About

Epicinium is a strategy game where nature is a finite resource. Downtime is avoided by employing fast turns that are executed simultaneously. Players balance firepower and resources, as the victor is scored for how much nature remains when the dust settles.

click for better quality
click for better quality

The game is in development for Windows, macOS and Linux. At this moment, it features:

  • Multiplayer battles with up to 8 players in free-for-all
  • Versus-AI skirmish matches, featuring 4 AIs with different strategies
  • Well-balanced selection of buildings and units to produce, each with their carefully crafted part to play
  • Global warming system, inducing a multitude of different weather effects adding to gameplay depth and variety
  • A variety of maps with their own character, layout and intended playstyle

And with your help, we'll add:

  • A witty singleplayer campaign with a striking story about tough choices and conflicting interests
  • Ranked and unranked matchmaking modes
  • Team-based multiplayer battles, allowing you to coordinate your carefully planned orders with your allies
  • Co-op skirmish versus AI
  • Adaptive AI opponents that learn from playing against you, to be developed in collaboration with staff and students from Utrecht University's AI master programme
  • Additional game modes, involving alternative rule sets and gameplay twists
  • More, carefully balanced, units, buildings, weather effects and maps

Because we are both creators and gamers, we know how fun it is to be creative with a game. That's why Epicinium will also come with:

  • An easy-to-use map editor
  • A well-documented API for writing your own AIs: make them battle each other, yourself or other players online
  • A separate open-source release (C++) for modders, LAN-ers and tinkerers, allowing you to start multiplayer and AI battles from the command line

Epicinium was built with a fresh strategic experience in mind. We based our design choices on the following core principles:

Epicinium combines the clarity of board games with the many possibilities of video games. We made as much as possible clear at first glance.

The power of a city, for example, is conveyed through lit-up windows, and the strength of a unit is represented by the number of soldiers it contains.

Players can invent their own strategy with just a couple of actions per unit, because Epicinium elegantly combines and adapts actions for different contexts. A move action doubles as an attack or occupy action, depending on the context.

The Focus order not only allows a unit to attack without moving, it also causes all nearby friendly units to combine their firepower. This makes careful positioning even more crucial.

Every bullet hits something. Contained in the core of Epicinium is the dilemma between destructive yet effective warfare versus smart use of weaker units.

Balance also comes in the consideration of which spaces to use for resources, and which to preserve for points. Tanks destroy trees merely by moving, and you can build your economy with polluting factories that grab quick bucks, or opt for towns that slowly become more valuable over time.

In addition, Epicinium features weather effects that drastically alter the battlefield, zeppelins that release deadly mustard gas and zipper-style action, where players' simultaneously planned orders are executed in an intermingled manner.

Although Epicinium isn't finished yet, it's in a very playable state. To show this, we've recorded a match between several of our community members featuring developer commentary. You can view the highlights here:

Thank you so much for your support of Epicinium! Depending on the tier at which you pledge, you can get the following rewards:

In Discord, anyone can join our community and chat with other people interested in Epicinium (and with us - the developers). As a backer, you get access to backer-only chat channels.

Get a digital copy of the game for Windows, macOS or Linux when it is released, either as a Steam key or DRM-free - your choice. The Declaration of War and Engines of War tiers come with a second copy. The Squad Leader tier and all subsequent tiers come with two more copies, for a total of four copies.

Gain access to our closed beta, immediately upon completion of this Kickstarter campaign! This is a work-in-progress version that will keep getting updated as we near Epicinium's release.

Receive an in-game skinset that is exclusive to Kickstarter.

preview, final skinset may differ
preview, final skinset may differ

Get a digital download of the Epicinium soundtrack by Daan when the game is released. Daan will compose dynamic music for the game that swells and drops in accordance with the action. He will create a special arrangement for the soundtrack.

Get a selection of Epinicium-themed streaming assets, including overlays, brb-screens, sound effects, and a custom Epicinium font (Latin, Extended Latin and Cyrillic).

Gain access to a frequently updated alpha server where we try out new gameplay features before they appear in the beta. Get an exclusive first look at raw and experimental features. Many may not make it to the final game! You also get mentioned as an alpha tester in Epicinium's credits.

As an alpha tester, gain access to restricted alpha channels on Discord where we will discuss upcoming gameplay features with you.

Design a 9x6 (or less) pixel flag that the Flagbearer unit can carry in-game. The flag will be unlockable in-game and you have it unlocked immediately.

preview of the flagbearer in-game
preview of the flagbearer in-game

Get a physical copy in the mail of the strictly limited design document signed by Loulou, Sander and Daan. This document contains the singleplayer scenario, screenshots of the game throughout development and scans of all the notes we took while brainstorming.

