The Rise of Mooncrest - Story Driven, Tactical RPG
A turn-based Tactical RPG inspired by the long running Japanese series Langrisser. Created by a veteran ex-BioWare designer.
The land of Nocturne has been at peace for generations until it was recently invaded by an outlandish army from a faraway land. Seemingly overnight, all the cities have fallen save one: Mooncrest. As the last bastion and only hope for the people of Nocturne, can you defeat an overwhelming force and overcome their dark arcane powers and save the land, or will all become enslaved to these cruel masters?
In The Rise of Mooncrest (RoM), you will take command of the city's armies and fight through a series of battles of turn-based strategy. As you progress you will use your tactical knowledge to defeat your enemies, acquire new abilities for your Commanders, and further the story.
There is no better way to experience a game then to play it first hand. The Rise of Mooncrest demo was created specifically for this Kickstarter campaign. While all the features in the demo present the game in an early state and all assets are subject to change, the gameplay systems are working and in place. This demo is a good representation of what this Kickstarter campaign is building toward. The demo was created in Unity 5 and is available for Windows PC only.
The Rise of Mooncrest (RoM) is a TRPG inspired by the long running Japanese series Langrisser (the first game was translated and released on Sega Genesis as Warsong). RoM draws on the storytelling elements of modern TRPGs to deliver a rich narrative that follows the early history of Mooncrest and the city's rise to prominence.
The Commanders (yellow units) play an important role on the field of battle. While tactically the most import unit in your army, they are also characters that lead Mooncrest's troops to war. Their interaction with other Commanders, their troops, and a varied cast of characters is what drives the narrative of RoM.
In total, there are 6 Commanders that players will get to control. Players begin the game with Serise who is a natural, but reluctant leader. Your second squad is commanded by Kerbasi, her childhood friend and an excellent tactician. On a routine mission they spot a foreign raiding party and discover that these scouts are part of a much larger invading force. Our heroes spring into action and attempt to warn the Council, but will they arrive before it's too late?
The Rise of Mooncrest is separated into different stages. These stages play through the major events of the story: reconnaissance, daring rescues, skirmishes, defense, and liberation. Some stages offer just a single massive battle while others develop over time through a series of related events.
The time for parlay has passed and each stage is a conflict between the ragtag forces of Mooncrest and their would be overlords. Victory can not be achieved without loss, and every battle turns into a war of attrition. For the cunning Commander, the key to success is to leverage your forces tactical advantages.
Can a patchwork army of Mooncrest's remaining forces grow strong enough to repel the arcane magics of their attackers, or is Nocturne doomed to an age of darkness?
Commanders and Squads
Commanders are the most powerful units in the game. They are highly skilled individuals and the main heroes and villains of the story. Each Commander unit represents one mighty hero. In comparison, squad units represent 10 rank and file soldiers.
As mentioned, Commanders are your most valuable units. Not only are they the most powerful, but their command radius also allows them to buff nearby units. But be warned. Careless use of a Commander can see him defeated in battle, and if he falls, all units under his command will flee the battle as well.
Battles in The Rise of Mooncrest are brutal and decisive. RoM is a game that treats combat as a war of attrition. Commanders are akin to kings or queens in chess while squads are pawns to be carefully sacrificed to protect their Commanders.
Combat in The Rise of Mooncrest is highly tactical. Players are rewarded for smart gameplay by out thinking and out maneuvering their opponents. Tactical advantage manifests itself in the game in various ways.
Terrain Bonuses: Terrain offers various bonuses in RoM. Some allows for faster movement which enables easier unit positioning. Other terrain grants attack and defense bonuses, but slows down your troops. For example: Roads don't provide any combat bonuses, but units on roads can move much faster. Forests grant defensive bonuses, and hills provide bonuses to both attack and defense. Terrain advantage is crucial as lining up your units on ridge gives them a great advantage against troops attacking from below.
Unit Advantages: Units in RoM each have their own specialty and work off of the Rock-Paper-Scissors concept. With Soldiers, Archers, and Mages being the 3 primary unit types. Soldiers are better than Archers, Archers are better than Mages, and Mages are better than Soldiers.
This in an easy concept understand, but increases in scope and complexity once additional unit types are introduced in later stages of the game.
Strength in Numbers: As units become injured their combat effectiveness decreases. A cunning player can overwhelm weakened units by attacking with full strength units to help minimize their losses. Commanders can also maintain strength in numbers by taking advantage of their triage ability which allows units in base contact with their Commander to heal some health at the start of the player's turn. Players who learn to utilize these tactics will have a significant advantage over their enemy.
While crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you is fun, too much of the same thing can get tiring and that has been an issue with some TRPGs in the past.
In order to add some variety to RoM's gameplay, a lot of thought went into the design of the different scenarios. While some stages are your typical "kill all the enemies", others will feature a linear series of objectives that must be completed in order to claim victory. There are a wide variety of scenarios planned to keep the arm chair generals out there engaged throughout the game. Some examples include:
- Advance to location "x" and: extinguish a fire, destroy a barrier, erect a fortification, capture an objective, etc.
- Guard the pass and prevent any enemies from escaping.
- Survive for "x" amount of turns until reinforcements arrive.
- Chase down and capture a fleeing enemy.
- Capture the flag.
- And many, many more.
Our story begins with Nocturne under siege. A powerful unknown enemy has quickly conquered all who oppose them. The Dol-Fayn as the people of Nocturne have come to call them, wield terrible arcane magics and raze the land. Mooncrest is the last bastion of hope for the people of Nocturne as all of the neighboring cities have fallen. You will take command of the remaining soldiers of Mooncrest in an attempt to mount a counter offensive and liberate the land. You will uncover the secret origins of the Dol-Fayn and interact with characters through cutscenes both during missions and between stages.
Like other TRPGs, The Rise of Mooncrest has a leveling system based on experience points (XP). This works just like you would expect: when a Commander or one of his units defeats an enemy, the Commander gains XP. Each time a Commander gains a level, his stats will increase until he reaches level 10.
Once a Commander reaches level 10, he can choose between two advanced classes that come with their own perks and abilities. For example, upon hitting level 10, Kerbasi can choose to advance to a Captain making him a melee specialist. This also gives him access to the special ability Rally which grants a bonus to attack and defense to any units within his command aura until the next turn.
In addition, advanced characters gain one more unit to command for a total of 5. They also benefit from increased stats, can choose what types of units they lead (selecting archers or soldiers at the beginning of a stage), and their tactical acumen allows them a bit of control over where they are placed before the stage begins. In total, there are 22 different classes the player’s can choose from to customize their forces.
On this project we have been fortunate to work with several talented artists on fleshing out the world of Nocturne and developing the look for the demo. The visual design of the game is still under development and will likely see various iterations before the final look is established before release.
Players will discover and interact with a multitude of characters throughout the game. Currently, there are over 20 characters planned, but this could change based on how the story develops, and how far along our Kickstarter campaign progresses.
Instead of a tile-based system that is traditionally used in TRPGs, RoM uses maps that are each meticulously hand drawn.The style is based on actual Medieval maps that were created during the 13th century.
For both the demo and the full game audio services are being provided by A Shell in the Pit. Based in Vancouver, this award nominated audio team has worked on many independent projects including Night in the Woods, Duelyst, and Okhlos. For more information on A Shell in the Pit, visit their website.
The music for The Rise of Mooncrest will be composed by John Robert Matz. John Robert is a Chicago-based performer, arranger, composer, and music educator. Classically trained, he graduated with honors from Elmhurst College, majoring in music education, but with an emphasis on brass and vocal performance.
He is a member of the Materia Collective, ASCAP, and the Game Audio Network Guild, and has recently been honored with two awards in the 2017 G.A.N.G. Awards, earning “Best Interactive Score” for his work on “Fossil Echo”, and being named “Rookie of the Year” for 2017.
Click below to hear the theme that was composed by John Robert for The Rise of Mooncrest, aptly titled "Mooncrest Rising".
You can learn more about John Robert and listen to his music on his personal website.
Based in Austin TX, KnightMayor was founded by Rick Burton and consists of Rick and a group of talented freelancers from around the globe. Rick is a college educated programmer (B.S. in Computer Science from Texas A&M) and a veteran designer with eight years of experience with BioWare. His credits include: Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Star Wars: The Old Republic and SWTOR: Rise of the Hutt Cartel.
Rick began creating the world of Nocturne over 10 years ago when he released the popular Neverwinter Nights modules Twilight and Midnight. A third module, Dawn, was planned to conclude the trilogy, but never released. Both modules were inducted into the NWVault Hall of Fame, held the #1 user rating on NWVault, and received the NWVault Reviewer's Award. Twilight was featured in Computer Gaming World magazine and Midnight was featured in Computer Games magazine.
Rick plans to one day revisit and complete the Paladin Trilogy. The Rise of Mooncrest is KnightMayor's first step in establishing the company as a trustworthy developer while it grows to handle larger projects.
