This project's funding goal was not reached on October 20, 2013.
About this project
UPDATE: Steam release confirmed!
That's right, Citizens of Earth will be releasing on Steam! So all backers at $15 or higher will also receive a Steam key upon the game's release.
UPDATE: Demo Now Available!
Due to incredibly overwhelming demand and interest, we've released our demo to the world, grab it now! It's only for Windows at the moment unfortunately though. And it's obviously early in development, so there will be issues. But we hope you have fun! And feel free to leave a comment with feedback.
UPDATE: New Gameplay Video!
We've received many requests for additional gameplay footage, so we put together this video:
It’s an RPG that places you in the shoes of the Vice President of the World! Citizens of Earth combines the modern setting and humorous tone of Earthbound with the recruitment mechanics of games like Pokemon and Suikoden. Rather than recruiting fantasy heroes to your cause, however, Citizens of Earth is all about bringing regular characters into the spotlight as heroes. Instead of warriors and mages and other such fantasy tropes in your party, you’ll be fighting with a Baker, Used Car Salesman, School Teacher, Yoga Instructor, and so on. The characters that would normally be NPCs in other RPGs become the heroes in Citizens of Earth!
Early Praise for Citizens of Earth...
Bucking the trend of fantasy RPGs, Citizens of Earth takes place in the modern world with the characters, settings, and experiences you’d expect to find, but taken to humorous and outrageous extremes. You'll fight sentient coffee plants in the local Moonbucks, go toe to toe with obese tanks and toupee eagles in the Capital, and fend off over-enthusiastic tourists at the Jamaipan Resort and Spa.
Contrary to most indie RPGs developed these days, which tend to opt for either a retro pixelated look or anime-inspired designs, Citizens of Earth uses a more Westernized cartoon style that highlights the fact that the game’s setting is poking fun at the modernized, Western world.
The Story of the game opens with the newly-elected Vice President of the World taking some much needed rest and relaxation by staying with his Mom in his old home town. Although he's enjoying the comforts of his old room, he can't help but be curious about the gathering protest outside the town. And it's not only that - weird events are afoot around the city and the surrounding wilderness.
Realizing that he's an elected official, the VP decides to do something about it! But not personally of course, as a politician he doesn't want to get his hands dirty. So he recruits average Citizens to follow him around to do his dirty work while he gets to the bottom of why so many weird things are starting to occur. Why are natural creatures turning into bizarre new creations? Why are Moonbucks employees going missing, along with the new 'Special Blend'?
The mystery deepens as the story progress until finally...well, you don't want any spoilers do you? Better just play the game for yourself and see what's really going on in the world!
Normal NPCs are the heroes in Citizens of Earth, so there aren’t any non-recruitable NPCs. Every character in Citizens of Earth is either a recruitable character or an enemy! This creates a grassroots community where everyone is involved in the fight to save the world - no one is sitting on the sidelines!
Since every character is a regular citizen of the world, they each have their own unique day job that they take care of while they’re not actively accompanying you. These day jobs include running stores, providing new features and gameplay opportunities, and revealing information and secrets. Additionally, each character gets better at their day job as you level them up, which not only provides an incentive to use every single character but also allows the player to strengthen and develop the world at large beyond just the combat strength of his party.
In order to make a game that appeals to both hardcore RPG players and those just looking for a humorous romp through a fun world, an emphasis is placed on making the game an experience out of which you get what you want to put in. If you want depth and a wide world to explore, you’ll find it. If you want a streamlined experience that lets you see the highlights without getting bogged down in minutia, you’ll find it too! There's an extraordinary amount of content in Citizens of Earth as most Citizens are optional to recruit and most areas are optional to explore. But it combines the best of classic JRPG designs with the open-world approach popularized in Western RPGs to make an RPG that has something for every type of gamer.
