View Poll Results: Would you be interested in buying a new Master of Magic Game?
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Since Civ is working so well, why not realease a Master of Magic
I am pretty happy that civilization is becoming more popular especially with the new "civilization revolution" which seem to simplify the game and makes it more accessible.
But there is another civ-like game which was also popular and which is still popular today. It is called: Master of Magic.
This game was released in 1994 on the DOS platform (playable now in DosBox). It was made by Steve Barcia, the creator of Master of Orion (which is also a good game). Master of magic consisted in having a light civilization game where technology was replaced by magic. In fact you played a powerful wizard that ruled an empire.
It is a bit weird to say, but even today after 15 years, there is no game that actually replace this game. Master of Magic is still the best game in it's category. There is at least 12 open source project which attempted to recreate this game that are now dead.
There are other games like "Age of wonders" and "Heroes of might and magic" which tried to fill up the gap, but these games really don't have the same game play.
In civilization 3, there is a mod called "master of myrror" and in civilization IV there is a mod called "fall from heaven" which both tries to recreate a MOM game but they cannot still reproduce the same game play because there is no way for a civilization (the wizard) to cast a spell. So the best they can do is let you build units that can cast spells as actions.
So I was wondering, since civilization is currently working so well, and since you decided to remake Colonization, why not remake Master of Magic since you already have a working civilization engine. If publishing under the "Master of Magic" name is impossible, publish it under another name and say that it is a clone of MOM.
I have not played Civ Revolution yet, but since Master of magic is a bit simplier, maybe the Civ Revolution engine would be better for a MOM game than the civilization IV engine.
Here are the main differences between Civilization and Master of Magic (so that you can judge the amount of work required (^_^) )
No worker placement: You do not place workers on each square of a city. The terrain gives bonus to productions and determine the maximum population size. Some buildings requires some terrains (ex: you cannot build a sawmill if there is no forest.
No square development: You do not need to develop the land with workers (create farm, mines, etc). The only exception was for road.
No technologies: There is no technology to develop. Instead you have spells to research.
Races: There are various races which each has a different set of combat units. Races also have natural bonus or malus and they have access or not to certain buildings.
City Buildings: Since there is no technology, you can build any buildings your race can build but some buildings are required by other buildings which creates some sort of hierarchy which prevent you to build strong buildings right at the start.
Wizard: Each wizard has access to a series of magic books from 5 sphere of magics (which are the same than Magic: The gathering). These books determine the spells they can learn through the game. Each wizard can also have special abilities.
Heroes: Wizard can hire heroes to lead his armies. Heroes are only a stronger unit where you can equip magical items on it.
Magic System: The player acquire mana from his cities and from nodes. This mana is used to maintain spells, perform research and improve your skill. Spell requires mana to cast and enchantments requires mana to maintain. Spells can target unit, cities, or the world. So are cast outside battles, some inside battles.
Battles: Master of magic had a tactical map for solving battles. So you move your unit around and attack enemy units, cast spells to improve your chances of success, etc. Which mean that battles resolve stack of units VS stack of units.
2 Worlds: Yes, 2 world map "Arcanus" and "Myrror". You can travel between both worlds through towers of sorcery. Most people starts on Arcanus. So if you don't have room for expansion, you can expand on Myrror which is much more dangerous.
Now, I don't say that Master of Magic is perfect and that the game design above should be applied to the letter.
For example, I don't mind not having tactical battles if battles can engage multiple kind of units at the same time and allow you to cast spells during in the battle. I don't like much how the mana is managed in the original game and I don't mind if it works differently.
But the most important element in this game that makes it fun and unique is: "Spells are powerful". The whole concept of the game is behind this. You remove it and the game dies. Powerful spells gives a feeling of superiority like if you were almost a god. And this is the feeling you want the players to have. Players must feel that they can make meaningful changes over the game.
So do you think it is a good idea?
Would you be interested in making a project like this in the future?
So far, I now that some gamers approached "stardock" to create a similar game since they made a game called "Galactic Civilization". But stardocks did not seemed to be interested by the project. Also stardock is a small company, so it cannot take many risks.
For the licensing of the Master of Magic name, I am not sure who has the rights anymore. I think it is Atari. Because master of magic was made by SimTex and published by Microprose. According to the history of microprose on this page:
It seems that microprose has been bought by multiple companies to finally end in the hands of Atari. So in theory, they might have the license.
Thank You for your time.
Other interesting links:
Master of magic Petition (currently 2086 signatures)
Master of magic 2 unofficial website
The original game is available as Abandonware.
(note: the game is buggy so get the 1.31 patch)
Not to rain on the parade, but the MoM license is currently owned by Atari, so any future game would be directed by them and not 2K.
Alternate solution: Improve moding
Of course, but if Atari is not interested, licenses can be exchange, sold, rent or anything else. Anyways, I don't insist in keeping the name "Master of magic". Making a fantasy civ game like MOM on another name would be fine as well.
Else, if you think it is too much effort or not worth the money. Well just design the next civ game so that the engine can support more features and players will mod the game by themselves. So giving more mod options and freedom in modding could be a solution.
Else the only other solution I see so far, without starting from scratch, is to use the FreeCiv Engine and convert it to MOM.
A game coming out soon that you might be interested in (assuming you haven't heard of it already here!) is Elemental, by Stardock, makers of Galactic Civilization. Stardock originally tried to acquire the MoM license from Atari, but then decided to create something similar but different. As a fan of TBS games, I'm definitely looking forward to it.