A cutting-edge open world toolset for players to create, design, build and share games: by industry veteran Matt McDonald's Heavy Water
Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
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Darn, didn't win the lottery last weekend. Oh, well, made my donation via PayPal.
Thank you, Dan! We are moving forward and undeterred by the Kickstarter results... it was a great platform to introduce the Axis Game Factory and has provided us with the strategic alliances we needed to get it out there! The only thing we ask is that all of our supporters transition their pledges to our Pay Pal donations via www.axisgamefactory.com - we intend to continue to share regular software updates with our supporters and view our backers as a critical part of our development team! Thanks again!
I am truly saddened that this did not garner the support need to reach the goal. I hope you will try again later in the development path as I am sure with more publicity and a ready pool of interested backers you will kickstart (pun intended) to success :)!
Thanks, Daniel! I completely agree with you!! The good news is that we will be able to keep Axis Game Factory moving forward thanks to some strategic initiatives we have secured. We will be asking everyone to move their pledges over to our Pay Pal campaign on the website... just making a few minor changes and that should go up later today!
Why is this not 100% funded yet? Has humanity failed itself? Though I'm late to the game, I figured I'd kick in my support.
I'm not sure about the answer to your first question but with regards to the second and third; they will be continuing to work on the project regardless of the result of this KS project. So far there has been a lot of interest within the media, industry and even government to see this project come to fruition. Despite the interest, there has been a lack of funding support given to this KS project for one reason or another, so with only 7 days to go it is unlikely for this KS to get funded.
Moving forward, the Heavy Water team will be keeping the Paypal donation options open via their website and as mentioned above, will continue to work on the project with the same estimated completion date. So what is likely to happen is that the KS will fail to fund, then everyone that is still interested will go over and donate via Paypal and any private backers will fund and support behind the scenes to get this project finished by October.
Oh! I have a couple of questions!
1. Since this toolset is an extension of Unity, will it support export for different platforms, ie. Android, Windows etc (sorry if this has been covered, I missed it)
2. Will you relaunch if you don't hit target? I don't have spare cash to pledge more in the next 9 days, but in a month or so, I will.
3. Why not launch with a 60-day campaign? I don't see the logic in limiting your exposure time.
Devon - I was equally surprised about the Star Trek Renegades KS project.. yes, they eventually met the goal but it only barely scraped over the line.. even if every Star Trek fan in the world pledged a dollar or two, there would have been millions of dollars to work with but they barely managed to hit their 200k goal.. it is just plain weird.
I'm truly amazed this project has no paced better. It has obviously offered something tangible and shown results, yet that apparently isn't enough. I guess when people say more money is spent on ideas than tangible products, here's the case in point.
Yeah, I'll look for ways to support your guys regardless of the outcome. I keep hoping to click and see it jump a hundred k though. Stunned doesn't begin to describe my feelings on this.
Even though I know you're going to continue on regardless of KS and I know that you've been receiving a lot positive feedback from the industry, media and even government agencies.. it is still saddening to see the KS funding is not higher than it already is. As Philip says, you will still have my support one way or another after the KS is over.
Thanks for the support! I'll be posting a new build on the forums this evening. So please keep your eyes out for it!
It is great to see such passion for your project. I wish i could increase my pledge but cant afford more than the $65 pledge but you have my support.
I love your dedication to your project and dreams, Matt.
You have my support and I've been supporting your products on Playstation Home for some time now.
I hope more people see what an amazing tool this is and blast this project to infinity and beyond.
THAT'S THE SPIRIT!
You have my support whether or not AGF will succeed on Kickstarter!
We have plans in place to gain more popularity for our product in the next 12 days !
If we in fact do not reach our goal, my small team and I still intend to keep working on AGF. I am fully committed to the completion of this product regardless of the outcome of this Kickstarter Campaign.
In fact, the overwhelming accolades that we have received from people and press that have tried the prototype, has only made my team and I more committed than ever.
