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Horizon’s End is proud to present its first game, The Great Gaias. This modern take on the classic JRPG genre brings forth the best qualities of these forgotten games. With more than sixty hours of gameplay including sidequests, hidden characters, crafting, and multiple endings, we hope to rival such classics as Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and the Final Fantasy series.
The Great Gaias is an ancient tome authored by the Gods that is able to reincarnate the souls of ones who have led a life that was supremely influential and helped shape history. The First Men, the Chosen Ones, having been granted immortality by the Gods and free will, were charged with the governance of lesser man and ruled justly and righteously their new city called Validus. After years of prosperity, a stranger from the east, Grindelwald Maultor, brought magic to the First Men, and with this new-found power came tyranny.
Using this mighty gift he corrupted the immortal First Men, transforming them to wickedness. The Gauf, as these ten immortal warlords were named, waged a bloodthirsty war against the other free folk of Tenat. It wasn’t until the Warriors of Old, souls birthed from The Great Gaias, battled Validus, and pushed their forces back, imprisoning the immortal Gauf and Lord Maultor within an ancient Tower of the Gods.
Peace has reigned for a millennia, but a new age is dawning in which an ancient magic is returning to the world. The souls of the Great Gaias have all been reborn into existence once again, and the seals of the ancient tower are weakening. It is up to a small group of unlikely adventurers to uncover the past and fulfill an age-old prophecy that will undoubtedly shake the very foundations of the modern world and shape the direction of a new age.
View Pre-Alpha Intro here: Great Gaias Intro 1080p
The Great Gaias will employ many features that were cherished by the players of this classic style. Throughout the game you will encounter an elaborate and highly developed lore supported and developed upon by the many systems revolving around it. Features such as the bestiary, biography, quest journal, and The Grand Arcanum, all help to compliment our vision of this rich and detailed world.
- Battle System
In more recent days most games implement a run of the mill, hack-and-slash, action-based fighting system that limits the player to a small amount of skills which you are forced to mindlessly hammer over and over again.The battle system of The Great Gaias allows the choice between active time or turn-based modes, returning to the classic turn-based battle system that was seen in the days of Chrono Trigger and the older Final Fantasy series. We have been working rigorously to create a battle system that bridges the best qualities from these old school RPGs. These battles will force the player to always be on their toes and advance combat through tactical choices. Elemental and physical affinities coerce the player into making logical decisions depending on what type of creature they encounter.
A few things that we've been working on include but are not limited to:
- Hundreds of abilities to learn
Player growth doesn’t stop at level 40-50 like in many RPGs. With 14 playable characters, each with a unique skill set, the total number of abilities the player can learn is over 200! And that's not even including abilities learned via side-quests or equipment.
- Dynamic Boss Fights
A simple tank-and-spank strategy can quickly lose its entertainment value during boss fights. We offer a wide variety of bosses with their own unique battle strategies, including crowd-control and elemental weaknesses; all of which will have to be discovered through deduction during the heat of battle.
- Deathblow System
Everyone remembers the Limit Break system made popular by the Final Fantasy series. The Great Gaias will employ a similar mechanic that will be unique for each character. Rather than having the ability to unleash these hidden powers at will, we plan instead to make it more difficult to achieve such a state. To do so it would require the combination of several factors, including the player's ability to stay alive in hectic situations, striking critical hits, and taking advantage of enemy weaknesses.
- No Party Leader
There are thirteen playable characters all with their own skills, abilities, and personalized story. For most of the game there is no party leader, allowing for ultimate customization between the characters and their synergies. This feature allows for the player to completely choose his team, taking advantage of the unique classes of the many characters, making an almost endless amount of possibilities.
- Character Classes
Concealed in shadow, the Assassin can strike with deadly speed and accuracy, debilitating foes with unseen grace. Heightened reflexes allow the Assassin to evade and counter enemy attacks as well as kill from a distance with a vast array of throwing weapons at his disposal.
Normally hailing from the Plains of Zaardun, these fierce warriors rely on brute strength and their unwavering faith in the Earthen Mother to harnesses great power against their foes. The Barbarians can take advantage of their primal rage to increase their attack power and agility to tremendous heights, decimating enemies with arcing cleaves from enormous two-handed weapons. In battle, some can even fight while incapacitated or blinded making these fighters an almost unstoppable force.
Shielded by faith and armored in heavy plate, these holy warriors act as a bridge between the celestial realm and the earth. These War Priests, guided by their wisdom, bring forth divine wrath to all evil beings that would foolishly stand in their way. Wielding a grand assemblage of bludgeoning weapons and powerful holy magic they maintain a perfect balance between healing and offensive magic.
