Timeslip Softworks pledges to invest 5% of all profits from Vigilantes into other crowdfunding projects as part of the Kicking it Forward initiative. http://kickingitforward.org
If the stretch goals can be met, you can expect a considerable amount of extra content: combat areas, environments, and perks! We've evaluated a lot of options for stretch goals and concluded that expanding the content adds the greatest amount of value relative to cost.
If you are viewing on a larger screen, and would like to see a higher resolution version of the project video, you can find it below.
Note: The alpha features a number of preset missions from the final game. In the final game, you will be able to access the city map, run surveillance operations, and choose which tactical mission to launch.
The city’s going to hell. On the streets and behind closed doors, the Mafia infiltrates and corrupts the civic power structure. Gun crazy paramilitary survivalists wreak havoc, while fever eyed Churchers roam, stealing anything that isn't bolted down, burning anything that is. I'm going to do something about that.
Inspired by the classic turn based RPGs of the 90s, like X-Com and Fallout, yet striking out in its own unique direction, Vigilantes is a crime themed, turn based tactical RPG with an old school heart, for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Players assume the role of Sam Contino, an idealist dragged down the rabbit hole of vigilantism as he works to bring down the three gangs that dominate Reiker City: the mafia, survivalists, and Church of the Final Exodus.
Vigilantes has all the features you would expect from a turn based RPG, yet we feel it stands out from its peers in a number of areas:
- Avoids typical RPG settings, striking out in its own direction with gritty, neo noir.
- Melee combat is choreographed and fluid to an extent rarely seen in turn based games.
- Avoids the trend of simplifying character systems and gameplay. It's very much old school, with the best of modern design advances.
- Emphasis on atmosphere: memorable allies, deadly opponents, a declining city, all brought to life through quality writing, artwork and voice acting.
- Use surveillance to locate gang facilities and leadership. Randomly attacking footsoldiers won't get you anywhere.
Test your mettle and tactical thinking in tense, tactical battles in a variety of environments, against three distinct criminal gangs. Get up close and personal, taking down your opponents with choreographed, bone shattering hand to hand combat, or choose from a range of blunt and bladed weapons, from the humble hammer to a deadly katana.
Or, be a gunslinger, keep your distance, stick to cover, and trade lead with your foes using a wide variety of firearms including pistols, SMGs, shotguns, assault and precision rifles. Deploy smoke grenades to enhance your cover, or use explosives to even the odds.
Remember, the battle starts before the first punch is thrown. Exploit psychological weaknesses to distract, demoralise and manipulate your enemies through dialogue.
Decide the fate of each criminal you encounter: will you spare their lives and allow them the benefit of due process, or use lethal force for a damage bonus, becoming judge and executioner?
Make characters your own with the nuanced, old-school, UPLIFT character system. UPLIFT is comprised of 6 core stats, 9 skills and a wide variety of perks.
With UPLIFT, character level is increased through using skills, rather than gaining experience points. Every time you level up, you gain an additional stat point to allocate. Below you will find a summary of UPLIFT's core stats.
UPLIFT has nine skills, which improve through use. Three are combat related: close combat, firearms, explosives, while the remainder allow your party to perform a variety of useful actions, such as creating armour, healing wounds, and locating criminal activity. Below, you will find more comprehensive descriptions of the skills.
You don't have to take on the criminal underworld alone. Build the ultimate crime fighting team by recruiting memorable, hard boiled individuals to your cause, and call them in to assist in tactical missions. Each ally has a unique perk, and a voiced introduction, three of which you can find below.
Always out-numbered, you must adapt to face over fifteen enemy types across three criminals gangs: the melee orientated, cult-like, Church of the Final Exodus, the Survivalists, an elite paramilitary group of highly trained shooters, which more closely resemble an army than a street gang, and the Mafia, a balanced, insidious enemy, skilled at keeping its activities hidden.
You'll trade punches with heavyweight Mafia Enforcers, out-manoeuvre stalking Survivalist Sharpshooters, and take down crazed, explosive wielding, Church of the Final Exodus Fanatics.
You won't get far with just your fists, wits, and a handgun. Fortunately a wide variety of hardware is available to be purchased, 'liberated' from criminals, crafted, or discovered using surveillance.