Shipping is included.

Describe or sketch a skin for any one type of unit or building in the game to be drawn in pixel art by Sander. This skin will be unlockable in-game and you will start with all skins and flags designed by Kickstarter backers unlocked.

Describe or sketch not just one skin, but an entire set of skins, one for every type of unit and building in the game, to be drawn in pixel art by Sander. These skins will be unlockable in-game and you will start with all skins and flags designed by Kickstarter backers unlocked.

As a thank you for helping lay the foundations, get a digital copy of all games and expansions released by A Bunch of Hacks in the future!

Get named as Executive Producer in Epicinium's credits, and have a final boss in the game's single player scenario designed and named after YOU. Also includes a Skype or Discord meeting with Loulou, Sander and Daan to discuss ideas for your likeness and give an exclusive sneak peak into the upcoming story.

Along the way, we had a lot of interesting ideas for Epicinium that could take it to an even higher level, like extra gameplay features, unique game modes and release on additional platforms. Due to budget constraints, we've had to scrap some of them. If you help us surpass our goal, we can bring them back! They will appear here (as if by magic) when we near our initial funding goal.

Do you know people? We know some people. You know other people. Help us spread the word to them and unlock unique additional content. We are independent game developers, so we need to rely on word-of-mouth to succeed. Will you share our posts? We thought of some cool stuff for you to unlock.

Join our Discord community and get a vote during the development process of Epicinium!

Retweet our Kickstarter announcement tweet to unlock additional multiplayer functionality!

Share our announcement post on Facebook to unlock alternative game modes!

We felt that the current, playable state of the game made this the right moment to ask for your support. With this, we hope to have shown that we can deliver. We're not there yet, though!

Our biggest goal is adding more play modes, such as team-based multiplayer and a story campaign. Other than that, we will improve the core game to make action and consequence even more readable, as well as add more units and strategic variety.

Most of the funding will go into the development hours for more features, creating the singleplayer campaign and expanding multiplayer. All the graphics and audio will also be produced by us. A smaller portion goes to taxes and other costs that are out of our control.

Epicinium was made without any outside funding, so your pledge goes directly to supporting our further development. We prefer to be funded by you, our fans and supporters, rather than by corporate investors. The advantage of this is that we can keep our full creative freedom, allowing us to be as creative as we can be, and to listen to you while making the game.

Daan Mulder is a programmer and metal-devouring cave dweller, interested in music, maths, philosophy and grassroots organizing. Besides game design and programming, Daan is also responsible for Epicinium's sound design and music. Expert at dodging: mosh pit shoves, to-do lists, riot police batons and climate change denialists. ("If global warming is real, then why does your game have snow and frostbite? Checkmate, gamedevs.")

Sander in 't Veld is programmer by trade, game designer by night and spriter by circumstance. When he's not making games, he sometimes spends his spare time conlanging, which is the odd art of constructing languages. Sander is very quiet, until he shows up at your doorstep with two dozen tank battalions. Speaks Russian but denies it on livestreams.

Loulou Swarte writes scenarios, usually for short movies, but she also loves indie games. She will work together with Daan and Sander to write the singleplayer campaign for Epicinium. She swears so much, we had to cut out all her lines from the Kickstarter video. Has a thing for desktop globes and hammers.

Sander and Daan just launched A Bunch of Hacks, the Netherlands' first worker cooperative for indie game development. Help us stay independent, and support workplace democracy and worker ownership.

Risks and challenges

Developing a video game is hard work and involves just as much improvisation as it does planning. There will always be some unforeseen challenges that we will need to overcome.

Although we have created games before, Epicinium is our first video game project of this scale. It is about halfway done, and getting here required a lot of problem solving. We are confident that we have the skills and drive needed to see this adventure through and deliver a well-rounded game at the end of it.

With your support we can continue following our passion!

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    About $11
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.13

    Thanks!

    Thank you so much for your support of Epicinium! As a backer, you get access to backer-only channels on our Discord.

    Includes:
    • Backer-only Discord channels
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    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    About $1.13
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €15 or more About $17

    Soldier

    Get a copy of the game on release.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Backer-only Discord channels
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    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
    About $17
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €25 or more About $28

    Declaration of War

    Get two copies of the game, one for you and one for a friend (or nemesis).

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Backer-only Discord channels
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    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    About $28
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €25 or more About $28

    War Machine

    Receive access to our closed beta, immediately upon completion of this Kickstarter campaign!

    Also, receive a Kickstarter-exclusive skinset and get a digital download of the Epicinium soundtrack when the game is released.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    11 backers
    About $28
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €35 or more About $40

    Engines of War

    Receive access to the closed beta upon completion of the Kickstarter campaign, in addition to an extra copy of Epicinium on release.

