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A moddable online sandbox RPG heavily inspired by games like Ultima Online. Read more

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$73,401
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A moddable online sandbox RPG heavily inspired by games like Ultima Online.

About this project

Visit our product page for all things Shards Online: http://shardsonline.com

Thank you again to all of our backers for your support. This has been an amazing experience. Here's how you can stay updated and continue to show your support:

  • Both official and community-run servers 
  • Skill-based character development (no restrictive levels or classes!) 
  • Own your land, build a house 
  • Tame animals and creatures 
  • Learn to craft unique items as you explore 
  • Employ NPCs to do day to day tasks 
  • Visit worlds that span many genres 
  • Obtain unique armors, weapons and rare artifacts
  • Play by your own rules! Many different rule-sets to choose from 
  • Create your own unique rule-sets, stories and live content on your community-run server
  • Fully functional game client and server 
  • 11 armor sets, 5 weapons, 5 shields 
  • 16 different abilities and spells 
  • 11 unique skills with training and character progression 
  • 8 awesome god powers 
  • Mod support and survival mod 
  • PvP mini-game 
  • Hours of online gameplay

This game won't get made any other way. Big companies are terrified to give players this level of freedom. Crowdfunding and Kickstarter make it possible for games like this to get made.  

Shards Online also embodies the spirit of crowdfunding. When we are ready, we are giving it back to the players and the communities to do as they please.

ADDITIONAL REWARDS FOR ALL SAPPHIRE (20$) AND UP BACKERS

  • 3 months of optional subscription IN ADDITION to the weeks promised by your reward tier. For example, Sapphire backers now get 3 and 1/2 months and Ruby backers get 4 full months. 
  • You will get a CD key when funding completes to participate in a series of pre-alpha playtests starting shortly after the campaign.

REFERRAL PROGRAM

Shards Online is breaking away from the modern MMO conventions of levels, classes and quest grinds. We are returning to living virtual worlds where stories emerge naturally as players explore the worlds laid out before them.

The game will launch with a complete game containing several official rule-sets. Our current plans include one with a well balanced set of gameplay, a hardcore PvP battle-royale, and even one featuring permanent character death: the ultimate game of risk versus reward.

We are initially targeting the PC platform, and plans for a Mac and Linux launch are in the works. Shards Online will be distributed digitally and we are strongly considering using an established platform like Steam. When you purchase the game, you will be able to play on player run clusters and run a single 'shard' with no additional cost or subscription fees.    

Upon purchasing the game, you will also receive a 30 day optional subscription in addition to the weeks given by your reward tier that provides access to the official Citadel Clusters.  These are massive clusters running official rule-sets with real customer support, live events, and early access to new content.

In addition to the official Citadel Clusters, players will be able to run their own servers by signing up for a cluster server that is hosted by Citadel Studios.  We only intend to charge just enough to cover our costs. These clusters, when marked public, will be listed in-game for all players to see and join.

Ultimately, we aren't just creating game that fosters a player community, instead, we are giving our players the tools to create their own in-game communities.

Above a maelstrom of magic and primal forces, the remnants of a shattered world float serenely against the stars. Aria, the world that was once whole, boasted a civilization on the cusp of a revolution of thought and progress. 

On the eve of their destruction, as the chosen few escaped through gateways long thought dead, something… changed. 

Magic was born.  

And with it rose Titans of elemental might as well, ruling the aspects of Earth, Fire, Air, Water, and even Void. As the years went on histories were written and rewritten, nations rose and fell, and the remnants of Aria grew distant in people and purpose. At last only legends remained - of magical doorways to other 'shards'.   

Now the gateways are reopening and the mortal Attuned are walking the paths between time and space to reach new, alien worlds beyond the bounds of their imaginations. Worlds of magic, mystery, steampunk science, empires, horror, beauty and more.  

The worlds of Shards Online await - with endless possibilities.

Since Shards Online is a major departure from many modern MMOs, it’s worth talking about what core features will be part of the official rule-sets.

The multiverse of Shards Online is built on a philosophy of creating living, breathing worlds. Unlike other games where quests are eternal, or special events can be relived again and again, Shards Online is a game in which actions have real consequences.

You can talk with the NPCs about the latest gossip, hints for adventures, or about the weather. Walk away, and you might find them already moving on to visit the pub or talking with another NPC. Everything is in motion.

Coupling dynamic behavioral systems with real players and gods gives us incredibly rich opportunities for cause and effect. The egg you steal from a dragon today may be the reason she’s attacking a town you left behind tomorrow. 

