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Eterium is a space combat sim with story driven gameplay, advanced tactical AI, and intense 3D combat. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on July 31, 2013.

Eterium is a space combat sim with story driven gameplay, advanced tactical AI, and intense 3D combat.

About this project

Vote for Eterium on Greenlight
Vote for Eterium on Greenlight

Check out our Demo!

Stay up to date on development progress at Rogue Earth!

What is Eterium?

As a big fan of space sim games, I've been waiting many years for a Wing Commander or X-Wing style game to come along! I miss the days of hanging out in the rec room and talking to my wingmen before flying a mission.  I don't really care much for the economy sim aspect, such as commodity trading and ship purchasing, that has found its way into many modern space sims.  Neither am I satisfied with arcade-style games at the other extreme.  I was looking for a story-driven game that concentrated on being a pilot and part of something larger than myself.  I realized that if I was going to play a modern version of the classic space sim, I would have to create it myself. 


I set out developing Eterium about five years ago in my free time,  building it on a custom engine, while holding down a fulltime gameplay programming position. This made for a very slow moving process.  The gameplay was coming along nicely, but the graphics left much to be desired. That's when Dave joined the team and took the graphics to a new level.  Eterium is the story-driven classic space sim that I had been waiting for.

We've come along way since Dave joined the team!
We've come along way since Dave joined the team!

We already have thirty-five missions up to a beta quality, but as you can see from our Demo there is still a lot of room for improvement. That is why we are turning to the kickstarter community to assist us in funding the completion of this game. With the funding we will be able to double the length of the game, polish the existing experience, improve the visuals, create new music and hire an artist to create better characters!

UEA Changdao Heavy Fighter - One of the four playable ships.
UEA Changdao Heavy Fighter - One of the four playable ships.

Eterium is an approachable and yet complex space sim game.  It is very important to us to design a game that can be easily picked up by new players.  There are many space sims out there that have such a steep learning curve, that it is really difficult for new players to start out.  Eterium's goal is to have a pick up and play feel while preserving the hardcore spirit of the genre.  The difficulty in Eterium is not in learning to fly your ship, but in learning to manage the encounters.  On harder difficulties the AI becomes more cunning and more difficult, but the AI will never cheat.  Weapons always do the same amount of damage and the AI's ships always have the same limitations no matter what difficulty the game is set to.

The United Earth Alliance Strike Carrier Canopus
The United Earth Alliance Strike Carrier Canopus
Each missions starts with your ship on the flightdeck.
Each missions starts with your ship on the flightdeck.

A few key features:  

  • Fully customizable joystick, Xbox controller, and mouse support.
  • Dynamic difficulty that allows the game to continually fine tune the AI skill level in addition to the standard game difficulty settings.
  • Four playable fighters with unique cockpit designs.
  • First person view from within the cockpit.
  • Procedural Missions: Many of the missions are created using an intelligent mission generation algorithm making each play through unique.
  • Advanced Damage System: In addition to shields and armor, there is an advanced damage system that governs the ship's functions. From weapons to engines the damaged system affects how the ship handles in combat.
  • Nvidia 3D Vision Support: The game looks awesome with a 3D monitor. If you have a 3D monitor you can't pass this game up!


Estimated System Requirements

The requirements are all subject to change. We’re trying to accommodate as many machines as possible.

  • OS: Windows (XP/Vista/7/8) 
  • Processor: 2ghz Core 2 Duo 
  • Memory:512 MB
  • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0 or better (Integrated graphics not supported, Nvidia card and 3D Vision setup required for Nvidia 3D Vision) 
  • Minimum (officially supported) Resolution: 1280 x 720

Asteroid fields are a good challenge - combat in asteroid fields is exhilarating!
Asteroid fields are a good challenge - combat in asteroid fields is exhilarating!

Demo

Check out our demo. This is the first few missions from an early beta build to give you a taste of what you can expect from Eterium. http://rogueearth.com/Demo

We are working to improve the look of the characters and make them better match up with the rest of the game.  We have not decided if we are going to stick with the anime style or go for a more realistic look.
We are working to improve the look of the characters and make them better match up with the rest of the game. We have not decided if we are going to stick with the anime style or go for a more realistic look.

