About this project
Update: Outward has been Greenlit within a week, thank you so much!
Outward is an open world RPG with a focus on simulating the life of an adventurer -- not a legendary hero.
Outward started with a simple question:
"What would it really be like to live the life of an adventurer?"
From simulating the day-to-day lifestyle of living alone in a vast world filled with creatures of fantasy to retiring and passing on your knowledge and skills to your next of kin, Outward is about creating a complete adventuring experience. It's not just combat, it's not just survival, it's both and more.
Cooperative survival and adventure
Both Online and Local. Hunt while your friend is setting up camp or explore while the other stands guard over your gear.You are free to split up and roam miles apart from each other.
Fixed difficulty and free-form adventuring
The game allows you to go anywhere you want right from the start of the game. Just be clever enough to survive!
An open world filled with handcrafted regions
You will have good reasons to explore the whole world rather than just running around the map from location to location.
A complete adventuring experience
This game won't do everything for you. Perform multistep rituals to cast spells, strike flint to start fires, and locate yourself on the map using visual landmarks.
Fully envisioned survival mechanics
Boiling your water for safe drinking, hunting for your next meal, and bundling up clothes to survive the harsh winters are just a few examples of how far we plan to go.
Permanent consequences to every one of your actions
You can't simply save/reload before a tough choice or fight. The game is constantly saving and overwriting.
Legacy system to pass down items and skills
Death and retirement doesn't mean the end of your adventures. Pass down your gear and teach your skills to the next generation.
Dynamic quests that continue with or without you
No one is standing around waiting for you to come along and save them. If you aren't there or choose to ignore those in need, life goes on without you.
Dynamic player defeat
Losing a fight against a group of bandits won't simply have you looking at a "game over" screen. Instead, you might wake up to find yourself being held for ransom, or being dragged into the woods and left for dead after they've looted your belongings.
Failure is part of life. In Outward, defeat is simply a part of your character's journey.
Aurai is a vast section of land home to a a variety of biomes. From the coastal town of Cierzo to the barren deserts of Levant. It's regions are shaped in real time by it's climate and weather.
The land Aurai is dynamically changing throughout time. For example, during the winter snow not only covers the ground but builds up flake by flake until it covers every ridge and fills every tree. As each day passes you can visually see a shift in the environment.
Aurai itself is a harsh, near inhospitable land, sometimes due to its weather, sometimes due to the hostility of the creatures that inhabit it, and sometimes due to the opportunistic nature of men.
Hundreds of years ago, the Scourge appeared in the northeast of Aurai, destroying what little stability the region had. Resources became scarce as trade caravans were attacked on the roads by both the natural wildlife and creatures from the Scourge.
Today, the region is slowly stabilizing, having only periodic fighting between villages rather than all out chaos. Political tensions are high and every village is fighting for a better life for its people. You as a player are being placed right in the middle of that conflict.
How do you determine who's in the right when good intentions collide?
We think it's ridiculous to have to kill exactly twenty of some monster somewhere, or having an NPC waiting all day and night for you to check on their floating exclamation marks. Quests stacked up in a book waiting to be checked off like a shopping list is formulaic and unimmersive.
Outward handles quests differently.
Some quests have multiple outcomes based on how you choose to handle the situation being presented to you.
Much like how we handle defeat in combat, quest failure is also dynamic.
For example, in a quest, you might be tasked to intervene in a dire political conflict between an underpaid mercenary camp and a small mining village controlled by one of the leading factions. The situation is urgent and the outcome will play out with or without you. Ignoring the assignment for too long might result in that village getting razed to the ground by the very monsters the mercenaries were holding off, or someone else might come along to resolve the situation.
In Outward, we'd rather have quests that feel alive than being yet another box in a list waiting for you to check off. In order to accomplish that, we design quest failures and successes as part of your personal storyline.
Outward's combat reflects that you aren't some godly hero. The enemies can cast spells, use equipment, and fight just as you can. You simply aren't the only one in this world able to grow in power.
Combat is focused instead on outperforming your opponent through clever planning beforehand and manipulating the situation to gain the upper hand.
Weapons types all have unique movesets with each attack having a different pattern, reach, speed, and force. Allowing the player to gracefully overpower their foe and catch them off guard.
Magic in Outward requires some level of preparation. You won't be able to cast a massive firestorm by pressing a single button. Instead, magic is a deliberate process in which you combine basic spell components together in rituals to unleash your most impressive arcane abilities.
Spell use isn't limited to just combat. As an example, a basic fire spell can be used to light campfires for you to boil water on. You will need to explore to find out how magic can help in the world around you.
Part of the deal as an adventurer is to figure out how you are going to survive the harsh environment. Use of appropriate clothing, building shelter for the night, hunting for food and purifying water are all part of your day-to-day routine.
