Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 5.

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M.A.V. is like playing with legos, only you are building a giant mech of destruction.

Funding has been reached! Stretch goals:

Melee Weapons- Unlocked at 25k

 Melee weapons will add an entire new class of weapons to M.A.V., reflecting the humble beginnings of M.A.V. pilots as mining machine operators. This weapon class will include devastating close range weapons that are improvised from their normal mining operations. Weapons like Hydraulic Jack Hammers, pounding though buildings and other M.A.V.'s. Or maybe try the Massive Rock Saw, spinning up and ripping apart the weaker parts of your enemies. Try strapping a massive bulldozer blade to your M.A.V. and ramming your opponent, dealing collision damage and shoving them out of your way! This class of weapons and parts will let you get up close and personal, so you can see the fear before you silence your oppressors.

M.A.V. Soundtrack - Unlocked at $30k  

The amazing  Varien has agreed to make the soundtrack for M.A.V. if we can hit this goal! I think he understands exactly the tone and feeling that M.A.V. is going for and will be more than capable of delivering an AMAZING and iconic sound to the game. You can listen to his work on soundcloud, tweet your support, or even connect on facebook with him.

As for Backers, everyone that pledges at the Champion level ($30) or more will get the M.A.V. soundtrack for free! But, we need everyones help to unlock this goal, so spread the word and tell everyone you know! 9 days left and I know we can do it! 

M.A.V. is a cross between a classic 'big stompy robot' combat game and Legos. 

The combat is intense, with each part having its own damage system. Where your shot hits counts just as much as how hard your shot hits. Your M.A.V. is a direct reflection of you and your play style. You can customize everything on it to maximize your combat abilities and show off a little bit of your personal style.  

This game has been heavily inspired by the game play and customization of a game called Chrome Hounds, which was released on the Xbox 360. While I have been a mech fan ever since I saw the movie Robot Jox, something about Chrome Hounds really captivated me.

On October 7th, 2053 a large comet collided with Jupiter's moon, Europa. It caused the release of large amounts of Nitrogen and water vapor creating a new atmosphere. This event quickly elevates the moon into a suitable target for human colonization. The drive for setting up a permanent presence on Europa is further driven by the asteroid mining that is taking place in the solar system. A presence on Europa, with its vast resources and ample supply of water, would provide an ideal interplanetary 'gas station' for getting raw materials back to the growing population of Earth. 

With the possibilities of vast sums of money to be made, and the allure of controlling the new resource, a new 'Gold Rush' mentality developed among the nations on Earth. Many nations quickly set up programs to make the journey to the new world, but required willing volunteers to do the actual mining. To recruit these volunteers, they presented this as a great opportunity to be a part of history and gain valuable riches for their families. 

The standard offer to a volunteer was to offer a deal in which the nation would pay for your journey and equipment (basic mining vehicle, small house, and rations) and you would work for the nation to pay the debt off at 3 times the initial cost. This was told so the nation could continue to send new volunteers and to cover the cost of returning the mined goods to Earth. After the debt was paid off, you would be offered a very comfortable salary to continue mining for the nation. With the reported amount of riches, most miners would be able to pay their debt off in less than a year, and then would be able to make 20 - 50 times the salary they could have earned on Earth. 

Many people saw the great opportunity this presented, and so they volunteered. 

Since the journey is long and very expensive, special modular mining machines were developed and given to the settlers, so they could mine the most variety of materials without any additional equipment. Once materials are mined, giant railguns are then used to launch the mined materials into orbit, where they are collected and shipped back to earth. 

For awhile, everything worked as planned. Slowly, the nations of earth began demanding more from the settlers. They started moving in military forces to help enforce their quotas and prevent anyone from trying to leave. The entire moon started to evolve into a forced labor camp, with the nations never releasing any of the volunteers from their contracts. 

On April 22nd, 2078 the colony erupts in revolution. This is where M.A.V. begins.

