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Grim fantasy combines with thunderous naval combat in a vibrant, monster-saturated world!
Grim fantasy combines with thunderous naval combat in a vibrant, monster-saturated world!
Grim fantasy combines with thunderous naval combat in a vibrant, monster-saturated world!
410 backers pledged $16,163 to help bring this project to life.

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Maelstrom - Monstrous Fantasy Naval Combat!

$16,163

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Maelstrom is a drowning world. Oceans have risen until only what were once the highest peaks remain above water.

Habitable land is incredibly precious to the feuding races, and massive bounties are paid to captains able to protect a territory from rival vessels that seek to plunder their claim.

And while warring kingdoms take turns delivering souls to the Abyss over the smallest specks of land, the depths hold other perils - massive, violent monsters lurk and hunt in what are known as ‘Dead Waters’.

Maelstrom is a world on the brink, yet there are still a few souls that resist the tidal force threatening to extinguish what remains…

Maelstrom is a third-person action strategy game with fast-paced, tactical, ship-vs-ship combat, customization, progression and a focus on multiplayer.

Players command Orc, Dwarf or Human warships, sailing the turbulent Abyssal Ocean and play online, last-ship-sailing multiplayer matches, solo or with friends. Gameplay revolves around easy-to-learn mechanics and arcade-style combat instead of simulation heavy realism and an emphasis on action and moment to moment choices…

Maelstrom is being created by veteran game developers from Warhammer: Dawn of War I & II, Company of Heroes, League of Legends, Overwatch and many more...

Maelstrom is currently being developed for Windows on PC, with plans for Mac and Linux support in the future.

While the multiplayer is very stable, we still have content to finish: maps to implement, visuals to polish, animation, audio and voice actors to bring the captains and mates to life, as well as giving the ships visual customization. All funds generated here go directly to developing these goals for Maelstrom.

Maelstrom is in a solid, late-alpha state. We’re excited to share it, gather and utilize your feedback and help with the final development push on to Steam Early Access.

Come play this weekend!

All backers gain access to private playtest sessions that will occur every weekend of this Kickstarter! These playtests are critical and are a big reason we're here as they help us connect with seriously interested players as well as aiding us in key areas:

  • Game balance
  • Vetting new features and content
  • Gaining valuable feedback from backers
  • Finding and crushing pesky bugs

After each playtest session there will be a round of feedback and a postmortem to cover any issues and changes planned for the next playtest.

Maelstrom will launch on Steam Early Access in April, 2018 after the conclusion of this Kickstarter. More info below with our Development Road Map!

KEY FEATURES:

  • Fast-paced naval combat
  • Fantasy warships from Orcs, Dwarves & Humans
  • Ship vs Ship: Cannons, Boarding and Ramming
  • Armor and Positional damage
  • Last-Ship-Sailing 'Cutthroat' game mode
  • Lurking Sea Monsters waiting to strike!

CUTTHROAT - Maelstrom's main game mode is a last-ship-sailing cutthroat game mode. Players claim treasure and upgrades scattered around the map while sinking enemies and trying to avoid becoming fish food for sea monsters! Players upgrade their ship with rewards from bounties claimed, loot collected, and their ability to survive. Players can play solo, against bots, or (coming very soon) with teams.

Ashborne ignites an Orc battleship with incendiary rounds!
Ashborne ignites an Orc battleship with incendiary rounds!

CANNONS! - Cannons are the center of naval combat in the world of Maelstrom. Cannonballs are physics controlled, with a firing arc and hang time. Prediction and good aim are crucial to deal damage effectively. On the receiving end, players with good reactions and anticipation coupled with a nimble ship can dodge incoming fire.

BOARDING - Every ship is packed with a lively and dangerous crew equipped with grappling hooks. Enemy ships can be grappled and boarded, holding both ships in place while crews fight it out. If a crew manages to kill all of the opposing crew, they will set fire to the enemy ship, sending it to the depths!

The Orc Battleship 'Gorger' has brutal boarding capabilities.
The Orc Battleship 'Gorger' has brutal boarding capabilities.

RAMMING - Rambunctious players can use the most basic of tactics and ram enemy vessels! The faster the ship is moving the more devastating the damage on impact. Orc ships thrive on this tactic then follow up with a savage boarding action.

