Monomyth Update - Video Devlog 2.0: Roadmap

While working on a new beta update for their dungeon-crawling RPG Monomyth, Rat Tower Software brings us this here Kickstarter update with a quick progress report and a fresh roadmap that outlines the studio's plans for the coming months. In short, in the lead-up up to the game's eventual release we'll be getting at least two more major beta updates, and then another one with a focus on bug fixing and polish.

And while you're listening to the longer version, you can enjoy some fresh gameplay:

Here's more on that:

Hi, dungeon-crawling fans!

Another month, another update! This one is a little shorter because I am still in the middle of working on Beta Update 3. Just like last time, you can find the video's transcript attached to this post!

Best wishes,


Video Transcript (Video Devlog 2.0)

Hi, dungeon-crawling fans!

It’s time for another update on Monomyth. As announced last time I am in the middle of creating beta update 3, which is coming along very well. This month I’d like to go through a list of remaining milestones we must pass before Monomyth is finally ready for release.

So let’s take a look at that.

First let me quickly reiterate: The original beta release contained the first main area, while update 1 ported the prologue area to the new code base. Last month I released Beta Update 2, which patched the second main area into the game. So up till now, the beta consists of three extensive areas, which provide space for around 70% of the game’s content.

What follows now are two more major updates. The first one, which I am currently working on, will introduce the last big main area of the game. The development of this area is going pretty well. It was already designed and blocked out so basically what I am doing is cleaning up the geometry, replacing blockouts with actual assets, adding details to the area, scripting, distributing items, and so on. There are no ambiguities in terms of scope like there were in Beta Update 2, so I am glad to say that work is progressing much faster with this update. More than half of the map is already in the detail pass phase and I expect to get a fully playable version going very soon.

Beta update 4 will add the game’s main settlement. This means there will be a lot of NPC interactions and a new trading system. Generally speaking, this update will require more scripting work than level design work. The settlement itself is spacious but naturally, it is not as big as one of the main areas. You will find quests, shops, and small opportunities for exploration. The settlement will also connect to multiple other areas in the game. Beta update 4 will also introduce the main quest until roughly the last chapter. It is important to note here that, in the spirit of Ultima Underworld, the area progression and the main quest are voluntarily kept separate. You can visit most of the game’s areas without even touching the main quest.

The main quest itself will go through a variety of special tasks and challenges, which will be covering most of Monomyth’s feature set.

After Beta Update 4, the core content of the game is complete. The only things that are missing at that point are the game’s conclusion and the backer content. Since these can be nicely separated from the rest of the game I plan to start polishing core content and gameplay mechanics at this point. The polishing will focus on elements like combat or AI, but I will also reserve some time for things like sidequest or proper itemization. At this point, it will also be important to bring more people into the beta, so expect the open backer beta sometime during this phase. There will be several smaller patches and hotfixes depending on the feedback. This will probably also affect static game content so during the earlier stages of the open backer beta you might experience a few broken save states if it cannot be avoided.

This beta phase will be the first to test the new code base and all the content with a large player base. Monomyth had over a thousand backers. Only roughly 30 of these were actually in the closed beta. They provided very good reports. It was a very tight feedback loop with a lot of direct interaction during debugging, which I valued a lot. Nevertheless, the number of potential closed beta testers might be something to consider in future projects and how Kickstarter rewards should be structured.

So once the game is in an acceptable state it may be a good time to add the backer content. This content of course also needs to be tested again, but the scope there is of course much more limited than with the core content. So I reckon this can be done pretty quickly. The lion’s share of that work will be focused on roughly five questlines so it should be rather manageable.

So what’s still missing at this point? Basically, just the last chapter of the game. It might be a good idea to add this during a short early access phase. I mentioned in the past, that I am not a big fan of early access, at least when it comes to story-driven single-player games. Nevertheless, the opportunity to test the game on numerous machines before the actual release would definitely be a good thing. The last chapter could also act as a final patch before Monomyth is released, which has the advantage that people who already played during early access have a motivation to come back for the full version.

Of course, I have not forgotten about the book of lore, which will probably act as a little guide and contain some background information on the world of Ariath. I will try to get this ready in time for release as well.

I might also prepare a small surprise patch, which could theoretically cover one of the high-tier stretch goals, but I cannot make any promises at this point, so we will have to wait and see.

And that is basically the entire roadmap from now till release. Of course, the details of these individual milestones require a lot more work than what I can share with you right now. For example, the trading system from Beta Update 4 alone would probably warrant its own preview post. I will share these things with you in time, once we reach the respective milestones. So, stay tuned for more updates, and see you soon!