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Confederate Express is a strategy-oriented tactical RPG. The game is a Windows PC title.

Watch the video in HD: http://youtu.be/O1vayggszdo

 Confederate Express is all about exploration, fighting enemies, and making your way towards the main goal: trying to survive while delivering a package. Packages vary by size, weight and fragility; which makes every delivery a unique experience, ranging from a quick 15-minute tasks, all the way to a challenging journey throughout various events and locations. The more difficult the delivery, the greater the rewards: mercenaries, gear, weapons and ultimately - greater challenges.

the Game Features:

        - World Map: Every time a new delivery mission begins, a world map is randomly generated around you. The map consists of sectors, and each sector represents a playable level with enemies, loot, and random world events. Among these events are storyline missions, character unlock assignments, secret areas, shops, and boss fights. Sectors without an event will still have loot and enemies present. As you travel towards your destination, you might find that some of the sectors are connected between each other, and sometimes it takes more that one to resurface on the world map again.

With this design we allow a player to take any route he wants: maybe a detour to gear up and gain experience for your team, or maybe a scavenge hunt for a secret mission. It is a challenging and engaging experience every time you play. Remember, the shortest path is not always the best!

      - Delivery and Permadeath: The main objective of the game is to deliver a package from point a to point b, and you are presented with multiple options of deliverable goods, so choose carefully: if you bite more than your crew can chew - it may result in an inevitable permadeath, forcing you to start over. 

       - Crew:  Before every mission you are debriefed on your delivery task, and right afterwards you are presented with a portfolio of potential crew members for hire. Every character is unique and has a different set of skills, but not all of them are available right away since your portfolio expands throughout the game with your progress and finding new members along the way.

      - Moddable Weapons: Another feature of our game is the ability to modify and upgrade your weapons and equipment. As you find many parts scattered around the world, you can use them to increase (and sometimes at a cost) the characteristics and effects of a given item:

      - Skills: Every character in Confederate Express has a specific set of skills, and as you complete missions and kill enemies, you are granted with an ability to improve on of them:

  Leadership: it is very important to have a crew member with a leadership skill. Not only it gives a hefty experience boost and suppresses the panic state for your team, it's also very useful for roaming the world map, since you can see what kind of special events are happening around. We will touch more on the world map in our future update.  

  Medic: every great team has a great support, so having this team member is crucial, especially since only medics can obtain a very important skill: resurrection. With a defibrillator in hand, it takes only few minutes to recharge and bring your fallen comrade to life.

  Marksman: this skill is pretty straightforward: The higher the skill, the greater the character's aim. As a result you will have a better combat efficiency and leaner ammo preservation. But be careful: if the skill is too low, your crew member might not be able to handle some of the bigger weapons.

  Engineering: this is one of the few classes that can play a crucial role in your crew's equipment. Not only he is able to modify and upgrade weapons, he can also repair and even craft new ones. Be sure to have an engineering kit, since every master needs to have his tools.  

  Explosives: a dream skill for a demolition man. Set, defuse and even craft your own explosives with this skill; then lean back and watch the red gooey goodness quickly fill the screen.

- Perks: Every character in Confederate Express game comes with a set of perks, some of which are good (green), and some are not so much (yellow, red):

These perks affect the way a crew member behaves in certain situations, so picking a bad team can turn a simple scenario into a very challenging journey. Choose wisely!

      - Item hunting: A variety of loot is scattered throughout the game, featuring moddable weapons, tactical equipment, high-tech gadgets and rare unlockable items hidden in secret locations.

Stretch Goals:

Here is a list of the stretch goals for the rest of our fundraiser. It will be updated as backers will come in, so please stay tuned!

 We also wanted to thank everyone who had faith in this project and backed it to help us reach the funding goal! You guys rock.

