This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, July 31 2018 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.
With this demo, you'll get a taste of the gameplay and discover the very first sector of the first chapter of our game. (The entire game will consist of 6 chapters, each composed of 4 sectors.)
Official HD Trailer here: https://youtu.be/An317hx2LQA
[updated on the 07/18/2018]
Stretch goal #2: Focus on the advanced expedition
If we reach 45 000 € before the end of the campaign, we will work on an advanced version of the expedition. To be more specific, here are some precisions about what we planned:
- Animated illustrations: The player will have the opportunity to see their Hero use his or her skills. Animated illustrations will appear during epic moments of the expedition, showing the player what their team (Hero and commandos) is experiencing on the ground. Here is a mockup preview:
- Enhanced user interface: we want to improve the player’s experience of the expedition. That’s why we want to dedicate more time and resources improve the user interface, implement new animations, feedbacks, VFX… in order to increase immersion and user experience.
CRYING SUNS is a rogue-lite and tactical game where you explore a dying galaxy as the admiral of a space fleet. As a deep, story-driven game experience, each successful run will uncover a part of the underlying truth about the fall of the Galactic Empire.
- Space exploration in a procedurally-generated universe
- Tactical fights between battleships and their squadron fleets
- A deep and dramatic storyline inspired by our favorite S-F universes (Foundation, Dune, Battlestar Galactica) and structured in 6 chapters.
… Prepare to die often, it's a rogue-lite game... And it's a hard one…
Crying Suns will be available first on PC and Mac. We also plan to release the game on iPad soon after releasing the desktop versions.
You can already put it on Steam wishlist: here.
Release date: Late 2018 - Early 2019
Public price (Steam release): $19.99
We are big fans of Faster Than Light (FTL). With Crying Suns, we wanted to add to that initial gameplay formula a sense of scale and a feeling of incredible dramatic stakes in a rich, post-apocalyptic environment. The keywords here are macro management.
You will feel that you aren't just leading a few people on a small ship but a huge, super high-tech battleship with hundreds of crew as you try to save a dying humankind. There's a lot on your shoulders!
Here are the main features you'll find in Crying Suns.
Navigate through an infinity of detailed and violent planetary systems. Choose your path to the boss wisely to manage your limited resources and to avoid bloodthirsty enemy ships hunting you in the dark of outer space.
The Big 3:
- Scrap: The money of the game. Now that the once great Galactic Empire has all but collapsed, Imperial currency has no use. Now, only bits and pieces or scraps of OMNI-invented (advanced artificial intelligence machines) tech hold any real value. With scrap you can buy other resources in the game, weapons, squadrons, or make upgrades to your battleship. But be careful. Scrap is in heavy demand. And many, especially those verminous Scrapers, are willing to kill you for it.
- Neo-N: The blue-glowing, radioactive fuel of your battleship. Also created by the OMNIs, Neo-N is "the" energy source for all technologies and ships in the game. Only a few volatile Neo-N plants continue to produce it, but for how long before they melt down? In any case, you'll need Neo-N as you try to move your battleship from one planetary system to the next. Without it, you're stuck. And if you're stuck, you're as good as dead.
- Commandos: Not to be insensitive, but these guys and gals, armed as they are with the best Imperial weapons and tech, are more or less your cannon fodder. Your commandos are your brute force for combat on the ground. And you'll rely on them for resource location and extraction on planetary expeditions.
The big 3 are obtained by visiting and exploring systems, by making deals or doing good deeds for civilians who you encounter along the way, and, of course, by fighting and destroying other battleships. To the victors go the spoils. Remember: Don't forget to check your Neo-N gauge!
This provides you with the layout for each star cluster that you encounter in the galaxy. This is your resource for navigating your way through the chapters of our game, whether you're trying to avoid certain enemies or hunting them down. Hover the mouse over a particular point and you'll obtain information on that system.
In this star cluster, you will have the possibility to:
These icons will help you decide if you want to stick around a particular system to say, explore one of its planets; visit a shop to purchase an upgrade with your scrap; or if, fearing for your life, go to the next.
Looking at things a bit closer, when you do visit a particular system you will receive more information regarding its various points of interest, that is to say, its stars, planets, space stations and beacons. From here, you can decide which, if any, you'd like to check out. Each move to investigate a particular point of interest costs 1 Neo-N. We told you that blue stuff was important!
Each time you visit a point of interest, there are a few possible triggers: an event, in which you'll make an encounter, friendly or not, in the area; a fight, in which you will have to duke it out with an imperial enemy hell-bent on killing you and taking your resources; or a planetary expedition in which you have a chance to send troops to explore a local planet for resource extraction.
