Ortus announced

Now this is interesting–if you’ve spent much time on Newgrounds over the past five years, you’re probably familiar with the Australian Flash animator Josiah Brooks (better known as Jazza). Jazza already has a fair few games under his belt, but none of them have been RPGs.

Not until now, anyway. I just learned that Jazza has apparently formed a small company called Elvidian Entertainment, and has been hard at work on an RPG with a very Baldur’s Gate-y aesthetic called Ortus. Here is how Jazza describes the game:

Ortus is an upcoming Medieval Fantasy (Flash) RPG set in the land of Candor 100 years after the Battle for Wayland Keep.

All of your actions cause an effect. The reputation you build (or break), the people you help (or hurt) and the skills you gain, will lead you to a unique story path, and one of ten different endings.

Ortus features hundreds of items and unique locations to explore, and many relationships to build for good, evil, or anything in between.

I can verify that, among other things, the game is due to have hundreds of lines of dialog, many of them voiced. In short, it seems that this is a legit wRPG that just happens to be created in Flash.

As is typical for Flash games, Ortus seems to have an outside sponsor (Armor Games). Unlike publishers, Flash sponsors don’t generally interfere in the making of a game, and don’t actually fund its development–rather, they pay upon a game’s completion in exchange for the right to stick links back to their site into the game, then disseminate the game all over the internet. It’s a different model. Because all of that stuff happens after the game is completed, the developers remain independent and unfunded while actually developing the game. Thus, I have no issue with deeming sponsored games of this sort indie.

What’s really unusual about this is that Elvidian also Kickstarted the game (successfully, I might add) around the end of last year. So Kickstarting Flash games that are also getting sponsored by Flash portals is apparently now a thing.

Almost as odd, Elvidian are apparently doing all of their updates via their old Kickstarter page despite the fact that they have an actual website. Why? Who knows. What I do know, however, is that Ortus is still in development (and still in pre-alpha), but is apparently far enough along that they’re starting to show it at conventions.

Here is a video left over from their Kickstarter campaign to give you a sense of what they’re going for:

The animations shown in the video look quite nice, but these more recent stills look even nicer:

Ortus is being made in Flash. Due to the realities of Flash sponsorship, I would be very surprised indeed if Ortus were not released as a browser game. However, there is no official announcement yet as to the platforms it’s targeted at. Flash is quite flexible in that regard, so it’s entirely possible that there will be ports for Windows, Mac and Linux with the game running as a standalone executable. That’s all just guesswork at this point, however. No release date has been announced as of yet.

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  • Matt says:

    I’m not well-versed in Flash games but it seems like a stretch to do a game with a serious story in it.

    That said, those last screens were pretty nice… so maybe I don’t have anything to worry about.

    Regardless, I’m looking forward to it now. Thanks for illuminating article!

  • Matt says:

    I enjoy lots of flash games… but I just don’t know if the look it lends would make for a very good conduit to a deep story with any kind of meaning.
    Perhaps I’m being too harsh as I’ve never actually experienced a flash game with a serious story.

    The screenshots for Ortus don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen in a flash game. (not to say that my sampling has been all inclusive) It looks like it could be pretty amazing.

  • […] So, I just did a bit of checking up on Ortus (the wRPG I covered last July, in development by Elvidian Entertainment), and while the news isn’t horrible, it’s not […]


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