Rune of Earth Magic is a non-commercial Quake mod.
It is a remake of the first episode, “The Dimension of the Doomed”, with new levels (environments) created from scratch, some modified or new monsters, modified original weapon set etc.
ROEM is a partial conversion which requires an installation of Quake ™ by id Software in order to even work. These days, Quake can be had from Steam for very little money (it would actually be worth it even without mods). Quake is one of the most influential video games ever created.
ROEM wasn’t built in a day. The first work on this episode began in 2007. For a long time, then, it was a cornerstone of the now defunct Remake Quake project – an ambitious attempt to remake the entirety of Quake to modern standards, with strongly modified gameplay and new, huge environments, comparable to Half-Life’s “Black Mesa” project. The RMQ project dissolved in 2012 for lack of manpower and direction.
The Episode 1 remake is now continued with a lower profile and slightly reduced ambition. The goal is simply to finish and release the episode.
ROEM vs RemakeQuake
ROEM will be closer to Quake than RMQ was. The more unusual (for an FPS) gameplay elements that I was pushing for earlier have largely moved into Scout’s Journey, my commercial game project. Existing puzzles etc. will, in all likelihood, not be ripped out, but the more RPG-like ideas (e.g. loot) will not be implemented in ROEM. The gameplay will veer back towards “kill monsters, collect the secrets, find the exit.”
ROEM vs Scout’s Journey
Two different beasts.
SJ is an original, commercial role-playing game based around exploration, loot collection and exchange, and emergent gameplay between several NPC factions. SJ also has a deep story and several main characters. It’s on a different level.
ROEM is just a (hopefully pretty) Quake mod where you blast monsters with shotguns and rocket launchers. No more, no less. It’s a hobby.
Estimated release date
Very much when it’s done.