Project image
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$18,616
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
278
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, May 8 2015 4:00 AM UTC +00:00
$18,616
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
278
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, May 8 2015 4:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

 Solar Crusaders is a multiplayer top-down strategy game featuring 4X gameplay elements, sandbox universe, real-time battles, and simulated virtual economy.

You'll control the crews of customizable spaceships and space-stations in a galaxy populated by other players and A.I. controlled NPCs.

Solar Crusaders features in a nutshell:

  • Open world space exploration with top-down tactical battles.
  • Command and battle against multiple ships, with up to four ships under your command.
  • Colonize and exploit strategic locations by building space-stations. 
  • Participate in the simulated game economy by mining ores, refining fuels, or manufacturing ships, stations, and components.
  • Compete against other players and NPC's to develop faster and more powerful ships, and gain territory for your corporation.

About Us:

Solar Crusaders is being made by Silicon Valley startup Puremana Studios LLC, founded by Hilary Craven, and Ollie JD. We're self-funded and we have enough money to make sure this game happens. Our core team is locked in and committed to this project for the next 2 years.

We're a little over half way through development, and we've decided to come to Kickstarter to raise awareness about Solar Crusaders, and raise funds to accelerate the development schedule by increasing the size of our team.

We're testing the waters with this premise, and we want you to help us prove that there is a significant group of people that would love to play a 2D open world space game!

Website: http://www.solarcrusaders.com/

Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=409453472

Explore the galaxy

As you guide your fleet through each solar system, you'll explore features such as stars, moons, planets, asteroids, and singularities; optionally colonizing strategic locations as you see fit.

Unlike similar games in this genre, Solar Crusaders utilizes an advanced agents system to populate the game universe with persistent computer controlled pirates, merchants, traders, smugglers, and more. The game will never feel empty or barren, because the computer will move into empty sectors.

Once an agent is destroyed, it permanently ceases to exist, and a new agent will be created unless you move in to take its place.

Grow your empire

Colonization will allow you to create items in the game, which will range in quality based on your manufacturing facilities and proper composition of resources.

Anything from small sensor augments, to full ship systems like engines, transporters, and cloak can be created and traded in-game.

Manage your crew members

Your crew will be composed of five different races including Human, Monk, Plantoid, Robotic, and Creature. Each race will have their own appearance, behavior, and special ability; affording each a particular advantage in combat, diplomacy, or a wide variety of other possible enhancements.

Each crew member will be subject to perma-death, although this can be mitigated through insurance, and cloning bays.

Take command of your ships

Your ships will be highly configurable, with many systems being swappable and/or upgradable. You'll have to carefully manage your critical resources including fuel, atmosphere, and ammunition; while at the same time manage your crew as they perform their specialized duties like piloting, engineering, weapons control, and more.

Additional supplies and reinforcements can be salvaged from wrecks, created from resources, or bought from NPCs and other players.

Domination

The advancement system is based upon training individual skills of crew members in fields such as piloting, shields, engineering, weapons, and more. Ultimately, your goal will be to expand your dominion beyond your home system, and into the furthest reaches of the galaxy.

 The game can be played in 3 different ways:

  • Single-player Battle Simulations (similar to Star Citizens Arena Commander)
  • Local Co-op (much like Minecraft where you host the server yourself for up to 64 players over LAN)
  • Connect to Official Online Game Universe (much like an MMO, persistent universe with up to 8000+ players)

Single-player and local co-op will NEVER have any monthly fee to play. You will NEVER have to sign-up or sign-in to anything to play. Simply download and play as much as you wish.

There will NEVER be a fee to play on the Official Game Universe for Kickstarter supporters of $30.00 or more.

Otherwise, the Official Online Game Universe will be $5.00/month, and possibly less with promotions and deals.

There will be a limited micro-payments shop, which will allow players to buy things that do NOT affect the balance of the game. For example, you'll be able to purchase unique decals (skins) for ship and space-stations.

We are currently focusing on development of the Solar Crusaders Official Online Game Universe.

The Kickstarter funds budget above shows where your money will be spent.

We'll be hiring a 3-month contract programmer to help with debugging and and code optimization. We haven't chosen our programmer yet.