When I say customize everything about your M.A.V., I mean it. You start with picking a mobility platform from one of the 7 currently planned types. After that, it's up to you! Want to have your guns attached directly to your legs to minimize recoil? 

Sniper Build
Sniper Build

What about protecting your cockpit with armor plates?

Juggernaut
Juggernaut

Or maybe you just want as many guns as possible! 

More Guns!
More Guns!

In M.A.V., there will be thousands of parts to pick from, each with its own stats and appearance. There will be a weapon for every strategy, a cockpit for every style, and an armor plate that always fits just right.

There are also lots of cosmetic changes you can make to your M.A.V., from the paint color of each part, to the camo patterns and colors that the parts have. Here are a few examples, starting with the default option.

Default
Default

As I mentioned, there are thousands of different parts to use to build your M.A.V.. You will acquire new parts in many different ways, whether it is from completing story missions, gaining rank by earning experience, or having your faction research the part in Campaign mode.

Because there are so many different parts, I can't even begin to name them here. What I can do is give you an idea of what is planned. You can also see a detailed list of parts on the games website.

Weapons

Machine Guns : Gatling Guns : Shotguns : Assault Rifles : Battle Rifles : Sniper Rifles : Sniper Cannons : Rail Guns : Grenade Launchers : Mortars : Bombs : Mines : Rocket Packs : Rockets : Bazookas : Howitzers : Cannons : Auto Cannons : Flame Throwers : Pneumatic Spikes : Heavy Weapons

Mobility Base

Bipeds : Treads : Reverse Biped : Digitigrade : Wheels : Quadruped : Hexapod : Hover

Deployment Systems

Deployment systems allow you to bring additional utility items on to the battlefield and deploy them to your advantage. They include:

Turrets : Defensive Barriers : Repair Stations : Communication Uplinks : Beacons : Communication Jammers : Mobility Reducing Barriers

Spacers

Spacers are armored connection joints. They allow you to position parts in many different ways.

Auxiliary Parts

Auxiliary Parts include a handful of situation specific parts. They include:

Vision Modes (Thermal, Night Vision) : Radiators : Extended Ammo Holders : Fire Suppression Systems : Commander Uplinks 

As the game progresses, it's very possible this list will continue to grow. There have already been a few really good fan suggestions for new parts!

Combat is intense! Massive explosions, locational damage, teamwork, and the chance for a comeback. M.A.V. is not a game about jump sniping, one shot kill head shots, or super fast twitch play. What M.A.V. is about is making smart choices, working with your team, and adapting to situations. 

You are now on fire
You are now on fire

This is mainly because every part that makes up your M.A.V. has its own health system and its own armor rating. Armor protects you by actually taking the hits, instead of the parts under it. Weapons will take damage, start to smoke, and their performance will degrade. Take too much damage to a part and it is destroyed in a fiery explosion, taking with it any parts that structurally depended on it. This means protecting your weak points is very important, as well as finding and exploiting the weak points on your enemies M.A.V..

 A M.A.V. pilot can choose from six different role types to build and play as, or even choose a hybrid approach. The six defined roles are as follows:

Attacker

Attackers are the workhorses of any squad deploying into the battlefield. They maintain their maneuverability, without sacrificing survivability or firepower. If they get close, they will make quick work of any other M.A.V.

Defender

Defenders act as a last line of defense. Giving up speed, they can stack on massive amounts of armor and defensive deployables. As 1 man armies, they can set up choke points and hold back forces many times greater than themselves.

Support

The support role is a varied role, but will primarily be indirect support fire. Using the information provided by scouts and commanders, they can quickly remove structures, snipers, or even the entrenched defenders. 

Scout

Scouts are the eyes and ears of the team. They provide the vital info that Attacker and Support roles need, and make great anti-sniper units. They will typically sacrifice survivability for speed and maneuverability.

Sniper

Snipers are the long arm of death. Delivering surgical strikes at extreme distance is exactly what this role does best. Wait for the right shot, and hit the weak point, and you can cripple an enemy M.A.V. before it can even see what hit it.

