Grimlands: the innovative mix of Shooter and MMORPG with an open, post-apocalyptic world, incredible crafting & free skill development. Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on April 22, 2013.
About this project
Don't forget to check out the updates to the project. We just announced a Linux and Mac version and released the second Making Of video. We have also posted a clarification (and beefed up rewards) on Premium Accounts and the difference between Free to Play and Subscription servers.
Grimlands presents a different approach to MMOs by combining the fast and fun gameplay of a first&third person shooter with a full scale, sandbox MMORPG that is set in a vast open game world and features a fully player based economy where every item is crafted out of scavenged raw materials. Following the PVE-Quests and engaging in persistant or instanced PVP you develop your character skills free of points, classes or levels. Whether you will band together in clans and fight for key territories or stay a lone wolfe on the side is just one of the decisions you will face.
Watch Making Of: Part 1 (charakter development, world & clans)
Watch Making Of: Part 2 (crafting & vehicles)
Grimlands will offer two kinds of servers: The Free to Play-server with item sales and the subscription server - exclusively to KS backers - that requires a premium account (priced at 9,99USD) but offers increased drop and XP rates but no additional item sales. Best thing is: A premium account also gives you lots of benefits on the Free to Play server, too! (Please note: we increased the free months included but KS does not allow us to change the descriptions of the rewards).
"Grimlands is the MMORPG we always wanted to play", summarizes our Head of Development, Lucjan Mikociak when asked for the aim of our game. "We strive to mix the shooter- and RPG-gameplay inspired by Fallout 3 and Borderlands with the social dynamics and freedom of choice like in Ultima Online." MMORPG.com calls it "an experience that stands out from the crowd" with combat that is "tight, intelligent and always entertaining."
The other important thing is: After more than five years of development Grimlands is almost complete (release in December 2013). Two CBTs have been held and a third one is planned for June. Most of the remaining work is polishing combat, animations and AI. Yet, as our former publisher stopped funding us, we need your help! We borrowed money from friends and family to survive so far, but cannot finish this on our own.
The game starts twenty years after devastating earthquakes lay everything to waste. What remains of humanity is fighting hard for survival. Those cities in the southwest United States that did not crumble in the quakes have been flattened in the bitter struggles for the remaining ressources. In this inhospitable post-apocalyptic scenario there's only one goal for you: survival!
Grimlands comes with interesting, unique and innovative touches to how we approach certain things and below you can find all the details:
No point & click – fast shooter style combat with a cover system and stealth.
Grimlands plays like a shooter with fast, dynamic combat and fast firing weapons. This doesn’t however mean that you need mad aiming skills to be able to play or compete against others since Grimlands employs aim assistance mechanics. If you have a good aim though, you can hit certain body parts for more damage or special bonuses (e.g. making your enemy limb) to gain an advantage.
Besides a variety of different weapon types Grimlands also features a cover system, sneaking and stealth to support different play and combat styles. We give you the tools and you use them like you wish.
Your skills are based on what you do. There are no points, no classes, just a wide variety of choices to develop your character the way you want to. Grimlands does not have classes and skills can be freely combined, allowing for a broad variety of different character builds and dynamic group play. In fact your character naturally develops into the direction that supports the way you want to play because you level the skills you use rather than distributing points. If you shoot with pistols a lot, your Pistol skill and associated combat skills level up – you level simply by doing things often.
We don’t force you to group with other players, instead we make ‘solo’ a viable approach. Even dungeons can be set into ‘solo’ mode. Doing things together is a lot of fun. But sometimes you just want to do things on your own. Not to mention there are quite a few players out there who enjoy soloing most of the content. We have some of those among our team and we designed Grimlands to support that. Be it when you explore the world, quest or venture into one of the 40+ dungeons – you can do it on your own if you choose so by setting them into solo mode. Enemy strength, population, and even the lockpickable optional passages and traps will then be set to a level appropriate for a single player.
No more static fights. No waiting to find a tank or healer via LFG - we got rid of the tank-healer-damage combo. Grimlands got rid of the holy trinity, the combination of tank, healer and damage dealer. Content like dungeons still requires group coordination - but on a different level as every player can heal himself and every player can taunt enemies. When looking for others to join your adventures using the Looking For Group (LFG) system parties will form so much quicker without having to wait for the scarce healer or tank. And the the different group dynamics without the reliance on healer or tanks bring an entirely different gameplay to the table.