In Shards Online, if a tree falls in the woods, we can prove it made a sound.

While character attributes, spells, special abilities, and equipment define the combat tools available to the player, ultimately player skill unlocks their full potential. 

Equipment/Weapons have costs and benefits causing them to behave differently.  Picking up a sword versus a spear, or leather versus plate, will impact how your character behaves in combat.  

Since you choose the skills, and the gear, there's no reason you couldn't be a spell wielding assassin. Two players can have characters with the same skills and equipment, but implement different strategies in combat as if they are completely different.   

Forget the rock-paper-scissors-shotgun approach to combat. In Shards Online fights can go back and forth and its not over till someone eats dirt. 

Most MMOs use a class based character development system. TWhat happens in most MMOs when you realize 20 levels in that you don’t like playing the class you chose? Well either you start over from scratch, or you quit the game.

Shards Online removes these restrictions on character development by focusing on skills as the core aspect of character development. When you first create your character, you only have the basic knowledge of swinging a weapon. Learn new skills from a trainer in town, read a dusty tome found in the depths of a dark dungeon, or learn them from another player who has already mastered them.

Once you have learned the basics of a skill, you can begin to earn experience towards it by engaging in activities related to that skill. As you advance, new abilities will unlock. 

There is a limit to how much skill one mortal can possess which forces you to specialize. Upon reaching your skill cap, you will need to deactivate certain skills in order to gain in others. 

In Shards Online, players are able to build their homes in the actual game world. Many of the ‘shards’ in the game have large areas of undeveloped land for you to build houses on. 


There are many different house layouts to choose from and the size of your house will depend on the size of your build-able area and the resources you have to build with. Cultivate the land for a farm, or have a beautiful garden. 

We have big plans, currently post release, to allow for truly customizable housing.  Build your house wall by wall to your exact specifications and desires!

Crafting skills will allow you to create new items, weapons and armor from raw materials. Since each ‘shard’ has their own stories and their own cultures, the crafting skills available to learn will also be different. Learn to craft platemail on a fantasy 'shard', or learn to craft bombs on a steampunk 'shard'. 

Just like real life, each craft employs different tools and methods. The creation of many items will require multiple steps and skills. Some items like armor and weapons will be initially very crude and need to be refined and enhanced in order to contain special properties.

Another unique aspect of Shards Online is the ability to hire NPCs (non-player characters) to assist you in day to day tasks. Do you lack the mining skill to obtain some ore you need? Or maybe you just don’t enjoy mining? That would be a perfect opportunity to find someone else to perform the task for you… at a price. If you are rich enough, you can even run an entire trade empire without lifting a finger.

 
When we first formed Citadel Studios, we knew we wanted to create an online game. We also knew how challenging it can be to run a full scale MMO that supports hundreds of thousands of players. 

The solution was simple: We let the players run their own servers.
Each server (or ‘shard’) is a completely separate game world. These game worlds are connected together to form a much larger server (or ‘cluster’). 


The cluster ties all of its connected 'shards' to a single rule-set. This enforces fairness since player characters are also tied to the cluster. It would not make sense to be able to bring a character that is fully geared from a 'shard' with easy rules to a 'shard' running a hardcore rule-set.


Cluster servers are provided by Citadel Studios and use a simple web interface for managing the cluster. Through this interface, you can select the rule-set, change settings, add 'shards' to the cluster, and manage god users. 

Clusters can have any number of 'shards' connected to it. This way you can decide which maps are available to explore. Want to run a steampunk only cluster? Want to run 10 versions of the fantasy home 'shard' Celador? (think of them as alternate realities) It’s completely up to the players that run the cluster.

Our top priority with player run servers is simplicity. This is the first step to putting all the power and freedom of Shards Online squarely in the players hands.

Mortals are not the only living creatures in the many worlds of Shards Online. There are those who have escaped the icy grip of death; those who have unlocked ancient and divine powers. These immortals and gods oversee and shape the mortal realm.

There are many classes of immortals in the Shards Online multiverse. Normal players who ascend to immortality interact with the world on a completely different level.

Immortals trade the foolish desires of mortals for new powers. They can change their form or become completely invisible, and instant teleportation is trivial.

Even still, there many entities more powerful than immortals. The first of such are shard gods. 'Shard' gods have complete control over the objects, life forms and events of their home 'shard(s)'. Here is just a small sample of the powers that gods will wield:

This system of player moderation allows you to stay completely in character in game while still providing you with all the tools you need to create engaging game worlds. 

