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$1,608 pledged of $9,000 goal
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About

Pursuit of Power® 2 is a real-time strategy game with a different focus than traditional RTS games. Players connect fortresses together in order to build, research technology, generate bonus resources, defend allies, and lay siege to enemies. Each player has a leader unit that summons structures and casts powerful abilities. There is a priority system for enemy targets and a rage mechanic that affects combat in multiple ways.

Fight through a single-player campaign game with unique content and objectives for your leader. Play local and network skirmish games with up to 10 players. Join a team with allies that can come to your aid. Create new skirmish games using a map editor with a rich set of features.

With your support, Pursuit of Power® 2 will be released during May of 2016 for the Windows PC.

Please vote on Greenlight to help get Pursuit of Power® 2 on Steam!

I am creating a game that eliminates a lot of the tedium found in many RTS games. You don't need to micromanage resources, defenses, or upgrades. Instead, manage the connections between your fortresses to influence those mechanics.

Need more power? Send some of your zealots to fortresses with max power output until the rate is capped. Do you want to strengthen that fortress near your enemies? Send a few zealot banners to boost its rebuilding and upgrade timers.

Managing those aspects at a high-level gives you more time to focus on the fun stuff. Use your leader to summon towers at strategic points or blast enemy troops with a powerful spell. Learn to recognize the optimal leader abilities for different situations in order to gain an advantage.

Each leader class has a troop for every defined role, but with different abilities that are geared towards that class archetype. In addition, rage mechanics make the combat more dynamic and balance the immobilization effects. Powerful avatar abilities and divine upgrades provide even more opportunities for strategy and asymmetric leader classes.

The current version of the game is fully playable and fun, but I want to take it much further. I have several funding goals that can build upon the existing systems. I want more epic battles along the zealot paths and at the fortresses. I want to experience random world events and race players to the most powerful divine abilities. Check out some of the funding goals for more details.

These are some of the player units that have been created so far. The first set shows the three leader classes, which are the Shadow Knight, Mage, and Stalker. They are the strongest unit in the game and can cast powerful abilities at selected locations.

The Dark Treant is the Stalker's siege troop. They are able to absorb an enormous amount of damage from structures. Crows come to their aid, carrying barbs from their twisted branches to provide allies with a damage shield. This troop will eventually have a visual effect showing crows flying around them when their special ability is cast.

Portals are the hub of each fortress. Zealots and troops are summoned from them. Power is generated when they are over active magic sources. Portals can only be damaged when all 4 fortifications towers are down. They can be captured when damaged enough to leave the magic source unprotected. Levels are automatically gained and upgrades become available at max level.

Fortifications protect the portal of the fortress. They automatically gain levels during pulse events, which makes them stronger and inflict more damage. When destroyed, fortifications are summoned back when their refresh timer is ready. The amount of refresh time depends on how many friendly and enemy banner zealots are connected to the fortress.

Tier 1 towers are the main combat structures. They are summoned by leaders at any open location. These towers have special abilities that are available at regular intervals. They gain levels over time, making them more powerful. Placing them at strategic locations early in the game will create a solid defense.

Tier 2 towers are another combat structure with an additional role. They are used to sacrifice enemy zealots that get within range. Those sacrificed zealots generate prestige, which is used for the most powerful upgrades and abilities.

The game starts by spawning your chosen leader near a crystal formation. Clicking on the crystal summons a fortress into the world. Every 2 seconds a pulse event occurs in the game. During that event, power is generated for players with fortresses over active power crystals. Power is the main resource in the game.

Once the fortress has been summoned, you begin managing it at a high-level. You connect your fortresses to other fortresses, which can be owned by you, your allies, or your enemies. These connections are made by your devout followers, called zealots. They form a continuous line when there are no gaps between zealots due to deaths. 

The front zealot at the head of the line holds a banner. If any zealot dies before it, then the banner shifts to the next head of the continuous line. Power emanates from the banner during each pulse event. When connected to a friendly fortress, that power flows through it and travels back to the source, providing additional power for the player. The destination fortress also receives increased build progress for every friendly connection.

On the other hand, connections to enemy fortresses slow build progress for every enemy connection. If more enemy banner zealots reach the fortress than friendly zealots, it essentially halts progress so your troops can lay siege. In addition, the enemy banner zealots generate prestige when they successfully reach the portal. Prestige is used for powerful avatar abilities and fortress upgrades, such as the guardian.

