Ravensword_Town_BlacksmithCrescent Moon Games' upcoming Ravensword game has received a lot of attention from our readers since its original announcement. It is certainly one of the most ambitious iPhone games we've seen coming out of such a small studio. Ravensword is an open-envirornment 3D RPG that sports some impressive graphics.

The one potential hurdle that we (and our readers) saw in early builds of the game, however, was the adoption of a seemingly awkward control system. We discussed in our recent podcast that it seems clear the major developers had already settled on a somewhat standardized "swipe to look" control mechanism for these 3D games.

Fortunately, Crescent Moon has modified their game to adopt a similar control scheme that they detail in this new gameplay video:

The developer also demonstrates other features including auto targeting and the various scaling options provided to boost performance on previous generation devices. Ravensword is in the final stages of development and should be submitted in a matter of days to weeks.

  • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

    Gothic for the iPhone? Seriously, though, that would be awesome, wouldn't it? :)

  • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

    Gothic for the iPhone? Seriously, though, that would be awesome, wouldn't it? :)

  • jon

    There aren't many games I would buy without waiting to see if the price goes down or if the reviews are good. This will be the exception to that. It looks really great. Nice work gentlemen.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      Yeah the graphics alone would make it a great show-off-my-iphone game hehe. But it also looks pretty fun and the controls look really smooth!

      I like RPGs for when I'm waiting in line for stuff, they keep me entertained pretty well.

  • jon

    There aren't many games I would buy without waiting to see if the price goes down or if the reviews are good. This will be the exception to that. It looks really great. Nice work gentlemen.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      Yeah the graphics alone would make it a great show-off-my-iphone game hehe. But it also looks pretty fun and the controls look really smooth!

      I like RPGs for when I'm waiting in line for stuff, they keep me entertained pretty well.

  • Ayjona

    Hmm, in what way does auto-targetting constitute an improvement of gameplay? With what seems to be just one method of attack, the combat mechanics seems completely devoid of skill. Here's to the hope there will be some manner of blocking and dodging once the game is released.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      As you can see from the video, you dodge by getting out of the way. Still, this is an RPG, not a fighting game; combat outcomes are more determined by leveling, weapon class, etc than they are by player skill. The focus of the game is on exploration, story, etc -- what you would expect from a RPG or an adventure game.

    • spiffyone

      In the same way that Ocarina of Time proved auto targeting (in OoT's case, "Z-targeting") was beneficial to games that had combat but were not combat intensive.

      Seriously, why more games that are LoZ-esque or Morrowind like don't employ auto targeting is beyond me. I need not deal with typical third person shooter controls if the thrust of the game is not heavily skewed towards intense combat scenarios or the skill necessary to compete against others in death match.

      • spiffyone

        Oh, and it isn't computer controlled auto targeting but manually controlled auto targeting. There's a difference. With the former you don't have a choice. With the latter you do. If you don't want to use it, simply don't tap on the enemies to target them. Have fun aiming while the rest of us have fun killing things and performing what is truly the thrust of the game: completing quests and increasing our character's attributes.

  • Ayjona

    Hmm, in what way does auto-targetting constitute an improvement of gameplay? With what seems to be just one method of attack, the combat mechanics seems completely devoid of skill. Here's to the hope there will be some manner of blocking and dodging once the game is released.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      As you can see from the video, you dodge by getting out of the way. Still, this is an RPG, not a fighting game; combat outcomes are more determined by leveling, weapon class, etc than they are by player skill. The focus of the game is on exploration, story, etc -- what you would expect from a RPG or an adventure game.

    • spiffyone

      In the same way that Ocarina of Time proved auto targeting (in OoT's case, "Z-targeting") was beneficial to games that had combat but were not combat intensive.

      Seriously, why more games that are LoZ-esque or Morrowind like don't employ auto targeting is beyond me. I need not deal with typical third person shooter controls if the thrust of the game is not heavily skewed towards intense combat scenarios or the skill necessary to compete against others in death match.

      • spiffyone

        Oh, and it isn't computer controlled auto targeting but manually controlled auto targeting. There's a difference. With the former you don't have a choice. With the latter you do. If you don't want to use it, simply don't tap on the enemies to target them. Have fun aiming while the rest of us have fun killing things and performing what is truly the thrust of the game: completing quests and increasing our character's attributes.

  • Maniacfive

    This will be a first day purchase for me, it looks great. I love RPG's and this looks like its coming along really nicely. Almost like having fable in your pocket.