Commander

The commander role is the leader of the pack. They tap into the intel streams that scouts and all the other team mates provide and relay that on. They have unique view of the battle field, so it is up to them to send out orders and information to the rest of their team.
 

 There are currently 4 planned game modes. 

 Story Mode - Single-player 

Story Mode will introduce you into the world of M.A.V.. Follow along through the missions as you become a pilot in the resistance against the United Earth Council (UEC). You will progress through a series of levels that push you into trying different strategies and M.A.V. roles. The story mode is NOT a tutorial and it will be challenging to complete. Once you do complete it, you can play it again, only with all the enemies ramped up to match your new skill level. 

Arena Mode - Single and Multiplayer 

Arena mode is a no frills game mode. It's strictly kill or be killed. Free–for–alls and teams will be supported, with all modes supporting AI controlled M.A.V.'s.  

Siege Mode - Single and Multiplayer 

Siege mode adds a new layer of complexity to the combat. It is strictly an objective based team mode, in which you need to work together to destroy the other teams base. Be careful though, you only get 1 life, unlike arena mode. 

Campaign Mode [AKA 'The War'] - Single and Multiplayer

Campaign mode is a persistent war to conquer territories. It adds a vast metagame to the battles, with each battle having a direct and measurable outcome. Plan your missions carefully, as each outcome will not only affect the territories on the map, but also the contents of your teams bank account. You will have to balance your strategy with the amount of resources you have. You will be able to form alliances, hire mercenaries, research new parts, and strive to take over the whole map.

 The campaign mode is the heart of what M.A.V. is about. A persistent battle, with multiple factions fighting it out for complete control. In this mode, everything is on the line and everything can affect the outcome. The world map is a dynamic map showing the current status of the game areas. 

A mock up of the world map
A mock up of the world map

When you enter the war, you will have to choose to either join a rebel faction, or you can try to start up a new faction. Starting a new faction is a difficult, but rewarding task, as you must venture out and conquer a territory on your own.

Once you have your first territory, you will start to gather resources from it.  Different territories will provide different amounts of resources and you can be sure the most valuable will be the most sought after. It is important to protect your conquered areas, so you will be able to build defensive structures in your territories, as well as add additional buildings and technology to increase their resource production. With enough resources and time, you can even build and deploy offensive structures, like a massive rail gun, which can then be used to help defend or conquer neighboring territories.

World events will dramatically change the way the battle plays out. Whether it be that you choose to fight in the daylight, or try to deploy covertly under the darkness of night, or maybe a storm comes in affecting the visibility of the map. The U.E.C might deploy a reinforcement drop ship, right into your territory, forcing you into battle but presenting the opportunity to salvage some of their advanced technology.

Every game will play out differently, every battle will have a story, and every faction will have a struggle to the top. It's up to you to lead them there!

The AI system in M.A.V. is a sophisticated system that operates as a series of probability systems. It is designed to mimic a human player as closely as possible. 

This means the AI is responsible for all the same things that a player is, from building their M.A.V., to working as a team, and adapting to situations on the battlefield.

AI Generated Builds
AI Generated Builds

 I have written a complete modular AI system that works with different layers of decision making, allowing emergent behaviors to arise and even sometimes surprise me! One of the key aspects of the AI is it's adaptability. It will use the data it gathers as it fights to create a better overall strategy and make better snap decisions during the fight.

The goal of the AI is to become as seamless as possible into the game play experience, so that you forget you are even playing with bots and not humans. So far, one of the most telling aspects that you are playing with AI is not their combat behavior, but the types of M.A.V.s that they build. They are getting better and better every day!

The PC is a great platform to launch a game on, but it's not the only one out there and a lot of people like to enjoy games on other devices. I want to eventually bring M.A.V. to these players, whether it be on Mac and Linux, or even PS4 and Xbox One. I specifically chose to work with the Unity3D game engine because of the cross platform capabilities it has and the partnerships they have with the console makers.