Being caught out in a snowstorm or stranded in the desert without proper equipment and tools means near certain death. However, you don't have to face these dangers alone. You and some friends in splitscreen and online can help each other survive by hunting, fighting, and questing together as a team.
There are four factions that hold control over the regions of Aurai. You can chose to join one of them to climb its ranks and experience their unique storylines.
The Blue Chamber Collective is formed of smaller clans that mostly try to keep to themselves. The collective is the most powerful political association in Aurai. Though separated in clans, the one value they all share is the importance of family.
The Heroic Kingdom of Levant is a new power that tries to take over the Blue Chamber by promising to liberate the population from the harsh obligations of their current lives by creating a new utopia.
The Holy Mission of Elatt is a religious power that promotes the importance of achieving your utmost potential in order to better protect and serve your loved ones.
The Soroboreans are a very powerful institution, they are the highest authority in academic knowledge throughout the land. They are also deeply involved in commerce, using information as a key resource in their expansion.
As a backer you deserve to know how we plan to budget this project's funding. Below we included a chart to show how the funds will be distributed for this project.
Nine Dots has been around for four years and Outward is our third major game project. This is our core team:
Here are some clarifications about the different reward tiers for our supporters.
The lore of Aurai is still in its infancy. This early on in the project, we are still flexible on what could happen. It is you, the backers, who will decide who should become the most powerful faction in Aurai by the end of the game's events.
At Nine Dots we always take special care in selecting the music for our games, and we are convinced that the soundtrack will be memorable.
Light sources in Outward are mostly focused on lanterns, not torches. This means that when someone sees you with a torch, they will know that you've been a backer from the very start. You will still need to earn that torch in-game however, you're not paying to make the game easier.
The private forum will be a great way to collect feedback, ask for suggestions, discuss of more technical elements of game development and design and build our early community.
Just like the torch, the unique backpack won't be given to you right away, you will still need to earn it. However, only backers at this tier or higher will have the ability to unlock that specific backpack model.
There will be one tombstone somewhere in the world of Aurai to your name. Will you be able to find it? Also, you get a plaque in the Hall of Builders. The tombstones and the Hall of Builders are connected in an exploration side-quest. Find the different tombstones in the environment of Aurai to unlock rewards!
This unique pet will follow you around and while the bird won't be helping you in combat, it will certainly add some life around you during your travels.
Mules are pricy and needs food and water, but they are very conveninent. This agile bird might not be packing as much as some other type of mules, but it will be moving faster than most.
Get backstage access to the game and see the builds we use internally to track our own progress. These builds will most likely be buggy, but you'll be able to follow development very closely.
Also, you get to choose the name of an NPC in the game. We still reserve the right to ask for a different name if we feel that your suggestion isn't appropriate for Outward.
Want to show your company's logo on your tent as you play? Have an image you want to show to everyone else playing with you? Are you part of a guild or community that you want to promote? We will design a unique flag for your camp and no one else will have access to the same design.
Leave your mark in the world of Aurai by choosing the name of an Inn and its Innkeeper. We will discuss with you to ensure that the names fit in the game world.
Work with the team to design a unique weapon, shield, or helmet to be available as an item in Outward.
Work with us to shape the game's mechanics by designing a skill or a spell ritual. We will collaborate to create a unique ability and find the right place for it in the game.
Navigating the world of Outward will be tricky, and landmarks will be one of the main ways to understand where you are. Help us design a monument or something highly visible in the game's environment.
Help design a new variation of enemy. There will be some technical constraints, but we will work with you to create the best expressions of your idea for an epic enemy or monster in the game.
Help mastermind a dangerous area to explore, then see how the players fare in your nefarious designs. We are eager to bring your ideas to life in Outward.
Risks and challenges
There has been some backlash recently towards some Kickstarter projects that failed to deliver on their promise after successfully getting funded. We think that the main reason for this backlash isn't the failure itself, but the lack of transparency.
So, while it is a hard thing to say, we have to be honest and admit that by backing this project you are taking a risk on our behalf. It is obvious that you can't make an open world RPG with CA $150,000 alone. We already have invested a lot in the project and will continue to do so for as long as we can. However, what will truly make us able to get the project to the end is your support. By backing this project, you are providing us not only with direct funding, but also opening the doors to more opportunities. Better yet, the more money we raise from actual players interested in the game, the less we need from publishers and private investors who might want to dilute the vision. We don't want to make a game for absolutely everyone. We want to make a game for you.
The team at Nine Dots is incredibly resilient and dedicated. We have completed games in the past and we know what it takes to bring a project to completion. We make things happen. In the game development world you simply can't predict what the future will hold, and we can't promise that everything will go flawlessly. However, our team has overcome pitfalls in the past and we will be doing everything we can to make this game a reality.
We will be constantly updating backers with any news, good or bad. We want to be very open about the development process by including the people who made this project happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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