Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 9, 2012.

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Paper Sorcerer is a stylish first-person turn-based RPG with adventure game elements.

Updates!

Update 13 $13K reached, Thank you Kickstarter

Update 12 $12K reached, Final Goal!

Update 11 $10K reached, New Goal!

Update 10 Two more goals reached, Summon vote!

Update 9 Last goal reached, three more goals!

Update 8 More stretch goals!

Update 7 Goal reached, stretch goal unlocked!

Update 6 New tier and gameplay video

Update 5 Linux mini-update

Update 4 Summons, character creation, and search

Update 3 Question session

Update 2 Kicktraq and battle mechanics

Update 1 Press release and screenshots

What is it?

High quality video: http://youtu.be/1tk0cSlcLSo

Gameplay video:

Paper Sorcerer is a first-person turn-based RPG with adventure game elements inspired by Wizardry, Dungeons and Dragons, and Shadowgate.

  • Play as a renegade sorcerer as he struggles to escape the book prison and regain his powers.
  • Escape a magical prison filled with heroes hunting you down at every turn.
  • Strategy over grinding battles, with a charge based spell system.
  • Create a party of summons to join you as allies in battle.
  • Discover open-ended puzzles and solve them with a combinations of spells, items, and your wits.
  • Hand-drawn high-resolution sprites inspired by the work of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century illustrators like Aubrey Beardsley and William Bradley.
  • DRM-free for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and possibly Xbox Live Indie Arcade and web-browser.
  • All-inclusive game, promise to never make you pay for DLC content.

Who Am I?

  • I’m a lifelong gamer that’s wanted to make video games since I was a kid. Besides mad scientist, its the only job I’ve ever aspired to, and I don't think that’s gonna happen.
  • I started gaming with an Atari 2600, so I grew up along with the video game industry.
  • The art in paper sorcerer is the culmination of all I’ve been working towards in my personal art.
  • I’m just working on this game on my own in my spare time. Although RPGs are one of the hardest games to put together on your own, you gotta do what you love, right?

Gameplay

First, battle mechanics: There are no to-hit rolls [all attacks always hit, except for special abilities that give a chance to dodge], instead all characters have a defense bar, which reduces incoming damage by a static number, for example, if you have a defense of 6, it'll subtract 6 from every attack that hits you, and your defense meter will go down one. Your defense is adjusted by armor and certain skills.

In addition to normal attacks, all characters have attack skills, these skill take anywhere from one to three rounds to refresh [to be usable again] and they're unique for each character, for example: one of the first summons you get, the goblin, has a stealth ability that gives him a chance to dodge attacks.

Normal attacks and skills both charge your energy meter. You use energy to execute more powerful abilities. For example: the goblin's trick attack dazes the enemy in addition to dealing a little extra damage, but using it costs energy. The main goal in a system like this is to make it so that you don't constantly use only your normal attack, you have to strategically use all of your abilities. I'm currently balancing the game to be more difficult so that it encourages the use of all your skills and powers.

Now for the summons and character customization, there's currently a total of twelve summons planned for the game. Each summon has a base class, and once each reaches a certain level, you'll have a choice of two advanced classes.

The main way you customize characters is by purchasing skills and skill upgrades in town. Each character has a predetermined start growth but you can customize the characters by purchasing passive skills and skill upgrades. Also the class determines what kind of skills you can purchase, so when you choose an advanced class, that determines what kind of mid- and late-game skills you can get.  For example, the goblin is focused on disabling enemies, but if I wanted him to be more of a physical damage-dealer, I could buy him strength upgrades that would affect him permanently, or I could buy him equipment that increases his strength for now. The reasoning behind this is that money should be valuable through the whole game, not just in the beginning, and it shouldn't become useless late-game.

Next, the equipment system: all of the possible equip slots are: head, armor, weapon, off-hand, accessory one, and accessory two.
However, the only character that can equip all slots is the sorcerer. Summons each get three equipment slots, varying summon to summon. For example, the goblin has weapon, armor, and one accessory slot; whereas the imp has a weapon slot and two accessories.

Let's do a basic rundown of the summons you start with:

Acolyte: A corrupted priest, he's focused on protecting the party through buffs and healing injured. He can wear up to chain armor and use maces, so he isn't frail.

Starting Abilities:
Divine Power: gives the party a +2 damage adjustment, and generates 1 energy.
Focus: increases his magic stat, so he can heal more, and generates 1 energy.
Heal: restores HP of a party member, costs 1 energy.

Goblin: An agile thief, his focus is on disabling the enemy with status effects and stealing items. He can use leather armor and daggers.

Starting Abilities:
Stealth: gives him a 25% chance to dodge attacks, and a bonus to stealing, generates 1 energy.
Steal: steals an item from an enemy, generates 1 energy.
Trick Attack: attack with slight damage bonus and also dazes the enemy, costs a 1 energy.

Imp: Elemental damage dealer, focuses on fire and ice damage, and manipulating enemies resistances. Uses elemental bracelets to increase magic damage, relies on his demonic skin for defense [no armor].

Starting Abilities:
Ice Claw: deals ice damage, reduces enemies' fire resistance, generates 1 energy.
Fire Claw:  deals fire damage, reduces enemies' ice resistance, generates 1 energy.
Abyssal Frost: deals Ice damage based on how much energy you have stored up, consumes all energy.

Another big mechanic is the search function. Certain rooms, after you defeat all the enemies in the level, will have a contextual search icon appear in the corner.


If you click this option, then you have a chance to find treasure, a room feature, or...

...you have a chance of springing a trap or encountering an enemy.

By implementing the search feature, I'm hoping that it'll spice up dungeon exploration and make every play session different.

