**Update 21 - New Demo! Play it!
**Update 20 - Less than a week to go!
**Update 19 - Pandora's Box Stretch Goal Reached!
**Update 18 - Voice Acting Confirmed!
**Update 17 - Stickers and the Release Schedule
**Update 16 - 16-Bit Soundtrack
**Update 15 - Voice Acting Audition (Backers only)
**Update 14 - Let's Play! (Pt2) and more...
**Update 13 - Housing!
**Update 12 - Name a Guild or Character for Free!
**Update 10 - NEW DEMO! Extended Team!
**Update 9 - Revamped Character Sheets - Opinions?
**Update 7 - New Game +
**Update 6 - Greenlight, PC Gamer, Faces, DJGrandpa
**Update 5 - Lights! Faces! Choices!
**Update 4 - The Tower of Shadows
**Update 3 - Demo Release!
**Update 2 - In the Words of Aerosmith...
**Update 1 - The Paths We Tread
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Kickstarter is amazing! So far, we have successfully funded two titles; Data Hacker Initiation and Fantasyche. The ability to be part of this community is an honour to behold, and the community's reaction to our previous titles has both awed and humbled us.
If you need to pledge via Paypal, rather than Kickstarter, that is indeed possible. Just head over to the Official Website!
A word from the chief 'game guy' : I'm SO SO SOOOO excited and passionate about the Data Hacker series, and Corruption in particular! Hopefully, my enthusiasm shows through, and you guys see fit to want to play this game of ours. I say this with no ego at all- This game is going to be badass. Or, as one fan put it; this game's going to be off the hook! Enjoy.
The Data Hacker Series comprises of three titles: Initiation, Corruption and Reboot.
(Corruption's prequel) was also Kickstarter-funded, and response from fans was amazing, both during funding and after release (suggesting that it did not disappoint!). The game currently has a rating on Desura of 8.6 / 10 (at the time of writing), which is a massive compliment to the game, and a testament to the sheer amount of love and craftsmanship that went into creating it.
Players begin their journey as Jay- a retired hacker. After an ironic case of mistaken identity, Jay is banished from Online World; an online game that serves as a respite from a broken society. Jay’s quest involves a dark narrative, many characters and unexpected twists, but there is much more to come…
The main feature of Initiation was a massive fork in the storyline, dictated by the player’s actions. And now, it is time to continue your chosen path in Corruption.
Don't take our word for it, here's some feedback we received after the game was released:
"I highly recommend! Well done to the developers." - Aldorlea user blitzen
"...far better than a lot of other cut'n'paste - expensive - commercial RM titles, that's for sure. The custom soundtrack is especially enjoyable" - Desura user Sabin1981
"The best thing was that the combat never got boring" - Desura user Lordmalakar
"rich, intelligent and terribly addictive! Do not hesitate" - Desura user Danteros
allows you to load your old save file, complete with your chosen team and choices made, which actually makes Corruption two complete games in one package!
It is your previous decisions that will determine which story, alas, on which side you will stand in the coming war. It is YOUR choices that will decide the fate of the worlds and characters that you have encountered, and will encounter as your journey progresses.
The game's main features include:
- Two COMPLETE stories in one package, with an amassed 40-hours of estimated core play time,
- A much more diverse graphical spectrum, new characters sheets and customised tilesets!
- A well-thought out, darkly twisting narrative,
- Hack monsters and players!
- Dynamic recruitment system,
- Recruit Mission System - Send party members on their own missions while you continue the main story,
- Mature your recruits into more powerful allies!
- Craft hundreds of unique items & equipment, new recruits, evolution items and more...
- Interact with any one of the scores of in-game characters on a dynamic level. Chat, trade, challenge, or even hack them!
- Tons of sidequests to undertake, from 'official game quests' to special player-initiated quests!
- Unique Dungeons! No copy-paste shortcuts.
- Challenging puzzles within each dungeon,
- Plenty of optional content
- Over 100 in-game Achievements,
- Trioarch! An addictive trading-card game
Don't be fooled into thinking that you HAVE to play Initiation. Corruption will stand on its own as a game in itself, although it is recommended that you do play Initiation beforehand.
Doing so will provide you with a great foundation-level knowledge of the events that have led up to this point- the choices made by various parties, and the consequences wrought upon the worlds.
That being said, you're free to begin your journey with Corruption as your starting point, since all game systems will be explained to you (should you require it), and brief recaps of the series' story will also be mentioned during your travels.
