What now?

With two games under their belt and a third on the way, much speculation surrounds what Troika Games fourth offering will be. Will it be an RPG or will Troika break the mould and try something new? Is it going to be a whole new game built entirely from scratch and based on a world they cooked up themselves (like Arcanum), or will it be based on an already existing world licensed by Troika (such as ToEE and Vampire)? Will it be Arcanum 2, another D&D module or another Vampire game?

Honestly, I don't know. The only people that do know work for Troika and they aren't talking... yet.

Speaking of which, the 30 employees at Troika have been working in two teams. One team has just finished ToEE, while the other is working on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines for it's expected release later this year. Now that ToEE is "out of the way", that leaves a whole bunch of people at Troika sitting around waiting for something to do.

Troika, founded by three of the guys who worked on Interplay's classic RPG Fallout, have at some stage or another hinted at doing another post-apocalyptic RPG. The strongest hint we have of this is that in both interviews and IRC sessions, Tim Cain has mentioned doing something with a sci-fi setting. The best and most recent example of this kind of hint-dropping is from this interview with Tim Cain:

9) What are the chances that we will see a SF [science fiction] CRPG [computer role-playing game] by Troika in the future?
Tim Cain: We have a proposal out right now for a science-fiction CRPG. Very stylish, very different. Of course, it's all up to the publisher.

There's nothing like saying "We're doing a sci-fi game" like coming out and saying "we want to do a sci-fi game". A comment like this is what Tim made way back when Arcanum was still in development. They had the design out but needed a publisher's okay. In the end, they got Sierra and Arcanum was born. Of course that doesn't guarantee they'll find a backer for the idea, but gee, if Troika came up to you with an idea for a computer game, having just completed ToEE which sold quite well and you turned them down... Ouch.

By the way, how well did ToEE do? Well, according to figures released by NPDTechWorld, it did quite well. Reaching as high as number #5 on one of their weekly best-sellers lists for the week ending October 4th, 2003.

1 Halo: Combat Evolved - Microsoft $20
2 Command & Conquer: Generals Zero Hour Expansion Pack - Electronic Arts $29
3 Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault BreakThrough Expansion Pack - Electronic Arts $29
4 Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy - LucasArts $47
5 Temple Of Elemental Evil - Atari $43
6 Sim City 4 Deluxe - Electronic Arts $37
7 MS Flight Simulator 2004: Century Of Flight - Microsoft $52
8 MS Age Of Mythology - Microsoft $36
9 Homeworld 2 - Vivendi Universal Publishing $48
10 The Sims Deluxe - Electronic Arts $35

It gets better...

So, we can be pretty sure that a sci-fi RPG game is next on Troika's hit list, provided they find a publisher. What will the game be like though? Well, one of Troika's artists, Chris Glenn has his own website.

My name is Chris Glenn, I'm a concept artist and 3d modeler at Troika Games. The purpose of this site is to showcase my work as I strive to improve my craft. Additionally it serves as a contact point for potential clients.

What's tasty about that is that the website has some artwork of things he's actually been working on. In it, for example, you can find some concept art for ToEE. Now what's really tasty about that is Chris updated his website a while ago and lo and behold, some rather nice science fiction / post-apocalyptic images appeared. Those images are now available in our Mystary! Gallery and can be seen below.

A Post-Apocalyptic World?

A Desert Raider?

Of course, there are no guarantees that this artwork is related to Troika's next game in anyway. But hey, that's why this article is linked as "rumours, speculation and wild guesses" and not "Solid Facts about Troika's Sci-Fi Game". Hey, it's why we even call it project Mystary! in the first place.

Waiting sucks...

So, will Troika's next game be a science fiction, post-apocalyptic RPG? Will it keep with tradition and have an overly long name? Is Chris Glenn's artwork related to this Mystary! project in anyway? What if Troika fails to find a publisher? What then would Troika's next project be? We can't know for certain at this early stage, but some good science fiction RPG'ing from the creators of Fallout wouldn't be such a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. In the meantime, we can only wait and see.