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$19,568 pledged of $75,000 goal
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By Gunpowder Games
$19,568 pledged of $75,000 goal
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About

 

Grim fantasy and magic combine with thunderous naval combat in a vibrant, monster-saturated world!

Captain an Orc, Dwarf or Human warship and sail the turbulent Abyssal Ocean to tackle single player campaign challenges or play online battle royale based multiplayer, solo or with friends, in free for all or squad based matches. Maelstrom is a third person action strategy PC title created by developers from the Warhammer: Dawn of War series, Company of Heroes, League of Legends, Overwatch and more.

We've built Maelstrom around fast, tactical, ship-to-ship combat that captures the pounding core of cannon-based naval warfare and then adds magic to the mix. Our gameplay revolves around intuitive mechanics, arcade-style combat over sim-like realism and an emphasis on accessibility.

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FIRE THE CANNONS! Cannons are the center of naval combat in the world of Maelstrom. Cannonballs are physics controlled, with a significant firing arc and hang time, meaning prediction and good aim is necessary 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. Grapples will be cut eventually, so boarding actions only last a short time. If a crew manages to kill all of the opposing crew, they will set fire to the enemy ship, sending it to the depths!

RAMMING If all else fails you can use the most basic of tactics and ram your opponent! The faster the ship is moving the more devastating the damage will be on impact.

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 obliterate enemy sails at mid range, and short range shotgun-like grapeshot will slaughter enemy crew.

Gorger has taken alot of damage on her aft (rear). Smoke indicates which side of a ship is vulnerable!
Gorger has taken alot of damage on her aft (rear). Smoke indicates which side of a ship is vulnerable!

 ARMOR AND POSITIONAL DAMAGE Each ship has 4 "quadrants" of armor - fore, aft, port and starboard. These armor sections serve as additional health toward damage coming from that direction and must be destroyed before the ship's hull can be damaged. Maneuvering smartly to keep strong armor between you and your enemy is vital to staying alive - and seeking the enemy's unprotected or weakened sides will make you much more deadly in combat!

 

HUMANS When the Catastrophe caused the waters to rise, mankind was the quickest to adapt. Controlling most of the few remaining great forested peaks, the Phoenix Empire crafts swift, advanced sailing ships armed to the teeth with cannons. 

The well designed ships of mankind are the fastest afloat. Each ship is armed with a large number of the most modern cannons available, giving them unmatched range and broadside firepower.

DWARVES Living underground proved disastrous for the dwarves when the seas overtook the world. Survivors took to huge floating cities of iron, and to a religious belief that they shall one day become and imperium.

Dwarves disdain pithy wood and flimsy sail, instead forging great armored steamships. Dwarven steamships can withstand far more punishment than the ships of other races and are armed with massive heavy cannons on all sides. Though slow, all their ships can switch gears and sail in reverse.

 

ORCS The hardy orcs lost much of what they knew in the Catastrophe, but recovered to become a flourishing, if anarchic, society. The orcs' islands are home to many deadly monsters and the orcs have learned to live with them - taming great sharks to pull their ships and using the bones and hide of massive beasts to build them.

The orcs' 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.

Each ship in Maelstrom is a character with a deep history and unique gameplay strengths and weaknesses such as maneuverability, firepower, crew capacity, profile, and toughness. There are many unique ships are available for players to unlock. Below are just a few examples.

Ships fit into one of three classes; Sloops are agile cutters and destroyers, they have the highest speed and maneuverability at the expense of toughness. Frigates are ships built for combat, they have the highest firepower and a good balance of speed and resilience. Battleships are fortresses on the sea, they carry the largest crews and can withstand the most punishment.

Cleaver was the Flagship of the late orc pirate lord Brang. This sloop's unique forward-firing grappling hooks and cannons combined with the highest maneuverability of any ship afloat make it deadly in the hands of an expert captain.

Ashborne is a notorious human ship-of-the-line; famed as cursed - any who captain it invariably meet a swift and untimely demise. Overloaded with the best imperial cannons, Ashborne is capable of turning any ship into flotsam with merely a few of her titanic broadsides.

Stormanchor is a massive dwarven-forged hulk of metal, boasting more armor than any ship on the seas. Its cannons are equally deadly in all directions, allowing it to serve as a floating fortress that can withstand entire enemy fleets.

