Welcome everyone to the Kickstarter campaign for our production of War of Rights, the most historically accurate game about the American Civil War to date! We are Campfire Games, a studio born from the passion and inspiration of two developers from Denmark: Mads “Trustyjam” Larsen and Emil “Fancy Sweetroll” Hansen. Our love for the American Civil War lead us to a dream of creating a game where we could share their interest with the rest of the world in a fun, yet educational setting. After more than three years of hard work, astounding progress has been made, and a talented and equally passionate group has been brought together to bring this dream to the realm of reality.
Fight at the East Woods
To start off, this is a game focusing on the American Civil War, where bullets flew for the disparate causes of their participants. Those that fought for the rights of their states and purported livelihood clashed with those that fought for the rights of the enslaved... and the Federal government’s supremacy. Brothers, fathers, sons, cousins, and friends met in the bloody conflict that has recently been estimated to have taken upwards of 750,000 lives when all was over. But, rather than have newer generations be bored in their history classes with musty books (kids still use books, right?), we at Campfire Games want to engage them in a video game that allows them to learn a lot of important information in an interactive and fun way.
Reinforcements for the Sunken road
With War of Rights, we are focusing on creating a group-based game with real Napoleonic-era tactics combined with the deadly accuracy of the "newer" weapons available in the period of the Civil War. Uniforms, equipment, artillery, houses, fields, and the locales are all portrayed as faithful as possible to the period we're showcasing in the game. All of this is thanks to the marvel that is the system of the CRYENGINE®. Players will form companies and regiments and battle each other on the iconic locations of battlefields such as Antietam, South Mountain, and Harper’s Ferry, following the chain of command from the rank and file private all the way up to the Major General.
Now, while making a game that is fun for those playing is certainly a humongous part of our effort, another significant part of our attention is to provide useful and accurate information about the American Civil War. As many educators struggle to teach children who do not find relevance in history, they often find a way via games and other interactive methods that engage their interests and attention. War of Rights is about simultaneously having fun as well as teaching them why it is important that they learn about this conflict, information which they can then use in a classroom setting.
The Next Step
With all the progress we’ve made with War of Rights, it is time to take things to the next level. We want to expand our group to include more programmers to speed things up and to help us bring the final release version of War of Rights to life. And that is why we’re here. If we are to finish War of Rights, we must turn to the community who understands what we’re trying to do and why it is important. Sure, it is a video game, but we want it to be much more than that. We have a wide range of reward tiers so we’re sure that everyone will find something to make them happy to contribute to our Kickstarter campaign. We want to thank everyone for your time, and we look forward to seeing you on the field of honor!
- Historical authenticity: War of Rights aims to recreate the events of the Maryland campaign of 1862 during the American Civil War as best as possible.
- Vast battlefields: Each battlefield has been carefully researched and recreated in CRYENGINE® close to a 1:1 scale. After all this work, roads, houses, fields and forests of the era will be placed as close as possible to where they existed back in the day.
- Key locations: Historical key areas such as the Dunker Church or Burnside Bridge will play a vital part as objectives in both the smaller Skirmishes and in the huge historical battles for players to fight over.
- Authentic reload: Reloading a percussion black powder rifle is a time consuming task that will present the player with the choice of continuing the reload or stop and try to win the day with the trusty bayonet when faced with a charging enemy. And as a last minute resort, you might be lucky enough to have a smaller gun on you with a single bullet to save your life.
- Realistic ballistics: Rifle flip-up sights will be needed for making shots over greater distances, and players will require mastering the slower bullet speeds of the era.
- Fouling: Firing a black powder weapon is a messy affair, and thus your weapon will start fouling as you continue to shoot. The more fouled the weapon becomes, the higher the chance of misfires or delayed fires, which in the battlefield means you won’t live to tell your tale.
- Team play is king: War of Rights features regiments with distinct classes such as Private, Sergeant, Colonel and Flag Bearer as well as a regiment-specific tailored respawn system. Players will quickly learn the advantages of sticking together. And later on we’ll introduce two additional branches: Artillery and Cavalry to spice things up.
- Chain of command system: The very first version of the chain of command system will be the relation between the officer and his regiment. Each regiment commander is able to issue direct orders such as: charge, fix bayonets, hold your ground and move to, with special buffs to the people obeying (think of it as a morale boost). Later on, we’ll be adding Generals to the field as well. These tactical masterminds will be able to coordinate their units to their fullest potential.
Advancing with the Texans
War of Rights is to be released in several stages, stretching from the earliest test version to the final release… and further on with post launch support.
Skirmishes Phase 1 (Closed Alpha)
The first version of our smaller scaled engagements titled Skirmishes. This version will only available as a reward for Kickstarter backers.
To be added during Skirmishes Phase 1 (Closed Alpha):
- Antietam skirmish areas
- Additional weapons
- Regiments Classes (private, NCO, Flag bearer, officer)
- First iteration of the order system
Skirmishes Phase 2 (Closed Beta)
The second version of the smaller engagements titled Skirmishes.