    Also, you receive a Kickstarter-exclusive skinset and you get a digital download of the Epicinium soundtrack when the game is released.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    About $40
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €50 or more About $56

    Squad Leader

    Get your entire crew online with four copies of the game on release.

    You also get a selection of Epicinium-themed streaming assets, including overlays, brb-screens, sound effects and a custom Epicinium font.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Epicinium-themed streamer asset pack
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    About $56
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €75 or more About $85

    Flagbearer

    Gain access to the alpha server where we try out new gameplay features before they appear in the beta, and to restricted alpha channels on Discord where we will discuss these changes with you. Get mentioned as an alpha tester in Epicinium's credits.

    Also, design a 9x6 flag that the Flagbearer unit can carry in-game. This flag will be unlockable in-game and you have it unlocked immediately.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Access to experimental alpha builds
    • Design a flag
    • Epicinium-themed streamer asset pack
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Alpha-only Discord channels
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    About $85
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €100 or more About $113

    Historian

    Get a copy in the mail of the strictly limited design document, signed by Loulou, Sander and Daan. This document contains the singleplayer scenario, screenshots of the game throughout development and scans of all the notes we took while brainstorming.

    (Shipping costs included.)

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Signed copy of design document in the mail
    • Access to experimental alpha builds
    • Design a flag
    • Epicinium-themed streamer asset pack
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Alpha-only Discord channels
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (8 left of 10) 2 backers
    About $113
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge €200 or more About $226

    Designer

    Describe or sketch a skin for any one type of unit or building in the game to be drawn in pixel art by Sander. This skin will be unlockable in-game and you will start with all skins and flags designed by Kickstarter backers unlocked.

    Includes a copy in the mail of the limited design document, signed by Loulou, Sander and Daan (as in the Historian tier).

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Design a skin of your choice
    • Signed copy of design document in the mail
    • Access to experimental alpha builds
    • Design a flag
    • Epicinium-themed streamer asset pack
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Alpha-only Discord channels
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (10 left of 10) 0 backers
    About $226
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge €500 or more About $564

    Founder

    As a thank you for helping lay the foundations, get a digital copy of all games released by A Bunch of Hacks in the future!

    Does not include the Designer or Grand Designer tiers. However if you back at the Designer or Grand Designer tier and raise your pledge amount, you will also get a digital copy of all future games by A Bunch of Hacks.

    Includes a copy in the mail of the limited design document, signed by Loulou, Sander and Daan (as in the Historian tier).

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Digital copy of all future games & expansions by A Bunch of Hacks
    • Signed copy of design document in the mail
    • Access to experimental alpha builds
    • Design a flag
    • Epicinium-themed streamer asset pack
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Alpha-only Discord channels
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    About $564
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  12. All gone!
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge €12 or more About $14

    Frontliner

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL (FIRST 24H)

    Get a copy of the game on release.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 18 backers
    About $14
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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge €300 or more About $339

    Grand Designer

    Describe or sketch a set of skins, one for every type of unit and building in the game, to be drawn in pixel art by Sander. These skins will be unlockable in-game and you will start with all skins and flags designed by Kickstarter backers unlocked.

    Includes a copy in the mail of the limited design document, signed by Loulou, Sander and Daan (as in the Historian tier).

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Design an entire skinset
    • Signed copy of design document in the mail
    • Access to experimental alpha builds
    • Design a flag
    • Epicinium-themed streamer asset pack
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Alpha-only Discord channels
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    About $339
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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge €1,000 or more About $1,129

    Final Boss

    Next to all the rewards from lower tiers, get named as Executive Producer in Epicinium's credits, and have a final boss in the game's single player scenario designed and named after YOU. Also includes a Skype or Discord meeting with Loulou, Sander and Daan to discuss ideas for your likeness with you and give an exclusive sneak peak into the upcoming story.

    Includes a copy in the mail of the limited design document, signed by Loulou, Sander and Daan (as in the Historian tier).

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Epicinium
    • Your name in the credits as Executive Producer
    • A final boss designed and named after YOU
    • Skype or Discord meeting with the developers and scenario writer
    • Digital copy of all future games & expansions by A Bunch of Hacks
    • Design an entire skinset
    • Signed copy of design document in the mail
    • Access to experimental alpha builds
    • Design a flag
    • Epicinium-themed streamer asset pack
    • Beta access
    • Kickstarter-exclusive skinset
    • Digital download of the soundtrack
    • Alpha-only Discord channels
    • Backer-only Discord channels
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    About $1,129
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.