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A charming, classic, story-driven RPG containing intricate characters and intense, strategic combat.  35+ hours of gameplay.
A charming, classic, story-driven RPG containing intricate characters and intense, strategic combat.  35+ hours of gameplay.
A charming, classic, story-driven RPG containing intricate characters and intense, strategic combat. 35+ hours of gameplay.
82 backers pledged $1,524 to help bring this project to life.

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Astoria: The Holders of Power Saga RPG

$1,524

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Thank you for your interest in Astoria: The Holders of Power Saga!  ATHOPS is a charming, classically done RPG with an epic, twisting story, containing highly developed and intricate characters three years in the making!  It has approximately 35 hours of gameplay (complete run-through estimated 45-50 hours), with a story driven by nearly 1 hour of cinematic cutscenes. Try the free demo located at the bottom of the page!

Character art of the main cast of ATHOPS
Character art of the main cast of ATHOPS

The Story

One hundred years ago, Astoria was invaded by the Supreme Demon, Buul, and his hordes of Demons. The people of Astoria and mighty King Romulus fought off the invasion as Romulus slew Buul in single combat after he ripped a blue stone from the Demon's armor. Witnesses on the field of battle stated the great Demon shrieked in fear and desperation as Romulus grasped the stone, and they swore it both invigorated him and gave him the strength to slay the massive Demon. After the Demons' defeat, it came to be known as the Stone of Power and it was assumed whoever possessed it would be all-powerful.

After many years of peace and prosperity, when he realized he had grown old, Romulus shattered the Stone into five pieces with his mighty hammer. He distributed the pieces to five individuals with opposing politics and interests to prevent the full Stone from ever being in the hands of the wrong person. These five came to be known as the Holders of Power.

The story begins at a meeting between the five Holders of Power and an unknown, shadowy figure who has evil intentions to re-form the Stone of Power once again.

One of the Holders of Power, the noble knight, Garreth, quickly learns that an assassination plot is afoot, and he is the intended target...                                           

Looks to me like you're gonna have to MAGA: Make Astoria Great Again.  Yes, I'm aware I'm unskilled in the art of the photo shop :)
Looks to me like you're gonna have to MAGA: Make Astoria Great Again. Yes, I'm aware I'm unskilled in the art of the photo shop :)

Play as Nolan, a young Prince arriving in Astoria from a far away land, desperately seeking reinforcements to defend his country from an invasion. Little does he know, Astoria will soon be in a similar situation. As his envoy quest quickly spirals out of control, he'll meet a colorful cast with their own storylines: Calista, the bubbly clairvoyant whose dreams sometimes predict the future, Petra, the young firebrand whose life will be turned upside down when she witnesses tragedy, the mysterious Cheshire, who arrived in Astoria under his own suspicious circumstances, and a host of other characters willing to lend a hand and fight for their right to survive.

Explore an expansive world where you will encounter hordes of vicious monsters. Conduct stealth missions, fight in a pitched battle, and uncover great mysteries. Experience the emotions of love, anger, hatred, and fear as each member of your party has their own gripping story arcs that intertwine with the main storyline. All of this is done in classic, 90's, RPG-style storytelling.

What is ATHOPS?

Astoria: The Holders of Power Saga, is a story-driven RPG made to help you relive the nostalgia of the old-school RPG of years past.  It is a game that allows semi-customization with the focus on replayability.  It will properly reward exploration; the player that traverses the world and speaks to each NPC will not only be exposed to more side quests, but will have a better understanding of the world and its lore.  When I decided to take the production of this game seriously, I wanted the finished product to be comparable to some of the RPGs of the late 80s and 90s in both its quality and replayability. 

Gameplay

I didn't want to make the typical grind-it-out RPG... especially the kind where you simply auto-attack your way from start to finish.  My goal was to make a difficult game that required forethought and planning, combined with strategic combat that almost assuredly will force the player to utilize the game's spells and skills to their maximum effect.

I designed ATHOPS to be a unique game in that it has a typical overworld with random encounters for those that want to grind, but the dungeons, caves, and castles have visible, active enemies that chase you down. These visible enemies are tougher, give more gold and experience, and provide the overall balance to the game because they are limited in scope.  Grinding is not necessary in ATHOPS because the game is properly balanced by these visible enemies.

These are the sprite choices found at the "Mage" backer level.
These are the sprite choices found at the "Mage" backer level.

 

And here is the physical sprite of Petra, modeled by my daughter, and hand made by @forstericosplay on Twitter.
And here is the physical sprite of Petra, modeled by my daughter, and hand made by @forstericosplay on Twitter.

