Tag Archives: Role Playing Games

FADE IN: The Road to Revahlen

Hey everyone, my name is Tommy and I’m writing Blue Key Games next project, Revahlen. Tim had  read a couple of screenplays that I wrote and asked if I could help him write a video game. I didn’t really have a grasp of how to write a game or the genre that he wanted to do, but I accepted as I thought the experience would be great and the game would be fun to make. Seriously, how many people get to make a video game? I initially thought Tim was using a program like RPG Maker for the project as I didn’t have much insight of the development side of the game. I had an unused story kicking around and tried to modify it to fit what he was looking for. The story had some cool ideas, but nothing really stuck as it was more a sci-fi militatent action game, where Tim was looking for something more fantasy and adventure based.

We tried again with a different idea and approach and ultimately failed, as nothing gained any traction. I actually dug out the synopsis and direction page for that project earlier today and was surprised to see many of the concepts and early character incarnations for our current project in that draft. Even though the project didn’t really go anywhere, I remember being excited about it. It had some really unique concepts for a retro-styled video game that wasn’t able to be taken advantage of in the early 90′s (which was the era the game was supposed to look like).

The topic of making a video game didn’t surface again for a while after that project fizzled out. Last summer Tim approached me again, around the time that he began work on Happiness. He presented me with the idea for Taiscrethea, which was pretty much the idea for the previous attempt, but he sort of left me in the dark with what he wanted as he was trying to give me greater creative freedom. He gave me a large document full of worlds, characters, and themes he wanted to present.

With all the notes to Taiscrethea in hand, I tried several passes at cracking the story,  but the story was a little too ambitious compared to anything I’ve written before – and equally as ambitious in size for designing too. We then decided to shift the project to Revahlen, which is the project that’s a lot smaller in scale – but by no means a small project. Tim hatched the idea after realizing that the scope of the original idea of the game was just too big, and none of us had the experience to pull it off. He came up with a way to use the characters, locations, and some of the themes for Taiscrethea and Revahlen was born.

The initial concept of the game was a little different from it’s current state. Revahlen was always destined to be a smaller game than it’s initial concept, as it was originally supposed to be a ‘prequel’ or a series of smaller side stories that were to lead into Taicrethea. I pitched the idea of it being a trilogy of games that would serve similar to Super Mario Bros. All Stars, that there would be three unrelated stories that used the same characters in episodic adventures. When I turned in the pitches for the ‘episodes’ Tim was surprised with the amount of material that I put in. He had envisioned Revahlen similar to a couple of episodes for a television show, whereas I always saw it as a film trilogy. The pitches were accepted, though the Mario All-Stars choose-your-adventure aspect was dropped.

I don’t really remember why, but Tim had a reason for wanting to add a fourth adventure that would unlock after completing the trilogy, However that adventure and the third infused together during the writing process and so did the separate adventures. Revahlen became one long story with three main story archs/quests to complete – which is the current iteration to the project. We’ll most likely share some of the material that we scrapped or earlier versions of stories as we get deeper into production.

Stay Tuned!

-Tommy

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