Bloodfin slams into Thunderhead, nearly splitting her in two.
Bloodfin slams into Thunderhead, nearly splitting her in two.

AMMO TYPES - Every cannon has access to three kinds of ammunition and can swap during combat to suit the situation. Iron shot flies the fastest and furthest, and blasts chunks out of the enemy's armor and hull. Chain shot can be used to shred enemy sails at mid range, and short range shotgun-like Grape shot will slaughter enemy crew.

ARMOR AND POSITIONAL DAMAGE - Each ship has four "quadrants" of armor - fore, aft, port and starboard. These armor sections defend against damage coming from that direction and must be destroyed before the ship's hull can be damaged. Maneuvering to keep strong armor between your ship and the enemies cannonballs is vital to staying alive - Always seek the enemy's unprotected or weakened sides to become deadly effective in the hunt!

Gorger has taken heavy damage to her sails and starboard side. HUD elements and smoke indicate where a ship's armor is weakest.
Gorger has taken heavy damage to her sails and starboard side. HUD elements and smoke indicate where a ship's armor is weakest.

MONSTERS AND DEAD WATERS - Sensing battle and tasting blood in the water, gargantuan horrors called Murkwater Thrashers will begin their hunt. Waters these sea beasts occupy turn an inky black and are referred to as 'Dead Waters'. Avoid Dead Waters at all costs as Thrashers will devour a battleship in one crushing bite!

Ships caught sailing in dead waters become a snack for Murkwater Thrashers.
Ships caught sailing in dead waters become a snack for Murkwater Thrashers.

A LIVING SEA - The Abyssal ocean is violent and unforgiving, yet savvy captains can bend it’s cruelty to their will.

A Maelstrom's outer area can aid a ship's speed, but avoid the center!
A Maelstrom's outer area can aid a ship's speed, but avoid the center!

Maelstroms are a constant vortex of ship crushing might, but with skill they can be navigated. Wild currents will accelerate a ship well beyond normal speed capabilities, but care must be taken not to be hurtled into rocks. Thick fog banks provide cover to hide in, providing chances for ambush!

LOOT - Most ships carry a small fortune in gold and powerful magical upgrades, known as Boons, making them a ripe prize. By sinking and plundering them captains can accumulate wealth and power beyond measure... just remember that other captains have the same goal!

Be greedy! Power and wealth are rewards for the ruthless.
Be greedy! Power and wealth are rewards for the ruthless.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER - Even though power and utility are derived from upgrades and customization, a player's true ability to succeed lies in their ability to take advantage of existing situations or create new ones, their understanding of the game systems, positional awareness, and an ability to outsmart others via a mixture of cunning, combat or stealth.

MORE THAN A SHIP - Each ship in Maelstrom is a character with a deep history and unique playstyle that players can further customize and exploit. All ships have strengths and weaknesses like maneuverability, firepower, crew strength, profile, and toughness. There are many ships  available for players to unlock and explore with many more planned for the future!

Each ship allows multiple unique playstyles.
Each ship allows multiple unique playstyles.
The Phoenix Empire’s navy wields swift, advanced sailing ships armed to the teeth with powerful cannons. Each ship is armed with a large number of the most modern cannons available, giving them unmatched range and broadside firepower.
The Phoenix Empire’s navy wields swift, advanced sailing ships armed to the teeth with powerful cannons. Each ship is armed with a large number of the most modern cannons available, giving them unmatched range and broadside firepower.
The Steamborn Dwarves ships boast massive plates of armor that withstand far more punishment than the ships of other races and are armed with massive cannons on all sides. Though ponderous and slow, all Dwarven ships can switch gears and sail in reverse!
The Steamborn Dwarves ships boast massive plates of armor that withstand far more punishment than the ships of other races and are armed with massive cannons on all sides. Though ponderous and slow, all Dwarven ships can switch gears and sail in reverse!
The Orc Pirate Lords shark-driven ships are incredibly maneuverable and have a large number of forward-facing cannons making them deadly on the pursuit. The orcs themselves are ferocious fighters, unmatched in close combat during boarding actions.
The Orc Pirate Lords shark-driven ships are incredibly maneuverable and have a large number of forward-facing cannons making them deadly on the pursuit. The orcs themselves are ferocious fighters, unmatched in close combat during boarding actions.

