August 27th, 2012 – Gaslamp Games, Inc., independent game developers and makers of the critically acclaimed Dungeons of Dredmor, are pleased to announce their new title, Clockwork Empires, for the Windows, OS X, and Linux platforms.
The Clockwork Empire is expanding! Brave people, seeking glory and wealth, are setting forth for uncharted lands in search of fame and fortune. This is a new age of Science – fearless naturalists, clever tinkerers, and brilliant inventors hold sway over the imagination of the common folk, wielding voltaic energies and constructing chromed brass clockwork engines. It is an age of The Arts – poets lie expiring on every street corner, crying for Reform and more laudanum, while the Empire Times spews forth from the great presses of the Capitol, filled with stories of inspiring hubris and adventure from The Colonies. It is an age of Trade – the many arms of the Imperial Chartered Antipodean Trading Company lurch across the oceans like the limbs of a commodity-crazed octopus, dredging untapped markets for wealth and glory. It is an age of Politics – scheming agents of the Empire skulk through the slums and grottoes of the colonies, dodging anarchist schemes and cultists’ rituals, and fulfilling secretive missions on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Meanwhile, in the Capitol, favours are curried in the Houses of Parliament and the Panopticon between the artistocratic Lords and the rising classes of Industrial Barons.
Fly the Union Cog over all three identified corners of the world!
But not all is well in the Empire. Strangers gather under lampposts and in bars, telling stories of Those That Live Beyond The Stars, operating in invisible geometries from another dimension. The Queen, some whisper, has been locked away at the behest of her own Prime Minister… but to what end? The Church of the Holy Cog prays for the salvation of the Empire, yet everybody fears the indescribable colors that trace lines through the darkest woods and beyond the reassuring glow of the gas-lamps. The fortunes of the Clockwork Empire are watched, silently, by unseen eye-clusters and malevolent entities trying to breach the walls of reality into this world.
Take on the role of a Junior Bureaucrat (Colonial Grade), sent forth to seek fame, promotions, and natural resources to feed the ever-hungry maw of industry and commerce. Build mighty colonies, fill them with magnificent factories and tortured machinery, and harness the power of steam and energies brought forth by determined, unregulated men and women of Science!
Glory is yours to seize; the world is yours to do with as you please. For fame and fortune, for Science, and for the Queen and the glory of the Clockwork Empires!
But wait, there’s more!
Herein, the good folk of Gaslamp Games present a small selection of their “penny dreadful” game development features, demonstrating wonders never-before seen in plebian entertainment:
Dynamic, city-building, citizen-simulating action. Every imperial subject has a purpose and agenda of their own, and their interactions are rich, exciting, and often lethal!
New “procedural extrusion” technology lets you design your colony the way you want! Buildings are procedurally generated and extruded directly from the aether to your specifications!
Tame the uncharted continents by land, sea, and air! Set forth in mighty Zeppelins to do battle with Sky Pirates, or take to the seas in search of fortune and probably sea serpents!
Create magnificent acts of plumbing, link together mighty gears, and build ominous Megaprojects!
Tangle with the machinations of malevolent entities! Scry the legacy of the Invisible Geometers, fumigate the baleful moon-fungus of the Selenian Polyps, and cleanse the scuttling creepiness and poor personal and moral hygiene of your everyday, average cultist.
Losing is still fun! When your colony fails miserably, earn medals, promotions, and titles as befits a true politician and scion of the Empire!
Multi-player mode, with up to 4 players, lets you co-operate with your closest friends to build a glorious city… or fight a horrifying economic battle to total annihilation!
Round-Robin mode lets you share your Clockwork Empires with friends! Take turns running a colony directly into the ground then argue for fun-filled hours about whose fault it was! (Like Monopoly but with more exploding Zeppelins!)
Rendered in glorious GaslampVision! Thrill as the colours are brought to life by Gaslamp’s team of caffeine-addled artists labouring under the technical specifications of our elite programmers* to bring you a game that is rendered in Each of the Three Dimensions! New multi-core technology by Actual University Students lets you use every last ounce of power in your computer to run a thrilling and vivid simulation! (* We’ll see about that, Nicholas. Soon. – David)
Featuring the new Dynamic Soundtrack Orchestra – the Soundtrack that Adjusts to Your Gameplay! (Mr. M. Steele, conductor)
No always-online DRM requirement, unlike certain other games we don’t want to mention. You know who you are and your mothers are very disappointed.
Comes complete with the Gaslamp Games Quality of Excellence that you know and love, and if you don’t like something you can mod it yourself in the best tradition of Empire Craftsmanship!
Scope Creep Hack-venture is a very unique game in which you learn real life useful GNU/Linux and Windows hacking skills while playing the game !
The first module will be released for free, while there are still options to get exclusive and non-free content if you pledge :
A modded version of the game with the focus of teaching you GNU/Linux skills
A detailed walk trough of the game in PDF format – for learning purposes
A video walk trough of the game (completes the PDF)
Like many other games today, this game also uses the Unity game engine, and the most interesting/strange/absurd/shocking part, is that the developer never really intended for this game to have a GNU/Linux client in the 1st place, only after Unity4 offered a GNU/Linux support – he said he will try to make it work (and as we seen before, it’s easy to port to GNU/Linux using Unity4).
Here is our little mail exchange :
While Unity4 should support Linux it’s a bit odd that you chose Unity for such a game even before you knew that there will be a Linux support. I mean, most (or at least a huge part) of the people who want to pledge are…Linux users. So you better make your game run on Linux, specially that it is ABOUT Linux.
