Starting from nothing, the players need to collaborate and organize themselves to improve their lot, continuously expanding westward in order to grow and conquering an hostile civilization in the process.
This requires building complementary buildings, harvesting resources, setting up an economy, exploring the land, defending from invasions and securing new land through military conquest. In every single one of these endeavors, the players have the central roles.
The geography, the location of resources, and the dangers posed by the wildlife and the enemy civilization set the stage while leaving the players in charge of deciding what goals to pursue and how to overcome the challenges they face.
- Settlements entirely created and managed by the players
- Fully player-driven economy (no NPC), heavily based on crafting and a network of various buildings
- Vast persistent open world, communities separated by large distances (no fast-travel)
- Long-lasting campaign against an enemy NPC civilization
- Turn-based multiplayer team battles
Westward aims to be a slow-paced, long-term oriented MMORPG. Battles will be an important aspect, but crafting and trade will be on an equal footing in terms of gameplay and importance.
Emphasis is put on realism to a certain extent. There is no magic, elves or dwarves; the assumption is made that the real-life challenges posed by colonizing a wild land, as observed in our own history, can provide enough depth and fun on their own. Some liberty will be taken however in making up the wildlife an (al)chemical ingredients present in the game.
Westward is in development and is still far from completion. The current ongoing milestone is to make a playable prototype featuring distinctive gameplay mechanics.
As such, the game is extremely unpolished at the moment. Most visual assets are placeholders used for development. Therefore, the current aspect of the game is a far cry from what is intended for the release of the first version.
The development can be followed by checking the dev log.
Westward is played as a top-down 2D multiplayer RPG. Most actions are carried out by clicking (for moving, interacting…). The game proposes several traditional mechanics of adventure games: an inventory system, a set of character statistics that can be managed by using items and equipment, crafting and fights.
In addition, it introduces another layer of gameplay on top of that, in the form of settlements that players have to build and manage. Settlements are collections of buildings built by the players. It is up to the players to decide what to build and where, and to gather the necessary material to do so. The complementary (or lack thereof) between buildings determines to what extent such a settlement will thrive and will be able to fulfill the needs of the players.
Battles take place in a turn-based fashion. Once triggered, they define a battle area that can grow in size in the course of the battle. Anything stepping into the area will be dragged in the fight, making large multiplayer battles are possibility by jumping in to help others. This will play a key role for the defense of settlements against attacks from a hostile NPC civilization.
PvP is currently not possible, battles only pitch players against wildlife and the eneny civilization at the moment.
The prototype is being developed as a multiplayer top-down 2D HTML5 game (using the Phaser 3 engine), played in the browser. The server runs on Node.js . Successful tests have shown that the game could be packaged as a desktop app for convenience (using Electron or NWJS), but for development and testing I’m sticking to the browser environment at the moment.
I’m using the excellent Phaser 3 framework for the client side of the game. I’m using Node.js on the server side and Socket.io to connect the two.
Credit goes to María Jesus Gormaz for the creation of the building sprites.
Mihail Ilinov has contributed significantly since March 2019, first by improving greatly the administration panel, and subsequently by tackling a lot of tasks related to inventory and equipment. Moreover, discussions with him about the game have been a great motivational boost.
If you would be interested in contributing to Westward, drop me a message. I’m particularly interested in visuals at the moment, but contributions of all kinds can be discussed!