The Game Right Now

I have the framework for all the elements in place; all the stats are setup and working, the skills, status effects, and spells all function as they’re supposed to, I have a rough version of all the menus and UI, the battle system is in place, the adventure elements are implemented in game, and the ability to  use items in the environment is all in. However at this point everything is still very rough. There are some minor usability and presentation issues that need to be ironed out. In addition to more polish what is needed now is more assets. More summons, more levels, more spells, more tile sets, an introduction and tutorial sequence, basically more of everything.

What Will My Pledge Do?

  • Test devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc)
  • Developer licenses (Android, iOS, Xbox, etc)
  • Art supplies (Pens, nibs, brushes, markers, decent paper, lots of ink, etc.)
  • Fees and taxes for setting up a small business
  • Miscellaneous development costs

Timeline

If funded, I expect this project to take until near the end of August.

  • From now until the end of May, I'll be working on getting all the menus and usability issues worked out, and some early testing on as many platforms as I can.
  • All of June is going to be dedicated to making levels and content. And testing those levels, with a lot of iteration on level design.
  • In July I will be making more content as well as making the intro movie, ending movies, polishing gameplay, tutorials, etc.
  • August is all about balancing and bug-testing builds. Making sure that I can distribute on all the platforms, working out all the deliveries, organizing all the rewards.

Over-funding Goals

Achieved If we make more than $5500, then I'll add an extra summon to everybody's copy of the game, and several optional levels you can go through to unlock it! It's called the Living Doll*, and it's a blank slate character that you shape based on your play style. You could raise its strength and make it your heavy hitter, with devastating physical attack skills; or you could raise its dexterity and make it an agile thief, whatever you like!

Achieved At $8,000, I pledge to purchase a license for Unity Pro, thus enabling the game to have custom splash screens [none of the Unity ones], fullscreen rendering, and other extra cool things. The new bonus, is that every pledge $5 or more gets another exclusive desktop wallpaper!

Achieved At $8500 I'll sign every box copy I ship. That's a signed box copy for every pledge $25 or higher!

Achieved At $9000 you guys get to vote on what the two bonus summons will be! Every backer gets a vote when we reach this level.

Achieved At $9500 I'll make a new skin for the main character! When you start the game you'll get to choose which skin you want. This is for all copies of the game.

Achieved At $10,000 I'll add a new summon, the Giant! I'll also add in several more dungeon levels with new enemies. Every backer gets these, it'll be in every copy.

Achieved At $12,000 every backer gets a beta to playtest and I'll listen to all of your input. This'll most likely go out early-mid August so that I can have enough time to take in your input and implement it for the final release.

Achieved At $13,000 every backer's name will appear in-game, in The Tome of Heroes!

*name not final, subject to change; it looks more like a marionette or blank puppet than say a detailed girl's doll.

Thanks

Thanks everyone for taking the time to look at this, even if you don’t pledge, I appreciate your interest and I hope you pass the word along. :) I'd also like to say thank you to all my friends and family who've been supporting this endeavor.

FAQ

  • The game has no voice-over, all of the dialogue in game will be in text. You won't be missing out on anything except music and sound effects.

    Last updated:
  • Most definitely! If you'd like to get multiple copies of any tier, just choose the reward you want, and increase your pledge for the number you want.
    Additionally, if you'd like to add a different reward to your contribution, [Say you want the $25 box release reward, but you want to send your friend a $3 digital copy] just add the amount for the additional reward to your pledge.
    Once the kickstarter is finished, we'll send out a survey and you can just fill in which additional rewards you'd like.

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  • I'll definitely get one out soon, right now I'm focusing on the gameplay, and the sound design is still in development, so I going to wait on releasing any of that yet.

    Last updated:
  • Many people are interested in seeing a release now that it's been announced that Unity 4 will support Linux export.
    However, I cannot guarantee that it will work with my game. The plugins and scripts I'm working with may not be compatible with Unity 4. I know for sure that when I tried upgrading to Unity 3.5 the game exploded. There might be patches to fix this, but those will take several extra months at least, and as a release date for 4 itself hasn't been released, it most likely won't be possible with the current timeframe I'm working with.

    I'd really like to release a Linux build, so I'll work on a Linux port after the game releases, but it wouldn't coincide with any of the kickstarter dates.

    Last updated:
  • I'm composing music myself, but if anyone is interested in composing music for Paper Sorcerer in exchange for credit, I'd be glad to give it a listen!

    Last updated:
  • The cases I'm looking to get are clear, so when you open the box you should be able to see both sides. You can consider this a given unless someone points me to a cheaper/better quality DVD authoring option.

    Last updated:
  • As far as the game length, I'm developing in a sandwich sort of method. I'm making all the more important story levels first, like the beginning and ending, and some plot points in-between.

    Once those are done, I'll go in and make levels that go in the middle, that flesh everything out more and then after that, I'll put in more levels, that are only focused on being fun. So I'm not sure about total playtime, but it'll definitely be a full experience.

    Last updated:
  • I'll put them in if you want. Just make sure to make a note of it in the survey when I send that out [when the kickstarter's done]. Oh, and make sure that they don't mind having their names in the credit too.

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  • Right now, its natively 1280x720, so it supports 16:9 resolutions. If you'd like to get an idea of how it'll look at 1080, you can watch the youtube version of the video in 1080p and see how it looks on your monitor.

    Last updated:
  • I looked into cloud saves and it looks like a really cool feature and I'd like to include it. However with my current budget and timeframe, I don't think I could do it. It might become a push goal, however.

    Last updated:
  • If you're contributing at the $25 tier or above, and you live outside the US, just add an additional $15.

    If you're getting the $100 poster tier or above, I'm looking into it.

    Last updated:
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