It’s like making a Penguin games and making it only run on Windows (yep, that happened)
I am an avid Linux user myself and want the game to have Linux support. That being said, I am limited by both budget, and time constraints. Unity3D seemed the best platform for this particular game based on these factors. Needless to say, when I heard that Unity4 will potentially offer Linux support I was ecstatic (and doubtful!)
Scope Creep is focused on teaching Ethical Hacking and in my experience it is not long before beginning hackers will quickly move away from Windows and start using either Mac or Linux. Most of the ‘missions’ in the game will require some Linux knowledge to run the tools, if the users do not have the required skills they will have the guidance needed to continue playing and hopefully gain some valuable practice. The commands used in the game will emulate a mix of Operating systems including (mostly) Linux but are not being run on actual virtual instances of these machine types.
The Linux training mod that will be available for Kickstarter backers only will have strictly Linux based challenges and allow a player to learn the basics and intermediate command line skills necessary to get around and administrate a Linux machine. I imagine that many of the people that are looking forward to playing this mod are not already using Linux as their primary OS and that they need/want to know more about how to actually use the OS on a day to day basis. – I could be wrong.
All of that being said – I agree that this game series needs to be available on Linux one way or the other and I will make it a priority if it turns out that Unity4 drops the ball on us.
Thanks for the insight and advice and have a great weekend!
PS: I did not know about the penguin games that only run on Windows!!! ACK!”
About the game
Learn Linux or Ethical Hacking from the ground up while playing a 3D fully immersive and interactive adventure game. Web/GNU/Linux/Windows/Mac
I would like to introduce you to a unique approach that combines adventure gaming and blended learning.
Take on the role of Merl McPenrite, an ethical Hacker that unwittingly gets involved in a conspiracy far beyond his control. He will need a combination of hacking, computer, and problem solving skills to be able to get out of the mess he finds himself in. Do you have what it takes to get him out alive?
In case you were curious as to where the characters name came from: MERL is an acronym for May Emulate Real Life.
It is my firm belief that learning should be fun. Some people spend thousands of hours playing repetitive games that require a wealth of knowledge to be successful. Why not use that time to learn something that is actually useful and beneficial! Hacking and other computer skills are generally best learned through repetitive action. People go as far as to create virtual labs with hundreds of systems to be able to practice their art. Why go through all of that when you could start up a game and lose track of time while your are practicing skills that you need to know in the real world?
Scope Creep is but one of many projects that MidGames will be producing over the next several years that focuses on bridging the gap between learning and fun.
The game will have several different difficulty levels:
Easy – If you are just starting to learn about hacking then this is the level for you. Challenging enough to keep you entertained and yet basic enough to prevent frustration from setting in. You are able to use a menu driven approach when attempting do things such as scanning a network or hacking a computer within the game. You get to try things multiple times so that you can learn as you progress. This difficulty level requires very little real world knowledge and is a great starting point for people that that just want to enjoy a fun game and possibly learn something valuable along the way!
Medium – You will still have a menu driven approach available but now you will also be able to type in the actual commands necessary to make the systems do what you need it to. Do not expect this level to be easy. This is the level that most beginning ethical hackers should already be at. Bad decisions will have a minor impact on the game world. You may get second chances.
Hard - You want hard, you get it. This attempts to simulate the real world as closely as possible. You will have to know the commands for the challenges you will face. Bad decisions will have a huge impact on the game.
There will be a collection of mini-games made specifically to reinforce the skills necessary to make it through the game. Why should you read a boring book when you can practice your knowledge in a game?
The game is set in a interactive 3D world where the character can interact with NPC’s, pick up items, use items and more. The computer simulations are clear and crisp and emulate the types of tools that you would need to know and understand to get through the challenges that Merl will face. The challenges are not all computer based as the ethical hacking field requires a large subset of skills such as hardware hacking, social engineering and more.
Here is an early screenshot of the first office area that Merl McPenrite begins his journey in.
There are several other areas but I do not want to give away the plot or the challenges in the game.
It will be playable in your Browser, your PC, Mac, or just maybe even on your Linux box (Dependent on Unity 4.0 release date. We will also need to test the port at that time to ensure it actually works as expected.)
Although we are fully dedicated to this project and willing to put hundreds, even thousands of hours into making this learning experience something unique, entertaining, and well… Awesome, we still need to buy licenses and handle other expenses. If funded, the project will be released much sooner and will contain features otherwise unavailable. We are willing to spend the hours, but we still need the financial assistance to make this happen. The funding goal is the absolute minimum we still require to get the game released in a timely manner. Any additional funding would be used to make the game better in many different ways such as graphics improvements, additional features, etc.
Midgames (Pronounced similar to ‘Mighty-Games’) is a small startup led by myself. I have managed to recruit a few (2..) members to share my dreams and spend some time working on level design, graphics, and story line. You may be surprised at how difficult it was to convince talented individuals that they should invest their time on projects that will be given away for free :-).
The MidGames mission is to provide innovative interactive blended learning for various fields. As previously mentioned, Merl is but one of many areas we would like to move forward with. We are building out a reusable framework that will be viable for various other areas of focus as well. If the skill requires repetitive action, memorization, and quick thinking we believe that we can probably make it less painful to practice using our techniques.
I am an experienced security professional with over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology industry. I hold many industry certifications such as the CISSP, MCSE, Net+, OSWP, and more. I am also an avid Unity 3d fan.
I am also the author of “Advanced Penetration Testing for Highly-Secured Environments: The Ultimate Security Guide” published by PacktPub.
If by chance the demand is high and we start to hit higher funding levels we will post a listing for what our reach goals would enable us to accomplish. This project is but the tip of the iceberg and we have a lot of plans for expansion down the road. Right now we are just managing scope creep and working within our means to get a solid product delivered to the community in a reasonable time frame.