Armed to the teeth with a wide variety of weapons to choose from including spears, javelins, and lances, a Dragoon makes an imposing figure. Intense training with heavy armor has made it feel like a second skin to these soldiers, allowing them to launch into the air and crash down into their unsuspecting enemies. Utilizing incredible offensive and defensive capabilities, these worthy adversaries can either devastate foes or protect allies.
Trained at an early age in the mysterious Drakkenwood, located on the eastern part of the Old World, Druids are the peaceful and passive caretakers of Tenat, living in perpetual balance with nature. Only when the natural order of the world is threatened will they unleash nature’s wrath. Harnessing the power of the land and its creatures, these mystic warriors can shape-shift into various beasts giving them the versatility needed to tackle and overcome any situation.
These brutal warriors are the product of hazing, torture, and slavery. Showing no fear, they ferociously dive into the thick of battle fighting for glory, money or freedom. These blood thirsty fighters command the field of battle, shouting orders to enhance their parties abilities or to demoralize their foes. Sometimes seen dual-wielding two-handed weapons, these powerful juggernauts are a force to be reckoned with.
Noble and selfless are the traits of a Paladin, sworn to protect the innocent and uphold the doctrines laid down by the first Paladin and later king, Arthur Greyhem. With righteous fury, these blessed warriors have the innate ability to sense all evil in the surrounding area, allowing them to seek out and bring light where there was once only darkness. Clad in heavy plate and wielding powerful holy magics, the few Paladins left in the world strike out evil wherever they travel.
These devout believers in the teachings of Tantalasia are granted great healing power, making them an integral part of any party. Though wearing very light armor, they command many restorative and defensive spells, making up for their lack of ability in taking a hit. Skilled practitioners are able to buff their allies, giving them increased agility, spirit, and even attack power. It is said that if the Priestess’ faith is strong enough, they can even wield devastating holy magic as an offensive tactic.
The Ranger is synonymous with nature, spending a great deal of time in the woods studying plant-life and the creatures of the forests. These wildlife experts are masters when it comes to tracking and archery, adding to their extensive skill-set. Utilizing their vast knowledge of plants, they are known to concoct arrows which cause debilitating effects including but not limited to poison, paralysis, and even petrification. One must stand in awe of the deadly accuracy of the Ranger with his bow, using his knowledge of anatomy to pin-point vulnerabilities in his foes.
With quick wits and nimble fingers, a Rogue can strike with lightning fast alacrity, hitting multiple targets in quick succession. Blending into shadows, this class can deliver a precision attack or debilitate enemies with poison, bleed, and stun techniques. This versatile character can adapt to any situation fast and effectively.
The world of magic is one of great mystery to most of the inhabitants of Tenat. The gifted few are identified at a young age and brought to the mage capital of Sorbithia to receive the training needed to control this incredible power. For long, grueling years these young mages study in the arts of evocation and conjuration, hoping to surpass their masters and attain the highest honor of being seated on the Circle of Twelve, the ruling council of mages.
Originating in the Plains of Zaardun, these magic wielding swordsmen are able to imbue their weapon with the innate powers of the elements. Once hunted by would be tyrants due to their overwhelming power, there are very few left in the world today.
Every century or so, a highly skilled mage will be born that possesses the rare gift of being able to commune with creatures beyond the mortal plane. Often the summoner must best these creatures in battle before they are willing to fight for him or her, but once under the Summoner's control, they will lay down their lives in the service of their master.
- Custom Monsters
We want to have some of the most diverse enemies of any RPG. With our current budget, it would cost quite a bit of money to make the nearly one hundred and fifty custom graphics we hope to use in our battle scenes. If we reach our stretch goal of $50,000 we will completely animate all enemies with their own attack sequences and battle animations.
- Raise-by-use Skills
Similar to games like Ultima Online and the Elder Scrolls series, which took advantage of an extensive skill system, we chose the raise-by-use mechanic for character skill gain within The Great Gaias. We plan to have multiple skills based on the party members you choose to utilize that will aid the player in completing quests and other in-game goals. Picking locks and chests to uncover hidden items, mining ore, and tracking monsters to complete the bestiary, are just a few examples of the many obtainable skills a character might have at their disposal. These talents can be honed to perfection and even used to unlock content and hidden side-quests.
After acquiring the Ranger, you simultaneously unlock the Scan ability and the Bestiary. Not only does the Bestiary give you status data (i.e., HP/MP), but also allows you to view all monsters, their strengths and weaknesses, and even a small narrative about the creature. Filling the bestiary can be rewarding to the player in many ways, it is up to you if you will dare trudge the darkest depths of Tenat to acquire them all.
This system is our pride and joy, and a lot of time and effort was put into creating it. Detailed background stories describing every character of significance are cataloged and updated after discovering new truths about their roles in the story of The Great Gaias.