We'll be hiring on a contract artist to create more concept artwork. Concept artwork will be done by Becca Bair and Ricardo Van Duuren.

We'll be hiring Megan McDuffee to do our music.

Game development isn't easy, and as any enterprising game developer or startup entrepreneur knows, programming is expensive. Running a company has a lot of overhead, and therefore a project such as this can easily run in to the millions.

So how we can make this game happen for way less?

1) Solar Crusaders has an experienced lead engineer / programmer as one of its founding members. Ollie JD has been working in the Silicon Valley for over 10 years, and has brought many large scale projects to fruition. He's not going anywhere, and he is fully committed to this project for at least next 2 years. This project has been a dream of his waiting for the right moment to spring to life.

2) We're using technology that is much easier to work with. The game engine and servers are built using JavaScript and HTML5, and therefore can share a lot of code. Sharing code is good, because it means less repetitive work, and fewer bugs. A lot of smart companies have invested heavily into JavaScript, including Google, PayPal, Flickr, LinkedIn and more.

3) Many indies use Unity to save a lot of time, and we're using similar frameworks for both our front-end and backend servers. We're not trying to re-invent the wheel, therefore, anything that has been made and open-sourced, we're going to be using. For more information about our architecture, see the technology section below.

4) The Solar Crusaders Online Universe will be hosted on Amazon Web Services. When server demand goes up, we spin up more servers and only pay for what we use. We don't have to pay for an IT department, because the servers are managed by Amazon.

5) All of our team members work remotely, there is no office, we meet and coordinate through Skype. We have practically no corporate overhead.

6) This game is a passion for all of us! We'll use a little bit of money, and a whole lot of heart to get it done.

So where are we now?

We've implemented most of the client engine, and we're currently spending most of our development time on the server. We've ran some preliminary stress tests, and here are our results:

Each Amazon EC2 instance can support 200-400 concurrent connections. With a cluster of 40 EC2 instances, and the artificial load we generated that accounts for realistic read/write operations, we were able to sustain 8000 simultaneous connections, each averaging a ping of 40-150ms.

The approximate cost of this setup was $1500.00-2500.00/month, not including the datastore setup, which would cost an additional $1500.00-3000.00/month.

Overall, it will be inexpensive to run the servers for a user-base of 8000.

Parallel Development

Our architecture is very unique; we can share almost all of the code between the different types of games (single-player, vs LAN multiplayer, vs MMO.)

In fact, the local co-op LAN multiplayer is really just a modified version of the MMO server. Instead of communicating with a database, it'll store everything in memory and serialize to a file upon saving the game. The main difference being that it'll run standalone, instead of in a clustered environment.

  • Hilary Craven - Founder / Game Designer - Hilary Craven has a passion for computer gaming that was largely influenced by her older brother. Raised in a family of board gamers she has always been looking to create a game. With a background and experience in business she is creating a game studio that will give back to the community. Currently still addicted to StarCraft and Civilizations.
  • Ollie JD - Founder / Game Architect - Ollie is a 10 year veteran of the SF tech industry, and has gained valuable experience working and consulting for Silicon Valley companies. He worked for PIX System developing video software used in HBO shows like Game of Thrones and House of Cards. He was the lead engineer on the Sports Illustrated Snapshot Chrome App.
  • Erica Parker - Business Dev - Erica leads our Business Development efforts to target strategic alliances and partnerships. In essense, she helps us make things happen that were previously unimaginable. Erica holds a Masters of Engineering from UC Berkeley. Her advise on legal and business aspects has been invaluable.
  • Megan McDuffee - Composer / Musician - Megan holds both a BA in Film Scoring with a minor in Electronic Music from the University of CA, Santa Cruz and a Master's Certificate from the Berklee College of Music in Orchestration for Film and TV. Her music can be heard in numerous films, advertisements, TV shows, and video games including Galaxy Heist. Megan's piece "Kingdoms" is featured on Solar Crusaders first teaser video. We are looking forward for Megan creating unique pieces for Solar Crusaders.
  • Federico Pereiro - Programmer - Federico is a full-stack JavaScript freelance developer and open source contributor. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Federico is now taking his work on the road, which brings him to distant and exotic places - provided they have an electric outlet and wifi.
  • Aron Gerencser - Writer / Lore Master - Aron is a student and aspiring writer based in Budapest. A passionate gamer for as long as he can remember, Aron is a massive fan of anything and everything Sci-Fi. Be it high-tech space operas, post-apocalyptic dramas or abstract thrillers, if It's Science Fiction, Aron likes it.
  • Ricardo Van Duuren - Digital Artist
  • Emily So - Digital Artist
  • Becca Bair - Digital Artist
  • Joshua Kacher - Advisor
  • Ruth Pimentel - Public Relations