We have many more races and ships planned such as the Undead, Goblins, Elves, and Ogres. This is just the beginning!

 

CAPTAINS are magic wielding leaders that bring powerful, unique abilities to any ship they’re assigned to. These abilities, known as 'Captain's Tricks' provide new tactics and another layer of depth.

Captains are loaded with personality, lore, and cunning tricks!
Captains are loaded with personality, lore, and cunning tricks!
Captain Flint Brinetide's trick blasts enemies into rocks and deals heavy sail damage.
Captain Flint Brinetide's trick blasts enemies into rocks and deals heavy sail damage.
Dwarven ships are notoriously tough to crack, and Captain Gravelbarr's shield doesn't make it any easier.
Dwarven ships are notoriously tough to crack, and Captain Gravelbarr's shield doesn't make it any easier.

MATES - Mates add a further layer of customization to a ship, with each mate specializing in a certain area that can shore up a ship's weaknesses or boost a strength into overwhelming force!

Just a few examples of mates from each race - there are tons to find and collect!
Just a few examples of mates from each race - there are tons to find and collect!

Each race has more than ten types of mate ranging from quartermaster all the way to the cook. Ships can bring only three mates to battle, so choose wisely! Mates are procedurally generated and range from common to legendary in rarity. No two mates are alike or equally skilled in all areas.

HARDPOINTS - Each ship contains upgrades known as hardpoints. Hardpoints let players create different play styles for each ship. Captains and mates further strengthen the customization.

Two vastly different play style loadouts for the human frigate, Ashborne.
Two vastly different play style loadouts for the human frigate, Ashborne.

VISUAL UPGRADES - Sails, armor, flags, warpaint, figureheads are in the works so players can visually customize their ships!

Orc battleship Gorger showcasing visuals for before and after upgrading.
Orc battleship Gorger showcasing visuals for before and after upgrading.

NO PAY-TO-WIN - Maelstrom is a self-contained game. There are no loot crates, no external monetization pay-to-win methods, no accelerators. All upgrades, captains and mates are earned as rewards from playing the game.

In the future, expansions or DLC releases that contain new races and ships will be optional content players can purchase but will not be required to enjoy the game they already own. Future maps will be available to all players and they will be able to play against DLC, even if they don't own it.

Gunpowder Games is a comprised of industry veterans and talented developers based in southern California. As a group we've worked on numerous AAA titles, including many well loved PC gaming properties.

We've built Maelstrom with Epic Games' incredible Unreal Engine 4 as it allows us to rapidly prototype and iterate, delivers high fidelity visuals and stability. Last August Maelstrom was awarded the prestigious Unreal Development Grant!

We want Maelstrom to reach its full potential and we have titanic future plans! If we achieve our funding goal expect new goals with more monsters, races, ships, captains, and features! All funds raised on Kickstarter will make Maelstrom bigger and better that much faster!

We promise to get Maelstrom into the hands of players in a fully playable and fun state and to keep the game healthy. To provide transparency and insight into decisions made about Maelstrom at all levels both vast and granular. To listen and react to what the player base likes and doesn't like. And most importantly, to honor the faith and trust you've placed in us.

All of us at Gunpowder Games are heavily invested in Maelstrom - in time, our own finances and most importantly our love of this game!

Risks and challenges

Making a game is never an easy undertaking, and developers have to deal with a variety of risks. Here's how we are dealing with each:

Schedule: The completion date for the game is an estimate based upon our experience creating similar game projects in the past. Should some features take longer than expected to implement, there is a chance that the completion date will slip. If we feel this is necessary for the good of the game, we promise to be transparent about any date changes and keep backers informed along the way.

We will release the game on Steam Early Access after this Kickstarter Campaign ends in April, 2018. If the final completion date moves, backers will still get hands-on with the game long before that.

