Destiny's Sword - an inclusive, uniquely social online game
The key to the Destiny's Sword experience is our proprietary Insight Engine technology.
The Insight Engine is responsible for the psychological simulation of all of our in-game characters. It gives each character a unique personality, backstory and life history.
The Insight Engine tracks the evolution of characters' emotions over time based on their combat experiences, player decisions & actions, and the meaningful events that happen in their daily lives.
Characters will grow and evolve with your guidance.
What a character thinks and feels will affect their performance in battle, and their experiences in combat will affect how they think and feel. It's a circular relationship that has the player's fingerprints all over it.
The characters can also form webs of relationships with other characters - some forming synergies and working really well together, and others experiencing discord and performing poorly when together.
Getting to know each of your characters' strengths and weaknesses will be important, and helping to shape your squad into a highly effective team will be extremely rewarding as you inspire and lead them to success.
Players are based on orbital support ships that are developed cooperatively by guilds of up to 60 players. We've made it really easy to group up with your friends or with people you meet throughout the game!
The orbital support ships provide meeting and gathering places in Destiny's Sword. Not only do you lead and develop your team of characters, but you also work cooperatively with other players to achieve your goals together.
In addition to being gateways for progression of skills, technology and special abilities, the support ships also allow for unprecedented interaction between players and characters.
The Guild Hall is one the core sections of the support ship where players can hang out together and interact. Guilds can customize their areas, changing the decor, lighting and even the configuration of the room itself. Players will be able to invite friends from other guilds to visit and show off their achievements, including their wall of honor, which will list their legendary characters and those who have fallen.
But sections like the guild hall have more practical uses as well. Players can use their social currency (which is the reward the game gives for interactions where one player helps another) to put on special events in this space, including weddings, funerals and parties.
For example, if a player has lost a character in combat, then throwing a funeral will help their remaining characters gain closure and cope better with the loss. Other players who attend the funeral will also gain benefit and they'll receive social currency for helping other players with their recovery.
Players can also throw parties in the guild hall. Parties are a great way for any players in attendance to help their characters blow off steam.
But these events are also gateways that allow the characters of players who are in attendance to interact - sometimes in a very simple fashion, like becoming friends or having a scuffle, but other times becoming more complex story lines that drive player to player interaction.
For instance, one player's character may reveal to them that they lost an item at the party. That player will then have to ask other players who attended the party to check if any of their characters found the item. In effect, the players become part of the story and must actively interact with each other to resolve the story line.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of potential player and character interactions that are made possible by our Insight Engine technology.
Destiny’s Sword is an online strategy role-playing game which features ground-breaking social game design, a unique exploration of mental health and the long term consequences of combat, and an innovative customer-focused business model.
Rather than simply crunching numbers in pursuit of dominance, players work together to manage the psychology and mental health of their squad throughout the game.
As a squadron commander, you'll lead your troops through futuristic battles alongside thousands of other players.
You'll also collaborate with other players to help wounded characters recover from physical and mental injuries.
We've been developing Destiny's Sword for about a year and a half. We are currently aiming to launch our beta at PAX East 2020 (in Boston, end of March 2020).
We will show off our next major progress leap at PAX West 2019 (Seattle, end of August 2019).
What's with the grid and the blue background?
Don't worry! This is prototype footage. All of our in game action will take place in beautiful, dynamic environments.
We know we can make beautiful environments - we have a really special team of artists on board - so we prioritized the riskier technologies for early development. We have focused on prototyping systems like the character psychology simulation that is done by our Insight Engine™.
We plan to unveil an integrated environment with our PAX West demo later this year!
In the meantime, if you missed the PAX East demos, here's a look back at them:
As an online game with thousands of concurrent players, we’re all about fostering player interaction, creating shared experiences in an immersive environment.
That's why we're designing innovative social game mechanics that will ensure all players in Destiny’s Sword are valued and can contribute in a meaningful way, regardless of their achievement level or intensity of play.
This will make it a lot easier to form positive relationships with other players and continue to play together, even if you play at different intensities and/or frequencies.
It also makes Destiny's Sword a lot more fun and less daunting for new players. You can play at your own pace.
Most MMOs also feature power progression - as one player gets better, everyone else gets worse by comparison. This leads to resentment of other players' progress and invites toxicity in the community. That's not for us!
In Destiny's Sword, when one player gets better, it will elevate everyone else along with them. Players are encouraged to mentor and guide each other, and are rewarded for helping others and working together.
Destiny's Sword fosters empathy, communication and cooperation, providing a safe and inclusive space for all players to enjoy themselves, however they choose to play!
2Dogs Games Ltd. was founded in 2017 by Ken Hall, Dave Ramnarine and Charles Wright.
We set out with one goal in mind, to create a more enjoyable online gaming experience.
We're a team of industry veterans. But don't take our word for it - these are just some of the games made by the people who have worked on Destiny's Sword:
All of us at 2Dogs are avid gamers ourselves, and we felt the time was right to come together to make the game we believe in. That's why we're making Destiny's Sword.
