About this project
A spiritual successor to the old-school hardcore RPG/Dungeon Crawler masterpieces, combining a tactical combat system and exploring in first person view.
Since you evoked Betrayal at Krondor as the first game in your list of "inspirations", I simply HAD to come in and say I hope you have as much fun making it as I did in making BAK all those years ago (well me, along with John Cutter and the best development team I ever worked with). I'd love to see some of our fire back in the gaming world again. Best wishes,
Neal Hallford - Lead Writer and Co-Designer for "Betrayal at Krondor"
Wanna play the game? Download the tech demo v0.02 for Dungeons of Aledorn:
- (65K) Ring of Legend - All backers who are getting a copy of the game will also receive a Kickstarter exclusive ring that provides them with 5% extra experience. Show everyone that you believe in Dungeons of Aledorn!
- (70K) You can make your own magical items! - Players will be able to interact with magically-active NPCs to enchant their items greatly improving their effectiveness.
- (75K) Localization- Extra languages will include Spanish, French or German.
- (80K) Extra Races - How would you like to have 2 more extra races (half-giant and fairy) for the game? If we make it here, the total number of races will go up!
- (85K) Soul gem enchanting - Collect ingredients and other items in order to enchant objects in your inventory, allowing you to tailor your experience to your particular playing style.
- (90K) More side quests - We will add several extra side quests which will in turn increase the size of the game.
- (100K) Fully voice acted narrator - The game will include a fully voice acted narrator who will help to immerse players in the world of DoA.
Dungeons of Aledorn (DoA) is an RPG game that brings back several time-tested principles of the classics into a single fantasy release. DoA is being created by and for hardcore gamers who appreciate games with a high challenge level.
As we were deciding what kind of game DoA should be, we searched for inspiration in the classics of this nowadays rare game genre. We turned to the best of the best - Betrayal at Krondor, Realms of Arcania: Shadows over Riva, Might & Magic, King's Bounty and the Fallout series. In addition, our game bears many features similar to the popular pen & paper RPGs based on the D&D, Gurps and DrD (Czech equivalent of D&D) rules.
DoA players can expect a balanced combination of puzzles, branched dialogs options, tactical turn-based combat, quest-solving and last but not least an intriguing and complex RPG-system.
For DoA, maximum emphasis is placed on realism (in a fantasy setting). Ideally, we would like to allow our players to do every logical thing they can think of, and we stick to this premise, especially in the case of combat encounters. Player should always have a wide selection of combat actions to choose from, but, at the same time there are usually a few optimal choices for each combat situation. This fact adds a significant amount of importance to every decision you make. We try to avoid unnecessary frustration caused by system restrictions - we rather challenge our players to come up with a solid solution plan from the vast options at their disposal.
Intentional stalling of combat or its end (as a means to regenerate hit points/mana, pick up treasures, etc.) has no place in our game, because we find it is contradictory to common sense and a poor mechanic to substitute low difficulty or shallow and unbalanced combat systems.
Our next step towards realism is DoA's genuine character injury distribution system. Most RPG games use a hit-points system, where every enemy's successful hit leads to lowering your HP value until it reaches zero, thus inevitably resulting in a character's death/incapacitation. We, as developers with some actual fighting experience, tend to stick to a bit more realistic approach.
Each character will only have a few hit points, but each one´s loss comes with consequences and will be difficult to regain back. To display in combat how the character fares we've implemented a stamina points system in our game. The loss of stamina points doesn´t correspond to the actually received damage, but rather to the difficulty of effort to evade oncoming attacks and their effect. The characters will be wounded (lose HP) only when they get tired and too weak (lose SPs) to evade the next attack.
DoA will offer vast equipment customization options for each of the player's characters. The amount of equipment slots varies. Many slots will appear only after you equip an appropriate item. For example, in the wrist slot you may place a magical armband to gain some extra stats, or a dagger sheath which adds three slots for additional daggers and enables swapping them during combat at a lowered action point cost. Some items may improve character´s stats or enable executing of item-based specific actions.