While "the team" has significant programming and design experience, art and audio are crucial components to the project. I do not have the skills necessary to produce those assets. The primary goal for this campaign is to acquire the funding needed to commission skilled experts in those areas and to ensure that The Rise of Mooncrest is delivering an all around fantastic gaming experience.
Show your support for The Rise of Mooncrest as a community and help unlock achievements to add cool features to the game! Each unlock is worth 1 point for a total of 33 points. There are 3 different tiers with rewards to unlock:
- Tier 1 (11 Points): Unlock an alternate start up screen. This reward is exclusive for Kickstarter backers.
- Tier 2 (22 Points): Unlock 2 additional commanders. In the original design document, there are a total of 6 commanders that players will use throughout the game. If this tier is achieved, 2 optional commanders will be added to the game giving players a choice for their final two commanders. This reward is available to anyone who purchases The Rise of Mooncrest.
- Tier 3 (33 Points): Party like it's 1995! Unlock retro style tile-based maps. This reward is exclusive to Kickstarter backers.
- Kickstarter: Achievements awarded for the amount of backers we have supporting our campaign. Tell your friends and spread he word! No pledge amount is too small as every little bit counts.
- Twitter: Achievements awarded for the amount of followers we have on our Twitter account and the amount of times our pinned tweet is retweeted.
- Facebook: Achievements awarded for liking our Facebook page and sharing our pinned post.
- YouTube: Achievements awarded for the amount of subscribers to our channel, the total comments on our trailer, and for watch it played or reaction videos on The Rise of Mooncrest demo. If you post a video, get in touch with us here through Kickstarter and provide the link.
- Twitch: Achievements awarded for the amount of times The Rise of Mooncrest demo is streamed on Twitch. If you are a streamer, get in touch with us here through Kickstarter and provide a link to your stream. We are also happy to promote streamers. Get it touch with and let us know when you will be broadcasting.
- Greenlight Votes: Achievements awarded for the amount of votes we get for our Greenlight campaign. Get out and upvote us so we can be distributed on Steam.
- Fan Art: Achievements awarded for sharing The Rise of Mooncrest fan art. Includes drawings, cosplay, music, etc. Unleash your creativity! Get in touch with us here through Kickstarter or post on Twitter with the hashtag #mooncrest so we don't miss them. We'll pick our favorites and share as a future Kickstarter update.
If you have pledged at any tier (Citizen of Mooncrest and above), you can include add-ons with your pledge. To add on to your pledge, go to "Manage" at the top of the Kickstarter page and increase your pledge by the total amount of all desired add-ons. Once the Kickstarter ends, we will contact you with more details on how to specify what you want included with your pledge.
- Digital Soundtrack +$5
- Digital Wallpapers & Digital Art Book +$5
- Extra copy of the game +$20
- Three additional copies of the game +$50
- Full Access +$250 (behind the scenes access from day 1 of development)
We do have some exciting stretch goals planned for The Rise of Mooncrest. Stretch goals will be unveiled as the campaign progresses and we get closer to our campaign goal.
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for their support. This project will only come to life with your help and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to produce an exceptional gaming experience for you.
Also, special thanks to all who were critical to the development of The Rise of Mooncrest demo and this Kickstarter campaign:
- A Shell in the Pit
- Jeffrey "V" Visgaitis
- Wahyu Nugroho
- James Henley
- Steve Chopz
Risks and challenges
Unsuspected delays are certainly a possibility especially with a one man development team. This has been accounted for by careful planning and prototyping of various systems over the past year which is cataloged in our online development blog (http://www.mooncrestrpg.com/news/blognews/). Having developed a working demo of the game provides great insight into what is needed to see this project through to completion, but there is always the chance of unforeseen issues rearing their head and causing delays.
Distribution of The Rise of Mooncrest and its achievement reward levels (Paladin tier and above) have been created with Steam in mind. At the time of this writing Steam distribution has not been secured. From research into other successful Kickstarter campaigns, there is a very slim chance that RoM will not be successful with our Greenlight status if the game is funded. It is our hope that Greenlight status will be achieved during the Kickstarter campaign. Even so, there are other options for Steam distribution or other routes available if necessary. You can help with this one and vote for us on Steam (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/comments/918126793).
The Bus Factor
A semi-joke used frequently in AAA development: Who will step in if “Person X” is hit by a bus? This is used to express the level of risk to a project if an individual would leave the company or would be out of commission for an extended period of time. With a core development team of only one person, the "bus factor" is high indeed. Significant issues could cause delays. Fortunately, odds of this happening are fairly low and Rick will stay off the streets and away from buses to increase our chances.
- (30 days)