Create a custom reward and then add on the following prices to your pledge:

+ $30.00

  • Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
  • Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)
  • add $8.00 - Beta Access
  • add $25.00 - Alpha 2 Access
  • add $50.00 - Alpha 1 Access

+ $7.00 - 2 Tickets to launch party

+ $15.00 - Name a planet

+ $15.00 - Name a crew member

We are building Solar Crusaders using standard web technologies. Both the backend servers and the front-end game client will share code. This means that we'll be able to add features and fix bugs much faster than otherwise possible with other architectures.

The game will run in a web browser using no plugins, however, it will also be available as a regular game you can download and run (just like with any other Steam game.)

It will be incredibly easy to join the game universe, which means that there will be more players online at any given time.

Web-based technologies such as HTML5 and Node.js have come a long way in the past few years, and it is now possible to create high quality games that are virtually identical to their native counterparts.

Obviously, you won't see the next Crysis or Farcry on the web, but simpler games just don't need to be built using C++ anymore. HTML 5 game engines now support GPU accelerated graphics, and can even be distributed through Steam.

See BabylonJS and Pixi.js to see some tech demos. Also checkout Cross Code, a completed game using this new technology.

 Audio and visual quality in games has improved immensely over the past 10 years, however, game artificial intelligence has been largely overlooked by developers. Nowadays, the quality of the AI can really make or break the experience gamers have when playing the latest titles.

We aim to endue the NPCs in Solar Crusaders with intelligent tactical behavior that goes a step beyond rule-based, or cheating techniques. The agents in Solar Crusaders will be controlled by an adaptive algorithm that corrects mistakes by taking into account previously won and lost battles, on a massive scale.

Every battle in Solar Crusaders will be analyzed and recorded by the algorythm. As more and more data is generated, the NPC agents will be able to to better deal with unknown and emergent human-player tactics.

The adaptive A.I. will only be available in the Online Universe, the single-player and co-op versions of the game will utilize a standard rule-based approach (but not cheating.)

Risks and challenges

DEVELOPMENT

Solar Crusaders has been self-funded by the founders, and we've been able to secure salaries for core members of the team. We're committed to this project for the next 2 years.

Solar Crusaders will come to life, but the real question is how quickly. We've invested heavily into this project, and we know that we can make it happen.

TECHNOLOGY

We are using technology that allows us to develop and iterate quickly. Our servers will be using the same technology that is used by companies like Flickr, Uber, and Paypal to support thousands of users inexpensively.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

We know we can make this game, but we will need the guidance of the community to provide feedback during our alpha testing phases. We want to make this game as fun as possible.

SPREADING THE WORD:

One of the larger challenges that we face is spreading awareness about our game. We could overcome this hurdle by funding an advertising campaign, but we would rather spend those funds to add new features into the game.

You, our Kickstarter backers can help us overcome this challenge. You have the power to spread awareness about Solar Crusaders by sharing our story with your friends and family on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.)

We want to make this as easy as possible, so we have created a NEW Thunderclap which will automatically post one message to your social media, please join and help spread the word!

http://thndr.it/1H2bNEd

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    TRAINEE FIRST-CLASS

    Thank you! We appreciate your support and we'll send you an e-thank you card.

    + Unique forum badge.
    + Special thanks in the credits (for all rewards)

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    ENSIGN FIRST-CLASS

    + 3 months access to the Official Online Universe.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    LIEUTENANT JUNIOR-GRADE

    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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    96 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 38 or more About US$ 38

    LIEUTENANT

    + Beta access.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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    65 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    LIEUTENANT FIRST-CLASS

    Come join the party when we launch Solar Crusaders. Party will take place in San Francisco Bay Area.