If you made it this far, I would like to thank you for your time. This dream is going to become a reality one way or the other and I would love to have you join my adventure through assisting in this KickStarter.
How much will the training materials cost if I do not get them as part of the Kickstarter campaign?
We are offering our backers at the $25 level and higher a complete technical walk-through (in PDF) of the game. This training will not make any skill level assumptions and will cost at least $50.00 after the campaign has stopped. Basically, our backers at this level get the training at half price. (Not to mention that you make this project possible in the first place!!!)
At the $85 level and higher our backers receive a fully detailed video training module that goes along with the PDF they will also receive. This training will cover all scenarios available in the game such as password cracking, wireless hacking, system enumeration and more. This is targeted at the beginning level user and does not assume any skill level other than typical computer skills. It will be broken down in a clear and concise manner along with additional exercises to solidify your new or existing skill set. After the campaign is over this training will only be available at the rate of $250 dollars. This ensures that our $85 backers receive the best deal possible. Without your assistance the game may not be published for another year or so. Thank you so much!
How far along is the development of this game?
Proof of concept modules have been created for all technical aspects of the game. We have the art we need ready for production but it still needs to be finalized and incorporated into several areas of the game such as the graphical user interface, and the final game play area (The equivalent to a final boss in typical games). We are currently working on the missions and making sure that everything fits together in a logical manner. The game has a basic linear structure with side ‘missions’ that can be completed along the way.
Items completed and currently being merged with the game:
Computer Emulation \ Hacking System – Fully tested. Now we are filling out the gaps and making sure it has everything that people will expect a hacking game to have such as working file systems, etc.
Mission System – Implemented. Adding missions every day followed by lots of testing. Similar to some popular games on the market today you will have dialog choices that will have an indicator as to how ‘good’ or ‘evil’ the choices are. Some things are not as clear and will need to be learned through playing or just understood to ensure that you know the difference between ethical hacking and what would be considered black hat activity.
GUI – Still trying to find something that is intuitive but still powerful. We have something that works already, what we are looking for now is something that is awesome.
Ethical Status Indicator – Every decision in the game is measured by typical ethical standards. This is represented on your Heads Up Display (HUD) by a hat that changes color from White to Grey to Black based on the choices Merl makes throughout the game.
Item interaction mechanisms- Implemented!
Animations – Working out the bugs. We will be spending at least a month on additional cut scenes and improving the animations.
Achievements – Technology has been implemented, we are still discussing if we even really want this.
Mini games – 1 memory game (we hope to surprise you with the way we handled this one) and a coder graphics version of our ‘race and learn’ minigames have been created. These still need work. The final release will include at least these two mini-game. We hope for more but a lot of that is resource limited and depends on funding, etc.
Do I need to be a hacker\penetration tester\security guru to play this game?
Simple answer – No.
You can play the game from start to finish by choosing the ‘Easy’ game play mode. This mode provides ‘Hollywood Hacking’ in that there are GUI menus for all tasks such as scanning a network or cracking a password. You will be presented with option icons and your choices will allow you to play the game as if it were a standard adventure game with lots of options and puzzles. For instance, instead of having to pick the proper lockpicks when trying to open a door you would be able to choose the ‘Pick the Lock’ button (If you have picked up the lockpicks along the way!!)
In the medium and hard modes you will need to have a certain skill level. These modes are for people that want to practice and learn. The medium level will have menu options but instead of icons or simple descriptions they will need to pick the right commands from the choices when doing any hacking. The hard level just provides a computer terminal with whichever operating system is on the system you selected in the game.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Merl McPenrite series will be provided in ‘episodes’ with each episode increasing in difficulty with each episode. Each episode will have a distinctive and logical start and end point. This first episode will focus on hacking basics and then move on to some intermediate ‘missions’ to get Merl out of the mess he gets into.
How does the hacking mechanic work?
In easy mode we use a mechanic that allows you to choose options. If you choose the right options you get to move on. For some of the harder scenarios there are clues around that will help you pick the right answers. Easy to use for all but still based on real procedures or techniques.
In the other modes this is a bit different: For instance, if you are asked to crack a password file on a system in the office. You would walk to the work station, use the GUI menu option to ‘Use’ the computer at which point the screen fills up with the computer terminal or screen. You will be able to use this emulated system to accomplish your task.
In the medium difficulty you would still have menu options available to help you out, in hard mode it will all be based on what you already know and the clues we have provided. Many of the more obscure options in certain tools we emulate will not be available. Those options that are available would work in a virtual lab you build just as well as they do in the game (That is how we know what to expect from certain commands that are typed, at this point we cannot place real virtual machines in the game.) Maybe with funding and time we could eventually add that feature.
Starry Expanse is an attempted to create a realtime 3D port of Riven: The Sequel to Myst.
The developers (who are also looking for volunteers to help them developing the project) use the Unity game engine and say that GNU/ Linux port is definitely on the table.
The Starry Expanse Project is a collaborative attempt to create a realtime 3D port of Riven: The Sequel to Myst. We carefully study screenshots and videos taken from the Riven game and recreate it to the best of our ability.
Starry Expanse is a long-term project; the original game took dozens of artists years to complete. We are a much smaller team and do not have the same freedom of time as the original creators, and so we must take our time and ensure that every detail is as accurate, realistic, and true to the original game as possible. Eventually, we expect to release a beta program which will let users test various interactive parts of our recreations. Our goal is to recreate the game of Riven in its interactive entirety.