Wield baseball bats, fire axes, vicious burst fire SMGs, precision rifles, shotguns, incendiary grenades, smoke grenades. Kit out your team with crafted armour, advanced medical devices, and create special hot-loaded ammo which inflicts increased damage. Don't forget to repair your equipment after combat, to prevent firearms jamming, melee weapons breaking, and to maintain the protective qualities of armour.
Surveillance is an important aspect of Vigilantes. Each tile in the city (of which there are currently 49) has a surveillance level, which increases as you run surveillance operations in it. To run a surveillance operation, you or one of your allies must spend time in that tile. The increase to the tile's surveillance level depends on the investigating character's surveillance skills. Tile surveillance level degrades slowly over time.
At lower tile surveillance levels, you will discover which gang (if any) controls the tile, at which point you can launch a tactical mission against that gang. Moderate surveillance levels reveal additional information about the tile, and will help you find any allies that are operating in the area. High surveillance levels are required to locate gang leaders and facilities, both of which must be put out of commission to completely remove the gang from play.
You play as Sam Contino, a man drawn into conflict with the criminal underworld, after intervening in a violent mugging. An idealist, Sam believes in the value of humanity and human civilization, which the gangs are undermining through their actions, driving Sam toward vigilantism, even though he's far from comfortable with it.
While Vigilantes is a combat RPG, story is a key aspect of the experience. There will be many voiced cut scenes backed by high quality artwork, a voiced character introduction for each key character, and a number of encounters before and after combat, which texture and breathe life into the world and its characters.
It's important to note that we aren't proposing to build a game of this scale, complexity and with this level of polish from scratch for €5,000. That simply wouldn't be possible. Vigilantes is a labour of love which has been in self-funded development for almost 2 years. The current build is the result of well over 4,000 development hours. Vigilantes is effectively feature complete, stable, has a near final level of polish, and overall, is in the region of 65% complete. We are completely confident in our ability to deliver, but we do need your help!
A successful kickstarter will provide a very welcome boost to our funding, helping with upcoming costs, artwork, voice acting and music, and allow development to continue full time, resulting in a better game, delivered more quickly. With the basic level of funding, we will deliver a great game.
A successful Kickstarter will also increase the number of people playing Vigilantes, which will result in more gameplay feedback. A wide range of feedback is key for making good development decisions, tweaking gameplay, and realising the full potential of any game. We've watched each and every Let's Play of Vigilantes to date, taking notes, making adjustments, and we will listen to you too.
We've been making development videos since April 2015, which we hope demonstrates consistent, long term commitment to Vigilantes. If you'd like to see the progress, check out the first video, then one of the later ones!
So, you're excited by Vigilantes, and the rewards you can get by donating, but would like to know how the funding will be spent? Here's a summary:
Most of the remaining work involves the addition of content (combat areas, perks, characters, weapons), balancing gameplay, tweaking mechanics, debugging, all of which falls under the category of development. The next biggest cost is artwork, which will allow for more illustrations and models to be added, to improve visual quality and environment diversity.
We care a lot about our work on Vigilantes, and we are extremely invested in making it the best game it can be. With your help, we will realise the full potential of Vigilantes.
In addition to getting a great price on Vigilantes (release price is expected to be in the region of €15), early access to the game and to rewards which will not be available outside the Kickstarter campaign, you'll be supporting a small but incredibly dedicated indie team pursuing a turn based labour of love.
As soon as the campaign is complete, we will dedicate ourselves fully to fulfilling rewards to our kind backers. Once all rewards have been fulfilled, development will resume immediately, focusing on the following two areas:
- Increasing the amount of content in the build by adding combat areas, weapons, perks, and the remaining enemy types.
- Transitioning away from the linear mission structure of the alpha, re-integrating the city map and surveillance, allowing players to choose which city tiles to launch tactical missions against.
Builds will initially delivered through Humble. Later, when Vigilantes launches on Steam, builds will be maintained on both distributors. The release schedule has typically been every 2 weeks, with one larger release taking 4 weeks. It's expected that we will maintain this release schedule going forward.