Management of such an enormous inventory might prove to be too challenging even for some hard-core gamers. Luckily, there´s a distinctive difficulty setting feature implemented into our game in order to relieve more casual players of such unwanted burdens.
Quests in DoA will keep players engaged. You´ll hardly find any "auto-completion" quest in our game. That said, there´s no way avoiding the good old classics such as "go and kill" quests. But In DoA "go" usually stands for: "explore, gather information, solve various mini-games" and eventually even the "kill" part may be surprisingly not as black and white as one would've expected. Especially cunning players may finish many quests even without spilling a single drop of blood!
The main story quest will be mostly linear with several parts where you have to make important plot decisions. These key-moment decisions will have visible consequences and thus will affect general gameplay.
We also plan to implement an "active achievements" feature. They work like classic achievements, but, unlike them, "active achievements" directly affect your gameplay. One example: Players may gamble in a dice throwing mini-game in every tavern in DoA. As you surely know, dices are based heavily on luck. If the player wins in various taverns throughout the known world, he´ll get an achievement called "Lucky" which slightly improves the critical hit strike chance for his party. These achievements are completely optional and won't be necessary to accomplish in order to finish the game. That applies especially for the lower difficulty levels, which will be discussed later on.
Free choice of party members
It's up to the player to decide whether he just wants to stick with our recommended group or if he'd rather try to adjust all the characters more to his liking. There are some restrictions to the group-creation system, but these will not lead to a lack of reasonable and interesting character combinations. You may choose between six classes and seven races.
Unique racial traits and class skills
Every race has its specific trait that distinguishes the chosen one from the others, making each race unique. Naturally, the same may be said about the classes. Classes are defined by a set of skills at their disposal. Each class offers several general skills that are common to more classes and a few class-specific ones to keep things fresh.
Character class progression
Each character class in DoA may reach a higher class level after fulfilling its advancement quest. These must be first discovered and will be more demanding than most of other side quests. There are two different advancement paths for every class. Both enable you to specialize your character in a specific manner. For example, a warrior class may become a high damage dealing berserker or a more defense-oriented knight.
Exploration will take place from a first person view. Player will discover and interact with all the active game objects (traps, secret passages, containers, NPCs, etc.) solely in this GUI. If the game detects a hostile presence in the vicinity of the group, it will automatically switch to an isometric view and a bird´s eye perspective. Our game has a built-in feature, which sets the battleground at the actual location of your group at the beginning of each combat. There’s no limit to the amount of prefab maps for each game area - our game throws you into combat at the exact same spot you were at just before the combat commenced. Therefore, the choice of a suitable battlefield is very important and adds an interesting strategy element to DoA..
Attributes skills and perk system
We decided to go with the classic "holy-five" attributes: strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence and charisma. The charisma attribute plays an equally important role among all the other attributes.
On top of that, you can choose from a total of 36 skills that grow in strength together with your character and also gain additional new effects, further expanding their possible usefulness.
Leveling-up works in DoA in four different ways. Automatic raise of secondary attributes (calculated from the primary attribute values), investment of skill points into new or already known skills, improvement of primary attributes, and, eventually choosing of new perks..
You may give various assignments to your party members during the camping in the open via a complex (but easy to use) time management schedule. Your characters may, for example, meditate, hunt, cook, repair and tinker, collect plants and mushrooms, brew potions, stand guard, etc. (oh, and sleeping might sometimes be quite a good idea). If you're not interested in this kind of stuff, you may simply avoid this detailed management by setting a lower difficulty level or using the automatic camping function.
Travelling between Aledorn's locations will make the most of the mini-map of the known world. Prepare yourself for numerous random encounters during your travels, ranging from ambushes to meeting travelling merchants to running into quest NPCs… and finding hidden locations! We wanted to avoid filling the game with "empty open-world filler" areas between the important locations as an excuse to increase the games “size.” This way you’ll be able to quickly travel between locations.