For more information, watch the presentations given at Mysterium 2010 , 2011 and 2012. You can also follow our progress on Twitter, by following @starry_expanse, although the best place to find news and updates is this website.
Recently they had an interesting IamA in which they gave insights about their project :
“We’re currently targeting the main platforms that Unity supports, Windows and OS X. Future versions of Unity will support Linux, so that may be a possibility in the future, as well.”
“Years at this rate. Maybe two, maybe three. Unless we actually decided to work on this full time, at the expense of our real jobs and schoolwork, the work is going to remain slow and steady. Riven is a big, big place to recreate.”
“The atmosphere is absolutely something we want to retain from the original. It’s a reason we love Riven too. Retaining atmosphere is an issue that sometimes even conflicts with the freedom we’re trying to inject, yes. For example, sometimes in the original, the feeling of a certain scene is dependent on the direction the player is looking. We may have to limit the player’s view for scenes like that, to get them to see everything that needs to be seen, but questions like that are still up in the air.
In terms of content, we’re changing very little. We want the puzzles to play the same, we want the player to be just as well guided and we want the story to be told exactly the same way. The changes we want to make are purely aesthetic.”
“We have most of the islands in the game at least a little bit under-way. Prison Island is near completion, and Boiler Island is pretty far along, as well. We’re still nowhere near a concrete date for beta testing, however.
For a number of areas throughout the game, we’re going to have custom actions that are only performable at that location. This includes places like the gate on Temple Island, the submarine on Jungle, the maglevs, and the cart between Jungle and Boiler. These will all require custom camera actions, which wouldn’t really make sense at any other point in the game.
There’s been a lot of discussion on invisible walls. In general, we really don’t like them. At the same time, Riven is a complicated enough game as it is, if we let the player roam truly free, it gets even more confusing. For that reason, we’re probably still going to be constraining the player a lot, and that includes keeping them away from cliff edges and deep water.
While there’s always the possibility of ‘backstabbing’, it’s extremely unlikely as we’ve picked our group pretty carefully. Also, not having to deal with Hollywood, or any overseeing corporation/group (outside Cyan), we have a much more hands-on level of control with the project. I think that this means fewer fights, less drama, and a more cohesive group overall.
We want to have things be as dynamic as possible, so as much as we can, yes, little objects will be at least a little moveable.
Being huge fans ourselves, we would love to have more of Tay explorable. Our main concern with Tay, however, is that The Stranger would not plausibly be able to explore much more of the hive, or surrounding area. Catherine trusts us, but her people do not – there’s a reason that door was locked in the first place.
And no, the Stranger cannot see his or her reflection.”
“Ubisoft actually lost the rights to the games a few years ago. They were held by GameTap and its parent company for a while, but by now all of the rights for the Myst series have returned to Cyan Worlds.”
Early Gameplay Video
It’s still early and it will take a few years, but it looks good even at this early stage and for those who love the classic – it will be a good refreshment and update to our current technology.
Development of ADOM started on July 12, 1994 and continued steadily since until November 20, 2002 but due to personal life issues and unavailability of the source code the development was put to stop…till now…
Recently the Indiegogo campaign to continue the development of ADOM was successful with almost $50,000 raised and 9 more days to go !
The new stretch goals promises graphics with the help of Zeno’s NotEye ($50,000) , Customized tile sets ($55,000) additional classes and races ($60,000) and much more ! (Those goals are totally achievable)
In addition, there is a chance that this time the game will finally be open sourced !
ADOM is primarily known for being the first roguelike to include vibrant towns, NPC dialog, and quests, but it offers more than just a rich story line in a complex fantasy world:
A huge game world with dozens of locations such as towns, randomized dungeons, and secrets
Loads of races and classes allowing for almost infinite play styles
Hundreds of monsters and items, many with enhanced random features
A corruption system forcing you to balance lust for power with fear of damnation
Spells, prayers, mindcraft, alchemy, and more
Dozens of quests and branching story lines
Numerous wildly different endings that might alter reality itself!
Sadly, although ADOM was highly polished, it was left in an unfinished state. Bugs, loopholes and other problems have been identified over the years, but I never had the resources to fix them. I believe I’ve found just the team of experienced, enthusiastic developers and artists to pick up where I left off and make ADOM something truly epic.
DEATH OR GLORY – I NEED YOUR HELP!
If this Indiegogo campaign is successful in reaching the funding goal, you will see a new release of ADOM, version 1.2.0. Here are some of the things you can expect:
New stable releases for all supported platforms (Windows, Linux, MacOS, Amiga, NetBSD, FreeBSD; Android and iPad/iOS are going to be stretch goals). Operating systems have evolved since 2002 and compatibility is becoming a serious issue.
Bug fixes for every bug we can find
Game balance patches
At least 12 new corruptions will be added to the corruption system.
13 new items will be added (but see below for that extra level).
4 new monsters will be added (but see below for that extra level).
As a result of “getting over with funding on August 22nd” an extra special new boss monster with a special new map, 2 new artifacts, 4 new minion monsters for said boss and 16 new items that only will be recoverable on said special level are going to be added to the game.
More elaborate interaction for many things that are currently only handled superficially
UI improvements to bring ADOM up-to-date with the progress the roguelike genre has made, to be decided upon based on recommendations of players in the forums (e.g. colored message, some kind of auto-exploration and others)
A series of magical statues distributed across the dungeons
A roster of new named random boss monsters with special powers
Exciting new graphics for the title screen and some quest-related events
Audio for sound effects and music for the game areas and important events
A freshly revised manual
Honestly, I have very high hopes for ADOM. I’m keeping this campaign modest, but I have big ideas in case we surpass the goal. I‘ll be announcing the stretch goals later in the campaign, but let me give you a taste of what I have in mind. I‘m thinking at least two new races and classes, builds for Android and iOS, a scripting module for user extensions, and finally, the release of the ADOM source code as open source, with community management, building, and training included.