You can also gain prestige if your sacrificial towers kill enemy zealots. Those are your tier 2 towers that leaders can summon to a desired location at the cost of power. Placing them at strategic locations on the board can cut zealot lines while generating significant prestige. The tier 1 tower is more of a standard combat structure. It costs less power but is still a very effective combat unit, especially when it reaches max level. All structures in game automatically level-up over time.

Leaders can also cast powerful abilities. They can turn the tide of a battle by effectively using area effect abilities. Some of those abilities do additional damage due to combinations. For example, an ability might be able to generate bonus area damage around a specific friendly unit. So hitting a pack of enemies surrounded by those friendly units could wipe them all out.

Avatar abilities are even more powerful. They cost both power and prestige. They have much longer recasts too. The avatar represents your deity and it channels its powers through you. Each of those abilities benefits a certain unit type in game, which includes your leader, a troop, a tower, and your zealots.

The guardian upgrade for your fortress costs a lot of power and prestige. It adds an additional area effect for each fortification tower and your banner zealot. Those units have independent timers that will automatically cast the guardian ability when refreshed. The banner zealot triggers its ability when a continuous zealot is killed by an enemy or sacrificed by the leader. Players can try to purposely sacrifice the banner zealot when it is in the middle of a group of enemies.

During battles, units will select targets based on a few criteria. Towers will normally target zealots before any other unit. However, siege troops will draw fire when in range. That will allow your zealots to pass by without being harmed. The siege units are also very effective at absorbing damage from structures.

Fighter units will taunt all troops when in range. That can allow your high-damage units to harm enemies without risking death. Immobilization troops can fear, stun, and mesmerize most other troops. That can render a group of enemies helpless as they get picked off. When the affected unit is first hit, a bonus buff is triggered for the attacker.

Scout units can stealth and do extra damage when attacking while hidden. They can detect other stealth units and also have a debuff. That debuff amplifies the damage of certain abilities. All 3 major debuffs are displayed as icons near the troop health and rage bars due to their importance.

Rage is generated when the troop takes damage or while it is immobilized. As the rage increases, the troop gains rage levels. Each rage level multiplies the damage done by that troop. Killing troops with high levels of rage is important. Some abilities can even harness the rage to create bonus effects. Troops at max rage level are immune to immobilization effects. All troops decrease rage over time.

Players can capture enemy fortresses by damaging the portal while fortifications are down and then sending zealots into the portal when it is unprotected. Once captured, a new fortress is automatically summoned for the conquering player. The objective of the game is to destroy all enemy fortresses and troops. Stats are displayed for all players at the end of the game.

The game trailer below is a longer version of the Kickstarter video. It shows more footage of the game and has narration that describes some of the mechanics in greater detail.

The following screenshots are from the Alpha 4 Milestone. Please note that the screenshots contain placeholder artwork, which does not match the style of the pixel art. That is especially true for the troops. Eventually, all of the artwork will be replaced and look much more consistent.

Stalker fires a shot with bow
Stalker fires a shot with bow
Players fighting over fortresses
Players fighting over fortresses
Stalker and Shadow Knight battle
Stalker and Shadow Knight battle

Most of the major game components have already been completed. That includes the path-finding, troop AI, computer player AI, networking, multiplayer, game editor, combat mechanics, fortresses, and other major components.

The main feature that I haven't created yet is the campaign mode. However, I will be able to reuse a lot of the campaign code from my previous RTS, such as the goals-based scripting. Once I get it fully working I can add a tutorial, which is an essential feature.

The artwork is in progress and I expect to continue adding new assets for many months. Currently, the first pass has been completed for the 3 leader classes, the dark treant troop, all 12 structures, and the magic sources. Some of the terrain and scenery details are done too. That leaves 14 more troops, most of the scenery, combat effects, death effects, user interface, splash screen, and additional artwork that depends on the goals funded.

The game will continue to look more visually interesting, especially once I begin adding unique combat effects for each unit. The level of polish will dramatically increase too. I finished most of the complicated parts of the game so I can spend the next year making it really fun.

I have 3 base goals that I hope to accomplish with this Kickstarter campaign. I also have several more ambitious goals that I would love to fund. I believe they will add a lot to the game. If I am able to fund more than the base goals, I will ask the community to prioritize the additional goals.

Goal #1 ($9k) : The core art assets can be created for the game, which includes all player units, terrain, and some basic scenery.

