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Northern Guard: Assault is the new evolution of Tower Defense games. By combining the Tower Defense genre with Real Time Strategy games and Role Playing games, we have developed a unique hybrid mobile experience. The game focuses on a set of upgradeable mobile units (the heroes), as opposed to purchasing and placing stationery turrets. You are able to deploy and maneuver the heroes on a map where you must achieve a variety of objectives, all while fending off waves of enemy units and super powered villains. NG:A will be released on both the iOS and Android platforms in Winter 2014.
Control The Map:
- Deploy and re-position your heroes at will in strategic positions across an ever-evolving battlefield to defend against waves of enemy minions.
- Use your heroes' special abilities on objects found throughout the map to create advantageous combat scenarios and control the flow of combat.
The Power Is Yours:
- Each unit is equipped with unique and powerful abilities, such as generating a devastating firestorm or firing a precision energy beam. As the commander, you have to choose when and where these abilities are deployed.
- Each power is upgradeable and becomes more powerful as the hero gains levels.
- The Coaching System allows roles to be assigned to each unit. When deployed, units are rewarded with bonus XP and stat buffs for playing appropriately for the assigned role.
- The Chemistry System refers to how individual heroes react to one another. Each unit has a disposition and they will react differently based on the disposition of other nearby units.
- You, as the commander of this unit, determine when and where they are deployed but keep in mind that with every choice comes consequences. Choosing to take action in one area may impact gameplay in other areas. A hypothetical example: Choosing to secure a communication relay over apprehending a known super-powered criminal may result in that same criminal showing up where you least expect him. Of course, there is the potential that making the opposite decision could have similarly disastrous results.
- Besides mindless minions, the heroes will be confronted by menacing villains with their own powers.
The story of Northern Guard: Assault starts with you assuming command of Canada’s first Government sponsored and military backed super-hero team, Northern Guard. Almost at that exact moment, a full frontal assault is launched on Parliament Hill. An unknown foe attempts to eliminate not only the Prime Minister of Canada, but also a good chunk of its leadership. Your team is called in to defend Canada’s leaders and ascertain the identity of the villain behind the attack. This results in the team criss-crossing the Canadian landscape as they learn the threat is much greater than they ever imagined, not just to Canada but to the entire world.
The story and overall motif is a combination of The Avengers with Stargate SG-1, as Northern Guard is a joint military and civilian operation that tackles situations involving other super-powered enemies that potentially threaten the security of the world if left unchecked.
Unlike many TD games, NG:A will have a fully articulated narrative that gives the player freedom to control how the story plays out, with a range of consequences based on those decisions. For example, at one point in the game the player is given the choice between protecting a major communication hub or following a lead that points to a remote airfield. If the player chooses to protect the communication hub, the enemy is able to fortify its position in later levels; whereas if the player chooses to investigate the airfield, the communication hub is destroyed directly affecting their ability to determine enemy positions.
Many of the heroes that populate the NG:A landscape originate from my teenage mind and have stuck with me throughout the years, slowly being refined into their current iterations. Each character has unique powers that impact gameplay in different fashions.
The short answer is we need funding.
This is a passion project, but everyone knows that money makes the world go ‘round and we need funding to execute this project to its fullest potential.
The time is NOW; independent developers are thriving and gaming is extremely accessible via mobile devices. There is HUGE potential to develop something that is not only distinctively Canadian but also meaningful, fun, and appealing to a wider audience.
And the only way we will achieve this is with funding; funding we will get on Kickstarter, with support from people like you.
Please be our hero and support Northern Guard: Assault and invest in the Canadian Indie Game Dev Industry.
Northern Guard: Assault is a gaming idea that has been swirling around for a few years; in my head, on paper, and in a few ill-fated attempts at creating it during my free time. Most of the characters you will encounter in-game were created while I was in my early teens in rural Manitoba. And while I have made some advances on the project over the years, it has never progressed at a pace that I liked. So recently, after my contract was unexpectedly cut short at what I would call one of the best game studios ever, I decided that NOW was the time to focus solely on this project and bring it to the light of day. Ultimately, the goal is not to rake in money; it's to create a game that not only kicks ass, but is engaging and meaningful. Something real gamers can appreciate; a deep but accessible piece of gaming.
NG:A is an ambitious project for an independent developer. The objective is to produce a game that meets the expectations of “gamers” while maintaining the accessibility to be successful in the mobile gaming market.
Outside of outstanding gameplay, NG:A is a standalone gaming experience. No ads (BUY RANDOM PRODUCT X), no in-app purchases required (Continue playing for $5), no resource gating (you need coins to continue), no social gating (share with your friends to keep playing). Play when you want, for however long you want.
Unity! NG:A will be powered by Unity, a game engine that will allow development on multiple platforms simultaneously, while providing a large contingent of resources and fellow developers in times of need.
Aside from picking up a couple bits of hardware, covering the cost of the rewards and the platform licenses for Unity, the entirety of the budget will be used for production of the game, as a large portion of the design phase is already completed. The primary need is for a full-time artist. While I'm proud of what has been achieved, the entire experience will be elevated by having art that reflects the intensity and passion that is fueling the project.
Secondly, another developer will be brought in as a consultant in order to optimize the numerous systems that are required. As this is a mobile project, the code has to be tight and two minds are better than one when it comes examining and refining code.
Finally, a small chunk of funds will be reserved for audio production.
The features detailed above encapsulate the vision that is Northern Guard: Assault. That being said, there are a few features I have shelved (for the sequel of course) that would really expand the "superhero team manager" experience, which was scaled back for NG:A. Should funding surpass our goal, these additional features will be implemented to enhance that experience.
With 5 years experience in the gaming industry, I may not yet qualify as an “industry vet”, but I have worked on several vastly different projects at EA Canada and BioWare Edmonton; including Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Prior to getting into the industry I had my hand in several small scale projects (some of which you can check out at www.ngassault.ca/BruceMcLavy.html) while earning my BSc from the School of Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University, where I majored in "Informatics" (or, as the rest of the world calls it, Interactive Media Development).
Nowadays, if not in front of a screen (either working on or playing games) I'm probably playing floor hockey, sketching in my notebook, or spending time with my soon-to-be 2 year old son, Alex.
Finally, I'll be Kicking it Forward! The short version is that we will be using 5% of the finished product profits back into other Kickstarter projects. I'll make an effort to keep it Canadian, but an awesome project is an awesome project.
For more info check out: http://kickingitforward.org
Risks and challenges
We have an extremely tight timeline of ~10 months. That’s a tough timeline to meet, but with several aspects already in production, it is a completely feasible target release window.
NG:A is an ambitious project. Once the TD and RTS gameplay mechanics are in place, the levels must be designed, art needs to be produced and the narrative systems still need to be implemented and balanced. With that said, these systems have been accounted for in the development process and will be integrated seamlessly.
This is a truly indy project. Currently, there is no distribution or existing capital earmarked for a project of this scope. We have the know-how and with your help to secure funding, NG:A will finally come to fruition.
Balancing & Replayability:
A good story is one thing, but to really get the full effect of this style of game, we need to refine/balance the units to accommodate scalability and replayability.
Expanding the team:
A significant chunk of this budget is to take on one more artist, as well as a programming consultant, in order to meet the timeline. The right fit for the team is paramount, and magic will happen when the pieces all come together on the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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