A Rimworld / Dwarf Fortress inspired survival simulator set in a Lovecraftian universe
A Rimworld / Dwarf Fortress inspired survival simulator set in a Lovecraftian universe
As a special thank you to everyone who has supported and believed in the game, everyone who is backing Fringe Planet (at whatever level) when the campaign finishes will get a special credit in the game as being a member of "The First Ones" - regardless of if the campaign is successful or not. This will be a Discord role as well!
Fringe Planet is a survival simulator game inspired by Dwarf Fortress, Factorio, Rimworld, Prison Architect, Eldritch and many more. All set within a well developed universe inspired by the works of fantastic fiction - H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley and Lewis Carroll.
Six strangers with no memories of their past wake up on a frozen island which is drifting through a vast higher dimension known as The Void. It is the job for the player to help these strangers (called peons in the game) to survive and eventually prosper in this ancient, alien environment.
The peons are humans who have been plucked from Earth. Each peon is unique and procedurally generated (every aspect of them are determined randomly) and will have different stats (how strong they are, how clever they are) and traits (are they naturally clumsy? are they scared of heights?). Even their physical appearance and clothes are unique. The player does not control these peons directly, but instead issues orders - and it's up to a peon to follow them.
As the game is played, the peons will slowly remember their pasts and this will shape the skills and stats of these peons.
The Story Tellers
The story tellers are an AI (Artificial Intelligence) that watches you play. As you struggle to collect food and build shelter, the story teller is watching and plotting against you - aiming to make your life hard.
The story tellers are not just a game mechanic, they are also the main antagonist of the game. The story tellers, in game, are representations of vengeful, eldritch Gods called The Aspects who want to destroy the peons
The Void is a magical place and Fringe Planet features a collection of occult inspired machinery. Spirits can be captured and used to power machines. Demons can be used to power smelters. Vast arrays of machines can be set up to automate resource gathering and building.
The game lore is wide as it is deep and the player will discover many fragments of knowledge as they play the game. This will lead to them discovering the end game goals (which can be ignored!) - either escaping back to Earth, destroying the Aspect which has been tormenting them or promoting a peon to Godhood!
Fringe Planet is an epic game - with an epic soundtrack! All the tracks are being skillfully constructed by Mendel (see the team section!). These fully orchestrated pieces will capture the nature of the Fringe Planet universe. Listen to the title music below!
Detailed simulations - The peons are made up of bones, which can be broken or removed - and have a body full of squishy organs that determine how they perform. The peons will talk (and dream) about things they have experienced - they can also go insane from the things they have seen. A fire will heat up a room, leaving a door open will let the warmth escape. Plants grow and can be farmed. Magic is real and has consequences. Clothes degrade with wear and tear, and the peons can get dirty as they work (all reflected graphically in the models).
Detailed lore - The lore of Fringe Planet is incredibly detailed, with a lot of stories to be uncovered, and a lot of mysteries to be solved. Heavily inspired by Lovecraft and others, this lore is as fantastic as it is terrifying.
Epic machinery - Automation can be the key to success in Fringe Planet. Setting up belts to perform crafting or mining will free up a peon from doing a task manually. Mining machines will extract ore from voxels much more efficiently than a peon would - it's up to you to decide how best to use this technology.
Replayability - Every game will be different. The game is designed so that every play through happens differently; with a gazillion possible peon combinations and an even higher number of possible starting islands - every game will feel very different.
Brutally hard storytelling - Fringe Planet is not an easy game. The Aspects are actively trying to force you into a "game over" state. The frozen reality of an island floating through an infinite void is a brutal one for survival. Expect to be replaying this game a lot.
Living breathing world - As eldritch as the universe of Fringe Planet is, it's a living world. Creatures hunt, nest and breed. Wind blows and trees grow. All of this is designed to create a dynamic and interesting world to play with.
Modding support - The game has been built with extensive modding support. Steam workshop integration is planned for release, and modding documentation will be extensive. Every aspect of the game can be changed/tweaked.
My name is Nic Rutherford. I'm a solo developer from the United Kingdom. I've been working full-time on Fringe Planet for over a year and a half now. I started writing code before I could speak (I have dyslexia and dyspraxia and have had years of speech therapy). Now thirty plus years later I'm using the lessons learnt on a BBC Microcomputer (and a few other systems over the years!) to produce my first commercial game.
Fringe Planet was born from my desire to try and turn casual game development into a full time job.
When I'm not glued to the PC developing or gaming, I enjoy a lot of other things. I'm a huge fan of a lot of different types of music, loving everything from heavy metal to opera.I also enjoy fishing and camping. I've spent many years trying to make the perfect curry, so cooking is quite the passion as well. Whenever I'm not doing anything of that, I'm normally curled up with a good book. There is a lot more about me here : https://fringeplanetgame.com/blog/2019/03/15/all-about-nic-dev-blog-37/
So what do you get when backing at a higher level? You will get to directly influence and add things to the game! But before I talk about that, lets look at the newest reward - the postcard.