Note: May 2017 is the anticipated release date. By backing, you will received access to all early access builds until release. Deadstone Keys will be delivered when the campaign ends, while NPC and Perk rewards will be delivered in the weeks/months following the campaign.
From Donegal, Ireland, Daithi has been an avid gamer for over 30 years, and really, really, likes turn based RPGs. Daithi has over 12,000 hours experience in game development and programming, and degrees in Computing and English. His first game, Deadstone, released on Steam in Nov 2014, and has 83% positive ratings. When not working on Vigilantes, he enjoys reading, games, film, and long walks through hill and dale. You can connect with Daithi on Twitter and Facebook.
From Kiev, Ukraine, Olga learned how to draw from her mother, and has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Pursuing her passion in life, Olga first went to art school at the age of 9, and later was accepted into the National Academy of Fine Art and Design. Olga has created art for a number of games and books, and when not drawing, enjoys travelling and games.You can check out more of Olga's work here.
A trained actor, impressionist and voice actor, Anthony voices Sam Contino and Ray Case in Vigilantes. Anthony started out of high school working at Weta workshop in New Zealand assisting the props department on films like Avatar and The Hobbit. Afterwards he pursued a career in acting and voice over work while maintaining a youtube site showcasing various impressions of famous actors like Harrison Ford and Jack Nicholson. It was his impression of Harrison Ford that won him his role as the younger version of Ford’s character in the romantic film the Age of Adaline. You can find Anthony on Twitter.
From a young age Glen had an affinity for movies and video games, spending hours locked in multiplayer battles on Mario Kart, Street Fighter and Super Bomberman. As time progressed he was thrilled to see video games become an excellent medium for story telling, opening him up to the effect that great voice acting could have. It was only natural that he would one day want to marry his love of gaming with his love of voice acting and modern computer and audio technology has finally made that dream a reality. You can see more of his work here.
Risks and challenges
We've decided to take a questions and answers approach to risks and challenges, to more directly address the bigger concerns. If your concern is not answered here, or you would like more information, please ask!
Q: Some games funded through Kickstarter are never completed. Is there any risk this will happen with Vigilantes?
A: Vigilantes has been in full time development for almost 2 years. It's effectively feature complete, stable, has a near final level of polish, and is in the region of 65% complete. Some features, such as city map, gang strategic AI, and the injuries system are implemented, but not included in the demo. Effectively, Vigilantes needs content, balancing and testing.
We've already brought a positively rated game from the first line of code to Steam. We are completely confident in our ability to deliver, and we've come too far for quitting to be an option. We just need to keep doing what we're doing, and a successful Kickstarter will help immensely with that. In short: outside death, there is no risk of Vigilantes not being completed.
Q: What happens if you need to implement a feature for Vigilantes, but are not able?
A: All complex features are already implemented. From the start of development, we've solved the most difficult technical problems first, as this removes the biggest risk of project failure. For some time, combat AI, inventory, character system, combat mechanics, and dialogue systems have been in place, and they all get along.
Q: Could Vigilantes be delayed?
A: We feel a May 2017 release is realistic, but given the time consuming and complex nature of game development, delays are possible. However, should you choose to back Vigilantes, you will always have access to the most recent build, which will be updated regularly, as the game moves towards completion.
Q: Turn based games are complicated, right? Is €5,000 really going to be enough?
A: Yep, pretty complicated. Trying to build a turn based tactical RPG from scratch with €5,000 would be impossible, but that isn't what we're doing. The current build, representing more than 4,000 hours work, has been self funded, and as mentioned above, is around 65% complete. Added to the remaining funding available to the studio, €5,000 will be enough to allow us to complete Vigilantes to a high standard.
Q: You've covered the risks, what about challenges?
A: At this point, two key challenges remain. The first is adding sufficient content (maps, perks, weapons, dialogue) for Vigilantes to have enough variety to remain engaging for a 12+ hour campaign and to stand as a full release. The second challenge is balancing the various aspects of combat, economy, the character system, and the strength of the gangs against the player team over the campaign duration. Adding content and balancing gameplay aren't complex as such, but they take time. Your feedback will assist us greatly in tuning the game.
- (39 days)