Year 2064. The greatest invention has been discovered: a Homeostasis Chip - or simply, "h1 chip" - allowed human body to be operated via small computer that essentially sustains perfect health indefinitely, ultimately granting immortality to anyone who installs it. However, it had a small side effect: your body keeps living even after it's death. That led to 2068's h1 chip worldwide ban and an accidental global zombie epidemic. This is where you come in! Your role might be minor - just a small package delivery company called "Confederate Express" - but it is very important nevertheless! Having your package lost in transit can be a huge hassle, especially when there are hordes of zombies walking outside. Accidents happen, and sometimes the inevitable loss occurs, but don't worry! Your crew is being completely outsourced by a disposable staff of ex-cons, gladly provided to you by the local penitentiary.

Enemies 

As many of you probably know, zombies are the main enemy in the game. However, they make up only 60% of the foes. Among others there are Rebels, Confederate Army and Robots.  

  • Rebels: alienated from the big cities, rebels are what's left of the great Resistance force. They are a small, but very brave group of people, comprising of several thousand men. Rebels are outlawed in ConEx universe, so their main place of refuge are abandoned buildings, local shelters and safe houses.  
  • Confederate Army: ever since the h1 chip ban, the Confederation has funded a large military group to enforce the prohibition. They are deadly soldiers, and have permission to kill anyone who might be suspected of using the h1 chip.  
  • Robots: these machines were designed specifically to aid Confederate Army with fighting the great Resistance. Ultimate machines of war, fully automated and self-sustained, they are the biggest threat to anyone who dares to take an action against Confederation.

Lighting engine

  Many of you asked how the 2D lighting engine operates in our game. It is pretty straightforward, and here is a quick demonstration on how it works:

 We simply blend 8 different images between each other; however it is done in a special way so every one of the prepared sprites is visible at the same time. After some simple math we obtain the final image and, voila! We have a consistent result regardless of what the situation might be.

Development pipeline

The lighting method we use require a lot of images for its operation. But thankfully, we have heavily automated the process, and once we got used to it - the production process was a breeze!

 $10 Standard package: DRM-free copy of the game delivered via Steam key and as a bonus you will also receive an in game item: Jumpstart 3000! With this tool you will be able to fix your broken delivery truck without even getting your hands dirty! It takes time to recharge, so don't expect to open a mechanic shop.

 $25 Early Backer package:  DRM-free copy of the game and an access to the closed beta. Please note that it is organized through Steam, so make sure you have an account before pledging.

 $35 Survivor package: The rewards above, a digital art book and a special in-game package! It includes three rare items:  

  • Cipher Meter: this special device makes a beeping sound the closer you get to a secret area. It is a great tool for an adventurer looking to discover mysterious artifacts and hidden areas! 
  • Bottomless Flask: when one of your crew members gets into a panic state, simply take a sip of the delicious liquid contained in this beautiful flask, and the problem goes away. Strawberry flavored. 
  • Fake ID Card: confederate-issued ID card with a minor typo. Grants you access to restricted areas within Confederation. But be careful: there is a 15% chance this con will not work and one of your crew members becomes one. Again.

 $50 Collector package: Rewards above plus a digital copy of the soundtrack and a PDF manual. In addition, you will see your name in a special in-game thank you message to all of our backers.

$75 Archaeologist package: This pledge will include the rewards above plus a ConEx employee badge, a hardcover dust jacket art book, and a special in-game package containing three rare items:

True Compass: this antique piece shows the shortest path towards an exit from current level. Activating the compass makes it appear on the game screen, so you won't have to dig through your bag in the middle of a zombie fight!

Treasure Map: 2 out of 3 pieces of the map towards a mysterious location. These pieces have a very low rate of drop, but luckily you have a head start with two of them. Comes with a complimentary ConEx™ packing tape to stick them together in case you find the last piece.

 $100 Art Major package: The above rewards and a numbered limited edition poster signed by the creators of Confederate Express.

 $1000 Engineer package: $100 and less rewards plus an opportunity to create an in-game item. The item is fully animated and will feature any requested effect. As an added bonus, you will receive a unique miniature sculpture of that item delivered to you via mail. Please note that design and balance restrictions apply.