STRETCH GOAL #1: NOTEYE SUPPORT (upon reaching $50,000)
As the first stretch goal we intend to integrate Zeno’s NotEye into ADOM. NotEye provides a graphical front end to textual roguelikes and seems to be the perfect option to provide tile support for ADOM (and best of all: for ADOM II, too, so effectively you are supporting two games in one). This will allow for
graphical tile sets in various resolutions (32×32 and 64×64 at least)
custom tile sets provided by the community
selecting either a graphical or ASCII version of ADOM for play
the possibility of a 3D mode (even if it’s more of a joke mode)
Our Youtube video video shows a sample demo, using NotEye, a demo tile set and an early version of a composition by Lucas Dieguez. Enjoy!
The following image gives a more detailed impression of what NotEye can do for ADOM:
STRETCH GOAL #2: CUSTOMIZED TILE SET (upon reaching $55,000)
This stretch goal will provide a customized tile set for ADOM, done solely by Krys, our artist. Krys will do his utmost to create the most beautiful tile set ever. See the image below for a sample of what Krys is capable of:
STRETCH GOAL #3: ADDITIONAL CLASSES AND RACES (upon reaching $60,000)
Two new PC races will be added: Mist Elves and Ratlings. Two new PC classes will be added: Duelists and Chaos Knights.
STRETCH GOAL #4: ADOM DELUXE ON STEAM (upon reaching $65,000)
At this level we will produce the long ago promised Deluxe version of ADOM, specifically to be published to Steam. And we’d try to do our best to also support other platforms like Gamersgate and Desudura. All donors from the $40 and above levels of this campaign will receive a free license for ADOM Deluxe if we reach this level. ADOM Deluxe will include new challenge games, restorable save files and an extended character generation process allowing you to select from more options. ADOM Classic still will remain free, the idea of this stretch goal is to use the awesome tile support at this level to make ADOM Deluxe more of a mainstream game in order to be able to fund the continuing development of the free ADOM Classic version.
A highly detailed and extensive quest related to volcanoes (no, not a boring variant to the tower of eternal flames) will be added to the game. It’s going to be chilling to the bone, believe me!
STRETCH GOAL #7: QUEST FOR ROLF (upon reaching $80,000)
The mysteries surrounding Rolf finally will be solved with a series of exiting new levels and quests introducing many new monsters, items and artifacts and unravelling one of the many mysteries of AODM.
STRETCH GOAL #8: TWO MORE NEW QUESTS (upon reaching $85,000)
Two additional new quests will be added to the game, details to be discussed with the community.
STRETCH GOAL #9: THREE MORE NEW QUESTS (upon reaching $90,000)
Three additional new quests will be added to the game, details to be discussed with the community.
STRETCH GOAL #10: FOUR MORE NEW QUESTS (upon reaching $95,000)
Four additional new quests will be added to the game, details to be discussed with the community.
STRETCH GOAL #11: FULL-COLOR ADOM Lite RPG (upon reaching $100,000)
At this level the ADOM Lite RPG will be done in full color. All donors for the RPG will receive this upgraded print for free!
That’s it, folks. If we ever should come close to the stretch goals in the nineties I will think of more exciting stuff!
If you are a fan of Total Annihilation (and Spring), you would be as excited as I am to know (if you didn’t read it already on other GNU/Linux Gaming websites) that many of the same developers will be doing a spiritual sequel on a much bigger scale, now you will be able to build bases on different planets and asteroids, and use the asteroids as a Doom’s day weapon (you got to see the concept video below). As with Total Annihilation – mods will be supported !
Almost $500,000 of the $900,000 required have been pledged so far, and there are stretch goals to reach (like a full campaign)
Planetary Annihilation brings Real-Time Strategy to a new generation of gamers in a way they’ve never been seen before: Total Annihilation-inspired gameplay on a planetary scale.
We all know that the RTS genre has taken a hit. There just aren’t that many quality original RTS games coming out. If you love to play games like Total Annihilation your options are pretty limited. This is where Planetary Annihilation comes in. It is meant to be a truly innovative spin on what RTS games can and should be.
A Solar System Is Your Playground
Expand your empire to harness the resources of entire solar systems to create vast armies with which to annihilate enemy planets, destroy rival systems and win the Galactic War!
Pick Your Battles
Play a quick skirmish with a friend on a single planet map with a low unit cap or a 12+ hour game with 40 of your closest frenemies and thousands of units. You can also hone your skills against Planetary Annihilation’s AI or team up with a friend against multiple AI’s.
Advanced Command and Control
Planetary Annihilation’s order queuing interface allows you to control massive armies spread across multiple worlds with ease. Get strategic views of the action anywhere, anytime by zooming in and out of the war zone, and use split interfaces and multiple windows to keep an eye on multiple battlegrounds at once.
Procedural Planet Creator
Create custom or randomized maps with our procedural planet creator. Like what you see? Save them and share them with the Planetary Annihilation community.
Streaming Resource Economy
Use resources to build mega projects. Assign swarms of construction units in realtime to manage your economy. Reclaim wreckage and terrain to quickly regroup after a battle.
Planetary Annihilation’s rendering engine is brought to you by the team that developed the rendering engines for Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander. Our engine will allow you to explore vast, new procedural worlds with diverse terrain and build on everything from small, airless rocks to huge earth-type planets. No two maps are exactly alike.
