Always Outnumbered, a Competitive Tower Defense Game
Always Outnumbered, a Competitive Tower Defense Game
A different kind of Tower Defense game: equal parts compelling narrative and cutthroat, competitive multiplayer.
A different kind of Tower Defense game: equal parts compelling narrative and cutthroat, competitive multiplayer. Read more
About this project
We've promised you updates, and here they are! We'll keep them coming throughout the campaign.
Update #8: Last Day Update!
Update #7: Sneak-peak at another trailer!
Update #6: Dev Update & Alpha Build Video!
Update #5: Our super awesome announcement!
Update #4: Videos, music, and more!
Update #3: Concept art and story trailer
Update #2: SRRN CEO, Aujang Abadi, is running an Ask Me Anything on Reddit
Update #1: Thanks for helping us hit 1%!
Always Outnumbered is a different kind of Tower Defense game. Developed for PC and Mac (and hopefully many more platforms!), the game rose out of two key questions:
- Can we make a truly competitive Tower Defense game?
- Can we tell an amazing story while doing so?
Always Outnumbered is our answer. It’s the first Tower Defense game built from the ground-up to fuse a powerful, emotional narrative with cutthroat, head-to-head competitive multiplayer. With a unique upgrade system, dozens of towers and traps, and over a hundred units and special abilities, every aspect of Always Outnumbered has been crafted with an eye towards balanced and engaging multiplayer action.
AO will provide a depth of gameplay unmatched by anything else in the history of the genre. And because it’s built in Unity, we’ve got immense platform reach: we’re starting with PC/Mac, but we’ve got a lot of room to grow!
SRRN was founded by a group of dreamers in 2009 under the vision of: “Games As Art.” We were determined to build a studio that took that mantra seriously. Not one of us came to SRRN with any industry experience.
In the three years since, we’ve made one of the most critically acclaimed RPGs on the App Store (Ash), grew to fifteen awesome dudes and dudettes, and had Ash II published by one of the biggest publishers in the world (Konami). We've developed games for iOS, Android, PC, and Mac, and partnered with some really incredible people. Now we want to start a new partnership. With you.
We want to make Always Outnumbered together. We need your help to make it awesome. You in?
GO Gaming was founded by gamers from widely varied backgrounds - from the hardcore competitive to the casual. We came together because we love e-sports events, and we want to improve events for the players, the organizers, the spectators, and the sponsors of any sized e-sports event. In the last 2 years we have hosted great events from small, 30-person casual events to large 400-person LANs and we have been learning from everything we do.
Using the knowledge we have gained from the e-sports community as well as our experience hosting events we know that for a game to be truly competitive it needs to be built with the community’s feedback, designed with balanced gameplay mechanics and developed to facilitate running professional tournaments. Understanding this need, we have developed a cutting-edge tournament solution that streamlines and simplifies the whole way tournaments are run. We’ve worked very closely with SRRN to integrate this philosophy and our revolutionary API into the entire process.
The core of Always Outnumbered is competition: every facet of gameplay flows directly from it. This meant we had to strip away everything but the most basic tenets of traditional TD gameplay: timing and positioning.
Where and when you build your towers are all that separate victory from defeat. Walking that line is what makes TD so thrilling. Competition can’t exist outside of these mechanics; it has to be built on them. So here’s what we did:
- Customizable offensive creep waves. Unlike other TDs, these waves our autonomous. There's no micro here: when and what you send is all you can control.
- Equally customizable towers to support a multitude of defensive configurations.
It’s a simple strategy, and it’s brutally competitive. The customization is key: every unit and tower in the game has three primary stats, and a max of three upgrades. We've designed our interface around this concept: gone are the clunky menus filled with dozens of options. You'll build one unit/tower and customize it accordingly. Not only does it vastly streamline our menus, but it offers deeper strategic opportunities, allowing you to adjust your gameplay easily and intuitively as the game progresses.
Left: Radial Menu. Right: Attribute Tree.
There are three factions to choose from too, each with unique special abilities. (We apparently like the number 3.) All-in-all, we’re talking about hundreds of potential unit, tower, and ability combinations.
We’ve tested these decisions with extensive prototyping, and the game keeps surprising us—it’s fun, it’s dynamic, and best of all, it’s fast-paced. It has all of the ingredients for cutthroat multiplayer gameplay.
Moreover, our focus on competition isn’t just about gameplay. This is where the experts at GO Gaming are so valuable: they’re experts in e-sports, and have spent years hosting competitive events. Always Outnumbered will feature their cutting-edge API, designed to let you host your own competitive events quickly and painlessly. Want to set up a LAN party to smack talk your bros and brosephinas? We’ve got you covered. Want to run a 300-person tournament online? Not a problem.
Timing. (Noticing a theme?)
We want to launch Always Outnumbered with a tournament at PAX Prime 2012. This was GO Gaming’s idea and it’s an awesome one: we’ll be there, around 60,000 other people will be there, and we’ll have a wide-open, well-lit space where we can game like we used to before our CEO got fat, bald, and lame. (He insists he’s not lame.)
This is where Kickstarter comes in. We’d like AO to be bigger than what SRRN and GO can do alone. By recruiting you as a backer, we can guarantee two things:
- We can get started on building the game immediately (we’re already building it, as of May 1st) without having to devote significant time and resources to securing a publishing deal.
- We can work together to make the competitive multiplayer portion of the game truly excellent.
A great multiplayer game requires a large group of alpha and beta testers to help ensure balance, stability, and playability. There is no better platform than Kickstarter to connect us with you.
Your input doesn’t just make the game better; it helps us transform the way games are made. Gamers are more than just consumers; we’re a community. This is a huge part of our vision at SRRN, and one of the reasons we’re so excited to use Kickstarter to fund our endeavor.
