|Sword of Moonlight: King's Field Making Tool|
Action role-playing game
Game development tool
March 16, 2000
April 4, 2000
Add-ons ended April 20, 2001
Sword of Moonlight: King's Field Making Tool is a 3D first person RPG maker developed and published by From Software for the Japanese PC gaming and computing market. The software eliminates most of the technical challenges for users wishing to make a PC video game like King's Field. It also includes a remake of King's Field which doubles as a sample project. Elements of later King's Field games are not always possible to achieve, even though the resources included on the CD-ROM more closely resemble those of Shadow Tower with a little extra added detail.
The original retail price of 9,280 yen came with an unfettered license for unlimited use of King's Field intellectual property. The user created games are able to be freely distributed and or even sold like any other PC game, royalty free and independent of the original Sword of Moonlight software and its minimal EULA. As a result, many fan-made games were created with the Sword of Moonlight software and distributed in Japan. In 2008, a fan translated Sword on Moonlight into English which led to a healthy following in the US as well. Several full length games have been produced in the US and many more are currently in production.
Sword of Moonlight comes with hundreds of resources modeled on King's Field (series) lore, and also includes an advanced tool set which allows users to convert their own 3D models into proprietary Sword of Moonlight file formats. Hundreds of user-created resources are freely distributed on the Internet.
In Japan, Sword of Moonlight was a short lived phenomenon. Today, it is difficult to locate any prominent games produced by Japanese users on the Internet or elsewhere. Sword of Moonlight upon release was a boxed product able to be found on store shelves in select retail outlets. Support for Sword of Moonlight was dropped after less than a two year run due to lack of interest from fans or From Software with many serious bugs in the software never addressed by online patches. To this day, From Software will still sell remaining units to Japanese residents by mail order.
As a niche title even in its home region of Japan, Sword of Moonlight remained an enigma to non-Japanese collectors and enthusiasts for the larger part of the decade following its release. Being unable to establish grey import channels through friendly Japanese parties, community conscious fans began circumventing the shutout of online auction companies in Japan by use of private brokers based out of the country. The limited number of hard copies so obtained were in short order themselves copied, and shared, and translated into English. During this period, Diadem of Maunstraut emerged as the first full-featured user made Sword of Moonlight game in the King's Field mold. Diadem's author would later produce Trismegistus, a puzzle game reminiscent of From Software's Echo Night series.
Unofficial open source software exists which effectively eliminates all bugs from the tool chain and the games produced with Sword of Moonlight. The same software extends the tools and games in new and novel ways. For example, ensuring compatibility with modern and future Windows operating systems and display drivers. Furthermore additional apps have been developed in order to supplement features never realized by official Sword of Moonlight add-on content.
Through the same extension mechanisms games are able to obtain modern standards in terms of graphical and professional presentation, and hardware acceleration. New games are touted to be in development on a regular basis. Related websites are putting in place infrastructure for collaborative development and resource management anticipating a new generation of games.
Sword of Moonlight has been transformed into a multilingual platform with complete Unicode internationalization including multi-font (hybrid) character sets and online facilities providing wiki-like localization.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 http://www.fromsoftware.jp/main/soft/som.html
- ↑ www.rpgamer.com (source: Famitsu)
- ↑ http://www.fromsoftware.jp/main/soft/som_dl.html
- ↑ Author. "Release Notice". Agetec.yuku.com. http://agetec.yuku.com/topic/2371/. Retrieved 2011-04-6.
- ↑ Diadem of Maunstraut official homepage
- ↑ Trismegistus official homepage
- ↑ http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/