As we stated earlier, one of our goals in making Crying Suns was to make the player feel like the admiral of a battleship. Let's be honest, there's a lot more to being an admiral than deciding which type of missile to launch at an enemy. Our events are the vehicle that allows us to really sink our teeth into this idea. We've crafted over 300 entertaining and challenging events, with various outcomes for each, for you to experience on your journey through the galaxy:
- Some events offer you several possible actions to choose from.
- Some events offer you further options if you've picked up a Hero (more on them later).
- Some events offer risky choices with possible big rewards...or big drawbacks.
Okay. Okay. I know we just said there's more to being an admiral than fighting, but fighting is still a HUGE part of the game. In Crying Suns, our fights, sticking with the you-are-the-admiral theme, are highly tactical. You'll battle numerous different and frightening battleships and their devastating squadrons. Make the right calls. Use the right weapons and units. Adopt the right plan of attack. And if you don't, well, you know what happens...
Your goal in fighting is of course to inflict damages to the opposing battleship and minimize your own. These damages are measured by our Hull Gauge. You win the fight when the enemy's gauge is empty. And when that happens, fireworks, baby!
Real-time with pause
Our Tactical Pause feature allows you the ability to pause the game anytime you want to adjust your strategy and make the most of any particular moment in the battle. Use it. Remember: You are responsible for the lives of 300 crew members!
During the fight, you can use 3 different types:
Heroes: I told you we'd get back to these. These are specialist officers that you can pick up along your journey. Each possesses a passive ability that could help you and give you an crucial edge to win a fight. You'll need their help if you wish to survive.
Squadrons: You have a choice in combat between deploying 3 different types: cruisers, fighters, and drones. Each has its strengths and its weaknesses. You will have to use them in the right situations and against the right type of enemy squadron.
Weapons: You can use different kinds of weapons during the fight (missiles, fast lasers, Tesla bombs, ionic weapons, rail guns and more!), each one with a different effect on the enemy battleship.
Focus points system
We've implemented a Focus Point System into our fights. This represents Admiral Idaho's capacity to concentrate and allows you to handle and prioritize multiple tasks at the same time. The more focus points you have, the more actions you can do. Conversely, if you don't have focus points, your actions are limited.
Focus Points can be used to:
Deploy units (squadrons, weapons, and Heroes) during a fight. You lock one point each time you do so.
Perform an action during a fight. Each time you move a squadron, fire a weapon, or repair a critical damage, you use Focus Points.
Just like in a real battleship fight, even if you win, you could be badly damaged. In Crying Suns you'll have to repair all critical damages sustained in combat before you can resume your journey.
At the moment, there are 4 types of critical damage, all of which can be repaired with 2 Focus Points (if you have them!), by clicking on the critical damage icons when they appear. But we're still looking for fun ways to hinder your victory!
- Breach: Holes in your hull. This is a big one. You can't repair any other damages until you've repaired this one.
- Stunned: Sometimes Admiral Idaho can be stunned or dazed in battle if your battleship is hit hard. If this happens, Idaho's ability to focus is diminished and a Focus Point is locked until he snaps out of it or can be treated.
- Damage on your units: In battle sometimes your units can get beaten up to such an extent that they move slower or can no longer fire their weapons. This kind of damage can occur to your heroes as well, making them ineffective.
- Fire: In combat, your battleship is going catch on fire. That's just the way it is in galactic battleship warfare. If this fire's not quickly extinguished, it could spread (it's possible to have 3 at a time) and quickly eat away at your hull points. Put out those fires!
With the first battleship available to you in the game, you can use up to 4 squadrons, 2 weapons and 2 heroes at the same time. (Other improvements are also available by way). However, as you begin to unlock and play with other battleship models in the game, those limits can increase.
When visiting a star system, as we mentioned before, it's possible to explore its planets. Your battleship is equipped with high-precision scanners allowing you to scan planetary surfaces for anomalies (alert signals, high concentrations of resources, forgotten experimental science labs, pirate outposts, and others) that either intrigue you or offer you a chance to collect a valuable resource.
To begin an expedition, first you must choose an expedition leader from your heroes. To help you make a selection, Kaliban uses a predictive algorithm providing you with information on which is potentially best suited for the expedition to come. However, you are free to use whichever hero you'd like.
Once on the ground, the expedition team will navigate through a potentially-hostile environment, either using its wits, guns, or explosives to hopefully reach and safely, or relatively safely, explore the anomaly.
At each stage of the expedition, if your leading hero has the relevant skills needed, you will accumulate resources. But be careful. Although your commandos will protect the hero much like a human shield, they can also be injured if something goes wrong. If all the commandos get injured, your hero, now on his or her own on this planet, with its weird flora and fauna and potentially dangerous inhabitants, might never return to your ship...
