Crusade of Destiny is the first full-scale 3D role-playing game for mobile devices and as such has won a HP Palm PDK Hot Apps award of $50,000 from the hardware manufacturer. Not bad for a game which is essentially the work of just one man.
Crusade of Destiny is the brainchild of Jopacus J Parrott, whose love of RPGs began with Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and ultimately led him to try to create a game with all the essential RPG ingredients. With mobile devices as his target platforms, Jopacus was also able to exploit the potential of touch-screens, with a multi-touch control scheme enabling full 3D freedom of movement plus 360 degree camera panning.
Although Crusade of Destiny is Jopacus’s first 3D RPG, he had already enjoyed success with the 2D title Angel Sword on iPhone. Creating a 3D title to follow seemed a logical next step and Jopacus turned to ShiVa3D to help create the 3D interface and model.
“It only took me about two weeks to learn how to use ShiVa3D,” says Jopacus. ”I knew C++ and Java but had never coded anything in the Lua scripting language before. After two weeks of learning ShiVa3D, using the example tutorials, I was ready to start working on Crusade Of Destiny.”
The game has a distinctive graphic style, influenced in part by Jopacus’s love of manga and anime style art, but also his desire to keep everything as simple as possible: without a team of artists he was solely responsible for the art in the game and found that making the 3D models and drawing the 2D art was a lot faster if it was kept simple.
Jopacus began with the game design and sketched out the world and where the quest and people would be. He then designed all the screens for the user interface and created the interface artwork in Photoshop. All the art was drawn by hand, scanned into Photoshop and digitally coloured. He also composed all the music in the game and finally, he created all the 3D models and wrote the code to bring it all together.
In total, Crusade of Destiny took seven months for Jopacus to create from his original concept to the day of release. “It was amazing,” he says. “Bear in mind that I had never used ShiVa3D before, yet I was able to make a role playing game with a full story and all the game mechanics from scratch.
“I found that working with the engine was very easy once I understood the layout. I love that I can quickly go from writing a piece of code and then see it execute almost instantly. The compile time is blazing fast and errors are debugged and displayed in real-time.”
Undoubtedly though, his skills as an artist, and experience with 3d Studio Max helped, as well as his talents as a musician and songwriter, which enabled him to write and program all the music for the game.
“I just needed a way to put all this together in a game and ShiVa3D enabled me to do so. In my opinion it’s the perfect development engine because it allows you to do almost everything from within the interface without having to leave the engine. You write code and you can instantly run it from within the engine which reduces development time very efficiently.
Jopacus looked at several game engines before choosing ShiVa3D. Having professional experience of developing his own cross-platform engine which is used in commercial apps, he had a good idea of what to look for. In the end, ShiVa3D’s support for iPhone and its unbeatable pay-once pricing model won the day. “ShiVa3D offered a better price and more features for that price. Once I saw that there were no extra fees for releasing multiple titles I was hooked,” says Jopacus. “The support for other platforms, such as Palm and Android, were just icing on the cake.”
Crusade of Destiny was initially released on iPhone, then Android, then HP WebOS for Palm. It enjoyed success on all three platforms but it is on Palm that the game has earned its greatest accolade. Palm has announced just recently that, for its sales success, Crusade of Destiny has won $50,000 in its HP Palm PDK Hot Apps awards.
Jopacus plans to invest his prize money in his next mobile RPG, titled Earth And Legend, which will build on Crusade Of Destiny’s success.
Crusade Of Destiny features
* 3D RPG for mobile devices
* Multi-touch control system
* Multiple language versions available
* 3D sound effect positioning and original music soundtrack
* 3 different skill types (warrior/archer/mage); detailed side quests; combat system with auto-face targeting
* HP Palm PDK Hot Apps winner