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Divided Pursuit: A Multiplayer boardgame RPG in Mobile form project video thumbnail
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$549 pledged of $4,000 goal
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By Justin Towe
$549 pledged of $4,000 goal
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About this project

The Project

Divided Pursuit will be a mobile app available for Android and Iphone devices. It is a role playing video/board game hybrid meant to be played with multiple (4+) people, on the same local network: One player acts as the host, and other players join the host game. At $2.99, this app will have all the elements of your favorite board games at a fraction of the price and without all the clutter. This means Divided Pursuit can make gaming more accessible and inclusive, while also being better for the environment. Evidence has demonstrated gaming, and RPGs in particular, can have a positive impact on self-esteem, brain development, and social skills, so you get to have tons of fun while you improve yourself!

(please note that these images are just basic wireframes, the finished project will have nice backgrounds and fancy buttons).

 

 

Each player creates their own character(s) that gain experience points and level up via multiple playthroughs.

 

As I stated in the video too, each class has their own unique ability. Though these are subject to change as the game develops and is play tested, this is where they currently stand:

Warrior: Duel - Openly challenge another player to a duel. They get to choose the weapon (stat) and it is a battle of strength + other stat they chose. The Loser is wounded (can't go on quest next round) and the winner gets a “confidence” bonus if they go on the quest next, which will add to whatever task they do. This ability can only be played during the quest selection phase, before the leader finalizes a vote. (4 round cooldown)

Wizard: Telepathy -  When not on a quest, pick a character who is on a quest and see what actions they take. There is a chance they will be aware that they are being mentally watched (their wisdom and luck add to this chance) (3 round cooldown).

Rogue: Backstab - Option to wound (can't go on quest next round) a fellow adventurer when on a quest with them. Causes that player to get wounded on the quest, as if it was a natural occurrence. This also halves the effectiveness of the action they take during the quest. (4 round cooldown).

Cleric: Divine Revelation - Choose one player and know what side they are on. (Only usable once, and is only available to use after a certain number of rounds have passed, which is dependent on the number of players).

At game start, players are secretly divided into two teams: Heroes and Saboteurs. The primary goal for the Heroes is to successfully complete quests, while the Saboteurs aim to cause quests to fail. Depending on the quest, 1 or 2 points will be awarded to the team that succeeded at their goal: the first team to reach 6 points is victorious!

Each round begins with a new player assigned the role of "Leader". The Leader can choose between 3 different quests to go on, and each quest requires a number of people to bring with them. The Leader chooses their team, then each player votes on whether or not they agree with the party that is going. This is democracy, not dictatorship: a majority is required to progress. If the vote passes, the team will go on the selected quest. If the vote doesn’t have a majority, it fails, the Leader changes hands, and it is up to the new leader to select a quest and adventuring party. If parties are rejected 3 times in a row, 1 point is awarded to the Saboteurs. If the vote fails a 4th time, the Saboteurs get another point, but the quest board and failed vote tally reset.

 

Each quest has a unique story that will be displayed to all players, and each member of the adventuring team can make a few different choices for how to proceed. Each choice is tied to a stat: the higher your stat, the higher your chance of success. However, depending on the quest, some choices may be worse than others, and some may out-right negate other choices fellow party members may make. In addition to these quest-based choices, players will always have the option to try and sabotage another player, negating that player’s action entirely. This move always runs a risk that a fellow party member may notice you screwing over another adventurer. Keep in mind though, anybody can do this, not just Saboteurs. A hero may attempt to block a player they suspect is a saboteur in order to stop whatever nefarious scheme they may be up to. Keeping an eye on other adventurers and their decisions (in game, don’t peek at their screens!) is integral to trying to figure out what team each player is on. At the end of the quest, more of the story is shared, and points are awarded to whichever team succeeded at their goal. Play then resumes with a new leader and a new quest (the other two previously unpicked quests usually remain), and the suspense heightens. Another important thing to remember to, is that when on a quest, there is sometimes a slight possibility that an adventurer may be wounded (you won't be able to quest next round) while questing - these occurrences are usually only possible if the option you picked was more physical in nature (i.e fighting or sprinting) and/or the quest fails.

After one team gains 6 points, the game is over. The true Heroes and Saboteurs will be revealed and experience points will be given out.  Characters on the winning team will get a bit more experience, but adventurers also gain experience for achieving success on any individual quest. The host can then decide to quick re-launch another game, and players can accept to start anew. In addition, if someone received enough exp to level up, they can choose to level up their character before moving on to the new game.

The Plan

As it currently stands, I have laid all of the groundwork, and created basic wireframes for the game screens (as shown above). The game flow process and the algorithms that dictate how the game works are created (though that is subject to change during the beta phase after receiving gameplay feedback). The timeframe for beta release is 10 months, and a full release scheduled 1-2 months later, depending on how the beta goes. A lot of what will be developed depends on how much money this kickstarter raises: if it makes just the minimum goal, aside from doing all of the programming, I will also write a lot of the quests (of which there would initially be around 100), and there will be minimal art assets. If more money is raised, more content will be added, and this will not interfere with the timeframe at all (in fact it may even shorten it), because almost everything beyond that initial amount is going towards paying other content creators who can take the burden off my shoulders and perhaps even add new burdens (which they get to carry!) while I focus on coding and project management.