And finally, Data Hacker: Reboot.
This game will have an expansive feature list, and will most likely be built on the Unity3D engine.
Due to the nature of distinction between the two engines, Reboot will not feature a save file import system, but will instead introduce a new set of characters following the aftermath of Corruption's climax.
There's little point going into the expansive feature list planned for Reboot, so just rest assured, it's going to be EPIC. And so much fun.
Whilst the narrative is definitely a strong selling point of the game, story alone cannot make a great game. That is why Corruption is crammed full of features and optional content.
Initiation and Corruption share a time-tested turn-based yet somewhat frantic battle system, during which you will find yourself thinking tactically about how to defeat each and every foe you find yourself trading blows with!
Exploration takes place both through dungeon-crawling and town hubs in Online World, and through field exploration in the DigiPlane.This brings the best of both worlds to your gaming experience.
Hacking monsters and other players has a direct influence on how the game plays too. The prolific hacker will find themselves armed with an assortment of 'hacked' recruits; entities that will obey your every command and often 'mature' into even more powerful allies. On the other end of the scale, the less hack-happy player will likely find themselves with a small army of loyal 'player' followers.
While hacking provides a method of recruiting players, it can also be used to 'farm' for unique items and provide a means to unlock hidden areas (much to the chagrin of Online World's administrators!).
Crafting items from materials that have been gathered provides an exploratory method of acquiring not only new items and equipment, but methods of upgrading your teammates. You can either find recipes for crafting, or simply combine random items to see the effects!
The crafting system implemented into Corruption allows you to access hundreds of unique weapons, armour, accessories, restorative items, evolution items and more. Recipes are available for 'base' items, which can then be modified with rarer materials with special effects.
Gathering materials for use in crafting also forms another level of depth and immersion within the game world. Players can shop, hunt monsters, farm seeds, fish and mine for the materials they need to craft any of the hundreds of unique items featured in-game.
There are plans to release two differing versions of Corruption. The Hacker’s Paradise edition will feature exclusive additional content including equipment, characters, locations and battles.
This extended version will not be publically released. Featuring at least two exclusive dungeons, new monsters, challenging bosses and unique equipment, the 'Hacker's Paradise Edition' of Corruption is our way of saying a massive ‘Thank you!’ to those who saw fit to back the campaign, and really help us to grow this game into the best product it can be!
So, to reiterate; this edition is exclusive to Kickstarter!
The Physical Realm
The tangible world in which you and I live (most of the time).
Ravaged by war, the world is in tatters. Though there could be hope, the world is populated primarily by a defeated shadow of a society.
The game world which exists primarily in the servers of 'EPT Corp.' This online video game provides a respite for those living in a post-war shattered shadow of a world.
At the beginning of Initiation, the player is presented with information about players going missing while logged into the game, however most shrug it off as urban legend.
But as the story progresses, it becomes clear that there is something great, and terrible at work behind this addictive game, leading Jay to make tough choices about the path he treads.
Online World (the game world) itself centres around central town hubs, and a series of dungeons and disjointed locations, which are accessed through town Gatestones, inventory Crystones and other kinds of 'keys.'
This provides a semi-linear method of play: Players can choose which dungeons they wish to play next, while being subtly nudged towards the next major plot point.
Online Realm / DigiPlane
A subtle, intangible world which is home to the SilicAI (digital people). It is not clear whether this world existed before the creation of Online World, or whether it sprang to life as a result of it.
The DigiPlane consists of one main metropolis, around which there are colour-coded zones that have been 'tamed.'
There are however, many 'Wild' Zones that have not yet been fully integrated into the world order. The player can work to 'tame' these lands by completing dungeons and puzzles, and defeating the most challenging of foes.
When not engaging in combat in the field, players will find themselves in one of the many towers that form the city of Processon. Each level contains shops, residential and military zones, and just a few secrets...
Do not be fooled! A digital realm such as this follows rules, just like our world. It is just as real, if not more so, than the Physical Realm. You will come to see in time.
A sub-ethyric river of power. To those who know how, this force can be tapped to create, destroy and to link.
A non-place devoid of life as we know it, which exists outside the domain of known worlds. The normal rules do not apply here.
Throughout your journey you will encounter a wide variety of people and other life forms, all of which you can interact with on some level. This could be through the art of combat, chatting, trading, challenging to a card game or even hacking the person to steal their data, there are a myriad ways you can affect the worlds within Corruption.
