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Galactic Keep: Dice Battles is a sci-fi tabletop-styled RPG for iOS and PC. Players roll a die to explore maps and battle enemies!

The First GALACTIC KEEP Video Walkthrough!

Here's the first walkthrough of the game. It covers character creation, traveling the map, an initial puzzle and meeting an NPC! 

UPDATE 2: The Custom d10 Prototypes are Here!

Check out an image of the d10 reward and comment on your favorite!

UPDATE 3: MAJOR UPDATE: A PC VERSION!

We're adding the PC version of the game at the $20 pledge level! This reward is automatically included in all tiers above $20.

UPDATE 4: Want to give a GALACTIC KEEP pledge as a gift? Here's how!

In Galactic Keep: Dice Battles, the world is rendered to feel like a tabletop paper-and-dice exploration game that will launch on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. 

Players roll a die to move and explore maps and to attack and battle enemies. Puzzles and mysteries set into the world require a player to make choices that can change the current story-line. There are a plethora of weapons to collect, creatures and monsters to battle and playable characters to unlock.

Galactic Keep gameplay on an iPhone 5
Galactic Keep gameplay on an iPhone 5

The game begins with the player choosing from a group of characters, 'rolling' their attributes and selecting a special skill to uniquely modify them. Players will be dropped onto a map and must explore, making choices as they go. There will be monsters to fight, allies to make enemies to take down, traps to escape and puzzles to solve.

A battle, as seen on an iPad
A battle, as seen on an iPad

"If the game lives up to its potential, the experience will be less like playing a videogame and more like taking part in a tabletop RPG with a wildly creative DM." - Slidetoplay.com

We've come a long way in the past months but we still have a lot of work to do. It's looking great and beginning to play amazingly, but in order to help us to continue development, we need a push.

Galactic Keep is a very large and elaborate game. The maps are expansive, the puzzles are complicated and the playable characters, enemies and creatures to battle are many. The whole of the game engine has been lovingly coded by us from the ground up.

Funding from Kickstarter will:

  • Allow us to build and finish the Galactic Keep. It is a very specific and unique vision. It has gameplay, creatures and a setting that are distinctive, different from any game that’s currently available on any platform. 
  • Help us to continue to develop the game engine and tools so that they will allow us to port the game to other platforms.  We began development with this in mind, but it is one of the reasons it has taken this long to get where we are now.
  • Help us to continue to build on the framework we have already laid down, adding new features and new components. 

This is the game that we have wanted to make for a very long time. Not only are we COMPELLED to make it because we want to see it made and play it ourselves, we are COMMITTED to making it because we have already put a huge investment of time and money into it.

Another big reason we are so committed is that there’s nothing else quite like it out there. It certainly sets itself apart visually, the concept is engaging and fresh (albeit retro) and the world and characters are unique!

Characters you'll meet (or attack) on your journey.
Characters you'll meet (or attack) on your journey.

"Gilded Skull’s art style is one-of-a-kind – it looks like the kid in your homeroom who drew robots on his Trapper Keeper has been given charge of a game development outfit."- Pockettactics.com

Concept art for a massive boss creature.
Concept art for a massive boss creature.

We're building it to be the game that we have always wanted to play and I believe that many others like me will want to play it too!

"…as a fan of dice powered RPG's, I cannot wait to finally have this game on my phone." - TouchArcade.com

We have developed four apps on iOS that are available on the app store. Two of them were published by MTV Networks. Three of our four titles we have developed were featured by Apple (one of which is still being featured in Apple's juried collection of 'KIDS GAMES' for iPhone). Two of our titles have been the #1 Kids Game on the iTunes App Store, holding that position for several months each.

“Licensed games are often hit or miss, but Gilded Skull was responsible for two fantastic releases under the SpongeBob banner.” - Gamezebo.com

WE DID IT! We hit $5000! The next bonus item has now been unlocked. All BONUS ITEMS are granted to ADVENTURER level backers and higher (anyone who is getting the game). It is a SPECIAL ATTACK that can be used while on the map. We're sure it will come useful on many, many occasions:

Here's the first unlocked BONUS ITEM:

New BONUS ITEMS will be revealed when we reach major milestones. The next item will be unlocked at $10,000! Thank you to the generous support of all backers, we appreciate your help in getting GALACTIC KEEP made!