The Magic System

The people of Astoria have different "affinities" for magic. A party member can learn nearly 100 spells or skills, but each character has a limited number that can be brought into combat... and that defines their affinity. In ATHOPS, the mage and the clairvoyant can each "memorize" 8 spells and bring them to combat. The hero, Nolan, has a maximum of 3. The size of your party - which varies from 1 to 6 - and its cast greatly determine the amount and types of spells you bring to combat. Since there are nearly 100 spells... choose wisely. Will you arm your party with powerful elemental spells, amplifying buff spells, crippling debuff spells, or a combination of each for proper balance?

This is just a taste of Calista's spell pool.
This is just a taste of Calista's spell pool.

 

And these are the 8 spells she has "memorized" for combat.  Choose the most productive spells to maximize your chances of winning in combat!
And these are the 8 spells she has "memorized" for combat. Choose the most productive spells to maximize your chances of winning in combat!

Customization and Replayability

Customize your party via the plethora of powerups found in hidden or guarded treasure chests. Find and slay fantastic beasts and claim their rewards that can be sold for additional equipment upgrades that permanently remain with your desired character. Defeat deadly dragons and choose massive stat bonuses for each character in your party before the dragon's essence dissipates into the air. Swap different weapons, armor, and item combinations among your party members to further customize how they battle. I made it a point to make the player give serious thought into how they wish to build out their party.

Plot-centric Assassination Events

One of the main characters in ATHOPS is the young girl, Petra.  She has an arcing storyline that ties in with the main theme, and she vows to become an assassin, to avenge her parents' death. There are two scenes in ATHOPS where you control Petra in real-time assassination events. There are visible enemies on guard, and you have to sneak by them/assassinate them from behind without entering their "line of sight." So take your time, notice patterns, and have patience!  Remember, assassins never give in to their emotions!  Hopefully these will be as enjoyable for you to play as they were for me to make.

This is the Orc War Camp.  Enter it during a thunderstorm, under the cover of darkness and assassinate the Orc leadership!
This is the Orc War Camp. Enter it during a thunderstorm, under the cover of darkness and assassinate the Orc leadership!

What's the Kickstarter Goal?

When you reach a new dungeon and you see the enemies walking around, you should analyze your environment and the enemy itself. You see a wolf in a forest? Bring that fire spell into combat, because its fur will burn for 2x damage. Is the visible enemy a hulking, armored monstrosity? Seems like a lightning spell, an armor debuff spell, and perhaps an attack buff spell should be on your radar. Oh, and when you enter the Undead catacombs, it's probably a good idea to lose that Darkness spell for a Light spell, because Darkness heals the Undead!

This Demon needs a proper sprite to represent it
This Demon needs a proper sprite to represent it

 

This will do the trick.  Funding this project will help me commission many more like it.
This will do the trick. Funding this project will help me commission many more like it.

The funding goal of $1000 will greatly enhance the quality of the game and help it stand out.  I need to commission a sprite artist to create these visible enemies so that you can analyze them and properly arm yourself for combat.  If an enemy is gigantic, the visible sprite will have to be sized properly.  Additionally, if there are stronger versions of a monster, I don't want to surprise the player by recycling the same sprite as that of its weaker, "cousin" monster.  So clearly, there will be many recolors of sprites as well.  I anticipate approximately $600 to be dedicated to the sprite graphics.  I'd also like to purchase another set of options for exteriors of maps to add diversity to the towns, as well.

The remaining $400 will be used to hire a composer that specializes in fantasty/orchestral music.  I have much of the music for this game already made or purchased, but I'm desperately in need of specific tracks to give the cutscenes some depth.  ATHOPS has approximately 1 hour of cinematic cutscenes, and music will help convey the emotion. 

Sample maps in the world of Astoria
Sample maps in the world of Astoria

Stretch Goals

Should I be so lucky and get enough backers to push the project to $1500, I'll hire out my scripter once again and have him begin work on an in-game Bestiary.  It will provide monster stats: their weaknesses, strengths, and special moves.  I'll even add in a special quest where you could turn in the completed book for a reward before you shove off into the final unknown. 

If we hit the $2000 mark, my sprite artist will be hired out to make dozens and dozens of sprite animations that I'll inject into the cutscenes. This will include drawing weapons, attack animations, and dodge animations that will enchance each scene.

If we can reach the $3500 mark, I'm going to commission a composer to make the soundtrack of ATHOPS entirely unique.  Every backer at every level will receive a digital download of the finished soundtrack.  I currently have a combination of purchased music and free to use music, but I can assure you, it's a good soundtrack.  A quick note - this would push the final development back a couple months, I'm sure, but it will be worth it.  Nothing would be cooler than having a completely original track to this game to help bring about some old-school nostalgia, right?