In addition to the official rule-sets provided with the game by the Citadel team, players with the desire to mod the game will create custom rule-sets. Just like mods for other games, these mods will be posted online for other players to use on their clusters. While truly adventurous modders may build an entire rule-set from scratch, most custom rule-sets will be variations of one of the official rule-sets.


Our primary goal with the modding system is to allow for easy creation of simple mods while still providing ways to allow the modder to go as deep as they want. There are many layers to the customization of Shards Online.

The most simple way to modify a rule-set is through the creation and manipulation of world objects. World objects are permanent objects that always exist in the world. A common object type is a spawner. These spawn other objects in the world such as NPCs, monsters and treasure chests.

Every single object in the game world is created through the use of object templates. These templates define the properties and behaviors of those objects. There are so many things you can create just by manipulating these templates. Here are just a few examples:

  • NPCs and creatures - You can specify the equipment they are wearing and the loot they have in their pack. Give them custom dialogue and add special behaviors. 
  • Equipment - Templates specify the name, color, attributes and special abilities of weapons and armor.  
  • Spawners - Define the region, types of creatures and respawn frequency for NPC and creature spawners. 
At the core, nearly every aspect of gameplay is defined by behaviors written in the Lua scripting language. Even the entire combat system including skills and abilities is defined with behaviors. Here are some examples of things you can change in script:

  • Create new skills, abilities, crafting recipes, rare resources 
  • Write new AI for NPCs and creatures. 
  • Create new story lines and events. 
  • Create new game modes.

 We have assembled an amazing team of talented and passionate developers.

Dennis Miller - Video Editing

Aimee Jarboe - Community Management

Kate Lollar and John O'Leary - Public Relations

Dave Brown - Videographer

Sean Andrew Murray -  Concept Artist

Josh Eiten - Concept Artist

Davison Carvalho - Concept Artist

Greg Grimsby - Concept Artist

Yoko Hasegawa - Kickstarter Page Japanese Localization

「シャード オンライン」は真の次世代オンラインゲーム。王道MMOと言われる「ウルティマ オンライン」を筆頭に、数々のサンドボックスゲームに深く影響を受けて作られた作品です。Citadelは今までのオンラインゲーム(MMO)の殻から抜け出し、プレイヤーにとってより自然且つ自由度の高いヴァーチャル世界を「シャード オンライン」で実現します。

 神々が競い合う混沌とした多次元世界。「シャード オンライン」は独自のルールや歴史を持った様々な世界(シャード)を作る者、そしてそれを切り開く者達を待ち構えています。プレイヤーはそこで宝を探し、現在と過去二つの文明から新しいスキルやアビリティーを獲得しながらそれぞれの世界を切り開いて行きます。

このゲームはPCを対象としており、MacやLinuxへの対応も現在進行中です。オンライン配信の為Steamなどのプラットフォームの使用を検討しております。ゲームを購入されると、個人のシャードが一つ与えられ、更には他のプレーヤー達のシャードでプレイする事も可能です。追加料金は発生しません。

今回ゲームを購入された方には購入後30日間無料で、プレミアム会員のみ利用可能なCitadel Clustersへのアクセスが可能になります。そこでは多数のクラスタによる様々な公式ルールセットが用意されている他、カスタマーサポートやライブイベント、そしてコンテンツへの早期アクセスが可能になるなどの特典を用意しております。

我々が提供するのは単なるゲームではありません。プレイヤー自身が想像力を発揮し、独自の世界を作り上げる為のツールを提供する事が我々の目標なのです。

Risks and challenges

Online games are no walk in the park. That is why so few indie companies even attempt them! Luckily we have the industry experience to pull something like this off. While we have a great foundation for the shard and cluster technology, there are still many technical and creative hurdles we must overcome. Citadel Studios is no stranger to challenge. In fact we thrive on it.

We adhere to the KISS (Keep it simple stupid) development strategy. Even at the time of writing this, we have a stable fully playable build. Throughout the product’s development one of our core goals is to maintain this level of stability. This makes the job of getting our product to you, our players, much easier.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • We can't wait to begin accepting payments via Paypal and other methods. However, we need to wait until the Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded since these other methods will immediately charge you.

    Last updated:
  • Nope! Buy it once and it's free to play on any community servers, AND you can run one of your own.