UNLOCKING SHIPS
Unlock each ship by completing a series of single player challenge missions. These are engaging special missions created entirely to showcase the ship's strengths so when the time comes to captain it in a real fight players will have a good understanding of their ship's capacity.

Maelstrom has deep progression and customization systems, encouraging players to mark their personal stamp on each ship they own. Each race has access to unique ship upgrades known as hardpoints. Hardpoints let you create different play styles for each ship rather than being strict upgrades. Captains and mates further strengthen the customization.

For example; here are two vastly different play style kits for the exact same human frigate Ashborne:

 

VISUAL CUSTOMIZATION
We’ll also get as many of the high profile physical upgrades that we can on ships when players upgrade them such as sails, armor, flags, warpaint, figureheads and more!

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

 

Once you've selected your ship and equipped it with hardpoints, it's time to choose a crew - starting with a captain. You can enlist a number of legendary captains for each race.

Captain Shale summons her phoenix to burn the air and inspire her allies!
Captain Shale summons her phoenix to burn the air and inspire her allies!

 

Dwarf Captain Barhollow's torpedoes are capable of sinking enemies from leagues away!
Dwarf Captain Barhollow's torpedoes are capable of sinking enemies from leagues away!

Each captain brings their own unique personality to ship combat in the form of a special ability known as a captain's trick. These abilities provide a host of new tactics and strategies you can bring to battle. Hire Knight-Admiral Harrowfell for devastating, long range Flare Gunpowder - or Princess-Captain Morrigan Shale for the speed she brings with her awe-inspiring Phoenix Wake?

Just a few examples of mates from each race, there are tons to collect! Earn mates by completing solo challenges, campaign missions, and multiplayer.
Just a few examples of mates from each race, there are tons to collect! Earn mates by completing solo challenges, campaign missions, and multiplayer.

In addition to the captain, players can crew their ship with mates, each bringing their own bonuses to the table. Do you want to survive in the face of devastating firepower? You'll need a good carpenter, a tough bosun and maybe a surgeon for the crew. Looking instead to avoid being hit altogether? Bring along a wily navigator, skilled helmsman and sharp lookout.

Each race has more than ten types of mates ranging from quartermaster all the way to the cook! Mates are procedurally generated: Ranging from common to legendary in rarity. No two mates are alike or equally skilled in all areas.  There are tons of combinations and strategies to explore. Crew your ships with the best mates you can get, and seek out those that support your chosen playstyle! Mates are earned by completing challenges, campaigns or multiplayer matches.

The oceans of Maelstrom are chaotic and dangerous. Navigating the volatile seas has its own challenges and opportunities. Maelstroms, currents, fog banks and ill-tempered Leviathans add extra layers of strategic depth and maneuvering. Will you avoid the chaos of the deep ocean, or embrace its fickle nature and bend her to your will!

 


Maelstrom is the story of a world trying to save itself from the ever-encroaching forces threatening to submerge and drown what little land remains...

The world was once a normal world where various societies thrived, schemed and warred. Then, suddenly, the world was struck by the Great Catastrophe: mountains crumbled, the ground shook, cities collapsed - and the oceans rose and rose. Soon the waters flooded nearly all the land, leaving those who survived to rebuild on the scattered islands.

Ages have passed since the Catastrophe and kingdoms and empires have arisen, fighting over the scarce remaining resources with mighty navies. The human kingdoms, the orc confederacy, the floating cities of the dwarves and many more stake their claims in battle on the high seas.

But the waves themselves hold other mysterious dangers - massive, strange sea monsters haunt the deep waters and those who die at sea rise from the dead as Drowned. Deadly storms and maelstroms arise abruptly, threatening even the stoutest ships. And the true cause of the Catastrophe remains a mystery...

STORY CAMPAIGN
A multi-chaptered story explores the Abyssal Ocean with characters such as grizzled Knight-Admiral Harrowfel, orc Sorcerer-Queen Fade Morrowtooth and hot-headed dwarven Captain Anvil Barhollow. A professionally narrated and voice acted single player story campaign entwines an intriguing cast of characters and ships and paints the picture of Maelstrom's beleaguered world, rife with battle, betrayal and brine as well as mysteries that, up until now, have remained unsolved.

  • Lead the Phoenix fleet at the battle of Bonegrit Harbor
  • Blast a hole through a Stormlord blockade and set events in motion that shape the future
  • Speak with the Brinemaw Leviathan... gain his aid, for a price of course...