Goal #2 (+$10k) : More variety will be added for the scenery. New sound effects will be created. Several custom music tracks will add tension to battles.

Goal #3 (+$10k) : New artwork for combat effects, death animations, GUI elements, and overall polish.

Morphing banner zealots (+$20k) : Banner zealots can be infused with divine power and morph into epic creatures. They essentially become mobile fortresses, requiring substantial effort to kill. Players must halt their progress while trying to cut the zealot line, which sustains them by regenerating health. Once the zealot line is cut, the epic banner zealot can be defeated more easily.

Divine events (+$20k) : The world will randomly generate divine events around the middle of zealot paths. These events involve NPC creatures that attack player units. Killing them gains divine favor that goes towards additional abilities. The events will create some chaos, forcing players to adjust while racing for the end-line divine abilities that cost favor.

Guardian fortress with raid mechanics (+$20k) : The guardian upgrade actually transforms the fortress into a creature. The fortification towers become the limbs and the portal becomes the body. The limbs gain additional attacks for each level gained. Players can control some of the attacks like a raid encounter.

Flying guardians (+$20k) : The guardian materializes into an ancient dragon that can be sent to a destination fortress. It follows the path of the zealots, annihilating enemies it encounters along the way. 

Avatar animation and voice-overs (+$20k) : The avatar becomes a living presence within the game. Gestures are animated and voice-overs are used to provide players with situational awareness. Skillful attacks are emphasized with "flavor" comments. The avatar becomes a commentator for the game.

More campaign content (+$20k) : Each leader class gets a unique story-line for the campaign. NPCs are used to provide objectives in a way similar to quests. More lore is added to enrich the world.

I want to make sure that all backers are rewarded for helping make this game. That's why every digital download tier is a Beta milestone. You will get to play the game months before it is officially released.

I also wanted to give a price break for single copies and even more for multiple copies. I can't guarantee that the price will be lower when first sold, because I might not have a choice. But my intention is to make it cheaper for backers.

I have purposely kept the rewards lean and simple.That way the money goes right to making the game better. I'm really interested in building a community around the game.

Finally, I hope to distribute the game using Steam. I will launch a Greenlight campaign shortly after this Kickstarter begins. I can't guarantee that I will be able to use Steamworks. If not, then I will most likely use a simple serial key and download link.

Michael Vitt - I am the owner of Precision Games and creator of Pursuit of Power® 2. I have always been passionate about making video games, ever since playing Atari more than 30 years ago. I wanted to make video games so much that I taught myself to program QBasic on an 8088XT when I was 11. I then studied to become a software engineer and that technical experience has really helped with my game development.

Meagan Bowden is the lead artist for Pursuit of Power® 2. She is a 2d pixel artist with over a decade of experience in the gaming industry. She spent her childhood attached to either her computer or a sketch pad, designing her own fantasy world complete with a made up language known only to her and a very fat orange tabby.

Additional team members will be added at a later time.

I wrote the entire game engine in C++. I started it more than a decade ago, so the code is really robust. It is based on DirectX 8.1 and Winsock 2.2 for the network sockets. Since I control all of the code, I always have the ability to fix any bugs that are found. The games run smoothly on pretty much any Windows PC at any resolution.

I am also able to optimize the engine for the games I create. That's particularly important for this game because of the large number of units that can exist. I designed the game to simultaneously handle more than 12 thousand zealots, 1 thousand troops, 1 thousand towers, 50 fortresses, and 10 total players. The path-finding is multi-threaded and very efficient. The multiplayer network code only sends updates for visible entities on each client and uses very little bandwidth, even with thousands of units in game.

The game engine is designed with interface classes to support multiple operating systems. I hope to eventually add native support for Linux and Mac. My games do run on Wine for those operating systems.

Risks and challenges

Any project can experience setbacks even if it has been carefully planned and well executed. Therefore it is important to minimize risks as much as possible. Completing the complex portions of a project can greatly reduce the risk of setbacks.

I have spent the past 3 years taking this game from prototype to the start of Beta. Most of the core features have been implemented, including complex components like artificial intelligence, networking, and multiplayer.

Most importantly, the game is already fun and it can be played right now. That means I always have the option of releasing it early if I hit some kind of unforeseeable setback.

I don't anticipate any issues and I have released two complete games of similar scope. I have also invested more of my own money than I am seeking for the minimum goal. I will do everything I can to complete this game on time with all of the promised features.

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Funding period

- (34 days)