About this project
"It looks like a fantastic project." - Julian Gollop - Designer of XCOM/UFO:EU(1994)
"They’ve done a really great Kickstarter campaign, are already funded, but are now looking to make it to their stretch goals, which frankly speaking are worth it. " - Swen Vincke, Larian Studios
"[The Mandate] is literally... wait a minute... is LITERALLY my dream game. I'm freaking excited!" - Angry Joe
"Currently, I don’t think there’s a more interesting Kickstarter project than The Mandate" - RockPaperShotgun
"The Mandate I would definitely say that is a really awesome looking space opera game, absolutely, that looks incredible." - TotalBiscuit
"There are still many [Kickstarter] ideas we'd love to see completed. One example is The Mandate" - The Escapist Magazine
"Sometimes you feel like forcing people to invest money in Kickstarter projects, to ensure their creations. I have those tendencies when I see extensive plans of the Perihelion Interactive team and their space RPG The Mandate." - Games.cz (Translated by forum user: Pilgrim)
We plan on localizing The mandate into the following languages:
- Explore a world of culture, with 1500 years of lore, ruled by the Tsars. Survive a world of pirates, mercenaries & faction forces with their own agendas. Make enemies, or appease more powerful factions. The world reacts to your choices, and you must live with the consequences.
- Utilize the human chain of command to manage your crew. All hailing from various colony ships, tasked by you to fill their stations. Watch them grow, learn, and experience… watch them tire, break down, and die.
- Ships in The Mandate are the crew’s home. Blast through shields and bulkheads to knock out the various sub-systems, ejecting the crew into space – all in real time. Board the enemy, or defend against boarding! Fight from space as your friends put boots on the ground, or team-up and storm the enemy ship with RTS mechanics.
- Scavenge derelict wrecks and salvage what you can to survive. Expand your home base to rearm, upgrade and design new ships. Grow from a single frigate to a powerful battle squadron.
- David Bradley (Lord Walder Frey from Game of Thrones) will voice Lord High Admiral Suvarov, commander of the Grand Fleet. He has also played in Harry Potter, Dr Who, Captain America
- In addition to the "Ghosts" trailer featured at the top, we have two more trailers with David Bradley below, The Captain We Need and The Destroyers. Enjoy!
- Update #26 The Destroyers - boarding video + digital add-on info
- Update #25 Captain Wrack's Thanksgiving - examples from the Great Captain Doc
- Update #24 Perfidious treachery!!! - court martial of a lord high admiral
- Update #23 The Captain We Need - new story trailer
- Update #22 Good things to come - mini stretch goals
- Update #21 State of the campaign - boarding design update!
- Update #20 Game of Thrones actor voices new trailer "Ghosts"
- Update #19 Reddit AMA, Knighthoods and a design update!
- Update #18 Halfway + developer video diary
- Update #17 In Her Majesty's Service - historical inspirations for uniforms
- Update #16 Dressing an Empress - From concept to design
- Factions overview
- Empress Anastasia Romanova
- Lord High Admiral Suvarov
- Crew design updates
- Ship design updates
- Social stretch goals and free wallpapers!
There are a lot of sci-fi RPGs out there, but we feel there’s something lacking. Being huge fans of the sci-fi genre, we wondered why spaceships feel so empty? What’s missing? Looking back to all the TV and Movies that inspired us, like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica or Firefly, we realised games are missing something integral: a crew. A ship without a crew feels hollow and meaningless, so we’ve taken space travel to the next level. The dangers of space should not only test your metal, but your flesh.
We wanted to make a game where you’re not a solid, singular object in a sky-box; you are a captain in an evolving, dynamic ship that hundreds of people call home. They adapt to you, and grow with you as you fight alongside them, and if you suffer losses, you’ll feel the loss that comes with that.
That’s where the drama is, that’s where the story happens, and it’s the interacting with people on the deck that makes this a complete experience.
