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$5,648 pledged of $150,000 goal
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$5,648 pledged of $150,000 goal
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About

Spy DNA is a tactical squad RPG that combines turn-based game mechanics with realistic combat simulation.

The game puts you in command of a small team of super-spies. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to fight to preserve our way of life and stop those that want destroy it.

Using advanced genetic modification technology, you create and enhance your super-spy character to match your playstyle. You’ll lead a squad of spies with unique talents on missions around the globe.

We are greatly inspired by the RPGs of the past that made the genre popular in the first place: Jagged Alliance, Silent Storm, and the original XCOM.

Spy DNA will be available to play on Windows PCs.

We set the game in 2075, in an optimistic version of the future. It’s not a dystopian world, and humanity is not only surviving, but making progress. The future is not too distant, so you will recognize a lot of tech, and today’s cutting-edge gadgets will “just work.” 

The story begins with your character joining a secret project run by the Crolimax Laboratory. The founders of the project, Drs. Britta Crotalus and Andreas Limax have invented a way to genetically enhance living humans to turn them into super-spies. 

But what fun would it be without some baddies? When the genetic enhancement research is stolen from the lab, it is your character’s task to recover it and to prevent a rogue nation from creating an army of super-soldiers. 

  • Super-realistic combat and AI make you feel like a real super-spy on a mission 
  • Realistic weapons behaviour, aiming, and cover 
  • Hit points replaced with anatomical damage 
  • Dynamic turn duration based on character stats 
  • Turns execute at the same time 
  • Immersive story
  • Deep branched dialog
  • Rich character attributes and skills allow you to create and play a character based on your own play style
  • High tactical flexibility creates replay value

You will control 1-4 characters depending on the mission. There are three categories of missions. 

Recon:
Get information on or acquire an item from a mission. Combat is optional on these missions and depending on location may best be avoided.
Examples: Photograph target area, steal an item, or plant a bug. 

Low intensity:
Missions in populated areas, where looking and acting like a soldier would draw too much unwanted attention. These missions are performed with stealth and concealed weapons.
Examples: Kidnap enemy personnel, assassination, friendly personnel extraction. 

High intensity:
Missions in remote areas where noise and collateral damage are not a concern. On these missions you can employ the heavy weapons and armor.
Examples: Neutralize facility, destroy weapons stockpile, capture enemy leader. 

 

Realistic combat environment 

What sets Spy DNA apart from most tactical games is our uncompromising focus on creating a realistic and believable combat environment. 

Sight cam

We added a gunsight cam, so when you are giving your character the order to attack, you can make sure they execute the attack exactly the way you want. 

We are giving the players tremendous control over what type of shots their characters take. Anything from a snapshot to a well-aimed shot is possible. You can also vary the number of rounds you fire and where you aim. 

So is it turn-based? 

Combat in Spy DNA is Concurrent Turn-Based. This means that the game plays as turn-based, but the length of the turns is determined by your actions and stats. When it’s any of your characters’ turns, the game stops and waits for you to tell them what to do next. How long a turn takes is determined by what you told your characters to do. 

Spy DNA is also different in that all characters perform their actions at the same time. It’s not at all uncommon to see a character's turn come up while bullets are flying through the air and explosions are going off.

 

Anatomical damage 

The damage system in Spy DNA is based on injuries rather than hit points. As a character is injured they will be impaired by those injuries. The game internally has a model of human anatomy which it uses to model the effects of the injuries a character sustains.

The screenshot above shows a character that fell on the battlefield. As in the real world, getting shot, stabbed, or blown up, are all bad things in Spy DNA. Best to avoid them. 

Weapons 

Weapons in Spy DNA are derived from real-world military weapons but extrapolated slightly for the future. The weapon models are physically based. Shots drift and lose energy over distance in a realistic way. 

 

The effective ranges mirror their real-world counterparts. We even built a virtual firing range (1000 meters) for testing the weapons. Currently there are twenty three unique weapons in the game. And yes, some of the maps in the game are large enough that snipers could make effective use of the long-range weapons.

Spy DNA provides a deep character model allowing you to create a unique character tailored to your play-style.

