This project's funding goal was not reached on August 30, 2013.
About this project
We're using AR to give our backers a really unique and exciting way to stay in touch with Project Snowstorm development. These "AR Cards" will feature fully animated creatures complete with terrain, music, and sound that comes to life on your mobile devices. Learn more in our latest update!
“Project Snowstorm's ambition definitely looks to have the markings of a console iteration, only this game rests on the mobile game space, which is intriguing to say the least.” –Examiner
“Team SnowFury seems determined to make the most of the small consoles we're all carrying around in our pockets, and it's about time someone did.” -GameSkinny
“If you've been struggling to find and love a mobile MMO, SnowFury Studios is right there with you.” –Massively by Joystiq
“Project Snowstorm is similar to some of the most successful crowdfunding games. It is a fantasy title that promises to mix up some of the old tropes with new mechanics.” –VentureBeat
“You most definitely will want to check out SnowFury Studios Inc’s new game in development.” -GameZone
Snowstorm: The Project and The Vision
We want to change what you expect from a mobile game for the better—and we want you to join us.
With your help, we’re creating an awesome mobile RPG story that includes a real-time battle system and a scalable MMO Cloud Platform—and you have an exclusive opportunity to go “Behind the Scenes” and be a part of our development team.
UPDATE: We have some awesome rewards and we've added an interactive page on our web site that allows you to explore what's included in Kickstarter, Gamer, Collector, and Behind the Scenes reward tiers!
Project Snowstorm is not what you’ve come to expect out of a mobile game. We want to deliver the kind of immersive RPG story and visuals you would expect from a Console or PC title, and put your skills, reaction time and ingenuity as a player to the test.
Our vision? We want to bring fully interactive games to mobile phone and tablet platforms with Project Snowstorm and create a scalable MMO Cloud Platform that others can leverage to build next-generation experiences (see our stretch goals).
We want to disrupt the status quo of “tap, tap, tap” casual gaming for mobile (we often call it the 2013 version of “Whack-A-Mole”) and put full control of a vast 3D world in your hands.
We know you love games... Would you like to help develop one? Our exclusive Behind the Scenes program will give you more than just regular development updates from our team. You'll have access to early art, stories, concepts, and one-on-one discussions with our developers. You’ll even have the opportunity to be a part of our team, helping to guide the design process for in-game items, clothes, weapons, and characters.
Our team is ready to tackle the challenge. Are you? With your help, Project Snowstorm will be coming in winter 2014.
Project Snowstorm has a vast 3D MMO world to discover and explore with your friends, an RPG storyline that changes based on your choices and actions as a player, and interactive combat where your real-time skills, reflexes and ingenuity as a gamer can shine. Mix that real-time battle system with rich mythology, ancient legends and mysterious races from strange realms, and you have a truly epic mobile gaming experience.
The first in a planned trilogy of games, Project Snowstorm will take players back in time to a fishing village of simple, hardworking people whose world has been turned upside down just as they are beginning to grasp the concept of Technology, the untapped source of their realm’s power.
As the game begins, the barriers separating the human realm from the good and evil races and creatures of other realms are weakening. Energies from the Elemental, Spirit and Eternal realms are seeping through the widening cracks, changing the world in which you live, altering animals and even the land itself. But there’s far worse to come. Much more dangerous beings are out there, waiting to break free, beginning to make their presence known: the Eternals.
In your travels, you will discover new lands, new cultures and creatures that have been altered for good and ill by the energies pouring out of the rift between the realms. Some of these creatures you encounter will come to your aid as you race to unlock the mysteries of the Ancients and put a stop to the ever-present Eternal threat.
THE DISCOVERY OF TECH! Along your journey, you will unlock the source of your Realm’s power—Tech! The discovery of Tech enables your people to build steampunk-like creations that leverage physical attack and defense but also have the ability to drain the powers of creatures from other realms.
