2018-12-15 00:16:15 (edited by lemm 2020-02-20 19:10:44)

Hello all,

Our name is Ebon Sky Studios, and We are a new audio games development team whose goal is to create immersive role-playing games for the blind community. Our focus is to tell immersive stories, combined with exploration and solid battle mechanics.
As recently mentioned in a message to the audio games mailing list, we have been working on a set of game development tools over the past two years and are starting production on our first audio game title: Crimson Eclipse.

Today We want to talk a little more about our developer tools (Sable) which have been designed so that not a single line of code, any scripting, or text file modification are required. In this series of videos, we want to show you how this all works-from initial map creation all the way through to dialogue and monster design.

We hope you find this series to be informative, and that it will shed a little light on our design processes. We encourage you to leave comments/ask questions.

The links to the Youtube videos are below:

Sable demo - Part I (Map Creation)

Sable demo - Part II (NPC's and Tasks)

Sable demo - Part III (Equipment)

Sable demo - Part IV (Enemies)

Sable demo - Part V (Dungeon Creation and Linking Maps)

A video application for a competition we have entered sable into:
*for the competition we need to get as many video likes as possible, so liking the below video or sharing the link is a great way of showing your support of the project, , and will help us further expand Sable.

Sable demo - Part VI (Basic Ability Creation)

Sable demo - Part VII (Some Miscellaneous additions 1/2)

Sable demo - Part VII (Some Miscellaneous  Additions 2/2) - YouTube

Sable demo - Part VIII (Item Creation and Enemy Amendments)

Sable demo - Part IX (Playthrough)

Sable demo - Status Effects

Sable demo - adding new party members mid game

Sable extra features demo - part 1

Sable extra features demo part 2 - the play through

Below  I’ve added a few answers to questions which come up a lot  regarding Sable, hopefully this helps people new to the topic:
-Sable is windows based and has been written to design RPG style audio games.
-we do intend to eventually sell the development tools,  so you’ll be able to build your own games with it, but at the moment our primary
focus is on our first two games, which will show what can be achieved using sable and also let us hone the engine at the same time.
-you can add your own sounds  and music to sable. Simply  adding your sounds will automatically  populate the appropriate menu in sable with that sound
option, so you could add your own step sounds, music, ambience, objects, enemies, equipment  etc. pretty much whatever you want. This can be seen in our second video in the series.
-our focus with Sable is a set of tools where every part of the RPG audio game can be created with absolutely no coding or scripting ,  allowing anyone regardless of programming knowledge full access to every aspect of creating their very own game.  due to this coding and scripting is not possible in Sable.

- The Ebon Sky Studios Team
email: [email protected]
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/ebonskystudios/
Twitter: @ebonskystudios

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2018-12-15 00:26:51

This looks promising. Good luck, excited to try whatever you bring to the table.
Btw, this topic should probably be in general game discussion since you don’t actually have a game available to try yet.

War is peace
freedom is slavery
ignorance is strength.

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2018-12-15 00:35:58

This is actually quite wonderful. All be it belonging in general game discussion, I very much look forward to not only your games, but this revolutionary engine. Question, how flexible will the engine be? Does it strictly know rpg mechanics, or can it adapt to you, for example, trying to create an fps, sidescroller/platformer, etc? This is something the audiogames community could really gain a lot of, both in great games and game creation. Are you planning to sell this engine in the first place, and if so do you intend to make it a unity-like crossplatform engine, or just Windows for now?

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2018-12-15 01:31:46

I totally agree, there's  some massive potential there.
@3 I understand your point, but if I see another fps or side scroller pop up here on audiogames.net, I'll probably simply die from frustration . Like , the second before I'll be there, healthy and ready to play and, the second after, I'll be there, motionless, victim of what I've just decided to call the ultrapower plague, to combine the two concepts in one.
But... this is terribly off topic. Sory about that. Wish you all possible success in your development! You can save us all!