We have not only made the prototype available for free ( BTW, we only have 13 weeks into making it so far ) but we have made updated software builds for users almost daily. Many of the features the users and backers have asked for we added to the product in less then 24 hours. I don't know of anybody that does that! Just this week we had announced and demonstrated the new terrain sculpting tools. This is something that we added in TWO DAYS, it works great and we already made it better. You'll see the additions in the next build. Also in the next build we will have the first pass at underwater environments.
I MEAN COME ON! WHO DOES THAT?
I have told my wife that and she agrees that this is the project that we will be working on the rest of our lives.
My goal is to bring the power of CREATIVITY to ALL. A failed kick-starter campaign will not define my future!
Failure at anything does not define me. It only makes me stronger to move FORWARD!
We state in our video that we want to EMPOWER OUR USERS and we mean every word of it. I LOVE WHAT I DO and I want everyone TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REALIZE THEIR DREAMS as I have. Our actions to date ( since the start of this campaign) proves that WE ARE OUR WORD!
UNCONDITIONAL CREATIVITY, COMMITMENT, and DEDICATION!
GO HEAVY OR GO HOME!!!
Hi Marcus - thanks for your support! Hopefully we will get some eyes on this over the next two weeks and everyone will "get" what the Axis Game Factory is and what it will allow them to do! It's quite an amazing toolset already - can you imagine where it will be when we release 1.0?
So quickly, the business model is that we will be offering three products:
1) - Free to Play - this allows anyone the very basic toolset interface with limited features, functionality and assets. They can play anyone's games, but they can't post their own and they won't have the ability to scene-link more than three levels.
2) - Deluxe Mode - this is attained by securing a "starter pak" and it opens up the features, functions and a ton of assets. Through this mode, you can share your games, scene-link with as many levels (yours and others) as you would like... allowing for endless collaboration and gameplay. In Deluxe Mode, you can continue to purchase additional features and assets and you can also EARN them with credits you will receive by 3 things - amount of time spent on AGF, popularity/stats achieved through the community and by the number of "shares" of your games and cinematics.
3) "Pro Mode" - this is a level for those that want to monetize their content or use AGF for a game they are creating with Unity. It does require a Unity license and AGF will allow users to import their own models/assets and control their code... we do have Pro Mode on the pledge categories and it will release one month after AGF Deluxe.
What happens if we don't make it? We would ask those that have supported us thus far to convert their pledges over to our Axis Game Factory website and donate to the same tier through the Pay Pal donations we have set up. Although you haven't seen the needle move as much as we all have hoped, we have had a tremendous outreach behind the scenes from strategic partners that will allow us to move forward to our intended goal of October 2013.
Rest assured, the team at Heavy Water has been head's down on the Axis Game Factory since day 1 and we intend to continue to - just look at all of the software updates we have made, the features we continue to add and the openness we have provided to the users in allowing anyone access to the prototype (and all of the updates along the way). If you have not yet accessed the prototype, I encourage everyone to do so at our user forum through the Axis Game Factory website here http://axisgamefactory.com/forum/index.php
Thanks again for your support!
The project sounds very promising. What is your monetization model for the future? Are there just one time fees for new sets and effects or is there a continual subscription neccessary?
Furthermore I also wonder what you are going to do if this Kickstarter fails.
Hi, what are your plans to reach the goal of $400.000? So far you have only $23.251 which means you have to raise almost $320.000 in only 12 days. What do you do to increase the popularity of the Axis Game Factory?
The Pro Version can be what ever you want it to be since it will be an extension to UNITY.
1. There is not a size limitation in the Pro Version. We are currently working on the tech so the user can create unlimited sized environments. I should have this feature in the tool in the next couple of weeks.
2. Again Since AGF will be an extension of UNITY, You will be able to add what ever code you like to the characters to script them as you wish. That being said, the examples that you you have in your question will be able to be created in AGF without any scripting required. Our toolset will allow you to set events like those up easily.
