Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Xeno Crisis is a top-down arcade style shooter for Sega Genesis / Mega Drive taking inspiration from classics like Smash TV and Contra.
Xeno Crisis is
a new top-down
arena shooter for up to 2 players that is best described as Smash TV meets
Aliens! Run and gun your way through thousands of enemies spread over 6 areas
as you attempt to discover the cause of the alien menace.
Xeno Crisis is a new top-down arena shooter for up to 2 players that is best described as Smash TV meets Aliens! Run and gun your way through thousands of enemies spread over 6 areas as you attempt to discover the cause of the alien menace.
1,289 backers pledged £72,569 to help bring this project to life.

About

Xeno Crisis: a new game for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Xeno Crisis: a new game for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive

£72,569

1,289

Xeno Crisis is a new, original title for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis and Dreamcast which will be released both as a physical cartridge and also as a downloadable ROM. At its core, it's an arena shooter for up to 2 players that takes inspiration from the likes of Smash TV, Contra, Mercs, Granada, Alien Syndrome, Zombies Ate My Neighbours, Chaos Engine, and Shock Troopers.

We want the game to look, feel and sound like the classic Mega Drive games of the '80s and '90s, but also add some new elements that weren't so common in games of that era, particularly procedural map generation and randomisation of gameplay elements. Achieving that classic look and feel is vitally important to us, which is why we've teamed up with legendary pixel artist Henk Nieborg, who previously worked on the Mega Drive title "The Misadventures Of Flink", developed by Psygnosis.

We're also working with "Savaged Regime"; a highly renowned chip-tune artist that knows how to push the Mega Drive's YM2612 chip to the limit - you can hear a sample of the Xeno Crisis soundtrack in the Kickstarter video above.

The game is currently at the prototype stage and we will be releasing the finished product in October 2018 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Mega Drive's launch in Japan. We're launching this Kickstarter campaign to fund the remainder of the title's development.

 

The focus of Xeno Crisis' gameplay is the intense combat which pits you (and optionally another player) against thousands of alien enemies - players take control of a male or female marine capable of moving and shooting in 8 directions, and they can also perform an evasive roll to get out of tricky situations. If things get really desperate then a grenade can be deployed, destroy anything nearby, giving the player a brief moment of respite.

 

Players have several weapons at their disposal, but ammo is limited so players must constantly be on the move, grabbing new weapons and extra ammo as they go. When a room has been cleared of all hostiles the player(s) can choose which exit to take, with the aim being to rescue any of the colony's inhabitants who might still be alive, and then progress to the area's boss. There are 6 areas in total, each with their own enemies, hazards, secrets and gameplay nuances.

Every few enemies killed will result in a set of dog-tags being dropped - these can be collected and exchanged for upgrades between areas.

Should the player run out of health they will be taken to the 'Continue' screen, where they can decide to continue the fight or start over - the player begins the game with 3 continues but more can be acquired between areas. If a player runs out of health in 2-player mode, that player will remain down until the end of the room, at which point they’ll be revived automatically.

 

The arena shooter has seen something of a resurgence in recent years in the form of Geometry Wars, Enter The Gungeon, Nuclear Assault and The Binding Of Isaac, but the genre was defined back in the early 1980s through games such as Berzerk and Robotron: 2084. Xeno Crisis certainly takes inspiration from these great titles, and particularly Robotron's spiritual successor, Smash TV, utilising a similar game flow.

We've expanded upon this popular and successful formula though by adding new elements which are better suited to console titles, such as the ability to backtrack, a keycard system, an equipment screen, procedural map generation and randomisation of enemies and pickups.

