With UpJump and Sub-Strata being smaller in scope the first of my two long-term and large game worlds is my "Shards of Magic" open-world sandbox. This game highlights my love of world building; especially magic systems.
The concept came from my love for the game "Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past" but frustration with some of its mechanics and the lack of a truly open world. (I can lift a giant boulder with the power glove, but not a chair!?) I think the top-down style of this and later games (i.e. "Link between worlds") is wonderful for displaying puzzles and general 'casual' gameplay.
On the flip side I love the open-world of the Elder Scrolls series, but was disappointed at the ham-fisted way Skyrim introduces the player to the crime organizations; "I hear a boy is trying to summon the DARK BROTHERHOOD. Maybe someone should go to THAT SPECIFIC LOCATION to find out more."
I'm trying to marry the two together with a large open-world, full of puzzles and places to explore, that includes a lot of depth for players to uncover as they progress. For example, as the player you may never find the guild of necromancers if all you do is kill the zombies.
As this is the first of my two extremely large game worlds, I have started to break it up into smaller "serial-game" releases. This will allow me to build the full world and mechanics while still releasing games in this world. One of these smaller games will be "Shards of Magic: Theft of the Crown" that uses the stealth and puzzle system to go through the narrative of breaking into a castle to get the royal headwear. All of which are elements found in the larger sandbox game.
The most significant updates to the game have been to turn the world from a 2D to a 3D art style. I was originally using the 'Link to the Past' sprites, but was very limited in adding depth (i.e. allowing things to fly over the player). I had to do a lot of jerry-rigging to make things work the way I wanted them to. Most of that has been cleared up in the large updates in Feb 2018.
Here are some original images: