I’ve been lucky enough to have a working version of Umbrarum Regnum to hand. No need to say I was pretty excited as it’s the most ambitious project using libtcod for the time being. I won’t focus on the game itself as it’s well covered on Mingos’s website, but rather on the character creation, which I think is representative of the game potential and gives hints about the whole universe that supports the game.

What strikes you first when you run the game is the awesome background animation on the game menus. Mingos has definitely mastered libtcod’s noise module, however minimalist it is, and seems to be able to endlessly find new ways to use the perlin noise and it’s derived. Unfortunately, there’s no way to give an idea of how it look with a static screenshot…

While being losely inspired by the classic DnD-like character creation that you can find in games like Morrowind, UR’s system is packed with fresh and surprising ideas, like being able to choose your father’s and mother’s race independantly, the use of a simple and powerful personnality system or professions having an impact on your character’s age. In fact, some advanced professions need so much time to learn that only a few long living races can afford them.

Once the character creation is finished, the main remaining impression is that every property of your character has an impact on its statistics, and most properties are dependant. For example, some professions might not be available if your personnality is not in accord with them.

Of course, there’s still a long road before UR can be released as a game, and I know better than anybody how difficult it can be to reach this stage, but I’m pretty confident in Mingos capacity to do some great stuff. Remember that one year ago, he had almost never coded anything…

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