We want to create a complete sci-fi RPG experience.
We want to explore the war-torn depths of space, engage in political intrigue, lead troops on the deck of a ship, command a fleet from the bridge, and sate our thirsts for glory – and we want you to join us.
For the first time in a game of this type, players will be able to board vessels taking the combat into an RTS environment whilst your friends still fight from their ships in space.
As the captain of a ship, you’ll lead your men through battles, boarding operations, and space exploration through a hierarchy of officers, selected and honed by you.
You’ll explore your vessel isometrically, discovering the inner workings and day to day life of the officers and crew who serve under you. Invite dignitaries to your chamber, or defend your vessel from attack on foot (in the style of Jagged Alliance, X Com.)
As you lead your men to victory, yourself and officers who survive will have access to upgrades and talents, affecting gameplay and offering new tactical opportunities. Make the wrong decision, and expect to lose your officer for good with our rogue-like chain of command.
Battles from space are orchestrated from the classical perspective (Star Trek Online, Klingon Academy, Freelancer, etc.) Whilst in this view, your crew will take their battle stations within the ship, affected by hazards – even being sucked out of a hull breach. Whatever happens outside of the vessel, affects those within it.
Boarding operations allow you to isometrically zoom in on your units, or zoom out into Space Battle View at your disclosure. Fight the war on two fronts. Battle in the style of games like Men of War at the same time as fighting battles reminiscent of Klingon Academy.
Trust your crew? Allow them to fight autonomously, and deal with the ships hands on.
Our modular design will allow you to build your ships (link to Ship designer) and space station to fit your play style. With thousands of combinations, and the potential for thousands more over the period of the campaign and launch, it’s possible to create something completely unique.
Change the design for tactical, defensive, and strategic capabilities – skin, colour, and mix-and-match to your heart’s desire.
The Mandate is a sandbox RPG (similarities with Pirates! And Mount and Blade), allowing you to travel the galaxy through a series of jump-gates, opening doors to new systems.
If you or your friends are in trouble, instantly jump to their location from outside of the game using Steam.
Each system of the universe offers a series of procedurally generated content which varies every time, as well as hand-crafted story-driven content for you to take advantage of. What you do in The Mandate is entirely up to you, but as you gain power and unlock more systems, you’ll drive the story forward.
With new factions to be found in each sector, and Starbases to be scavenged, looted, and built, watch your empire grow as you conquer and explore the depths of space, where new quests and unexplored territories will reward the most experienced of captains.
At its core, that’s The Mandate – a fantastical space RPG about betrayal, scavenging, exploration, combat, and honor. These elements are eloquently wrapped in an all-original history and lore, waiting to be discovered.
With both iterative and entirely unique mechanics and concepts, we’ve been inspired by franchises such as X Com for our upgrading system, Fallout for scavenging and survival, Battlestar Galactica for the sense of home and community, crewmanship, Star Trek Online and Klingon Academy for space battles, and Jagged Alliance or Men of War for RTS style boarding operations. We’re taking the best of what was, and reinstating the old-school – and we’re confident we’re doing it right.
We've written 1500 years of history. It's up to you to write the future. The explorable reaches of space mix hand-crafted and procedurally generated content and is packed with historically relevant easter-eggs offering insight into the Mandate's rich lore.
Each level of the game, from the political tier of warring empires, through the strategic level of individual star systems and naval battles, down to personal interactions with other characters impacts on how your story develops.
The decisions you make in Mandate affect the world around you, and your crew. Every action has a consequence, and as you push your ship to the farthest reaches of the universe, diplomacy, and morality are pushed with it.
Affect the world with your actions, not with your words. The Mandate will not be challenged with a dialogue wheel.
In the far future, mankind has abandoned the exhausted, dying world of Earth and gone on to colonize hundreds more worlds. These colonies were united under the rules of the Imperial Mandate, and linked by faster-than-light travel gates. As civilization continued to expand, corruption within the Mandate and dissent in the outer systems fomented a rebellion against Imperial rule.