 $2500 Zombie Biologist package: $100 and less rewards and a chance to create an in-game enemy. The enemy will be custom animated and will have any requested stats or characteristics. This reward will also be shipped with a complimentary statuette of the zombie you helped us create. To preserve fair gameplay the design and balance restrictions will apply.

 $5000 Brave Explorer package: $100 and less rewards plus a custom designed level of your choosing. Any location, any setting, any secrets and special events will be incorporated with this reward. It will also ship with a cloth map that will depict the level you designed. As mentioned above, the design and balance restrictions will apply as well.

 $10000 Elite Mercenary package: $100 and less rewards and a chance to create a fully playable mercenary that will be available in the game for hire. It is up to you to design his or hers set of skills, personal look and characteristics as well as discovery or availability throughout the game. The reward will ship with a figurine of the created mercenary. Please note that same as before, the design and balance restrictions will apply.

 $10000 the Mystery USB drive: Rewards $100 and above, plus a mysterious USB drive containing a fully playable sneak peek preview of the game. Limit 1 per customer.

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 Team Members:

We have found several staff members during the Kickstarter campaign. First one is Andreas Inghe, and he will be in charge of ambient music in the game.

 Andreas is a very talented individual, so please check out his SoundCloud page for more examples of his work!

Also please welcome another new member of our team - AJ Lornie from Forte Sounds! He will be our sound engineer, and we are very pleased with the sound quality he produces:

 Please check out AJ's amazing talent and some of his work here: www.fortesounds.com

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Think of this project as an extinct species: if you think it is worth preserving - take an action and donate. Every single object in the game is a 2d sprite, so the outcome of this kickstarter will determine whether it's practical to use this complicated rendering method or not.

One of the biggest challenges that the project will face after the funding is successful is to find a great composer. So far we did not hire one and that is the single most difficult challenge ahead of us - creating a memorable soundtrack, which most great indie games are known for.

Another obstacle that we might face in case the project will be funded is the animation process. It is very complicated and even a simple zombie sprite sheet takes dozens of frames to animate. That alone might potentially delay the release dates a few months past the deadline.

But all that aside, we assure you that we will try our best to help the game become the best experience it can be, including even the smallest details. No feedback will be missed and all of the design concerns during the beta stage will be considered.

Thanks again, and we sincerely hope that one day you will be enjoying playing this game as much as we did creating it!

FAQ

  • I don't know... but ours is the best! :)

    Last updated:
  • There are many titles on Steam that are DRM-free. You still need an account to install the game, and that is why we disclosed the Steam key distribution in the description.

    Aside from that, we are planning on releasing the final product on Desura and GOG, so there will be always an option for non-Steam users.

    You can read more info on steam wiki: http://steam.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_DRM-free_games

    Last updated:
  • So far we are planning on releasing the game for Windows PC only; but we are discussing the possibility of adding Linux & OSX support later.

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  • Every time the delivery begins you are presented with a randomly generated world map. That map consists of sectors, and every sector represents a level. To get to the destination you need to figure out the way to reach you target while trying to navigate through the world map. With future stretch goals we are planning on adding the infinite boundaries map, where player can travel in any direction and is not restricted by the amount of sectors in a world map. We are going to cover that subject in one of our future updates, so stay tuned!

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  • It is real-time, but you can pause the game at any time by hitting spacebar and give a chain of commands to your team. Once the game resumes, they execute it immediately.

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  • Skills, perks, leveling (ranking), cognitive psychology (personality traits, character types etc. similar to Sims series and JA2), and team state management. For example, if one of your crew members gets covered in blood splatter, he has a chance of entering the panic mode depending on his personality traits and characteristics. Panic mode could lead to berserk state or loss of consciousness.

    Last updated:
  • So far 16 total, but it might change with future stretch goals and backer rewards, so stay tuned!

    Last updated:
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