Best regard,

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2018-12-15 02:10:39

will this work to make games for android?

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2018-12-15 02:12:09

I hope it will be using different platforms, not just windows. Where can I get this, I wanna create a game right now now now now.

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2018-12-15 04:18:34

Hi this sounds awesome!  I like the different sounds of steps and can you add like water ambience to where the river is?  I also like the fact that their is no complex code and it sounds easy to use.

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2018-12-15 05:18:59

I can't wait for the next part, although the battles you can create seem to be only limited to monsters. Also, how do you set up what actually appears in the BGM menu, etc? Is there a folder where the assets go?

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2018-12-15 05:39:02

That is indeed a fairly slick interface reminiscent of RPG Maker and such, good job. A few things though:

1. Its hard to make out what your saying in some parts of the video, such as in the beginning of the video with the TTS when setting up the project, and when your placing the water.

2. Something I noticed was a lack of apparent orientation. I can hear you placing all the objects, the inn, the cobble stone, the water, the birds, but there's no indication of where those things are in relation to each other, you, or where they are in the map. What are the coordinates of the player, or Brush, within the 30 by 30 map? What coordinates of the map does the inn occupy? It does say the inns width, length, and height on creation, but whats its x/y position on the map? In other words, is there a way for users to get an indication of objects positions and the map geometry when creating or navigating them?

-BrushTone v1.3.3: Accessible Paint Tool
-AudiMesh3D v1.0.0: Accessible 3D Model Viewer

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2018-12-15 07:27:56 (edited by jack 2018-12-15 07:28:25)

@Arkandias and Erik:
First of all, ERik, if you would have paid attention you will notice that it is not out quite yet. Be patient.
@arkandias: Lol, really? Obviously you haven't played BK3 or I'll even say Adventure at C:. Prime examples of good sidescrollers. If you're talking about point and shoot games, then yeah I see your point. But you can't deny the fact that sidescrollers/platformers can be made out to be damn good games. Hey if this engine could recreate a bk3-like game that would be something. Lol.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2018-12-15 09:48:12

this reelly looks prommising, i can't wait to see a game made with this soft ware.
i also one day would like to make my own game with this soft ware. good luck and all of the best for you!

best regards
never give up on what ever you are doing.

2018-12-15 13:09:47

Don't get me wrong. There are, of course, some excellent side scrollers. Even the gate or tomb hunter, despite some questioning points, are atleast challenging. My point is not the games' quality, it's more about ambition.
my probleme is the quantity. We're not evolving with the new gaming possibilities. i know that, for some, sidescrollers are the perfect way to accessibility. But we need to go further, to explore new concepts.
I have , of course, played things like bk and AAC. But you have to admit that these are mostly exceptions. If you look through the recently developped sidescrollers, you get crime hunter, the blood rain, maybe ultrapower... Hm, we're not talking about bk in terms of gameplay duration/atmosphere.scenario are we?
So let me reformulate (I don't even know if this word exists, but I'm not a native English speaker so I've the right to create tongue) : If we see a new sidescroller like bk II or III, I promiise I'll try it, I'll regret it's not a 3D game, but it'll be ok anyway. But, if we see another battlezone, zombie arena (in 2D), or any stuff like that, I go back to the original project, dying etcetera tongue .

Best regard,

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2018-12-15 18:36:44

Hi everyone,

Huge thanks for all the intrest shown so far and I’m really pleased everyone has enjoyed the first video. To answer a few of the questions which have come up:
-yes, our long term goal is to sell the development tools so you can all build your own audio games using sable, however sable is currently just in its prototype stage and our primary focus at this stage is our first two games which will allow us to hone and tweak sable .
-Sable is windows based and has been written to design RPG style audio games.
-you can add your own sounds  and music to sable. Simply  adding your sounds will automatically  populate the appropriate menu in sable with that sound option, so you could add your own step sounds, music, ambience, objects, enemies, equipment  etc. pretty much whatever you want, I’ll  probably demonstrate just how simple this is in a future video
[email protected] 9 you mentioned coordinates, sable does have a coordinates system, so at any point during creation you could bring up your current coordinates  to check your location, there is also a player map for finding stuff and some editing tools which allow you to quickly find and move to things you have placed, I may put something about this in a future video.
Anyway I hope that answers everyone’s questions for the moment, please feel free to ask any further ones and I’ll  be happy to answer.

