The Dark Centuries is a MMORPG, gender fantasy medieval game, with a realistic graphic-style.
We want to create a game that is an alternative to the many standardized clone-products that have been in the market since 2004.
In The Dark Centuries, you can choose to be one of three playable factions, characterized in the middle ages (years 1.000 - 1.300 AD) and inspired by glorious civilizations that existed in the past: The Norns, descending by the Vikings, the Keltios, deriving by the Celts, and the Sarq'Yin, inspired by the Saracens.
The aim is to beat your enemies, and final victory is achieved by invading the enemies’ frontiers and defeating the enemy Great Lord.
The Dark Centuries: designed by gamers and for gamers. The Dark Centuries offers you the opportunity to carve out your own gaming-style, whether you spend hours a day playing it or a few minutes a week; no matter if you choose to impersonate a fighter, a mystic, a thief or a crafter, regardless of which activity you choose to perform.
Whenever you play, The Dark Centuries will teleport you to another dimension, made of its own rules and characters, sounds and noises so it feels as though you are really there. The Dark Centuries will become your new world.
As developers of the game, we are particularly committed to create an immersive context not only by adopting the right graphic details but above all by introducing new playing mechanisms and players interaction rules, stimulating community playing.
As if arriving in a new place for the first time, players will have to spend time looking around, speaking to other citizens for hints or directions, and find a way to make some money and go in search of a market to buy food, clothes and weapons. In summary, you will be required to find your way of living and chose how to contribute to the prosperous development of your realm, and your new home.
Each realm is made of an inner portion and a frontier. The inner portion hosts a Capital and other important cities;
Players will have the opportunity to directly interact with certain city areas, building their houses (in-game housing), shops (depending on their profession as a crafter) as well as public utility buildings (stables, blacksmith's shops etc.). Players will contribute to create their world, building it and making it their own. The frontier is divided in three tiers based on the distance from the inner realm; the nearest tier is the most protected while the farthest is the most savage. In the frontier players can extend their control over the territories by conquering keeps, outposts and resources gathering points.
Factions and characters
As already stated, in The Dark Centuries there are three playable factions.
Although there will be just one main race characterized by human like features, the graphic engine will offer ample possibilities to customize each character.
Characters will be divided in four main groups; the Fighters, specialized in melee combat, the Mystics, specialized in the use of magic, offensive, defensive and curative, the Thieves, specialized in ranged attacks and ambushes, and the Crafters which will be better described in a dedicated chapter.
Particular attention will be dedicated to mobs creation as they are taken directly from historically accurate legends. For example, a mob of the Keltios realm will be the Sluagh (the dead celtic sinner).
Sluaghs are scary creatures that hunt down souls. According to Irish folklore, sluaghs are dead sinners that come back as malicious spirits. These spirits come from the west flying in groups like flocks of birds and try to enter a house where someone is dying to take away that person's soul. Some Irish families would keep there west-facing windows shut at all times to keep the sluaghs out of their homes.
Crafters are one of the pillars of the in-game community we plan to forge, exactly at the same hierarchical level of fighters, mystics and thieves. They follow a dedicated pattern of growth, study to acquire how to learn specific recipes, experience the usage of different ingredients to obtain the most powerful product makes, fulfil a different set of tasks and missions and, last but not least, produce the highest quality objects findable in the game.
Either eager to limit his exploration to the surroundings of his house, to find the appropriate ponds where to catch the best fishes for their culinary recipes, or willing to visit distant lands to spot the rarest herbs for his potions; jealous of his own recipes to the point to keep them secret or open to make them known to others to help them make experience, a crafter is essentially a player who longs to live adventures like all the other players and to continuously access higher level of excellence in the interest of the realm!
Crafters will play an important role even in frontier thanks to a range of abilities enabling them to fight alongside other players without directly entering in combat (for example using turrets, mechanical traps and various other devices).
In our opinion the availability of a detailed map constantly showing the player where he is and in which direction he is headed represents a flaw of the current MMORPGs and generates two major problems :
It completely eliminates the joy of discovery and exploration
It heavily affects the player’s immersion in the game world
In conclusion therefore, while admitting that a GPS model map is of great help to players’ travelling around, we honestly believe that when it comes to emotions and in-game immersion, this system takes out more than it gives in practical terms.
In The Dark Centuries, we intend to address the issue of maps in a serious and consistent way, by introducing a skill called Cartography.
Unavailable at the early stages, this skill will be available in a basic version for all classes, and in a more advanced version to crafters only. By studying cartography, players will be able to produce maps that will be simple drafts at the first levels (indicating only cardinal points and dimensional boundaries of the territory) to become more and more detailed at higher levels (reporting important elements of the site and even indicating the names).
How it works: Spread around the territory there are a series of special nodes for mapping, that the cartographer is able to recognize. These nodes are divided into:
Generic (available at all levels of cartography), represented by scenic spots of the map, for example heights, roofs, towers, mountain peaks, and so on and so forth. From these points, the cartographer is able to have a clear view of the area and then to draw a map for the portion that falls within a certain radius.