A breakdown of Xeno Crisis' key features:

  • Intense arena-based combat where the player must constantly be on their toes, prioritising which enemies to engage next, and ensuring they don't run out of ammo.
  • Procedurally generated maps and rooms, so you never know what's coming up, and you have to adapt your tactics on a room-by-room basis.
  • Optional 2-player co-operative play, so you can take the fight to the enemy with a friend - just make sure you share the ammo!
  • 6 diverse areas to explore, each with their own obstacles and hazards, and secrets, including The Outpost and The Nest:
Stage 1 - The Outpost
Stage 1 - The Outpost

 

Stage 3 - The Nest
Stage 3 - The Nest

 

Stage 4 - The Laboratory
Stage 4 - The Laboratory
 
  • Upgrade system which allows you to adapt the game to your style of play - are you a cautious player or more gung-ho?
  • An arsenal of 9 different weapons to switch things up and turn the tables in your favour.
  • 6 intimidating bosses, each of which will demand you to learn a different strategy to defeat them.
  • Two modes of play; once you've completed the Arcade mode you can try your hand at the Infinite mode, where even veteran players will find a challenge.
  • Two difficulty levels; "Rookie" and "Hardcorps". Playing on Rookie will mean easier progress, but you won't be able to see the "good" ending!

 

As you progress through the colony you will come across many different enemies, each with their own traits and means of attack. Many of them can be gunned down without too much thought, but others will require the player to outflank them, attack them within a certain time window, or be avoided altogether! Here are the first few enemies you'll encounter:

 

There are several weapons at your disposal, each with their own characteristics. Although your standard issue pulse rifle is perfectly capable of taking on the enemy, other weapons can give you advantages in certain situations, so picking them up is generally advisable - just don't run out of ammo!

 

At the end of each area you will be given the chance to exchange any dog-tags you've collected for upgrades ranging from extra health to weapon power-ups to extra continues. Which upgrades you go for will depend on your style of play.

 

Bitmap Bureau was formed early in 2016 with the intention of creating innovative and polished 2D games for desktops and consoles. Previously our core team have been part of the award winning mobile studio, IOMO, and also the prominent Flash / desktop game development team, Megadev. Our industry experience dates back to 1995 and we've worked with publishers such as Namco, Adult Swim, Disney and Eidos on over 100 successfully completed projects.

We've always been huge fans of the Sega Mega Drive though, and we felt the time was right to develop our first full game for the legendary 16-bit system. Although Xeno Crisis will be our first commercial release for the Mega Drive, we've had experience developing for the system at the 2016 Global Game Jam - we were given just 48 hours to develop a game but it was more like 24 in the end!

We were still able to put together a fun little shooter titled "Fatal Smarties", and it was a great exercise in getting to grips with the hardware - we're confident that without the constraints of a gamejam we'll be able to produce a much better product.

Fatal Smarties
Fatal Smarties

Regarding the development status of Xeno Crisis, many of the trickier features have already been implemented, including procedural map generation...

...and procedural room generation:

Most of the remaining work is implementing new enemies and level features, which we are confident won't cause any major problems.

We're also looking to integrate a range of complex effects and clever technical tricks on the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis. For example, we've created a custom tool chain for animated intros (on the same principles as used by Sonic 3D as described by GameHut).

4 video frames composited for processing
4 video frames composited for processing

 

 

 

 

We have collated many of the most commonly used Mega Drive variants from each territory, including the Mega Drive/Genesis 1, 2 and 3, as well as the "Nomad" - the portable Mega Drive, and the RetroN 5. These will be used to test the game at regular intervals to ensure that the game works and plays well no matter whether it's being played on PAL or NTSC hardware.

Some of our Mega Drive collection
Some of our Mega Drive collection

We also have some of the best CRT displays you can find including the NEC XP29 Plus, the SONY BVM 2010p and the Sony PVM 20L4, as we want to play and test Xeno Crisis on the most authentic hardware available - it's all about them scanlines!

There's also the controllers - we'll be designing and testing the game with the standard 3 button pad, the 6 button pad, as well as the Arcade Stick I and II.