To keep the battleship safe, and its location hidden, the ground team is only authorized to contact you if they are able to ensure a secure line. This means that, for the most part, you won't be able to give them orders. Who you send as the expedition leader is therefore even more critical. However, if the team determines it's safe to do so, sometimes they will contact you. At this point, you'll be able to give them orders, including an emergency retreat, if your gut tells you it's the best course of action.
Customize your runs
You're playing as Admiral Idaho, but more specifically, as a clone of Admiral Idaho, created on a military and cloning facility on the periphery of the Galactic Empire. Each time you die in the game, you and the rest of your crew will be cloned again back at this facility so that you can resume your journey once more.
Having sent information accrued along your journey -- blueprints for new battleships, weapons, and squadrons as well as genomes for various heroes -- back to this facility at various times, those additions will become available when you die and begin new runs.
What this means is, at the beginning of each run, among other things, you will have a chance to select a different battleship, or different weapons, or heroes to help you along your journey, again, if you've unlocked them.
We will not spoil this part for you but yes, you'll have to go through each and every one of these bad boys and gals, like this creepy fellow here, to reach the end. Good luck!
After 700 years of peace and prosperity, the Galactic Empire has suddenly been shattered into pieces.
The OMNIs, god-like machines which do everything for their human masters, have mysteriously shut down. And humankind, having lost the ability to survive on its own long ago, is dangerously close to extinction.
But somewhere in a far corner of the galaxy is Gehenna, a planet of ice and rock and a top-secret military and cloning facility that is both the pinnacle of Imperial Tech and humanity's last chance.
You are a clone of Admiral Ellys Idaho, a weapon fashioned from flesh, the best Imperial Admiral ever to battle in the stars and you have just been awoken on this harsh planet by its strange and darkly-humorous Guardian, Kaliban, the last-functional OMNI to exist.
Your mission: skillfully command a battleship through the Empire's now chaotic, violent clusters -- where one wrong move could be your last -- as you try to reactive the OMNIs and save the future of all humankind.
But you must leave Gehenna now...for time is running out.
Ellys Idaho, admiral of the NS-Odysseus
Savvy, bold, determined. Simply put Ellys Idaho is the greatest Imperial Admiral of all-time. He (you) awakens on Gehenna as a clone of the original, remembering nothing of the original's past. All he knows is that the Empire is in danger and it's his duty to do something about it.
Kaliban, the last OMNI
Isolated for years on Gehenna, Kaliban is the last-known functional OMNI (omni mechanical Neo-N intelligence) to exist in the Galactic Empire. This makes him the smartest entity in the galaxy, a fact of which he is well aware. Be prepared, Kaliban is ready to make you feel stupid.
The NS-Odysseus Squad
Along the way, in addition to civilians, you'll encounter characters from several factions. Some factions came into existence after the OMNIs shut down, others are remnants of old, powerful Imperial houses.
The look of Crying Suns is a mixture of different techniques combined to create a unique atmosphere driven by one guiding idea: immersion.
Technically, the characters are pure 2D. They are designed in pixel art, then animated with Spine (using bones, paths and meshes) which gives a much smoother and realistic animation quality than traditional pixel-art animation, and a volume effect simulated by mesh deformation of texture.
Battleships are designed first in 2D (one side view and several layers in top view) and then extruded to create a 3D model on which we apply a pixel art texture.
This technique allowed us to keep a pixelated aspect consistent with the characters and decors while it gave us all the advantages of the 3D (dynamic lightings, real volumes, perspective, etc.).
For smaller spaceships, we directly use the 2D textures without extruding them. We simply add a slight parallax effect to simulate depth.
The star systems and places of interest (suns, planets, beacon, etc.) are a mix of 3D models, sprites and pixel art textures.
The team worked hard on the music and sound in the game, demanding as much from this aspect as any other. The sounds of Crying Suns were created to express and serve a post-apocalyptic, spatial and dark mood.
Working with Aymeric Schwartz, a talented French sound designer and composer, who has worked on several Rayman games, including Valiant Hearts, Deadcore and Absolver, we defined the main "color" of the sound and music, giving a unique consistency to the game from the beginning to the end.
Our production was also influenced by "retro new wave" music and composers like Com Truise, Kavinsky, Lazer Hawk and Power Glove. You can check out some of the tracks composed for Crying Suns here:
We hope, of course, to give you a real, awkward, sweaty hug in the flesh one day, should we be lucky enough to meet you face-to-face, you wonderful beings, but in the meantime we'll send you the warmest virtual hugs and the warmest digital messages that we possibly can from our office in Montpellier. Moreover, we'll think of you kindly and appreciatively each and every time we start up the game, which is, like, 100 times a day!
Your name, your wonderful name, will appear in nice, readable, beautiful font in the "credits" section of our game, as either a crew member, a Sergeant, a Lieutenant, a Captain, a Major, a Colonel, a Lieutenant-Colonel, a General or as a Hero, according to your rewards tier. Looking to impress a date or a parent? Now's your chance!