 

 

 

Gunpowder Games is a mix of industry veterans and talented new developers based in southern California. As a group we've worked on numerous AAA titles, including many of the biggest PC gaming properties out there.

We're here on Kickstarter asking for your help to get this leviathan of a game into a public alpha phase on Steam Early Access! Funds generated here go directly back in to Maelstrom development.

Maelstrom is in an alpha state and we need some help with the final development push. Multiplayer is currently very stable and single player content is well underway. But we still have a lot of content to finish, visuals to polish and audio to add. Specifically, we want to create a story campaign to color the world and it's heroes, hire professional voice actors to make the captains and crew come to life and make every ship customization visible on the ship. With your help we can get there so much faster.

We built Maelstrom with Epic Games' incredible Unreal Engine 4 as it allows us to rapidly prototype and iterate, delivers realistic physics and high fidelity visuals all while running an optimized game across a variety of platforms.

We promise to do our part to get Maelstrom into your hands 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 playerbase likes and doesn't. And most importantly, to honor the faith and trust you've placed in us.

We would love your support to help Maelstrom reach its full potential and we have titanic plans for the future. If we achieve our initial funding goal expect new goals with more monsters, new races, more ships and captains, more campaigns and features! All funds raised here will be reinvested into making Maelstrom bigger and better and will get us to Steam Early Access much faster.

All of us at Gunpowder Games are heavily invested in Maelstrom - in time, our own finance and most importantly our love of this game. We will do whatever it takes to get it into the hands of our backers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

Financial Risk: We have heavily invested in Maelstrom ourselves, and are fully prepared to do whatever is necessary to reach completion. We saved prior to starting development so we could have the chance to make the game that we wanted to make. We wouldn't be asking for support if we didn't already have skin in the game. We can do it with your help!

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 plan to release the game on Steam Early Access soon after this Kickstart Campaign completes. So if the final completion date moves, backers still get hands-on with the game long before.

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

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  1. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Tier I (Primal Backer) Copy of Maelstrom

    As one of our earliest backers you'll receive a digital copy way below launch price and gain early access on Steam to our Alpha and Beta testing the second it's available.

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    • Early Access to all Alpha and Beta testing
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    Tier I - Copy of Maelstrom

    Thanks for helping us out! For backing, you'll receive a digital copy below launch price and gain early access on Steam to our Alpha and Beta testing the second it's available.

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    Tier III (Primal Backer) Maelstrom Duo!

    As one of our earliest backers you'll receive a digital copy way below launch price and a second copy to share with a friend, complete with access to all Alpha and Beta tests for both as soon as they're available.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Additional BONUS copy for a friend
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    Tier II - Maelstrom Duo!

    You'll receive a digital copy way below launch price and a second copy to share with a friend, complete with access to all Alpha and Beta tests for both as soon as they're available.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Additional BONUS copy for a friend
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    Tier III - Humans, Phoenix Empire bundle

    Who doesn't love conflagration, tall hats and large numbers of cannons? This bundle is for those who are interested in the human Phoenix Empire faction. Those who back us at this tier will get special Kickstarter-exclusive content for the Phoenix Empire as well as the ability to name one of the human NPC's!

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

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Early Access to all Alpha and Beta testing
    • 'Founder' Credit
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Ashborne' Elite Human Frigate
    • Human Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Rare Human Crewmates
    • Create a name for the Human NPC pool (subject to approval)
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    Tier III - Orcs, Pirate Lords bundle

    Bring the fight to the enemy with vicious infighting and bloodthirsty sharks! This bundle is for those who are interested in the orc Pirate Lords faction. Those who back us at this tier will get special Kickstarter-exclusive content for the Pirate Lords as well as the ability to name one of the orc NPC's!

    Provides exclusive access to the fearsome in-game elite skin for the frigate Bloodfin and an orc captain with unique alternate art. We'll also give you a rare crew of ferocious mates to help sail her!

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Early Access to all Alpha and Beta testing
    • 'Founder' Credit
    • Orc Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Bloodfin' Elite Orc Frigate
    • Rare Orc Crewmates
    • Create a name for the Orc NPC pool (subject to approval)
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    Tier III - Dwarves, Steamborn bundle

    Outlast the opposition with sturdy armor and advanced technology! This bundle is for those who are interested in the Dwarf Steamborn faction. Those who back us at this tier will get special Kickstarter-exclusive content for the Steamborn as well as the ability to name one of the Dwarven NPC's!