We initially started the first stage of development on Galactic Keep in February of 2009. By 2010 we had come very far, creating a version of the game that featured a fully playable level and a ton of content. It was at that time that we were forced to pause development of the game so that we could work on ‘paying projects’ and refill the company coffers.

When the two major projects we had embarked on were completed, it was February 2012. The ‘pause’ was a lot longer than we ever expected it to be. In that time Apple had launched several new devices and many iterations of iOS.

We decided that it would be best if we started over with Galactic Keep. We took three years of game design, sketches and concept work that we had done and began to build the ultimate version of the game that we had originally wanted to make!

The core game engine has been rebuilt from the ground up. It’s fast and infinitely more expandable than the original game engine. We have developed many great new tools, the most notable being the ‘Skull Editor’: a versatile tool for creating ‘ready-to-play’ maps and game layouts (layouts of the game’s many card types and screens for the various iOS platforms).

A section of mission map designed with our editing tool.
A section of mission map designed with our editing tool.

We have created over 30 playable (unlockable) characters, almost 70 enemies, well over 200 unique items, specials and weapons with more being added every day. Most of the game’s UI is complete but we are in the process of ‘wiring everything up’. We are also creating the main gameplay maps and many of the 'side quest' maps: packing them with objectives, items, enemies and puzzles.

A pile of character cards! Each character can equip a weapon and a special. All the characters that you unlock share an inventory (deck) of equipment.
A pile of character cards! Each character can equip a weapon and a special. All the characters that you unlock share an inventory (deck) of equipment.

We are currently building a fully playable mission that would include a vast majority of the core gameplay. We will keep you intimately updated on our progress as the game is being developed!

The story of Galactic Keep involves figuring out how a very large number of humans somehow 'appeared' into another galaxy millions of light years away from Earth. The humans are trying to find their place amidst various species jockeying for positions of power, a galactic 'military force' attempting to keep order and various other factions and groups trying to create chaos.

'Missions' in the game will take player to diverse locations: a planet in the middle of a revolution against coalition forces, an experimental compound running out of a battle cruiser crashed into an alien swamp, an orbital platform owned by pirates that's been taken over by a plague of mysterious visitors. We're currently figuring out what'll be initially available in the game. We are planning to constantly release more missions (or 'modules') in updates that include new playable species, weapons and enemies.

The game takes place in the 1800's but several non-human factions have traveled through time and space to acquire unique weapons and technology.
The game takes place in the 1800's but several non-human factions have traveled through time and space to acquire unique weapons and technology.

The player enters into this universe as part of a coalition special forces unit, one of a group of seven hand-picked from across the galaxy. The group is tasked with being the first to explore an ancient vessel discovered within an unclaimed stretch of volatile and perilous space in the furthest corner of the galaxy. The ship became of interest to the coalition because it was producing temporal distortion signatures that were off the charts. It is this distortion that initiates the adventure: a portal discovered on the ship.

"You announce to the rest of the team that you’ll be the first to enter the device and everyone agrees…this makes you nervous. You’re handed a transponder that was pulled out of a console nearby and you’re told to stand on the platform by the reouge scientist who brought the device to life."

In the ancient ship, near the strange platform.
In the ancient ship, near the strange platform.

 "Almost instantly, the floor drops out from below you and you fall into blackness. Are you still falling?  Are you conscious? The blackness envelopes you and then a peculiar scene begins to materialize around you. The darkness slowly recedes and you are standing in a…field."

When we set out to make Galactic Keep, we wanted to emulate a classic tabletop roleplaying game on iOS. We soon figured out the best way to make sure this worked was to…create an actual, physical tabletop roleplaying game. We created a prototype version and balanced the rules by playing it. Over and over.

There are specific and lengthy rules for combat, map travel, trap and robotic turret usage, vision, on-map weapons and sniping among the other core mechanics. For now, we’re going to let you in on the inner workings of the combat system.