    There is an optional subscription which is only needed if you'd like to play on the official Citadel servers with live customer support and events. All $20+ Backers get more than 3 months of access for free!

    Last updated:
  • The current plan is to have 'shards' hosted in the way other games like Minecraft host their servers. You get the binary when you purchase the game and can run the server out of your house or rent space from a game server hosting company. If you are tech-savvy enough, you can run them up in the cloud yourself!

    You can run a single ‘shard’ for people to directly connect to (just like Minecraft) without the use of our cluster technology. However, if you want to connect multiple ‘shards’ together, you will sign up with Citadel Studios for a hosted cluster. Among other things, this provides you with a web interface that allows you to specify which ‘shards’ can connect into the cluster, and what players have admin (god) access.

    Last updated:
  • We want to be sure that 'shards' are easy enough for anyone to run and small enough for them to be run on almost any computer. The 64 player limit mentioned in previous interviews is only the number we are sure we will be able to support at this early stage in development and will likely increase between now and alpha. Clusters, on the other hand, will support much larger numbers by connecting 'shards' together. This is what separates Shards Online from other player-run games by allowing thousands of players to play in the same player-run universe simultaneously.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    38 backers

    Thanks for your support

    Pyrite Tier

    Get a personal THANK YOU from Citadel Studios and the Shards development team. AND get on the list to receive email updates about the campaign's progress.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    428 backers Limited (322 left of 750)

    Early Bird Backer Only

    Sapphire Tier

    A thank you from the Shards Development Team
    + Access to official Backer Forums
    + You will receive 1 Digital copy of Shards Online
    + 1 High Resolution Wallpaper
    + 2 Additional weeks of Optional Premium Subscription
    + "Sapphire Backer" In-Game Title

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    33 backers

    Shards Backer!

    Emerald Tier

    A thank you from the Shards Development Team
    + Access to official Backer Forums
    + You will receive 1 Digital copy of Shards Online
    + 1 High Resolution Wallpaper
    + 2 Additional weeks of Optional Premium Subscription
    + "Emerald Backer" In-Game Title

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    53 backers Limited (447 left of 500)

    Shards Admin

    Star Sapphire Tier (Intended for Server Admins)

    You will receive everything from the Sapphire Tier but your In-Game title is "Star Sapphire Backer" + 1 month of cluster hosting + 1 custom ‘shard’ map only available to backer admins. NOTE: This does not include an invite to the Early Admin Program

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    232 backers Limited (4768 left of 5000)

    ALPHA Access

    Ruby Tier

    A thank you from the Shards Development Team
    + Access to official Backer Forums
    + You will receive 1 Digital copy of Shards Online + 3 High Resolution Wallpapers + 4 Additional weeks of Optional Premium Subscription + "Ruby Backer" In-Game Title + Access to Founders Only Shard + Alpha Access + Digital Manual + Digital Soundtrack

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    54 backers

    Alpha + Shards Admin

    Crimson Ruby Tier (Intended for Server Admins)

    You will receive everything from the Ruby Tier but your In-Game title is "Crimson Ruby Backer" + 1 month of cluster hosting + 1 custom ‘shard’ map only available to backer admins. NOTE: This does not include an invite to the Early Admin Program

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    38 backers Limited (2462 left of 2500)

    Bring a Friend to ALPHA Access

    Dark Ruby Tier

    A thank you from the Shards Development Team
    + Access to official Backer Forums
    + You will receive 1 Digital copy of Shards Online + 3 High Resolution Wallpapers + 4 Additional weeks of Optional Premium Subscription + "Dark Ruby Backer" In-Game Title + Access to Founders Only Shard + Alpha Access + Digital Manual + Digital Soundtrack + 1 Additional Alpha Access Invitation

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    73 backers Limited (2927 left of 3000)

    Collectors Edition - Digital only

    Sunstone Tier

    You will receive everything from the Dark Ruby Tier but your In-Game title is "Sunstone Backer" + 1 Familiar + 1 Additional Character Slot + Custom Backer Armor Set + Custom Backer Weapon + 1 Decorative Housing Trophy + 1 Digital Shards Art Book

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    9 backers Limited (1491 left of 1500)

    Collectors Edition - Physical Copy

    Moonstone Tier

    You will receive everything from the Dark Ruby Tier but your In-Game title is "Moonstone Backer" + 1 Familiar + 1 Additional Character Slot + Custom Backer Armor Set + Custom Backer Weapon + 1 Decorative Housing Trophy + 1 Digital Shards Art Book + High Quality Celador Cloth Map + Collectors Game Box

