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Highlands is a beautiful hand-drawn strategy game with unique characters, resources management and RPG elements.
Highlands is a beautiful hand-drawn strategy game with unique characters, resources management and RPG elements.
770 backers pledged CA$ 23,059 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Highlands is a strategy game set high up in the clouds!  You play the heirs of a royal family overthrown by a mysterious army of bots and mercenaries.  Will you be able to take back what is yours?

*** Enhanced Reward: RALLY FOR THE CAUSE pledge and higher (50$ or more) will receive the Kickstarter exclusive side-story The Old Man and the Sky ***

If you have already pledged RALLY FOR THE CAUSE or more there is nothing special to do you will receive the quest!  Everyone pledging RALLY FOR THE CAUSE or more will receive this side-quest.  More info about this reward here.

Highlands is a turn-based strategy game similar to the classic board game Risk but with a variety of resources management mechanics as well as RPG elements.  Instead of controlling anonymous armies you recruit characters with backstories who level up in various stats and fight by your side to build a resistance.

Design & Story:  

  • Vibrant hand-drawn visuals made specific for each sectors. No repeating hex squares! 
  •  Spawns over 4 unique areas (countryside, city & docks, industrial district and citadel interior) filled with intense guerrilla warfare where you will have to secure & hold strategic positions in order to progress toward your goal. 
  •  A strong streamlined narrative with many scripted and random events to create a unique experience.

General Gameplay

The land is separated in ‘Sectors’ each producing a certain type of resource or giving special advantages due to the nature of the buildings they contain.

You reconquer territory through harsh fighting and must carefully plan which sectors you garrison or fortify.

Each sector under your control can contain one or a combination of these:

  • Resources: food, leadership or scraps. 
  • Special buildings: taverns, workshops and many more buildings where you can accomplish special actions. 
  • Story events: situations where something happens and you have to decide how to proceed.

4 Different Character Classes:

  • Combatants garrison sectors and advance on the battlefield to reconquer territory. They fight in a strategic card-style mini-game.

  • Mechanics fortify whole sectors by building barricades in order to keep the enemy at bay so you can send your combatants to more active battlefronts.  They can also craft items to equip your heroes.

  • Leaders motivate the population and organize resource gathering in sectors. They inspire new recruits to join in and also generate leadership points for important actions.

  • Academics tend the wounded and help the battle with their knowledge and new research.

Combat

You’ll have different strategic options when choosing how to face the enemies.

Direct Combat: Full frontal assault initiated by you or the enemy!  The combat screen pops up and you fight until either side wins or you withdraw.

Strategic actions: You can also use leadership points to do a variety of strategic actions outside of Direct combat that will weaken enemy position.

  • Support Strike: assist your combatants from an adjacent sector. 
  • Skirmish: launch a quick assault on an enemy sector in order to kill some of its troops.
  •  Bombardment: bombard your enemies from afar without risk of retaliation, but costs scraps.

Resources Management

You will need food, morale, scraps and have strong leadership in order to feed your heroes, build a resistance, craft items and use special actions.

Crafting System

Equippables will be anything from swords to helmets. Consumable items like a steam-bomb will tip a fight to your advantage but are used only once. Using them wisely in order to win crucial fights will be part of an efficient strategy.  

Mechanics will:

  • Erect barricades in sectors next to the enemy in order to keep them at bay.
  • Work relentlessly in workshops in order to craft a bunch of items that will give you the edge in combat.

Leadership

Because of the war, sectors are ‘disorganized’ and do not generate any resources. Assigning a leader to organize a sector will put the sector and its inhabitant back on their feet and after a few turns it will start generating resources for you.  Keep it protected from the enemy!

You can also send a leader to bartend and spread the word about your cause. He will start generating leadership points each turn depending on his leadership skill level.

Now with those Leadership Points you can do a lot, for example:

Wounded Characters

Academics will use your food resources to prepare potions and ointments that will heal characters injured in battle.

Upgrades!

Academics will also spend their time testing strange contraptions and try to discover new ways to make your resistance more effective.