The postcard - This high quality postcard, featuring images from Fringe Planet, will be sent to your home from the UK. A handwritten note of thanks will be written on it. Shipping time will vary around the world, but the cost of shipping is built into the reward. This won't include a copy of the game, but will very much include my thanks in helping to achieve funding for Fringe Planet. Excitingly, the postcard will also include a code which will allow you to unlock two cosmetics for the game - these do very little in game except give the peons a slight mood buff (like all furniture), but will allow you to add a surreal prop to your base.
Peon name - all peons are procedurally generated. This reward will let you add a name to the pool that names are selected from.
Memories - all peons have a past. They have three distinct memories of their past - their childhood, their teenage years and finally their adulthood. As the peon remembers more of their past, their memories become more distinct. For instance a childhood memory would start as "I remember open fields". As more is remembered "I remember playing outside with my friends a lot". Finally when the memory is fully remembered : "I remember playing a lot of sports with my friends outside, we were always running about and having fun". These memories could be good, or could be bad. But whenever a memory becomes clearer, the peon will get a stat increase. A memory of being at school could increase intelligence of a peon as he remembers learning.
Traits - all peons have set traits. These traits will change how their AI works as well as influencing their stats. They could be scared of heights, they could have super strong legs. We can work together add a bit of your personality to the peons.
Creatures - Fringe Planet is an eldritch dimension full of strange creatures. Both major and minor creature rewards will involve us discussing creature design, getting some concept artwork done and finally building the model and the behaviours of the creature. Do you have a fantastic creature that haunts your dreams? Add it to the game!
Monument - The void is an ancient place, and there are many things trapped there. This reward will allow you to place a message in an in game monument that can be generated on floating islands that drift past.
Mini Biome - Many different lands float through The Void. Some can be captured and used to extend the play area. This reward will let you work with me and come up with some rules to procedural generate the mini-biomes of your dreams. Maybe you dream of giant gold cubed islands floating through infinite. Or maybe your tastes are more esoteric.
Events - Bad things happen, good things happen. Events are used by the story tellers to influence the game and provide replayablity. Maybe some food has been discovered to be full of maggots, maybe certain magics will be more powerful due to a spiritual alignment. Work with me to put your events in the game.
Rituals - Magic is very important in Fringe Planet. As the peons progress through the tech tree they will discover certain rituals which have a massive influence on game play. Working together, we will turn your idea for an occult ritual into something that can be performed in game.
Storyteller - Creating a story teller will be an involved process, which will very much add a lot of things to the game. You'll get to flesh out your vision for an eldritch deity who is obsessed with destroying the peons. You'll choose the events the story teller has access to, as well as tailoring their personality (and text).
A note about rewards : I have the right to say no if I think any reward is racist, homophobic, sexist, offensive, game breaking or not in theme. We can work together to try and find a viable alternative - but if we do completely disagree on anything, your reward will be refunded.
Even though I'm working on this as a solo developer, I've got some fantastic people who are helping me with various aspects of the game, as well as the business side of things.
Mendel B - The music master behind the Fringe Planet sound track, as well as a very successful entrepreneur who has been providing business advise over the past year. A well known figure in the Netherlands Indie Game development scene.
Shan P - An incredibly passionate marketer who has been advising me about getting the word of Fringe Planet out. Previously has worked with many game developers as a marketer, focusing on maximizing exposure on Steam. She has been fantastically helpful in both getting this Kickstarter together as well helping me publish newsletters.
Merijn B - A developer and game designer, he has provided an incredible amount of support during my time with the Indietopia Accelerator. Incredibly knowledgeable about start ups and a huge fan of retro computer games.
Delfo P - A fantastic artist who has provided a lot of incredible 2d assets - the UI pictures are all his handy work and I have him to thank for the amazing Fringe Planet logo.
Pip, Gulliver and Rosie - My cats. They would get annoyed if I didn't mention them.
Fringe Planet Blog : https://fringeplanetgame.com/blog
Fringe Planet Twitter : https://twitter.com/FringePlanet
My Twitter : https://twitter.com/beebug_nic
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is actually me. Fringe Planet is a huge project and developing it is a lot of work. The good news is, I'm very open about development - I tweet daily about what I'm working on and every Friday write a blog post about the weeks work (and there is literally a years worth of development blog posts, should you wish to take a look!).
But what happens if I'm a hit by a bus? (actually this exact question has been asked to me while pitching the game so many times, I think I've developed a phobia of buses). The game source code itself and all related documentation are named items in my will. Should I get hit by a bus (or a similar fate) then the code will be given to a trusted and known third party - or it will be completely open sourced.
The challenge at this point is purely financial - assuring that I have enough funds to live on while I develop the game. Funding will also allow me to split the workload (getting additional artists/UI designers on board, sound engineers, all things that are outside of my skill set).
If this campaign is unsuccessful, I've got a couple of options, but the mostly likely option will be moving development of Fringe Planet to a part endevour while I consult on other projects to bring the money in. Fringe Planet will be released, the Kickstarter just allows me to keep focused on making the game full time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)