Combat is initiated when one character or creature deliberately moves to take over the same map tile as another character or creature. The combatants both roll to begin the combat and this roll is modified by the combatants luck attribute. Any character with a luck attribute over 17 gains +1 to their start roll (with every 5 luck points above this adding a +1 to a max of +4). Attackers gain an advantage of +3 to their luck roll. The highest roll plus modifiers attacks first.

While engaged in combat, players can choose to ATTACK, use a SPECIAL, BLOCK the next enemy attack or use an ITEM.

The standard ATTACK is calculated based on a dice roll plus modifiers: strength + weapon + d10 = damage inflicted. Weapons will often have unique features that are expressed as equations of their own.

The SPECIALS work in a similar way to the weapons but the roll is modified by the character’s intelligence instead of their strength. Specials are much more powerful attacks and are restricted to a maximum of four uses per combat, dependent on the level of the character. Characters gain an additional special attack usage with every nine levels gained and start the game at level eight with one usage.

After the sixth round of battle, both of the combatants receive a burst of strength, a second wind. Their attack and specials are further modified with the addition of the player’s endurance attribute to their damage.

We’re also implementing a critical hit and failure system into combat. If the player rolls a ten or a one on their attack they will receive a random ‘critical hit’ or ‘critical failure’ based on the type weapon they are using and the type of enemy they are attacking.  Enemies will also receive a critical hit or failure upon rolling a one or ten. Each type of critical hit and failure is represented a specific equation, not unlike a weapon or special. Colorful text accompanies a critical as characters are torn limb from limb in their battle to the death (after the battle, current technology can facilitate a full reconstruction).

If a player chooses to BLOCK, the character deflects a portion of their opponent’s damage while regenerating a small amount of health. The next enemy hit is reduced by (d10 + character endurance modifier) x 5%, the character immediately heals for (d10 + the character endurance modifier) x 3%. (e.g. a roll of 6 on the d10 for a L8 character (END mod of 3) means the next enemy hit is reduced by 45% and 27% of the player’s current damage is healed).

By choosing to use an ITEM, the player is able to gain access to their inventory and can choose to use their turn to consume or use an item that they are holding or to switch their weapon or special.

Our goal in creating the combat system was to make it easy to use and to allow for an unlimited amount of variety. After much testing we proved that this system played well and was a lot of fun! It provided the opportunity for a lot of battle customization while adding unexpected twists and turns with each encounter. 

And the best part: In Galactic Keep you can choose to see as much or as little as you want. If you'd like to see everything that's going on under the hood in combat you can or you can choose to display just the outcome of your hit!

This is a game for people who love table-top role playing games and for people who love role playing video games. It displays the roots of the genre while bringing a lot of new things to the game table in a modern and creative way. This is a one-of-a-kind game idea and it's your opportunity to help bring it into existence.

Galactic Keep: WEBSITE / TWITTER 

Gilded Skull Games: WEBSITE / TWITTER / FACEBOOK

Since our initial announcement of Galactic Keep, we have been floored by the positive reception we've received. Upon going back into full development in May of this year, we were surprised again with the renewed interest in the project. Here are some of the more recent stories written about us and, specifically, Galactic Keep.

Slide to Play: Q and A - Galactic Keep: Dice Battles

Gamezebo: Storming the Galactic Keep and smashing skulls with Gilded Skull Games 

TouchArcade: Dice-based RPG 'Galactic Keep' Back in Development

PocketTactics: Gilded Skull starts showing off Galactic Keep

An augmented reouge boss creature and a robotic soldier that will appear in the game.
An augmented reouge boss creature and a robotic soldier that will appear in the game.
The small corner of a guarded island complex. We're playing with different types of live shadows for the game, this is one shadow option.
The small corner of a guarded island complex. We're playing with different types of live shadows for the game, this is one shadow option.
You break into a hidden facility to find the place squirming with parasitic creatures that take over their hosts, controlling their bodies like flesh-starved meat puppets. Creepy!
You break into a hidden facility to find the place squirming with parasitic creatures that take over their hosts, controlling their bodies like flesh-starved meat puppets. Creepy!
Your inventory will be divided into three piles: SPECIALS, WEAPONS and ITEMS. All characters will have access to a common inventory so if you find a sword that's not usable by your current character, you can give it to someone else later.
Your inventory will be divided into three piles: SPECIALS, WEAPONS and ITEMS. All characters will have access to a common inventory so if you find a sword that's not usable by your current character, you can give it to someone else later.
Here are four specials that will be in the game. Specials can be skills or items. Characters can equip only one at a time but can switch out their special (even while in battle) if necessary.
Here are four specials that will be in the game. Specials can be skills or items. Characters can equip only one at a time but can switch out their special (even while in battle) if necessary.