Thank you for backing us and joining us on this journey. See you on the Abyssal Ocean!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Tier I - Copy of Maelstrom + Playtests

    Backers will receive a digital copy of Maelstrom at a bargain price, gain upcoming Early Access on Steam, and access to backer-only PLAYTESTS on WEEKENDS of this campaign.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Early Access on Steam
    • Backer playtest access, on weekends of this campaign
    • 'Founder' Credit
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    163 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Tier II - Maelstrom Duo + Playtests

    Backers will receive TWO digital copies of Maelstrom at a bargain price, both gain upcoming Early Access on Steam, and both gain access to backer-only PLAYTESTS on WEEKENDS of this campaign.

    Includes:
    • 2x Digital copies of Maelstrom
    • 2x Early Access on Steam
    • 2x Backer playtest access, on weekends of this campaign
    • 'Founder' Credit
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    Estimated delivery
    34 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Tier III - Humans, Phoenix Empire bundle

    Backers at this tier will get special Kickstarter-exclusive content for the Phoenix Empire and be able to create a name for the human NPC name pool!

    Comes with the exclusive in-game elite skin for the Phoenix Empire frigate 'Ashborne'. You'll also start the game with a rare crew of skilled mates to help sail her!

    Includes:
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Ashborne' Elite Human Frigate
    • 3x Rare Human mates
    • 2x Digital copies of Maelstrom
    • 2x Early Access on Steam
    • 2x Backer playtest access, on weekends of this campaign
    • 'Founder' Credit + Exclusive in-game name color
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    Estimated delivery
    44 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Tier III - Steamborn Dwarves bundle

    Backers at this tier will get special Kickstarter-exclusive content for the Steamborn Dwarves and be able to create a name for the dwarf NPC name pool!

    Comes with the exclusive in-game elite skin for the Steamborn Dwarf frigate 'Thunderhead'. You'll also start the game with a rare crew of skilled mates to help sail her!

    Includes:
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Thunderhead', Elite Dwarven Frigate
    • 3x Rare Dwarven mates
    • 2x Digital copies of Maelstrom
    • 2x Early Access on Steam
    • 2x Backer playtest access, on weekends of this campaign
    • 'Founder' Credit + Exclusive in-game name color
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    18 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Tier III - Orc Pirate Lords bundle

    Backers at this tier will get special Kickstarter-exclusive content for the Orc Pirate Lords and be able to create a name for the orc NPC name pool!

    Comes with the exclusive in-game elite skin for the Orc Pirate frigate 'Bloodfin'. You'll also start the game with a rare crew of skilled mates to help sail her!

    Includes:
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Bloodfin', Elite Orc Frigate
    • 3x Rare Orc mates
    • 2x Digital copies of Maelstrom
    • 2x Early Access on Steam
    • 2x Backer playtest access, on weekends of this campaign
    • 'Founder' Credit + Exclusive in-game name color
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    35 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Tier IV - Admiral's bundle

    This bundle grants ALL Tier III bundles with all of their exclusive content + name an NPC from the race of your choosing!

    Includes:
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Ashborne' Elite Human Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Thunderhead', Elite Dwarven Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Bloodfin', Elite Orc Frigate
    • 3x Rare Human mates
    • 3x Rare Dwarven mates
    • 3x Rare Orc mates
    • Add a name to the Human, Dwarf or Orc NPC pool (choose one)
    • 2x Digital copies of Maelstrom
    • 2x Early Access on Steam
    • 2x Backer playtest access, on weekends of this campaign
    • 'Founder' Credit + Exclusive in-game name color
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    66 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Tier V - Royal Admiral's bundle

    This bundle grants everything from Tier IV, plus an exclusive, physical concept art book, and digital copy of the Maelstrom musical soundtrack.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive, physical concept art book. Ships Q4 of 2018.
    • Maelstrom digital soundtrack. Available Q4 2018.
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Ashborne' Elite Human Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Thunderhead', Elite Dwarven Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Bloodfin', Elite Orc Frigate
    • 3x Rare Human mates
    • 3x Rare Dwarven mates
    • 3x Rare Orc mates
    • Create a name for the Human NPC pool (subject to approval)
    • Create a name for the Dwarven NPC pool (subject to approval)
    • Create a name for the Orc NPC pool (subject to approval)
    • 2x Digital copies of Maelstrom
    • 2x Early Access on Steam
    • 2x Backer playtest access, on weekends of this campaign
    • 'Founder' Credit + Exclusive in-game name color
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    39 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (21 days)