For instance they can increase the ballistic range of a bombardment or find ingenious ways for your mechanics to make their barricades stronger.

Special Buildings

Here are a few of the special buildings you'll want to secure and defend along your way.

Tavern: a place to meet wanderers and know the local folks. Use leadership points to recruit people and assign leaders to generate leadership points each turn.

Workshop: where your mechanics have all their tools to craft weapons, grenades and other useful items.

Medical Ward: a building where you can assign characters that are very injured. They will not be able to perform any other action but will recover Combat Points more quickly.

Barracks: a building where your combatants will train and setup artillery bombardment.

The world of Highlands is populated by thousands of small floating islands that started drifting slowly away and floating higher and higher since the dawn of time.

These Highlands have always been coveted by men.  Some were low enough just to brush the earth and gave definite advantages to populations settling on them.  Rope systems and wooden elevators were used to exploit them and reach still higher grounds.

In the last era, Academics invented physics principles behind the elaboration of flying machines and became obsessed with the strange flying properties of these rocks which are still not fully understood.

Mechanics invented elaborate flying vehicles able to move populations to-and-fro these lands and even bigger machines still to pilot, anchor and accelerate these whole Highlands, often with disastrous consequences!

Each of these Highlands ultimately became home to a different powerful House and they together reign the skies and everything below through a mutual alliance: the League of Dominions.  Although long-standing and prestigious, the League hides many conflicts and some alliances remain thin & frail.

Our story begins in the Highland of House Arislaan, home to a peaceful and prosperous city where people lived happily for decades until ...

There are 4 character classes to help you in the war effort:

The Combatants are mostly soldiers still loyal to House Arislaan, but you will soon encounter mercenaries, eager young adventurers and train new militia ready to fight under your command.

Combatants are the manpower that will fight for your strategic advances.  Make sure they have plenty of ale at the local taverns and they will fight with fervor and discipline.

The Mechanics spend most of their time crafting & repairing anything you can imagine!

In the current wartime, they provide much needed assistance by crafting weapons and equipment for everyone while also erecting and maintaining fortifications that keep the enemy at bay.

Past is the time when Leaders were nobles of high blood!  In these dark days people are judged by their actions and courage on the battlefield rather than by their pedigree.

Leaders help the citizens organize the production of vital goods and keep the morale high.  They inspire new recruits and also work day & night at planning tactical maneuvers to outwit the enemy.

Most Academics remain unaware of the ravages of war, being buried in books in recluse libraries.  Yet those that will join you will prove invaluable by tending the wounded and optimizing your resources.

There is also a cat:

 Highlands Soundtrack is composed by the talented Simon Tardif (aka @SMTardif and Beagleword).

Our Kickstarter video already features the Highlands title song which can be listened to here.

Another more epic track is featured here.

These tracks and much more will be mastered for the Highlands Soundtrack!

We are currently 5 people working full time at Burrito Studio and are entirely dedicated to this project.  Some of us left their former day-job to do what we are passionate about.  We contribute directly from our pockets using the few savings we have and our budget is drawing to an end.

We are now at the crossroads between shipping a project with only a fraction of what we had in mind or creating a game at the height of everyone’s expectation.  We chose Kickstarter because we believe people, every single one of us, can accomplish great things when we get together and work toward a common goal.  By pledging, you are helping us achieve our dreams (and get to play an awesome game too!)

Back us and be part of the adventure!

Here is an estimate of how the Kickstarter money will be spent.  Of course it will slightly vary if we achieve higher stretch goals and we will keep this graph updated when it occurs.

                                    

Risks and challenges

We are already well into the production phase of the game. We have a functional pipeline and all the talent needed to complete the game. Most of the game mechanics are implemented, the art direction is solid and we have a playable map. To get there though was a bumpy road: game design and user interface were challenging issues to tackle during the summer and we had to go back to the drawing board many times which was time consuming. Everything ended up well and we are quite proud of the final result but it took longer than expected.

