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Published September 21, 2023

For my side project, I have been working on bringing back the title that got me into the game industry: Ravensword: The Fallen King. Ravensword is an open world western style casual RPG, scaled to fit the platform it ran on. It shipped in late 2009 for $6.99, ran mostly on first generation iPhones, and was the top paid RPG for a while, hitting #14 top grossing overall. Josh Presseisen provided the art, and I did the game design, engineering and editor work for the title, and for the most part I did a terrible job. I am astonished that it worked as well as it did… we have our volunteer testers to thank for that. I think we worked on it for about 9 months.

Ravensword changed my life, and as such I have a soft spot for it. When IOS dropped 32 bit, the game became unavailable to most. I think iPhone 5 is the last that will run it. I looked into updating it at the time, but it was already so bit-rotted and fragile that it would have been a major undertaking. Fast forward to about a year ago when I met a couple of guys that had played the game as kids and were really enthusiastic about it. Got me thinking that there were probably quite a few other people that would get a little nostalgia jolt out of it. At the time my side project was a vehicular combat game that wasn’t going well, so I decided to do a ground up rebuild of Ravensword from the assets, with an eye toward developing an open world system I could use for other games.

Been making decent progress since then, but a couple weeks ago unity did this: https://forum.unity.com/threads/unity-plan-pricing-and-packaging-updates.1482750/ What they did will have no monetary effect on me, but how they did it, and how they decided that it would be ok to do it that way, made it clear that I need to acquire some non-unity skills. It’s been a comfy bubble, but it’s time to venture out. Unreal seems like the best thing to learn, so I’m going to make a run at porting Ravensword to Unreal.

Lots of other folks are in similar situations, so I figured I’d document my experience in the off chance somebody finds part of it useful.

First thing I need to do is see if I can get an unreal scene running on iPad ….

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