The untimely death of the last Emperor gave the rebels their opportunity. The military was recalled to his state funeral and the investiture of his successor - a young and inexperienced Empress who took the throne with limited political support. Seizing the moment, the outer systems declared their intention to break away from the Mandate.
The Empress dispatched the Grand Fleet to restore order, but saboteurs redirected the travel gates, and the fleet ended up scattered across the galaxy. The Empress was left vulnerable without the protection of her navy.
Desperate times called for desperate measures. The Empress founded the Corsairs, a new fleet captained by disgraced ex-Mandate officers jailed for breaching the Articles of War. Reinstated under the promise of redemption, these veterans are the last hope of the Mandate. You are a member of the Corsairs. With a small ship, you must move swiftly and make your way to the far reaches of Mandate space. Your mission - to discover the fate of the Grand Fleet and restore order to the outer systems.
There was a time when gaming wasn’t about running through a corridor, firing off rounds into hordes of enemies. There are hundreds of mechanically magnificent titles out there on PC, and hundreds of teams equipped to make them. The only reason they’ve declined is that they don’t sell as well as something you’d find on the consoles. We want to change that, and we have the knowledge to do so.
The Mandate is an ambitious title, but we are tackling each of the core elements with equal attention. By making each gear in the mechanism function correctly and optimally, our end result will be something mechanically interesting, with a lot of depth.
We’ve taken inspiration from some of the finest strategy and RPG titles from past and present; working iteratively with their ideas and concepts. These are ideas that have worked in the past, but unfortunately declined with the changing PC gaming demographic. We know you’re out there, and we’re bringing them back. With tried and tested game mechanics, and some completely original ones, all it takes is the knowledge to bring them together – hard-earned knowledge that our team members have gained through years of games industry experience.
• The ships of The Mandate are modular designs, allowing us - and you - to manually mix and match various parts, or to randomly generate any number of designs for the game world.
• One of the themes of The Mandate is that ships are home to many of the world’s inhabitants. Space stations and ships will be our cities. They are naturally much smaller than lunar structures – however, there will be many of them.
• Whilst much of space in The Mandate is hand crafted, there are also procedurally generated areas to keep things fresh and offer replayability and interesting battle options in multiplayer. This allows us to offload some of the work to a complex world building algorithm.
• Most importantly, we have experience building massive worlds. Many of our team hail from some of the most successful MMO projects ever created.
• We’re careful – using several middlewares to streamline development and reduce risk, increase efficiency, and most importantly, avoid wasting time. Unity3D is a great tool for this.
Creating a new RPG world isn’t easy, what have you done differently?
The biggest mistake a storyteller can make in gaming is to believe they are writing the future. The future is up to you: the gamers. Because of this, we’ve taken the time to do a lot of research into building a believable past. We believe the story to be so important to The Mandate, that we’ve written 1500 years of history based on Tsarist Russian lore and history. What if the Tsars ruled space?
The Mandate is part alternative-history, part fantasy. You’ll be writing the future in The Mandate, it’s simply our job to provide you with the context. Throughout our kickstarter period, you’ll be introduced to our characters, how they’re designed, their names, and their pasts. Even you, the player, will be able to choose your path from families dating back to the Tsarist period. The world of The Mandate did not happen spontaneously – there are reasons for the way that it is, and throughout this campaign and the games launch day, you’ll enjoy exposition and story updates offering insight into our rich new world.
We are an international team: Canada, USA, Sweden, Norway, UK, France, Slovakia.
We are a team of veteran developers who decided to go Indie together and come from different game developers each with their own strengths [ex-EA, ex-2K Games, ex-Ubisoft, ex-Funcom]. Previously we have worked on and shipped both singleplayer, multiplayer and MMO AAA productions with team size ranging from 30 to 200
Some of the titles we have worked on and shipped include: Assassin's Creed 1&2, Mafia 2, Alan Wake, FarCry 2&3, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures,Call of Duty 3, Splinter Cell, Planet of the Apes, Saga of Ryzom, FIFA ONLINE, FarCry Evolution, Rainbow 6 Vegas, The Secret World and more.