RUNES OF POWER As people and creatures become aligned with a realm a Rune/Tattoo will appear, marking the powers they can channel. The more powerful a creature is, the larger these runes become, eventually covering their bodies until, in cases of Epic Creatures, the runes rip away from their bodies entirely, tearing energy from the world around them.
HYBRID CREATURES Eventually you’ll learn to create powerful hybrid pets that combine the strengths, attacks and defenses of multiple realms. Select from a wide array of abilities and specialties as you level up your pets and customize their talents for real-time 1:1 or group battle.
PLAYER VS PLAYER Once you succeed (if you succeed) in closing the rift and turning back the onslaught of the Eternals, your journey is not complete. At max level, Player vs Player is unlocked (stretch goal) as gladiators throughout the world continue to hone their battle skills against one another in real-time, head-to-head battles, preparing for the inevitable return of the Eternals.
Riches await the brave individuals and guilds who battle to supremacy in these ranked battle events!
• Supported Platforms – We will be supporting iOS and Android phones and tablets.
• Vast 3D world – Including up to eight beautifully designed zones, 10 dungeons, eight PvP battlefields.
• RPG with adaptive storyline – Your story and path through the epic story is based on your decisions as a gamer.
• Advanced pet battle system with 1:1 immersive combat, as well as 3:3 battle timer and 3:3 turn-based playing options.
• Up to four playable creature realms, each with its own unique powers, spells, and skills.
• Dual Realm creatures – Expand your arsenal with hybrid creatures that can channel the abilities of multiple realms. You even have the chance to create rare and super-rare creatures with enhanced abilities.
• Diverse talent trees allow you to customize your pets for fighting, support, or hybrid roles.
• Personal and Guild PvP ranked events - you and your friends can compete head-to-head against players around the world for rewards and exclusive titles.
• Scalable cloud platform and third-party licensing available to others wanting to drive innovative Kickstarter or Independent online gaming experiences.
Game Play Overview
Project Snowstorm’s experience is split into two categories – Starting with Role Playing Game (RPG) and moving into individual and group Player vs Player once you’ve completed the story. In both, we offer 1:1 real-time battle system and 3:3 turn based systems.
For real-time combat, we aren’t really interested in creating a virtual “D-Pad” experience. Mobile platforms with touch screens are great when it comes to “gestures” and only OK when it comes to “D-Pad style controls”.
We want the game to always be active and moving… Once you lock onto your target, that target becomes your frame of reference and all movements are now in relation to that target. Navigation is based on directional swipes and your character will continue in that direction until you make a change, allowing you to focus in on your attacks & defense.
Because we don’t want you sitting still spamming buttons, the attack system is charge based with instant or very short cast times allowing you to keep moving and fire your attacks at the most opportune time.
Since we are mobile, not all head to head combat can be real-time so we include turn based game play with a twist. If you're involved in a week long battle - you can hit one button and render that match out as though it happened real-time and post it to Facebook with all of the bragging rights that go with it.
Even in a traditional mobile gameplay model, we want to give it that real-time flavor.
As we meet our stretch goals, we will be adding additional content and some very cool features into Project Snowstorm! Help us reach our ultimate goal and deliver the full vision of what Project Snowstorm can become.
TO MAKE THE GAME HAPPEN
The Realms Collide – $500K
The barriers between the realms come down, battle is joined—and you’re right there in the thick of it with the others of your clan, the people of Lake Ha’achekan. As Acts I and II of the story unfold, you receive two Spirit and two Elemental pets, and explore four exciting zones with tons of quests to complete in each. Face down four bosses and battle your way through a dungeon en route to one of two possible story paths.
This tier delivers an online game we can be proud of and you'll love to play... But there is so much more we want to add to the experience!