The Ebon Sky Studios Team

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2018-12-15 20:03:03

So I have a couple questions as someone who has a very strong interest in taking advantage of this toolkit.

Will you be able to create bosses or enemies that have specific behaviors? EG, a metal slime enemy type that has high evasion but low HP, and will run away in a few turns, but will give massive xp when defeated? Also in terms of bosses, I was wondering if you could have what I like to call gimic fights. So for example, you had a fight with a creature with a couple elemental orbs. Attacking the orbs with a spell would make the orbs behave differently. Normally they would attack or heal, ETC, but overloading them would make them heal you instead, or attack the boss. I understand a lot of this is probably well beyond the scope of an engine like this, but I have a ton of ideas for cool RPGs, as it's by far my favorite genre. Basically what I'm asking is if boss fights will be able to be customized to make them more interesting, or will they just simply be a slug fest. Either way, I'm looking forward to this thing and will definitely throw money at it.

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2018-12-15 21:33:40

I'd be honored to even test this bata out. Would be so nice if I could and give you some feedback.

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2018-12-15 21:38:37

Hi. I really enjoyed that video. Can you please upload your next video to YouTube channel as well? Also, how much will the engine cost? Will you be able to compile the games as separate entities or will you need the engine to run them? Will you be able to sell your games as your own intellectual property using this engine? Also, when do you think that the engine might be released and how much will it cost? If you need any voice acting or beta  testers, you can just ask. Thanks.

Here is the link to my youtube channel. Please subscribe, like the videos, and turn on your notifications to get notified of any new updates!

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2018-12-15 21:59:11 (edited by Ethin 2018-12-15 22:00:49)

I'm curious exactly how you plan to make your goal of achieving "no coding or scripting" ever required in the development of a game possible. I'm sorry, but I find that hard to believe. You can't possibly see all possible combinations and possibilities that someone will want to make a game with. What if they want to make an unusual game with a high-quality artificial intelligence? What if they want what post 14 has already asked -- custom behaviors? I'm sorry, but making a product that lets people make whatever they like, without them ever having to write a single line of code, is impossible. You will seriously hamper and restrict the development of crucial ideas if you go that route. Do remember that this is not star trek where you can verbally describe to the computer what you want it to do and it will happily compile a program to do it for you. I'm sorry for the rant but that needed to be said -- there is no technology that is so advanced as to be able to anticipate all possible needs of any one particular person, let a lone a forum of over 40000 people. The amount of lines of code needed in such an effort would range in the quadrillions, if not higher, and by then your program would be so large no computer in the world could ever compile it because they would be overloaded.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2018-12-16 01:22:14

I don't think their pitching this as a swiss army knife of creativity, its build purely for RPG's afterall. Think more Swamp Map Editor, less API. By its nature it wouldn't be as flexible without added scripting and have some limitations, but that doesn't mean people couldn't create quite a bit with it.

-BrushTone v1.3.3: Accessible Paint Tool
-AudiMesh3D v1.0.0: Accessible 3D Model Viewer