  • Maniacfive

    This will be a first day purchase for me, it looks great. I love RPG's and this looks like its coming along really nicely. Almost like having fable in your pocket.

  • MellowFellow

    Is it me or is there no magic in this game? No magic = no purchase because that combat looks BORING. Hey look a monster! Mash screen. A bigger monster! Mash screen longer. zZzZzZ

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      It is you.

  • MellowFellow

    Is it me or is there no magic in this game? No magic = no purchase because that combat looks BORING. Hey look a monster! Mash screen. A bigger monster! Mash screen longer. zZzZzZ

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      It is you.

  • http://www.ravensword.com Josh Crescent Moon

    yes there is magic in the game, we've never shown it before.

    • MellowFellow

      Why not show it then? Seems to be a pretty big part of RPG's as far as I'm concerned.

      • MellowFellow

        I'm not sure which one of you is the dev or devs, but is there anyway you can put a video up of the magic system in use? You sure dedicated a lot of time to controls and UI which is great but ....gameplay?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Josh and Russ are the developers. I'm just an enthusiastic beta tester (who really should just keep his mouth shut ;))

  • http://www.ravensword.com Josh Crescent Moon

    yes there is magic in the game, we've never shown it before.

    • MellowFellow

      Why not show it then? Seems to be a pretty big part of RPG's as far as I'm concerned.

      • MellowFellow

        I'm not sure which one of you is the dev or devs, but is there anyway you can put a video up of the magic system in use? You sure dedicated a lot of time to controls and UI which is great but ....gameplay?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Josh and Russ are the developers. I'm just an enthusiastic beta tester (who really should just keep his mouth shut ;))

  • OhMikeOdd

    looks really sweet. new controls seem to be working quite well (for iphone standards). release date announced?

  • OhMikeOdd

    looks really sweet. new controls seem to be working quite well (for iphone standards). release date announced?

  • OhMikeOdd

    ...ok first read - then post..."should be submitted in a matter of days to weeks". thanks TA.

  • OhMikeOdd

    ...ok first read - then post..."should be submitted in a matter of days to weeks". thanks TA.

  • ClaroAtaxia

    Very nice work! Have been waiting for this patiently since I first saw screenshots. Looks like it will make fans of the Elder Scrolls quite pleased. I'm excited to see if there will be different regions/cultures throughout the world like Morrowind had. I have always felt the diversity of cultures in RPG's is what gives them a lot of their depth, but I'm sure we'll see plenty of that in the future expansions. Good work! Will be buying first day it's available!

  • ClaroAtaxia

    Very nice work! Have been waiting for this patiently since I first saw screenshots. Looks like it will make fans of the Elder Scrolls quite pleased. I'm excited to see if there will be different regions/cultures throughout the world like Morrowind had. I have always felt the diversity of cultures in RPG's is what gives them a lot of their depth, but I'm sure we'll see plenty of that in the future expansions. Good work! Will be buying first day it's available!

  • araczynski

    wow, very well implemented. please tell me this is a long game :) don't want to hear anything about some 7 hour game being 'epic'.

    anyway, looks like i need to get a new touch.

  • araczynski

    wow, very well implemented. please tell me this is a long game :) don't want to hear anything about some 7 hour game being 'epic'.

    anyway, looks like i need to get a new touch.

  • Victor

    Looking very good. I'll wait for a few reviews and gameplay videos before I make my final decision but it's looking like I might pick this one up.

    Kind of worried about the developers lack of confidence in shadow performance... and I wish he had included more than just 2 seconds of video with it on.

  • Jas

    You've got to be kidding. The dev has to turn shadows off on a 3GS to get decent frame rates!! ... And then suggests it'll be fine on newer models of iPhone. What a crock!

    Fix it devs......

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Talk about jumping to conclusions... Frame rate is fine with shadows and foliage on.

      • Jas

        "Talk about jumping to conclusions…"

        It's the dev's own words in the video. Listen to it again. He has to turn off shadows to get a smooth frame rate.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        I know what Josh said on the video. He's a pretty demanding fella when it comes to FPS.

      • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

        I never heard the dev in the video say that he doesn't have good framerate with shadows on. You're jumping to conclusions. All he said that he wanted to have the highest framerate possible in his games. Meaning it probably won't run at 60fps on 3GS, but he likes 60fps nonetheless.

    • stephan

      I agree with @jas. The 3gs is capable of handling even more sophisticated graphics. It probadly depends on the engine they are using.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      How many open world 3D games are out there in the AppStore? How many have the level of environmental detail that you see on that video? Just because the iPhone is technically capable of "even more sophisticated graphics" doesn't mean that anyone has figured out how to deliver them at 60 FPS -- or that it is even possible.

