Welcome to Planewalker Games! We are the home of The Broken Hourglass, a new CRPG in development for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers.
The Future of The Broken Hourglass

Planewalker Games LLC is formally abandoning development of The Broken Hourglass as a commercial product. I have concluded that it is infeasible for PWG to deliver the game promised, and unacceptable to try to market a product that would not meet expectations. I take full responsibility for this decision and the factors leading to the conclusion.

It is my intention to release the game materials for TBH and the underlying WeiNGINE game code in some open source/open content license model which will permit the ongoing exploration and development of the game as a non-commercial, community project. The exact licenses and scope of this public release have not yet been determined, and there is no specific timetable for this public release to happen. The intention will be to give the greater community the best chance possible to explore the potential of TBH and to honor the efforts of the dozens of people who have been involved with TBH's development over the years.

Support from RPG players and press has been overwhelmingly positive and constant during the long development cycle of TBH and I am extremely grateful. It remains to be seen if PWG will attempt a commercial project of more manageable scope in the future. Until that day, please accept my apologies for coming short of the mark, and my thanks for your interest.

- Jason Compton

TBH Developer Blog

Designer Jessica Greenlee discloses some of the highs and lows of developing content for The Broken Hourglass on her personal blog.

Interview published on gry.o2.pl

Andrzej Klimczuk, features editor of Polish video game site gry.o2.pl, recently conducted an interview with PWG about our upcoming title, The Broken Hourglass.

The interview, published in both English and Polish, can be found here.

IGDA Game Design Presentation

ImageBroken Hourglass producer Jason Compton gave a presentation on game design, player motivation, and the crowded media market at the July meeting of IGDA Wisconsin, hosted by Raven Software.

Click here for video from that session.  Click here for the slides which accompanied the session. And finally, click here for more information on the IGDA.

Condition Report: Market Precinct
From: Daguerros, Acting Commander, Market Precinct
To: Leonika, Captain, HQ
Re: Condition Report

The situation here is no better than last week. Over my objection, the bazaar merchants have been openly recruiting for thugs to watch their stalls. They reply that since we cannot put enough feet on the street to keep them safe, they are forced to look elsewhere. I can't argue. But they're just as likely to be shaken down as saved by the seedy lot I see hanging around the shops these days. Besides, our peddlers here have had it surprisingly good. Even with the city gone crazy, people are surprisingly content to buy and sell as though nothing has happened. Sure, we have had a few tense moments—a couple of women nearly ripped each other's head off over a second-hand fez yesterday—but things are still quiet, for the most part.

Even the rationing center has been more peaceful than I expected. Maybe more folks had food stashed away than I realized, or maybe the campaign to keep the public kitchens and bakeries stocked has helped keep the ration lines short. (My wife says it keeps things feeling more normal.) Or maybe folks just aren't desperate enough to come for their handouts yet.

No, the real problem is still the street war brewing right under my nose. As though anyone could give a ratty llama hide about having a "noble house." Here! In Mal Nassrin! I swear, they must think we're living 400 years ago.

Funny Things Happen (On the Way To a Videogame)
ImageEvery so often we get e-mails which politely ask questions along the lines of "What exactly are you people doing over there?" Many of the complications are either boring or depressing, and in any case not worth listing. But every once in a while, we run into a problem which is equal parts charming and ridiculous. Our weight system presented one such challenge recently--and getting to the bottom of it required across-the-board changes to the game's mechanics.

A little background: The Broken Hourglass uses a point-buy system for character creation and enhancement. Traits and skills in our system each have their own cost value--so a point of Strength can have a different price than a point of Agility. Because (by and large) the biggest, heaviest weapons inflict the most damage, and the biggest, heaviest armors absorb the most damage, the ability to equip heavy items was a prized characteristic. So it was not terribly surprising when the Carrying skill, which directly determines how much weight a character may have on his or her person without penalty, was deemed by our simulations to be among the most valuable (costly to buy) in the game. Carrying is a secondary skill, which means you can choose to buy points in the skill itself, or invest heavily in its parent skills (Strength and Toughness) which spread their benefits out over multiple secondary skills.

Much like a movie or TV show, games are not necessarily implemented in a straight line from beginning to end, and by definition most of the content represents the middle power levels in the game. So as we equipped various challenges in the game and played through combats with suitably equipped and experienced player characters, it took time for suspicions over the high cost of Carrying to develop.

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