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    42 backers Limited (108 left of 150)

    Limited Collectors Edition - Physical Copy

    Bloodstone Tier (The Immortals Program)

    You will receive everything from the Dark Ruby Tier but your In-Game title is "Bloodstone Backer" + 2 Familiar + 2 Additional Character Slots + Custom Backer Armor Set + Custom Backer Weapon + 1 Decorative Housing Trophy + 1 Digital Shards Art Book + High Quality Celador Cloth Map + Collectors Game Box + Founder Only Armor Dye + Limited Edition Only Collectors Coin + Invite into The Immortals Program

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    5 backers Limited (295 left of 300)

    The Immortals Program

    Dark Crystal Tier

    You will receive everything from the Dark Ruby Tier but your In-Game title is "Dark Crystal" + 2 Familiar + 2 Additional Character Slots + Custom Backer Armor Set + Custom Backer Weapon + 1 Decorative Housing Trophy + 1 Digital Shards Art Book + High Quality Celador Cloth Map + Collectors Game Box + Invite into The Immortals Program

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    0 backers Limited (100 left of 100)

    Shield With Custom Guild Crest

    Alexandrite Tier (Intended for Players)

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but your In-Game title is "Alexandrite Backer" + Your Guild Crest on a Shield

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    12 backers Limited (88 left of 100)

    Shards Admin Program

    Obsidian Tier (Intended for Server Admins)

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but your In-Game title is "Obsidian Backer" + Invite to Early Admin Program

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    12 backers Limited (88 left of 100)

    Shards Modders Program

    Malachite Tier (Intended for Modders)

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but your In-Game title is "Malachite Backer" + Invite to Early Admin Program + Invite to Early Modders Program

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    4 backers Limited (46 left of 50)

    NPC named after you

    Cobalt Tier (Intended for Players)

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but your In-Game title is "Cobalt Backer" + Your name will be used as an NPC within Shards Online

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    2 backers Limited (73 left of 75)

    Featured Cluster

    Onyx Tier (Intended for Server Admins)

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but your In-Game title is "Onyx Backer" + Your Cluster Featured on Shards Online Official Cluster Selection Screen

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    2 backers Limited (48 left of 50)

    Design a Weapon

    Opal Tier

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but your In-Game title is "Opal Backer" + Invite to Early Admin Program + Invite to Early Modders Program + Work with the Shards Art team to create a weapon of your design

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (48 left of 50)

    Live Dev Event

    Amethyst Tier

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but choose your own In-Game backer title (subject to approval) + Your Guild Crest on a Shield + Invite to Early Admin Program + Invite to Early Modders Program + Your Cluster Featured on Shards Online Official Cluster Selection Screen + Members of Citadel Studios will appear as gods on your cluster and run a unique one time live event.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (25 left of 25)

    You as an NPC

    Zircon Tier

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but you choose your own In-Game backer title (subject to approval) + Your Guild Crest on a Shield + Invite to Early Admin Program + Invite to Early Modders Program + Your Cluster Featured on Shards Online Official Cluster Selection Screen + Members of Citadel Studios will appear as gods on your cluster and run a unique one time live event + We will create a custom NPC with your face on it

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Design your own house

    Diamond Tier

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but you choose your own In-Game backer title (subject to approval) + Your Guild Crest on a Shield + Invite to Early Admin Program + Invite to Early Modders Program + Your Cluster Featured on Shards Online Official Cluster Selection Screen + Your name will be used as an NPC within Shards Online + Work with the Shards Art team to create a weapon of your design + Members of Citadel Studios will appear as gods on your cluster and run a unique one time live event + We will create a custom NPC with your face on it + Work directly with a designer on the team to design a unique house style and floor plan.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Launch Party

    Black Diamond Tier

    You will receive everything from the Dark Crystal Tier but you choose your own In-Game backer title (subject to approval) + Your Guild Crest on a Shield + Invite to Early Admin Program + Invite to Early Modders Program + Your Cluster Featured on Shards Online Official Cluster Selection Screen + Your name will be used as an NPC within Shards Online + Work with the Shards Art team to create a weapon of your design + Members of Citadel Studios will appear as gods on your cluster and run a unique one time live event + We will create a custom NPC with your face on it + Work directly with a designer on the team to design a unique house style and floor plan + We will buy you a (domestic) plane ticket to join us at our launch party.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)