There are seven primary attributes. For those that wish greater control there are three detail attributes within each primary attribute. For example “senses” includes eyesight, hearing, and smell. If you want to create a character with great eyesight but not so great hearing, it’s up to you.

Skills in Spy DNA are another way the character evolves to mirror its player's play-style. We’ve introduced weapon specialization. If your character has a favorite weapon they keep using, they will become better with it over time.

You can learn new skills between missions. Your state-of-the-art base has a number or training resources available for your character to prepare them for missions. Once you have a skill you can advance it both by training it at the base or using it on a mission.

Learn more 

For a deeper look visit the Shy Snake Developer Blog

Follow us on social media: twitter, facebook, google+, tumblr, webpage 

Jason is good at programming, and Alex is good at creating the story and the world. Where we need help is with all the creative work, such as 3D objects, animations, motion-capture, music, and voice acting. 

If we reach our goal of 150k, we’ll be able to deliver the game, and its realistic combat system. The money will be used to pay for: 

  • Motion capture for character animation (budget 60k)
  • 3D models and textures (budget 40k)
  • Royalty-free music (budget 10k)
  • Sound effects (budget 5k)
  • Software and tools (Autodesk Maya, Motion Builder, 3DS Max, SpeedTree, etc.) (budget: 5k)

Every dollar over the baseline, we’ll stick into making the game richer and more immersive for the player. You can expect better and more assets, so that every map can have a unique feel, instead of repeating modular items. Here’s an overview of each major stretch goal:

$200,000.00: Weapons expansion Expand on the projectile weapons and add energy-based weapons. Give the player more futuristic options and more variety to play with.

$250,000.00: Adaptive music
Music that adapts to the happenings on screen and responds dynamically to the mood and the tactical situation. Every play-through, you’ll have a different soundtrack.

$300,000.00: Customizable guns
Add ability to customize guns in-game. Add sights, custom stocks, other upgrades.

$500,000.00: Voice acting
Hire professional voice actors to record the dialogue in the game.

$650,000.00: Enhanced animation
Improved animations which show the state of the character. The characters will show injuries in their animations. Leg injuries will cause the characters to limp. Stunned characters will clutch at injuries.

 

NOTE: The estimated delivery date (EDD) for each reward shows the date at which the earliest component will be available, e.g. Beta participants will be able to join the Beta program in December 2016, therefore that's the EDD shown. All reward levels that include a full game at release will receive it at the time of release in 2017, regardless of other components that may be delivered earlier.

 Thank you backers!

 Follow us on social media: twitter, facebook, google+, tumblr

 

Spy DNA is built by a two-person team: Alex and Jason, who also happen to be married. 

Jason (software and gameplay): 

  • Learned software development writing games for the TRS-80 Model 3 and Apple IIc 
  • Developed the accelerated OpenGL graphics stack for BeOS 
  • Worked at Nvidia on OpenGL performance 
  • Led the development of the Android compute runtime at Google
  • Favourite games: Jagged Alliance, Silent Storm, Close Combat, X3, Hearts of Iron, Star Control II, Planets Edge 

Alex (story and level design): 

  • Graphic artist since age 13 
  • Passion for writing/storytelling 
  • Online community builder for 10+ years (Red Hat/Fedora; VMware, Google, startups) 
  • Favourite games: Silent Storm, Mass Effect 

Spy DNA has been in development for about 1.5 years. The team has been at full strength for four months, since Jason joined in February. We’ve completed the following milestones. 

  • Script and story complete, will add more dialog branches 
  • Test and demo map complete 
  • Prototype UI 
  • First play test 
  • Weapon list complete 
  • Fog of war prototyped 
  • Damage model 
  • Post play test UI refresh 
  • Basic animations 
  • Dialog system 
  • Skill list 
  • Inventory management 
  • Gunsight camera 
  • Implement and test weapons 
  • Event Log 
  • Implemented parts of AI 

Spy DNA is built with Unreal Engine 4 for Windows PC platform.

The game logic is 100% C++ for best performance. Going C++ also allows us to customize the engine to bring you some of the unique gameplay functions in Spy DNA, such as our damage model and enhanced fog of war.