3. We do have plans to have lip sync in the tool for both player and non-player characters.
4. UNITY allows for .FBX object format importing. Most 3D programs support .FBX so you have a huge selection of tools available to you to use. I do think that Blender supports .FBX The Pro Version will have the same tools that we use to process the data sets into AGF. As far as it being easy. Currently you press one button to add a each type of asset set. Add Object, Add Player Character, Add Non-Player Character. I think that is easy enough, right? And of course we have batch processes set up as well (again one click) in case you want to add many objects to the tool at one time.
Please go to axisgamefatory.com and get your free copy of the prototype from the forums section.
Those sounds are just place holders we might be able to change them out today! Please stay tuned!
I really like your project and hope it gets funded! I haven't had time to try the prototype yet, but what I found really annoying during the demo videos are the bleeping noises that the characters make when they walk. I hope that can be edited.
I have a couple of questions.
I'm looking at the Pro version but am curious as to whether it matches up with some of my visions for what I'd like to create (like to and do are unfortunately two different things).
1) What is the limitation on the size of the world you can create?
So far the demos have shown relatively small sized worlds can something the size of a Star Wars The Old Republic be created or even larger something the size of WoW be created?
Is there a limitation?
2) Will there be a scripting language that the behaviors of the environment and NPCs can be modified with? (When you get within 10 yards the NPC does this or When you walk over an area the terrain does this or it triggers something happening such as spawning creatures or events? think Neverwinter Nights)
3) I know it's early but in the demo the Prince and Princess character do not have any changing emotions or facial features (lips moving etc) when they spoke. Is there a plan to add this level of complexity?
4) How easy will it be for people with the pro version to incorporate new 3d objects and characters? What 3D editor are you using or will it be compatible with? Is it possible for Blender to be supported?
I know you haven't necessarily thought all the way through Pro yet but I'm curious if it will be able to handle a large scale vision.
Thank you it looks like a great product thus far.
You can grab access to the prototype today! Just head to our official forums here: http://www.axisgamefactory.com/forum
You just need to register, login, and download the latest build!
Made my pledge ($65). Now to wait (im)patiently for Beta to open. Assuming I can set up what I want, this'll be a real surprise for my D&D players.
I pledged it for a little bit money.
Its sad thats not more backed this too.
Just pledged $65 looks like a great idea and i always enjoy playing about with this kind of thing. Good luck with the project hope you reach your goal.
I was thinking the same thing. $20k? That's a bit poor. However, maybe backers think that the target is a bit high considering what has been achieved so far.
I'm incredibly interested in upping to the professional tier, however my PC is bricked and present and my single core laptop won't even touch the prototype. So for now, I'm locked out of testing the platform for my future projects :/
I just don't understand why this unique project doesn't get the funds he needs.
Maybe there are not enough people who's dream is to create games :(
That's Great to hear. These are the comments that keep us DRIVEN!.
Please tell your friends,
Love this. I was browsing Kickstarter, and never have I seen a project I loved and wanted so badly as this.
65$ pledged =] "or whatever that is in GBP =p" Looks like a great project and I hope all goes well. All the best.
THANK YOU JENNIFER!
BTW, Kiss Chuck for us! Make sure you use lots of tongue ;)
Love and miss you both,
This is early alpha build stuff but already there is so much you can do with it.. I think there's been what.. 7 or 8 weeks of development? Think what can be accomplished in 9 months working FULL TIME because that's what the KS is about.. turning this from a part-time project into a proper project with all hands on deck developing for 9 months and then beyond. Right now there is the basic functionality to do stuff and with every build, more functionality and accessibility is added.
Like anything it takes a bit of effort to master the tools but I have no doubt that any one could create a basic game with the current tools in less than an hour, even less if already familiar with similar tools. When I first got hold of the build from December, it took me a little while to understand all the bits and pieces but I would have been able to create a basic game within 10-15 minutes without any trouble at all.
Can't wait to see what future builds bring because it's really shaping up to be an awesome tool for home users and professionals alike.
Just pledged 65$! Hope this gets founded.
Good luck guys, and I am looking forward to more updates. Looks great so far! :)
@William Ross, THANKS FOR THE LOVE!
