Topia Online is now accepting pre-orders and processing pledges through www.topiaonline.com instead of using Kickstarter. Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on January 7, 2013.
About this project
Topia Online is an exciting new sandbox MMORPG where the players have free reign over the game world. Players can create their own scripts and powers using the resources in the game world. If you've watched our video, you may have gotten the impression that we're building a 'hardcore roguelike' game. The truth is, we're designing an MMORPG that properly simulates a realistic eco-system.
From the beginning, we knew that we wanted to create an online game where you could truly 'do anything'. In order to accomplish that, we are building a powerful set of tools that the players themselves can use to expand the game world and it's features. Topia Online's aim is to provides endless creative possibilities for players of all backgrounds.
Our inspirations come from a wide variety of games, from the old school days of Ultima Online to the modern worlds of Minecraft and Terraria. We think Darkfall and Salem have had some great ideas as well. Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper have also heavily influenced our design.
We love all the other builder games out there, but frankly we can only handle so many 'voxels'. Stacking blocks on one another and digging holes can be fun, but we don't feel that those games give the community enough credit. Our belief is that the community is a powerful force that is capable of creating an unparalleled MMORPG simulation. We are starting this Kickstarter to urge the community to band together to help create an online game on a scale of unprecedented size and scope.
Use the toolset to build your own world:
We understand that many players will not agree with some of our design choices in this sandbox game. Therefore, we are providing the tools to allow players to create their own game worlds with their own rules. This means that if you do not enjoy PvP, you can create your own game world without PvP. All aspects of the game can be changed using the editor, and players will be able to connect to your world instantly.
Our development team is using the same tools that the players will be using to build the game world. The tools will allow players with little to no technical experience to create their own cities, dungeons, trade routes, bandit camps, and so forth. However, players will not be able to just create things from thin air. They will have to gather resources from the land, hire workers, and defend their homes in order to accomplish their goals.
Topia Online is powered by a game engine that can process many thousands of scripts per second. Every creature in the game world will have their own agenda and personality. But how is this possible? It's possible because every creature in the game is 'owned and operated' by a player. There are no 'NPCs', except the ones that players create and program themself. Although each player has a 'main character' like any other MMORPG, you can also control dozens of other characters that are 'always present' in the game world.
Our development team is hard at work writing hundreds of unique scripts that anyone can use at will. Want to set up your own shop? Just build the shop anywhere in the world you want, grab our shopkeeper script, hire a worker, and drag the script to the worker. We are also providing an 'interface editor' so that players can create and share user interfaces. That way, your new shopkeeper will have his own UI that you can use to manage inventory, set shop prices, greet customers, and so forth. We've already written hundreds of pre-made scripts, from 'guard dog' routines to 'lumberjacks that chop wood all day for you'.
So what if you don't have any scripting experience? Topia provides a vast script marketplace where the community can share and trade scripts. For example, if someone in the community creates an 'innkeeper script', they can share it on the marketplace so that anyone can grab it and create their own innkeeper. Even with no programming experience, you can take advantage of the wealth of contributions from the community.
What about character advancement and the RPG aspect of Topia Online? We use a class-less system that allows your character to grow based on his accomplishments. Our achievement grid system is an innovative game feature that will ensure that you are always doing something interesting. We are tired of typical 'grinding' games, and we want to reward players for accomplishing great deeds rather than clicking the same button hundreds of times.
All creatures in Topia Online are controlled by players. We have over 16 different creatures already planned, along with numerous 'transformations' that characters can undergo. Your account has a certain number of 'creature points' that you earn as you play the game, allowing you to unlock bigger and badder creatures. Creatures cost a certain amount of 'creature points' to create, so you have to earn points with 'lesser creatures' in order to purchase greater creatures. Although you are playing as a creature, there is nothing in the game that is forcing you to play the creature a certain way. You can cooperate with other players as you see fit, or you can go on a monstrous rampage.
As your creature advances, it may take on stronger forms and pose a real threat to the game world. When players slay creatures, the creature will drop a 'monster component', such as wolf pelts, slime globs, bone chips, or sprockets. These components can be used for advanced crafts.