Tech Unleashed – $750K
Story is extended to include Act III and at last you unlock your realm’s power source, Tech. Your explorations take you far beyond the once-quiet valley where it all began to the teeming streets of the capital city, where you join forces with a new clan. Together your people craft ingenious mechanical creatures that not only have amazing physical abilities for attack and defense but can drain the essence or power from creatures from other realms, making you a formidable opponent indeed. Two playable Tech pets are included, along with three rare Hybrid pets, created by combining the pets from the Tech, Elemental, and Spirit realms. Your character also gains the ability to choose a realm alignment, influencing the path of your story and boosting the attack and defense of pets that include your chosen realm. Also included: an additional dungeon, a new major boss, and the Achievement System, offering more than 100 achievements to strive to complete for bragging rights and character titles!
- Story is extended to include Act III and an additional dungeon
- Tech realm pets and their Spirit and Elemental hybrids are introduced and are now playable
- Three rare hybrid pets with enhanced abilities
- You can choose a realm alignment to boost the abilities of your pets
- A new clan and the Capital City
- Achievement System with more than 100 achievements
Closing the Rift - $1M
Story is extended to include Act IV, bringing two additional zones to explore with tons of new quests, an additional dungeon with four bosses and the unlocking of Ground Mounts. Act IV also brings an additional possible story path, based on your actions within the game. And the novella, written by Edward Willett, doubles in length to a full novel! An additional creature is added to each of the playable realms, giving you a total of three core Elemental, Spirit and Tech pets, plus some exciting new hybrids. In Act IV your explorations also introduce you to another clan, a coastal people who will be key in helping you uncover—and struggle to implement—one of the secrets of the Ancients: how to seal the rift between the realms to stop the invasion of the Eternals.
- Story is extended to include Act IV
- Novella is extended in length to a full novel!
- Two additional zones with tons of new quests
- Additional playable creatures are added to each realm - Spirit, Elemental, and Tech and extending the number of hybrids available
- Coastal clan is revealed along with the "Secret of the Ancients" quest
- Additional dungeon with four boss encounters
- Additional story paths are included
- Ground mounts
The Aftermath – $1.4M
The rift between the realms has been sealed, but the adventure doesn't end. You must continue to fight the monstrosities that have already invaded your realm. In Act V, the Quest for the Knowledge of the Ancients is revealed. By completing this epic quest, you learn how to power up pets with armor and gain the ability to help your pets in battle with Heal/Resurrection/Boost spells. Your character also gains a second realm alignment. Two additional zones are unlocked and two new dungeons are revealed, with four new bosses. Character vanity items are introduced, allowing you to further customize your character to suit your unique style.
- Story is extended to include Act V
- Two additional zones with new quests as you explore each zone
- Quest for the Knowledge of the Ancients is revealed
- Armor and power-ups are now available for your pets
- Your character gains support abilities to heal / resurrect / power up your pets
- Your character gains a second realm alignment, allowing you to give passive buffs to pets from two realms
- Character vanity items are introduced
Capital City & Gladiators’ Arenas (Player vs Player) – $1.8M
The Eternals have been defeated for now, but it’s only a matter of time before they break into your realm again. Next time, though, the people of your realm will be better prepared. In the heart of the capital city, four battlefields have been created, mimicking the zones you’ve already explored and fought within. Here the warriors of the realm gather to battle each other in gladiatorial combat, honing their skills and further developing their pets. Here you can obtain player-versus-player (PvP) powerups and gear for your pets, and compete against others in the Rated Battle System. New PvP quests are introduced to help you gear up and prepare for future battles, and PvP Achievements are added, along with an auction house and Flying Mounts. An additional story path is included, enriching the tale you followed through the RPG portion of the game. Reaching this tier will extend the schedule for Project Snowstorm.