I've been an AGF backer for 24 hours, and here's my impressions thus far:
So far I've communicated via email with the dev team twice and received quick responses. Kickstarter backers get access to the development site and latest builds. There we have direct discussions with the devs to make this a better product. Everytime I've posted on there, their has been a response by someone usually within 30 minutes. They have all been friendly and receptive to user feedback. In my experience it's been extremely rare to have this level of communication and interaction with the devs, HW is doing it right.
The whole point of AGF is to make game design easy. They have accomplished that.. Traditional game development you would have to master a programming language to create an engine and tools to create your game. Then you would have to master the art direction of 3D modelling. After all that you have to craft a game/story idea that people will want to play. AGF removes the biggest hurdle of programming and simplifies the art creation to a sculpt/splice mentality. Ideas are the easy part but executing the ideas is always the hard part. Not anymore.
I've been a would-be game developer for many years, but my skills have never been comparable to the idea that I have in my imagination. Having a great idea is only as good as the person trying to create it. Not everyone is a Picasso, but what AGH does is remove the learning curve that so many of us hit like a brick wall. In the past 24 hours I've created a mock-up of my game. From this point forward it's just further refining, putting in better assets (created by me or imported with a Pro version) and as AGF is developed further putting the refining touches like particles, the weather add-on, customizeable keys, quests/dialogue etc.
The camera changes are new in the past 24 hours, it takes some getting used to but as HW mentions it mimics Maya. I would prefer a couple of different options selectable in preferences. You mention having the 4 windows in most modellers, however AGF is game designer software not a modeller. It is intuitive in that it snaps the model placement based on collision to the other models therefore rendering the other views unnecessary in my experience. Remember to change the grid up/down. As HW mentioned, a new feature is the fill option and there are many sized to the terrain objects.
All in all I've been extremely happy with AGF in the short time I've used it. I feel as if my feedback makes a difference and can foresee how this rapid game designing will be the wave of the future (anyone tried to program a game in Pascal back in the day? or nowadays with C++ for that matter?) Any would-be game designer would be crazy not to back this kickstarter project.
THANKS FOR THE PROPS JEREMY
Thank you for the feedback,
(YOU) First and most important I realized why every 3D program out there have at least 4 view windows (3D, top down, side, front). It is so difficult to place an object exactly where you want it to be if you just have a 3D view.
(ME)The camera does go to an orthographic view. Please tap the “c” key to change the camera to an orthographic type. To orbit the camera around the center of the world in both build and design you can use the ARROW keys as well as the WASD keys.
(YOU) I understand why you don’t want to have this other views (normally only a grid view). They are hard to understand if you work the first time with a 3D program and new users might get overwhelmed by them but if you deliver good video tutorials it isn't too hard to understand.
(ME) I have made 15 videos since I had a playable version of the program (Dec-16-2012 ) documenting the history of the program and how it works. They are all available from our web site. Please take a look at them you might find them helpful.
(YOU)And working with those views is much easier than without.
(ME)I plan on adding the other views to the tool at a later date.
(YOU) It took me over 3 minutes just to place a roof how I want it to be, because I could only view it from one side(or top) and after I placed it and moved around the house it was wrong positioned on the backside.
(ME) Placing a roof on the house should not take more than 10 seconds. You might try using the < and > Keys to change the build grid setting. Snapping of object to each other is practically automatic if you scale the grid to better fit the object you are using. This is a common practice in using 3d programs.
(YOU) Second: There is no kind of block which you can transform.
(ME) AGF is not intended to be a modeling tool. That being said, we will have the ability to scale and transform primitives in the tool at a later date.
(YOU) If I want to start my map (game) with a large layer of green grass and then add hills, villages, mountains, rocks, plants etc. I have to place hundreds of small little grass cubes instead of just drawing one big layer and choosing a texture for it.
(ME) Please take the time to read the “Build Notes” for each build, Information regarding this kind of thing was covered. In the current build (1-13-2013) the user only need to place one ground object anywhere and tap the “h” button. Tapping “h” again and so on until the area is as large as you want. I am not sure what “little grass cubes” you are using. There are many sizes of every type of object. Try using the 40x1x40 grass section. It will cover more space for you.