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2018-12-16 01:57:04

Hi again everyone,
Thanks for the extra questions, I’ll try and answer as many as possible below:
[email protected] 14, thanks for the interest in the project, its always good meeting a fellow RPG enthusiast. so one of the videos we intend to release we will show sable’s enemy creation tool, which will hopefully give you a better understanding of how it works. But to answer your questions, yes you can create both enemies and boss’s, for both at the point of creation you can specify everything from sounds, attributes, stats right through to what items they drop and the likely hood of them dropping those items, also things like you mentioned such as experience awarded etc. Sable also has weapon and ability creation tools to, which we will also show off in later videos along with how actual battles work,  but this means you can build your own equipment and abilities and you can then assign  these to players or enemies. You actually make some good suggestions regarding mechanics, some of what you suggest could potentially be done using abilities and status affects you could create in sable, but there could be limitations.  As mentioned earlier though sable is still in its prototype stage, we are always looking at adding extra layers of complexity , so ideas and suggestions like this are fantastic, sure we can’t promise to put everything into sable, but if it’s a good idea, fits with what we’re trying to make and the genre of game etc. we’re always open to suggestions and ideas, you can comment here or always feel free to drop us an email directly, we want to make our own games using sable, but its also being built for you  to be able to build your own RPG’s so if you or anyone else have ideas do let us know.
-to number 15,  thanks for being so enthusiastic about the project, we’ve been approached  now by a few people wanting to beta test, unfortunately we are not quite at that stage yet, so not ready to take on any testers yet. But we will post here when we do and also check out our face book page for updates as we will also post there when we do need the testers. Again though a huge thanks for the interest you’ve shown in the project.
-to number 16, wow that was a lot of questions in a short message lol, only kidding that’s absolutely fine, I’m happy answering as many questions as I can, sadly a lot of the stuff you have asked about though I can’t  comment on at this stage, some of it just hasn’t been finalized  and other things you’ve asked about such as deadlines etc. we just don’t want to tie ourselves down to  such things. however, if you are interested in staying up to date with developments head over to our face book page where we will be sure to post updates on our progress. With the videos, again I don’t want to commit ourselves to timescales on these since we’re all busy here working on  sable and creating our first game which is always our primary focus, but that being said we hope to put out a new video probably every couple of weeks or so, but again please remember  this is just a rough guide line,  as work , life and game design don’t always let you stick to a schedule! Haha
-at number 17, so we have specifically designed Sable so anyone can use it regardless of whether they have any coding experience or not, hopefully this gives everyone the opportunity to make their own RPG if they want, does this method have some restrictions, sure it does and if someone wants to code there own game or use an  engine which requires coding/scripting they will obviously have more control and flexibility over design. The purpose of the videos was to show how Sable works, that and the games we intend to release prior to the release of sable will hopefully give people an idea of what can be achieved using sable. As with everything in gaming  there is no perfect ‘one size fits all’ solution, sadly you can’t please everyone all the time, so will it be for absolutely everyone? no unfortunately not, I think number 18 magurp244 put it best, ‘it’s not designed as a swiss army knife of creativity’ or even a swiss army knife of game development tools, but  hopefully a lot of people will still get to have a lot of fun building stuff with Sable once its released.
Hopefully if you watch the rest of the video series as its released you can decide if it’s something for you or not.

Anyways, that was a longer message than I thought it would be, hopefully it answers  a few more questions for everyone.

The ebon Sky Studios Team

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2018-12-16 08:18:13

Hi @19, i can't wait to see the next video. this engine sounds so cool. keep up the good work!

best regards
never give up on what ever you are doing.

2018-12-16 18:27:49

Hi this engine can be great for making audiogames.
Are you going to share this engine with us? It will be nice.