- Four battle zones are created within the Capital City
- Player vs Player (PvP) rated battles are introduced
- PVP quests and gear are introduced
- Auction house is added
- Flying mounts
- Additional story path is included
- Project Snowstorm schedule is extended
Mysteries of the Past – $2M
Throughout the story of the game there have been intriguing hints about the history and fate of the long-gone Ancients, who linger on only in tumbled ruins, carved stones, and mysterious place names in an all-but-forgotten tongue. In this exciting Epilogue you finally decipher the messages left by the Ancients in their carved stones—but even though you learn much about them, much is still left tantalizingly unanswered. As Project Snowstorm’s story comes to its thrilling conclusion, you are left with questions that must be answered by playing the second game of the trilogy. An additional pet is included for each realm, bringing the total of base pets to 12. Three rare hybrids are unlocked, and the first three super-rare hybrids. Guilds are introduced and PvP is expanded from individual to group play and ranked Guild battles. Also included is an online portal that reflects your personal and Guild exploits as a Gladiator.
- Story is extended to include the Epilogue
- Messages left by the Ancients are unlocked
- Additional playable pets added to each realm, bringing the total to 12
- Three additional rare hybrids are unlocked with enhanced abilities
- The first three super-rare hybrids are introduced
- Guilds are introduced
- PvP is expanded to include Group battles
- Online portal reflects your individual and guild exploits / rank
You’re Almost There... – $2.5M
The world is almost fully fleshed out. An additional possible story path is added, bringing the total to five. More dungeons and quests are added to Acts I and II of the game, along with four additional battle zones for PvP. Group questing is introduced, and group dungeons, along with Hard Mode dungeons to challenge even the most skilled adventurer. The online portal is extended, listing player achievements.
- Additional dungeons and quests are added to Acts I and II zones
- Four additional battlegrounds are introduced for PvP
- An additional story path is included, bringing the total to five
- Group questing is enabled
- Hard Mode dungeons are introduced and include enhanced pet gear
- Online portal extended to include PvE player achievements
The Ultimate Vision – $3M
The complete vision of Project Snowstorm is realized. A fourth playable realm is added to the game. Behind the Scenes contributors will have the opportunity to help choose this additional realm through their votes. More dungeons and more quests are added to Acts III through V. More skill trees are added: one each for Elemental, Spirit and Tech. And finally, a video short story is produced, introducing the world of the Ancients...the setting for the second game in this exciting new trilogy of fantasy adventure. Also included... the cow level - it has been far too long! (There are also requests for a playable honey badger in this level - we're considering it!)
- A fourth playable realm is introduced with unique mechanics and a diverse set of powerful hybrids that can be created when combined with Spirit, Elemental, and Tech
- Additional dungeons are added to the zones in Acts III through V
- Additional skill tree with fun and powerful abilities are added to each realm
- Animated short video introducing the world of the ancients
- Snowstorm's MMO Cloud Platform is available for third-party license
- The "cow level" is unlocked, possibly a playable honey badger ;)
What kind of competitor are you? We’ve tried to make it simple – are you a Kickstarter, a Gamer or a Collector? Or are you someone who wants to experience the game development process firsthand? We’ve included a number of contribution within these four groups that allow you to find the best fit for you.
Even at the entry contribution level, we want you to have access to things like our Augmented Reality email postcards. With these AR cards, you can surprise your friends and family with some really cool technology while also showing them what’s coming from Project Snowstorm.
Go behind the scenes. This is truly your game, and with our Behind the Scenes contribution tiers, you can be part of the experience of bringing Project Snowstorm to market every step of the way. You even have an opportunity to be a part of our design team and influence the look of items within the game.
Kickstarter Reward Tiers
Gamer Reward Tiers
Behind The Scenes
Kickstarter has changed the dynamics of the gaming industry, shifting the balance of power from large publishers to individuals like you.
You, as gamers, have the ability to help next-generation games like Project Snowstorm become a reality so that we can introduce interactive gaming on mobile platforms.
We are extremely excited about this project and we need your support to make it a reality. One hundred percent of your donations will go toward developing the game and its cloud platform.