    + 2 Tickets to launch party.
    + Beta access.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    2 LIEUTENANT JUNIOR-GRADE

    One for you... and one for a friend.

    + Get two copies of the game.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    LIEUTENANT COMMANDER

    Name a planet!

    Make history and be a part of the game. Once the game is released we'll give you the coordinates to where the planet you named is located.

    Naming subject to approval.

    + Name a planet.
    + 2 Tickets to launch party.
    + Beta access.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    COMMANDER

    Name a playable crew member and planet!

    Once the game is released we'll give you the coordinates to where the planet you named is located, and the crew member will be nearby.

    Naming subject to approval.

    + Name a playable crew member and a planet.
    + 2 Tickets to launch party.
    + Beta access.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 84 or more About US$ 84

    4 LIEUTENANT JUNIOR-GRADE

    Team up with your friends!

    + Get four copies of the game.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    CAPTAIN

    Get Alpha 2 access.

    Name a playable crew member and planet!

    Once the game is released we'll give you the coordinates to where the planet you named is located, and the crew member will be nearby.

    Naming subject to approval.

    + Alpha 2 access.
    + Name a playable crew member and planet.
    + 2 Tickets to launch party.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 124 or more About US$ 124

    FLEET CAPTAIN

    Get Alpha 1 access.

    Name a playable crew member and planet!

    Once the game is released we'll give you the coordinates to where the planet you named is located, and the crew member will be nearby.

    Naming subject to approval.

    + Alpha 1 access.
    + Name a playable crew member and persistent planet.
    + 2 Tickets to launch party.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    GENERAL

    Come join the party when we launch Solar Crusaders. Party will take place in San Francisco Bay Area.

    Hang out with the creators in the VIP lounge and includes early access to the party.

    Get Alpha 1 access.

    Name a playable crew member and planet!

    Once the game is released we'll give you the coordinates to where the planet you named is located, and the crew member will be nearby.

    Naming subject to approval.

    + Alpha 1 access.
    + Name a playable crew member and planet.
    + 2 VIP Tickets to launch party.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    COMMODORE

    Dinner with the creators!
    The co-creators (Hilary and Ollie) will take you and a friend out to dinner in San Francisco.

    Come join the party when we launch Solar Crusaders. Party will take place in San Francisco Bay Area Feb 2016.

    Hang out with the creators in the VIP lounge and includes early access to the party.

    Get Alpha 1 access.

    Name a playable crew member and planet!

    Once the game is released we'll give you the coordinates to where the planet you named is located, and the crew member will be nearby.

    Naming subject to approval.

    + Dinner with the creators
    + Alpha 1 access.
    + Name a playable crew member and planet.
    + 2 VIP Tickets to launch party.
    + Unlimited access to the Official Online Game Universe (no membership fee.) This means you get access to play Solar Crusaders for the life of the game.
    + Unlimited access to game enhancements as they become available (single-player, and local co-op.)

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    VICE ADMIRAL

    Create your own quest!
    Work with the Solar Crusaders team to build your own storyline quest. You are welcome to team up with friends to write yourselves into the game.

    + All above tiers
    + Work with the team to create your own quest.

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    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    ADMIRAL

    Create your own quest!
    Work with the Solar Crusaders team to build your own storyline mission. You are welcome to team up with friends to write yourselves into the game. Our Artistic team will create a unique pixel character that becomes part of the game. (can travel onto your ship, or where ever based on your story)

    + All above tiers
    + Work with the team to create your own quest.

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  16. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 1,200 or more About US$ 1,200

    FIRST MINISTER

    Design your own non-playable enemy race that will be the scourge of the galaxy.

    This race will appear in dangerous sectors, and be powered by our adaptive A.I. engine in the Solar Crusaders Online Universe.

    + All above tiers
    + Create your own super enemy race

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    CHANCELLOR

    Executive Producer!
    Includes all previous rewards along with the opportunity to be apart of our team. You can attend quarterly meetings. Your name will appear in the credits of the game as the executive producer.

    + All above tiers
    + Become Executive Producer

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Funding period

- (30 days)