Sketch Art of the hero, Nolan, done by @MUG_kaburi on Twitter.
Sketch Art of the hero, Nolan, done by @MUG_kaburi on Twitter.

From Where Do I Draw Inspiration?

I've been gaming since Intellivision II and my favorite games are old-school, 8 & 16 bit RPGs. It probably has something to do with my imagination, but that first time I smashed a Goldman with the hand axe in Dragon Warrior 1 and envisioned it exploding into gold chunks that I took back to town to buy the next, stronger weapon, I was hooked.

My favorite RPGs of all time are Phantasy Star, Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes, Cosmic Fantasy 2, Dragon Warrior, Landstalker, and Tales of Symphonia.  I took bits and pieces of what I liked about some of my favorite RPGs and added it into ATHOPS.  For instance, in Cosmic Fantasy 2, I really enjoyed how playable characters flowed in and out of your party in accordance with the storyline, and that's what I did with ATHOPS.  In Landstalker, I enjoyed the competition between the hero and the thieves Kayla, Ink, and Wally, and I drew inspiration from them when I created Destin, Gordo, Noah, and Maya, who - while they fight on the side of good - compete with you for status as "most important" to the Silverdale Army.  Plus, it was a great excuse to add epic, really difficult, 4 v 4 battles against other "hero" types, where the use of items is outlawed.  I think the player will really enjoy these battles, and Destin's group also contributes to the storyline.

The cast of 16 playable characters in ATHOPS
The cast of 16 playable characters in ATHOPS

Features

  • 35+ hours of gameplay
  • 20 side quests (some small and some large, spanning the entire game)
  • 220 maps
  • 130+ weapons & armor, 140+ items, 175+ skills/spells (unique enemy skills included)
  • A total of 16 party members, constantly moving in and out of the party in accordance with the plot!
  • Highly developed main characters with tons of in-game dialogue! - Nearly 1 hour of dramatic cutscenes!
  • Overworld map/hidden enemies, dungeon maps/visible enemies
  • 2 high-action, REAL TIME stealth/assassination events!
  • Be challenged by a group of "heroes" for status/bragging rights via intense "hero to hero" combat!
  • Find and fight a total of 6 "challengers" inhabiting towns/villages in 1 on 1 combat with no items to test a character's might!
  • 9 Dragons to find and kill that grant the party bonus statistics you can distribute to tailor your characters however you like!
  • 8 Side quest bosses and their drop items that can be converted into unique equipment upgrades by a specialty blacksmith

*** These features are subject to change in that they may  +increase+ with your support!

Progress

This game is 3 years in the making, and just needs some finishing touches! 

  • Storyline - 100% complete
  • Mapping - 90% complete
  • Graphics - 50% complete
  • Soundtrack - 80% complete
  • Playtesting/Balance - 60% but need YOUR help!

Play the Free Demo!

https://golden-unicorn-gaming.itch.io/astoria-the-holders-of-power-saga

Thank you for your interest and happy gaming!

Risks and challenges

I'm a dedicated professional that has put 3+ years of development into this game, and I am committed to making it available so that it can be put in YOUR gaming library!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Informative NPC

    Such help! You are one of those special NPCs that is occasionally helpful to the storyline! A special thanks will be sent via email and you will be listed in the game's credits as a backer.

    Includes:
    • Thank You email
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Advance-the-Storyline NPC

    You are the rarest of NPCs. You go unnamed but yet provide crucial details relevant to advancing the storyline. Thank you for that!

    Receive a pack of beautiful HD art as depicted on the game's title screen and additional art of five of the game's main characters!

    Includes:
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Pirate of The Shattered Heart

    Early Bird Special! You caught this project sooner than anyone else and you should be rewarded for your early interest.

    Receive a digital download of the game upon its release.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Silverdale Knight

    An army will be need to be raised to fight the forces of evil. Give yourself a chance to defend Astoria by becoming a backer and own the game!

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, and immediate access to alpha/beta! You are on your way to help Make Astoria Great Again!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Mysterious Cheshire

    Along the way you will befriend an intelligent purple cat, known as a "Cheshire." As his mystery unfolds, learn what has been happening to others like him, and his purpose in Astoria! In choosing this reward, you help me name other Cheshires that have arrived in Astoria, by having your Cheshire name on a "soulstone" in the game. These soulstones are readable in game, similar to a gravestone, so your name will live forever in gaming history!

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, access to alpha/beta, and add a R.I.P. name of a Cheshire into the game via a soulstone! Have fun with it... be a part of the game!
    *I reserve the right to veto names/story, but this should be fun, and I don't see many being restricted*

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
    • Cheshire Naming Reward
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Pirate Captain

    Yar! Methinks ye be needin' double the rewards, at a piratey discount!