Tier "Early Backer Copy" upwards.
A digital copy (Steam key) of Crying Suns on PC and Mac, your choice, so you can nerd out hardcore, wherever you want, however you want, (perhaps in full costume?) as an Imperial Admiral commanding an awesome, high-tech battleship through a post-apocalyptic galaxy, ridding it of all Imperial enemies!
Tier "Early Backer Copy" upwards.
A digital download of the entire Crying Suns' soundtrack full of cool, dark electro beats, made with love, care, and sweat by our talented composer and sound designer.
Tier "Premium Package" upwards.
5 different digital Wallpapers designed by our exacting, talented and weird visual team. All designs will be unveiled once the campaign has ended. Possible design suggestions are welcome!
Tier " Premium Package" upwards.
Access to the Beta of Crying Suns on PC and Mac. Play the very first version of our game and bombard us with your invaluable and discerning thoughts and opinions! Please!
Tier "Beta Access Package" upwards.
A PDF copy of the Crying Suns' art book containing a ton of cool concept work for the game, illustrations, and sprite sheets made by our visual team. So much cool art work was made that it would have taken two more games just to fit it all in there!
Tier "Digital Art Package" upwards.
A copy of the Crying Suns' art book containing the same as the above. But you can actually hold this one, A5 format, in your hands! Even better!
Tier "Physical Art Package" upwards.
Who hasn't always wanted to name a star? Well, now's your chance to name one in Crying Suns! This star has a chance to pop-up each time you or anybody else, anywhere, anytime, explores a star cluster in the game. How cool is that?
Of course, submitted names must be appropriate and thematically relevant. Like, you can't name the star "Ringo," even though that's a mildly clever thing to do. But maybe "Ringolon." ...Maybe not.
Tier "Name a Star Package" upward.
Name one of the civilian ships in the game! It could be a ship of murderous convicts; a ship of oppressed peoples on their way to a new planet; a ship full of radioactive civilians who really need a drink of water. The point is, you get to decide what that ship is called! This ship has a chance to appear any time anyone in the world plays the game.
Submitted names must be appropriate and thematically relevant. For example, you can't call your ship "The Rick" or "The Tom". I mean, you could, but you'd have to build your own real life space ship first. You can call that ship whatever you want!
Tier "Name a Ship Package" upwards.
In our game, you're gonna meet a lot of people in the fallen Galactic Empire. Some are going to be good, decent folk. Some are going to be the worst, most hideous creatures you've ever encountered. We're giving you a chance to name one of them! Every time anyone, anywhere in the world boots up Crying Suns, they have a chance to meet and interact with your character. Who knows, maybe your character will kill thousands of players all over the world. Amazing, right?!
Names submitted must be appropriate and thematically relevant. For example, you can't name your character "Rick" or "Tom." (No offense to all the Ricks and Toms out there.) But you can name it something like "Magu" or "Maab" or "Movar." You can give your next child one of those names too.
Tier "Name a NPC package" upwards.
I do believe this is what everybody lives for, right? The chance to make yourself into a video game character? Send us a picture of yourself, fully-clothed please, and we'll create a playable Hero in your likeness! Bonus: you can also -- if it's thematically appropriate -- name him or her!
This hero could pop-up anytime anyone plays the game no matter where they are in the world! This character, your character, no, YOU, could help save The NS Odysseus, maybe even The Empire, maybe even ALL of humankind! You could be the savior of the human race we've all been waiting for! Come on! What are you waiting for?! We need you!!!
Tier "You're a Hero Package".
Crying Suns is being developed by Alt Shift, an indie game studio located in Montpellier, in the sunny south of France. 11 persons have been working on Crying Suns. 11 eclectic profiles and strong personalities gathered by, among other things, the will to create high-quality video games.
We came up with the idea for Crying Suns in the summer of 2015. Since then it has grown into a very wide and deep creative project: more than 300 pages of background story, events and dialogues, numerous character factions and sub-factions, etc.
Limited by our independent studio means, we had to make some drastic choices (dropping a few character factions or costly features like additional cutscenes) to make this game a reality.
However, with your help, we can bring Crying Suns to another level of quality and depth, closer to our original crazy ideas.
The idea of this Kickstarter campaign is to allow you to contribute to this creative project by giving us your feedback on the early versions of the game. Some of you might even wish to get your names and faces into the game as a playable lieutenant!
Risks and challenges
As an indie studio, taking creative risks is part of our life. And Crying Suns is one of these risky projects for us, as we've already invested more than two years of work, involving 11 different people, and many nights of writing, drawing, coding, coffee drinking...not without stress. But in the end, whatever the risks, we're making this game because we strongly believe in it and we want to share it with you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!