Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on March 3, 2014.
About this project
After careful consideration, we have decided to pull the plug and cancel the campaign. We do intend to reboot the Kickstarter for Earthcore in the near future stronger and meaner than ever.
Earthcore: Shattered Elements is a dynamic Action Card Game for PC, Mac, iOS and Android that combines card collecting with fast-paced combat and true tactical depth. Should the project be funded, you will be able to enjoy it absolutely for free later this year.
We have prepared a gameplay video to show you a sample battle. Check it out below and let us know what you think!
Key game features:
- Single Player (PvE): dramatic story-based campaign with dozens of quests, chapters and missions.
- Multiplayer (PvP): robust online mode with tactical battles, special events, rankings and leagues.
- Gameplay: groundbreaking mechanics, based on three core elements: Water, Nature, Fire. No mindless number crunching is necessary, just pure tactical thought.
- Cross-Platform Experience: start playing on mobile, switch to iPad mid-day and continue playing on PC/MAC in the evening.
- Hand-Painted Cards: over 200 gorgeous cards at launch with more coming to the game on regular basis.
- Amazing Audio: featuring music by a prolific Polish composer Jerzy Adam Nowak.
- Cinematic Experience: magical, mystical and mysterious, making you feel like a star of a fantasy film.
- Deep Metagame: rebuild the city of Elemental Bearers and bring back prosperity to your people.
We want to change the definition of what a TCG could be. Our goals are:
Our aim is to trim all the fat of contemporary TCGs and leave just the good parts: building up your deck, exciting combat and tactical challenge. You don't have to take our word alone! Have a listen to some of the feedback we've received during our most recent external playtesting session:
The basics are easy to grasp but individual card skills add immense strategic depth to the duels. Some cards provide protection to others, some can change their element, some move on the battlefield. Eventually, fights stop being about matching colors and turn into high-stake battles of the wit.
Each encounter is divided into two phases: Attack and Defense. One player’s Attack Phase is basically the other’s Defense Phase. There are six slots for cards on the game table, three per player. At the beginning of a round, players draw cards from their decks so that they have as many in their hand as there are free slots on their part of the table, plus one.
Once the players put their cards in the desired slots, the battle begins. Cards fight each other from left to right. Defeated cards land in the graveyard. If an empty slot is attacked, the victim loses a card from his deck, and if the deck is depleted, from his hand. If the hand is empty as well, the player loses the battle.
There are also elementless cards that lose to every element. To make up for it, those cards usually have the most powerful skills.Players may earn in-game Gold by completing story missions, participating in multiplayer battles or finishing quests and getting achievements. In addition, there are special buildings – such as the mines - that the player might construct and manage outside of combat to increase the amount of currency earned. Gold can then be spent on booster packs, traps that catch wild cards and, most importantly, fusion. By fusing together a few weaker cards, players create new, much more powerful units.
Welcome to the world of Earthcore: Shattered Elements, a land of magic, mystery and adventure. When the titular Earthcore shattered millennia ago, its fragments rained upon the planet, each containing an element inside. The land turned into a wasteland, part of it consumed by flames, part frozen, part overgrown with wildlife. The people struggle to rebuild but their efforts will be for naught unless balance is restored to the elements.
You become one of the last Elemental Bearers - an elite gathering of individuals sworn to protect the Earthcore, blessed with a unique power to command all the elements. For hundreds of years, Elemental Bearers have been questing to collect the shards of Earthcore and combine them back into what is essentially the heart of the world.
Guided by the mysterious Spark, you will learn to harness the might of the elements and battle the forces of Berak, a fallen Elemental Bearer that has been driven insane with lust for power. Along the journey, you will encounter dozens of interesting characters and hundreds of terrifying monsters.
To give you a better picture of the world of Earthcore: Shattered Elements, we have prepared a novella that serves as a prequel to the game. Written by Narrative Designer Grzegorz Ciach and read for your pleasure by Tobias Queen, it should not be missed under any circumstances. We will be publishing chapters weekly starting this week right here on Kickstarter!
Each card represents a character or creature under your command. By inspecting a card, you can see the element associated with it - fire, water, nature or none. There is also a six-level rarity indicator on every card. Finally, cards may have up to three specific skills and any number of shield points protecting them for damage.
Earthcore: Shattered Elements will feature over 200 hand-painted cards at launch but that’s just the tip of an iceberg! We intend to keep adding new cards for months after going live to make sure that you will never run out of stuff to find and collect.
In addition to our internal team of illustrators, we have also invited artists from all over the world to help us make Earthcore as gorgeous as it deserves to be. As you read this, they are hard at work bringing dastardly villains, heroic champions and horrifying creatures to life.
TCG or CCG is a card game that is played using unique, non-standard sets of playing cards. Those cards resemble traditional cards in terms of shape and size but allow for strategic gameplay specific to the game they are featured in.