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2018-12-16 20:02:19

Wow, it sounds totally amazing. I look very much forward to more demonstrations of the engine, to get a better idea about what's possible. I also look forward to hear more about the limits. Not to say anything bad about the project, but to get an idea about what kind of games which are not possible to make with the engine. I get this is RPG based, but I still find it unbelievable that you can make pretty much everything without coding. But maybe the engine is that much flexible? That's what I look very much forward to hear more about.
1. Have you build any security into the engine, so people can't decompile and steal projects, sounds etc.? Some people like to steal sounds and projects, which I think is a shame...
2. Can you make a multiplayer game, if you of course are able to host a server yourself? Or is it only offline games you can make in this engine?
3. Can you make, or design drivable objects such as cars in the engine?
4. Can you design achievements?
5. For advanced users and people who know how to code: Do you have advanced and flexible tools such as events, trickers etc.? I could imagine being able to choose such things from menus.
6. Does the engine supports controllers?
7. Is it possible for the game creator to handle how sounds which are playing from the behind are played? I mean, some developers are using pitch, some are using beeps, some are using real 3D sounds, surround sound and lots of other ways of letting the player know that the sound is coming from the behind, and not directly in front of you. It would be interesting to hear how the engine is handeling this as default, but also if a game creator do have any control of this, and can take that in consideration when designing a game.
This engine sounds really fantastic. Also if there are limits and it's not for everyone. I'm sure it can be used to make even more great audiogames, no matter what limits the engine might have.
Keep up the fantastic job guys. I look so much forward to hear more about this...

Best regards SLJ.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Facebook: https://facebook.com/sorenjensen1988
Twitter: https://twitter.com/soerenjensen

2018-12-17 13:46:08

really looking forward to more vids. I subscribed to the channel. It looks awesome. going to buy it whenever it's released. I noticed in the video you walked up and down stairs. will you be able to make more complexmaps, to where you can walk say, up a staircase that turns and twists?

Blindness isn't a disability, but a diffrent way of seeing things

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2018-12-17 22:33:48 (edited by lemm 2018-12-17 22:38:37)

Hi Everyone,

Just want to say it’s been fantastic to see how enthusiastic everyone is about the project, so a huge thanks to everyone who has commented or watched the video. Hopefully as the video series is released it will not only show how Sable works but also answer many questions people have about  Sable and what it is capable of. Below as ever I will try and answer some of the questions which have come up:
[email protected] 21, yes we do intend to eventually sell the development tools,  so you’ll be able to build your own games with it, but at the moment our primary focus is on our first two games, which will show what can be achieved using sable and also let us hone the engine at the same time.
[email protected] 22, thanks for all the questions, I’ll try and answer as many as possible below:
-Sable does already have event triggers, again these will be shown in more detail in a later video, but there’s lots of things these can do from setting and firing cut scenes, initiating special encounters/battles, completing tasks, giving key items and much more. This is also an area we are constantly adding to as we all feel event triggers can play a big part in making each game feel unique.
- as for security I can’t really go into this, but rest assured we are aware of the importance of security  and when sable is eventually released there will be documentation regarding this
.- at present no sable does not support multiplayer games  and there is no code in there which would allow you to add driving into your game
-regarding achievements and controller support , although these are not currently in sable they are things we are currently discussing.
-sounds are obviously a key factor in producing a high quality audio game, we are currently using various techniques to simulate different sounds and are working closely with our sound engineer so we can provide the best audio experience. As to what controls the end user will have, again remember this is a prototype so things could change , but we want to offer as much choice as we can, for example at present sable offers  differing radar systems which the player can use  as we all have different likes and dislikes as to what works well with sounds and how much information we are given.
[email protected] 23,thanks for subscribing to the utube channel and we're really pleased you enjoyed the video. With stairs you could either change the sound for moving between levels of the building, or you could create a middle level, fill it with step sounds for  the floor and then add some walls to create a spiral staircase feel  which would take you from the bottom floor to the top floor. This is one way I could think of  achieving what you are after.
-finally I’ve changed the  subject line to hopefully better reflect the topic and some of the questions which have come up.

I hope the above answers everyone’s questions, I’ll apologize in advance if any of my answers sound a little vague, but as stated previously please remember Sable is in its prototype stage , so there are some things we can’t confirm at this stage, as there will be additions, changes, new concepts and mechanics  being added with each update of our development tools.

The Ebon Sky Studios Team

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2018-12-17 23:29:57

This is definitely looking more and more like RPG maker for the blind, and that's definitely a good thing, as people have made some amazing games with those engines. I can't wait to buy this, as well as your upcoming games!

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