"Enjoyed Old-School Ultima Online PvP? You Should Check Out Das Tal" - WTF Dragon, UltimaCodex
"An interesting little beast [for an audience] that enjoys the PvP combat of MOBAs but is looking for something a little more permanent." - Veluux, TenTonHammer
"Fairytale Distillery’s vision and approach for it is ambitious[...] From what I’ve seen so far, they look to be on the right track." - Som Pourfarzaneh, MMORPG.com
Das Tal is the world’s first Open World Battle Arena. It is the love-child of a Sandbox MMORPG and a fast-paced PvP Arena. Our goal is to make MMOs fun again for PvP fans. No more grind. No more pay-to-win. No more tab-targeting. We are creating a game designed to be compatible with the busy life of an adult gamer.
Das Tal is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is a buy-to-play game. There is no mandatory subscription. Backing this Kickstarter means you can play the full game for as long as you want.
We will throw you into a dark fantasy prison valley. You start each game with nothing but your wits and your PvP skills. Over the course of weeks and months you will explore this world, grow stronger and learn to survive.
Hundreds of players will join you in the valley. Amongst them you will find friends and allies to form a clan. Start building your own settlement and empire whilst competing with rival clans.
In a completely player-driven economy, your influence and income will grow through diplomacy and warfare. You will strive to break free of your chains, defeat your captors and emerge victorious from your exile.
We are experienced MMO and PvP players ourselves and our design is inspired by a lot of great games. Our sincere thanks to the developers of those games which inspired us the most:
Lots of games offer PvP combat, but lack one important thing: consequences. The adrenaline rush you get when losing a fight should mean more than just queueing up for another match. PvP gets interesting when you have something significant to lose. Open PvP and Full Loot ensure there is always something at risk: Your inventory, your equipment, or even your clan’s settlement. Remember the days when PvP was a high-adrenaline experience? We are bringing them back.
We have designed the game so that you will always be able to participate, even when you have lost something. All gear in the game is crafted by players and can be replaced in a reasonable time. Only with a high-level character and expensive equipment will you face a significant chance of dropping your gear on death. This protects newbies and lower level players. Even with medium quality gear, a higher-skilled player will still outplay an opponent with better equipment.
Whatever you do in Das Tal, you will contribute to something bigger. Raiding a resource spawn in enemy territory will strengthen your clan’s economic position. Defending your settlement in a siege fight will be crucial to keep your base of operations. Use your skill in battle and diplomacy to make sure that your clan is on the winning side. Always have your main goal in mind: You want to leave the valley victoriously.
We call our game a Sandbox because it allow you to write your own story. Your exploits shape the game world and its history. Defend your walls against an enemy onslaught. Defeat a group of bandits against overwhelming odds. Sneak into the settlement of the world's wealthiest clan, to steal from under their noses. Your actions will become stories to share once a game world ends.
We want your skill to be the deciding factor in combat - not the gear you bring or your character’s level. The following three main pillars of our combat system make this possible:
Natural, direct controls: You control your character’s movement with WASD and aim your abilities with the mouse. Every single ability is a skill-shot. There are no guaranteed-to-hit auto attacks. Position yourself correctly to dodge enemy attacks and hit them instead. Or perish.
Friendly fire: Every single ability in the game will affect both allies and enemies. So be careful where you aim that fireball. Hit a stray target and you might blow up your own party. Think about where you place your healing spells, or the enemy might enjoy them instead.
Vision warfare & scouting: In a game where your line of sight really matters, you have to be careful about your positioning. Every patch of tall grass could hide an ambush. Every footstep you leave behind might lead an enemy to track you down. Use the environment to your advantage and apply advanced tactics like sneaking, hiding and ambushing.
The feeling of exploring new places and experimenting with new systems is very special. Constantly changing worlds allow you to experience this feeling time and again. Das Tal has been designed to support hundreds of semi-randomly generated worlds at the same time. Each of those worlds is unique in both geography and rule set. When you first start in a new world you will know nothing about it. You will have to explore, learn about its dangers and find out where to settle down.
Game worlds in Das Tal are always time-boxed. That means that they will run for a set duration (around one to three months) and then end in a massive event. We plan to have about 2.000 registered players per world and expect about 10% of those to be online at the same time. This has many benefits:
1) When a new world begins all players start on even footing. This gets rid of the power gap where players with months of playtime continue to grow stronger, while new players struggle to keep up and compete. As a new player you will always have the same chance at success as everyone else.