Please refer to the FAQ for full team statement. Portfolio links:
We are big fans of sci-fi, be it video games or series like Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Babylon 5 or Firefly. We are CRPG players and some of our favourites are Fallout, Baldur's Gate, The Witcher, Gothic, but we also remember classics like Ultima 7 or Microprose's Darklands. We are strategy players and have fond memories of the original X-Com, Carrier Command, Jagged Alliance and more! We love pen & paper tabletop: D&D, Pathfinder, Deathwatch, Traveller, Shadow Run and more! And also we are board game geeks: Warhammer, Warmachines.
We plan on taking all our inspirations, hobbies and diverse development experiences to ensure we deliver a game you will want to play for many hours both alone in dark space and together with your captain friends.
Tier reward information can be found here.
CLICK HERE for digital add-ons. If you wish to pick a digital add-on simply increase your pledge by the corresponding amount. E.g. if you wish to name a marine ($25) and get the base game with soundtrack ($20) then you would pledge $45 in total and pick the $20 reward tier. After Kickstarter is over, we will transfer your unused credits over to BackerKit where you can spend them on digital add-ons.
Kickstarter is the preferred backing avenue but if you for some reason cannot use Kickstarter, then you can visit our PayPal store.
Reward tiers that grant extra copies [so $150 and above] also include the Cossack Captain tier (alpha, beta, season pass etc) for each extra copy.
We have put a lot of thought into thinking about fairness – especially when it comes to games and their PR and marketing teams. For this reason, to say thank you for your vote of confidence reflected in your pledge amount, we are putting our entire marketing team in the darkest airlock on-ship.
They have each been issued a “Fairness Directive”, a set of rules they have to follow to make sure there is a coherent and direct flow of information between you and the developers. They have been ordered to be firm, frank, and fair.
Rewards are certainly mentioned in the Fairness Directive, and we will not be selling alpha or beta access at inflated prices. We believe access to the game should be included in the relevant pledge tiers, and we should not profit from your willingness to provide feedback. You are part of the team, and we respect you.
Therefore, as the pledge tiers scale, you’ll see access to exclusive content that we consider real value for money. Many of these will not be sold separately, and you will not see some of them sold on Steam. They are a thank-you for your continued feedback and support, and there is some exciting stuff such as the Season Pass (access to the first expansion pack and content updates), and access to all early builds of the game (pre-alpha).
As you continue to browse the tier pledge rewards, you will even get a chance to completely change the game, and leave a permanent mark on the world of The Mandate.
Remember, any breach of the Fairness Directive will result in a swift ejection through the airlock, replacing the guilty party with a robotic AI (they are cheaper to feed, anyway).
As the Empress placed her trust in the Corsairs securing her a grand victory, your trust is well placed in us!
Risks and challenges
Some backers have asked to see a clearer cost breakdown. We will not be providing a “cake diagram” as we believe that gives a false sense of security. Instead we have put together a development timeline to illustrate the allocation of manpower for the different stages of development. Keep in mind we are on Indie salaries. The Kickstarter campaign will cover the positions outlined and some devs are prepared to work for free as an additional buffer.
“We are taking the pre-production process very seriously indeed. The combat prototype has been in development for almost a year, and only a subset of it is shown in the ship designer. We will get back to this in more detail later in the campaign.
Pre-production features a skeleton size unit of full-time staff. Other staff are kept informed of creative decisions and when their roles will be needed once production starts. This saves time, money and allows the skeleton team to focus their efforts. Once the production tools are ready, we will ramp up and assign additional full-time staff to their positions. Additionally, we have no big corporate HQ and minimal expenses. Our producer does not have a driving license and as such expenses for company cars will be minimal... (but we might buy him a bike!)