Enemies that just stand there or behave like lemmings is something you won’t find in Grimlands. We made enemy AI something to be reckoned with. What you will find are intelligent enemies that roam the world, take cover, change tactics, can build teams to outflank you or pick a good spot to defend and perform coordinated advances. These are only a few of the things the AI in Grimlands is capable of. We oriented our AI on shooters rather than MMORPGs to make fights more interesting and different from encounter to encounter.
Explore the huge post-apocalyptic world on foot or with vehicles. Explore it on your own or let yourself be lead by quests.
The game world of Grimlands is huge, really huge. It is seamless and fully persistent. It is filled with towns (or what’s left of them), crash sites, camps and lots of other interesting locations. It is a world that wants to be explored, especially off the beaten path. Quests will show the key locations – the rest you actually have to explore on your own. Just imagine the potential of abandoned, large factories, toxic areas that caused mutations in flora and fauna, radioactive spots that hold great treasures, but need special gear to access, towns in ruins and abandoned settlements with lots of houses and cellars to scavenge for remnants of the past – a post apocalyptic world like it should be.
Exploring the world of Grimlands will reward you with interesting enemies, cool loot or just a really good spot to scavenge that you will mark on your map and keep a secret.
But even questing alone will keep you occupied. There are single quest givers or entire quest hubs for players who do want to be taken by hand like in mainstream MMORPGs. What is different in Grimlands though, is that completing quests is not part of leveling your character. Bored with questing and just want the sandbox experience? No problem – it will not affect your character in a negative way if you skip that part of the game.
Fully customizable vehicles are used by up to four players for travel and combat. With the huge game world Grimlands offers, you will need a good means of transportation: helicopters for instant travel and vehicles. But be it a pickup, an armored vehicle or an American muscle car, vehicles are so much more than just a means of transportation as they can be used for combat as well. In Grimlands you can modify and visually customize your vehicle with special mods crafted by players to make it suit your needs. Installing more powerful engines, better armoring, trim to make it look cooler or increasing the trunk size are just few of the options at your disposal.
Then there are guns. Mount a gun on your vehicle and turn your cool looking transport into a deadly combat machine that is even multi-user capable. One player drives the vehicle while the other players are mounting the guns. Just imagine the potential in open world PvP.
Crafting, modding and upgrading with almost limitless variety. Define the stats and change appearance of your crafted items. The best gear is crafted by players and not dropped from bosses, giving the ultimate reason for trade in the auction house.
We believe Grimlands has the most extensive crafting system you have ever seen in a MMORPG. Not only is the best gear crafted, but also fully customizable. You craft a rifle, then you craft a scope and a silencer and put both onto the rifle. Not only are your shots now silenced and you get a close up view when using the scope, you actually see both mounted on your weapon. Need more bullets? Craft a larger magazine and mod your weapon with it. Need more accuracy? Craft a high precision barrel. And of course you can color your gear, too, to give it just the right finishing touch on top of all the mods.
And it doesn’t stop there. Another unique thing about crafting in Grimlands is that you define the stats of the items you craft. Depending on your crafting skills and the materials you use you have more or less crafting points available that you can spend to increase the different stats of the item. You can also lower existing stats you deem secondary to gain more points to increase the ones you feel are more important. The result is a very unique item that is tailored to your needs or just valuable to trade.
Not interested in crafting at all? No problem thanks to the player based economy and auction house. Or you just focus on gathering the materials and let someone else craft the gear for you. Not interested in combat much, but would love to be a dedicated crafter? That’s a viable way in Grimlands as well. Exceptional items even bear you name.
On top of designing the stats, better component qualities and mods, there is even one more step to improve your weapons and armors: item upgrades. Special NPCs will, for a considerable fee, improve your items even further increasing their stats and even add new ones – if they succeed. It is risky and difficult, but legendary items do not drop from bosses in Grimlands, it’s all in the player’s hands.
By now you might think Grimlands is all about PvE. But you would be wrong. Grimlands aims to deliver content for both interest groups, PvE and PvP alike and comes with an extensive feature set beginning with open world PvP, duel over PvP areas up to clan wars and territorial PvP.
We simply can’t imagine a sandbox without PvP in the open world. And we want it to be widespread so we put in incentives for players to participate. One example would be a significant XP bonus that increases the longer you are flagged for PvP - increasing XP from PvP over PvE and even crafting.
Duels are there to give you a quick and safe first taste of how PvP feels like or allow you to boast to others how many duels you have won when they inspect you.
PvP Areas are special, large locations in the open world where PvP is enforced upon entering. Players are rewarded with higher loot and better scavenging opportunities in those areas as reward for taking the risk of PvP.
