This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Gyre: Nova State
Gyre: Nova State
An action RPG set in an alternate reality of androids and vast mechanical cities. Experience your own unique adaptive story.
An action RPG set in an alternate reality of androids and vast mechanical cities. Experience your own unique adaptive story. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Gyre: Nova State is an open world RPG that combines gameplay from Witcher 3, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Middle:earth Shadow of War, wrapped in a steampunk-inspired setting.
The world is based on an alternate history beginning in 1848, where over a dozen revolutions across Europe and Asia took a different turn. What followed was widespread, unrestricted technological experimentation. This resulted in scientific discoveries that allowed humans to adopt android form. Mechanized cities commonly referred to as “gyres” sprang forth and became focal points for the new android society.
At the start of your story, the character creation process has you work your way through the Crèche - the factory where all androids are made. Here, the game gets a bit of a sense of who you are as both player and character as you select your class, assign stats, and customize your appearance.
As you emerge from the Crèche, how you choose to survive and make your way in the world is entirely up to you. The game allows for unprecedented story creation with an adaptive narrative engine.
Based on your brief journey through the Crèche, your story begins with some possible options for you. Such as:
- You are greeted by your "parents" (these are people that have contributed materials and mind fragments to your "birth") with offers of joining them or maybe just sage advice; or
- Faction and gang recruiters looking for fresh metal for their cause; or
- A citizen looking to hire you; or
- Merchants looking for runners or collectors; or
- The city military looking for scouts and soldiers; or
- A city Corpus representative with an offer of "diplomatic" service; or
- You are free to explore and the game watches you, seeing what interests you by giving you tidbits of encounters until suddenly you realize you're in the middle of much larger plot...
These are just some of the possible story seeds. Who you decide will be a friend or foe impacts your story. It influences who trusts who and which power struggles you come into contact with. Some of which might be:
A Faction or gang war, that might start as a story of intrigue but grow into all out war
- Diplomatic missions with other cities, that could turn into a combative city vs city conflict, or a shadow war between agents and spies, or uncovering a plot through political intrigue
- Joining the conflict against the local biome, as nature has evolved into something vicious and gaining ground against the gyres
- You become a hero to the people because the town or outpost you are in is run by a tyrant - or a benevolent leader; either way your decision to support a coup makes you a VIP, for good or ill
The state of the world, faction relationships, group and power dynamics, and individual choice all play a role in how your story unfolds.
The stories in Gyre: Nova State adapt to your style of play. At all times you can choose the path you feel is best for you, much like the Deus Ex series. You're never trapped in a set style. The game and story align to your preferred style but it remains open for you to try new paths, new adventures. Just because you're an aggressive fighter doesn't mean that you can't occasionally talk your way out of a fight if you choose.
Your story can take you anywhere across approximately 150 square km of lower France. There are underground mines, cities both large and small, outposts, and the vast wilderness to explore. A wilderness, by the way, that is NOT your friend. Tread carefully.
- True non-linear story and gameplay because the story is created in real-time by YOU
- Beautifully crafted, steampunk-inspired, alt-history world that changes over time based on your story
- Play your way with combat, stealth, intrigue or diplomacy options; a broad set of play styles similar to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- A larger open world than Witcher 3 at roughly 150 square km, with sprawling mechanical cities that can change over time, and a vast wilderness
- NPC character generation that is exponentially more complex and more engaging than the Nemesis system in Middle-earth: Shadow of War; friends and foes with a real psychology who can also form groups/factions that have their own goals
- Deep crafting system with the ability to build thousands of combinations of weapons, items and apparel from multiple parts that make sense
- Gameplay that gets rid of filler quests in favour of meaningful consequences to the player’s choices throughout the story without being forced towards heroism or villainy
The game is built on Unreal Engine 4 which integrates with our proprietary Toska Polynarrative Engine.
The platforms are Windows 10, Linux, Mac, PS4, and Xbox One. The Alpha is likely to be Windows only. We fully expect to have Mac and Linux support for the Beta.
Gyre: Nova State has an adaptive story.
What does "adaptive story" mean?
Instead of scripting the entire story with a fixed or branching sequence of events like other games do, the game generates a chain of events based on the actions of the player and NPCs. These events are linked to form a cohesive narrative.
How is this possible?
This is due, in part, to our characters having a "mind". Their minds are capable of not just having goals but also of having emotional reactions to the events they witness and experience. NPCs are capable of dynamic reasoning and can have complex behaviours complete with rational and irrational beliefs.
