVE the concept (RPG in an Arabian Nights type setting?  What's not to love?), but I have no clue who any of the developers are and whether they can actually make a halfway decent game.  There is a demo, which I have yet to play (but will), so that's probably the best thing to go on at the moment.

Edited by Keyrock
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You put way too much faith in my, Bruce, I'm flattered. :blush:  

 

I LOVE the concept (RPG in an Arabian Nights type setting?  What's not to love?), but I have no clue who any of the developers are and whether they can actually make a halfway decent game.  There is a demo, which I have yet to play (but will), so that's probably the best thing to go on at the moment.

 

I often read your updates on games which are objective and detailed so if you play the Demo that would suffice for some relevant insight into this KS :)


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Well, that list sounds interesting, so much so it's too good to be implemented.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I backed it at the early bird tier and am currently downloading the demo

 

Let us know what you think


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Doesn't seem like an experienced team, I'll give the prototype a try and decide based on it.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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After a week with this Kickstarter, it's only at 10% funding. Can't see it getting funded. And it appears the team hasn't made a game before. The first thing I noticed was all those physical tiers include a lot of stuff. I don't think they realise how much money it costs to produce all the physical items.

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It looks good but I'll wait for others, like Keyrock or Indira, who have a better knowledge of all things game related to comment before I decide to pledge :)

 

These are kind words indeed, Bruce! :)

However, I fear that I'm more emotionally driven than knowledge-driven when it comes to games, and that often goes for my comments about them as well. In all honestly, I reckon that Keyrock keeps his cool more and usually has a fairer assessment going than I. I will definitely check this out, though, and get back to y'all when I have formed an opinion. I backed Unrest last year, a CRPG set in an area of traditional India, so this could very well work for me. New settings are sorely needed, I agree wholeheartedly.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Do let us know how it goes before the early bird tier runs out. :p

 

 

(I backed Unrest too, probably to an unreasonable amount given the project scale, but a large part was sort of a personal favour to the writer)

Edited by Humanoid

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I just snapped an early bird tier just in case and watched the video. Well, its Unity, isometric and Unity. It's like PE so far, hehe. Seriously, though. I like their maps and the lightning, also the music was beautiful. Weirdly enough, the music in the pitch video is eerily similar to Obsidian's for PE: they've just added an Arabian-flavoured theme a bit into it. I've always loved the Al-Qadim and The Horde settings in the Forgotten Realms (D&D) - I've even made a NWN2 mod in it, thus so far it seems very promising, but like Keyrock says, I have no idea if those guys are talented or not. I can only go on what they show us. I like where they are going with weapons, armour, combat stances, and clothing. Hmm, perhaps I have to download that demo.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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You put way too much faith in my, Bruce, I'm flattered. :blush:  

 

I LOVE the concept (RPG in an Arabian Nights type setting?  What's not to love?), but I have no clue who any of the developers are and whether they can actually make a halfway decent game.  There is a demo, which I have yet to play (but will), so that's probably the best thing to go on at the moment.

Yeah, I pledged because anyone that wants to make a game based on other cultures is welcome in my book, but I have yet to play the demo. I also have never heard of the devs.

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I've haven't had much time with the demo but it's pretty clunky but fairly enjoyable. The potential is there but since the devs seem pretty new to this I'll keep rocking my skeptical vest and stay at the early bird tier. Not that I think it will matter in the end as I'm not too confident they will hit their goal but better to back and fail than to never have backed at all


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Good enough for me. Was going to do it together with that Darkest Dungeon game, but still waiting on news of alternate distributions with that one (saw a dev post saying news expected later this week).

 

P.S. Since KS handles the payment system for Zaharia internally, and given the recent breach, remember to untick the "remember card details" on the checkout.


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I did remove the card details. Better safe than sorry.

