SAGA was designed to show what is possible in an RTS when it is made for the players and not by the big studios who may be too scared to try something new. We asked ourselves questions such as, What if the world never reset? What if we could figure out how to balance not just two or three factions but six? and most importantly, What if every play session enhanced your virtual empire and not just a rating?
Most RTS games we’ve ever played focus on player vs. player combat. This is understandable because creating 10 maps and relying on players to provide variety is much less time consuming than creating 600 quests. SAGA, however, embraces that players love a rich story and while PvP has its place and is certainly not an afterthought in our design, we felt it was a lot more fun going on quests not just alone but with groups of friends.
In Saga Kingdoms each player will control a capital city that will serve as the seat of their power, however we have greatly expanded on this concept by giving each player a full Island as a starting point. In addition we plan to allow players to take over both resources and outposts on the main continent as their empire expands.
Similar to SAGA, Saga Kingdoms will feature hundreds of quests to test your skill. While some quests do have prerequisites that you must best, you can always go back and do old favorites for loot and XP.
The power of our new engine means we can create much grander quests that can be enjoyed by large groups of friends.These epic battles will be much more difficult but we promise the rewards will be worth it.
Players will be able to choose from one of six factions, each with a unique look and play style.
Primary Race: Elves
The oldest of the races, the elves have long ago learned to live in harmony with Gaia – the spirit of the world itself. Through their allegiance and honor of Her, they have learned to master Her powers, and now control the most destructive forces of Nature. As warriors, they possess terrific skill, and have made strange allies in some of the oldest creatures on Gaia, including treants and elementals.
Primary Race: Orcs and Ogres
The orcs and ogres live for war. They have long pursued it, and have fashioned their living around it. They have traded refinement for mass, and like a blunt instrument, will bludgeon the life out of their enemies. Their spells and abilities are targeted inward, purposed with instilling their warriors with greater power in combat. Individually, their warriors are skillful, en masse: terrifying.
Primary Race: Giants and Humans
Noble, powerful and indomitable – the forces of Light are truly magnificent to behold. Their ancient civilization has reached a glorious age of wisdom and refinement, and their armies have long ago mastered the art of war. They are a balanced and formidable force, able to draw on heavily armored soldiers and powerful magic alike to crush their enemies into submission.
Primary Race: Dwarves
Dwarves are particularly skilled in the arts of mechanical engineering. Hidden deep in their mountain hideaways, they have created terrible machines of war and destruction. In all their tinkering though, they have lost the art of magic and must rely on their own ingenuity and cunning.
Primary Race: Dark Elves
The dark elves are the masters of magic. They have studied many dark arts and have mastered the secrets of daemonology, allowing them to conjure up horrible beasts. By tapping into the powers of the Underworld, they have possession of mighty spells, with which they terrorize their enemies.
Primary Race: Undead
When the god of the Undead was all but defeated he called upon his powers to bring to power the newest of the factions to gain a foothold on Gaia. Adept casters, the undead use their powers of decay to manipulate the course of battle and weaken their foes while gargantuan undead abominations rush forth to devour their prey.
We love variety in most RTS games. Trying to find the perfect balance of troops is an integral part of the strategy. As difficult as it was to balance 6 factions, that task was nothing compared to trying to create over 100 distinct troop types. Saga Kingdoms will bring back many of the old favorites and will commit to creating many more in upcoming free content expansions. Saga Kingdoms is a Free-To-Play Collectible game
Collecting troops was one of the best received and unique features of SAGA. Booster packs which can now be purchased for gold farmed in game will provide a random assortment of troops. Nothing beats the excitement of ripping open a new pack or the exhilaration of finding a dragon as your rare card.
Every aspect of your empire can grow in power. This means that every play session will reward you with some type of progress.
Buildings will be constructed, which will provide additional benefits.
Research will reward you with new abilities and benefits.
All troops will gain experience during combat, making them more powerful.
Magic items will be found during quests and crafted in your city.
Every quest completed and booster purchased gives the possibility of new and exciting troops to enhance your army.
Even logging in for just a few seconds and collecting resources brings you closer to purchasing that next building upgrade or booster pack.
Each unit in your army will be led by a hero as detailed as any character in an MMO. Heroes can gain levels, learn spells and possess a range of abilities and bonuses that they confer to the unit they lead.
We’re also expanding the number of available heroes slightly from the dozen available in SAGA to many hundreds. (OK maybe more than slightly)
Not only will be we able to create items with a larger variety of abilities, but Saga Kingdoms will feature many thousands more magic items since Heroes can equip armor in multiple slots in addition to weapons and trinkets, rather than the limited 2 slots in SAGA.
Since Units in Saga Kingdoms are built around heroes not troop types, you will have much more freedom when designing your units. Each troop type will possess a special ability, allowing you to have much finer control over the type of army you field. For example, if halberdiers grant increased damage to the whole unit and swordsmen grant increased armor, a unit consisting of 15 halberdiers and 5 swordsmen will play very differently than one with 15 swordsmen and 5 halberdiers. Adding a hero who brings its own set of unit enhancements means an unlimited set of strategies.