What kind of an RPG would DoA be without hundreds of NPCs to interact with?
Many of them will gladly talk with your party members. You can expect widely branching conversations and your options will vary according to the skills and attributes of your adventurers. Successful skill checks will provide you with various benefiting effects as well. In some cases, you might even gain otherwise inaccessible advantages or discover secret side-quest assignments.
At the same time, we don't want to overwhelm our players with tons of never-ending senseless blabbering. Secondary NPCs will respond mostly with a single or two cycled sentences. Some NPCs will gladly play one of our mini-games with your group, and gaining money isn't necessarily the only motivation to do so...
Multiple ways to complete quests
Some in-game quests will have more than one solution, and their outcome will be also reflected in the game. For example, your party will become outlaws within one specific quest and your actions in this situation will determine one whole side-quest line in the future. It´s not possible to implement similar consequences in all our quests, but we´re trying hard to make as many of them as possible, because they definitely make the game feel like a living fantasy world.
Switching from exploration to battle mode
There are two ways to enter a battle encounter. You may initiate the battle yourself (which is not always an option!) or when you get too close to the enemy. We have implemented a "danger meter" to the exploration GUI to show the risk of a combat encounter. Said metter fills with every approaching enemy and the encounter starts when it is full. It´s a sort of warning mechanic that allows you to run away from enemies if you don´t feel like fighting them at a specific moment.
Splitting the group
Some quests will require to temporarily split your party into smaller groups. You get to choose who goes into each smaller group, then taking sub-turns to control each separate sub-group. There are three possible scenarios during battles under this setting. If the inactive group stands close at hand, its members will automatically enter the fight at its start. If they stand a bit further and you decide to call them for help, the game will determine how many turns it will take for them to come to aid you. And if you went too far from the others, then you have to manage on your own and can't call them to your side.
Complex turn-based combat system
This is the alpha and omega of our game features. The combat system of DoA strives to get as close to reality as possible. It will allow you to interact with your surroundings within the limits of a real world’s logic. No, there won't be any barrels stuffed with explosives aboard ships. But you may still set things on fire by using oil, climb on/over many game objects or get cover behind to gain some bonus protection.
Another interesting aspect of DoA is its diverse A.I. for enemy combatants. Our A.I. doesn't only reflect the type of character to whom it is assigned, but it also continuously evaluates general development of current combat and appropriately changes its behavior.
Example: You get ambushed by a group of goblins under the command of a terrifying shaman. As long as he lives, their actions will be well organized (e.g. archers taking cover behind their shield bearers, targeting weaker and injured party members, etc.). Kill the shaman and the A.I. suddenly gets more random or, simply said, "more stupid."
At the same time, don't expect your warrior to live long (no matter how experienced he actually is) if he just blindly charges at the shaman and gets outnumbered by his followers. Each combat decision should be well premeditated since our game severely punishes every mistake. But don´t be too afraid - actual death of your DoA characters doesn´t usually come as long as there's still at least one party member standing on his feet.
Magic in DoA
DoA is a fantasy game so it isn’t a surprised to see there are also magic-wielding characters and alchemists present. DoA's magic system is definitely pretty classic. You know the spell, it costs you some mana to cast and, eventually (in case of a combat situation), also a few action points. Then you have to pass a skill check that compares your knowledge of the corresponding magic school and the spell's difficulty.
Unique to our game is the possibility to decide how much mana should be spent during your spell casting. This way you may increase the spell casting chance (or decrease it in order to conserve mana for later use) or increase their effectiveness. This system makes many basic spells still useful even at the higher character's levels. Five fire-darts are sometimes more than a single fireball.
The alchemy skill in DoA is separated into three branches - poisons, potions and explosives. Each one of these skills is independent from the others and must be improved separately. Furthermore, it´s vital to learn new recipes and to be able to identify alchemy resources - that´s when the so called "knowledge skills" are a must. These are sub-skills of alchemy and they also come in a group of three: botanics, anatomy and geology.
