Mark Damon Hughes  | Hephaestus FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Table of Contents

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Why did you call it Hephaestus? (2002Mar03)
Hephaestus is the Greek god of the forge, art, and industrialization; he is the god of engineers and craftsmen.

Hera's bastard son, Zeus cast him out of Olympus and he fell for a day and a night to the isle of Lemnos, leaving him lame.

During the war with the Titans, he created thunderbolts to arm the gods; during the Trojan war, he made impenetrable armor for Æneas; and for his own use he made tripods which would move at his command - the first robots!

What better name could there be for a forge to build worlds in?

Most RPG makers either have bland corp-speak names like "RPG Maker 2000" or meaningless names like "Edge". I wanted a name that actually meant something, and I like Greek mythology and often use it in my game worlds.

Plus, the name is unique - there are, to the best of Google's knowledge, no other computer games titled "Hephaestus". Everything else I thought of was taken.

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What kind of adventures can I make with Hephaestus? (2002Mar03)
Almost any kind at all.

All Hephaestus adventures are turn-based and grid-based - the game waits for you to press a key, all maps are built on a square grid, and you and the wee beasties move one square at a time, so the gameplay feels like Rogue. This is distinctly different from many CRPGs, which have a realtime videogame feel. The turn-based gameplay encourages a more strategic and cautious style of play - you can stop and think about a situation before doing anything, just like a real pencil-and-paper RPG.

However, you are not restricted to just making random dungeon crawls like Rogue - I built the Hades adventure as an adaptation of Rogue because I enjoy Rogue and wanted to stress-test the scripting language on something complex, but it's much simpler to build pregenerated maps like most CRPGs or pencil-and-paper RPGs, and that makes for a more meaningful adventure. It should be possible to adapt any 2D RPG from consoles or PCs in Hephaestus (of course, original adventures are better than adaptations).

When I was designing it, my specific goal was to make an engine where you could build something similar to Ultima I with modern graphics and sound and a single view (instead of the awful 3D wireframe dungeons), or Lunar 1 & 2 with more options and a single view (instead of bouncing to a battle screen to handle combat - though at least Lunar let you move around on the battlefield instead of just standing in a line like Final Fantasy).

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