The current challenges are creating enough content to have interesting levels and long enough gameplay with a variety of side-stories and items, and also add a lot more animations to make the playing experience live & dynamic. We have a shorter timeframe than expected to create all of this, and the money raised via Kickstarter will give us a second breath to get to the finish line.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.90

    THE HIGHLANDS' BURRITO BUFFET

    To thank you for helping us realize our dream here at Burrito Studio, we will send you a Digital Burrito that will fill you up with joy! Every higher tier will also have the Digital Burrito.

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    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $9

    THE EARLY BIRD

    You managed to grab a copy of HIGHLANDS before the invasion started! Prices were cheap before the war. You will get a digital copy of HIGHLANDS for PC, Mac or Linux.

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    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $13

    THE HIGHLANDER

    The real deal! Get a digital copy of HIGHLANDS for PC, Mac or Linux!

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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $22

    THE HIGHLANDS SUPER BUNDLE

    Digital copy of HIGHLANDS for PC, Mac or Linux, plus the Digital Art Book including production art and design sketches, the Original Soundtrack and a unique desktop wallpaper.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About $27

    THE HIGHLANDS EXPLORER

    Everything above, plus an access to the Private Beta that will be ready by the end of the year. Have a direct link with us and help us shape the game!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $45

    RALLY FOR THE CAUSE

    Includes everything above, plus we will send you a THANK YOU POSTCARD signed by the WHOLE TEAM representing the making of Highlands! Your name will also appear in the OFFICIAL CREDITS!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 80 or more About $72

    THE COLLECTOR

    Everything above plus a limited edition 24x36" POSTER of Highlands SIGNED by the whole Burrito team! You can see the actual image and size of the poster in the Pledge Descriptions section on the left.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About $134

    THE LIFEGIVER

    Name a character that will be in the game! Send us his first and last name (within reason) and be part of armies of thousands of other players! Plus, your name (the real one!) will appear in the credits in the category SUPPORT CAST. Also includes everything above.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About $224

    THE BARD

    In Highlands characters face random events during their quest, so why not help us design one! The team will take time to discuss with you so you can design your own RANDOM EVENT for thousands of players to enjoy. Your name will also be featured as ASSISTANT WRITER in the game credits. Also includes the Collector reward and everything above it.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 400 or more About $359

    THE IMPERSONA

    Become a character! Send us your photo, choose your class and our artists will transform you into a recruitable character in the game for thousands of players to enjoy! Your name will also appear in the category CAST of the game credits. Also includes the Collector reward and everything above it.

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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $448

    THE IMPERSONA PLUS

    Your moment under the spotlight! Like in the previous tier our artists will transform you into a character, but instead of simply being recruited you will be part of the main story with a full backstory and dialogs. All players will meet you along the way. Will you want to join their cause, be funny or grouchy? Your name will also appear in the category LEAD CAST in the game credits. Also includes the Collector reward and everything above it.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 700 or more About $627

    THE MAECENAS

    Like the artworks of highlands? Our artists will make a unique FRAMED LANDSCAPE based on the universe of the game that will be printed, numbered and signed individually. This will be a VERY LIMITED EDITION ARTWORK that will never be printed again. Also includes the Collector reward and everything above it.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $896

    THE STORYTELLER

    Help us design a quest for the game! Spend time with the team (in person if you are near Montreal or via Skype or email) to design the story and gameplay of a unique quest that everyone will be able to play. Your name will also be featured in the game credits as ASSISTANT LEVEL DESIGNER. Also includes the Collector reward and everything above it.

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    Pledge CA$ 2,000 or more About $1,793

    THE LORD

    WOW! For that amount it will be a pleasure for us give you an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER title at the start of the game credits. Choose any of the rewards you want and if you are near Montreal, do not hesitate to come by the studio. We will also send you 10 copies of the game.

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    Pledge CA$ 5,000 or more About $4,482

    THE CORPORATE SPONSOR

    You or your company will be recognized as a corporate sponsor and will have its LOGO featured in the OPENING SEQUENCE of the game as well as in the ending credits. As for the other rewards, we'll contact you and build a special package just for you.

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Funding period

- (30 days)