Rampant Games' Jay Barnson has penned a new blog entry that revisits Frayed Knights' development while also providing us with a window into his thoughts on where to take Frayed Knights 2 (episodic just switched to series). Ultimately, it sounds like the follow-up title will carry the same theme and story, but will utilize a completely different engine:
Frayed Knights: The Skull of S'makh-Daon has been the winner of multiple awards and lots of acclaim from a contingent of old-school western RPG fans. It's been a labor of love which managed to turn quite a few heads and talk. Plus, I think it was an idea whose time had come. It is riding something of a revival wave in the indie (scene) of old-school western RPG ideas, nestled among recent and upcoming titles embracing bits and pieces of the same theme: Legend of Grimrock, Age of Decadence, the Eschalon series, Wasteland 2, Swords & Sorcery Underworld: Gold, the Darklight Dungeon series, and more.
I had a minimum threshold for producing a sequel, which I didn't want to make a big deal about. If Frayed Knights 1 hadn't sold a certain number of copies, I would consider it a failure and would move on to something else. Other games, probably another RPG (I have like six early designs I really want to make.). But since the story stood on its own pretty well, and at that point hardly anyone would have played it, it wouldn't be a big loss to anybody if it ended up as only a single experimental project.
Fortunately for the fans of the game, Frayed Knights blew past that threshold in its first week. At that point, it made more business sense to build on Frayed Knights, improving on the concept and the technology, than to start over with something new just yet.
But the deficiencies of the engine, our content pipeline, our process, and even the game design (and yes, interface) itself were also exposed. The sequel must be more than just brand-new content. We had a story, we had a game system, we had a lot of things we knew which worked, we had fans, and we had a loose design ready to go. But we had to make changes and improve things for the next time around, building on what made Frayed Knights: The Skull of S'makh-Daon great with all-new tech and processes, and lot better understanding of what the hell we're doing now than we did the first time around.