1. Character's body cam
2. Weapon and its firing mode selector
3. Character health status and stance
4. Character selector
5. Event log and combat status

 

Risks and challenges

Game development is an exercise in project management and software development. This means that unexpected difficulties can arise. These can cause the schedule to slip or features to be cut.

Many of the enhanced assets will be purchases from third parties. The project is structured such, that should these fail to deliver, we can still ship using the existing placeholder assets or other drop-in replacements.

Even with just our savings, and using off-the-shelf assets, we were able to create extensive demos and a handful of maps. Given funding, we’re confident we will be able to deliver a polished and immersive game experience.

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    You will be invited to an exclusive Spy DNA beta, where you'll be able to play our game before everyone else and give us feedback, get to try features and maps as they are created, PLUS of course a copy of Spy DNA when it ships, regular updates and the backer wallpaper.

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    Provide reviews of the game's weapons, armor, and other equipment during the Beta phase. Reviews will be included in the final game in the equipment screen. PLUS you get a copy of the game when it ships, regular updates, and wallpaper.
    All content is subject to Shy Snake review and approval.

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    Rich World Creator

    Contribute deep background content such as notes, posters, and other atmosphere items to be found in-game, PLUS item reviews (Beta Weapons Tech), one copy of Spy DNA when it ships, regular updates, and backer wallpaper.
    All content is subject to Shy Snake review and approval.

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    Original Art

    Get a page from Alex's sketchbook, with original map or UI sketches, PLUS participate in our exclusive Beta, where you'll get to play Spy DNA before general release and submit your feedback.

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    Get your likeness to be displayed in-game, on items such as billboards, photos, posters, etc. Also, you'll be part of our exclusive beta, PLUS you'll get the game at release, regular updates, and the backer wallpaper.
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    Armor Designer

    Working together with our artist, you will design a unique ARMOR to be found by players in-game. Also includes: Rich World Creator, Weapons Tech, and Beta rewards, PLUS game at release, updates, and wallpaper.
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    Name a place, character, or an item in Spy DNA, contribute their background info, description, or bio. Place name examples: Joe Smith Bank, Rocky Johnson's Tavern.
    Includes: Rich World Creator, Weapons Tech, and Beta rewards, PLUS one copy of the game at release, updates, and wallpaper.
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    Working together with our artist, you will design a unique WEAPON that will be available to players in-game. Also includes: Rich World Creator, Weapons Tech, and Beta rewards, PLUS game at release, updates, and wallpaper.
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    Evil Mastermind

    Working together with our artist, you will design a unique ENEMY NPC who will be included in one of the missions in-game. Also includes: Rich World Creator, Weapons Tech, and Beta rewards, PLUS game at release, updates, and wallpaper.
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    Dinner with Shy Snake founders

    Attend an invitation-only private dinner with Alex and Jason, prior to the launch reception in Silicon Valley, California in early 2017. Includes Weapons Tech and Beta rewards, PLUS you get a copy of the game when it ships, regular updates, and the backer wallpaper.
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    3D Print of Your Item

    Design OR name an item OR an enemy NPC to be included in the general release of the game, AND get a 3D scale print of their model. Also includes: Launch Reception, Rich World Creator, Weapons Tech, and Beta rewards, PLUS game at release, updates, and wallpaper.
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    Side Quest

    Working directly with Alex and Jason, you will provide an idea for a Spy DNA side quest, to be included in general release of the game. Also includes: Launch Reception, Rich World Creator, Weapons Tech, and Beta rewards, PLUS game at release, updates, and wallpaper.
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    Customer Advisory Board

    Be part of the Shy Snake Customer Advisory Board, where you'll have opportunity to attend regularly scheduled video-conferences with the founders, Alex and Jason, and provide your advice and feedback as the project progresses towards the release.
    Also includes: Launch Dinner, Launch Reception, Rich World Creator, Weapons Tech, and Beta rewards, PLUS game at release, updates, and wallpaper.
    All content is subject to Shy Snake review and approval.

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Funding period

- (60 days)