Crafting is the forefront of Topia Online. Absolutely everything in the game world is built by player's hands, aside from the raw resources and wildlife. Players can build weapons, armor, potions, traps, roads, walls, furniture, and all manner of items. For more advanced crafters, you can design complex mechanisms from scratch, such as teleportation devices, minecart networks, pulley systems, pressure plates, and so forth.
In Topia Online, rather than rewarding players for 'grinding' crafting skills all day, you are rewarded instead when players use the items you craft. So your goal, as a crafter, is to get your wares into as many hands as possible. Whenever players sit on chairs crafted by you, you gain experience. Whenever players slay creatures with swords forged by you, you gain experience.
Crafting 'experience' is called 'inspiration'. You can use inspiration to experiment with unique and advanced crafts.
Your character advances and grows stronger and more adept in Topia Online as you play. The advancement system, however, is extremely unique. All players in Topia Online receive 'influence' each hour of play. Influence is the global currency that drives the Topia Online game world. It's an abstract force that can be traded with players freely. You can use influence to 'claim' land, create 'hirelings', or purchase items from other players. Additionally, influence is also used to improve your character's abilities and attributes.
More details on the advancement system will be provided later, but it's worth noting that it is rare that anyone will ever 'max' their character. Since you can trade influence freely, players will constantly be selling services or fighting over valuables in order to attain influence from one another. The trickle of influence is slow compared to bartering with other players, and therefore interaction with other players is absolutely necessary in order to advance quickly.
It's interesting to consider that you can choose to either purchase a sword, or learn a new skill. Skills in Topia Online are all designed to provide new 'services' that you can offer to other players. Every skill will be valuable, and it will be important to choose skills which enable you to earn more influence as a result.
Although there will be numerous ways to resolve conflicts in non-violent ways, combat is the most extreme form of dispute resolution. Unlike other MMORPGs, combat in Topia Online will be less frequent. This is because the consequences for death are severe, and many people will only enter armed combat when they need to remove another creature/player from the game.
Basic combat can occur in the 'main game world', which includes simple actions such as shooting a ranged weapon at someone, punching them, grabbing them, or pushing them. However, when combat has escalated, the 'combat mode' scene will kick in. During combat mode, the fight will play out in real-time, in a fully automated cinematic fashion. However, you may switch 'stances' during combat to adjust your character's combat maneuvers in an attempt to gain the upper hand.
When you are playing Topia, you can adjust your character's combat stances at anytime by accessing the combat menu. You can have up to three stances, and each stance has 'slots' that you can 'equip' combat abilities and tactics. This will enable a particular combat stance to use a specific set of techniques. Players will want to create diverse stances that enable them to succeed in certain situations. Other players may build counter-stances that are designed to overthrow specific combat styles.
We feel that the combat system is very rewarding to master, and will encourage players to grow and adapt to strategies. We will provide more information and combat videos in the near future.
Griefing & other catastrophes:
Although death in Topia Online carries a severe consequence, it will be an accepted result of choosing to participate in armed combat. In most online games, you have to 'grind' and work extremely hard on your character. In Topia Online, although death is severe, you will not feel an extremely devastating sense of loss. This is due to the pace at which your character can advance, and also because death will not be as frequent as other online games.
When your character dies, he will lose his skills and items in his inventory. However, skill gain in this game is not like other games. You can learn skills simply by having other players teach you or give you the 'influence' to gain the skill. You will retain ownership of all of your property, but some of your influence in the property will be decreased. It's important to note that you can always return to your house after dying in order to re-equip your character.
In other online games, players are often working together to protect
the world against great evils. In Topia Online, these great evils are
manifested by other players. We don't have 'server-scripted events',
but instead players will create these events directly through their
actions and behaviors.
Video games will have you believe that 'good always prevails'. It's a comforting feeling to know that heroes will always come out on top. However, life in a fantasy sandbox world is not what it's cracked up to be. In this game, if you do not work together for the greater good, not only will you die, but the entire game world will die.
When the last obelisk loses it's spark in Topia Online, life will no longer be sustainable in the game world. All that will remain is darkness and silence. This is the end. The server dies because no heroes rose from the community to maintain balance and order. This isn't about griefing or hackers, this is cause and effect in a game world that is not governed by the developers.
But fear not, a new server will be born, giving the community another opportunity to create a world worth living in. The new world will be procedurally generated, and mankind will attempt to stand the test of time once again.