Cards in this kind of games are collectible and used to construct a deck - a player-made combination of cards that, depending on their composition, can have different tactical advantages and disadvantages. While minute-to-minute rules differ between TCGs, the overall goal is most often to collect all the most powerful cards, either by winning them in duels or purchasing booster packs, and constructing an unbeatable deck out of them.
Most TCGs are complicated, difficult to pick up and time consuming. Many of them require an hour or more for a comfortable play session and have steep learning curve. With dozens of cards in play and numerous resources to keep track of, such as Mana or global health, the matches are hard to follow and require long preparations.
Earthcore: Shattered Elements is the first ever Action TCG because we are not afraid to defy tradition. Our game is dynamic, quick to play and easy to learn. Your only resource are your cards – once your opponent loses all of them, the battle is won.
And yet, depth-wise, we want to go above and beyond other TCGs. While we freely admit that there are less choices to make in a single round of the game than in similar games, we assure you that each choice is interesting and can make the difference between winning or losing.
We are a game development studio devoted to creating the best gaming experiences available on any platform. With 10 years of experience, industry veterans among our ranks and field-tested know-how, we are almost all set to make Earthcore a reality. The only thing that is missing is your support.
Members of our team had the privilege to work on such big-name franchises as The Sims, Tekken, Pac-Man, Sim City and Need for Speed. Together, we have developed such hits as Fantasy Kingdom Defense and the BattleFriends series, winning the prestigious IMGA award in the process.
Before going to Kickstarter, we decided to give ourselves a chance to pitch the game to a couple of publishers just to find out that such an ambitious game is unfundable even if we have half project completed. It’s a classic egg-chicken problem: publishers would invest into a game that has proven to be a successful product, ideally a revenue-genrerating blockbuster with a quickly increasing player base. The thing is: you first need to have the product (and release it) before proving to someone that it’s successful. Ironically, who needs a publisher when the self-released product turns out to be successful?
We have learned a lesson that in today’s market climate, with every publisher chasing the next casual hit making millions of dollars per day, funding a fully featured TCG such as Earthcore through traditional means is nearly impossible. Earthcore is not a mass market game - it is not supposed to be the next Candy Crush, nor is it the next GTA.
With your help, we will be able to stay faithful to our original vision and finish the game independently, with support of people who really believe into what we want to achieve - YOU!
Earthcore: Shattered Elements will not be able to reach its full potential without your involvement. We have promised ourselves that we will not compromise the game by limiting its scope, cutting the quality of illustrations or simplifying the metagame, which adds another layer of depth to the gameplay. There is no way we can keep this promise without your backing. This is our ‘now or never’ moment; either we make Earthcore the way we have always dreamed of or we postpone it again, possibly forever.
At this point, Earthcore is around 50% done. It cost us over $250 000 to get to the point we are at now. We have funded the first part of development with a loan we took, revenues from our previous titles and our personal savings. We need you to make the remaining 50% happen! Thanks to Kickstarter, we will be able to bring you a beautiful game that feels like nothing you have ever played before.
Our funding goal of $200 000 is a minimum we need to raise in order to finish the first version of Earhcore and start releasing it Q4 of this year for PC, MAC, iOS and Android. With your help we will not only be able to realize that goal but also expand the game with more content, enhanced graphics and other cool stuff. We also plan to add support for more platforms if we reach the related stretch goals. No worries, we have confirmed the capacity to add more platforms while keeping the original release date for the first desktop & mobile version.
The game has been in many iterative playtests and as the base mechanics are now rock-solid, we are moving forward with the development of multiplayer mode and the metagame. New progress is being made on the game daily and we will be sharing that with you regularly throughout the campaign and right up until launch.
All Kickstarter funds are going into the development of Earthcore. There are no side projects, no unnecessary spendings. We keep the budget tight and we are focused solely on Earthcore. Tequila Games has a reputation of being honest, upfront, and down to earth. We appreciate your investment and will make every effort to produce an experience that makes you happy and us proud.
Here is a handy list of the goodies you will get for supporting us:
Confused about some of the rewards? We hope this will help:
- E-CARD: You will receive personalized thanks from us to your e-mail with beautiful, exclusive artwork.
- CREDIT: You will be included in the credits on our website or in the game itself, depending on your contribution. Your credit might range from Special Thanks to Executive Producer.
- FORUM BADGE: You will be marked with a special badge on our official forum, letting all the other posters know that you are an esteemed supporter.
- BETA: We will invite you to play the game way ahead of official release. With your feedback you will help us shape Earthcore into the best digital TCG on the market.
- WALLPAPER: A beautiful wallpaper created by our artists in a variety of resolutions applicable to your desktop, smartphone and/or tablet.
- GOLD PACK: You will receive extra virtual Gold at the beginning of the game. Gold might be used for fusing cards and/or acquiring booster packs among other things.