Thanks so much for reading. We're extremely psyched to make this game, and we hope you are too! We wouldn't be where we are if it weren't for our incredible fans, friends, and families. Please feel free to message us if you have any questions, comments, or feedback: we love hearing from fellow gamers.
Now let's make an awesome game together!
Sure thing! The money from Kickstarter breaks down like so:
▪ Start with $175,000
▪ Subtract 10% for KS and Amazon fees
▪ Now we're at $157,500
▪ Subtract $17,500 for a proper PAX Prime launch ($10,000 for booth space, $7,500 for all other PAX expenses)
▪ We've arrived at $140,000
That $140,000 covers half of the total expected cost of game development and marketing. That includes:
▪ $70,000 for development
▪ $50,000 for art
▪ $20,000 for community and marketing management
Just to be clear: we're not asking for $20K to run a few ads and set up a forum! We're taking the community involvement of this project very seriously: that money will go towards ensuring the proper infrastructure is in place to connect every backer to the project. It will guarantee that your bug reports, feature requests, and everything in-between is received and incorporated as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.
You can join in at the game's official site: http://alwaysoutnumberedgame.com/forums/
We're psyched to have you!
All versions of the game (alpha, beta, final, & patches) will be digitally distributed and available for download / re-download at your convenience. We don't know which distribution platforms we'll launch on quite yet--we'd obviously love to be on as many as possible!
The first thing we’d like to do is expand our platform reach. Getting this game on Linux, iOS, and Android would be awesome, but it represents a significant incremental investment. (Less significant thanks to working in Unity, but still not trivial.) Beyond that, we’re totally open to your input. We’re all about the conversation, so let’s start having it!
PAX, or Penny Arcade Expo, is one of the biggest gaming conventions in America! You can find more information about it here: http://prime.paxsite.com/index.php PAX Prime, the next scheduled PAX, will be in Seattle, WA. For more instructions on how to get there, check out: http://prime.paxsite.com/travel.php
That's a great question. The Penny Arcade Report uses three guidelines to measure the Kickstarters it sees. Those are:
▪ Understand the Budget
▪ Experience Counts
▪ Let the Backers Inside
We broke down the budget above, and its our intent to involve every backer in the project as much as we can. The reason we're confident in our ability to do both is because of the second bullet point. Experience counts, and we have it.
We started this company as bright-eyed dreamers. Our introduction to the realities of game production was anything but pretty. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find narrative-driven RPGs as highly-regarded as the ones we put out. Our first RPG ever was runner-up for Indie RPG and Mobile RPG of the Year at RPGFan. Macworld called Ash “nothing short of remarkable.” The industry was so impressed with what we’d done that Konami agreed to publish Ash II. (And they weren’t the only ones who wanted it!)
We’ve also created a tower defense game before. Check out Minor Lords on iOS or Android. We’ve shown it off to very strong reception at both PAX Prime 2011 and PAX East 2012, and a lot of what prompted our discussions around this game arose from conversations with fans about our first tower defense outing. (By the way, Minor Lords was developed on a much smaller time-scale than what we have set aside for Always Outnumbered.)
What we’re trying to say is this: it’s not our first rodeo. We’ve been through the ringer and come out a tougher, leaner team for it. The project timeline is aggressive, no doubt. We can make it happen.
In order to have the game out for PAX Prime, we needed to be selective about our initial platforms. So, Mac/PC made sense as a starting point. We promise to have something on those platforms by August 31, 2012. But we're building the game in the Unity engine, and it supports mobile (iOS/Android), Web, and will soon support Linux. We're definitely anxious to get AO out on as many platforms as possible, and so with your support we'd love to make that possible with some stretch goals or post-Kickstarter plans!
This API (called myGO) is the tool GO Gaming has developed to streamline the process of running all aspects of an e-sporting event.
GO and SRRN are working together to integrate myGO into Always Outnumbered to make tournaments a breeze, not just for the players, but for tournament organizers too. myGO handles it all: pre-registration, pool/bracket seeding, match announcement, station management, and direct result reporting to online leaderboards and/or leagues.
myGO will debut alongside Always Outnumbered at PAX Prime, where we'll use it to host AO’s first tournament!
The most basic reward we have is the Full Game Bundle. This includes the full version of AO, for PC or Mac, and an exclusive digital art book and desktop wallpaper.
We're also offering a limited number of Beta Bundles, which include the Full Game Bundle as well as access to our closed beta and beta forums. You'll get to read our development blog, post on our beta forums, and help make the game the best competitive and narrative experience that it can possibly be. We'll keep you updated as the game is developed, and you'll get to play the game as it evolves.
If you like what you see here, you can also get the Soundtrack, which includes all the great music featured in AO. It also may or may not feature a perfectly scored video of a grilled cheese sandwich.
Then we get to the swag. We have Art Prints, Buttons and T-Shirts, all of which are exclusive to this Kickstarter Campaign. Show your support for AO with some awesome swag. Best of all, for the Art Prints, you'll have your choice of any of the artwork you see in our digital art book. Choose your favorite for your signed print!
If you really like AO's art, we have a few rewards for you. First we have the Always Outnumbered Artbook, which will be printed and bound, with more content than the digital version. We also have some great Figurines, which will be 3D printed from the models used to render the game. For some very special backers, you'll not only receive a figurine, but also help design the in-game unit on which the figurine is based.
The final thing we'd really like to mention is our PAX Prime Launch Party. If you contribute $200 or more, you'll be invited to our launch party in Seattle, as we relax and celebrate AO's public debut!
Some of the rewards (like the Art book and Figurine box) won’t be ready until a few months after the game ships. (We hope to ship the shirts and posters earlier.) We'll work to keep everyone informed about development of these items, so please follow the forums and our website for updates!
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