Client-Server Networking Architecture
Other than Total Annihilation, which was asynchronous, most Real-Time Strategy games use a synchronous networking model, which means that all the computers in a given game are held back by the slowest machine. The Planetary Annihilation engine uses a client-server model so that the “heavy lifting” can be done on a game server, freeing up gamers’ machines to engage in bigger battles with more players!
Advanced Modding features
Create new units, gametypes, maps and planet archetypes. Run your own servers with your own sets of units and game modes.
Uber Entertainment is an independent game studio founded in 2008 by a team of industry veterans who wanted to create high quality games in a small team environment. In 2010 we released our first title, the critically-acclaimed Monday Night Combat. In 2011 we brought MNC to Steam and in 2012 we released Super Monday Night Combat, which we continue to update weekly.
Folks at Uber Entertainment have worked on games like Total Annihilation, Command & Conquer, Supreme Commander and Demigod. We are hugely passionate about Real-Time Strategy and can’t wait to show you our vision for the future of the genre.
Jon Mavor has worked in the game industry since 1993. As a longtime game engine technologist, Jon wrote the graphics engine for Total Annihilation and was the lead programmer on Supreme Commander. He has been the CTO of Uber Entertainment since its inception and is the creative lead for Planetary Annihilation.
Steve Thompson got his start in 1997 at Cavedog Entertainment, where he worked on Total Annihilation. In 1999 he joined Gas Powered Games where he worked as an animator, director of cinematics, and art director for the Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander franchises. Steve joined Uber in 2008 and is the art director on Planetary Annihilation.
Let’s face it, game publishers today want sequels in very restrictive genres. In many cases game publisher overhead makes small projects not interesting to them.
That’s where you, the RTS fan, comes in.
It’s very unusual to put something like this in front of gamers this early in the process. We are in a new era where you get to decide what we spend our time on. Planetary Annihilation is meant to be a truly innovative spin on what RTS games can and should be. You as the customer get the ultimate vote in whether we make this game. Your dollars are your votes and the better we do the more resources we’ll have to bring you a great game.
Thank you so much to everyone that has supported us so far. The response has been fantastic and while there’s a bit to go, it’s really awesome to know we have so many votes of confidence and a ton of encouragement already behind us.
Expeditions: Conquistador which I wrote about earlieris tactical RPG with turn based combat which is similar to the good old classic Fallout games in it’s combat.
Recently they released 3 Let’s Play Expeditions: Conquistador videos which explains the combat in more depth.
So if you were unsure about pledging to this project, I hope those videos will help you decide.
Also note that like in the classic Fallouts – you don’t always have to pick the fighting option and there are also more diplomatic resolutions to game situations.
Take your towers on the offensive against an endless sprawl of baddies in this tower defense classic. Your goal is to keep your opponents from crossing the battlefield and taking you down. Populate everything in between with deadly towers and create intricate mazes to incinerate, freeze, laser, and electrocute your way to victory.
BIT.TRIP BEAT is a charming, retro-inspired music rhythm game. Players must deflect an onslaught of projectiles, each successful deflection resulting in a musical sound. Link ‘em together to get a rhythm going! Every move is crucial, as letting anything through will threaten to disrupt the beat. This is the BIT.TRIP sensation that has — so far — spawned five awesome spin-offs and sequels.
In SpaceChem, players take on the role of a Reactor Engineer, designing complex reactors that transform raw atoms into the complex chemicals needed to survive sinister threats on the frontier colonies of space. It’s a maddeningly addictive puzzle game, and with the help of the built in level editor, it’s ensured that you’ll have plenty of challenging atomic manipulation at your fingertips.
* Note that the Android version of SpaceChem is designed for devices with a resolution of 1280×800 or greater. Please try this demo on Google Play
Break into computer systems and nab valuable, secret information as you take on the role of a hacker for-hire in Uplink. The hacking gameplay in Uplink is textbook cyberpunk, complete with cracking software, credits, and nasty megacorporations. It’s like a puzzle-adventure with all the action taking place between bits and bytes in cyberspace.
* Note that the Android version of Uplink is only compatible with tablet devices.
In this beautiful puzzle-platformer, autumn has arrived and you must help the spirits of fallen leaves find their way home. With only indirect control at your fingertips, you must choose a few good spirits to build stairs, change wind flow, and act as guides for the rest of the spirits, making decisions that may ultimately sacrifice the few to save the many.
The Humble Bundle for Android 3
Five amazing games for your mobile delight. We’re bringing you a mountain of entertainment for your Android devices. Pay-what-you-want to get BIT.TRIP BEAT, Fieldrunners, SpaceChem, and Uplink! And if you beat the average price, you also get the beautiful platform-puzzler Spirits! Please note that Uplink and SpaceChem require tablets if your are playing the Android version.
Love your desktop? So do we. Buying the Humble Bundle for Android 3 also gets you the games on Windows, Mac, and Linux! For your listening pleasure, each game also comes with an official soundtrack.
Pay what you want. On their own, these fantastic games and their soundtracks would cost to the tune of $52, but we’re letting you name your price!
The games work great on Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux (system requirements here). Note that this is the initial release for many of the Android and Linux versions of the games. Please be patient while the developers fix any 1.0 bugs as quickly as they can, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you run into any issues.
Support vital charities. You get to decide how your purchase is divided: between the developers, the Child’s Play Charity, or the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And, if you choose, a Humble tip for putting this promotion together is much appreciated!
Harmonia is an online, moddable, tactical RPG with a flexible scripting language that allows the community make their own content. The first goal is $15k, and almost $1k already been pledged with 24 days to go. As you can see from the screenshots, the developer uses Ubuntu which is a great sign for us the GNU/Linux gamers. An early alpha demo is already out so you can try and see what the game is about.