    Comes with an exlcusive elite skin for the stalwart frigate Thunderhead as well as a dwarven captain with exclusive alternate art. We'll also give you a rare crew of surly Dwarf mates to help pilot your new vessel!

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Early Access to all Alpha and Beta testing
    • 'Founder' Credit
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Thunderhead' Dwarven Elite Frigate
    • Dwarven Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Rare Dwarven Crewmates
    • Create a name for the Dwarf NPC pool (subject to approval)
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    Tier IV - All Races bundle

    Can't decide which race you like best, or just want all the exclusive skins? This bundle gives access to all the Tier III bundles with all of their exclusive content!

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Early Access to all Alpha and Beta testing
    • 'Founder' Credit
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Ashborne' Elite Human Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Bloodfin' Elite Orc Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Thunderhead' Dwarven Elite Frigate
    • Human Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Dwarven Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Orc Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Rare Human Crewmates
    • Rare Orc Crewmates
    • Rare Dwarven Crewmates
    • Name a Human Orc and Dwarf for the NPC pool (subject to approval)
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    Tier V - Become a Crewmate!

    For those who want to become a part of the game!

    This bundle includes all items from previous tiers. In addition, you will be immortalized in the game by our artists! Your likeness will be transformed into one of the crewmates from the three races, which players will be able to acquire!

    Includes:
    • Your likeness in-game as a Crewmate!
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Early Access to all Alpha and Beta testing
    • 'Founder' Credit
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Ashborne' Elite Human Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Bloodfin' Elite Orc Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Thunderhead' Dwarven Elite Frigate
    • Human Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Orc Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Dwarven Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Rare Human Crewmates
    • Rare Orc Crewmates
    • Rare Dwarven Crewmates
    • Name a Human Orc and Dwarf for the NPC pool (subject to approval)
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    Tier VI - A Model Ship

    For those who want to hold a part of the game in their hands!

    All backers at this level will receive a 10" EXCLUSIVE 1/350th scale, hand-painted, physical model of the behemoth human battleship 'Fury's Hold'. This unique model will only be available to our Kickstarter backers! Worldwide shipping included.

    In addition, you will get all rewards from Tier III as well as 5 copies of the game with early access so you can assemble a gang of friends to take to the waves!

    Includes:
    • Exclusive 10" hand painted model 1:350 - Battleship 'Fury's Hold'
    • Founder credit + Special Thanks in the Game!
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Early Access to all Alpha and Beta testing
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Ashborne' Elite Human Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Bloodfin' Elite Orc Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Thunderhead' Dwarven Elite Frigate
    • Human Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Orc Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Dwarven Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Rare Human Crewmates
    • Rare Orc Crewmates
    • Rare Dwarven Crewmates
    • Name a Human Orc and Dwarf for the NPC pool (subject to approval)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Tier VII - Create and become a Captain!

    Thanks so much for your support! We're honored by your excitement for Maelstrom.

    At this level, you will have an opportunity to make your mark on the game! Work with our artists to bring your likeness into the game as a mighty ship's captain. What's more, you can collaborate with our designers on that Captain's backstory and gameplay! You'll also receive a special mounted print of your Captain to display.

    In addition to the above, this bundle contains all the items available in Tier VI, including the exclusive hand-painted model of Fury's Hold.

    Includes:
    • Your likeness immortalized in game as a mighty Captain!
    • Work with Gunpowder Games on the design of the Captain!
    • Mounted Print as Captain
    • Exclusive 10" hand painted model 1:350 - Battleship 'Fury's Hold'
    • Founder credit + Special Thanks in the Game!
    • 'Founder' Credit
    • Digital copy of Maelstrom
    • Early Access to all Alpha and Beta testing
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Ashborne' Elite Human Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Bloodfin' Elite Orc Frigate
    • EXCLUSIVE SKIN: 'Thunderhead' Dwarven Elite Frigate
    • Human Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Orc Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Dwarven Captain with EXCLUSIVE alternate art
    • Rare Human Crewmates
    • Rare Orc Crewmates
    • Rare Dwarven Crewmates
    • Name a Human Orc and Dwarf for the NPC pool (subject to approval)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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Funding period

- (26 days)