    Receive 2 Silverdale Knight rewards levels: 2 digital downloads, and 2 art packs!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Enchanter

    Enchanters are the most studied magic-users in Astoria. They animate non-living objects to life and then control them with their minds. At this reward level, you receive the Silverdale Knight reward plus you get to write a legacy of any past Astorian hero/warrior/etc. to be placed into one of the hundreds of bookcases throughout the game. Help me make this world real!

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, access to alpha/beta, and add a "legacy" of yourself into the game via a bookcase! Join Astoria's history!
    *I reserve the right to veto names/story, as I'd like them to remain consistent with the history of Astoria*

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
    • Bookcase Legacy Reward
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    Clairvoyant

    The Clairvoyant knows the dangers that lie ahead, and she prepares for them. At this reward level, you can opt to become a named NPC that facilitates a side quest (fulfilling a minor role in the games story) or you can help me name and design a weapon. You choose, but choose wisely, like a good Clairvoyant.

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, access to alpha/beta, and become an NPC detailing a quest OR design a weapon and its lore.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • NPC/Weapon Design
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Mage

    Every well balanced party needs to bring a powerful mage along... how else would you wipe out multiple enemies in a single turn of combat? At this reward level, you get to choose a 5"H x 4"W bead sprite of one of the five main characters: Choose between the Hero/Nolan, the Clairvoyant/Calista, the Avenger/Petra, the Cheshire/*unnamed, or the Werewolf/Grazz. Also receive the Silverdale Knight rewards.

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, immediate access to alpha/beta, and pick 1 sprite of the 5 available to be shipped to your home! Add a magnet to hang on your fridge!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • Pick One Sprite approximately 5"H x 4"w
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Hammer Knight

    The Hammer Knight is a beast in battle and wields a mighty, magical, hammer that is engulfed in blazing hot flames. At this reward level, you get to name an NPC that facilitates a side quest (fulfilling a minor role in the game's story) AND you can help me name and design a weapon.

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, access to alpha/beta, and become an NPC detailing a quest AND design a weapon and its lore.

    Includes:
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • NPC/Weapon Design
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Grail Knight

    A Grail Knight is a master at assessing the battlefield, and he intends to have every advantage possible. This is why you chose 3 ATHOPS bead sprites. Also includes the Silverdale Knight reward.

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, immediate access to alpha/beta, and pick 3 sprites of the 5 available to be shipped to your home! Add magnets to hang on your fridge!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • Pick One Sprite approximately 5"H x 4"w
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Avenger

    In order to exact revenge you've come to learn that you need the help of others. You need a family... those you can trust. Naturally, you want all 5 ATHOPS bead sprites. Now you're prepared for your showdown with the enemy. You can almost taste your revenge.

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, immediate access to alpha/beta, and all 5 sprites shipped to your home! Add magnets to hang on your fridge!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • Full Sprite Pack (5) approximately 5"H x 4"W
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Hero

    It's your destiny to save Astoria. Even the Ancients believe in you. You know exactly what it will take to defeat the pure evil that is scheming to destroy Astoria. Everything.

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, immediate access to alpha/beta, all 5 sprites shipped to your home, and become an NPC detailing a quest OR design a weapon and its lore.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • Full Sprite Pack (5) approximately 5"H x 4"W
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
    • NPC/Weapon Design
    • Bookcase Legacy Reward
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    King of Silverdale

    Ever wanted to be a King? Now is your chance. Name the King of Silverdale, and play an active role in Astoria's Holders of Power Saga. You will be remembered throughout history.

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, immediate access to alpha/beta, all 5 sprites shipped to your home, and name the King of Siverdale, a living, interacting, main character heavily involved in the plot of ATHOPS!
    *I reserve the right to veto name until we find something acceptable, as I'd like it to remain consistent with the history of Astoria*

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • Full Sprite Pack (5) approximately 5"H x 4"W
    • Rename the King of Silverdale
    • "Contributor" status in end credits
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    Bearer of the Stone of Power

    You've managed to piece together the Stone of Power. It is said that you are now invincible. I can only hope you will fight on the side of good. At this reward, we will work together to rename the evil antagonist/Final Boss of the game. Additionally, I will give you a special heading in the credits, and we will have direct communication throughout the finalization process.

    Receive a digital download of the game, the HD wallpaper/art pack, immediate access to alpha/beta, all 5 sprites shipped to your home, and have the Final Boss named after you! Additionally, you get direct/immediate access to me during game creation and a special title in end credits!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of ATHOPS
    • Digital HD Wallpaper/Art pack
    • Full Sprite Pack (5) approximately 5"H x 4"W
    • Rename the Final Boss
    • Special Heading in end game credits
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Funding period

- (32 days)