Speciality (only available to crafters) that are highlights of the territory that clearly distinguish an element of detail, for example a milestone on a road will make the same road appear on the map. The same thing will happen for an abandoned tower, the entrance to a cave, and so on and so forth.
This way we believe exploration of the various game zones is strongly stimulated, without having to make use of automatic achievements .
Furthermore, the maps will be drawn in a rather simple way and can never be viewed simultaneously with the game: if you want to look at a map, you have to call it on the screen, choose the way and then close it up and return to travel. Maps must be a support to players' orientation and never become similar to GPS systems; these will not indicate the direction the player is going to and will not guarantee players to always take the right path.
The Dark Centuries has a number of features that make it quite different from the products currently on the market. These will be explained in the Principles of the game, that will be put in the updates section, during the next month.
Some samples are as follows:
Community driven quest system: Rather than by characters with an exclamation mark on their head, quests will be given by NPCs who monitor the supply level of communities in the various settlements. The quests will be generated by the actual needs of a community. For example the lack of materials will generate the need to gather additional resources and automatically make available a specific quest to players who want to take it. Other kind of quests will require players to defeat monsters threatening the settlement, or to recover special objects belonging to the community, and so on and so forth.
In game housing system: players will be able to build a house in an existing settlement (not an instanced area) and therefore to actively forge their community;
Bravery acknowledgments: players will have the chance to distinguish themselves by killing tons of enemies in battle and having their names carved into marble tags proudly shown into the main capitals. Furthermore, players will be able to become even more influential by acquiring the rank of quest-givers and affect the social aspect of the game;
Realm invasion: The conquest of an enemy realm begins at the farthest point of the frontiers, as the players advance and consolidate control over territory, and ends laying siege to the castle of the enemy Great Lord, at the very core of the enemy realm.
Challenging game experience: As former RPG players, we know that achieving the result too easily results in getting bored soon. For this reason, the level of difficulty of the game, without being too excessive, will still be calibrated to make the gameplay a challenging experience, that will never get too easy.
Dedicated mobile application: it will enable players to perform specific tasks regardless their physical presence in front of their pc; crafting a weapon or armor, managing the family treasury or ordering the goods for sale will be possible every time everywhere.
Why we need you
The funds raised through Kickstarter will enable us to hire SW engineers and developers needed to accelerate the development and deliver a playable Beta by the end of 2015.
Having cumulated thousands of played-hours to the very best MMORPG the market has been offering since 2000, our team have brought in incredibly skilful creative artists in order to give life to our imagination.
While we are convinced these are very important skills to have, especially when creating a game from scratch, on the other hand we are aiming to create something unique, an original piece of work, an experience that will change the way gamers play and we realize that for a game like the one we have in mind we most probably need more than all of this.
On the same token, this is the basic reason why we are using Kickstarter as our funding platform as this is the biggest opportunity to hopefully find several like-minded gamers who will be with us in the coming months, provide us feedback, try our Beta, and also be ambassadors for our Quest!
We have a wealth of experience in the gaming industry including structuring game dynamics, combat methodologies and artwork. We have previously worked on several successful games such as SpaceStunt 3D, Fairytale Fights (PS3/XBox 360) and PomPom Party (PS2). We are very excited to move forward with The Dark Centuries.
Risks and challenges
There are risks associated with any start-up, let alone an online game that aims to entertain many players. As a team we have the experience to understand how to successfully run a start-up and know what it takes to deliver a project on budget and on time. We have set strict deadlines for this project that we are committed to respect. In order to meet them, in addition to our core members, we aim to involve experienced freelance professionals which will enable us to speed up things where needed while at the same time keep a high level of quality and performance.
Furthermore creating a viable alternative to a successful game's model is a challenge. We recognize this and perfectly understand that our aim is very ambitious. While our perspective and many years of experience as gamers represent an invaluable asset to have, we also realize that we need to bring the viewpoint of many more gamers into it. Involving the gaming community into the project to test our assumptions, to gain more ideas, leveraging the brainpower of people who are “passionate but unsatisfied” gamers like us, who will want to be part of the driving engine and help us deliver our dream is not only a way to mitigate this risk, but also key to success in our opinion.
Enjoy your copy of Dark Centuries while spending the day as only a King can, in Dark Centuries garb, a festive banquet and mounds of Mountain Dew (to keep you going) in your special Ruler Goblet. Did we forget you also have a crown?
Not only will you receive the game and have a street named after you, but your sculpted bust will be located in the middle of the street and a noble in the city will bear your face (you handsome devil you).
DEITY We will show your partner how much you love them by turning them into an epic Deity, really proving they are just as wonderful as you always tell them they are! You can also get the game with a lovely red ribbon so you can present it to your love in style. (Shipping not included)
Ever wish you could do battle with your ex on your very own game? Well now is your chance! We will turn your ex-love into an epic monster and name it after them, giving you the chance to battle it out and show the world you have moved on.
Because you are epic in your own right, we want to spend the day with you and show you where we work. Over dinner we will talk through the origins of the game and give you some cool swag to take home. (Flights not included).