Menyr, which pitches itslef as a “story-telling engine”, is a toolbox that lets players create an entire digital world for their role-playing games, from landscapes to settlements, then play through them. Launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, it has already blown past its funding goal.
It has been developed by NOG, a small game studio who normally specialise in Unreal Engine stuff and real-time graphics work, and who have worked with companies like EA and Ubisoft. Here, though, the whole thing is their idea and their work, with NOG promising that Menyr will let players build worlds up to an enormous 60m². Here’s a trailer:
NOG say Menyr works like this: first you build the game world, either through procedural generation, using manual brush tools or a combination of both. Then you do the same for castles, dungeons and townships. Then you can import 3D models and “2D assets” for your characters and other objects (or use some pre-existing templates), put it all together, input or download some rules and go at it, either online or locally.
It loses the tangible joys of tabletop gaming by making everything digital, of course, but is also hoping that degree of customisation and possibilities its toolkit offers more than outweigh that.
Interestingly, NOG are advertising Menyr as something that will be free to download and use, as its hoped that their attached marketplace, where players can sell everything from custom rules to character models (and from which NOG will take a cut), will generate enough revenue to keep the lights on.
As such the Kickstarter—which asked for AUD$67,000 and is at $AUD$272,000 at time of posting—isn’t actually giving you Menyr, but an escalating series of limited edition items like D20s and fancy character models. You can check out more at the Kickstarter page, which also has information on stuff like a closed beta and some of the finer technical points of how it all works.