- NOVELLA: A prose introduction to the world and the characters of Earthcore written by Grzegorz Ciach, our Narrative Designer. Comes both as a digital download and a beautifully printed book.
- SOUNDTRACK: Full cinematic soundtrack composed by Jerzy Adam Nowak, one of the most prolific Polish musicians. Comes both as downloadable MP3/FLAC files and on an uniquely packaged CD with the addition of the audiobook.
- EXCLUSIVE IN-GAME CARD: Depending on your contribution, you will receive up to five cards in-game that will not be available anywhere else. Only Kickstarter Backers will be able to use those beauties in battle! In addition, we also offer a sixth, TIME-LIMITED SPECIAL CARD.
- BOOSTER PACKS: At the beginning of the game, you will be given a selected number of free booster packs, allowing you to build up your deck quicker and cheaper than ever.
- AVATAR PACK: Avatars are the images that other players see when they play with or against you in the game. Kickstarter backers will have the possibility to choose an unique avatar image, unavailable to non-backers. Your opponents in PvP battles will burn with envy.
- EARTHCORE AUDIO BOOK: An extended edition of the Earthcore novella read by an experienced voice artist and delivered as a digital download to listen to on your audio player of choice. Also included on the physical soundtrack CD.
- ARTBOOK: An expansive look at the making of the game, including rare behind-the-scenes material, excellent quality reprints of our favorite card illustrations and more unique goodies. Available in regular, signed and oversized exclusive editions or as a digital download.
- GOLD DOUBLER: All the Gold you earn in-game during the Single-Player campaign or the PvP Online Battles is doubled, allowing you to expand your deck much faster than usual.
- FRIEND GIFT PACK: We will grant you a number of special codes that you will be able to send to your friends, allowing them to get free booster packs and Gold.
- CREDITS IN SPACE: We will display your name in near-space! How are we going to do it? Well, here's how:
- DESIGN PARTICIPATION: We will ask your opinion on things ranging from game design to artwork during real-time conversations. Depending on the level of your contribution, this could either take form of a moderated chat or an in-depth discussion with Project Leads over Skype.
- EARTHCORE ORIGINS (DIGITAL): Starting April 2014, you will have backer-exclusive access to a self-contained browser single player game that serves as an introduction to the gameplay and world of Earthcore: Shattered Elements.
- EARTHCORE ORIGINS (PHYSICAL): You will receive a beautifully printed, self-contained tabletop card game that servers as an introduction to the mechanics and the world of Earthcore: Shattered Elements. It’s perfect for quick play sessions with your friends and based on our paper prototype.
- POSTER: A limited edition poster designed by our artists that will never be available anywhere else. You can receive either a printed version of a printable, digital copy.
- BONUS CHAPTER: You will have early backer-only access to a hidden bonus chapter in the campaign that will allow you to get otherwise unobtainable cards.
- DECK PLANNER: You will be granted access to a special edition of the software we are using during the development to balance the game. This little tool will allow you to browse through all the cards available in the game and simulate battles between decks of your creation.
- T-SHIRT: Carefully designed by our Art Director and available in a variety of sizes, this unique T-Shirt will make you the life of the party.
- MONTHLY GIFTS: For 12 months from registering, you will be receiving monthly packs of free Gold and booster packs worth $50 each.
- EARLY ACCESS TO FUTURE TQG GAMES: As long as Tequila Games exists, you will be getting early access to all the titles we will be working on following Earthcore.
- JOIN THE TEAM: Make Earthcore with us! Depending on your contribution, you can name a card, design a card, draw a card or even become a boss. A character with your likeness will become a major enemy integrated into the storyline. Our artists and designers will work closely with you to make you into a powerful and interesting opponent.
- CLOTH MAP: An astonishing cloth map of the world of Earthcore, delivered framed and ready to hang on your wall.
- iDEVICE COVER: You will receive a backer-exclusive physical cover for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch designed by our artists.
- CARD PRINT: If you work on a card, we will send you a beautiful high-quality print of the illustration that decorates it.
- TEAM CALL: Have a heart-to-heart video call with Tequila Games’ CEO, our game design ninja Matt Nowak and the excitable Creative Producer.
- TEAM MEET: There are two levels of this reward. At the first level, we will meet you at Gamescom in Cologne later this year and spend the entire press day (closed to public) with you. At the second level, we will invite you to our HQ in Wroclaw. You must be able to pay for the travel and will be required to RSVP.
- TEAM PARTY: We will throw a party for you in Cologne at Gamescom and – depending on your contribution - another one in our hometown of Wroclaw, Poland. We guarantee unforgettable experience as you tour the magical city with us. You must be able to pay for the travel and will be required to RSVP.
