We made it! Thanks to all of our backers for your support.
wanted to play a tabletop roleplaying game or an MMO with friends but
had trouble finding the time? We sure have. Work, school, family, even
other hobbies: they all make it difficult to schedule hours-long
regular gaming sessions.
Since the alternatives we've tried are either clunky or lack the depth we're looking for, we decided to create an online multiplayer game that captured the experience of a tabletop RPG but didn't force you to schedule your life around it. A game that would let you play for as long or short a time as you like, from any web-capable device, without sacrificing story or gameplay.
We've designed Conclave to have all our favorite aspects of multiplayer roleplaying games:
- Customizable character archetypes with distinct playstyles
- Party-based cooperative play
- Tactical turn-based combat
- Group decision-making with real and varied consequences
- A compelling story in an original, fully-realized fantasy world
- A great aesthetic
At the same time, we've used technology to eliminate many of the hurdles and be respectful of your time:
- Seamlessly transition between synchronous and asynchronous play: If you're online at the same time as other players in your party, you can take turns in realtime; if not, you can take turns whenever you have a free moment, Words With Friends-style.
- Review what happened at any point in time: We save every action taken in the game on our servers so that you can catch up easily if you're away for a bit. You can also review past events for hints on how to tackle current challenges.
- Easy party formation and communication: Invite your friends or visit the Adventurers Hall to find other players. Each party has a persistent and private in-game chat, and the game will email updates when you're playing asynchronously.
Of course we've introduced some twists of our own, too. These include:
- Party voting: When your group faces a decision about how to approach a challenge, each player has a say.
- Renown: Characters receive Renown in addition to gaining levels as they complete quests. The greater your Renown, the better the items that Conclave's powers-that-be will let you select from their Vault of Arms. And unlike a gold-based shop, you can freely swap out equipment without losing anything in the exchange.
- No turn order: As a group, you don't have to take your turns in a particular order; each of you can act whenever it's convenient (or strategic!) to do so.
You can see all these features in the beta version of the game, which you can try for yourself at playconclave.com.
All the quests in Conclave are part of a single campaign, which includes both the main story and a variety of side quests. Parties can have up to 4 players, and challenges are scaled for either smaller (1-2 player) or larger (3-4 player) parties. You don't need to complete the entire campaign with the same party, and you can join or drop from one at any time. (Every quest can be played solo as well; having a party just adds to the fun!)
In addition, only one member of your party needs to have the campaign for your whole party to play it. In other words, if you pledge at any tier that unlocks the campaign -- that's Vanguard and above -- up to three other players can play it with you. They won't be able to lead their own parties, play solo, or receive the other rewards of a full license if they don't pledge, however.
For centuries the world of Orn has endured the Age of Retreat. The once-great civilizations of the five races known collectively as the Kin have fallen one by one: some to heretical magics long thought extinguished, others to Wilderkin marauders of unnatural strength and cunning, and a few to betrayal from within. Every year the wilds seem to encroach upon the boundary of civilization a little more.
Now the remnants of the Kin have withdrawn to their last refuge, a land overlooked by their enemies and protected by the mysterious Aegis. Forming an uneasy alliance as the Conclave, here they marshal their weapons, lore, and magics in the hope of turning back the Retreat.
The Races of the Kin
Nimble and gregarious, the nix change little as they age and are so pale that they're said to have one foot in the spirit world.
The strong-willed and urbane lumyn come in two forms: moon folk and sun folk. The markings on their skin shift with their moods.
Broad-shouldered and stoic, the forgeborn are known both for their craft at arms and for introducing Runecasting to the Kin.
The tall, hardy trow prefer the forests and mountains of the Conclave to its cities. Though they seek harmony in nature, they are fierce when threatened.
The mezoar are natural chameleons, with scales that change color to match their surroundings. They are very perceptive, a trait attributed to the vestige of a third eye above their brows.
- Beacon: A natural leader, the Beacon inspires allies while striking foes from just beyond their reach.
- Rogue: Sword and dagger in hand, the Rogue uses the chaos of the battlefield to sneak up on targets and strike.
- True Bow: Guided by True Sight, the True Bow knows where a target will be before it does.
- Runecaster: Master of the Runecasting Tradition, the Runecaster understands the fundamental language of magic and uses it to deadly effect.
