We didn't make it, but that isn't slowing us down. Like us on Facebook, as we'll be sending all of our updates there. We'll be updating on the progress of the game and sharing the beta when its ready.
Thank you to everyone who offered to back us. It means a lot to us as a team. Your confidence in the project will keep us going. Thank you.
Luna NOVA is an action real-time strategy game set in a future where humans can be enhanced, and alien forces have stolen the moon, a world where we are confronted by the reality of our role in the universe and the truth behind our beginnings, with our very existence hanging in the balance.
During a 22-hour train ride up the east coast last summer, my son and I were inspired to create a video game, so we spent the entire trip imagining the characters and settings, and defining the gameplay mechanic. Over the next year, we worked on the game in our spare time, occasionally convincing or bribing our friends into helping us with the aspects we couldn't figure out on our own.
Through this process we've found a group of amazingly talented people who believe in our vision and are trying to bring it to life. But we still need your help to make it a reality.
This first release of the game will include PVE (player versus environment) matches and goal-based matches where you will have to locate and acquire certain artifacts. To win a match, you can't just shoot everything until it explodes. Though that is one of the required skills, you'll also need to learn the proper method of attack for each map. To do this, you need to use the skills of your pilot and strategist, upgrade the technology of your ship, and research structures to be able to conquer and hold areas on the map.
To earn resources, you will pilot at least one ship through an entire map to capture enough planets along your journey. These resources can be spent on upgrading your ship or building structures to help hold your newly acquired planets.
In the beginning of each match, you start with the base ship, but you'll be able to spend your resources to upgrade weapons, shields, hull, and cargo capacity during your match.
The ship can turn and thrust in any direction using keyboard controls (W-A-S-D keys), and your aiming reticle follows the mouse cursor. You can also switch weapons with the keyboard (1-2-3-4 keys).
Though you'll get resources by destroying enemy ships and structures, the most reliable method of earning resources, and the highest XP rewards are given for capturing planets during the match.
Capturing a planet requires enough planetary assault fighters in your ship’s hangar. Once you've chosen a planet to conquer, simply pick up enough planetary assault fighters and fly over the planet you want to conquer.
Be careful, though: if your ship is destroyed, you also lose all of the fighters in your hangar. Early in the game, that could really set you back until your friendly planet builds new ones. Until you build defensive structures around your planets, the only thing protecting them is their currently stored planetary assault fighters. If you take all of them, the planet is defenseless.
Almost all real time strategy games let you spend your resources on building structures to settle conquered areas of the map. On the other hand, most action real time strategy games skip the base-building to let you focus on direct combat.
Luna NOVA will be striking a careful balance between the two. You will have very basic structures you can drop, depending on your strategist's upgrades and your available resources. As you upgrade your strategist, she'll be able to build more complex structures that cost more resources, but have stronger weapons, hulls, and shields.
We are planning to have user constructed turrets, assault ship hangars, and a powerful starbase that will have multiple turrets and be able to launch assault ships to help keep a strategic planet secure.
As tech trees don’t carry over from level to level, you'll need to earn resources and spend them to upgrade existing technologies and unlock previously unavailable technology.
Be careful of how much time you spend in a match though, as your enemies get a tech tree, too, so expect some surprises from their side of the map!
After the completion of each match, you will have two distinct skill trees to spend XP on. One tree is for your pilot, and the second is for your strategist. When you upgrade their skill trees, they go into your next match with benefits that will make the difference between winning or losing everything. These skills carry over from each match and will stay with you for as long as you play the game and across all platforms you play it on.
After each match, you'll have the opportunity to recruit your friends and assign them maps to conquer. When they do, not only do they get to upgrade their own characters, but you also get an extra XP bonus.
We've got some really exciting plans for this feature, but since we want to focus on the core gameplay mechanic first, we'll let you in on our plans as soon as that is done.
Luna NOVA plays smoothly on almost any computer from the last 3-5 years. It plays at 60 frames per second on anything newer than a core 2 DUO process with 2 gigabytes of RAM. You don't even need a dedicated graphics card.
We’ll be testing the game on as many browsers as we can find, and it should run really well on every modern browser with canvas support, but we will guarantee that the game will play well on:
- Google Chrome (and Chromium) on Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Safari on Mac
- Firefox on Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Opera 15+
If your favorite browser isn't in that list, make a comment and we'll make sure to play test with it as well.