A breakdown of one of the Japanese cartridges
A breakdown of one of the Japanese cartridges

 

* Dreamcast CD add-on is only available for £20 to physical release Mega Drive backers. For all other backers it is £30.

Kickstarter Edition Mega Drive backers will also receive the Dreamcast Kickstarter Edition CD instead of the normal version if they add-on the Dreamcast CD to their pledge.

(Please note add-ons do not incur any additional shipping charges).

 

We've come up with several rewards for all budgets - take a look!

Xeno Crisis ROM

Receive a downloadable ROM file of Xeno Crisis for use with your favourite Sega Genesis / Mega Drive emulator or compatible flash cartridge.

Xeno Crisis cartridge

Receive a multi-region (PAL / NTSC / NTSC-J) cartridge of Xeno Crisis compatible with the original Sega Genesis / Mega Drive console (versions I, II and III).
The NTSC / PAL cartridge (placeholder artwork)
The NTSC / PAL cartridge (placeholder artwork)

The NTSC-J cartridge (placeholder artwork)
The NTSC-J cartridge (placeholder artwork)

Xeno Crisis (boxed with manual)

Receive a boxed multi-region (PAL/NTSC/NTSC-J) cartridge of Xeno Crisis compatible with the original Sega Genesis / Mega Drive console (versions I, II and III) complete with instruction manual.

The NTSC / PAL box and cartridge variant (placeholder artwork)
The NTSC / PAL box and cartridge variant (placeholder artwork)

 

The NTSC-J box and cartridge variant (placeholder artwork)
The NTSC-J box and cartridge variant (placeholder artwork)

Xeno Crisis Collector's Edition

As well as the custom collector's edition of the boxed version of Xeno Crisis complete with a unique transparent green cartridge case. You will get your name in the game credits and some extra collector's items, including:

Xeno Crisis T-Shirt

 

A family enjoying their Xeno Crisis t-shirts
A family enjoying their Xeno Crisis t-shirts

  Xeno Crisis dog-tags

Xeno Crisis Official Soundtrack

All backers will get a link to download the Xeno Crisis soundtrack, available in WAV, FLAC, MP3 and VGM formats.

Xeno Crisis Dreamcast

Xeno Crisis Dreamcast CD Jewel Case (placeholder artwork)
Xeno Crisis Dreamcast CD Jewel Case (placeholder artwork)

Receive a version of Xeno Crisis for Sega Dreamcast on a high quality pressed CD presented in an NTSC-J style jewel case. Multi-region and playable on all CD-compatible Dreamcast consoles.

Xeno Crisis Nintendo Switch and Steam PC/Mac/Linux

Receive a digital copy of the game when it's released! Choose between a Nintendo Switch or Steam PC/Mac/Linux version.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Xeno Crisis and helped us reach our funding goal in just 40 hours! We never anticipated that the project would gain so much interest in such a short space of time, below you will find our current stretch goals. 

First stretch goal achieved! Henk Nieborg has kindly put together a quick version of the female marine for everyone to have a look at:

We’ll also be looking to create a blue male marine variation and a green female marine; so you will be able to play the game with any combination of male/female players if you wish.

  

We’d always hoped that we would be able to bring Xeno Crisis to Dreamcast, and that will become possible if we hit this funding goal. The controls will be carefully tweaked to work perfectly with the standard Dreamcast controller, as well as the Arcade Stick.

Third stretch goal achieved! We’re adding a whole new 6th area to the game with its own unique tileset. Including a new boss to go with the area and the extra cutscenes to integrate the area within the game and story.

We also really want to create an authentic experience, so with this stretch goal we will be producing Japanese translated box art / manuals, as the Japanese releases were always distinctively different, and it’s important to us that we do it justice.

