Posts with ‘AaronBishop’ Tag

Interview: Aaron Bishop, creator of SoulFu

By: Lorne Whiting

On: July 16th, 2011

[This is a guest post by Machine Saint]

Aaron Bishop is an independent game developer who may not be as familiar to members of the indie gaming community as he is to the open source software community (where his games are a bit more well-known, it seems). He is the creator of Egoboo and Soulfu, and he recently announced that he is working on a new game, plainly codenamed “Mystery Project X”. I thought this might be a good time to interview him for TIGSource, but, since the details of this new project are still a secret, it is not the core subject of the interview.

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Classic: Egoboo

By: Guest Reviewer

On: June 6th, 2009


[This is a guest review by The Purple Squerkle.]

Egoboo is a dungeon-crawling action RPG first released in 1999 by Aaron Bishop. After his brother Ben convinced him to release it as open source, the game began to enjoy quite a bit of development thanks to a willing community. It’s had its ups and downs, but currently the game is being developed at a fairly steady rate. Though sometimes gaps between stable versions can be a bit long, the in-development beta version can be accessed through a subversion repository, which is updated any time a change is made.

The original idea of Egoboo was to create a game like Nethack, but in real time and with 3D graphics. Although most of the gameplay resembles a typical ARPG, there are a lot of subtle aspects that are reminiscent of roguelikes (and Nethack in particular). There are quite a few strange secrets and “Easter eggs”; discovering a couple of these can even result in unlocking an extra class to play as in addition to the eight you can normally choose from.

To start the game, you must choose a class and beat a “starter module” before you can go out into the game’s main dungeons. These modules will help you become familiar with the specific abilities of the class you chose, and require you to apply strategies that will help you use your character more effectively in the future.
After you beat the starter module, you are ready to play through the main game. The main series of modules consists of seven dungeons (two of them are divided into two separate halves, so there are actually nine in total). Once you beat one, you will be able to play through the next, and you are always welcome to go back to modules you have already completed. There is also a small town that is available from the beginning and a larger city that is unlocked later on. You can visit these peaceful areas to purchase more gear. There are also a few NPCs who will send you on side quests, most of which will culminate in the discovery of rare and useful loot.

You can play through most of the game with up to four players (on the same machine) using the keyboard, mouse, and joysticks. The only exceptions to this are starter modules and a few side quest dungeons that are only available for one player. (Many of the modules that can only be played by one person do include AI-controlled companions, though.)

Most modules consist of playing through until you find a boss monster, then defeating it. The game isn’t all hack and slash, though; there are also puzzle elements every once in a while that make the game feel a little bit like something from the Zelda series.

Egoboo is still a little rough around the edges, and some people may be turned off by its graphics, which look a little like something from the N64 era. But beneath the questionable exterior lies a very charming game with unique style, solid gameplay, and a fair amount of depth. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of ARPGs or Zelda-esque adventures. Be on the look out for when the next version is released in a few days; it should have quite a bit of new content.