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By Riveting Games
$5,549 pledged of $40,000 goal
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About

The Old City lies there now like blasted bones, destroy'd by its own foolish pride... Or, at least, by someone’s foolish pride.

But pride alone can’t make a crater that big. There’s something else in the center of that smoking death-pit -- some infernal device, red in tooth and cog. And it taunts me... 

The others will back me. We shall prepare an expedition to reclaim the Old City... we shall confront its demons... good men shall die... and the power which lies at the heart of the Old City’s demise shall be mine.

.

The Impetus

We’ve always loved turn-based strategy games of all kinds – games like Civilization, Masters of Orion, and the Heroes of Might and Magic series, plus just about everything else that has come after from the work of others like us who have loved those games.  

We play these games for the depth of strategy, the anticipation of seeing carefully (or not) laid plans put into play, and the immersion of exploring unique maps and seeing emergent scenarios unfold.  

The quality andre-playability of these games often has a lot to do with your opponents, which are almost always an AI, an artificial intelligence.  A lot of games do a fine job of getting this AI to pull its weight, either by great algorithms or maybe by just a little subtle cheating.

But these can’t (yet) quite compare to the challenge, unpredictability, and fun of playing with and against live human opponents, things to which the lively and humming market for online multiplayer games can attest – a market that, unfortunately, is a bit light on the turn-based strategy front today. 

Tooth & Cog is aimed at changing that, by creating a smooth online play experience closer to that found in real-time strategy and team-based combat games. 

So, What is Tooth & Cog?

In Tooth and Cog, you are the leader of a group of survivors - yesterday, citizens of the many-layered technological marvel known affectionately as the Old City; today, the shell-shocked and bewildered refugees of an inexplicable, sudden, and total destruction. 

From the City outskirts where you find yourself at the start of the game, you must organize followers, raise their morale, cobble together a frontier economy, and lead them to explore and rebuild from the greater secrets and dangers buried in the rubble.  To claim greater heights for your followers and build a new society, you must navigate and neutralize the hazards of the Old City’s fallout.

As your people venture into the crater and closer to the City core, you’re bound to find more useful buildings and equipment to repair, as well as any number of other valuable artifacts and relics from the Old City’s vast and arcane technology. That is, assuming others haven’t gotten to them first. 

Above all, one question is on the mind of every survivor: What the hell happened, and who’s to blame? 

(Er,  two questions...)

In-game Steam Golem model
In-game Steam Golem model

Features

  • Inventive Steam-Powered World. Mechanical falcons, militarized penny-farthing gangs, fancy hats, balloon squads, zeppelin fleets, armored trains, walking weapons, rays of death, ancient mechanical megaliths, steam golems and clockwork guardians, unnatural experiments and preposterous inventions.
  • Simultaneous player turns. No “waiting phase” – each player plays their turn at the same time. This creates a kind of fog of war on another dimension – time. You often can’t see what your enemies will do until it’s done - intuition, unpredictability, and flexibility are important to accomplish your plans and thwart your opponents’.
  • Classic 4X elements:
  • Explore a steam-powered world, recently become post-apocalyptic.
  • Expand a group of bedraggled survivors into a revenant and formidable society.
  • Exploit depletable and regenerating resources in the wilds and wastes in and around the Old City crater.
  • Exterminate other players, because they’re in your way and exterminating is fun.
  • Teams. You can begin the game as part of a faction, allowing allies to specialize, cover different fronts, and coordinate to accomplish goals and out-maneuver opposing factions.
  • Objectives. Maps will feature relics to be discovered, collected, defended, studied, and used to rebuild powerful wunder-machines from the past industrial golden age or to begin rebuilding the Old City itself.
  • Fine control over units and game-play. You act through your people (units), whom you can combine, split, and develop into functional units of your desired size and composition.  This prevents scaling issues found in some 4x games, and lets you guide the growth, capabilities, and character of your society on an atomic level via the tasks you assign to your units.
  • Randomized maps. In addition to the dynamics of human opponents, full procedural map and content generation will keep things fresh for an eternity of replay (stretch goal: eternity.) This goes beyond the placement of trees and mountains... each game you will explore and fight for a unique ruined City and a unique set of relics and mechaliths at the heart of the crater.
  • Flexible server and multiplayer settings. Gameplay can be adapted to your own pace of play and can scale to accommodate a large number of players.
  • Robust communication support. Talk with team-mates and taunt enemies in real time.

Team

Riveting Games was officially founded in October of 2012, though unofficial work began around July of 2012. The company consists of three co-founders who met at recess one day in kindergarten and are still doing much the same things (with greater technical proficiency) two decades later.


Kerey Roper – Lead Developer and Game Designer

Kerey holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois in Computer Science. Prior to founding Riveting Games, he was a software engineer at Amazon.com, where he honed his programming skills in scalable distributed systems and was lead developer for numerous projects.

Kerey has held an interest in game design since he was a child, drawing games out on paper since he can remember, and then eventually learning how to program at the age of 13. His first titles were for the TI graphing calculators, and include an unreleased Scorched Earth clone as well as a freely released and award-winning RPG entitled The Shadow of Narkemen.


Sam Watson – Developer and Game Designer

Sam has degrees in Economics and Anthropology from Kent State University and is a self-taught programmer. Being an enthusiast of history, details, and stories, and having terrible reflexes, he has always been a huge fan of turn-based strategy games.


Nathan Kapela – Art Director and 3D Modeler

Nathan has a background in Architecture. He has decided that, while inventing buildings can be fun, inventing entire worlds is more suited to his style and ambition.


Additionally, Riveting Games has the support of excellent outside talent to help execute on our vision.

David Roper – Composer and Audio Engineer

David holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. His true passion is music, and he has applied a unique blend of technical and artistic talent to the project.

David will be combining his past experience composing string pieces with his love of industrial music and experience performing with a rock band to create a soundtrack that defies the ages, which is exactly what we need. He promises not to include any ukulele.


Anthony Zart – Concept and 2D Artist

Anthony’s work speaks for itself. Check out his tumblr: http://amzart.tumblr.com/

Risks and challenges

After funding, the next largest risk is marketing. Our team does not have an experienced marketing professional, and creating a critical mass of players is essential to a fun multiplayer experience. We plan to mitigate this risk in a number of ways. First, we will engage with our fanbase and spread the word at a grassroots level. Second, we are planning on having a booth at PAX East 2014 or PAX Prime 2014. Third, we will seek outside professional help as needed to come up with an effective marketing strategy.

The next risk is on the technical and project management side. This risk is lesser due to the experience level of the team, however there is always the chance of unforeseen issues occurring. In most cases, this will simply result in minor delays.

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Funding period

- (32 days)