I suppose the maxim about how all hardcore videogame players are actually frustrated videogame designers must be true. Today I've certainly had one of those "if only I had the time" (not to mention talent) moments. I was paying one of my regular visits to The Home Of The Underdogs this morning, and dug out a link I'd not visited in a while: Icemark - a website dedicated to Mike Singleton's classic The Lords Of Midnight trilogy. Lords of Midnight and Doomdark's Revenge are two of my very favourite games from the Spectrum era (as anyone who has me on their MSN list or has met one of my WoW characters should already know), and after downloading the Windows conversions of these two titles (again), I suddenly had an interesting thought.
The epic scope and reach of LOM and DR are just *begging* to be remade with modern games technology. Not only that, we already have a game that's almost perfectly suited to the job of recreating them - Rome: Total War.
Think of it; the 2D strategic map to recreate the army movement, with the diplomacy engine fully utilised to help you recruit allies and their armies. The world of the Icemark could be fully recreated, with proper terrain, which could affect the battles realistically as you play them out in the real-time 3D battle engine, letting you set up ambushes, or simply allow you position your armies on the most easily defensible position. Imagine being able to control the final battle of Luxor and Doomdark: sieging the Citadel of Ushgarak with the massed armies of the Free and Fey, as Doomdark's Foul hordes swarm around you on the Plains of Despair.
Man, that would be so awesome. Shame I have neither the time, tools, nor the talent to make it a reality. I could write the design document and give artistic direction, but that's about it - the technical stuff like map design and coding custom units would be way beyond me; and since I'm so busy with work lately, I don't have the time nor inclination to learn. Still, if any of you out there fancy doing it, I'd be happy to help out in any meagre way that I can. If you're interested in running with the idea, feel free to reach me at my Lords of Midnight inspired e-mail address: lord_thrawn_of_thrawn[at]hotmail[dot]com, and with any luck, you won't be junked by my spam filter...