To be added during Skirmishes Phase 2 (Closed Beta):
- Additional skirmish areas
- Additional weapons
- More regiment variations
- Classes (Sharpshooters)
- 2nd iteration of the order system
Early Access (Open Beta)
This marks the launch of our Early Access version of the game on the Steam platform. This stage is to be a long one since it will stretch all the way from adding additional features such as entirely new branches to the deployment of our huge historical open map battles.
To be added during Early Access:
- Additional skirmish areas
- Additional weapons
- Artillery branch
- Cavalry branch
- More regiment variations
- Classes (Battery Commander, General)
- Complete chain of command system (General to officer to privates)
- Own server code implementation allowing for massive player amounts
- Complete and fully explorable Harper’s Ferry, South Mountain, Antietam & Shepherdstown maps
- Historical battle gamemode
The retreat of the Louisiana Brigade
With War of Rights we want to be as accurate as possible, and that means recreating the many weapons used during the Civil War. As a thank you for your support, we’re including some of the more special variations of said weapons as rewards at specific reward tiers, and the higher you pledge the more weapons you will receive (along with all of the other rewards from previous tiers!).
Type III Fayetville Rifle
The Type III Fayetville Rifle is a weapon created from the ‘liberated’ parts from the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal by the Confederate Forces. As the Civil War began, the South needed parts and machinery capable of creating rifles in great quantity and the juicy arsenal at easy reach in Harper’s Ferry was the closest facility in need of ‘liberation.’ The place was stripped and the machinery sent south into North Carolina to the similarly ‘liberated’ arsenal at Fayetteville, first established in 1838. But, despite the advanced machines the Fayetteville Armory had, their weapons suffered from supply shortages of locks from the Richmond Armory until the Type III was developed around 1863. Only about 9000 were made, and for your donation you get a chance to hold it in your virtual hands. Additionally, you will get the 2nd Lieutenant forum rank to go with your rare rifle, a rank that historically was in command of half a company (or 50 men).
M1847 Colt Walker
Those that select the Captain pledge tier will get the Captain forum rank along with the deadly M1847 Colt Walker, the first design by Colt which predicated a powerful arms magnate. The Walker has the same powder charge as a rifle or musket despite its caliber. Colt designed the Walker specifically at the behest of Texas Ranger Captain Samuel Walker. Another person interested in this early example of a revolver was Dr. John Ford, who observed during the Mexican-American war that the Walkers had the same range and power as a .54 cal Mississippi Rifle! With your pledge, you can get this 4 ½ lb. as well as access to the closed-Alpha Phase I Skirmishes.
The Hawken rifle, a prized and hand-made weapon for mountain men and sharpshooters alike since the first rifle was produced in 1823. Each rifle was hand made by the Hawken brothers, showcasing an earlier era of superior American craftsmanship. If you pledge at the Major tier, you too can get ahold of this representation of a time when the frontier was still being conquered by the men in buckskin.
Eagle Pommel Sword
Those at Colonel - such a prestigious and important position – will get the beautiful Eagle Pommel Sword to show off in-game, a custom-made testament to service in the Mexican-American War. This style of sword can be seen as far back as a bit after the Revolutionary War, though this particular sword shares more traits with the M1821 Officer’s Sword. Show off your veterancy for the benefit of the Union or the Confederacy with this incredible example of blade work as you charge into battle!
Allen & Wheelock Percussion Army Revolver
At the Major-General pledge tier you will get access to the rare and currently very expensive Allen & Wheelock Percussion Army revolver, a piece of .44 caliber ingenuity and death, of which only seven-hundred were ever made! The gentleman that made this weapon, Ethan Allen, was well known for being a cheapskate, and in such would only use one die to engrave the model and patent number onto the gun, even on guns that were of a smaller design that could not fit the die. But, despite such things, this is still an incredible piece of deadly machinery that you can get in-game for yourself.
J.F. Brown Target Rifle
Backers who decided to pledge at the Lieutenant-General reward tier will be handsomely rewarded with in-game access to the J.F. Brown Target Rifle, one of the most advanced rifles produced at the time, and issued to none but the best of sharpshooters. Each example of these would have been a high-priced commission, and came with German silver lockplate, buttplate, and patchbox along with a beautifully carved stock. The scope was a development from the telescopes created for land surveying, those for the Target Rifle coming from L. Amadon of Bellows Falls, Vermont. Let all the other wannabe sharpshooters gaze in wonder and envy at your superior weaponry as Generals and Privates alike fall like flies from your accurate shots!
On top of all the fancy in-game weapons you can gain access to thanks to your pledge, we also have several uniforms available as in-game rewards for our backers.
Backers at Sergeant will gain access to the famous Columbus Guards, a unit which was established in 1836, taking part in the Indian War, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish War, the fight against Pancho Villa, and finally finishing their long service in the First World War. For the Civil War, these grey-clad troops had the distinction of furnishing more volunteers for their cause than any other militia unit of their county, as well as serving in over 30 battles in their career with the Army of Northern Virginia - finally surrendering at Appomatox with only 1 officer and 11 men.