2) Time-boxing worlds allows us to remove a lot of grind that MMO developers often build into their game to prevent you from hitting the "end game" too fast. In Das Tal you rise to your full potential in a matter of weeks, and we don't block you with pointless grind.
3) Since we have so many game worlds with limited duration, we can easily experiment with new features for each new game world. If an experiment fails once, it does not endager the whole game. With multiple game worlds and flexible rule sets, we can tailor the game experience for very specific groups of players. For example:
A solo-player game world without mages where archery is king? You can have that. Increase run speed and XP gains but lower average health points? That's possible. A perma-death game world set in a continuous sand storm? Consider it done. We'll give players the opportunity to work with us on this so you can enjoy your favorite rule set.
In Das Tal you will be able to find your own role in combat and customize your character to your play style. Our dual-class system defines your character by your choice of weapon and armor set. Each of these sets will give you access to a broad list of abilities that fits their theme.
We currently have four weapon sets in the game: Reaver (Scythe), Archer (Bow), Elementalist (Staff), and Ritualist (Totem). These combine with our three current armor sets: Arcanist (Robe), Assassin (Leather), and Guardian (Splint Mail).
With this we already have a total of 12 class combinations you can choose from. With the total 8 armor and 8 weapon sets we have planned, the amount of possible combinations soars to 64 different class combinations!
Within your weapon/armor combination you will be able to further modify your character. You will gain access to many more abilities as your characters levels, but will only ever be able to take eight into battle. Pick the best combination for each engagement, much like deck building in a trading card game.
Abilities can also be upgraded individually to increase their effectiveness. You will need to prioritise which abilities are most valuable to your current build. An overall point cap means that not all can be taken to full strength. It will be possible to further improve or alter certain abilities with the use of player-made items.
"When we came to the Valley, it was rich in resources. It provided everything we could possibly need. We built a shining city above with the precious ores and timber we extracted. Now the Valley lays scorched and crumbling, emptied by our greedy hands. Our workers were swiftly abandoned when we became aware of the spreading sickness. They had been accumulating a substance in their bodies through everything they breathed, ate, or even just touched. Most died within months.
A new leader took control in the mayhem of the epidemic, ordering all the elevators to the Valley sealed and turning it into a huge prison. I found myself cast into the Valley by speaking out for the workers' cause, as did many others for standing up to this new dictator in any way. When we explored our new home we found that most of the workers had in fact not died, but had become mindless, violent beasts. We only survived our first encounter because a group of warriors burst from the nearby forest. They were swinging weapons with enough force to leave craters, some of them even shooting flames from their fingers.
Our rescuers took us to a nearby camp, fed us, and told us of how they had studied the substance that had begun to infect their bodies. With intricate tattooing, they were not only able to stop the substance from infecting their minds, but also harness this poison into granting them amazing powers. My first thought was that this was a gift. We could use this new-found strength to push out of the Valley and retake the city from the dictator who had condemned us to death.
But we quickly learned that life in the Valley currently was harsh and chaotic. Factions of survivors were constantly fighting over the scraps they needed to survive. The warriors went on to inform us that we could not even stay with them, as they simply did not have the resources to equip and feed us.
So, with the knowledge of how we can control this substance, we set out into the Valley. To face the hostile inhabitants that await us, but more importantly, to set a plan in motion to fight our way out of this place one day."
Alex, our Game Director, started working on the concept of Das Tal over six years ago. Our core team has now worked on the game full-time for over 2 years, supported by talented freelance artists. This investment is starting to show. We have a rock-solid game server that supports hundreds of players and an impressive game world and characters. Most importantly though, Das Tal is a lot of fun.
But we have our sights set on more. Ultimately, we are making an MMO. For that we need more characters for you to play, with a long list of interesting combat abilities and equipment choices. We also need exciting game worlds that can house dozens of player settlements and unique locations. This requires our artists to focus on creating the assets we need. For this reason, all proceeds from this campaign (after fees and taxes) go directly into their pockets.
Is €50.000 too little money to create a game of this scope? Definitely. But you’re not alone in funding the game. With your Kickstarter contribution you demonstrate to our existing investors that Das Tal is both an awesome game AND a viable business venture. They will match your funds and we will have the full budget needed to get the game released.