The Justica were originally a fanatic group of Hacker-haters within the confines of Online World. However, things have progressed somewhat. The Justica have since been rebranded the hunters on account of their new agreement- kill all SilicAI on sight.
Defenders, builders and artists of Online Realm, or the DigiPlane. The SilicAI are borne of the data of players, their physical bodies, and power from the Datastream. They are the culmination of everything that is good about humans; passionate, loyal, obedient, and with few of the frailties such as vengefulness, jealousy, mind degradation and ageing.
Unfortunately, as the skirmishes grow into a full-scale war, less emphasis has been placed on the lives and arts of this people. Hundreds of SilicAI are being lost on the battlefield, and their leader thus (albeit reluctantly) has announced the conscripting of any able fighters.
A world, and a people destined to greatness; reduced to desperation.
Thought to have originated from the NetherLand- a void in which horrors lurk- the Virulea were not a particularly formidable force... until now. They have formed an army, and march with seemingly single objective: to destroy all life.
That being said, the apparent leader of the Virulea is thought to be of a different origin.
Players still log into Online World, despite the apparent risks. With nothing else to go back to (only a broken physical world), players find purpose in the game, especially if they are shortlisted for the defence against malevolent otherworldly forces.
Former keepers of Online World turned rogue. They seek out the truths behind the strange occurrences within Online World and beyond, while answering to EPT Corp; the game's creator.
The barriers that once separated the worlds are breaking down. The Datastream is fluctuating, and areas of all worlds are becoming corrupt. Something is eating at them, but what?
A malevolent force, seemingly hellbent on the destruction of all life on all worlds has risen in power and rank.
Players from Online World, and the SilicAI from the DigiPlane lock horns in an epic struggle. With neither side letting up, will this conflict end with the destruction of both sides?
Where do your loyalties lie; do you seek to protect the human players of this world, or do you help the SilicAI stave off the attacks on their homeland?
How do you go about solving your own problems; do you seek ultimate power for yourself, or do you build an army to lead?
The fate of all worlds lies in your hands.
This funding will be spread over several main areas that include (but is not limited to):
- An Original, epic Soundtrack from Allen Elezeid
- Tilesets and Background Artwork Licensing
- Character Sprite Sheets
- Professionally-produced SFX
- Game systems programming
- Rewards and Shipping
- Kickstarter and Amazon's 10% slice of the pie
Should we hit our initial goal, we'd like to thank you all for your amazing support! Let's move on to adding even more content:
- £1,250 - Initial Goal - MET - This goal will cover everything we hope to include in the main game. Your Hacker's Paradise edition will come complete with exclusive content that ONLY YOU will have access to, and will not be included in the retail release.
- £1,500 - Zombies! - MET - How innovative! Zombies have overrun the town! (this will be a hacker's paradise exclusive). Having a certain party member in your team may yield unexpected events...
- £1,800 - MET - The Tower of Shadows - A 100-level tower comprising of challenges such as complex puzzles and combat.
- £2,300 - MET - New Game + - Featuring more story content, additional challenging dungeons, and even more characters and loot, new game + is for those players who just are not happy with a single play-through!
- £3,000 - A little Piece of You! - MET - As a massive thank you to you all, when the surveys go out, you'll be asked to name either an in-game character or guild!
- £3,300 - Welcome Home - MET - You'll be able to purchase a house in some of the game's towns, and even dungeons. Some will come complete with their own mini-quest and loot!
- £3,500 - Bonus Soundtrack - MET - In addition to the already awesome original soundtrack, I'll coerce (gently) Allen into producing a small 8/16-bit MIDI soundtrack from some of the game's more popular tracks!
- £3,700 - Bonus Sticker Set - MET - Featuring the main character's sprite and text that says 'HACKED!' I had a few of these made up for fun, and started sticking them all over people's computers for laughs! Eveybody with a package on the way will receive one of these sticker sets.
- £4,000 - Voice Acting 1 - MET - If we can manage to stretch all the way to £4,000, we can hire professional voice actors/actresses to voice-over both the beginning and ending sequences, elevating this game into a new class of awesomeness.
- £4,500 - Pandora's Box - MET - A complete quest line to find the elusive Pandora's box, complete with an unexpected team-up. This mysterious artefact is thought to contain an entire exiled world...
- £7,500 - Voice Acting 2 - To add an additional level of depth to the narrative, some of the core cut-scenes will feature complete voice-overs.
Pledging is relatively simple: pick the reward tier that you would like, and any additional items from the Add-on store below, and pledge to that level.