- Vanguard: Master of the mace and shield, the heavily armed and armored Vanguard strides to the front line, cutting a swath through all who stand in the way.
We first started working on Conclave nearly three years ago, but as the saying goes, it's the last 10% that's the hardest. Up to this point our funding has come from our own pockets and from a few friends and family; we've completed everything mentioned above by being thrifty, but we need your backing to finish the features that will really make it sing. Here's what the $75,000 we're asking for will fund between now and February:
- At least 25 quests for the campaign: We've created beta versions of 13 quests and plan to expand those and add at least 12 more. This will enable characters to advance to level 10 and let us tell much more of the story of Conclave's world.
- Better graphics: We already have some wonderful character and battlemap art, but we'd like to add more animations, especially in combat. We also plan to improve the look of the user interface.
- Improved party voting: We'd like to streamline the interface and add more significant and more varied consequences for your choices than are present in the beta.
- Discoverable items: Characters can already select from dozens of items in the Vault of Arms. We'd like to expand the variety of items and allow special ones to be discovered during quests.
- More character customization: Conclave lets you select your race, archetype, gender, portrait, and equipment. We also want to let you have more say in how your stats change and which special abilities you receive when you gain a level.
- Speedier performance: We've got some server-side improvements planned that will make the game even more responsive.
- Music: Sam Hulick of Mass Effect fame has already composed an amazing main track for us, titled "Turn of the Age". You heard part of it in the video; now here's the whole track:
We - and he - would sure love it if we were able to pay him to produce the complete Conclave soundtrack.
We're offering a variety of rewards at different levels, but here's the first one you should be aware of: anyone who backs us for $10 or more gets the entire campaign of quests. We’re bucking the free-to-play trend with a simple, old-school model: pay once, get everything. No need to pay extra for healing potions or to unlock special races and classes; no subscriptions or time limits, either. We think Conclave will be worth more than $10 when it's finished, but we want to reward those of you willing to support us now.
Some rewards merit more explanation than we could fit into the sidebar. (If you haven't looked at that sidebar, please do that now!)
If you choose the Guildmaster tier ($40), you'll have the option of creating your own guild within Conclave. As a guild owner, you'll be able to name it, associate a unique insignia with it, and decide who can join up. Guild members will be able to use their own guildhouse with a private chat area, and will be marked as part of your guild in all public areas. Just as with party chat, guild chat will persist from visit to visit, so you'll be able to read messages from other guild members even if they are not online at the same time as you. You'll also be able to see whenever another member of your guild is online, and forming parties with other guildmembers will be a snap. We have other plans for guilds down the road too, including some inter-guild competitions.
The Spireguard tier ($50) earns you every expansion we add to Conclave, ever. That includes not only any expansion content earned through stretch goals, but also additional content we add down the road. Please note that it does not grant you four Vanguard-style Conclave licenses as well. (Sorry for any confusion there; we are working with Kickstarter to let us edit the Spireguard text to be clearer about its relationship to other reward levels.)
As a Councilor ($100), you join the select group of people with whom we'll consult regularly as we expand the game: the Conclave Inner Council. Whether it's new features or new content, you'll get previews first, and get to playtest the latest-and-greatest before it gets released publicly. More broadly, you'll be helping to shape the direction Conclave takes.
The Runesmith tier ($200) earns you a chance to name a character, place, or artifact within the Conclave world. This is a character players will meet, a place they'll visit, or an artifact they'll wield. We take the integrity of Conclave's story and flavor seriously, so please understand that problematic names will get rejected. (You'll still have the chance to provide an alternative.)
At the Alchemist tier ($500), you can select one of these original paintings, done by Chris Rahn, to be your very own:
Most of the paintings are 5"x5"; the first two are exceptions, at 4"x4". Painting choice is on a first come, first served basis; when you pledge, please indicate the painting you want. Contact us if you would like more detail on the paintings, including higher resolution images.
If you pledge at the Spiritcrafter tier ($1000), Chris will paint a unique portrait that you, and only you, can use within the game. You'll also receive the original artwork to hang in your home. This will be a 5"x5" portrait of the same quality as the ones depicted above. 10x10 Room will retain the digital rights to the portrait.