- Quest Journal
This handy system organizes the events that transpire throughout the game in a clean, chronological order. Along with instant updates on quest info, it will help clarify where you should be heading next if you were ever to lose your way.
- Grand Arcanum and Historians
Throughout the world of Tenat, there exists a longing thirst for knowledge. Naturally, many folk are inclined to take the roles of educated scholars and historians to preserve the histories of the Old World and the New. The player, if they choose to, may find these intellectuals throughout the cities and villages of the world and learn pieces of the past that will eventually create the Grand Arcanum’s library of lore and tales. This monolithic structure in Sorbithia, the Grand Arcanum, holds a wealth of knowledge explaining history, lands and people of Tenat. It is up to the player to find these historians and hidden tomes to achieve 100% completion, special rewards and clues on how to unlock or find the legendary weapons and armor of the fabled Warriors of Old.
Many of the most memorable moments of any great RPG are their well thought out complimentary side missions. We hope to make The Great Gaias reminiscent of the best and most engaging side-quests possible. The reward tier offers a contributor the chance to design their own mission, but for now, we have listed some of our general concepts and ideas we will be integrating into the game.
The player will have the chance to find inhabitants for a new city. As mayor of the city, you have the choice and final say in what kind of citizens may live there. Found around the world in various locations you will find people who seek a new home. Merchants, crafters, and witty politicians are among some of the eager denizens you will find; it is up to you on how your city will turn out.
Depending on the way you populate your new city; different effects will take place as it grows. If you let too many brigands into your town, you may find a rundown slum or a casino has sprung up. Enough merchants and craftsmen will make any place a bustling city of trade, you might even discover items you had never seen before coming in from all corners of the world. Or perhaps you prefer a little Game of Thrones political intrigue? Recruit enough nobles and politicians and before long it could be you who deciders who rules your new city!
There are many possibilities, each with its own rewards; but one thing is for certain, the player will have to try many combinations to receive all of the benefits the Build-Your-Own-City side-quest has to offer.
Dispatching certain foes will sometimes yield skins or other useful materials that can be used in conjunction with rare metals and precious minerals to craft superior armor and weapons. Veins of ore lie buried deep within the subterranean caverns and vast, mountainous regions of Tenat. Rare monsters can be tracked and hunted for their prized trophies, adding to the list of reagents needed to make some of the best equipment.
Throughout your journey you will have the chance to help people in dire need. It is up to you whether you decide to turn a blind eye to suffering or intervene and save the day; but being a hero has its advantages and overcoming the odds can reward you with a specific Commendation telling the tale of how you overcome seemingly insurmountable scenarios. Acquiring them all might just unlock something extraordinary.
- Legendary Equipment
The history of Tenat is abundant with epic tales of great heroes whom are revered by the people because of their exalted deeds. The equipment these heroes once carried now possesses a reminiscent power from their former owners. If the player happens to acquire any of these rare artifacts it will help immensely in their travels.
- Thieves Guild
Scattered throughout the land are clues that could lead to a secret underground organization known as the “Veil of the Black Hand”. Not much is known about this hidden society, but judging from its members, they recruit from around the world and is said that they never fail in a mission once accepted.
- Multiple Endings
The decisions you make as the Children of Light weigh heavily on the events transpiring around the world. The wrong choice can easily tip the scales in the favor of an unlikely scenario or forever change the course of time. The Great Gaias has no written end; it is up to you to decide which path your journey leads.
To compliment our extensive narrative we have put together a team of highly talented individuals. The funding that Kickstarter would provide us would mainly go to these artists to make this project the best that it could possibly be. For a full list of creditors, forum, and news updates please visit us at Horizon's End.
Matt Pappalardo - Lead Developer, Co-Founder, Horizon's End
Matt grew up thoroughly enjoying games like the Final Fantasy series, Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and Richard Garriot's Ultima series, longing to bring to fruition all the ideas within his head. By eleven years old he was studying Dungeons and Dragons and became a Dungeon Master shortly after. During the almost fifteen years as DM, Matt became extremely adept at weaving rich worlds and narratives to captivate players at his D&D Table. For the past five years he has worked steadily on his Tenat Campaign Setting and through that collaboration of stories was able to transfer the embellished world from paper and pencil to the form of an epic digital RPG, The Great Gaias.
Brian Swahn - Operations, Co-Founder, Horizon's End
Brian has been playing RPGs and tabletop role-playing games for as long as he remembers, giving him the insights needed to help design a project that bridges the modern game with our beloved classic JRPG style. Through Brian's belief in Matt's stories he has been the sole producer for The Great Gaias and deals with all aspects of business management, funding, and advertising. Without Brian we would still be making The Great Gaias as a hobby and we wouldn't be able to share our vision with players from all over the world.