Yeah, we thought about that, too. We've tested Luna NOVA out on Android and iOS and have gotten it running with various acceleration technologies in certain situations, but we'll need to reach our stretch goals to properly develop a good control scheme and release the game for those platforms. Keep sharing our campaign with all of your friends!
Our Team of Believers
After my son and I defined the game mechanic and drafted the initial story, the next step was acquiring assets and building code. Thankfully we were able to convince Jonathan Commins to join us on coding the hard parts that I couldn't figure out.
When it came to giving visual life to our characters, we were lucky enough to find an amazing artist, Henry Minata, to create all of the artwork you'll see around this campaign and in the game.
Because we wanted our game to have real narrative weight, Jane Parson, a writer and editor, has been the newest addition to the roster. She’s been taking our initial concepts and molding them into a story that aims to be as engaging as the gameplay.
As we progress in our campaign, we look forward to introducing you to more of our friends and supporters!
How the Money Breaks Down
We've had a lot of good questions about how the money breaks down and why building a game costs this much, and in short, its the people and paying them fair compensation for their time.
For just $5, you'll be one of the first people in the world to get access to Luna NOVA. We can't do this without your support, so join us at this level or above to show us that you believe in our project!
$10 and $15 Level
Not only will you be one of the first people to get access to the game, you’ll also get to give us your input on the features that you’d like to see and ask us specific questions about our incredibly exciting journey of building this game and our Kickstarter campaign.
For everyone above the $25 level, we'll also be developing a custom ship just for you. You get everything above as well, and will get access ahead of the rest of the world so that you can brag to your friends that you were here first.
At the $75 level, in addition to a sweet custom ship and all of the reward levels above, you’ll also get a custom print of the game art signed by the team.
For those of you who REALLY want to impact the world of Luna NOVA, there is the $100 and above level, where you get everything from the other levels AND you get to work with us to name a planet, starbase, ship type, or NPC.
Since I am a developer, I wanted to offer a limited number of $200 level rewards for other developers who are interested in the inner workings of the game. You’ll have access to all sorts of gamer metrics and nifty anonymized player data. We know this is a costly level, but keep in mind I'll be taking time out to help the lucky few who pick this level to build their own app.
If there are other kinds of reward that you guys would like to see, please reach out to us via the "Contact Me" to the right of our video.
Any successful game depends on its audience, so why not bring in the audience before the game is finished? With Kickstarter, our team will be able to make not only the game we’re dreaming of, but the game you’re dreaming of, too. Thus far we’ve paid for and/or built everything ourselves, but we know we can do so much more with your help. The way we see it, the feedback of our supporters is the best way to make the best possible game. That’s why we’re asking all of you at Kickstarter to join us as we complete our journey.
I'm telling you from the bottom of whatever organ generates my feelings that I deeply appreciate you joining us on the next part of our incredibly exciting journey.
Risks and challenges
We didn't come to Kickstarter until we knew we could complete this game, but there are still risks with any creative project. We are left with the following risks:
Risk #1: Can we get the AI balanced enough to grow the experience from the tutorial mission all the way to the end game mission where the player will meet a challenging resistance?
Our Answer to #1: We have the month of August budgeted for game balance and AI tweaks. We will be working closely with many of our Kickstarter backers to test the game after it launches to continue to tweak weapons and unit behavior. We know we can't get the balance right by ourselves, but that is why our balance tools are easy to work with, and why we are starting our conversation with you, our players, early in our development.
Risk Number 2: Can we tell a story that doesn't disrupt gameplay while playing a game that doesn't compel us to skip the plot points?
Answer to #2: Thanks to one of the founding members of this project being a creative writer, and two of our members focused on building story, I know we will have a strong and compelling plot. We will have to work to balance out how much time the action is slowed down to cover the critical points of our plot, and how often the story will fit into the middle of the action, but we are targeting a careful mix of both. We'll let you guys see what we've got in updates and get your feedback as we go along. Don't be shy! We need your help!
Huge risk #3: Do people really want to play a game across multiple platforms and share the game play experience and rewards with their friends?
Our Answer to #3: We won't know the answer to this until we work really hard to reach as many people with our Kickstarter as possible. For every backer we reach, we'll be closer to knowing this answer. Please Join Us!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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