Help us reach our ultimate goal of $3 million to deliver the full vision of what Project Snowstorm can become. We also want to encourage innovation in gaming, so if we are able to reach this stretch goal, we will make the Snowstorm Cloud Platform available to others wanting to drive innovative online gaming experiences, allowing other Kickstarter and independent game efforts to license and build upon a proven platform and get to market quickly.
SnowFury Studios develops immersive 3D gaming and entertainment experiences for mobile phones and tablets.
The SnowFury Studios team consists of passionate gamers who also happen to be developers, 3D artists, musicians, and writers – many of whom have worked together delivering entertainment experiences for the last four years.
We have outstanding leadership, art, and development teams.
Edward Willett does all of our writing. He’s the author of more than 50 books of fantasy, science fiction and nonfiction under his own name, and as Lee Arthur Chane and E.C. Blake. He’s done an awesome job breathing life into Project Snowstorm’s universe and the epic story that drives the trilogy.
Veigar Margeirsson is an amazing guy! If you’ve been to the movies lately, chances are you’ve heard his original scores for films and trailers, including trailer scores for Ironman, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, and more. Veigar’s music ties our story and visuals together: he’s skilled at connecting you with the emotions of a character at just the right point within a scene or fight.
William Diehl is the founder of and creative mind driving SnowFury Studios. With his passion for gaming, years of experience in driving visual design and building scalable cloud platforms at companies like Alta Vista, Cisco, and GreenWave Reality, he’s heading up the product development and cloud platform behind Project Snowstorm.
Combining these talented guys with a production team of more than 40 people covering mobile and cloud development, art, 3D modeling, interaction and leveling design, it’s safe to say we have the right team to make Project Snowstorm a reality.
We also want to give a special thanks to Professor Sandy Appleoff, Gavin Rich, and our team of summer interns from Laguna College of Art and Design's Game Art program!
-Is "Project Snowstorm" the game name?
No, "Snowstorm" is our internal codename for the game. It's how we talk about the game internally and as we developed this "Project" for Kickstarter, "Project Snowstorm" seemed to fit well. Throughout development we will refer to the game as "Project Snowstorm" and we will release the game's final name as we get closer to launch. We plan on getting our "Behind the Scenes" supporters involved in choosing the official game name.
-In a nutshell, what is the premise of the Project Snowstorm story?
Every few thousand years, the barriers that separate the human realm from other powerful realms of good and evil crack open—and everything changes. The Project Snowstorm universe is really a multi-verse of realms, each with its own races, civilizations and sources of power. No one knows how many realms exist. What we do know is that the number of realms is not static; some great outside force continues to forge these realms.
As a player racing to unlock the mystery of the Ancients, restore the barriers between realms and save the human race, you’ll ultimately set your own path and create your own storyline through the decisions and actions you take within your game.
-What sets this game apart from other mobile games?
For us, the greatest thing about Project Snowstorm is that we have the tools to not only tell the story but to have players live it, to experience our vision first-hand, as you’d expect from a PC or Console title. We hope to forge a new era of mobile gaming with the introduction of a real-time battle system that puts you in full control of your characters.
- What do you mean by real-time controls?
With our real-time system you gain complete control over your pet, allowing you to leverage your abilities and freely move anywhere on the battlefield to use the terrain’s obstacles, protection, and tactical advantages as you fight your opponent. Your success and failure is dictated by your skills as a player. You are not pressing an "Attack" button and having a random number generator determine your success or failure. You are not standing debating your attacks / defense strategy in a turn-based system.
- What if my friends aren't online when I am?
Since this is a mobile game, your friends won't always be available to go head-to-head, so we also include a turn-based system with a twist. Let’s say that Viegar and I battle over a period of a week and he kicks my ass. He’ll be able to hit one button and render out that battle as though it happened in real-time, then post it to Facebook for bragging rights. Even in scenarios that aren’t real-time, we want to bring that flavor to the experience.
- Can you play while offline?
