$25.00 pledged of $60,000 goal
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By Anthony Ferguson
$25.00 pledged of $60,000 goal
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About this project

I am trying to make this goal of mine a reality, and it starts with this. 

The main focus of this game can be divided into two concepts. The first is that I played several free-to-play games that looked good, were fun, and passed the time, but at a certain point, it became impractical to keep playing unless I started to spend money. I'm sure many of you have had similar events. Pay to ignore this artificial delay, pay to receive more of this exclusive in-game currency, that for some reason is becoming harder and harder to acquire, etc. This game will be 100% available to anyone on launch day for free, with all content available. No one will be able to purchase any gear, equipment, or gold for real cash, and all gold in game will be the same acquisition method and frequency for everyone.

How will I as a developer/studio make a living if everything is free? The answer to this is I hope an alternative to the pay-to-win formula that is becoming more and more prevalent. Depending on the state and/or country you live in, you can enter a tournament for a cash prize. The amount depends upon the number of contestants and the cost of entering. If a small tournament is run with ten contestants paying $1 each, the total proceeds would be $10, with $5 going to the developer/studio and the other $5 being the prize for the winner. If there were 10 contestants paying $5 each, then the split would be the same, $25/$25.

The other concept is the game itself. A turn-based, tactical combat game in an arena type setting. Think of a Roman Colosseum. It will take place in a digital setting to facilitate the concept of respawning and acquiring gear and skills without having to leave the arena. It started in a fantasy type RPG setting, but I was having issues with continuity explaining how a character was supposed to go and buy this new weapon from the store without leaving. So the digital arena may very well still be a fantasy RPG local, or a scyscraper rooftop, or an active volcano, and not have to be explained as to how that's possible.

There will be weapons and armor that will incrementally get better for exponentially more cost, so a decision will have to be made; do I skip this upgrade in the hopes that the gold I'm saving will help me reach the NEXT upgrade quicker, or will buying this upgrade help me acquire more gold quicker....

There will be personal quests you can decide to undertake. Challenges to accomplish in a certain number of turns. You can take a quest in secret, and the rewards will be minimal, but if you declare you are questing the rewards increase. If you not only declare you're questing, but what goal you are trying to accomplish, then the rewards will be much greater, as others should be trying to actively thwart you. You can also select how many turns you will accomplish your goal in. Shortening the timetable will usually increase the rewards as well, for example collecting 30 gold in five turns will be a greater reward than collecting 30 gold in twenty turns. Also, the quests will have a penalty upon failure, so as to add incentive to others to try and stop you.

This game will also be one that you only play in very short bursts. You will take your turn, and then when it is your turn again, you'll be notified however you decided to be notified. (text, e-mail, etc. Similar to Frozen Synapse.) You'll have a certain amount of time to take your turn, or you'll resort to a default action. (resting and regaining a small amount of hit points.) I imagine there will be different demands for quicker or slower games, and all of that will be chosen when you enter the arena proper.

The draw for this will be the tournament prizes, the free to play aspect, the promise of better and better upgrades, the bragging rights of being one of the best players out there, and the fact that this game is not vying for front and center attention. 

Please, ask me any questions you may have, and I'll do my best to answer satisfactorily. 

Various Coding Samples
Various Coding Samples

 

 

My To-Do/Done list.
My To-Do/Done list.

 

Arena, plus my other data on my other games.
Arena, plus my other data on my other games.

 

Risks and challenges

I think the biggest risk that needs to be addressed is my background. I have very little experience programming. I wanted to start this project a few years ago, but one of the rules of Kickstarter was that if any programming was to be done on a project, the person doing the fundraising had to do the majority of the programming. No farming out allowed. At the time I had almost zero experience, and could not legitimately start the project on Kickstarter. Since then, I have been using the free version of GameMaker: Studio to learn and have learned. The most basic way to use GameMaker is by essentially putting blocks of pre-coded code together like legos, and I started doing that and learning the code the legos were using, slowly replacing all pre-made blocks with actual lines of code. I've now got about 90,000 lines of code written, some of which is cut and pasted, but all written by me. I'm sure if I showed it to an experienced programmer they'd chuckle and pat my head, but I did it myself and it functions. I have finally acquired the professional version of GameMaker: Studio and can now finish making my game. There was a limit to the number of objects a project could have in the free version, and I hit that limit last year. The point is that NOW I can say legitimately that I CAN do the majority of the programming myself, and just hire someone to help fix issues I might have, or help with things I might struggle with. An on-call programmer, if you will. Also to my credit, I believe, is that this game and a few more in my portfolio have been play-tested for more than a year on paper.
I had a handful of dedicated (too dedicated sometimes, being impatient for me to finish the current turns manually....) players that really enjoyed the slow paced combat. It gave them time to plan their epic paths through the other players, and visualize their goals, only to be thwarted when some unexpected contestant turned on them for no reason. ( that they could discern, anyway)
I have several folders of turns, equipment, quests, skills, and data from combat saved to reference for creation and balancing issues. I am hoping this succeeds and that I succeed in making something somewhat successful. Something successful enough that I can be proud to use as an example when I want to create my NEXT game. Most of what I have that I still want to do have some point to them, some message I want to emphasize, and then I have some that are at their very core, simply games.

This Kickstarter campaign is to create this game, and in a realistically quick manner. One of the things detracting me from coding (other than money) is the time spent on supporting my life in the meantime. If this succeeds, I can put this project on the front burner and not have to worry about where I am going to sleep, or if my bills will be paid. I am NOT trying for a free ride here, folks. I am trying to do what has been a long-time desire to do, create games. I wanted to attend Digipen, a programming college in Washington when I was 17, and I'm 37 now. It's been a long time coming, and I think the time is now.
One final word as a just in case... This is a timetable based on me putting the majority of my time into creating this. If there isn't enough support to fund this, but enough to show interest, I will re-post it with a smaller goal and the understanding that it will take much longer as I'll still have to work a main job to pay the bills.

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Funding period

- (14 days)