Homestar Runner RPG

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A Homestar Runner RPG was in development for the Atari 2600 in the early 2000s. Programmed by Paul Slocum, it was initially planned to be released in early 2004 and would've been the first console game for Homestar Runner. Due to the immense level of work required to build a full RPG on the limited hardware of the Atari 2600, a demo was still only 1/3 finished by February 2006. The project was abandoned by August 2008, with Slocum estimating that the game was only half-finished and would've still required months of work.

[edit] Planned Features

Title screen

Players would have been able to play as Homestar Runner, Homsar, or Strong Sad (and possibly Marzipan and Coach Z) against the villain Strong Bad (and possibly The Cheat and Strong Mad) in a traditional sword and sorcery-themed role-playing game. Gameplay was planned to be turn-based with lots of mini-games and story text with codes given to save game progress. RPG elements would have included magic, HP, weapons, and an inventory with different items (such as Wooden Shield, The Stick, Ninja Star, Leather Armor, Fhqwhgads, and Fondue Pot). The enemies would have included those from other Atari 2600 games. The map was comparable in size to the early computer RPGs, and the player could travel through different lands, such as grass (with trees and water), castle (with different floor tiles and a basement), nighttime, and mountains. Like the website's index page, the title screen would give players the option to view the intro or play the game.

While Slocum was responsible for programming, The Brothers Chaps provided the character graphics and some of the game tiles. Some of the screens used the same graphics as the Compy 386-emulated characters in big white face, while sometimes they resembled their Atari counterparts.

The game would have been released as a downloadable ROM for PC emulation, with the option of a physical Atari 2600 cartridge for the dedicated old-school gamer.

[edit] Abandonment

On January 4, 2005, Slocum published a statement that development had halted:

The game's on hold for a while. I'm too busy with my band and other projects to work on it right now, but I do plan to return to it when I can. Sorry it's taking so long, but that's life.

On September 5, 2005, Matt Chapman indicated in an interview that the game was still on hold:

It's sort of in limbo. I think it was really pushing the limits of what the 2600 could do, especially with an RPG, and I think he was getting a little overwhelmed. He realized that all the work he had done — which was, you know, hours and hours and hours — amounted to like two percent of what the game would finally be. And so he just kinda freaked out.

On August 12, 2008, Slocum confirmed in a Slashdot comment that development on the game had halted:

We had to abandon it, it was just too ambitious, and during the time that I was working on it my schedule was gradually getting more and more ridiculous. The display code for that RPG was pushing the Atari so hard, and so it was very delicate and became time-consuming to keep in balance. Most of the display, music, map-handling, and memory management was in place. But the battle system and overall RPG design were just getting started. I've had some people interested in the code for other 2600 RPG projects so something may still come out of it.

We still may release a H*R Atari 2600 game at some point -- we've talked about some other ideas that would be much more reasonable.

[edit] External links

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