More new game images and concept art coming soon!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our biggest strength is also our weakness. We are independent and small.

On the plus side this allows us to be nimble, to make decisions swiftly and maintain a singular vision for the game. We can change course rapidly if something doesn’t work or if we have a new idea to streamline a mechanic. We can take game feedback and criticism from our fans and implement changes immediately without having to worry about getting ‘sign off’ from anyone higher-up than ourselves.

On the down side, being small has its disadvantages. If a large and un-charted problem surfaces it could throw us off schedule. The people developing the game are involved in every single aspect of its design: art, level and mission creation, programming, user interface, animation, sound design and music. This helps to build a cohesive and fluid game experience but the negative is that if one of the core team members is forced to pause, the whole game development pauses.

Also, having some manner of funding is key to finishing the development of this project. We don’t have a publisher supporting us. We have not taken out bank loans nor have we been financed by an outside investor. We are wholly and completely 100% self-funded. Every penny we make, every penny we have, goes toward allowing us to make this game.

We very much enjoy the freedom that being independent affords but the truth is that while we have been working on Galactic Keep we are all forgoing our ‘salaries’. We are currently in a situation where we are bringing in virtually no money until the game is launched. In the past, in order to support the business and ourselves, we were required to take on outside work…and Galactic Keep was delayed. We would rather that not happen again.

Yes, this team has launched several other major projects with outside partners in the past but this is, by a long shot, the game that we would most prefer to work on! There is no doubt clouding our minds: we will finish this game. This is the game that we have wanted to make our whole lives.

We are confident that Galactic Keep will be an amazingly inventive and very unique game. We are asking for your help to make sure this project sees it’s way to the app store…and, if all goes well, beyond!

FAQ

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    GALACTIC CITIZEN: You pledge your support to the game. Thanks! You will have your name posted as a supporter on the Galactic Keep website. BONUS: You get to post comments and see exclusive backer content on Kickstarter!

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    ADVENTURER: The journey begins! You receive A COPY OF THE GAME on iOS (universal). You also get a digital copy of the original Galactic Keep: Dice Battles soundtrack AND an exclusive kickstarter-backer-only PLAYABLE CHARACTER and all exclusive KS BONUS items that will be unlocked throughout the campaign! You will also have your name posted as a supporter on the Galactic Keep website.

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    BLADE WARRIOR: Like cool swords? Receive the 'Master of Blades' Weapon Pack DLC with your digital copy of the game which includes 3 swords and 3 sword upgrades. You also get the exclusive 'kickstarter backer' character and the original soundtrack digitally (and all other ADVENTURER rewards).

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    HEAVY WARRIOR: Like gigantic and very destructive weapons? Receive the 'Massive Damage' Weapon Pack DLC with your digital copy of the game which includes 3 'heavy' weapons and 3 weapon upgrades. You also get the exclusive 'kickstarter backer' character and the original soundtrack digitally (and all other ADVENTURER rewards).

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    ALIEN WARRIOR: Like weird alien tech? Receive the 'Alien Weirdware' Weapon Pack DLC with your digital copy of the game which includes 3 strange, alien weapons and 3 weapon upgrades. You also get the exclusive 'kickstarter backer' character and the original soundtrack digitally (and all other ADVENTURER rewards).

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    TECHNOLOGICAL WIZARD: What was once only available on little screens is magically expanded to play on something much larger. Get the PC VERSION OF THE GAME, 100% DRM FREE as a digital download. This reward is automatically included in all tiers above $20! You'll also get all of the ADVENTURER rewards, including the iOS version!

