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TSI's Gateway will let you transfer characters between Seven Dragon Saga, Torment and Shadowrun

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TSI's Gateway will let you transfer characters between Seven Dragon Saga, Torment and Shadowrun

Company News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 2 March 2015, 22:07:09

Tags: David Klein; David Shelley; Kevin Saunders; Mitch Gitelman; Seven Dragon Saga; Shadowrun: Hong Kong; Tactical Simulations Interactive; Torment: Tides of Numenera

Just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder. The Tactical Simulations Interactive guys sent out this press release today about a new initiative that they're launching:

March 2, 2015 - Los Angeles - Tactical Simulations Interactive (TSI) today unveiled "Gateway" – a system that allows players to transfer their favorite characters across supported RPGs. The initiative will be rolled out in TSI’s debut title, Seven Dragon Saga – an original fantasy RPG for PC, Mac and Linux, based upon an original pen and paper role-playing system designed by former Strategic Simulations Interactive (SSI) alumni Keith Brors and David Shelley. Developers inXile and Harebrained Schemes have also announced support for Gateway, with more set to sign on in the coming months.

With Gateway, TSI is inviting RPG developers to take part in an initiative that hearkens back to the days of classic RPGs like The Bard’s Tale, Ultima and Wizardry -- a time when players could fully transfer their characters and parties into different games, without having to create them from scratch for each game.

"Gateway goes beyond being an import/export feature -- it represents a development philosophy that I enthusiastically endorse. By proposing and developing a data standard for game characters, TSI is establishing a stepping stone for independent CRPG developers to collaborate and share content and expertise. It is very much in the spirit of crowd funding and independent game development. As a fan of SSI's titles, I'm thrilled at their return through Seven Dragon Saga and am excited they are spearheading this initiative through Gateway,” said Kevin Saunders, Project Director, Torment: Tides of Numenera - inXile.

"I think there are a lot of gamers out there who've put a lot of time and effort into building their RPG characters and would love Gateway's export so they can continue their relationship," said Mitch Gitelman, Co-Founder, Studio Manager - Harebrained Schemes.

“We are really excited about the initial reaction to Gateway from the development community and, as gamers ourselves, we love the idea of carrying across our characters and adventuring parties into different RPGs," said David Shelley, Producer/Lead Designer, Seven Dragon Saga. "From a technical standpoint, we are proposing an independent app that avoids any issues with an existing game's user interface and makes it a quick process for developers to add to their games."

Developers wishing to support Gateway in their games should contact Tactical Simulations Interactive at gateway@tsi-games.com.
No, I have no idea how this will actually work. Though I imagine coming up with a bunch of approximate conversion algorithms for these wildly disparate systems could be a lot of fun. Anyway, it's nice to see evidence of the Kickstarter RPG cartel alliance in action!

Oh, and speaking of Kickstarter, there's another part of the press release that a lot of people probably missed:

About Seven Dragon Saga

Seven Dragon Saga takes place in a high-powered fantasy universe, revolving around the Empire of the Seven Dragons, and TSI has today launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the game’s development. Eschewing traditional RPG tropes, Seven Dragon Saga provides the player with effective heroes right from the start, with TSI aiming to provide the next step in meaningful player experiences in the same way that SSI's ‘Gold Box’ titles did during the 1980s and 1990s.
Wait, what? Guys, guys...you have to stop doing this. I wonder if it means the Kickstarter is coming soon, though.

Update: TSI's David Klein spoke to VentureBeat about the Gateway system earlier today, revealing more information about its technical workings:

“… We envisioned this as something that could be a real boon to players. We also wanted to keep things simple for developers and add greater utility to ‘Gateway’ over time,” TSI president David Klein told GamesBeat this morning. “Gateway creates a standard character format, so importing games don’t need to know the details of which game the character came from. If they see gaps between the character and their own format, they can use a query UI to allow the player make selections. And, as an example, if the Gateway format has the stats for strength and health, the importer could use them to derive unique stats like willpower; say the average of the two existing stats. The whole goal is to allow importing games to use as much or as little of the incoming characters as they feel comfortable.”

As for importing characters from games with different settings — say, steampunk to fantasy — Klein said that it wants to allow “your characters to continue their adventures in a new setting — while ensuring they can be imported without breaking game play or immersion.”

The studio told GamesBeat this could just include basic details, like the name, gender, age, or race of a character. But Gateway can also bring over classes, stats, and skills, and TSI said that this could even extend to equipment and currency.
Interesting.

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