      As a beta-tester, I'm not supposed to talk about my experience with the game, so I won't say anything specific about it. But some of you are living in a fantasy land where the iPhone is some kind of next-gen console in your pocket.

      • http://www.rpg-fanatics.de crishnak

        Yeah, some people seem to think games are all about graphics. People, it´s an RPG, it´s about story and exploration. What does it change if the trees I walk under, the enemies I kill or the people I talk to have a shadow. There is always a point when you stop admiring the graphics and start playing the game. At this point the gameplay must keep you entertained. If it doesn´t you´ll be pissed, even if it has a decent framerate.

  • Victor

    Looking very good. I'll wait for a few reviews and gameplay videos before I make my final decision but it's looking like I might pick this one up.

    Kind of worried about the developers lack of confidence in shadow performance... and I wish he had included more than just 2 seconds of video with it on.

  • Jas

    You've got to be kidding. The dev has to turn shadows off on a 3GS to get decent frame rates!! ... And then suggests it'll be fine on newer models of iPhone. What a crock!

    Fix it devs......

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Talk about jumping to conclusions... Frame rate is fine with shadows and foliage on.

      • Jas

        "Talk about jumping to conclusions…"

        It's the dev's own words in the video. Listen to it again. He has to turn off shadows to get a smooth frame rate.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        I know what Josh said on the video. He's a pretty demanding fella when it comes to FPS.

      • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

        I never heard the dev in the video say that he doesn't have good framerate with shadows on. You're jumping to conclusions. All he said that he wanted to have the highest framerate possible in his games. Meaning it probably won't run at 60fps on 3GS, but he likes 60fps nonetheless.

    • stephan

      I agree with @jas. The 3gs is capable of handling even more sophisticated graphics. It probadly depends on the engine they are using.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      How many open world 3D games are out there in the AppStore? How many have the level of environmental detail that you see on that video? Just because the iPhone is technically capable of "even more sophisticated graphics" doesn't mean that anyone has figured out how to deliver them at 60 FPS -- or that it is even possible.

      As a beta-tester, I'm not supposed to talk about my experience with the game, so I won't say anything specific about it. But some of you are living in a fantasy land where the iPhone is some kind of next-gen console in your pocket.

      • http://www.rpg-fanatics.de crishnak

        Yeah, some people seem to think games are all about graphics. People, it´s an RPG, it´s about story and exploration. What does it change if the trees I walk under, the enemies I kill or the people I talk to have a shadow. There is always a point when you stop admiring the graphics and start playing the game. At this point the gameplay must keep you entertained. If it doesn´t you´ll be pissed, even if it has a decent framerate.

  • Jon S

    If they made the right stick move its center to where ever you place your thumb down (like Isotope does), then the full transparent mode would work even better, as there would be no need to remember the virtual stick's location.

    • Pheebau

      ...but then you won't be able to touch to look around (freelook) ;-)

      • spiffyone

        Simple solution to that problem:

        Left side of the screen dedicated to movement, right side dedicated to free look. Think of it as a modification of what ng-moco's Dropship did quite a while back - it had iDracula controls before iDracula, but the two "wheels" were set anywhere you placed your thumbs, but the "move" and "aim/shoot" wheels never crossed over to the opposite side of the screen.

        In this type of game, free look would be "set" on the right half of the screen, and movement on the left side, with no crossover, allowing the "following" of the thumbstick to wherever you place your thumb on the left side of the screen.

      • Jon S

        Obviously you wouldn't let the left d-pad leave the left side of the screen!

        Isotope has two d-pads that place down where you touch. The left one is your movement, the right the shooting diection.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        All those sound like good ideas, but I have to say: it works pretty well as it is right now, too.

  • Jon S

    If they made the right stick move its center to where ever you place your thumb down (like Isotope does), then the full transparent mode would work even better, as there would be no need to remember the virtual stick's location.

    • Pheebau

      ...but then you won't be able to touch to look around (freelook) ;-)

      • spiffyone

        Simple solution to that problem:

        Left side of the screen dedicated to movement, right side dedicated to free look. Think of it as a modification of what ng-moco's Dropship did quite a while back - it had iDracula controls before iDracula, but the two "wheels" were set anywhere you placed your thumbs, but the "move" and "aim/shoot" wheels never crossed over to the opposite side of the screen.

        In this type of game, free look would be "set" on the right half of the screen, and movement on the left side, with no crossover, allowing the "following" of the thumbstick to wherever you place your thumb on the left side of the screen.

