The Calling of the Seals

The Calling of the Seals

The Calling of the Seals really was our first attempt at making any game, ever. It’s several years old right now, and while it was a cute initial project, we have half a mind to disown it as something we never produced. Scroll down at your own peril, and watch out for Turtlebears.

The Calling of the Seals was our first project, an RPG in the style of early tile based console games. If you want to play it, you can download it right here: The Calling of the Seals.

The game follows the standard RPG plot: evil forces are threatening the fictional land we didn’t name, so to save the day hero must break ancient seals in temples. A play-through of the game takes about forty minutes for me, so when you’re figuring out puzzles and the like it will probably take a little longer. A lot of the time is taken up by having to go heal yourself, this was a little oversight in game design. The environments are varied, as are the enemies, and you can upgrade and swap weapons, as well as buy healing bandages (spoiler: which are an absolute must for one of the bosses). Each temple has its own puzzle: teleporter mazes, light-switch puzzles (one of the few things I’ve coded that was ever used!), falling through pits to avoid ghosts and pushing blocks on to pressure pads.

The battles follow a style similar to the Gameboy Pokémon games: you walk across an enemy’s field of vision and this initiates a turn by turn fight until one of you is dead. The bosses in the game do not have special moves, but the final boss (which is lacking a graphic and an actual place in the game) has a few lines dedicated to healing himself. There aren’t really any secrets in the game, only a few easter-eggish NPCs on the eastern side of the main city. If you’re at a loose end and want to play a slightly buggy, partially unfinished RPG then feel free to download the game here. Oh, and if it’s too boring to finish in one go: it has saving.

TCotS was where both of our programming and game designing careers started off. The code was pieced together and guessed at, disregarding dozens of conventions and making a bit of a mess in a few places. All the graphics were hand-pixeled and each map carefully sketched out on paper before feeding it through the incredibly tedious procedures we had got ourselves tangled up in with newbie-code.

This is a little harsh on TCotS: we really enjoyed making the game, and learned a lot about what not to do. The game is definitely not an all time classic, but it has its fun moments and has its charm. As Callum put it when we were deciding what made us actually like the game: “It has soul.”