Baker Guard Zouaves
The 1st Lieutenant reward tier opens the way to the 1st Lieutenant forum rank as well as the esteemed Baker Guard Zouaves uniform, an Irish-American unit that was a company of the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteers which fought bravely in most battles that involved the Army of the Potomac. Their name comes from Colonel Edward Baker of the 71st Pennsylvania, who was also the commander of the brigade to which the 69th PA was attached to. Unfortunately, Colonel Baker was killed at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in 1861, and was not able to see his regiment as it rose to distinction. But, you can take on his banner and namesake with this uniform package!
79th New York Volunteers
The Lieutenant-Colonel reward tier opens the way for the associated forum rank as well as to the uniform of the 79th New York Volunteers, a Scottish-American unit noted for their more traditional attire due to new uniforms not getting in in time for their marching out. Like many units from the very beginning of the war, the 79th NY was another representative of many “gentleman’s club” units of men seeking status for being part of a militia unit without any intention of serious military service. However, they took up arms gallantly when hostilities began and served faithfully to their country, initially acting as guards to the Prince of Wales and the first Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. If you have Scottish ancestry, you can claim a connection with your ancestors, marching into battle with the traditional kilt or trews!
11th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry
These daring men got a significant part of their members from the University of Mississippi, and they represented their state well throughout the entire war with the Army of Northern Virginia. Several groups of young men who would later form some of the companies of the 11th initially formed militia companies in 1860 upon seeing the looming indicators of war. They practiced rifle tactics and drill until Mississippi officially declared their secession in 1861, upon which they joined into the service to put such training to the test. Co. A, also known as the University Greys, were the unit to penetrate the farthest during the fateful Pickett’s Charge, though their prowess was matched only by their mortality, as not a single man made it back for muster. If you pledge at the Brigadier-General tier or higher, you can get access to Co. A’s uniform of the 11th Mississippi!
Once War of Rights is funded and the campaign is over, the money we receive will be put to good use in various aspects of the development. As mentioned before, we’ll expand our team and current members will get to work fulltime on the game non-stop. Here are a few areas which will benefit greatly from the funding:
- Programming: The extra funds will allow us to complete the core game rules and gameplay mechanics, as well as our own server solution, which will be vital in bringing the Skirmishes releases to you and eventually hitting an early access release. This is on the top of our priority list.
- Animations: We still need to complete several animations as well as polish the existing ones before a first playable release is even possible. We would also like to implement variations of specific animations such as reloading to make the game feel more unique.
- Characters: Character variation is to be a big part of War of Rights. Funds will be spent on upping the amount of uniforms, flags, faces and facial hair so that there’s more different characters overall in the game.
- Weapons: Additional weapons as well as other types of ammunitions (such as buck and ball) as well as a dedicated melee mode/stance will be implemented into War of Rights.
The Dunker Church
Campfire Games is a Danish indie developer founded three years ago by Emil Alexander Hansen and Mads Støjko Larsen. Originally the idea of creating War of Rights was based upon the objective of starting a project and simply seeing how much they could do. Being gamers for the most of their lives, it seemed like a logical step, a step that had been growing in the back of their minds for several years, nourished by conversations of game development dreams and ideas shared around the campfire during hiking and camping trips into the forests of Zealand.
Quickly, the hobby mindset was left behind, and while the two founders honed their skills and began expanding the team with other likeminded and passionate people wanting to help push the development further along, a much more serious and determined goal took shape. Soon, the team - now Campfire Games - consisted of talented people from all over the world, including both newcomers as well as veterans of the industry. Amongst the current team members are people who have been involved in Verdun and Space Hulk, as well as on other American Civil War themed game projects.
In March 2015, Emil Alexander Hansen & Mads Støjko Larsen got the opportunity to visit Clark Morningstar, the historical advisor on the team, in Oregon to explore the items and ways of the Civil War in person. The three days became known as The Oregon Campaign.
In order to maximize the potential of the War of Rights Kickstarter campaign, we decided to work with indie and Kickstarter experts PR Hound who have worked on great projects such as InSomia, Planets³, Animal Gods and Umbra (as well as many more!). They always know what needs to be done in order to make sure a Kickstarter campaign gets noticed by media and potential backers, and they were great for War of Rights!
Risks and challenges
Creating a fun and engaging civil war themed game while still keeping it as authentic as possible is a challenging endeavor. We’ve been working on War of Rights for several years now, and once the Kickstarter has been funded we’ll be working non-stop on making the game. We’ve factored in the time needed to complete each of our milestones (early alpha, beta, early access and so on), but with game development, sometimes even the best plans can go wrong. You can rest assured that if at any point we run into a situation that might delay the release of the game, we’ll communicate with all of our backers to explain what has happened and what we are doing to fix things.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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