Update 3

For the purposes of this update, I plan to write as if you (the audience) are completely unfamiliar with the Role Playing Games. Some people reading this are likely more than aware of the genre and if you’re here only to see the little Ryan sprite, skip below to the “Media” spoiler sections and expand them.

To those who are unfamiliar with Role Playing Games are maybe are just looking for a bit of context, read on. I’m not trying to overexplain anything, just provide give a very high level gloss over. I try to cover where our inspirations come from and also generally touch on what we’re trying to create, how the game’s battle system will work, etc. Regardless, so far it’s been super fun…I’m addicted and I cannot stop developing this thing – which is good, I suppose.

What is a role playing game (RPG)?

Role playing games wide-spanning genre of interactive entertainment with many subgenres, most of which focus on vast immersive worlds, character/party development, expansive storytelling, magical skills and item collection. The category covers games from fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons , Zelda  and Skyrim, to online games like World of Warcraft, to post apocalyptic games like Fallout .  Games are usually long and feature a complex main narrative and several interwoven ongoing subplots, villains and henchmen,

What is Umphrey’s MCrpg’s style based on?
A battle has a yellow rabbit like pokemon call pikachu pitted against a bird like pokemon call pidgey across a green field. A window with several options like attack and run are listed on the bottom.

Turn based battle system in Pokemon

As we mentioned in our poorly written Kickstarter campaign funding request, I have had an ardent fan of RPGs since childhood. And while I played all the subgenres, my favorites were turn based Japanese RPGs like the Phantasy Star , Pokemon and Dragon Quest. Even Super Mario got a turn-based version — I dedicated hours to it, and it was glorious! The most critically acclaimed of the subgenre (and the ones I hammered out the most hours on) were the Final Fantasy series . Their blend of middle age fantasy, sci-fi futuristic revolutions, horror and steampunk aesthetics absolutely captivated me.

Turn based games allow players to focus on strategy over speed in combat. Players are rewarded for their thoughtfulness, craftiness and knowledge of their enemy across the battlefield. Like a game of chess, players can relax and consider their moves before attacking, deciding to heal an ally or evading the situation entirely. While at one point it seemed that the turn-based RPG was a dying breed, it recently has seen a resurgence in popular culture, thanks especially to the popularity of mobile gaming and the Nintendo DS.

Picture of four character facing off against a Samarri villain. Several choices are along the bottom of the screen in a blue window with a character's name and several options like "attack" and "items"

The Turn Based Battle System of Final Fantasy VI

This is the gaming system and style of art we hope to emulate within Umphrey’s McRPG and thankfully the game engine that we’re working with, RPG Maker MV, is perfect for just that. The characters are small and not terribly detailed. They are sorta like  a combination between anime and Funko toys. That said, all those small details add up and things like custom unique weapons, attack animations, spell casting animations, battle swag all make for a visually interesting experience. What you will see below is just a draft. It is not  finished for the project as of yet, though Ryan is likely the closest out of any of our sprites to the finish product. We also have a very rough outline for a Ryan face, however, we will need the assistance of an artist in the community (if there are any volunteers) if we are to make the faces more detailed. As I have said before, I am a writer and I know how to use this engine to make games, but unfortunately my graphic design skills are somewhat limited.


The below contains information regarding the setting of the game and some elements of gameplay. This may be considered a spoiler to some. If you want to know as little as possible about where the game takes place before it comes out, read no further.


There are over three hundred original Umphrey’s tunes from which we can draw inspiration for many of the various elements of the game. Incorporate that with hundreds of venues and festivals and other various scene elements, and we have a plethora of material to start with. Even so, with all the thousands of locations, towns, characters — especially when it comes to names — we’ve needed to borrow inspiration from music, mythology, video games, art and astronomy, alongside Umphrey’s and the jamband scene.

For this to be a fun game to play, we knew we would need to create a solar system that is sufficiently alive enough to be immersive, yet relevant and built around our musical scene. We are  making sure the worlds are in depth and we have crafted what we think is an amazing story that will make you care about the characters and their quest and the worlds around them, hate their nemesis and his henchmen, enjoy your time exploring and wondering what will be around every corner, all while not being overly blatant or corny, but also not being irrelevant and pointless. We want to make sure there is history to this solar system, culture to these cities and life to these planets…and purpose to the mission.

Without saying too much, just know that the game takes place in across several planets as the band journeys to find Andy’s last beer and save their solar system from a menacing force that threatens to destroy all artistic freedom and creative works in existence!


And now, the Ryan sprite preview. What you will see below is just a draft. It is not the finished project, though Ryan likely the closest out of any of our sprites to the finish product.


The border is not part of the game, it’s an effect we threw on the video. This picture is heavily cropped just to focus on Ryan in the battle.


The border is not part of the game, it’s an effect we threw on the video. This picture is heavily cropped just to focus on Ryan in the battle.


Last points of business – if you’re a musician, a writer, programmer or a visual artist of any sort (graphic designers, drawers, painters, photographers) and are willing to volunteer some of your creative efforts towards this project, we need your help! This is a huge project and we would love/appreciate/celebrate any interest any artists might take. If you think you would like to see your art come to life through an Umphrey’s related video game, we would love to have you on the team. This is entirely a volunteer project, no one will end up getting paid from this creation, but we’ll all end up having a challenging and fun time creating and playing the thing! Get at us here or on our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages and let us know you’d like to help!

…Next Update! Let’s Tauk Weapons!….

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