Clans can declare war on each other and members of these clans can engage in combat regardless their PvP status. They fight for server-wide glory and the war chests associated with clan wars. Combat engagements are allowed anywhere in the game world except so-called sanctuaries, areas in which combat is prohibited.
Territorial PvP is the biggie in Grimlands. Clans can take control of more than 20 locations in the game world to gain clan-wide bonuses, control the area and show their strength to everyone. These locations belong to the clan and are clearly marked as such for everyone to see, even on the map. Well, until another clan engages them and wins the fight for that location.
Grimlands offers a more level playing field than other MMORPGs because skills are developed individually. There are no character levels and Grimlands has a rather flat power curve meaning the difference in power between a new and a capped character is nowhere close to what you are used from other MMORPGs. A leveled up character of cause has a wider range of skills and abilities to use and can do a lot more than a new one, but the new one doesn’t get killed by one shot either. As a matter of fact, two new characters can take on a leveled up one in PvP with a decent chance of winning.
A new player is weaker than a veteran, but still able to make a meaningful contribution to combat, be it in PvP or PvE. We believe this is an important aspect of a sandbox MMORPG and want all players to be able to play together rather than being segregated and able to play with just a portion of the players that happen to be in their level range at the time.
With the best items not coming from loot, but being crafted by players, the high customizability of items and a fully-featured auction house we set a solid foundation for an engaging player based economy. While there are vendors in Grimlands, their main purpose is to buy from players. They only sell few, very basic items. Everything you need or desire is crafted by players and traded either directly or via the global auction house. The fees for resources and components are very modest to allow longstanding and cost-effective supply. The auction house even allows you to post requests for an item – sort of like a reversed auction.
The best items are player crafted. Bosses and treasure chests often contain components and resources for the best items, but the item itself still has to be customized and crafted by players.
The monthly subscription model is well known, but there is a reason everyone turns to Free To Play: always having enough players for your endeavors, because Free to Play means everybody can come in and try out the game. It also allows users to spend exactly the amount of money they want – on what they want.
We strive to make this model fair: We focus the Free to Play model on vanity, convenience and time-savers only as we believe that introducing any type of gear or power oriented items into F2P not only makes a game Pay To Win rather than Free To Play, but is also the quickest way to run a great game into the ground. We promise not to do that.
However, if you are still skeptical, exclusively as a backer on Kickstarter, we offer you to play on our hardcore subscription server. On this server you can play without interference of additional item sales as long as you have a premium account – and with that premium account you still get benefits on the public Free to Play server.
Please check our updates section for a more detailed description of Premium Accounts and the difference between the Free to Play and Subscription Server.
You might have seen Grimlands on the website of our former publisher gamigo who supported development so far. Why then, are we turning to Kickstarter now?
The reason is simple: gamigo was sold to another company last year and – without going into confidential details – changed its strategy from Development to only Distribution. Several games were cancelled, some put on hold and unfortunately, Grimlands was one of them. However, after more than four years of hard work, countless sleepless nights, weekends spend in the office and several million Dollars invested in development, we are refusing to give up.
There is no way around it, even though we are close to release, big games cost big money. With the recent economic downturn and some game companies closing doors, investors are shying away from hardcore games. Many publishers look only at mobile and social games. Yet we believe in a true hard core MMORPG: We have raised money from relatives and friends to keep the project alive so far but in order to finish it, we need your help!
But it’s not only about finishing Grimlands: Had we turned to external sources like publishers, investment firms, or loans to finance the development, promotion, servers, new content and support, it would mean to again have strings attached that can quickly steer the game in the wrong direction and away from our initial vision.
Crowd-sourced fundraising like Kickstarter now gives a way out of this situation and gives independent developers the resources needed to develop their game exactly like they envisioned it. This is why we decided to take Grimlands to Kickstarter and ensure that it will be presented to gamers the way we envisioned it from the beginning without any compromised to be made on the way there.
Your money will be used to finish development of the game, to hire additional artists, animators and programmers. To pay for the infrastructure a MMORPG requires and down to earth things like paying for the office space and associated costs.
Only your pledges will allow us to make Grimlands happen and give players this cool world to play in. In return we pledge to make every single of your dollars count to deliver a great MMORPG experience.