Having a great depth of story and character development is important for us to be able to create an immersive experience and really take advantage of our Insight Engine technology.
Joining our team as lead writer is New York Times bestselling author M. D. Cooper!
M. D. has written over 70 titles in the Aeon14 universe (www.aeon14.com), including the Rika novels - a future war series that features power armor and mechs.
What caught our eye and first drew us to Rika, was the way M. D. doesn't just focus on the frantic combat action, but also explores how the characters think about their actions.
I know, what a synergy, right?! We are so excited. M. D. has already written a short teaser story about Jada's history exclusively for our Kickstarter. (Jada is one o four main protagonists and is featured in many of our promotional images)
Check out a sample page from the screenplay version:
When we manage to hit our backer targets below, we'll release a digital version of the whole short story (yes, the full prose version) for all our backers to read.
Once we're fully funded, we've got some exciting stretch goals that include the production of backstory comics and getting M. D. to write a Destiny's Sword backstory novel (which expands on the main game story), or maybe even a whole series!
The core experience in Destiny's Sword will be augmented with our global narrative events.
These are optional add-on story events that provide immersive experiences - think of it a series of 'Murder on the Orient Express' or 'Escape Room' type events that overlay the core game narrative.
One scenario might present reports of a saboteur planning to attack one of the Lucidium freighters. All of the participating players on the server collectively have one week to figure out which ship is the target and apprehend the attacker (or at least foil the plot).
You'll use the same dialogue system you use to engage with your squad to interrogate the freighter crews, trying to put the clues together and track down the saboteur.
As you identify the toublemakers, you'll use the combat system to take them down, fighting in brand new themed environments (in this example, within the decks and cavernous belly of a Lucidium freighter).
Players will earn unique themed rewards - achievements, campaign ribbons, badges as well as themed customization items (new uniforms for the barracks, new combat skins, guild hall swag, etc.)
Players will have to work together and pool their knowledge to solve these events, and the outcomes will shape the game's story arc and physical world.
In Destiny's Sword, you're not just fighting battles and scoring points, you're shaping the story and changing the course of history!
Imagine if the ship explodes and crashes into the planet - one (or more) of the district maps you play in will feature wreckage of the crashed ship and a trail of destruction, carving it's way across the region. There will be other consequences too, such as increased radiation in some zones or increase salvage (rewards after battle) in others.
While not strictly essential to the core game progression, these events will provide unique experiences , and give players an opportunity to work together and see the in-game changes their actions have wrought.
Dynamic music is a powerful tool to create excitement and tension, and to reflect characters' emotions.
Our innovative music will seamlessly adapt: As players advance through a level; as the enemy makes a final stand; or as the characters’ emotions change. It will punctuate key events, and frame the characters' lives on the support ship.
Our amazing music is created by Jake Butineau, our talented composer and sound designer.
He will be implementing dynamic music throughout the game, creating an immersive and interactive soundtrack from the ground up.
Want a sneak peak of Jake's vision?
Check out the Destiny's Sword preview album:
In developing our Insight Engine, we are consulting with veterans and mental health experts to explore the real-life effects of combat.
It's very important to us that we avoid stereotype and reduce stigma, contributing positively to awareness and discussion surrounding mental health.
We're currently consulting with veterans and mental health experts, including:
Take this are a games based mental health charity. Their clinical psychology team is helping to make sure that we promote positive awareness of mental health issues.
Spartan Wellness are a Canadian veteran's support group. They are helping us ensure that we present the consequences of combat with dignity and respect.
Alda Communication Training is an organization dedicated to teaching and promoting empathy and communication. Sarah Chase, their COO, has been guiding us in our attempts to provide a deeper engagement between players and their characters, in order to create a more impactful experience.
Whether we like it or not, video games are a force in today’s world and they’re influencing generations. But instead of being vehicles for positive change, many of them promote anti-social behavior and create toxic online communities.
We believe there is an opportunity for games which offer a positive, rewarding experience. There is a better way - and we have a winning solution.
At 2Dogs Games, we want to create games which enhance people’s lives and foster meaningful social engagement.
Our hand-picked team of industry veterans has worked on some of the most successful franchises in gaming, and now we’ve come together to make the game we truly believe in.
Destiny’s Sword is an online video game that focuses on teamwork. Success in Destiny's Sword is not about how much players can individually win and hoard, but how much they contribute to the community and elevate those around them.
Cultivating empathy, strategic thinking and cooperation, Destiny's Sword is the first online game to feature a realistic portrayal of the long term consequences of conflict and the mental health issues arising from it.
Destiny's Sword is all about community - working together to overcome challenges, supporting each other in repair and recovery and helping each other achieve goals.
As an indie studio, we felt one of our biggest challenges would be getting enough players through the door when we first launch the game. Our solution is to remove as many barriers to entry as possible.
We believe free to play can and should be better.