(YOU) Other small feedback (which is probably just because it's an early demo
- There are no tools tips or descriptions for the buttons. You have to guess what they do.
(ME) We are planning to add the tool tips. Just so you understand, what you are using is not an early demo. It is a prototype. We only have 10 weeks of development time into AGF so far. We made AGF available to users to show them that it does actually work the way we say it does. That being said, the product is very far from being complete. When AGF is complete, It will have all the features outlined as well as being as user friendly as possible.
(YOU) avast antivir software says it is a dangerous/harmfull program
(ME) I don’t know why that would happen I have never seen that. You are the first user to report it. Thank you for pointing that out, I will look into it.
(YOU) you can only move your camera in the editor by pressing "alt + mouse buttons" and the mouse buttons are very unintuitive.
(ME) As I stated before “To orbit the camera around the center of the world in both build and design you can use the ARROW keys as well as the WASD keys”
I do understand your “unintuitive” statement, but this is the way most professional 3d programs work. I didn't make the configuration up. It is how Maya works. It was changed to this way only yesterday we can change it back if users don’t like it or we can make both available for the user by setting it up in a preferences interface.
The camera controls in the 1-13-2013 build was per feedback from the users thus far.
(YOU) I would prefer: holding mouse wheel to rotate or pressing and holding first the right then the left button to rotate, just pressing the right button to move(does the right mouse button alone even have any function?)
(ME) That configuration sounds interesting we can try it out. The right button will eventually allow the user to edit parameters of the object selected. IE dynamics, textures, materials, ect.
(YOU) and of course mouse wheel up/down for zoom.
(ME) The mouse wheel does adjust the zoom. But you also have to press and hold the “Alt” key.
(YOU) I didn't try it but maybe you could move your camera with WASD in the editor too?!)
(ME) Thanks for the feedback. I will look into those comments and suggestions next week.
So after I tried AGF for myself I want to give a bit of feedback:
First and most important I realised why every 3D program out there have at least 4 view windows (3D, topdown, side, front). It is so difficult to place an object excactly where you want it to be if you just have a 3D view. I understand why you dont want to have this other views(normaly only a grid view). They are hard to understand if you work the first time with a 3D program and new users might get overwhelmed by them but if you deliver good video tutorials it isn't too hard to understand.
And working with those views is much easier than without. (It took me over 3 minutes just to place a roof how I want it to be, because I could only view it from one side(or top) and after I placed it and moved around the house it was wrong positioned on the backside.)
Second: There is no kind of block which you can transform. If I want to start my map(game) with a large layer of green gras and then add hills,villages,mountains, rocks,plants etc. I have to place hundreds of small litte gras cubes instead of just drawing one big layer and choosing a texture for it.
Other small feedback (which is propably just because it's an early demo):
- There are no toolstips or descriptions for the buttons. You have to guess what they do.
-avast antivir software says it is a dangerous/harmfull program ^^
- you can only move your camera in the editor by pressing "alt + mouse buttons" and the mouse buttons are very unintuitive (I would prefer: holding mouse wheel to rotate or pressing and holding first the right then the left button to rotate, just pressing the right button to move(does the right mosue button alone even have any fuction?) and of course mouse wheel up/down for zoome. I didn't try it but maybe you could move your camera with WASD in the editor too?!)
To everyone on the fence of backing this project, please read!
I don't think I've ever seen a Kickstarter have a working prototype which was not only demoed, but made available to the backers before the campaign was completed. I'm definitely excited to get my hands on it. It seems sad though, that the campaign is not picking up steam, despite all the extra effort the staff at Heavy Water have put into it. There's so much stuff up on Kickstarter these days (many of them really bad ideas) that it's very refreshing to see something more original. Though game making software is not entirely new, no one has managed to make the process of game development a game in itself (yet), and making it easy is what it's all about. Just look at the impact Google Sketchup has had on the 3D scene, and it's entirely because of it's user friendliness. AGF is a very progressive software idea that could really make some waves in the industry, in addition to creating jobs and a quality consumer product. I don't know of any other project on Kickstarter that is more deserving of getting funded. Let's make this happen people!