This is what the press that already got the opportunity to see Grimlands has to say:
"Largely the developers have managed to pull of what is normally a difficult balancing act into something immediately enjoyable. Combat is tight, intelligent and always entertaining. An experience that stands out from the crowd." - MMORPG.com
"We might have discovered the heir to the post-apocalyptic MMO throne." - TenTonHammer
"While Grimlands might not have the licensing rights to Bethesda's runaway success, the games looks to preserve much of Fallout 3's flavor and quasi-sandbox spirit and (despite some polarizing concessions to the Borderlands-inspired cell shaded look) significantly improves upon its graphics." - TenTonHammer
"Grimlands teases us with everything we thought RAGE would be" – CinemaBlend
"You have an enormous amount of customization within Grimlands that would make even Gearbox and its likewise "lands" blush" – Massively
"It's a post-apocalyptic sandbox, and those words are music to my ears" – Kotaku
"The action feels tight, and most importantly, fun, while the crafting on offer displays a dazzling amount of customization and creativity." - MMORPG
"But what wowed me, was Grimlands. Grimlands is amazing to look at and is such a deep game that any gamer would be able to spend countless hours customizing, building, and fighting for their survival. I personally can't wait for it to be available to the masses." – ActionTrip
An overview of the rewards for backing Grimlands.
Reward graphics have been updated to reflect the recent changes to rewards.
We are gamers, passionate about games and MMORPGs in particular, who are lucky enough to work in game development. Some of us have spent a few years in the industry, some more than a decade if not two.
We have been developing games for the PC platform for more than 15 years now and have both the expertise and vision to make Grimlands the supreme post-apocalyptic MMORPG.
The Kickstarter campaign would allow us to take the artistic and creative vision of Grimlands into our own hands and develop Grimlands precisely the way we and the community envision it – without outside influence.
Risks and challenges
Developing a MMORPG, especially one that brings new things and innovations to the table, comes with many risks and even more challenges. Fortunately, after two CBTs Grimlands is already far along in its development and millions of dollars have already been invested to bring the game to a state where it is already playable and most of the major systems are already in place. This in turn means that compared to some other projects the risk of non-delivery is exceptionally small.
The other major concern is always if it will be delivered on time. We all know how games get delayed and Grimlands already had a delay in the past. But the closer to finishing the game we are, the smaller the risk of delays – and we are already pretty close. We promise you that we will do whatever is possible to deliver Grimlands on time, but we will not claim that any delays are impossible and will not happen. We as a team are developing games for more than a decade now and have seen often enough how unexpected problems pop up out of nowhere. What we do not want is to push launching the game when it is not ready to be launched – we love Grimlands too much for that.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Grimlands is a true mix of MMORPG and Shooter. This means the persistent character development, skills, crafted equipment, questing and other RPG-like features are fully present. However, instead of the tick-based combat and point'n'click controls the game plays like a shooter - with WASD movement, real mouse-aiming and cover. The standard camera mode is that of a Third Person Shooter, however you can zoom in all the way to a First Person Shooter perspective. In beta tests we found out that 2/3 like to play Grimlands TPS but still a lot like the FPS-style, so we are leaving the decision up to you.
Our lead-platform is Windows PC but we also just announced versions for Mac and Linux which will be released within this year. Further platforms are planned but not confirmed yet.
Grimlands offers both kind of servers. It was developed first as a Free to Play game with a fair business model - there are no weapons or other items sold, they are all made by players. You basically buy boosters to save time. Everyone will be able to play on these servers without spending money. However, exclusively for Kickstarter backers we have designed the Subscription Server on which you have no item sales but a monthly fee which is called Premium Account and priced at 9,99USD/month. The best thing is: This Premium Account gives you benefits on the Free to Play Server, too! Check the updates section for details.
We have completed two CBTs last year and aim to release the game in Q4 this year. Another CBT is planned for June. This means: After 5 years of development and millions of dollars invested the game is almost complete. That is the major difference to many other projects on KS.
Yes, we did and we still have a good connection with them. However, due to the company being sold and a strategy shift towards distribution, gamigo stopped funding development of Grimlands in January. Since then we have survived with money from friends & family but to finish the game, we need your help!
Different than other projects where you invest in an idea and some artworks, Grimlands had two CBTs and most of the game systems are already in place. Many players and press played Grimlands and left positive comments. The team focuses now on polishing, including graphics improvements (lighting, animations, UI), AI behaviour and the shooter feel (cover system). However, as Grimlands is a big game, we really need 650.000 USD until the end of the year. We borrowed money from friends and family to survive that far, but cannot raise the remaining funds without your help. Keep in mind, though: In thep past 5 years we already invested more than 6 million dollars, so only ~10% are left!
- (24 days)