Update #1 – Play the demo!
Try out the first public development snapshot of Harmonia! In this demo, you play the classic text-based version and it is NOT representative of the final game. For more details, including the FAQ, please read our updates.
The Harmonia project consists of two main elements: an online TRPG (Tactical Role-playing Game) set in the Kingdom of Harmonia, and a robust game engine built for custom content and modding.
The game uses SDL, a cross-platform multimedia library, and will be available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS/X. If there is demand, we can also port the game to the following platforms: Android, AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4, FreeBSD, BeOS/Haiku, iOS, Mac OS 9, MorphOS, OpenVMS, PlayStation Portable, Syllable, Symbian, and webOS.
The game casts you as leader of a band of heroes fighting alongside other players’ forces. Your battalion explores the world, traverses large dungeons, completes quests, and engages in strategic combat against other armies on the battlefield. As you complete areas of the game, you unlock new classes, races, flair, and abilities for your characters and your account.
Behind the game, Harmonia is also a platform for players and developers to create their own games hosted on their own servers. The Harmonia engine allows all of the game’s assets, including zones, character classes, and abilities, to be modified using a lightweight, flexible scripting language. These scripts are open for anyone to edit, and can be modified and recompiled while the server is running, allowing designers to tweak their creations even while playing them. In this way Harmonia provides an infinitely moddable tactical RPG engine.
Together, these elements create an online gaming experience with limitless possibilities. Once a player completes all of the content on the official Harmonia servers, they have the option to either create their own content and run their own server, or join one of many unofficial servers hosted by the community and explore player-made content. This opens the game up for endless expansion as we, the developers, take notice of top-quality player-made content and integrate it into our official servers if the creator so desires.
Play the Text-Based Version
The text-based MUD version of Harmonia has been in development for over five years. The server is always online, and open to the public. If you’d like to play this version of the game, all the instructions necessary to connect are here:
Most elements in the game, including all spells, classes, quests, and gameplay rules, are scripted using the Lisp-inspired Harmonious language. These scripts can be easily modified and recompiled while the server is running, and new zones can be plugged into the game simply by pasting a new folder into the “/scripts” directory. Zones can have their own custom spells, complex puzzles, equipment, and artifacts with unique effects far beyond simple stat bonuses.
Almost anything can be implemented using this scripting environment. Here are some examples, many of which are currently already in the game:
a stone that solidifies all nearby swamp into stone when used,
an offensive spell that changes its element based on the weekday,
a Sokobon-like puzzle zone with pushable boulders,
a maze with teleporters, switches, keys, and logic puzzles,
a blacksmith NPC that exchanges gold and rare material for randomly-generated equipment,
a cursed zone that becomes haunted during the night.
Scripts can be short and simple, like these weapons in the Bandit Camp zone:
…or they can be very dense for more complex tasks. Here is a sample from the blacksmith’s script, run whenever a player speaks to them:
Harmonia is still in the process of converting itself from text into the third dimension, but to go forward, we’ll need to expand the studio to include one or more artists, a writer to develop an intriguing storyline, more developers to create game content, and musicians to produce the soundtrack. However, the most important issue facing us is that this project will take a great deal of time to complete. We want to devote ourselves to working on Harmonia exclusively, which naturally means we’ll need salaries until the game is completed.
We have big plans for Harmonia, but because of our small size and unknown status, we’re also realistic about our goals and fund-raising targets.
So, we’ve split our fund-raising targets into three categories: 1) The amount we feel we can safely raise to finish the engine, 2) The amount necessary to create a great game with a great story, and 3) The amount we’d need to produce the full game we truly want to make.
Initial Goal: $15,000
The Server: Although the server is essentially complete, we’d like to make it more efficient, expand the scripting environment, and finish connectivity with the new 3D client.
The Client:Harmonia’s 3D environment is relatively new and we’re still transferring over the interface from the old text-based game. We have plans to overhaul the UI to provide a more intuitive, visual gameplay experience.
Artwork: The current Harmonia team doesn’t have a dedicated artist, so we’re hiring one to allow the development team (currently just one member) to devote as much time as possible to programming.
Polish Gameplay: The centerpiece of gameplay is the ability to control more than one character at a time. Our interface for that will be unlike anything we’ve seen before, so we’ll naturally spend a great deal of time working out the kinks.
Goals at this tier focus on fleshing out game content, including artwork, music, and playable classes.
Full Game Content: The Harmonia engine allows for detailed zones with extremely unique quests, puzzles, and gameplay challenges. We’re going to push that engine to the limit with a set of 30 zones, one for each level of gameplay.
Much, Much More Artwork: We want to produce a large variety of tile, sprite, and 3D art. Time spent on creating art will be split between making zone-specific assets and miscellaneous assets to be used for anything, especially community-made work.
Exciting Adventure Soundtrack: In addition to being tech-savvy, the members of our team are college and conservatory-trained musicians and composers. We’re dedicated to applying our training to produce the best soundtrack possible.
Over 50 Playable Classes: At levels 10 and 20, each primary class has the opportunity to promote to one of two secondary classes. With at least 32 unique classes by the end of the game, your force of 4 characters will have 1,048,576 possible class combinations.
Chapter-Driven Storyline: Our storyline, consisting of 6 chapters, will involve civil unrest, the forgotten history of your fracturing Kingdom, an expelled sect of tyrannical priests, and an invasion from a dark, otherworldly realm.
The project goals for this tier focus on the modding environment, PvP gameplay modes, and additional features to add further polish to the game.