Using the Unity engine means being able to do battle on a PC, Mac, or even using Linux. While the client will be available for all of these platforms, developing in Unity means that when you’re at work or school and can’t resist checking your empire or doing a quick quest, Saga Kingdoms will also be playable in a browser. In addition, developing in Unity opens the possibility for a mobile version.
We have been working on Saga Kingdoms for over a year. Some of our players have even had a chance to try the Alpha version.
We can field troops, move them around, and cause havoc to our enemies as well as build a city. The funds raised on Kickstarter will help us port the remaining SAGA features, finish our quest design tools and make the necessary changes to magic items and heroes to bring Saga Kingdoms to the next level.
Check out the supporter rewards on the right side of this page. As you may have noticed, we've decided not to burn CD copies of the game, or print t-shirts and caps. These things are fun and we will offer them at a cost at a later date. We wanted our rewards to be fun and useful to our players. The Emerald units not only look cool, but are actually amazingly useful.
We also wanted to make sure to properly reward every single backer with premium currency. While Saga Kingdoms will be a free-to-play game, the premium currency will still be useful to buy fun cosmetic items or temporary power ups. Don’t worry, we won't be giving anyone an advantage in PvP. The power ups take the form of an extra 50% XP during quests or a greater chance to find magic items. In addition, any power currently enjoyed by a player will also have the exact same effect on players they group with. They will make you popular indeed.
We will reveal our stretch goals once we hit the 50% mark. However, we pledge now that 100% of the funds will be used on the enhancement of Saga Kingdoms and releasing features sooner.
Risks and challenges
So far we have ported all of the assets to Unity. The pre-alpha game allows players to battle each other or an AI with a limited set of these units, but a lot of work still remains.
We will be revamping much of the UI as well as many key game mechanics. One of the tasks most prone to error is making 6 factions both distinct and interesting while still balanced. With the feedback from our beta community, if we feel people are forced to choose a faction based on power we may be need to launch open beta with less than 6 factions.
Making a large scale MMORTS is an ambitious endeavor. Our plan is to first build a roadmap and share it with the community. We will be working on a first playable version for closed beta so that you may begin to experience our vision and give feedback, while we continue to improve the product and add more quests, more features, more troops, more items, etc.
A kickstarter Emerald archer unit to show everyone that you helped make this project a reality. Emerald troops have the same stats as regular troops for fairness but have an awesome particle effect, begin at the elite experience level and heal 8 times faster after battle. A $15 store credit when the game launches, an invite to play in the closed beta and access to the beta forums.
All three Emerald units, $100 store credit. Plus your harbor will be protected by four emerald towers with a menacing particle effect warning potential invaders that this island may belong to someone they do not want to mess with. Access to closed beta and the forums for you and a friend.
Dragon Tier - All three Emerald units, $140 store credit plus an elder dragon hero, this is a rare hero unit. We’re not going to give him Emerald status because that would be a little over the top, he is badass enough. Access to closed beta and the forums for you and two friends.
All Dragon tier rewards, $300 store credit, plus to show your friends how awesome you are we will name a quest boss in the game after you, or a loved one. (no offensive names, we’ve seen pet names that may not be appropriate for our younger audiences). Access to closed beta and the forums for you and two friends.
All Dragon tier rewards, $375 store credit (good luck trying to spend this much), plus we will send you a form to design and name your own hero unit. This will be a rare hero who will be placed somewhere in the game world or in boosters for players to randomly find but you will get one right away, plus you can choose four friends who also get one just to show them how awesome you are. All five of you will also be invited to the beta.
All Dragon tier rewards, $750 credit (now it's just silly) plus we will work with you designing a hero unit. No forms, the abilities are only limited by your imagination, and game balance. (as long as we can code it and it’s not offensive). This hero will never be found in boosters, he or she will be ultra rare only found in a highest level quest but you and 4 friends of your choosing get him right away. All 5 of you will also be invited into beta.
All Dragon tier rewards, $750 credit, the custom hero, plus we will work with you to design one of the major boss encounters in the game, the boss will then be named after you. This does mean you will know the secrets to this bosses mechanics and the loot he holds, but we trust you not to tell. You will also get credit as a jr. game designer on Saga Kingdoms and invite to beta for you and four friends.
All Dragon tier rewards, a hoard of credits, the custom hero, plus we will craft a mighty statue in your likeness that will stand watch over the PvP arena we plan for patch 2.0, or sooner if our stretch goal is met. You and a friend of your choosing will also get ten of every troop (not heroes) available in the game at launch and our undying gratitude.
If you are a movie buff this reward level is for you. All Dragon tier rewards, a hoard of credits, the custom hero, plus you will be invited to spend an afternoon on the slopes in Park City Utah with Jason Faller. The man with the vision for Saga, former professor of movie production at BYU and producer on more than a dozen indie films. We’ll pick up lunch and ski tickets for you and a friend but you are responsible for travel and lodging.
All Dragon tier rewards, the custom hero, a hoard of credits, plus you will be listed as an executive producer on Saga Kingdoms. We will also craft a mighty statue that will stand guard over one of three king of the kill maps we plan for patch 2.0 or sooner if our stretch goal is met.You and three friends will also get ten of every troop (not heroes) available in the game at launch and our undying gratitude.