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    ULTIMATE WARRIOR: You'll be off to a good start! You receive ALL THREE DLC weapon packs ('Master of Blades', 'Massive Damage' and 'Alien Weirdware') with your digital copy of the game. That's NINE extra weapons plus NINE weapon upgrades to do with as you choose! You also get the exclusive 'kickstarter backer' CHARACTER and the original soundtrack digitally (and all other ADVENTURER rewards).

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    EXPLORER: Receive the Kickstarter exclusive game map 'THE GREY RING GAUNTLET'. This map includes a unique mission and objectives, some rare and unique creatures to defeat, several hidden weapon caches and an exclusive CARTOGRAPHER special skill to use. You will also receive all of the ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards.

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    EARLY BIRD INTELLIGENCE ROLL: Get an ACTUAL GALACTIC KEEP D10 DIE, from a limited edition of 150 hand-crafted dice! A harbinger of what could be (if we were to make a physical version of the game), this die is etched with an original design on every side. The zero on the die is etched with the 'balthwot head' seen in the Galactic Keep logo. We'll post images as soon as we receive the prototype! You also receive the EXPLORER, ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards. I think you just rolled a critical hit.

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    CAPTAIN: Receive one Kickstarter-exclusive HIRELING, a character that will fight by your side, for use in the game! Defeat things faster, get a new drinking buddy and fill out your crew all at the same time! Also receive the EXPLORER, ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards.

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    TIMEMASTER: Receive all -future- updates and game DLC PACKS FOR FREE along with a limited edition T-SHIRT! Also receive a powerful Kickstarter-exclusive TIME DEVICE for use in the game. Get the CAPTAIN, EXPLORER, ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards too!

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    CULTURED PIRATE: Receive a hand-made, limited edition silkscreen print of a creature featured in Galactic Keep. The 2 color, 5"x8" print will be signed and numbered by the artist (Rob Lemon, creator of the game). Also receive all of the TIMEMASTER, CAPTAIN, EXPLORER, ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards.

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    MERCHANT MOGUL: Being a mogul, you're not ready to sit back and invest from behind a veil of darkness. You'd rather stand front and center! Firstly, you will receive a credit in the game. Secondly, as a visual representation fo your fiscal power you will receive a FOIL, powered up version of the character of your choice. You also get THE GOLD SET: a special and exclusive golden suit of armor, a golden sword and a unique golden artifact. All are unique pieces of golden bling and are some of the most powerful items in the game. You also receive all of the TIMEMASTER, CAPTAIN, EXPLORER, ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards!

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    GALACTIC ARTISAN: You get one ORIGINAL PIECE OF ART from the game. Choose your favorite creature or character and we will send you the original pencil artwork (if that art has not already been awarded to someone else). Also receive the MERCHANT MOGUL, TIMEMASTER, CAPTAIN, EXPLORER, ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards! You are a shining gold artisan, a time-traveling merchant captain who is the ultimate warrior of adventure exploration. Yes you are.

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    CREATURE HANDLER: You are invited to create ONE ENEMY CREATURE to be featured in the game! Give us a description. We'll draw it up, create stats for it and make it into a foreboding beast that will appear in the game. You also receive the MERCHANT MOGUL, TIMEMASTER, CAPTAIN, EXPLORER, ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards. To recap, you get a CREATURE of your design in the game, the GOLD SET of items, one FOIL character of your choice, a credit in the game, the in-game TIME DEVICE, the HIRELING, the exclusive MAP and SPECIAL SKILL, the T-SHIRT, all nine unique WEAPONS, the special CHARACTER, the BONUS ITEMS, the game SOUNDTRACK digitally...and the GAME on iOS, of course! You're mopping up.

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    MISSION SPECIALIST: Your likeness is used to create a CHARACTER IN THE GAME with a full backstory and all the fixins! Send us a photo and short description so you can appear as a PLAYABLE CHARACTER in Galactic Keep: Dice Battles...and we'll also send you the ORIGINAL ARTWORK of your character! You will also receive the CREATURE HANDLER, MERCHANT MOGUL, TIMEMASTER, CAPTAIN, EXPLORER, ULTIMATE WARRIOR and ADVENTURER rewards...and everything we ever add to the game!

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Funding period

- (15 days)