I even have some great ideas for a mobile app that would let you build your M.A.V., test it, then sync it to the cloud so it is ready to go as soon as you are ready to play. 

There is also a web interface I have in the works that would allow you to track your gameplay stats. This could be as simple as a 'gamer card' type profile that is available on the web, or as detailed as a game review tool that lets you see how and where you died.

The future of this is going to be decided right here and right now, with this Kickstarter and the fan support behind the game.

My name is Chad Mauldin and I have been a gamer my whole life. I have also been a professional game developer for the past 6 years, working at several AAA studios. I have worked on titles like F.E.A.R. 3, Borderlands 2, and other projects. M.A.V. is the reason I got into the game industry. I knew I there was a lot I would need to learn in order to make M.A.V. As soon as I felt confident in my knowledge and know how on how to approach the making of M.A.V., I set out on this journey to bring it to life. I truly believe in an open development process and talking and discussing things with the players of the game. I am most active on Facebook and the official message board.

I am coming to Kickstarter get support in raising the quality of art that is in the game. I can no longer deliver the quality that I feel the game deserves, while also doing the design and code aspects of the game.

By bringing on an artist, I feel that not only will the final game be a much higher quality, but it will also allow the game development go much faster. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This is a game development project, and the popular saying is that game development is hard. Hard is not impossible, but it can come with consequences. Sometimes there are delays, as a task ends up being significantly more complicated than you originally thought. Other times, a feature might get cut because it no longer fits with the design of the game or it might be more work than the value that it would bring to the game.

My way of combating these risks is to be as open as possible in my development of the game. I started a development blog 2 years ago (go read the post!), back when I first made a prototype of the game and began testing. I released the first 'playable' version of the game shortly after and have had constant feedback with the players ever since. In that 2 years, I have never missed making my weekly update on the development blog.

Some people also might say that it is a project risk because I am a single developer. I agree that if I was to get hit by a bus, it would be a great setback to the game development. However, I think being a single developer has also allowed me to work with the players to incorporate feedback at a MUCH faster rate than most other developers or studios (My record is 1 hour from bug report to patched game delivery).

FAQ

  • No. The only way to get the game, is to back the kickstarter. The game used to be for sale before the kickstarter campaign, but it was removed to ensure the kickstarter has the greatest chance for success. Once the funding goal has been met, I will open up a paypal option as well. However, everyone will get the game at the same time, after the kickstarter has completed.

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  • No. While I think free to play games have their place and their fans, I find too often developers of free to play games end up looking at their players as walking wallets instead of fans and supporters. M.A.V. will be a one time cost. No recurring fees, no micro transactions, no paid dlc. Think of it like a throwback to the good days, when you bought something and actually got the whole thing.

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  • Not immediately. The current game is Windows only, and will stay that way for a while, as the core features of the game are completed. Once the game is in a more final state, I will begin porting to additional platforms. Mac and Linux will most likely be first, and then additional ones will be considered after that, based on complexity (and cost). Doing the support in this way greatly eases the burden of bug hunting and fixing issues and allows me to develop the game much faster.

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  • When the game is greenlit and available on steam, you will be given a steam key.
    (Make sure and vote! http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/…)

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  • No, while all those things are awesome, I think they are better suited to different games. M.A.V. is much more about the skill of manually aiming your shots and teamwork, while a game with the above features would be more likely to be about dodging and maneuvering in a 3d space.

    Here is the current list of planned weapons: http://www.bombdogstudios.com/index.php/about/development-plan/#Weapons

    There are also so great conversations about weapons and parts in general on the message board:
    http://mav.bombdogstudios.com/forums/viewforum.php…

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    Inventor ---- MAV is a game about parts and some one has to make all those parts. That is the role of the part manufacturers, companies that each have their own brand and parts they are know for. With this tier, you can help create a manufacturer, from the name and they types of parts they make, and even provide ideas for what they are known for. Maybe you want them to be known for their accuracy, or maybe it's their speed. Either way, its up to you! [Includes all previous rewards]

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Funding period

- (30 days)