Stone Story RPG | The (Awesome Looking) ASCII Based RPG Comes Out This Summer on PC (Then iOS/Android, "Probably Switch")

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,297


Just heard about the game today and had to share it since it doesn't seem to have a thread here. It's an indirect RPG where you set up your character with equipment (that you seem to be able to change in real time which will alter the movements of the player) and send them off to a location. I've copied over the Steam description below that goes into more detail.

I also jumped over to the developer's discord and got this back about platform plans...

It will be Win/OSX/Linux at first
Then iOS/Android
Probably Switch
ABOUT THIS GAME
In a realm of perpetual evil, a single stone could change everything.

Stone Story is an RPG set in a dark and ominous world. The game's animation style is achieved entirely by ASCII symbols typed in plain text. The game has been in development since 2014 and is presently in closed beta testing. It features 8 locations to explore, 8 boss fights, mind-blowing ascii cutscenes and plenty of loot to discover.



The casual play contrasts with the retro visuals, providing a unique experience that blends nostalgia with modern design principles. One of the game's defining mechanics is that you have no direct control of the player character. You choose what items to equip, which location to visit and relax while an artificial intelligence does all the exploring, combat and looting. That doesn't mean this is an idle game. Potions and special abilities are maximized by good timing. Boss fights are intense and can keep you at the edge of your seat, requiring quick item swaps if the boss changes patterns. Additionally, an item crafting system allows you to combine otherwise disposable items--rewarding experimentation, giving you interesting choices and making full use of all the gathered loot.



 
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Saucycarpdog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,815
Looks incredible! Brilliant idea to use ASCII to craft all the assets.

Wondering tho if big boss fights could be hard to tell what is going on on-screen.
 

Saucycarpdog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,815
That combat being hands-off while you choose the equipment and paths that the character takes is also brilliant. I've always wished more idle games had a "guide-and-watch" type loop to them instead of being mostly just macro-management.
 
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Dancrane212

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,297
Gameplay from a couple months ago.


That combat being hands-off while you choose the equipment and paths that the character takes is also brilliant. I've always wished more idle games had a "guide-and-watch" type loop to them instead of being mostly just macro-management.
If it can capture just a bit of the frenetic nature of quickly switching paradigms in FFXIII to deal with changing conditions it'll be a riot.
 

Baconmonk

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
5,302
This looks really cool. Neat how just varying brightness in the lines can create depth in the backgrounds with just ascii.
 

mutantmagnet

Member
Oct 28, 2017
9,618
This is impressive.

I wonder how large the art team specifically was.

I wonder if a game like this about swapping between settings and items can actually still be sped run.

I wonder how many levels it is has or does it use a hub system.
 

Nappael

Self-requested ban
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
5,690
Damn, this looks good.

The last decent ASCII RPG I played was SanctuaryRPG and that was quite a while ago now.
 
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Dancrane212

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,297
This is impressive.

I wonder how large the art team specifically was.

I wonder if a game like this about swapping between settings and items can actually still be sped run.

I wonder how many levels it is has or does it use a hub system.
I asked the dev about those...

  1. I create all the ASCII art
  2. The whole game will take an average new user 8 hours to clear, but an experienced user can speed run in about 1 hour. Maybe less
  3. There are 8 levels with 8 boss fights. Additionally, there's a difficulty system where each location keeps getting harder, up to 10 stars (optional). I'm not sure what is meant by hub-based, but navigation between locations is instantaneous through menu option. You can exit a location at any time and you pick a location to go and it "teleports"
 

mutantmagnet

Member
Oct 28, 2017
9,618
I asked the dev about those...
Wow. Thanks for following up on this. If it takes one guy 5 years to do all this art and a lot of the coding it leaves open the possibility for a similar game to be done much faster if this sells well.

Neat that speed run potential exists. I didn't think the game as described would lend itself well to that.


From his answer it sort of sounds like you can choose any level like Megaman. It's a very simplistic hub but still a hub.
 
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Dancrane212

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,297
Wow. Thanks for following up on this. If it takes one guy 5 years to do all this art and a lot of the coding it leaves open the possibility for a similar game to be done much faster if this sells well.
Yeah it's wild. Just looking at the permutations of the tongue for the snake boss fight makes my typing fingers ache.





Though apparently that tongue is now drawn programmatically.
 

Qwark

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,463
What was that Ascii game on PS4? Brutal or something? Was that any good?

Anyway, this looks really neat.
 

1upsuper

Member
Jan 30, 2018
4,328
The rougelike lineage is a bit lost on me with them being a bit before my time. ASCII art always reminds me of GameFAQs walkthroughs headers instead.
Rogue and its ilk are still readily available today with pretty active communities. Nethack does things no other game has ever done.

Also, check out SanctuaryRPG. It's recent and pretty great with lots of ASCII portraits.
 

Epilexia

Member
Jan 27, 2018
2,675
I love the use of ASCII art in my games, there have been a lot of fascinating experiments in these last years.

My favorite one is still 'Illuminascii' by Depressing Dwarves.

 

butman

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Oct 30, 2017
3,024
Is this a traditional RPG? No pay-to-win and shits?
 

StoneStoryRPG

Member
May 16, 2019
3
Hey Stone Story fans! Glad to see that you guys found our game all on your own, haha. I was looking up people talking about the game and ran into this thread, so I figured I'd go ahead and make an account and say hello! I'm Kyle and I recently joined the SSRPG team in order to help out with the PR and marketing push leading up to the game's release.

The game is now definitively content complete. Right now, we're ironing out the bugs, polishing some levels, and putting all the audio in the right place. If you had any questions about the game, please don't hesitate to ask.

In fact, if you're curious about the development process, the lead developer (standardcombo) and I had a Q&A last Sunday with our Discord community where we looked under the game's hood! We covered a whole bunch of interesting topics, from how to teach players using Nintendo's design philosophy to incorporating idle game mechanics. The Q&A has been uploaded to YouTube if you want to know more:



Also, here's some boss combat to tide you guys over~



Thank you all so much for supporting the game!
 

GaimeGuy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,944
The game has gained sentience and can now post on forums while claiming to be a member of the dev team. :O
 

mutantmagnet

Member
Oct 28, 2017
9,618
This already had a good first impression from the first trailer. I'll avoid any new visual presentations. Happy to hear this is close to going gold.