Server Selection: When running Harmonia, a server selection screen will appear with official servers up top and unofficial community-run servers below. This gives players the chance to try out community-made content, and it gives developers the opportunity to see their creations played.
Character Customization: Character creation will allow for more visual features, such as the ability to swap out a character’s hairstyle, change their colors, and select from alternate costumes designed by our artistic team.
In-game Scripting Tools: The Harmonious language is easy to script, but for players without programming experience who want to create their own zones, there will be a simple editor for maps, items, and entities that will require no scripting knowledge. Once the basics of a zone are finished, programmers can then modify these zones to add their own custom scripts for more complex ideas.
Harmonious Documentation: On our website, we’ll provide thorough documentation for every scripting command, as well as tutorials for both the total newbie and the seasoned programmer.
Skirmish Mode: In addition to adventuring, you’ll have a mode where you play against either the AI or another player’s force. Every player will have a ladder ranking so they are pitted against a force of equal skill level. Players will also be able to join forces to fight larger battles in 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4 game modes, as well as a free-for-all mode.
Role: Melee Fighter Traits: Soldiers are balanced fighters with useful melee skills, magical abilities, and reasonable defenses. They are leaders with useful skills and spells to benefit their group. Strengths: Soldiers have a variety of skills to exploit low-defense opponents like Archers or low-resistance enemies like Warriors. In addition to fighting, they have a variety of useful abilities to aid their group. Weaknesses: When there is no clear Weakness in an opponent, Soldiers struggle. They are also vulnerable to heavy-hitters like Knights, and tend to be high-priority targets because of their leadership skills.
Role: Offensive Melee Fighter Traits: Knights are fast, powerful, massive centaurs that hit their enemies hard. They specialize in dealing heavy damage and disrupting enemy group formation. Strengths: Knights, as centaurs, are able to move quickly through open terrain types such as Fields. With their armor-piercing attacks, Knights can easily break through the strong defenses of Warriors, or push and pull opponents on the battlefield as they please. Weaknesses: Knights have several hit points, but very little defense or magic resistance, so they can be difficult for priests to keep alive in tough fights. Centaurs are incredibly slow in rough terrain types like Forest or Desert.
Role: Defensive Melee Fighter
Traits: Warriors are stout, strong, slow, dumb fighters with a near impenetrable defense. They are protectors who always belong in front of their weaker allies. Warriors specialize in maintaining stable group formations.
Strengths: Warriors can safely absorb extreme damage from strong opponents such as Knights and Archers and protect their weaker allies from harm. They can also bash mobile targets to the ground to prevent enemy forces from moving. Weaknesses: For all their defense, warriors deal damage very slowly over time. They are best paired with Archers or Magicians to make up for their lack of offense. Warriors also suffer heavy magic damage.
Role: Physical Ranged Fighter Traits: Archers are capable of fast, deadly strikes from afar that can cripple nearly any opponent, but they have no offensive or defensive ability in close combat. Strengths: Archers unload deadly volleys of arrows from the back ranks of your force, dealing unbelievable amounts of damage to even the most heavily-defended targets. Weaknesses: Despite their strength from afar, Archers have virtually no fighting abilities in close-ranged combat. If caught off-guard by a melee opponent, they may die very quickly. It is best to find a melee fighter to take the hits for you.
Role: Strategic Melee Fighter Traits: Birdsoldiers can fly and maneuver around opponents during combat with ease. Although frail, they are very effective hit-and-run fighters and excel at harassing the back ranks. Strengths: The Birdsoldier can instantly fly to the back ranks of any opposing group and release a flurry of attacks against spell casters, forcing an otherwise stable force to lose their formation. They are the most magically proficient melee class. Weaknesses: Birdsoldiers are physically weak and tend to lose direct one-on-one melee confrontations. To be effective, Birdsoldiers need to take advantage of their mobility to recharge their abilities safely out of combat.
Role: Magical Ranged Fighter Traits: Magicians use powerful offensive spells to inflict magic damage to weak-minded from the back ranks. They have various utility spells as well. Strengths: When fully rested, Magicians can unload an extreme amount of damage to single or multiple foes almost instantly. They are most effective against low-resistance classes like Knights and Warriors. Weaknesses: Once mana reserves are depleted, Magicians are frail and vulnerable in melee combat, so they should be kept in the back ranks at all times. They are especially vulnerable to attacks from Birdsoldiers.
Role: Healer Traits: Priests are the primary healing class for the group, making them an essential member in all confrontations. They have various utility spells to aid their party members. Strengths: Priests are the most effective spellcasters available. During combat, they can keep the tank at full health and provide quick recovery between battles. Weaknesses: Because of their abilities, Priests are top-priority targets and extremely vulnerable to physical damage. They are pathetically weak and absolutely useless in melee-combat, so they must be protected in the back ranks at all times.
Role: Support Caster Traits: Monks use a variety of buff and debuff spells to keep their forces at peak fighting condition. In combat, they use hand-to-hand abilities as well as both offensive and healing magic. Strengths: Monks take quite a beating physically, making them effective tanks against melee classes. If they choose not to use their support magic, they can use their offensive spells to tear opponents who have weak magic resistance to shreds. Weaknesses: Although their bodies are trained to take a punch, they’re not trained to withstand powerful magic. Monks suffer greatly at the hands of magicians and are ill-equipped to effectively defeat them.
I wanted to chime in really quick to say that we are changing our delayed Linux and Mac release. We are launching all three versions on the original release date. We are really excited to bring you this news! We want to support our Linux and Mac community. We will keep working hard and please help us advertise!
They are still far from their goal of $75k, which 17 days left.
So if you want to help bring this tactical RPG to Linux, please pledge.