      • Jon S

        Obviously you wouldn't let the left d-pad leave the left side of the screen!

        Isotope has two d-pads that place down where you touch. The left one is your movement, the right the shooting diection.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        All those sound like good ideas, but I have to say: it works pretty well as it is right now, too.

  • Summer

    great!

  • Summer

    great!

  • Ender

    What the heck is up with jumping on Devs here? I'm not a developer, but I'm sure that they spend tons of time and hard work getting this to look as good as it does, so constructive feedback is good... but calling stuff a crock for turning off shadow? I agree with SquareZero—it's an iPhone. If you wanted a portable PS3, make yourself this thing:

    http://www.newest-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/ps3-portable.jpg

    And try stuffing that in your pocket.

    • spiffyone

      Well, I guess people forget that the iPhone/touch isn't a dedicated game system. It's a mobile platform, a tiny computer really, and there's stuff always running in the background that sucks up the precious RAM. I can be somewhat forgiving of those folks as I too fell into that same sort of trap early on until some here set me straight. If this were a dedicated game system, with all resources available to the devs, I'm sure they could fulfill just about every wish in terms of graphics and framerate that people here want...but it isn't a dedicated game platform, so, as we know, their hands are tied.

      We should all be understanding of the barriers they have to put up with when developing games for this platform and realize that games like this are actually doing a helluva job.

  • Ender

    What the heck is up with jumping on Devs here? I'm not a developer, but I'm sure that they spend tons of time and hard work getting this to look as good as it does, so constructive feedback is good... but calling stuff a crock for turning off shadow? I agree with SquareZero—it's an iPhone. If you wanted a portable PS3, make yourself this thing:

    http://www.newest-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/ps3-portable.jpg

    And try stuffing that in your pocket.

    • spiffyone

      Well, I guess people forget that the iPhone/touch isn't a dedicated game system. It's a mobile platform, a tiny computer really, and there's stuff always running in the background that sucks up the precious RAM. I can be somewhat forgiving of those folks as I too fell into that same sort of trap early on until some here set me straight. If this were a dedicated game system, with all resources available to the devs, I'm sure they could fulfill just about every wish in terms of graphics and framerate that people here want...but it isn't a dedicated game platform, so, as we know, their hands are tied.

      We should all be understanding of the barriers they have to put up with when developing games for this platform and realize that games like this are actually doing a helluva job.

  • jaizzer

    Hi devs, will this run on the 2.21 software?

    • http://www.humanpoweredgames.com AmazingRuss

      Yes, it will run on 2.2.1. I was kind of miffed when they wanted 10 bucks for the upgrade to 3.0, and figured other people would be too, so I'm building it for 2.2.1.

  • jaizzer

    Hi devs, will this run on the 2.21 software?

    • http://www.humanpoweredgames.com AmazingRuss

      Yes, it will run on 2.2.1. I was kind of miffed when they wanted 10 bucks for the upgrade to 3.0, and figured other people would be too, so I'm building it for 2.2.1.

  • http://www.ravensword.com Josh Crescent Moon

    as far as I know - Yes it will.

  • http://www.ravensword.com Josh Crescent Moon

    as far as I know - Yes it will.

  • smd

    Shadow would be Nice, makes à game look more real.

  • smd

    Shadow would be Nice, makes à game look more real.

  • jaizzer

    Thanks Josh, game looks great!

  • jaizzer

    Thanks Josh, game looks great!

  • P0rtalthinker191

    I hope they add the option that if you double tap in any dirrection using the movement pad you can quickly turn to that direction.

    Other than that the game looks super cool.

  • P0rtalthinker191

    I hope they add the option that if you double tap in any dirrection using the movement pad you can quickly turn to that direction.

    Other than that the game looks super cool.

  • http://www.ravensword.com Josh Crescent Moon

    you can swipe with 2 fingers to do a 180 in one place, or do a long swipe to do the same thing.

  • http://www.ravensword.com Josh Crescent Moon

    you can swipe with 2 fingers to do a 180 in one place, or do a long swipe to do the same thing.

  • p0rtalthinker101

    Okay; that's fine. Just seems it would be easier to double tap the movement button to change your line of fight fast.

    Plus; for me I personally think the jump, attack and move words on the buttons look tacky; just my opinion though; regardless of what you do, this is an insta buy for me.

    • Reaver

      I agree with the words on the buttons looking 'tacky'. But other wise, completely amazing.