We will also be translating the in-game text and assets to the following languages:

English / French / Italian / German / Spanish / Portuguese (+ Brazilian) / Dutch / Japanese

Fourth stretch goal achieved! We’ll now be Blast Processing and pushing the Mega Drive to its limits with a whole range of features and additions to the game including:

  • Bonus stage
  • Boss rush mode
  • Extra enemies
  • Speed run seeds
We’ll also look to add where possible (after technically assessing and gameplay testing) a range of other backer requested extras like gore mode and a knife attack.

Our fifth stretch goal is to port Xeno Crisis to the Nintendo Switch and for Steam on PC/Mac/Linux. We love the Nintendo Switch and think it’ll be great to play Xeno Crisis on a handheld device (for those of us that don’t own a Sega Nomad!).
 
 

We’ve added a new £10 pledge for those of you who just want the Nintendo Switch or Steam PC/Mac/Linux version, but backers of any Xeno Crisis pledge will be able to add-on £10 to their pledge to receive the Nintendo Switch or Steam PC/Mac/Linux version (you will be able to choose which version you want in a survey after the campaign).


If you want to keep up to date with the development of Xeno Crisis or just see what we're up to in general, then here are the obligatory social media links!

Facebook: facebook.com/BitmapBureau

Twitter: @BitmapBureau

Website: bitmapbureau.com

Special thanks

Additional art and story: Stefan Barnett
Additional design, QA and photography: Daniel Hayball
Voiceovers and feedback: George Exley

Mega Drive, Sega Genesis and Sega Dreamcast are trademarks of SEGA corporation. Xeno Crisis is not endorsed, licensed, produced or sponsored by SEGA corporation.
 

Risks and challenges

Creating a Mega Drive game is no mean feat, and we're fully aware that it will be a challenge, particularly on the technical side. However, we are extremely confident that we can complete the project on time and on budget - the game is already in a playable state on the actual Mega Drive hardware, with most of the more complex tasks such as collision detection, procedural map generation and memory management already taken care of.

We also have an excellent track record in completing game development projects across multiple platforms dating back over 15 years. The biggest risk we see is the manufacturing schedule for the cartridges, but we will be ensuring development is complete with enough buffer for any last minute technical challenges and/or manufacturing delays.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.34

    Xeno Crisis Supporter

    Thank you for your support of Xeno Crisis!

    Includes:
    • Access to the exclusive backer forum
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    25 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Xeno Crisis Nintendo Switch / Steam

    Receive a digital copy of the game when it's released! Choose between a Nintendo Switch or Steam PC/Mac/Linux version.

    Includes:
    • Nintendo Switch or Steam PC/Mac/Linux Xeno Crisis
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    167 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $20

    Xeno Crisis (downloadable ROM file)

    Receive a downloadable ROM file of Xeno Crisis for use with your favourite Sega Genesis / Mega Drive emulator or compatible flash cartridge.

    Includes:
    • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive ROM file
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    94 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $20

    Xeno Crisis Dreamcast (downloadable CDI)

    Receive a downloadable CDI file of Xeno Crisis for Sega Dreamcast.

    Includes:
    • Sega Dreamcast CDI file
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $33

    Xeno Crisis Digital Download Pack

    Receive a downloadable ROM file and downloadable CDI file of Xeno Crisis for use with your favourite Sega Genesis / Mega Drive / Dreamcast emulator or compatible flash cartridge.

    Includes:
    • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive ROM file
    • Sega Dreamcast CDI file
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    24 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $40

    Xeno Crisis Dreamcast

    Receive a version of Xeno Crisis for Sega Dreamcast on a high quality pressed CD presented in an NTSC-J style jewel case. Multi-region and playable on all CD-compatible Dreamcast consoles.

    Includes:
    • Sega Dreamcast Xeno Crisis CD
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    72 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $54

    Xeno Crisis (cartridge only)

    Receive a multi-region (PAL/NTSC/NTSC-J) cartridge of Xeno Crisis compatible with the original Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console (versions I, II and III).