This is an example of Chris's work in progress. We'll work with you to describe the character you have in mind to Chris, and make sure your vision becomes a reality.
Should you be so awesome as to pledge at the Eidolon tier ($5000), we'll fly you out to either Miami or Boston -- your choice -- and put you up in a nice hotel for the day. (Nick lives in Miami, Derek in Boston.) We'll meet up with you there, show you the sights, enjoy some grub. When you're ready, we'll sit down with you and sketch out the Conclave quest of your dreams. Perhaps you want explore the Pillars of the Eidolons or battle the Heresiarch in the frozen wastes of Charn; maybe you wish to adventure in the Dreaming, or test the heroes with the temptations of Heresy. Whatever you imagine, we'll work with you to make it fit Conclave's world and add it to the game (subject to the constraints of the game engine). Your ideas will be immortalized in Conclave's story!
Finally, we'd like to recognize the backers at all tiers who do the most to spread the word about Conclave (without spamming, of course). If you write a review, do a podcast, or otherwise share the game with a wider audience, let us know. We might grant you a special in-game Herald honor.
If we surpass our initial goal, there's a lot more we'll do:
All players -- anyone who pledges at the Vanguard tier ($10) and up -- will have access to any additional archetypes we develop. Anyone who pledges at the Spireguard tier ($50) and up will receive any expansion quests and Exploration Mode on top of all other rewards.
10x10 Room is made up of two full-time designer/developers, but we have help from a number of other sources to create Conclave.
Introduced to Dungeons & Dragons at age 6, Nick Branstator ate up the experience and never looked back. Teenage success getting published by the Car Wars game was his first hint that game creation could become a profession. From 1996 to 2010, Nick worked in the web industry, serving as Co-Director of one of Lycos’s business units, then taking on the Chief Technical Officer and Chief Operating Officer roles for VoodooVox, and Director of Product Marketing for Scrapblog. A job offer to be a game developer at Wizards of the Coast nearly stole him away from the internet world in 2005, and set the wheels in motion for his transition to full-time web game development as part of 10x10 Room. Nick also has a card game, NIMBY, currently slated for publishing in 2013 by Cambridge Games Factory.
Derek Bruneau began developing homebrew video games when he was 13. His early creations included an original text adventure called The Druid for the Commodore 64 and a clone of the classic game Wizardry for the Apple IIe. In college he studied creative writing, history, and math while designing and illustrating adventures for weekly tabletop RPG sessions with friends. Before making game development his full-time job, he spent several years as a Senior Director of software development and design teams at the web companies Tripod and Lycos. At 10x10 Room he enjoys drawing upon his varied expertise in game development, software engineering, and UI design all at once.
Besides Nick and Derek, here are the three other people whose work you'll most notice in Conclave:
Sam Hulick is a BAFTA award nominated and multiple award-winning composer, best known for creating the signature music for BioWare’s epic sci-fi franchise MASS EFFECT and the dramatic score for Tripwire Interactive’s groundbreaking RED ORCHESTRA 2: HEROES OF STALINGRAD. With a penchant for injecting powerful emotions and memorable themes, Sam’s original scores range from sweeping sci-fi and orchestral bombast to fantasy landscapes.
Christopher Rahn was born in San Francisco and raised in eastern Washington state. From an early age he was encouraged to pursue his interest in drawing and painting the strange and impossible. At the age of seventeen he returned to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art where he earned his BFA in Illustration and studied under such titans of illustration as Kazu Sano, Chuck Pyle and Stephen Player. Since leaving school Chris has worked with a wide variety of clients including Wizards of the Coast, Discovery Channel Magazine and the Village Voice, and has had work exhibited at the New York Society of Illustrators.
Devin Night has been a gamer for close to 30 years. After attending the Columbus College of Art and Design, he began doing freelance work, coming to focus on token illustrations for roleplaying games. Some of his clients include Rite Publishing, Level 99 Games, En World Publishing, Table Top Forge, Headless Hydra Games, Profantasy, and Gamewick Games.
We've also received contributions and advice from many other folks, most notably Justin Houk and Samantha Natalie.
Thanks for the taking the time to look at our Kickstarter. We welcome all feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you decide to contribute, we'll do our best to make Conclave a game you can feel proud of backing.
- (30 days)