Why does this matter?
To be able to grow a story in real-time while keeping it both meaningful and interesting, characters must be able to dynamically look at their environment, reason about what they are seeing, and ask questions. Does this bother me? Should I help? Should I run? Should I fight? Should I try to persuade? Believable behaviours for characters are a key ingredient of a good story and necessary for everything the player sees to make sense.
What about dialogue?
How can that be done with an adaptive story?
Yes, there is dialogue. The game prefers the "show don't tell" narrative approach, however, dialogue is an essential part of character interaction when there is information to be communicated either from or to the player. Dialogue is generated from a combined template system and language grammar using natural language generation techniques to create realistic conversations.
The adaptive narrative is made possible as a result of nearly a decade of research and development in the fields of narratology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence (various sub-fields), linguistics and psychology.
Gyre: Nova State offers 3 character classes, each with their own unique features.
Polariants enjoy a near-mystical ability to manipulate the mechanical world around them. Polariants ask and the city opens its arms to them. They are masters of strategy and objectivity.
Imperiants are the embodiment of the irresistible force. They favor strength of will and strength of body. They respect power and conviction. Surrender and apology are not a path taken easily. Chaos is the enemy.
Couriants run. They flow like water, navigating obstacles in their lives and paths without surrendering speed. They bend to accommodate change without resistance. Movement is freedom.
There are 7 skill trees with a multitude of options to accommodate the various styles of play. All skills are available to all classes, although some skills are easier to pick up for certain classes.
The crafting system allows players to craft weapons, gear, and apparel. There are currently 43,450 possible weapon combinations (excluding material upgrades) available for crafting including melee, ranged and psionic versions.This will grow over time as we continue adding new blueprints, parts and customization options. It's important to note that these are NOT just random, useless options. Each combination creates a particular kind of weapon with attributes that align to your play style.
Apparel in the game is fashionable, often serving the purpose of displaying social standing or faction association.
Weapons are built from stock pieces that assemble into the final item, giving players a large array of capabilities to choose from.
Psionic weapons and items have unique abilities that can target the core systems of another android, oftentimes without damaging them permanently.
Of course, you don't need to craft everything if you choose not to. Merchants are scattered throughout that offer everything from raw materials to parts to completed items. The local economy takes into account supply and demand.
Combat includes cover mechanics and some special parkour-style maneuvers. Weapon choices include melee, psionic and ranged versions crafted from multiple parts allowing for massive customization.
Stealth is made possible by special crafting materials, dampeners (physical, visual and acoustic) and magnetic technologies. Stealth actions grant the player the ability to stay hidden, gather intel and strike with little or no warning. It's also possible to be stealthy by hacking the senses of others.
Non-violent, diplomatic options are available to you. NPCs and groups behave and act differently depending on how you treat them. If you share important information with someone, truthful or otherwise, the nature of your relationship with them will influence how that is used and how they ultimately act.
Engaging in intrigue often involves uncovering secret plots. Use your character's ability to convince, argue or bluff your way through situations. Investigate by overt or covert means to discover the machinations of the powerful or rebellious.
Death, for an android, is not necessarily the end. Restoration can be just a backup away. In the game this means that the fatal destruction of your body or mind results in you awakening in a new body. But remember, every "death" means you are restoring your mind to a new body. It's a very complex process. Every time this occurs there is potential for "fragmentation". Over time this can cause...problems.
A gyre is a living mechanical construct controlled by its Corpus - a council of Ascended citizens. Each city and town has a different feel and can start to look different over time depending on what happens in your story.
With immortality ever-present, the relationships you form are critical to long-term survival. You can interact with anyone in the world. What they say and do is based on your history with them, what they've heard about you, and if you have an affiliation with someone they know or a group/faction with whom you are affiliated.
Some factions are social groups of individuals united in a belief structure and a firm insistence that "their" understanding of the world is the "correct" understanding of the world. Other factions, like the law-enforcing Provost Corps and their criminal counterpart Guiseppe's Fingers are vocations that enterprising PCs and NPCs may subscribe to.
Characters may join more than one faction, but since some factions (Guiseppe's Fingers vs. Provo Corps) are polar opposites, if a PC's affiliation is known or discovered, it might have repercussions with one's standing in the opposing faction.