Combined with the idea of Recruit Everyone, there is almost no limit to what you can do in Citizens of Earth. You can master every Citizen in order to unlock all of the bonuses they have to offer, or focus on a chosen few. The choice is yours!
While being instantly familiar to anyone who has played Earthbound or other Dragon Quest-inspired battle designs, Citizens of Earth has a focus on intelligent choices that keep you on your toes. Rather than learn pages and pages of abilities that quickly become obsolete, each Citizen's abilities grow stronger as you level up. This puts an emphasis on mastering each Citizen's combat potential, rather than just focusing on the one or two newest abilities you learn. With the broad range of Citizens at your disposal, you can craft a customized strategy that leverages your unique playing style and the strengths of your chosen Citizens.
Learn more about combat on our website.
Here are just a few examples of the Citizens you can recruit to your team in Citizens of Earth...
Who is Eden Industries?
Eden Industries is an indie game developer based in Vancouver, Canada, consisting of ex-mainstream game developers and local indie talent. The first game made by Eden Industries was the critically-acclaimed Waveform, which launched on Steam last year. In addition, four of the members of the team most recently worked on Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon alongside Nintendo and Miyamoto-san.
Combining their indie journey with their mainstream development experience, the team at Eden Industries has been developing Citizens of Earth over the last year with the goal of making a modern JRPG that relishes the staples of the genre while breaking new, innovative ground of its own.
Examples of games we've worked on in the past:
We've been working on Citizens of Earth for a little over a year now and are extremely proud of the current demo of the game. And since all of the members of the team are working for free out of their passion and hope for the game, we've managed to keep the budget pretty low so far. But although our artists are fantastic, the fact remains that we have to contract out some of the art since there's just a ton of art that goes into making a game, especially an RPG like Citizens of Earth!
We know that asking for $100 000 (even if it is in Canadian dollars) is a lot to ask. So here's a rough estimate of what's happening with the money that you pledge:
First off, unfortunately, $25 000 disappears through Kickstarter fees, payment processing fees, and taxes straight to the government. Gotta give Big Brother their cut I guess! We've gotten a few questions about this, so let me break it down a bit for you:
Kickstarter Fees = 5%
Payment Processing Fees = 3% + $0.20 per pledge
Canadian Income Tax = ~17%. Since Kickstarter funding is considered income, we have to give a whole bundle to the government right off the top.
In total, about 25%. I hope that clears that up a bit for everyone!
Roughly $50 000 will be used for character art. As you can hopefully tell, there is a lot of effort poured into making each character come alive. But those hand-drawn animations don't come cheap!
Finally, the last $25 000 will be used for the remaining environment art in the game. Although the world is pretty massive, luckily the majority of environments have more static elements than the dynamically animating characters, so we get some savings there.
You might notice that there is nothing on the budget for programming, design, music, and sound effects. And really, even the budget that's there is very low for the amount of art in the game. So what's going on? Well all of the team members have agreed to donate their time, efforts, and unique skillsets for the sake of making the game as great as possible while keeping the budget as low as we can.
Note: Checkmarks with a star indicate limited quantity rewards
Order of Stretch Goals
The order of stretch goals is not necessarily set in stone. We factored in the relation of the stretch goals to each other and the relative complexity in determining where they would land. But at the end of the day, we want to work with backers to determine what features get added to the game! So if you're really gunning for a certain stretch goal, leave a comment and drum up some support with fellow backers and we'll do our best to be flexible to what the community is interested in!
Notes on $110000 Goal:
You may notice in some of the game's screenshots and footage that there are cars placed around town. With this goal, we'll add the ability to drive vehicles and, perhaps more excitingly, fight battles AS the vehicles. New Citizens will be added whose World Abilities are to drive various vehicles, and the battle will revolve around using the particular abilities of each vehicle (slam your cardoor into the enemies, blind them by flashing your headlights, etc.) to defeat enemy vehicles.
