Aussie Game That Entered Development In 1997 Came Out Last Night

If you are wondering why Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar, a new release on Steam, looks like something from the '90s, here is your answer: It is from the '90s. After a solid 20 years in development — or roughly twice as long as Final Fantasy 15Grimoire was released last night.

"After more than 20 years of development, the greatest roleplaying game of them all is finally ready for release!" writes the developer, Cleveland Mark Blakemore, on Grimoire's Steam page. "Grimoire is an homage to the classic dungeon blobbers and is inspired by Wizardry, Might & Magic, Lands of Lore, Anvil of Dawn, DungeonMaster and the Eye of the Beholder games!"

The top review on Steam at the moment paints an ugly picture:

The game crashes on launch, when it doesn't crash on launch it crashes on any menu button being pressed, and when you actually get into the game it just doesn't work, maybe in a few patches this game will be worth it but currently keep away.

Still, Blakemore's gone through quite a saga, promising during a string of crowdfunding campaigns in 2013 that he would release the game in May 2013, then delaying Grimoire several times including, most recently, last month. Even my delay powers aren't that strong.


    It's been "selling like crazy" - according to the dev:

      Blakemore is the boy who cried wolf. I don't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth, about anything. Also interesting to see that the majority of reviews have less than 2 hours play, which is the refund limit. I'd love to see refund stats a month in.

      It might be selling like crazy, but there are 24 other games in the Steam global top sellers list that are apparently selling even crazier in what would normally be a pretty slow week.

    This is the developer's response to someone complaining about the high price: "Grimoire is not negotiable in price. It is 10% discounted for over a week. That's the last time for another two decades it is going to be discounted."

    This game is a waste of time, and saying that it took 20 years to create is just a way to say that at some point time was wasted, I've bought ever other game that was listed on this things Steam page as a comparison and I've played plenty of them when they were released. They may supposedly have less of a few things compared to this, but they were well designed for the time period they were released unlike this.

      This whole thing is basically a decades-long tantrum from Cleve because Sirtech contracted him to work on Stones of Arnhem but he failed to deliver anything of substance (he disagrees, naturally) so they cancelled the project. He took it personally and everything since has been his attempt to show them up for canning the game. His posts over on RPGCodex are often laced with personal attacks against the Sirtech owners and he's convinced in his mind that he's better than (and more successful than) not only them but everyone around him. He's convinced of his own genius, but lacks the awareness to realise the reality of his mediocrity.

      I genuinely suspect he's mid-level autistic (a term I never use lightly), but was never diagnosed or given help. He's just been allowed to sink to the absolute depths of his obsession

        So he's the Derek Smart of CRPGs?

          He does remind me of Smart, but Cleve is probably five times worse on the megalomania and straight up delusion. At least Smart has actually put out video games with mild success, Cleve really only has this single monolith (his company page lists other games but none of them seem to actually exist) that right now is hard to evaluate quality because the reviews are almost entirely written by sycophants and haters.

          He's the kind of person who will manufacture success in the face of abject failure though, so even if the game gets crushed in long term reviews he'll only register the positive ones in his head, even if they're obviously only written to prolong the long-troll that is his life story.

            He's the kind of person who will manufacture success in the face of abject failure though
            urgh, this is like those people who incessantly lie to one-up someone else.
            or to say something to elevate themselves as being better or more valuable in terms of human existence compared to someone else. i hate those type of people. glad you've been tracking this douche and sharing his lunacy. no money from me shall he receive.

              In a previous community management job I had the pleasure of having someone with very much that kind of personality try to doxx and stalk me because he took me doing my job as a personal slight against him. One of the big things before that line was crossed was he used to enjoy turning any conversation into a contest and then spin whatever creative narrative he could muster to 'claim victory' even if it was obvious he was completely in the wrong or wasn't even a debate to begin with.

              The experience probably made me a little hypervigilant to the same traits in other people, but there are so many red flags in common with Cleve.

                yeah i have an ingrained dislike for those type of people due to experience also.

          I actually really enjoyed Battlecruiser 3000AD when it came out, and wasn't really into the whole development scene enough to be aware of any politics around it.

    The game looks tremendous.

    Good Kotaku is full of delicate, special snowflakes.

    Wait. Cleve? Mark?? Blakemore?!? I remember a Cleveland M Blakemore who had a whole bunch of type-in listings published in Ahoy! around 30 years ago! And a number of them were very technically accomplished (for BASIC type-in listings) RPG type games. Those got me into programming in the first place!

    This is the first I've heard of him being, well, an arsehat. Sadface.

      Oh crap this is him? I used to love those. Wow that takes me back

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