Knowledge skills allow you to find more powerful ingredients needed for advanced alchemy recipes. These ingredients may be found during your explorations, as a bonus from the above mentioned camping activities or even as you move from one location to another.
The last feature of our game is probably essential for many among you. We find most of the modern games are too mainstream-oriented. DoA's difficulty options are an answer to the hardcore community's plea for a real and reasonable challenge while at the same time allowing casual gamers to try out our game without encountering too many stressing situations in the process. Higher difficulty settings won´t necessarily mean tougher enemies (rather an increase of their numbers => more experience). They also enable more of the already mentioned optional features.
We’re currently creating DoA using Unity 4, but once we’re funded we’ll be able to push this to the limit and move to Unity 5… and you can imagine how that would improve DoA! Unity 4 is a great engine, but the changes and optimization in Unity 5 will allow us to make every single day in development count, giving you an even better game to enjoy!
We have access to a motion capture studio thanks to SPAFI. Thanks to this technology, we can create our own animations in order to tailor them to specific situations. For example: arguing NPC, special attack maneuvers in battle, etc. This will make a huge difference for the final product since it will feel as a unique experience.
What is your goal in DoA? Is it to save the world? No, don't be silly... Or maybe it's about saving a kingdom? No, but you're getting closer. Do we have to save a county? Yes, exactly!
Your almost peaceful life as a wandering adventurer with a mild alcohol issue will come to a sudden end with the arrival of a foreign messenger. He informs you about your half-noble family roots as you happen to be a bastard of the count Aledorn III. Your cheerful thoughts of a never-ending source of money for your drinking excesses are soon taken away by bad tidings from your newly-found homeland.
The realm of DoA is stricken by war. It is a harsh time when deserters and cowards plunder, destroy, prey upon the weak and even kill on a whim. It is a world that desperately needs a group of heroes to save the day.
The game takes place in a group of smaller islands close to a single, larger one in the center. The heroes know only two of them at the very beginning of their journey - the smaller Sandebar's island and the central one bearing the name of Nirma. Others may be discovered only after some progression in the main story plot.
We wanted to talk a bit about the expanded universe that goes beyond what we'll first present for Book I of Dungeons of Aledorn. Establishing the Dungeons of Aledorn universe in Book I will allow us to continue the storyline past the end of Save Aledorn's County. We already have a general idea of where we want to take things for Book II and III but, as is always the case with game development, things can change and evolve as we go.
For BOOK II: Legend of the Bone Dragon, an undead horde invades the land and starts to destroy everything on its path as they increase their ranks by killing every human they find.
BOOK III: Curse of the Moon tells the story of a terrible disease that quickly spreads throughout the county and transforms its victims into unforgiving lycanthropes.
Additional digital copy of the game at $15
Limited Edition T-shirt at $30
Diorama at $99
Physical Art Book at $150
Orc beastmaster at $270 (Shipping included)
For our KS we joined forces with PR Hound, indie gaming gurus who have worked on projects like MyDream, InSomia, Warlocks, Planets³ and Animal Gods. They know how to make the most out of a Kickstarter campaign and helped to get us a ton of media coverage as well!
Risks and challenges
For video game development, properly planning for everything and anything is a must. We’re hard at work on DoA, and have spent months already planning for this Kickstarter campaign, establishing the schedules and deadlines needed for us to complete DoA once we’re funded.
Everyone working on DoA is very passionate about the project, and will give it their best to make sure that the final product is exactly what backers expect from a quality game they’ve helped create.
The only possible risk we can consider, as is the case with all game development, is a potential delay on the release for the game. We’ll do our best to avoid this, but in case we do end up delaying the release you can rest assured that it would only be in order to polish the game as much as possible so that it can live to the high standards we set for our products, because that is what our backers deserve.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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