Notes on $120000 Goal:
With this goal, a collection of quests will be added that involve hunting down fugitive enemies. These mini-bosses and their respective quests can be collected from the Police Officer in town and will add a ton of new strategic battles and enrich the content of the world. Plus, a new Citizen will be added to facilitate this new content.
Notes on $130000 Goal:
Some RPGs have casino mini-games. No RPG has casino BATTLES! Visit a new area (the Casino) and play casino games using the combat system of Citizens of Earth. And if you want an extra edge, fight the bouncer and dealer beforehand so no one is around to watch you cheat...Plus a new Citizen arrives on the scene whose World Ability involves making money at the Casino!
Notes on $150000 Goal:
Many environments in Citizens of Earth have a body of water nearby. Well, what if you could explore the world underwater?! Utilize a new Citizen's World Ability to walk along the bottom of the sea in any body of water that you can access. Explore new areas and find new shortcuts and hidden sections of the world.
Notes on $160000 Goal:
Nintendo has been very receptive to Citizens of Earth so far! They even sent us a Wii U dev kit in the hopes that we'd port it to the Wii U. Of course, any port is a considerable amount of effort. But since we do actually possess the dev kit, this one felt like a reasonable stretch goal. Plus, how cool would it be to play a game inspired by Earthbound on the Wii U? Pretty darn cool.
Notes on $170000 Goal:
Since so many of the team at Eden Industries have experience developing on the 3DS, this one felt like a natural stretch goal. And there really is something to be said for enjoying a game like this on the go.
Notes on $200000 Goal:
Voice acting would be pretty great in Citizens of Earth, but as you can tell, there are a ton of characters! And we'd like them all to have a unique voice, since they're all very unique. So it's a bit steeper than some of the other stretch goals, but we think it could have a very cool impact.
Notes on $210000 Goal:
Not content with exploring just the Earth? Get the ability to explore the surrounding celestial systems with the help of two new Citizens.
Notes on $220000 Goal:
One thing we really appreciate in RPGs is a procedurally-generated area that we can replay in order to try out new characters and just get more content to play! Well with the Infinite Skyscraper, you'll get that plus a new Citizen to recruit who runs the building. In keeping with the goal of a broad world, this will allow hardcore players a chance to really test their skills.
Notes on $230000 Goal:
Ever since we played Final Fantasy 6 and it said it was multiplayer, we've wanted to take our awesome JRPG teams and pit them against our friends. Well FF6 let us down in that regard, but we aim to rectify that with Citizens of Earth! Take your team of Citizens online to fight friends and foes to see who has the best strategy. Plus, a new Citizens is available to recruit whose World Ability involves facilitating the fights.
Notes on $240000 Goal:
A new Citizens is added whose World Ability involves constructing a Virtual Reality arena in which you can fight challenging battles or devise your own! Practice new strategies and utilize new characters in an environment that gives you access to quick battles with a ton of variety.
Notes on $250000 Goal:
I'm sure there are Sony fans out there crying foul at the distance down the stretch goal list that this one makes its appearance. But it's not because we don't want the game on PS4! Far from it, in fact, we'd love to! But truthfully they don't seem to be returning our e-mails. So we want to make it happen, but it looks like it's going to take an extra special effort on our part to get them to agree to it.
Notes on $260000 Goal:
Mostly the same as the PS4 port. We want to do it, but we're hitting a bit of a brick wall at the moment trying to communicate with Sony. With your help though, I'm sure we can surmount it!
Notes on $270000 Goal:
While the VP is trying to save the day, what's the President up to? Find out in this side-story that places you in the shoes of the President of the World as he recruits the stalwart natives of the island of Jamaipan in a quest to uncover the truth!
Notes on $280000 Goal:
Vehicular combat taken to a whole new level! Participate in Destruction Derby events that combine the strategy of Overworld movement with the action of vehicle combat. Upgrade your vehicle to customize your strategy and wreak havoc on your opponents! Plus a new loveable Citizen joins the game!