    Includes:
    • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive cartridge
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    45 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About $60

    XenoCrisis Dreamcast Kickstarter Edition

    Exclusive to Kickstarter; receive a Kickstarter Edition version of Xeno Crisis for Sega Dreamcast on a high quality pressed CD presented in an NTSC-J style jewel case. You will have a hostage named after you in the game and receive exclusive stickers, postcards and an enamel pin-badge.

    Multi-region and playable on all CD-compatible Dreamcast consoles.

    Includes:
    • Sega Dreamcast Xeno Crisis CD
    • Hostage named after you in the game
    • Xeno Crisis Kickstarter Edition Stickers
    • Xeno Crisis Kickstarter Edition Postcards
    • Xeno Crisis Kickstarter Edition Enamel Pin Badge
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    57 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £55 or more About $74

    Xeno Crisis (boxed with manual)

    Receive a boxed multi-region (PAL/NTSC/NTSC-J) cartridge of Xeno Crisis compatible with the original Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console (versions I, II and III) complete with instruction manual.

    Includes:
    • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive cartridge, boxed with manual
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    457 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $100

    Xeno Crisis Kickstarter Edition

    Exclusive to Kickstarter; receive a Kickstarter Edition boxed set of Xeno Crisis, including custom Kickstarter Edition box / cartridge / manual artwork. You will also have a hostage named after you in the game and receive exclusive stickers, postcards and an enamel pin-badge.

    Multi-region (PAL/NTSC/NTSC-J) cartridge of Xeno Crisis compatible with the original Sega Genesis / Mega Drive console (versions I, II and III).

    Includes:
    • Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Kickstarter Edition boxed set
    • Hostage named after you in the game
    • Xeno Crisis Kickstarter Edition Stickers
    • Xeno Crisis Kickstarter Edition Postcards
    • Xeno Crisis Kickstarter Edition Enamel Pin Badge
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    235 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £80 or more About $107

    Xeno Crisis Collector's Edition

    Exclusive to Kickstarter receive a collector's edition boxed set of Xeno Crisis. Including custom box/cartridge/manual artwork complete with a unique transparent green cartridge case. Your name in the game credits, plus a limited edition Xeno Crisis T-shirt and dog-tags.

    Multi-region (PAL/NTSC/NTSC-J) cartridge of Xeno Crisis compatible with the original Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console (versions I, II and III).

    Includes:
    • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive collector's edition boxed set
    • Xeno Crisis Limited Edition T-Shirt
    • Xeno Crisis Limited Edition Dog-Tags
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $669

    Design a Xeno Crisis Boss

    Become a part of 16-bit gaming history by working with our team to design your very own boss. No artistic skills are needed (the amazing Henk Nieborg will make your creation come to life!) but you will need a huge passion for gaming and some good ideas!

    Our team of programmers, artists and sound designers will work with you to plan out your boss design. If you want to add that extra wow factor - we will look at some of the more advanced and clever Sega Mega Drive / Genesis programming tricks and techniques with you. We will bring your boss design to life for you and you’ll be able to design the gameplay dynamic, hitboxes, boss ai and special techniques.

    You will be given access to test builds throughout development to refine the boss’ game dynamics, working closely with our team at every step of the way. You will be able to share your creation on social media throughout development, or keep it secret to yourself as a surprise for player(s) - the choice is yours.

    Includes:
    • Sega Mega Drive / Genesis Kickstarter Edition
    • Sega Dreamcast Kickstarter Edition
    • Nintendo Switch or Steam PC/Mac/Linux Xeno Crisis
    • OST CD
    • OST Vinyl
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,339

    Custom Xeno Crisis Sega Mega Drive

    Receive a customised Xeno Crisis themed Sega Mega Drive complete with all required cables and accessories.

    Also includes a Xeno Crisis collector's edition boxed set.

    Includes:
    • Custom Xeno Crisis themed Sega Mega Drive
    • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive collector's edition boxed set
    • OST digital download
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)