Mostly. We're planning to make portions of Player vs Environment (PvE) content playable offline. We will queue your progress and upload it once you have a network connection. Realize that not everything will be playable, and there will be a limit to how much is available offline.
- What does character progression look like in Project Snowstorm?
Progression takes multiple forms within the game and focuses primarily on your pets, but also includes some pretty significant choices you have to make about your character. You have a lot of control over how you customize your pets’ talents and abilities as you level them up, allowing you to craft your pets for single or group battle.
In addition to the base pets that you’ll discover as you explore the world, you also learn to create hybrids, pets which combine the abilities of multiple realms. Some of these hybrids will be rare or super rare pets with exceptional abilities. Ultimately, if we are able to include the “Quest of the Ancients” stretch goal, you will learn how to equip your pets with armor, opening up a whole new world in progression.
Risks and challenges
We know from experience that video game creation is a complex process. While we recognize that our team is proficient at building complex mobile software systems, and highly scalable, real-time cloud platforms, and we feel more than ready to tackle the challenge, we also realize that schedules and timelines could shift over the course of Project Snowstorm’s production. We’re combatting this challenge by doing our best to estimate realistic deliverables for each of our goals and by committing to keeping our supporters in the loop with any significant updates or changes to our final deadline.
We’ve designed our schedule over the next 18 months to make the most of every stage of the Project Snowstorm production process- from conception all the way to final touches. Like other successful Kickstarters before us, we are incorporating an extended preproduction stage that helps us control costs, refine gameplay concepts and bolster the quality of our finished product upfront. With that in mind, we feel confident setting our target release date as December 2014.
We’ll be able to realize our goal and deliver a complete game at our target funding of $500,000. As funding increases from here, up to our maximum stretch goal of $3 million, Project Snowstorm will continue to grow in depth and size, adding new characters, additional storylines, zones and more (see our stretch goals for more detail).
A couple of other challenges worth mentioning:
1) We’re designing our game to take advantage of advanced phone and tablet capabilities, so this may not work for older phones, like the original iPhone or free Androids. While we’re striving to make this game widely accessible, if you got your phone for free, you may have a problem.
2) We are designing the platform to compensate for 'spotty' cellular connections. However, if your cellular data connection at home is weak, you're going to want to play WiFi connected - especially if you're engaged in real-time battles.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
“How will you avoid the disappointing cancellation of projects we’ve seen in the past?” and “Why does a mobile game cost $500K?”.
These are two of the most popular questions we’ve gotten about our project and both of these questions are interrelated.
We've been receiving a lot of advice on our project, and prevailing wisdom has been “you would be more successful setting your goal lower – maybe $250K and hope for your $500K goal."
We’ve heard this quite a bit, but this isn’t something that we at SnowFury Studios feel comfortable with. Hope is not a strategy to base a business venture on, and we believe taking this approach would open significant risk to us and the community in terms of being able to deliver the game.
For this project, we made the decision to include both the game itself and cloud platform that enables the social aspects. We’ve spent a lot of time working through the project costs and lining up the right team to deliver it between SnowFury Studios and one of our strategic partners, i3D.
Game development at this level requires a diverse set of talents and people at different stages of development – everything from story and lore, to world and creature design, to interaction and level design, to client and cloud engineering, and a large QA and Beta effort to cover the platforms we’re supporting.
Not all of these costs are constant – many of these are brought in at different stages through out development of the project, however, game and platform development are constant costs throughout the process.
There are some things we could have decided to cut down on – shrinking the up front creative team, shrinking or shortening QA and Beta teams, or even reduce the scope of the initial game, but to us those are critical to having a quality game and would not have cut the project’s minimum costs in half.
So when it comes to budget overruns, we’ve done our diligence and have set realistic costs throughout our stretch goals. Our diligence is not only based on the project but we have also put this in context of the costs for large developments we’ve successfully delivered in past experiences.
- (30 days)