The Kickstarter campaign’s base goal will fund serious work on our current weapon and armor sets. Each will receive new combat abilities, with unique animations, visual effects and sounds. We'll also create dozens of new items for you to craft and use, including weapons and armor. There will be a huge variation of new environment assets that will allow us to create bigger and better game worlds. We will also add NPC monsters, mob spawns, resource spawns and numerous unique locations to fill those game worlds.
When the base Kickstarter goal has been hit, we will introduce our stretch goals. These will add a huge amount of new content to the game. You can view the first 2 below:
We currently plan to launch the full game mid-2016, a beta version in early 2016 and a proper 24/7 alpha server already mid-2015. Vanguard tier backers and above will be able to play right after the Kickstarter campaign, as can our existing closed alpha and clan testers.
Please keep in mind that these are our current targets. Like all other game release dates, some things may not go as planned. Moving to a new step may be less important than polishing the last. We will remain transparent about these matters throughout development.
We are a indepdentent team of game developers intent on improving the world of PvP MMOs. Our little studio is headquartered in Munich, Germany. Founder and Game Director Alexander Zacherl already had ideas of Das Tal bouncing around in his head when he finally stopped playing Shadowbane in 2004. In 2009, he founded his first studio, where he learned a great deal about the joys and challenges of making games.
Alex met Sebastian Dorda, fellow founder of Fairytale Distillery, at a games conference in 2010. In the spring of 2013 they decided to start putting together the pieces that would eventually become Das Tal. New permanent team members have been picked up along the way, first Art Director Michail Mamschew, then Community Director David Wells.
We are now over two years into development. An amazing team of freelance artists has contributed to Das Tal. They are keen on spending a lot more time on the project, which is why we are running this Kickstarter campaign. Through the campaign we will release more in-detailed spotlights for each team member, so you can get to know them and their work. Stay tuned!
As players and developers we have a couple of personal issues with the current state of the MMO industry. Here are a couple of things that motivate us to do better.
No more grind: Most MMOs are designed to keep you paying for years. First they dangle the “end game” carrot over your head to get you excited, but then artificially limit your character progress. You are forced to grind mobs, resources and skill gains for hours. Since our game worlds end after a specific time, we can get rid of that unnecessary grind. So even if you have a job or a family, you can log into the game and participate in a meaningful way. Do not spend your precious play-time grinding - spend it playing!
No more pay-to-win: We think our game is worth being paid for upfront. For that, you will get the full experience it has to offer. Pay once and play forever at 100% power. We will never charge you for in-game power. For those who want to display their love of the game, we will introduce visual customization and comfort features later on. Still, you can be sure a payment will never have any effect on the game world’s balance.
No more empty worlds: Nobody has unlimited play time, and we log into games to enjoy ourselves. It should not take hours of running (or flying) through an empty world, to find someone to engage in PVP. Our game worlds are small enough that you can get to the action fast. You can also always check the world map to see what the current hot spots are.
No more theme park rides: Most MMOs have been moving away from the genre’s core lately. Instead of interacting with other players, you are now forced to run daily errands and defeat mindless AI monsters, often on your own. We are doing the exact opposite. Any sort of PvE encounter in Das Tal is designed to serve as a reason for you to play with (and more importantly against) other players.
Not convinced yet? You can give us your thoughts about the Kickstarter campaign through our feedback form. We're constantly working to improve the campaign and would love to hear from you!
Risks and challenges
Making an MMO is extremely hard. Creating one with a small studio budget is even harder. We know that. This is why we have spent over two years on the development of the game before even coming to Kickstarter.
These first couple of years were spent in pre-production, figuring out what our biggest risks are and how to mitigate them. We evaluated a multitude of middleware solutions for the game server and tested them thoroughly. Our current tech stack (Photon for the Server and Unity for the Client) is great for us to develop with and has been proven as reliable in hundreds of other game projects.
We have also spent months on prototyping the core gameplay, which is our combat system. We've made numerous iterations, to make sure that it's both fun and challenging. We'll release footage from those early playtests over the course of the campaign so you can see where we come from.
We know and accept that this will be a project for the long haul. We started Fairytale Distillery with the clear conviction that this will be at least a ten-year-project for us. We've prepared for this and we're ready to go the distance. Cost what it may.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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