Here's the same list as the OP posted but taken from Greenlight on Steam: 

  • Turn-based battles based on our original rules’ system; 
  • Narrative and Interpretative non-linearity, allowing the player not only to choose which quest to follow, but also to make choices and solve problems in many different ways; 
  • A free-roaming world, Fallout style; 
  • A large number of skills and stats to manage, in order to customize your own virtual alter-ego in every small detail; 
  • An original setting created from scratch, inspired to late medieval Persia and Arabia, and completely different from the classic fantasy settings; 
  • Development of mature themes: slavery, sexuality, racism, theology, philosophy, morality, politics and so on; 
  • Five main factions to choose from, each of them deeply characterized and different from the others; 
    Innovative magic system, making mages something more than portable siege weapons; 
  • A real time stealth system.

One thing I don't get: How can a real time stealth system work with a turn-based game?


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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  • A real time stealth system.

One thing I don't get: How can a real time stealth system work with a turn-based game?

 

Fallout, sorta?


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So, you sneak around in real time, and as soon as you're discovered, turn-based combat ensues?

My question stems from the fact that I haven't even played the original Fallout 1 and 2, not even Wasteland 1. Oops, this admission almost qualifies for a post over at the Blasphemy thread. :biggrin:


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Pretty much, yeah. But sneaking was so slow in those games I never really bothered trying to do it. Jagged Alliance 2 was the same in terms of idea if I remember right (just a lot less explicit on what constituted sneaking), but might have allowed sneaking in both modes. I think.

Edited by Humanoid

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Hmm. After some more looksies, I decided to skip the game, mostly because I realize that when that game comes out I will already be drowning in "classic" CRPGs. I need other kinds of games for a change, especially by then. :)


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Hmm. After some more looksies, I decided to skip the game, mostly because I realize that when that game comes out I will already be drowning in "classic" CRPGs. I need other kinds of games for a change, especially by then. :)

 

Weirdo  :blink: For me there is no other genre of game that I really want to play.  Well, except The Witcher series.  But I can never have enough good new "old school" CRPGs to look forward to.  

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Hmm. After some more looksies, I decided to skip the game, mostly because I realize that when that game comes out I will already be drowning in "classic" CRPGs. I need other kinds of games for a change, especially by then. :)

 

Weirdo  :blink: For me there is no other genre of game that I really want to play.  Well, except The Witcher series.  But I can never have enough good new "old school" CRPGs to look forward to.  

 

I know, "weirdo" is the word! It's not like me at all, but you should see my list. I'll be preoccupied until the year 2017, and by then I'll just pick up Zaharia in a Steam sale for scraps. Cynical, perhaps, but still...


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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At least the setting is something different compared to the rest of the industry.

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"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
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"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

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Hmm. After some more looksies, I decided to skip the game, mostly because I realize that when that game comes out I will already be drowning in "classic" CRPGs. I need other kinds of games for a change, especially by then. :)

 

Weirdo  :blink: For me there is no other genre of game that I really want to play.  Well, except The Witcher series.  But I can never have enough good new "old school" CRPGs to look forward to.  

 

I know, "weirdo" is the word! It's not like me at all, but you should see my list. I'll be preoccupied until the year 2017, and by then I'll just pick up Zaharia in a Steam sale for scraps. Cynical, perhaps, but still...

 

 

Please feel free to back StarCrawlers because I want some of those stretch goals

 

I do hope that if Zaharia doesn't make it the guys working on it revise their plan and add some more polish to the demo and try again


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Please feel free to back StarCrawlers because I want some of those stretch goals

 

I do hope that if Zaharia doesn't make it the guys working on it revise their plan and add some more polish to the demo and try again

 

 

Me too.  Really hope everyone who says "Looks great but I don't think they'll make their goal" decides to back it anyway.  There's nothing to lose from backing a KS that doesn't make their goal.  But the way I look at it is, the more people who back it now to show their interest, the more motivated the developers will be to keep trying.   It would take a huge bump in publicity for it to actually make it this time around, but that doesn't mean they can't succeed if they try again with a revamped pitch video and demo.  

Edited by daveyd
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