Topia Online Feature Matrix:
Our development team:
Our team is built from a core group of friends that have been in the IT industry for many years. We're experienced software developers, designers, and artists. We have the technical skills and drive to follow through with our commitments to deliver an amazing game for the world to enjoy.
If we can raise more than our goal, we are prepared to implement a specific set of features soon after the game launches in March.
$75,000: 'Dungeon Keeper' mode
If we raise $75,000, we are committed to providing players with the tools to create their own underground dungeons. Players will have the full power of the Topia Engine to completely customize their dungeons. They will also be able to control numerous creatures to protect their dungeon against unwanted intruders.
$100,000: Oceans, Islands, Ships, and Pirates
If we raise $100,000, we are committed to providing players with seafaring biomes, islands, and craftable ships. Players can sail to uncharted locations in the world to settle, create their own shipyards, or become pirates to attack other ships.
$125,000: Connected player worlds
If we raise $125,000, we are committed to enabling players to connect their worlds to the main Topia World, and also to each other's worlds. Players will be able to build their own private sandboxes and then link them together to create a 'multiverse'.
$150,000: Advanced graphics update
If we raise $150,000, we are committed to rebuilding our graphics engine from scratch to enable the highest quality effects, animations, and 3d particle enhancements. At this time, the only thing limiting our ability to create more advanced graphics are our budget. With the right budget, we can hire additional artists to build more complex art assets.
$175,000: Themed servers
If we raise $175,000, we are committed to creating a set of servers with varying rulesets that reach out to wider audience. Such themes would include a competitive 'tournament server', a 'PvE' server where we seed the world with monsters and the players all cooperate against a common enemy, and a 'faction' server, where players work together to battle against other factions of players.
Risks and challenges
We've analyzed and assessed as many risk factors as possible during the design and development of Topia Online. Our biggest concern is being able to keep up with community demands. We are a small team of 6, and we will be stretched thin in order to provide an amazing game engine that thousands of players can use. We feel that hiring an additional artist and developers will alleviate a lot of risk in terms of meeting the community's expectations for a quality sandbox game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $10 or more
Exclusive beta access after the Kickstarter has been funded successfully.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
Exclusive beta access, as well as a registered activation key for a Topia Online game account, allowing you to play forever with no monthly charges. Additionally, your character will have a special title and unique item.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
All previous rewards, along with 3 extra 'Christmas' beta invites, 5 permanent extra character slots on your account, and a second permanent unique in-game item (cosmetic).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
14 backers Limited (86 left of 100)
All previous rewards, plus you will also be able to design one custom item 'skin' that only YOU can craft. Although merely cosmetic, your account will be the only one able to produce it. Its appearance must fall within the 'theme' of the game. Our artist will draw it based on your specifications.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or more
12 backers Limited (38 left of 50)
All previous rewards, plus we will develop a custom skin specifically for your character. You will look different than any other player in the game. Just tell us what race you want to have it applied to, and describe how you want it to look.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
All previous rewards, plus a hugely expanded 1000x1000 tile sandbox to create your own private game world that other players can create characters in. Use it as your guild hall or test area. Additionally, you will receive a 'Founding Member' rank on the Topia forums and in-game, as well as being listed in the hall of fame.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)
All previous rewards, plus you can design a playable character race. You can also design a unique skin when playing as this race. Nobody else on the server will look like you. It must be fit the game's theme and not be trademarked. We will provide all art assets.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,500 or more
In Topia Online, anyone can create a guild, and be part of multiple guilds at a time. There is no minimum/maximum number of guild members. This reward is specifically geared towards communities and guilds that want to pledge. The guild master of the guild will receive all previous rewards except for the 'design your own race'. Custom designed art for guild insignias, banners, flags. Custom designed art for guild uniforms/outfits. Custom designed art for guild weapons (up to 3 uniquely skinned that members of the guild can craft). Custom 'guild charter' structure. As many beta keys as you need for your guild, invited in 'waves'. You will also receive up to 60 game activation keys, or an equivalent reward if you want to trade in the keys for other rewards. Guild will receive a 'founder' title. Please contact us if your guild members will be pledging 'individually' so that I can combine them into this reward.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)