John Romero’s new studio Kickstarting an old-school RPG project

Wednesday, 3rd October 2012 12:22 GMT By Dave Cook

Brenda Brathwaite, founder of Wizardry, and wife of ex-id Software developer John Romero, has teamed up with Ion Storm co-founder Tom Hall on a new Kickstarter project. It’s an old-school RPG and they’re looking for $1 million in funding.

Eurogamer reports that the project, which is currently called ‘Old School Role-Playing Game’, needs $1 million to get off the ground, with a stretch goal to make a second game if the project hits $1.9 million.

You can check out the project and its funding goals here. The developer is listed as Loot Drop, suggesting the pair have formed a new studio.

Here’s a quick list of the game’s proposed features:

  • Characters: Create a group of up to 4 characters, choosing from multiple races and professions.
  • Skills: Balance your characters’ strengths, weaknesses and skills, knowing each of them affects play.
  • Progression: Gain experience and gain levels to hone your characters to your exact liking.
  • Recruitable Characters: Hire NPCs to work with you, if you trust them, or allow them to hire you to be their guide.
  • Character Extensions (Stretch Goal): Wrestle with the old-school favorites from back in the paper days – alignment, age, rank and randomly-rolled temperament.
  • Exploration: Explore a richly detailed world, home to unique, dangerous and sometimes crafty creatures who may be friend or foe.
  • Treasure: Loot castles, caverns and dungeons and defeat hordes of creatures in a world where your skill and cunning are key.
  • NPCs: At least five known NPC races call this world home. Forge alliances with them and do their bidding – or be their undoing.
  • Quests: Solve hundreds of quests on your way to discovering and uncovering the secrets of the world.
  • Multiple Endings: The smallest of intentions sometimes matters far more than you know. It is a world alive with memories.
  • Multiple Beginnings (Stretch Goal): The endings in one game affect the beginnings in another. Import your characters from one world to another.
  • Combat: Turn-based combat harkens back to the days when spells and swords hit hard and last-second healing spells saved the day.
  • NPC Enemies (Stretch Goal): What once was a relatively peaceful world becomes much more dangerous not only for you, but for those who live there. New NPCs come complete with an expanded game area and quests.
  • Super Hardcore Mode (Stretch Goal) : Challenge yourself with Permadeath mode, no-save option and some optional but barely beatable bosses with the loot to prove their worth.
  • Pen & Paper RPG ($60 Reward Tier): Gather around a table and enjoy playing Old School RPG the seriously, really old school way.
  • Two Games, One Kickstarter ($1.9M Stretch Goal): Brenda and Tom make different, separate RPGs with unique worlds, quests and characters.

What do you think? Will you invest? Let us know below.



  1. The_Red

    Ok, even with the super awesome talent involved (Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall), going to Kickstarter and asking for “Old School RPG” feels a bit too cliched.

    Seriously, first there will be an “old-school” over-saturation and second, couldn’t they come up with a better name for their project? I know “old-school RPG” has become a trendy buzz word among some Kickstarter projects but come on.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. pukem0n

    but most importantly:

    will he make us his bitch again?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. sh4dow

    The video didn’t quite bring it across… how many games would they ideally make? ;)

    Loved the cameo by Notch.
    But I wonder how turn-based the combat is actually going to be. Because all too often these days, games will say “turn-based” but then it’s really baldur’s gate style with pausing or the turn-based mechanic is just running “behind the scenes” altogether.
    I guess someone should ask them. Won’t be me though, since I’ve backed so many projects recently that I’ll pass on this one regardless of the answer. And I’d feel like a douche if they really would be nice enough to reply and tell me enthusiastically that they’re going to do it this or that way.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Goffee

    Pass, I support newer teams and projects, not old schoolers who can’t get the funds.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. voxelman

    @4 they could get the funds, for another facebook game…

    This is a way of them making a type of game that for whatever reason publishers don’t want to give them the money to make, but they really want to make.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DSB

    I don’t see John Romero anywhere.

    I don’t think anyone would give him money for anything that took more than 2 braincells.

    The title pretty clearly says “An Old-School RPG by Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall!”.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    Go to the Kickstarter, search the page for John Romero. He helped formed and works for Loot Drop which is developing the game.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @7 DrDamn gets bonus points for reading into the webpage.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Erthazus

    Brenda Brathwaite is JR wife and she is the greatest game designer EVER on this planet earth.

    She is a creator of WIZARDRY 8. She worked on JA, Realms of Arkania

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Da Man

    Even conscious, materialistic PC fanboys agree that John Romero is shit.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. TheWulf

    Anachronox was genius. Let’s get that out of the way. I know Romero hasn’t exactly made a good name for himself, but Anachronox was a brilliant game, and one of the better RPGs I’ve had the fortune to play.

    This? Hrmmnnn. Not enough information. This is the problem that almost had Pinkerton Road miss their funding goal until they chose a game to pitch as the end result of their project (then the funds shot up). It really depends on the kind of old school experience they want to offer us.

    The difference for me is the difference between Wizardry the first and Wizardry the seventh/eighth. If it’s like the first, it’s going to be a common world, with standard fantasy races, and dungeon delving. Yawn. If it’s like the seventh/eighth though, then it’s going to feature a bizarre world which mixes technology and fantasy beautifully, and a plethora of interesting options to play as, and NPCs to meet.

    I wrote to them to say as much, that they need to tell us more of the game they’re pitching. I really can’t put money down on this, yet, despite being excited about it. Maybe soon, though.

    But yes, there is quite a bit of pedigree, there.

    This could be very, very promising.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. TheWulf


    “She is a creator of WIZARDRY 8.”

    Diiidn’t know that 8 was her brainchild. This makes me feel better. The older Wizardry trilogies were terribly–no, tremendously–dull, and I have no desire to play them. It’s just elves and dwarves in dungeons.

    But I have so many fond memories of 8. Like that rather fed up sounding spaceship, for one. I never understood why that wasn’t okay. Why can’t we have fantasy games with spaceships? Phantasy Star did it, too, and that didn’t give anyone cancer. Blech, fantasy purism itself is the cancer, if you ask me.

    But yes, 8 you say? Thaaat’s more promising, that makes me feel better about this. I wasn’t sure if she was responsible for the earlier or the later Wizardry games. The later ones were really, really good.

    Okay, I’m more interested now than I was prior. Still quite not interested enough to put money down blindly, though. I’ll see what they say in regards to the message I sent them.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. TheWulf


    You’re being a bit of an idiot, here. Yes, Romero was responsible for Daikatana, but he also helped ensure that Anachronox existed, and had a hand in its creation.

    The kind of thinking where a person is damned for life for one bad game is ridiculous. And the notion that a developer is somehow a mentally damaged retard for having been involved in a bad game is both acidic and poisonous.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DSB

    @7 You’re right, I obviously jumped the gun on that one. My bad.

    Still, there’s obviously a reason why Braithwaite and Tom Hall are front center, and Loot Drop is just as much their studio.

    It just seems a little silly to pull out Romero purely because you can. It’s clearly not the story.

    @13 That’s certainly one way to ignore history.

    Romero was working on Daikatana while Spector and Hall were leading Deus Ex and Anachronox respectively. I’m sure his ego meant that he had to touch either of the two at some point, but he didn’t drive either of the projects.

    Which is obviously why he isn’t front and center on this. Romero is Mr Daikatana, Tom Hall is Mr Anachronox.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. pukem0n

    so they want to make a game together, but a stretch goal is for both of them to make their own?

    i dont get it

    #15 2 years ago

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