Goal and Stretch Goals

$4,000 project goal
With this, the game will get released on schedule with approximately 100 unique quests for your adventurers to go on, 4 classes (Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, Rogue, plus any backer funded classes), 10-12 character portraits to choose from when creating a character, and various backgrounds representing cities, forests, caverns etc.

$5,500
100 additional quests will be added to the game, for additional fun and reduced repetition!

$10,000
An additional character class will be added to the game. Backers will get to vote on what the class (and their unique ability) should be. The list of potential classes is dependent on any backer created classes that have been funded, but no matter what, there will be at least 3 different options to choose from.

$15,000
More unique art assets added to the game: more distinct backgrounds for quest locales as opposed to generic areas that would be re-used for numerous locations, and approximately 50+ character portraits to choose from when creating your character.

$18,000
Release for Windows/Mac/Linux platforms, in case you want to be that person who uses a laptop (or desktop??) instead of a smartphone or tablet.

$23,000
Ambient music/sounds added to game. Game menus and different quest location types will all have their own light background music and ambient sounds for the location. There will be an option for the game host to enable or disable these sounds in-game.

$36,000
Additional game mode added for smaller groups of people that supports 2-6 players: instead of a team based game-mode, this will be focused on fast-paced solo questing with an additional “gamble” mechanic and a twist on the bluffing aspect of the original game mode.

$50,000
Attribute-based abilities added to game: Upon reaching certain stat levels, you can unlock certain stat based abilities (as opposed to the unique class based abilities). e.g when you reach 10 Charisma you unlock the “Natural Leader” ability and can cast a tie-breaking vote if you are the leader of a quest that ties during the vote phase.

$80,000
Audio narration added to game: quests and other in-game story will be voice-acted

$90,000
Depending on how many classes there are, either a new class (to be voted on) will be added or approximately 150 more quests to each game mode will be added.

$130,000
Game development and production will be sped up more than twice as fast. I can become a full-time developer for myself (instead of for THE MAN) by leaving my full-time job, thus enabling me to devote more than 40 hours a week to this project full-time (instead of finding a handful of hours on nights and weekends). The game will be released on a quicker schedule, and with this additional time, I will likely add another class and even more quests for each game mode.

Note: these milestones are not hard and fast goals, if funding gets close to certain goal, I will try my best to get as close as possible as I can to it (for example if $12,000 is raised, I will still use the money to fund more art assets, it just won't be quite as many as the goal of $15,000 would provide).

About Me

Now that you've read about the App itself, if you're still here and interested to hear about the creator: Hi, I’m Justin. I have been a professional programmer and developer for 7 years. My life has been steeped in gaming (video, board, and Dungeons & Dragons) ever since I was a young child. I was the president of the Gaming club at my campus during my time at college, and from this, I have made many friends and networked with people in different gaming communities, from content creators to content critics. I love games and for a long time have had a strong desire to create something of my own. I’ve created many of my own worlds for various D&D campaigns I’ve run over the years and the whole reason I became a programmer in the first place was because, from a young age, I wanted to be a videogame software developer (I love creating my own worlds and bringing my ideas to fruition). Well, that didn’t quite happen - instead I work for companies creating databases, internal software, and web applications - but it has helped me hone my skills at developing and coding projects!

My Story

My favorite videogames have always been RPGs - the experience grinds, the character development, the journeys, I love it all. And it's not just videogame RPGs that I love - I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons since I was 12, which really expands upon that personal character development and is just a great way to spend time with friends. As such, my favorite board games themselves are ones that have a role-playing element to them: bluff games. Games like Mafia, Werewolf, Avalon, Coup - the kind of game where you lie to your friends and loved ones, so you can trick your way to victory, while subverting your enemies. So, one day, when some friends and I were about to play a game of Avalon on a table far too small to fit the number of people who wanted to play, I thought to myself how much easier this would be if we didn’t need the table. The wheels started spinning in my head that day, and I began coming up with an idea for a mobile App for Avalon that people could use instead of a board and cards, which eventually turned into “I should make my own game! With Experience points, role-playing, intrigue, and plots! And all the game data will fit in the palm of your hand, no need for pieces or clutter!”.

Any Feedback?

I welcome any and all feedback from the community. Got any ideas about the project or thoughts you want to share? You can use the comments section, send something my way directly at divided.pursuit@gmail.com or if you want to start a discussion, header over to the forum at http://dividedpursuit.com/forum/

Final Thoughts

No matter what, whether or not this kickstarter is funded, I am going to work on programming this game (albeit at a slower pace if I don't reach the goal). The main reason for this is to gauge interest, get people excited, and ensure that I can create enjoyable content to fill the game with - I don't want bland quests or basic art, I want something people will really get into and enjoy looking at (and I would love to add as many as features as possible)! Worst case scenario if this doesn't get funded, I will be back in a few months with a playable prototype to show off, but if you back it now, it let's me know there's some hype, and will help push me to work on creating this as best I can and as fast as I can!

Risks and challenges

I have a good amount of experience managing people and projects, but there are always risks when it comes to the finding, hiring, and managing of numerous people. Luckily, I know many professional writers, artists, and content creators whom I can count on (as long as I can pay them). You never know what type of emergencies may delay work, but since this work will be remote and the Internet has no shortage of talented people, I'm confident any risks and delays can be easily mitigated. Even in the worst case scenario, I will always be working personally on any and all project issues that arise.

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Funding period

- (30 days)