      Ive said it before, seems to be something iDevice devs have not realized yet. Gamers for years have been using A B Y X buttons, and do not need big words on our buttons.

      Once again, Amazing otherwise and cant wait.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Funny thing is, I've always thought that generalized labels on control
      buttons were a weakness, not a strength, of console gaming. Perhaps icons would have worked as well, but I guess I come from a school of UI design that thinks that buttons should be labeled for what they do, not according to an arbitrary scheme. In any event, one of the great thing about the iDevice is that it has brought gaming to an audience who have never seen A or B (or triangle/circle/square/x) buttons.

    • arta

      With double tapping the dpad, you momentarily stop moving before you can spin around. With a two finger swipe, you can keep moving forward with the stick so by the time you spin around you've gain a couple steps distance away from the enemy. Also, since it's done with the same hand as the camera it keeps casuals from getting confused.

      That's my opinion on it.

  • p0rtalthinker101

    Okay; that's fine. Just seems it would be easier to double tap the movement button to change your line of fight fast.

    Plus; for me I personally think the jump, attack and move words on the buttons look tacky; just my opinion though; regardless of what you do, this is an insta buy for me.

    • Reaver

      I agree with the words on the buttons looking 'tacky'. But other wise, completely amazing.

      Ive said it before, seems to be something iDevice devs have not realized yet. Gamers for years have been using A B Y X buttons, and do not need big words on our buttons.

      Once again, Amazing otherwise and cant wait.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Funny thing is, I've always thought that generalized labels on control
      buttons were a weakness, not a strength, of console gaming. Perhaps icons would have worked as well, but I guess I come from a school of UI design that thinks that buttons should be labeled for what they do, not according to an arbitrary scheme. In any event, one of the great thing about the iDevice is that it has brought gaming to an audience who have never seen A or B (or triangle/circle/square/x) buttons.

    • arta

      With double tapping the dpad, you momentarily stop moving before you can spin around. With a two finger swipe, you can keep moving forward with the stick so by the time you spin around you've gain a couple steps distance away from the enemy. Also, since it's done with the same hand as the camera it keeps casuals from getting confused.

      That's my opinion on it.

  • p0rtalthinker101

    *line of sight.

  • p0rtalthinker101

    *line of sight.

  • Howard

    Wow, this gets better and better, I simply cannot wait to play this! The new controls look fantastic. Incidentally I was playing Ultima IX yesterday and Ravensword looks so amazing by comparison it isn't funny!

    Again, the video today was stunning and you cannot release this soon enough for me!

    Cheers,

    --Howard

    • wildcardd

      You were playing Ultima IX....why oh why put yourself through such pain.

      Such a buggy broken piece of software. It is a shame that the Avatar went out on a bad foot. Actually Ultima VIII was pretty bad as well. They should have stopped at VII.

      • Howard

        Haha, yes your quite right and it would never match the heady days of VII and VIII for me or anyone else, however it still holds a certain charm for some reason.

        Watching the vids of Ravensword made me think of it and so I installed and patched it and played until I got to Brittania and met LB. If I now pop-in Morrowind, Oblivion or [please because I can't wait any longer] Ravensword I am sure they will feel amazingly contemporary by comparison!

      • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

        I stopped playing Ultima after V. I guess I was old school. :)

  • Howard

    Wow, this gets better and better, I simply cannot wait to play this! The new controls look fantastic. Incidentally I was playing Ultima IX yesterday and Ravensword looks so amazing by comparison it isn't funny!

    Again, the video today was stunning and you cannot release this soon enough for me!

    Cheers,

    --Howard

    • wildcardd

      You were playing Ultima IX....why oh why put yourself through such pain.

      Such a buggy broken piece of software. It is a shame that the Avatar went out on a bad foot. Actually Ultima VIII was pretty bad as well. They should have stopped at VII.

      • Howard

        Haha, yes your quite right and it would never match the heady days of VII and VIII for me or anyone else, however it still holds a certain charm for some reason.

        Watching the vids of Ravensword made me think of it and so I installed and patched it and played until I got to Brittania and met LB. If I now pop-in Morrowind, Oblivion or [please because I can't wait any longer] Ravensword I am sure they will feel amazingly contemporary by comparison!

      • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

        I stopped playing Ultima after V. I guess I was old school. :)

  • dsalehipour

    so is this gonna be a MMORPG? ik it just says RPG but i visted the site and it says "Ravensword online - planned for 2010" just wondering.

  • dsalehipour

    so is this gonna be a MMORPG? ik it just says RPG but i visted the site and it says "Ravensword online - planned for 2010" just wondering.