I'm really excited for this game development software, it has huge potential. I can't wait to get my hands on the deluxe version so I can hone my skills with it for the pro version. Keep the videos coming, loving every one of them. Also, a bunch of us are eagerly awaiting the official forums. :c)
Alex, Your kind words are great to read. We will do our best at the marketing, not our strong suit but we are getting by with some great help from friends in the industry.
Thank you for your support,
Jeremy and Light487,
We have talked about making a PRO version of the tool where we would provide users with a set of plug-ins for Unity users to create their own assets for the tool-set as well as load designs created in AGF for them to modify in Unity as they like and monetize or redistribute any way they want. We are currently focusing on the basic tools and technology for Axis Game Factory to become an actual product. Once that goal is achieved we will look at the best way to move forward from there.
One thing I really want to see is the dialogue ability and user input via keyboard stuff. I am thinking of using the game factory to create edutainment stuff for myself, friends, family and kids.. the game world itself is just the enticement to get them to play it.. but the content is about the learning without specifically studying..
So I'm thinking what you might do is share a link to the project that you have created, which is hosting on the AGF community website. On the description of that project, it would have links to download the free "player".. and would essentially be promoted as being like a player of any kind (Quicktime player etc) that you can play the game/creation with.
Another option, which I'm unsure whether the AGF team has thought about, is to use the Unity Web Player. Since AGF is based on Unity, there is the option to have anything created in Unity to use the Unity Web Player to access the content.. so maybe a link from the project to download the free player but also a way to link to the project on the Unity Player, hosted by AGF.. Maybe creations that are upvoted by the community could be given this ability rather than every creation, to keep bandwidth down..
A pro option, down the line, might be to allow embedding of this player on your own website while a non-Pro user would have to use the AGF community website hosting, to prevent people monetising the game using website ads etc
Thanks Stephen for the follow up. I wasn't aware of the free-ware when I made the first post, I think that this is actually a very acceptable solution. I'd still like to see an effort made to allow for monetization, but clearly that's a pro feature and I'm totally OK with that.
The hands on video was fabulous also, should help a lot with this campaign.
Great to see more hands on video being shown, this is the kind of thing people need to see.. not just how easy it is to make worlds but how to convert those designs into a game that people can actually play because at the end of the day, that's what this is all about.. making games (and machima to of course!).
I've seen many world builders around Kickstarter. I wasn't confident in what they had to offer and I haven't backed any of them. And to be honest it seemed like nobody else did since I haven't seen any of them in the successfully funded list.
For the first time ever I am actually thrilled to see this type of tool. Please plan your marketing strategy out. This needs to be seen by more and more people and it needs to see the light of day.
@Jeremy - Let's see if we can properly address your concerns about the project. When showing off your games and environments created in Axis Game Factory, the person only has to download the free Axis Game Factory software. It would be the same as them downloading an .exe or other file type. Once they have the Axis Game Factory software, they can load in your game and play it right there! Once the software moves mobile, it's ever easier to share on the go!
As for the PRO version, those details will come together once we've finished the basic Axis Game Factory.
We plan to continue to iterate on the software after its release to give it more functionality and thus more design options and game types. We are only at the very beginning of this very powerful and exciting tool!
We do plan to implement multiplayer functionality as soon as we can. We are currently exploring multiplayer options for the software right now. As for "MMO" that is a bit further out as a goal for the software. We are aiming for small party multiplayer, perhaps between 2 and 16 players, but those numbers are just preliminary estimates right now.
We feel that not being able to create an .exe or add custom assets will not hinder this product's initial launch. The Axis Game Factory is a game in itself. Creating, building, and sharing will gain you points in the Factory to earn more assets for your warehouse. Creating, sharing, exploring, and playing is the main focus.