We are economically efficient, utilizing resources (such as your pledge money) in the best ways possible. We do contingency planning and set aside buffer time to have a reserve. We have funded the prototype so far with side-income and by working late nights.
Our staff understands our budget limitations and the implications for roadmaps and scheduling. We will only hire for position X when it is necessary -not before, and since we have access to a large network of game industry professionals this simplifies the recruitment process. Because we have a clear focus we do not need to give people a task to do merely because they are sitting around. This would be inefficient and wasteful. We will not have Day1 DLCs for the Mandate, and our focus is on delivering the best possible experience at launch to everybody who buys the game. Proper content updates and expansion packs will be planned before launch but developed after based on input from the community, particularly the Kickstarter donors who are our bosses.
On the technological side, Unity3D (the game’s engine) comes with a working world editor, a build system for creating versions of the game, and the ability to deploy to multiple platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac. It has its own eco-system with 3rd party plugins which we purchase for a reasonable price and can use in our project. This saves us time and allows us to do things like push the visual fidelity with one example being TC Particles which allow GPU accelerated DX11 particles. Check out the ship designer and study the impact effect on the shields. It just looks awesome. TC Particles is just one example and we have other bigger plugins or middelware available to us as well like a stable, tried and tested network engine which we have already gained valuable experience with. This greatly reduces the time and effort needed beyond integration, bugfixing and maintenance.
Our team has half a century of game development experience between us, including major MMOs. This is a much smaller project than an MMO, which traditionally demands very capable content production tools. We are taking our combined knowledge and experience to setup and structure efficient workflows and production pipelines. This includes decoupling dependencies between art, code and design to minimize the amount of wait-time and avoid blockers.
Middleware is the key and we would prefer to license something which has been tried and tested rather than reinventing the wheel. This frees us up to focus on the game and avoid unnecessary distractions. At the moment, we are evaluating several character creation middleware tools which will make the process of setting up characters a breeze for the artists. At the same time players will have access to extensive character customization options. A common theme for both art and game design is to apply a modular and reusable approach. On the art side the procedural textures are an excellent example and if you have tested our ship designer, you will appreciate the versatility it provides even at this early stage. On the design side we are heavily data-driven: our tools must support major changes to content without requiring the involvement of programmers, which would create unwanted dependencies and blockers.
One final point to make, if you inspect our reward tiers you will see that we do not have any physical rewards. This means we do not divert Kickstarter funds to produce physical goods and instead we can use the funds to fully realize the actual game. To compensate for this we are providing what we believe are fair reward tiers where backers even at lower tiers get to put their mark on the game. Higher tier rewards are bundled with additional copies of the game so backers can split the cost among friends.
Still, we understand that some backers would prefer physical copies and merchandise and here is a promise:
Once our funding goals are reached, we will add physical reward tiers and outsource the production and shipping to our backers who will pay for only production and shipping. If people want t-shirts made we will supply the graphics to make your own t-shirts or other merchandise. We will not make a dime off of you ordering that set of China with the Empress Anastasia on it that you always wanted. We are game developers -not Manchester United!
To summarize: we have the necessary know-how, experience and technology, and our overhead is minimal. The Mandate is the love child of some very experienced game developers who all want to see this project succeed. We are doing smart things with smart technology and will pick the right tools for the job to optimize the work-load and streamline our production pipelines and workflows. This allows us to produce content in modular blocks which is more efficient and allows us to reuse, thereby saving time.
So could everyone and their grandma make The Mandate for $500,000? Probably not. Can we? Hell yes we can.”
Remember: One rule, no quarter. With efficiency, a driven vision, and a careful understanding of what made traditional strategy games and RPGs so great, The Mandate will delve deep into mechanics of old, iterating and improving on them, ultimately delivering a vast and unique RPG experience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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