If you have any questions about the reward tiers on the right, please get in touch. We can answer any questions you might have!
22CREDIT Shirts -
35CREDIT (Each) Corrupted Art Book and Full Colour Game Guides - An estimated 15 page+ art book containing sketches, scribbles, screenshots and professional artwork, complete with annotations and notes all the way from concept to production. This will be signed off with a personal message of thanks from yours truly.
As well as the Art Book, we're offering exclusive printed copies of the game guides to both Initiation and Corruption!
10CREDIT Conference Ticket - a 1-hour session with myself and other ticket-holders to discuss the development of this game, and future ideas. Those that attend this exclusive Kickstarter-backer conference will have an insight into precisely what is planned for the future.
50CREDIT Statue & Game Lore - Immortalise yourself by erecting a statue in your honour in one of the game's towns. This statue will come complete with consistent game lore, raising you above the mere mortals.
10CREDIT Design a basic character -
Design a character, pick his location, provide a description of his/her appearance (don't worry, we'll do the artwork) and give him/her some dialogue.
25CREDIT Design a recruitable character - As above, but the character will have a class, equipment and will be able to join your party and engage in combat alongside the main character.
50CREDIT Design a deep character - As above, but you can give this character a unique quest that the player can opt into following for unique loot. You can also give your character a backstory and home in one of the game's town hubs.
100CREDIT The Works! - As above with the 'deep character', but you can also submit a dungeon/area design for implementation into the game, complete with traps, puzzles, monsters and a complete questline.
All design rewards are subject to approval, but we're pretty lax. Your submission must be consistent with the game's settings and backstory, and there are of course limitations to what we can do with your design. For example, an incredibly complex boss-fight design just might not be possible with this engine.
At the moment, Initiation is available for PC on the Official Studio 69 website, Desura, Aldorlea, Shiny Loot and Indie City. We are also in talks with Indiegamestand, Green Man Gaming, Gamersgate and GoG.
Will the game be ported onto other systems? Sadly, at this point, no. Due to engine restrictions, we can only support PC, though the game does run smoothly in Wine for Linux.
This is likely the LAST game Studio 69 will release on Enterbrain's RM engine! We’ll be making to jump from 2D into Unity3D to begin work on Reboot, as soon as Corruption is finished. After that, who knows?
So, there's me, Ross Tunney. I suppose I'm the 'game guy.' It's really surprising how much I can achieve through hard work and an obsessively-creative mind. I work on pretty much every aspect of the game, from the characters and narrative, to level design, and then over to marketing and PR. I don't sleep much.
Allen Elezeid. While not technically 'tied' to the company, Allen and I have a strong rapport and find each other incredibly good professional company. This guy is an aural genius; he produced Initiation's soundtrack in its entirety, and the vast majority of Fantasyche's musical repertoire.
Want to hear some of his amazing work? TAKE THIS:
Our very own talented artist; Dayna is responsible for overhauling all of the character portraits, and is also working on some cool concept art which will feature in the art book.
Tom Clifford - A very talented pixel artist, Tom is working on many custom assets for the game, mainly environment-related, and others character-related. Some examples of his work can be found on this update.
Erica V. Szalkowski
The latest addition to our humble team, Erica is assisting in the development of the game's many sidequests. Having two writers on the project will pay dividends, allowing for more variety and a fresh approach to many aspects of the characters themselves and the many problems they will face.
Risks and challenges
Wow. There are so many challenges that developers face with a project like this, especially with a small team like this. I'll try to address as many as possible:
Keeping a Consistent Art Style: Any custom game assets will be created with a consistent art style in mind. I know what to look for in good freelancers, from experience, and will settle for no less than perfect.
Timescale: This is the main challenge. To deliver a product on time, you need a keen awareness of how long each phase will take. Freelancer schedules, illness, global catastrophes, and lots of other things can affect a project's deadline. Allow me to be frank (you can still be you) - if the game release date gets pushed back a month, or two, you can rest assured that it's because we're working DAMN hard to bring you the best game that we can.
Running out of Funds: A none-issue with this project. Everything that is pledged will be used to advance the project. We have quotes from freelancers on the areas that we would like to have them work on, and have a contingency margin, just in case. My skills in project management leave little to be desired.
Delivering the Promised Product: Also a none-issue. Those of you who have dealt with myself before now will agree that I will lose sleep, go without eating, and ignore my family if that's what it takes to deliver. And we WILL deliver. I can promise you that.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)