Paul Helman - Pixel Artist, 2D Graphic Designer
Paul Helman has been steadily working with us for over a year now, dedicating his time and talent to make our custom character graphics and detailed tile work. Having worked on games such as Lemmings, and the Die Hard Trilogy for PS1, Paul's artistic vision has brought a vibrant style to compliment the rich world that we have created in The Great Gaias.
Aaron Krogh - Composer, Horizon's End
Aaron Krogh has been instrumental in bringing our story to heightened levels of emotion and overall completeness. His ability to transfer an idea or a scenario into a working theatrical experience is uncanny. The musical compositions that we receive from him continue to astonish us every day and will undoubtedly make The Great Gaias an unforgettable experience.
Lucy Lee - Portrait Artist, Illustrator
Lucy Lee, also known as Luluseason, has been with us for over a year. She has been creating the beautiful concept art that we have been featuring on our website. Currently she is engaged in illustrating the character portraits that have really aided in putting a face to The Great Gaias' developed personalities. With the help of Lulu's mind-blowing art style we will be able to make a high-quality art book that will be available to our contributors.
Muhammed Imran Özyar - Programmer
Muhammed has been one of our most integral partners through our time creating this game. He has been working with code since he was ten years old and has brought some of our most technical design ideas to life. With the donations from Kickstarter we will be able to fund his work as we try to design some of the greatest contemporary systems to be utilized within The Great Gaias.
Chase Bethea - Sound Designer
It has been a great experience working with Chase these last few months on our Sound Designs. His keen ear for sound manipulation enhances the art and story while making The Great Gaias a fulfilling auditory experience as well.
Yenohd - Battle Scene Designer, 2D Monster Artist
Yenohd is a talented 2D Artist who has been steadily working on our embellished battle scenes and monster sprites. With her creations the in-game battles are not only detailed beautifully but are also visually stunning.
Jared Blando - Cartographer, Illustrator
Having worked as an illustrator on the Mapfolios for Pathfinder, the table-top role-playing game, Jared Blando's stunning art style has helped us bring the map from Matt Pappalardo's Tenat Campaign Setting to new heights. Jared was kind enough to support us by adding his distinct touch to our already rich and developed world.
We've spent the last two years, outside of full-time school and work, consumed by The Great Gaias' development. Making this game into a working entity has been a wonderful experience, and it has been the founders of Horizon's End's childhood dream to work with this type of media. Unfortunately, the past year has brought unforeseen hardships to the Developer and his home on Long Island, NY in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The Hurricane had forced Matt to be separate from his home, but development of The Great Gaias never ceased. Working from apartment to apartment and even at his school's computer labs, he never wavered in devotion to this project. Though this tragedy was terrible, six months later, Matt was able to move back to his home.
Even though this has been tough financially, we have found people from all over the world that believe in this story enough to dedicate their time and efforts to see this project become a success. Though they have been contributing generously, their artwork and musical compositions take a lot of time, and we would like to see them finish this project to its very end. The donations we receive will be used to fuel these artists for the long-run and ensure that we complete The Great Gaias on schedule and exceeding our expectations.
We have been following Kickstarter since its early days, watching some truly amazing projects succeed in their goals, even donating to some projects when we've had some extra cash ourselves. We have outlined a budget depicting where our funds would be going if our Kickstarter Campaign is successful.
As you may have noticed, our budget is compiled on a basis of $40,000, and we are only asking for $25,000. The reasoning behind this is solely the fact that our Co-Founder, Brian Swahn, and Composer, Aaron Krogh, have agreed to fund and/or take pay cuts in order to ensure that this game reaches its targeted goals. Even if we only receive the base funding of $25,000 the game will still be completed on schedule and in its entirety. Anything above the $25,000 goal will be used to embellish The Great Gaias further with even more sidequests, hidden characters, more content for the artbook, more musical tracks, new dungeons, and mini-games!
We hope that you have enjoyed this presentation enough to advocate supporting our cause, and that we can share our vision of The Great Gaias with you. We have come up with some rewards that we hope you'll truly enjoy.
Here are the rewards tiers for our supporting contributors, among them you will find Limited Edition Hard Copies, Beta-Access and even the chance to have your hand in designing the game!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge in our opinion would be spreading this game to a vast audience. We plan to translate the game into a few different languages including but not limited to Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. We will have to depend on the hype from Kickstarter at first but through social media networking and advertising campaigns we hope to get the word out as far as possible.
Another challenge would be calculating proper shipping costs for oversea contributors. We don't want to find ourselves with a short budget dwindling due to our amazing physical rewards, but we are doing our research and are confident we can price things accordingly.
With most of the technical aspects of the game out of the way, we really see no possible risk with delivering the game on time. Focusing on aesthetics is very simple for our artists to do while the developer and programmer work on putting the game together.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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