The future of Chaos?

This is a tricky issue to debate, and a bit of a rant, but.. what really is the future of Chaos?

I am realistic enough to know that Chaos themed games will never prove as popular as mainstream games. I feel the gameplay and this style of game is really great. I also see that it is often talked of favourably in games magazines like Edge, and GamesTM. But despite this, I can’t see new players embracing the game or being at all interested due to the dated gfx, antiquated user interface and lack of modern features and effects. Sad perhaps, but that’s how it works in the games world..

And what I really want to do, besides making Chaos even easier, fun and better, is to make it more popular!

Even though I appreciate all the support and comments here, the Chaos community is somewhat fickle with long periods of inactivity on the gooey blob group, and no central site to keep things current and active. I tried to do this with forums and blogs on my homemade zunked site, but I found it too difficult to maintain while designing and programming the game. I don’t want to see Chaos die, yet games like X-Com and Laser Squad Nemesis are proof to me that this genre can be reborn and brought to a new generation. And why not? Chaos is great fun as many people here know..

Hence Chaos Groove of course. I’ve wanted to do a version of Chaos that bridges the divide between the past and the future, but how do I go? I remember reading on the gooey blob yahoo group that some people there didn’t like Chaos Funk. There is nothing wrong with that of course.. but did they not like it for the zooming? No.. The gfx? No.. The AI? No..

What they didn’t like about it was that it was mouse controlled. They wanted keyboard controls..

And I thought to myself, man, you’re living in the past! Chaos is one of those games that is perfect for mouse controls, why would you blind yourself to modern advances in this way? I know some people have hacked the original spectrum version to fix bugs, and add new spells when playing under emulation. That is something that on one level I admire, and on another just think it’s a waste of time since the rest of the emulated hardware (and hence the game) is too limited for modern tastes.

Chaos is not perfect, or untouchable. It has bugs, problems, poor gfx and a bad user interface. I am all in favour of keeping the gameplay, expanding it and improving it, but I also have no problem with totally replacing the gfx, sound, user interface and effects.

So, what is Chaos’s future? Do I try to appease the gamers who want a completely faithful remake (something I already tried to do in Chaos Funk) and provide traditional options and gfx (and more work), or do I try to even more fully embrace the future and make Chaos popular again?

For the more modern focus I would more than ever need the assistance of talented graphic artists, musicians and designers. Something I have not had much luck with in the past unfortunately. Whatever happens I will finish Chaos Groove to have all the features and options of the original (it’s not far off that already), and then take it further. But exactly how much further can I take it without support of people talented in different areas than myself?

I guess I’m feeling a bit frustrated by what I’d like to acheive and what I can do on my own. Yet, the programming side is not really a problem to me as you’ve seen by my progress on this little blog.. :/

13 Responses to “The future of Chaos?”

  1. OICW Says:

    I definately vote for modern coat. The new UI you made is really useful and comfortable. As well as new features like highlighting, showing range etc. Also new effects are cool. Once you’ve got everything working then you can try to find some artist and make some modern looking GFX.

    On one side there are fanatics, who live under some rock and want their hard-core classic. On the other are people who look for eyecandy and comfortable UI which will do the dirty job for them. The latter group is bigger. I’m somewhere in the middle, I like when someone makes remake of something and most of the time I say that the remake is better than the original – it has more features – classic example could be Dune II and Dune 2000. I liked the original, but the 2000 is more comfortable (multiple selection, etc.) Or what is even more better is Dune: The Maker…

  2. Mike Says:

    I love what you are doing with Groove. And I’d love to see a fully tricked out version of Chaos, complete with 3d graphics, awesome effects, full battle animations, and everything like magic armor and sword and stuff fully depicted.

    But one thing to keep in mind is that by it’s very nature, Chaos and games like it will always have a relatively limited fopllowing, since it’s a thinking persons game, and not a shooter or World of Warcraft. 😉

  3. Adam Jimenez Says:

    We’re all behind you Richard, keep up the great work. What you’ve achieved in a very short space of time is incredible and I’m sure there is a lot more to come.

    So far you’ve encapsulated the gameplay which is the hardest part.

    Hopefully a community effort will see some new graphic sets and sounds sets.

    You only have to look at XBLA and Virtual console to see that these old games are more popular than ever.

    Only recently there have been commercial remakes of Settlers 2, Another World and Speedball 2 is on the way.

    I’m a web developer by trade with little aptitude musically or graphically.
    However I’d be happy to offer my services to host or develop.

  4. Adam Jimenez Says:

    I think the future of chaos has to be a modern, networkable version with some sort of leaderboard and tournament play.

    I envision a website where you can see all your previous battles with stats and analysis. You’d also be able to join skirmish battles.

    I can’t see why it can’t be popular. There are some very popular flash games with good gameplay and not-so good gfx.

    In terms of it having a limited following due to it being a thinking man’s game. I think that’s true to an extent but so are games like chess and texas hold-em – and they’re popular.

  5. happymonster Says:

    Thanks all for the vote of confidence. 🙂

    Adam: I don’t have very good website skills, so this blog is easier than a homemade html website. Even with this blog I still think a dedicated site to chaos would be a good thing. It could have information on all the different versions, strategies, maybe even forums. Would you be interested in doing something like that?

    I am going to try to do some level of networking, but I am not a network programmer and have never tried it before. But I will try..

  6. kreezer Says:

    An updated version of Chaos would work well on Xbox live.

  7. kreezer Says:

    You have done a great job with Chaos Groove so far and I think the key feature that would get more people playing it is multiplayer internet play.

    I am willing to help in any way that I can. I have some artist and programming skill but no knowledge of music or networking.

  8. happymonster Says:

    I’m going to try to work with Adam to get some form of multiplayer internet play. But no promises.. I have no experience in net programming.

    Kreezer: If you want to try to help with the artwork, feel free and post what you come up with!

  9. Nick Stevens Says:

    Web designer here too! 😀 Afraid I’m not much cop at sprites and the sort as my graphic design talents lie mostly in logos and interface design… branding sort of stuff. Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver… the usuals. 🙂 I’d be happy to assist pro-bono in my spare time.

  10. Adam Jimenez Says:

    Hi Nick,
    My skills are in web programming as opposed to web design. I’ve started to put something together and would value your input. We definitely need a logo as well.

    Email me if you’re interested:

  11. happymonster Says:

    I have tried to come up with a few interesting logos and typefaces for a ‘Chaos Groove’ title page and logo, but have not had much inspiration.

    If you have any ideas you want to mock up, feel free! 🙂

  12. Mo Says:

    Great work mate.
    A classic game desperately in need of an update.

    Nice one

  13. Tayzyboy Says:

    Looks nice! cant wait!

    What I’d like to see in chaos is a contnuation from game to game (a bit like Lords of Chaos). Being able to choose spells from a limited points pool and then playing a battle, competing with varying levels of computer opponents, with various numbers/quality of spells and then levelling up – buying more spells/stat increases for the next battle.

    Net gaming – yeah that would be ace too

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