Risks and challenges
Earthcore is a complex cross-platform game and as in every project of this complexity, there are many risks involved in the development. Most of all, Earthcore requires a sophisticated approach to project management. Being aware of this, we have started preparing ourselves for the project very early. When it comes to planning, scheduling and executing we are risk averse. We make our decisions cautiously, with great consideration and detailed calculation. With our field-tested SCRUM based approach to game development, we’re confident we can deliver Earthcore according to the plan.
With our backers - YOU - onboard as our de facto publisher, we’re putting even greater effort into scheduling and on-time execution of all milestones we have planned for Earthcore. We have chosen a realistic funding goal that will support the required development, and we are committed to a realistic timeline with built-in contingencies should we encounter any unforeseen problems.
One of the challenges ahead is to develop and successfully release (and then maintain) a cross-platform game with a robust PvP mode that is available for both mobile & desktop platforms (plus consoles if stretch goals are met). Having the cross-platform approach in mind, we had decided to develop Earthcore using Unity 4.0 engine which greatly facilitates development across many different platforms. It’s our fifth consecutive project using Unity framework so we can comfortably say that we feel familiar with this environment and our development team is able to get through the development challenges in a smooth way.
As you may expect, building a true online game in which players compete head-to-head, communicate with each other and team up into guilds is a pretty complex thing requiring solid investments and months of development. Many gaming studios seeking funding on Kickstarter often do not realize what it takes to build a reliable solution to enable multiplayer online gaming for a successful title – a solution that does not crash out when thousands of backers and potentially millions of other players jump into the game on day one! The need to invest into reliable, scalable infrastructure such as game servers, back-end systems, player management and so on adds a completely new level of complexity and a risk to manage.
Fortunately, we are in a comfortable position as we had sorted those challenges and are prepared for a large scale interest. Here’s how: one of the things we are most proud is that over the past two years we have developed and field-tested our entire online gaming backend (all of this while being a relatively small 20 people studio). Our cloud-based infrastructure for online games has been successfully used in our BattleFriends game series that we had released on iOS and Android. It is the same infrastructure that we will be reusing in Earthcore: Shattered Elements and this is why we are guaranteeing a true multiplayer experience right from the start!
Last but not least, our development team is comprised on seasoned veterans who worked on a large number of different games in the past including major AAA titles. Everything presented on the screen has been painstakingly created by disciplined professionals: designers, graphic artists, programmers and composers. We are certain that with both our enthusiasm and know-how, we will manage to overcome all the potential hurdles.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The initial release will be in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Polish. Russian is also a possibility at launch but we are not able to confirm that at this time due to additional challenges associated with non-Latin alphabet. Afterwards we wish to keep adding more languages so that all our fans may fully enjoy the epic story we are telling.
Our initial target platforms are PC, Mac, iOS and Android. Should the first set of stretch goals be met, we are also planning adaptations for Linux and Kindle Fire. In addition, we are currently investigating further platforms, such as PS Vita, Ouya, 3DS and Wii U. Let us know what device you would like to play Earthcore on and watch this space for new information!
We are developing both versions concurrently so no version is a simple port of the other. Naturally, each version has a slightly different interface providing a native experience on each platform. Desktop versions (PC/Mac) will also have better quality graphical assets as we are not as constrained with CPU and memory limitations as is the case for the mobile editions.
Should our funding goal be met, anyone will be able to download the game after it is released absolutely free of charge. While Earthcore does feature microtransactions – such as booster packs or special avatars – there will be no non-vanity items that cannot be acquired through normal play. Additionally, due to our match-making system, it is impossible for players of wildly different power levels to face each other in ranked matches, so pay-to-win is absolutely out of question.
All the game data is held in the cloud so you can start playing on your PC, then continue the game on your phone, play a few sessions on your tablet and then finish up on a friend’s Mac. All you need to enjoy this feature is an Internet connection.
The initial Beta will be available on PC and Mac.
You will receive a personalized code that will immediately unlock all the content that you are entitled to. This content will be available to you on all supported platforms without the need to enter the code again, as long as you keep using the same in-game account.
Not to a significant degree as our match-making system prevents players of wildly different power levels to compete with each other in ranked multiplayer matches. Some of the most powerful rewards might make your progression in the Single Player campaign a bit faster but not to the point you will not have a satisfying experience. Our designers worked hard on making the in-game rewards truly valuable but not game-breaking and we are sure you will agree they succeeded.
The PC, Mac, iOS and Android versions of Earthcore: Shattered Elements will be released to the public by December 2014. While our current plan is to release the first version way before then, we prefer to give ourselves some room for changes resulting from your feedback and potential additional funding.
Shipping is free to US, EU, UK and Canadian backers. If you live outside of the countries/regions mentioned here, please add $20 (€15 / £12) to help offset shipping costs.
Digital reward codes will be sent to you in the days leading up to the launch of the first official release. You will receive all the physical rewards by December 2014.
- (30 days)