These are people, labelled "Nostalgics", who believe that they have left their souls behind with the leap to post-humanity. Most tend to be ashamed of their beliefs, alternating between self-denial of their belief or overcompensating with attempts to purge themselves of their belief.
The Fingers are probably the largest network of criminal gangs throughout the cities of lower France. Unlike other factions, there appears to be no centralized HQ, but what organization they do have is rumored to be a provisional group of regional cell leaders that reside in the Undercity areas.
Those who believe that humanity’s Great Leap Forward was due to unfettered adoption of technology and insist that the next leap just around the corner will make their current existence as backward and obsolete as the current generation rendered their organic predecessors. They’re early adopters in all senses of the word, to a degree that borders on a religious zeal.
This group handles a city's police functions and are identified by the blue arm bands that they wear. They are predominantly Imperiants by disposition and interest, but not exclusively, as Couriants and Polariants also have a stake in ensuring efficient law and order.
Those who claim allegiance to Rousseau's Fulcrum seek to achieve a kind of harmony among all creatures. This goes beyond diplomacy among Couriants, Imperiants and Polariants but also includes a tolerance for the natural and hostile forces of the poisoned biome. While Diplomats do not openly flout the law, they see the rule of law as an actor on a stage that is most important only when chaotic forces are in ascendance. When the rule of law holds sway, the Diplomats number among the most rebellious forces in the city.
Music and sound effects are a key component of a dramatic story, and for us, it's no different. It elevates the mood and reinforces the tone from moment to moment. We started very early in the process with talent at Precursor Productions.
Our goal was to create a soundtrack that could adapt to a dynamic narrative. Whether the mood is happy and light, dark and moody, or aggressive, we set out to create an audio system that pulls in the elements it needs from scene to scene. With the help of Audio Lead and Engineer Andrew Yankiwski and composer Paul Shrofel we succeeded in crafting an amazing set of tracks and elements that all work together beautifully. Going forward we'll continue to refine the audioscape and in-game sounds effects.
Evodant Interactive is an indie game developer with big dreams. Our award winning work across transmedia and gaming means we know what it takes to get the job done. We've assembled a core team of veterans with the driving goal to revolutionize the RPG experience. The senior leads alone have over 60 years combined experience in everything up to AAA game development.
Notable ex-Bioware designer and producer Rob Bartel lends his extensive experience to this project. His credits include such properties as Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, the Baldur’s Gate series, Neverwinter Nights series, Dragon Age: Return to Ostagar, Dragon Age: Origins, Revolver, Dragon Age: The Stone Prisoner, Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. He was also involved in developing the BioWare Community Live Team and BioWare Online Store in the role of Online Strategist.
Writer and transmedia guru, Joshua Ortega, is a welcome recent addition to the team having worked on such properties as Gears of War, Star Wars, Spider-Man, LawBreakers and many more.
Our Art Director, Tom Zuber, has worked with some of the top studios on popular franchises such as Dawn of War 2, Mortal Kombat 2, and also big budget features like Chronicles of Narnia. He's enjoyed heading up art teams in studios such as Sony, Electronic Arts, and others. His most recent venture includes working with the Jim Henson Company.
Gyre: Nova State and the adaptive story engine is something very unique to the RPG genre.
We want the game to be loved by our fans, so we feel that with you by our side, your involvement in the game's development will result in the best possible RPG experience. The more we are able to retain independent creative control, the better chance we have of achieving that.
Crowdfunding will allow the team the flexibility to fulfill the vision for the game and do it right, either through funding the full development or by being able to negotiate with a publisher on our own terms. We will use this Kickstarter to complete an Alpha version of the game that will allow us to do just that, as we already have several interested publishers.
The development of such an ambitious game takes substantial time and expense. We've already invested over $1,200,000.
The total remaining budget for Gyre: Nova State is $3,100,000 USD. We're hoping to raise enough funding with this Kickstarter to secure a publisher and/or partners on our own terms so we can retain the creative control necessary to deliver an amazing game.
Risks and challenges
We have a strong veteran core team that have been successfully developing both AAA and indie-level games for many years. The risks and challenges we face are the same inherent to any software development process. One notable risk is the need to secure the balance of the funding (see above "Budget & Funding").
However, we’ve already put together a technical pre-alpha, so we are confident we can create the game with the core features we are setting out to build.
The community feedback we receive during development may change features and/or gameplay so please note we will take great care to balance our vision for the game with testing and feedback to create the best possible game experience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter