Funding for this project was suspended by Kickstarter on July 22, 2014.
About this project
The following is early prototype footage that's not representative of Areal's final quality:
Video of our team:
Areal is a new video game that's being made by senior ex-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers. It features a massive and intricately detailed open world environment that is extremely varied and colorful, even though it's set in a post-apocalyptic setting. Areal depicts a future where civilization has fallen apart due to an unearthly material called Metamorphite, which eventually spreads, corrupts and infects the whole world. The source of Metamorphite comes from a meteor that impacted the earth long ago, and it is the site of constant conflict and bloodshed.
Areal's story is not linear – players can choose how their characters act and speak – everything from how you talk to who you kill changes the storyline of Areal. There is no morality system in Areal, so you are free to make choices that you think are best in any given situation, without being blinded and limited by a standard good/evil system. Ultimately, Areal is the culmination of everything that we want to see from a post apocalyptic game, and it's something that we can realize with full creative freedom because of the unique platform that is Kickstarter. All we need is your support!
Areal is a shooter that immediately stands out from its counterparts. Battles within the game are heavily influenced by many factors, which include your character's traits, your choice of supplies and weaponry, your current surroundings, whether or not anomalies are present, the possible presence of mutants, and the usage of various metamorphites that serve to enhance and upgrade your abilities. Areal will release on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Windows, Mac and Linux.
You can modify your weapons to suit whatever play-style you are comfortable with. Every type of weapon has its own specific attributes as well as their own respective ranges of lethality. With the help of modifications, you can customize your weapons in any way you see fit, and that can mean either modding a gun to be overall well rounded, or customizing it for a very specific purpose. Even if a gun is the exact same model that you used before, each individual weapon still differs slightly from one another. That means that a random assault rifle that you found somewhere can turn out to be one of the best guns in your arsenal.
Areal's story-line is split into a variety of non-linear and branching missions. Every mission is made in such a way that the outcome varies for each individual player. In other words, your play style and choices drastically change and alter Areal's story-line and landscape. No matter how you choose to play Areal; you are guaranteed an absolutely engrossing and immeasurably grand experience. Areal also features a variety of unique side missions and activities that complement the game's primary missions. You don't have to complete them, but we highly recommend that you do, because they hold the answers to many secrets within Areal.
You can find and make use of a wide variety of vehicles within Areal. That includes everything from ATV's, military trucks, tanks and even helicopters. Most vehicles require fuel, can be damaged, and can be repaired.
The usage of metamorphites can greatly effect the outcome of battles. Meta have various capabilities that vary from simply altering certain characteristics, to granting you abilities that enhance your strength in battle.
X-life is a unique system that simulates life and adjusts to every action that the player makes. You can regularly observe and interact with the environment that surrounds you. Accidental encounters with mutants and other foes brings new and completely dynamic combat situations that always differ from one another.
This system dictates how enemies move and how they react within various environmental circumstances. With the help of X-life, enemies will move throughout various terrain obstacles with ease and extreme realism. They will dynamically adjust their play-style, combat characteristics and armor to suit the conditions that they are in.
The general behavior that is exhibited by mutants is also controlled by the X-life system. There are various types of mutants, and they all have unique traits and personalities. An example of this is that some mutants prefer to hunt in a pack, while others prefer to go it alone. In battle, mutants make use of various tactics that vary depending on the environmental circumstances that they find themselves in. For example, a lone wolf will try to ambush you, while a pack of wolfs will aggressively attack you from all sides.
Areal features an innovative approach towards A.I. and virtual characters. The most important principle that governs the A.I. within Areal is that an enemy's rank is dependent on its characteristics and behavior. The result of this is that enemies that are harder to kill do not have substantially higher health, but instead are smarter and more cunning. Enemies make use of their surroundings, use teamwork and adapt to your play-style so as to present more enjoyable and unpredictable game-play.
Our game does not have ANY artificial boundaries that would otherwise limit where you could go. Areal is divided into 3 primary zones – green, yellow and red – the green zone has anomalies, but they are rare and move only when they appear or “erupt”. Various electronic equipment and modes of transport are usable within this zone. The yellow zone has a large amount of anomalies that move very frequently and at random. No electrical equipment works in the yellow zone, and means of conventional transport are virtually nonexistent. Every person who enters the red zone becomes irreparably irradiated and transforms into something that has characteristics that are akin to a zombie. Even from the very beginning of the game, you can venture into the depths of Areal, though you might be slightly unprepared if you go too far into the yellow zone...
The people that developed the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series have come together to create a new team called West Games. Together, we're developing a game called Areal, which features an engrossing story, unique game-play and innovative mechanics. Most of our team is composed of former senior GSC Game World staff members, and now that we have our own fully independent studio, we can create the ultimate post apocalyptic video game.
We place great emphasis on communicating with gamers and fans, so we want to keep you informed of everything that goes on whilst we are developing Areal. In addition to being able to see how we make Areal, you'll also get the chance to participate and mold Areal's story-line, game-play and features. You'll be able to do this via polls on our website, as well as just by commenting with a suggestion on our Kickstarter.
Kickstarter allows us to create the post-apocalyptic game that we've always dreamed of making. The traditional method of seeking funding from a publisher stifles creativity and limits what we can do, even if we receive a large budget from them. We want Areal to stand out from other games that come from similar genres, and we believe that Kickstarter is the best way for us to do that. We think that the best way to realize Areal is through the gaming community itself.
An experienced software engineer and successful entrepreneur. Eugene was directing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Online's development over at GSC Game World, before moving on to West Games. He has actively provided consultations and advice for various video game companies.
Alexey Sytyanov was the lead game designer and screenwriter for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as well as Survarium. He is now a part of our team and acts as the producer for Areal.
He's a brilliant game developer who started his career in 2003 over at GSC Game World. He has presided over the development of every game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series.
He has worked at leading GSC video game studios (GSC and 4A Games) and designed game-play for many AAA class projects; some of which include Metro Last Light, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Online, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow Of Chernobyl.
Eugene is an extremely talented video game developer. He chiefly worked on the game engine for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 before moving on to Areal. Eugene leads the programming side of things and strives to make Areal of triple-A quality.
Ievgeniia is highly skilled in all aspects of communication and public relations. She studied at Brunel university of London under digital games and design theory.
Igor is a respected game industry analyst, professional gamer and an active staple of the gaming community. He is a video-game journalist who's been published in numerous publications, both official and fan based. He also used to be a radio presenter on a station called the Game Radio Portal.
Professional artist with huge experience in game art, book illustrations, cartoons, academic art, advertising and many other things.
Our eyes in the world of Areal. He's an integral part of our team and is responsible for much of Areal's concept art.
He assumed the mantles of lead artist, concept artist and animator on a project that was codenamed Oblivion Lost, and later known as S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl. He now serves as a concept artist for Areal.
An experienced concept art designer, who worked on several game projects from various different genres. He's responsible for the special atmosphere in Areal.
A 7th generation officer who used to be an accomplished Spetznaz. He's now a well known fantasy and post apocalyptic author. Sergey originally wrote a book called Areal, which now serves as the basis for our game.
Languages and Localization
Our team is very international, with people who speak English, Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and many other languages. In order to reflect that, we want Areal to be as multilingual as possible, so we are including a variety of language options.
There will be English and Russian voice over options for Areal and subtitles in the following languages; English, Russian, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.
Since we are developing on Wii U and it's region locked, Kickstarter backers who choose the Wii U version will get a copy that corresponds to their region.
We dream, act and win!
We've pooled all of our savings into making Areal, and don't have funds to go any further. Unlike most companies, every one of our employees has invested their time and money into making Areal. The budget that we've pooled together covers salaries and some aspects of game development. We need the Kickstarter and post-apocalyptic communities to support us by helping us cover the rest. Marketing also makes up a huge portion of most budgets, so we will rely on internal marketing as well as word of mouth to lower those costs substantially.
Risks and challenges
We are an experienced team who have worked on many AAA projects, with some of them being S.T.A.L.K.E.R. There are always challenges and obstacles that you need to deal with when making video games or any media really, but they are easy to overcome. We are confident that we can make Areal an awesome and unique post-apocalyptic game.
We'll make sure to keep you updated on any and all progress on Areal. You will also be able to change and improve Areal by participating in polls on our website and by suggesting improvements on our Kickstarter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Select and back the Kickstarter reward tier that you want. After the Kickstarter ends, we'll send out a poll asking you which platform that you'd like to receive Areal on.
Areal is a post apocalyptic survival horror game at heart, and there will be plenty of scares. The world of areal is vibrant and alive, but even more so hostile and unpredictable.
Of course! Windows, Linux and Mac versions will have DRM free versions available. Areal will also be available on steam.
The easiest way to put it is that we've completely exhausted our collective piggy banks in getting Areal to the point that it's at. Areal is in pre-alpha, and we've sorted out the A.I., inventory systems and many of the missions. The world of Areal is expanding everyday and we need your support on Kickstarter to finish it!
Areal is a mixture of FPS and TPS, with TPS coming into play during moments that are cinematic.
It is, so we'll make sure to send you a copy that corresponds to the region that you're in.
Simple, you've been using way too much metamorphite! There's a reason that the world went to hell because of it...
Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Linux, Windows and Mac are included in the base goal.
You will be able to after our Kickstarter ends. Keep in mind that the 25$ entry level price point on our Kickstarter is heavily discounted, and that pre-ordering will not entitle you to many of the rewards found on our Kickstarter.
We want to make Areal as feature rich as possible, so any DLC that changes the story, combat and or game-play will only be made after the game releases and only if it's deemed necessary.
Yes you can! Feel free to write story and gameplay suggestions within the comments section of our Kickstarter. We're also planning some polls on our website, so keep an eye out for that.
No! We have never said that we have reached alpha, but people are mentioning it all the time. We are in pre-alpha, meaning before alpha. Pre-production has finished, but we have not reached alpha yet.
Here is a wiktionary definition of pre-alpha:
"A development status given to a program or application that is usually not feature complete, and is not usually released to the public. Developers are usually still deciding on what features the program should have at this status. This status comes before the alpha version, and is the first status given to a program."
- (30 days)