Here are a few screenshots of Citizens of Earth. For many more, check out our website.
Risks and challenges
Being one year into the development of Citizens of Earth means that we've managed to iron out a lot of the bumps that have come up along the way. And luckily as the 2nd game for our team, we've been through the process of developing and polishing a game already. But even so, there are a number of risks and challenges ahead of us that we're gearing up to face.
-Art Production: As you may be able to imagine, there's a lot of art in an RPG. More, in fact, than our current artists are able to tackle on their own. With Robin overseeing the art direction of the game, we're confident that we'll be able to hit the aesthetic style we're striving for. But working with art contractors to fulfill all of our art needs will be a challenge. Luckily, we've started on this process already and it's proving to be very rewarding. So if all goes well this should be a great solution to our art needs.
-Design Cohesion and Balance: With a game like Citizens of Earth that has such a breadth of content and so many playable characters, one of the biggest challenges will be ensuring that the design of the game stays consistent and relevant across the entire game and that each Citizen is fun to play and balanced against the other Citizens. We've already been receiving great feedback from our testers to assist with this, and through Kickstarter we're hoping to get many more people playing the game and helping us refine every inch of the world.
-Awareness and Marketing: It hopefully comes as no surprise that we want people to play and enjoy Citizens of Earth! But that'll only happen if people actually know that the game exists. Which, without the backing of a large publisher or marketing team, can be something of a challenge! But, just as the game's story involves a grass-roots movement of ordinary folk as the heroes, we're hoping that regular folk of our world will also be heroes of Citizens of Earth and help spread the word about the game. Tell your family, tell your friends...tell any fellow Citizen of Earth that you see! Together we'll make sure that friends far and wide get to enjoy the game!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
If the stretch goals for the other platforms (Wii U/3DS/PS4/Vita) are met, can I choose which platform I get the game on?
Absolutely! We didn't include that fact in the default rewards description since we of course weren't sure if the stretch goals would be met. But if they are, we'll send out a survey at the conclusion of the Kickstarter project to allow you to select which platform you'd like the game on.
Absolutely! Your created Citizen will be a recruitable character in EVERY copy of the game. That's a pretty incredible level of impact eh?
Yes, the badges are included in ALL reward tiers! All of the badges in Citizens of Earth are collectable normally throughout the course of the game (some will be easier to find, some will be much more rare) and apply a benefit to the Citizens in your party. So the random set of badges you receive in the $1 level (and again, ALL other levels) gives you more options when you start the game. But ultimately, they're all discoverable throughout the main game.
That's definitely the plan! With our last game, Waveform, we utilized both professional translators and fans of the game to bring the game to other countries. And we hope to do something similar on Citizens of Earth! So if you love the game and are bi-lingual, let us know and we'd love to work with you to get the game localized into other languages.
I really want X stretch goal but it's further down in the list. Could you swap it with something else?
It's certainly a possibility, yes! While the stretch goal ordering was not chosen arbitrarily (i.e. the sequence of how they relate to each other and the relative complexity were factored into the order), but we are very happy to listen to backers and make adjustments as necessary.
Bottom line, through this Kickstarter we want to work with backers to produce a game that everyone loves! And so of course we're flexible with what we put into the game to reach that goal.
If you have any particular questions about the stretch goals, or anything else, please don't hesitate to send me as message!
Although we did show Microsoft the game at GDC (and they seemed to like it!) we aren't approved as an Xbox One developer yet. Still waiting on a response from that application...
And actually prior to this Kickstarter we didn't really have anyone in the community asking for it. So those two things combined made us think that perhaps it wasn't really desired.
But I have been getting a lot of questions about it, so we are very willing to work on an Xbox One port if the demand is there! So please let us know via comments or messages. And if you can help us get the Kickstarter funded, that'd obviously give us a ton of latitude in exploring other options, versus the case where we have no funding at all...
- (30 days)