Why Kickstarter?

If you haven't played our demo yet, I encourage you to give it a try. You'll see how far along we have come so far. We have been working on Eterium as a side project; but after hearing from all of you, we have realized that with some funding we could make Eterium something truly great.  We have put a lot of time and effort into making Eterium what it is today, but there is only so far that we can take it on our own.  The funding we receive from kickstarter will go toward hiring an artist to improve interactive story elements (characters and backgrounds), musicians to create custom music tracks, better sound fx and completing the development of the game.

Capital ships add challenge and variety to the game.
Capital ships add challenge and variety to the game.

The Team

Eterium started a few years back as a side project from the Lead Programmer Andrew Luby. Andrew has since dedicated himself full-time to seeing this project through to completion.

Dave Schoneveld, the Lead Artist, joined the team about a year and a half ago; also contributing to Eterium as a side project. Dave saw the state of Eterium, and how much potential it showed, but knew the graphics would never make the cut. He worked to replace all the graphics in the game and bring the visuals to a level they are today.

Eric Duhon has been provided additional programming help throughout the last half a year. He has brought Eterium into stereo 3D with Nvidia 3D vision, greatly improved the graphics capability of the engine, and provided advanced joystick support.

Matt Roseman flimed and edited the Kickstarter video. Thanks Matt!

Scott Sorenson and Chris Murguia have recently signed on to create the custom music for Eterium. (The music they are creating has not yet made it into the demo).

Refinements of the corvette light capital ship.
Refinements of the corvette light capital ship.

Goals ($25,000) - Estimated Release October 2013

  • Complete the game.  The funding from kickstarter will give us the time we need to dedicate ourselves to finishing the missions, improving the graphics and particle effects, polishing the game, and play testing to deliver the best experience possible upon release.
  • Double the game's length from around 35 missions to 70 or more. That will take you about 12 to 16 hours to play through! Our original plan was to release the game in two parts, simply because it was so much work to create the first 35 missions.  But with the help of kickstarter we will have more time to develop the missions and tell the entire story with a single release.
  • Add a fourth playable ship with new cockpit: the Saber, an experimental new medium fighter that has more firepower than the Sagaris Medium Fighter but has handling characteristic closer to the Talwar Light Fighter.
  • Rework the character art. We're looking to hire a character artist to create new characters. We have not decided which style we want to go for yet, but we are leaning toward a gritty cartoon style and away from anime. We'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments!
  • Improved sound FX and completely custom music tracks. We are already working with new musicians to create custom music for Eterium. We'd also like to be able to improve the sound effects as well.
  • Detailed flight manual with ships stats, pilot biographies and tips for playing the game all told from the perspective of the characters in the game.

Stretch Goals

There are many additional things we'd like to do for Eterium that we simply cannot budget under the amount we are asking for.  $25,000 is the bare minimum that we need to complete the project and get the game in your hands.  But if we earn beyond our goal, we'll have additional funding to support:

$50,000 (add 2 months to estimated release)

  • Fully voiced dialog both during cinematics and in-flight gameplay.
  • Earn in-game medals for outstanding performance.
  • Improved joystick support and performance, including support for foot pedals.
  • 3rd person view.
  • In-flight power and shield allocation
  • Customizable missile load-outs (later missions)

$75,000 (add 2 more months to estimated release)

  • Branching storyline.  With a branching storyline, your success in the missions effects the story and the outcome of the game!
  • Full Oculus Rift Support with head tracking and 360 degree cockpits.
  • Advanced camera controls including target-lock and looking around the cockpit.

The Beta Program

Those of you who sign up for the beta program will be helping us out tremendously by playing the game while we develop it. You'll be able to work directly with us to help us balance the game and tweak the missions and story so that we can provide the best experience possible. Those who sign up for the beta program will get their beta copy as soon as the kickstarter campaign ends. The beta version of the game you get, will not be complete. You will get about 30 playable missions at first, but as we work on the game you will receive regular updates to the beta version. That way you will be able to see the game evolve and be part of the decision process every time we add a new mission or change how a certain ship handles.