Free to play doesn't mean free to make, but we want to deliver clarity and value for money when dealing with our community. We're promising an ethical business model that features:
- NO pay to win
- NO lootboxes or gambling mechanics
- NO 'fun pain' or paywalls
We're designing a game that you can play on your schedule, not ours. Destiny's Sword won't force you to chose between the game and real life.
We are committed to making Destiny's Sword a healthy, positive gaming experience and a safe and inclusive space for all players.
Our social game mechanics will reduce toxicity and encourage social cohesion.
How will Destiny's Sword be monetized?
Destiny's Sword is a true free to play. You do not need to pay anything to be able to play and enjoy the game.
That said, we hope you will want to dive deeper into our world with us, because that's how we're able to keep bringing you exciting new content and story lines.
There are two main methods of monetization in Destiny's Sword: micro subscriptions and our global narrative events.
Our micro subs are low cost, short duration subscriptions that will offer players the opportunity to customize their game experience the way they want - to focus more on Engineering (more crafting and tech development), Medical (more healing and recovery opportunities), or Combat (more of a battle focus).
What makes our micro subs even more unique is that they will become more rewarding the longer they are active. This progress is safely banked - even if you switch over to another subscription type, when you come back, you'll pick up right where you left off.
Our global narrative events will be ticketed entry. They are not required to progress or play the core game, but they are a unique experience and they allow you to interact with lots of other players. They also provide access to exclusive themed customization and items.
Being an independent studio allows us to take risks like promising ethical practices in our business model, or exploring mental health in our game.
We are looking for the right publishing and/or investment partner to help us stabilize our cash flow and assist with distribution outside of North America, but we're super-protective of our vision to make a game for you, our community!
We'll only partner with someone who supports our goals and is a great fit, not just because it would make our lives a little easier.
The best case is that you (the community) become our biggest supporter and then we can achieve our vision together, without compromise.
We want to do something really special, and we need your help to do that.
What will the Kickstarter money fund?
The funds we raise through Kickstarter will help us to stabilize our cashflow between payments from our funders (see risks & challenges below).
If we exceed our funding targets, our stretch goals will allow us to bring you something that's closer to our long-term vision. We want to make Destiny's Sword an integrated, immersive experience, by adding exciting details like:
- backstory comics and novels by our bestselling author
- motion captured animations for more personality
- voice acting for our animated story sequences
- expanded animated story sequences (more of them, and more to them)
- customizable character/mech skins and guild support ships
- dynamic mission map creation
- decal editor for player-created squad logos
- 3D printed tabletop figure sets
- full orchestral recording for the music, and more!
We've worked hard making Destiny's Sword a reality, but you can help us make it really shine!
We've got some very exciting stretch goals in store, but right now we're focused on hitting our funding target. If we exceed that, we'll take that next steps together!
- completed goals -
We have hit 100 backers, so we'll be sending all of our backers at the end of the project a .pdf copy of Contact!, our proof of concept short story written by M. D. Cooper!
We also passed the $20,000 funded mark, so we'll be including customization assets for the Guild Halls in our first release.
We just hit 200 backers! That means we'll release our PAX West playable prototype to all our backers, after the expo. We're working on a core game loop demo for PAX West in Seattle at the end of August, and we'll release the playable prototype shortly after the convention if we hit this target. Even better, if you're in the area, come to PAX West and get your hands on the playable live with the dev team!
- still to come -
There isn't long left, but we wanted to show what's possible, in case the community really starts to rally! If we can hit the $50,000 funded mark, we'll be able to commission M. D. Cooper to write a backstory novel set in the Destiny's Sword universe. Every backer will get a digital copy of the novel, free - we really want to make this happen!
- future goals -
What's next? We have some awesome ideas for stretch goals, but we want to stay focused on getting fully funded first. If we get there, we'll take the next step together!
We've got some exclusive backer rewards that we want to share with you to thank you for believing in us.
Risks and challenges
Destiny's Sword is a big project, but we've successfully shipped big games before and we're confident we can deliver.
However, being an independent startup studio also presents us with some challenges, most notably: funding and promotion.
We've been incredibly cost-efficient - from operating a virtual studio with no physical space overheads, to limiting the project's scope and designing and building all of our game systems to grow over time.
We've secured funding for our initial release by putting much of it up ourselves, and by gaining the support of private contributors as well as the Canada Media Fund and Ontario Creates, all of whom believe in and support what we're doing.
Keeping the cash flow going between payments can sometimes be a bit of a scramble, but to date we've hit every one of our development milestones and exhibition deadlines over the past 18 months and we're bang on budget.
Another challenge we face as an indie is getting the word out. We've built our business plan on pretty conservative player number estimates, but if we fail to hit these, things could get a little tight for a while.
But then we remember - we have a great PR team, and the community has been incredibly supportive: helping us to get the message out, getting involved and making Destiny's Sword all that it can be!
Thank you for continuing to support us and spread the word, every bit helps.
- the 2Dogs Dev TeamLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)