Stay up to date at our Developer Blog.

Add-ons

To get add-ons please pledge the amount listed below in addition to your current selected reward tier.  Send me a private message with which add-on(s) you would like and I will take note of it.

All Tiers: 

  • Add: $5 - Add 2 Exclusive digital wallpapers (included in the $35 tier)
  • Add: $5 - Add a high resolution digital poster (ideal for printing) (included in the $50 tier)
  • Add: $10 - Add a digital sound track (mp3 format) (included in the $60 tier)
  • Add: $15 - A second digital copy of the game for family or a friend.
Physical Tiers Only:
  • Add: $15 - Physical copy of the Sound Track 
  •  Add: $25 - An additional physical copy of the game.
(Outside US, please add $5 per physical item for shipping)

Risks and challenges

One of the reasons we held off so long on doing a kickstarter is because we wanted to have a demo that you could play before helping fund this project. While we still have a long way to go to produce Eterium, the risky stage is behind is. The challenges that remain are those of improving upon the game from where it stands now and ensuring that it runs on the widest array of systems. You can help as with both aspects by joining our community, trying out the demo and playing the beta. Those at First Lieutenant Reward level and above will be playing the beta as soon as our campaign has succeeded.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Vote for us on Steam Greenlight and hopefully we'll get on steam!
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/…

    Last updated:
  • There will not be any multiplayer. We are a small development team and would like to focus all our effort on making Eterium a great single player experience.

    Last updated:
  • Of course! Eterium supports joysticks and the xbox controller. Either is ideal for experiencing Eterium. It is also possible to play with a mouse and keyboard.

    Last updated:
  • We are currently working on limited Oculus Rift support. We have our Oculus dev kit and the game up and running in 3D on the Oculus! Head tracking is not currently planned because it would require us to redo all the cockpit art. However we are discussing the possibility of adding this as a stretch goal.

    Last updated:
  • Eterium was built on the XNA framework which means that it can run on Windows only. We have been researching the possibility of porting to monogame, which would open the possibility for cross platform support. But we don't want to spread ourselves too thin at this time, so we are going to concentrate on the PC version first. If there is enough demand we can look into a Mac/Linux version down the road.

    Last updated:
  • Yes we want to and intend to keep Eterium DRM-free!

    Last updated:
  • Yes, Eterium will be available on platforms other than Steam.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    12 backers

    We appreciate all the help we can get, and we'll list you under the thanks credits of the game

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    503 backers Limited (497 left of 1000)

    Spaceman:

    Early Adopter. Get a downloadable copy of the game the day it is released!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    38 backers

    Second Lieutenant:

    The Game! Get a downloadable copy of the game the day it is released!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    165 backers

    First Lieutenant:

    Join the Beta program: receive regular beta updates while the game is being developed. Help us shape the game by play testing and giving your feedback on the current and new features. You will also receive a downloadable copy of the game the day it is released!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    15 backers

    Captain:
    Two exclusive 2560x1600 digital desktop wallpapers and a Blue Knight Squadron sew-on patch + all previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    30 backers

    Just the Game: You'll get physical copy of the game in a DVD-style case and a digital copy on release.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    20 backers

    Major:

    A digital high resolution Eterium Poster and an exclusive Eterium t-shirt + all previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    11 backers

    Lt. Colonel:

    Digital copy of the sound track and a UEA Canopus sew-on patch + all previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    18 backers

    Colonel:

    Physical copy of the game and soundtrack + all previous rewards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $95 or more

    24 backers

    Brigadier General:

    An exclusive Eterium hoodie and a physical 20x30 Eterium poster + all previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $220 or more

    8 backers

    Major General:

    3D Printed Sagaris Medium Fighter, Battle of Procyon sew-on patch and Battle of Vega sew-on patch + all previous rewards,

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    Lieutenant General:

    Be a pilot! Your name in the game as one of the pilots you'll fly with, plus you get to come up with a callsign (Please keep it tasteful, developers have final approval on all names). You'll also get all previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)