The world of Dire is a hellish dark fantasy torn apart by powerful guilds and their patron gods, forever locked in an eternal war!
In Heroes of Dire, a new massively-multiplayer tactical role-playing game by Spellbook, players command squads of fighters through strategic turn-based battles to win treasure, honor, and glory for their guilds!
Join with friends to defeat challenging boss raids, take up quests for epic treasure, invade enemy guild strongholds, or make wagers on brutal gladiator arenas as crowd favorites live and die for your amusement!
Cross-platform servers bring together thousands of players from both desktop and mobile devices, with launch-day support for Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, and Linux!
Become part of the story as live Dungeon Masters craft custom events in real-time to create an ever-evolving game lore! They'll even broadcast it live on Our Twitch Stream for everyone to enjoy!
We've completed six fighter classes, ten races, fifty weapon classes, four armor classes, one map, and a bunch of trinkets. You can see lots of examples on our blogs, and we'll be showing off the game regularly on the SPELLBOOK.TV Twitch stream.
We desperately want to add Fighter Pets to the game! These would be equipped to the Trinket gear slot, give stat bonuses, and spawn fully-animated pets on the battlefield. The costs are significant, making it one of the more ambitious stretch goals (see below). Supporters at The Black God tier and above get to design a pet, or send us a picture of their real pet to ship with the game!
- The World Map -- Guilds will battle for dominance and rewards
- Arena and Tournament gambling
- Illustrated Portraits players can collect and assign to their fighters
- Voice acted Battle Shouts for players to use during combat
- Real-time combat to support hundreds of fighters in one battle
- Epic Boss Raids that require hundreds of players to collaborate
See the graphic below for Stretch Goal progress:
We're excited to announce that our latest game Heroes of Dire will soon be ready to accept beta testers! This Kickstarter will help secure a few months of financial stability while we wrap things up, and give you an opportunity to see the game early.
We've come to you with some great deals and bonus content in exchange for your early support: Backers will receive a digital copy of the game on all platforms, plus a full-access "Veteran" account that never expires.
Heroes of Dire is all about assembling squads of fighters to make war with other guilds, monsters, and players!
Fighters come in many fantasy archetype flavors such as Mages, Paladins, and Healers. No two are ever the same, with unique names, races, stories, stats, titles, and equipment constructed by complex procedural generation algorithms with impressive and/or hilarious results that will always keep the game freshly entertaining.
The One-Eyed Knight, Two-Fingered Pete, The Laughing Horror, Georgia the Peach, or Screaming Ethel are just a few examples of the trillions of possibilities. For a few Silvers (the in-game currency) players can randomly roll for new fighter names to discover the perfect moniker, or work with a live Dungeon Master to create the perfect name!
Fighters have four gear slots: Weapon, Offhand, Armor, and Trinket.
Different items help determine what role a fighter plays, such as holy wands and bandages for Healers, or poisoned dual-wielded daggers for Rogues to maximize backstabs.
Like Fighters, almost all items in Heroes of Dire are procedurally generated with no two ever the same. Dungeon Masters will regularly appear in the world as traveling magicians or blacksmiths who can enhance your gear, or as merchants offering unique treasures.
The Non-Human Fighter gift is our way of giving supporters something unique that will become extremely valuable with time.
Under normal circumstances players mostly control humans unless they get lucky during a special event, or buy a non-human fighter from you! Having non-humans on your team is the mark of a total badass that, like a fine wine, will only get better with time. After the influx of tens-of-thousands of regular players, your exclusive backer rewards will be highly coveted and extremely valuable!
All non-human fighters begin at Level 1 with common gear, a random class, and random race (unless otherwise noted in your reward tier).
Check out the COMMUNITY QUESTS for ways to earn more non-human fighters and upgrade their gear!
When in combat, fighters take turns moving and attacking; each action has a time cost that determines when they get to go again.
More expensive actions, such as splitting an enemy archer in half with a greatsword, might push your fighter to the bottom of the action list for 14 rounds, while simply moving would only cost 3 or 4. This turn-based combat system creates an incredibly rich strategy simulation where each decision has a direct and immediate impact on who wins or loses.
Skilled players won't waste a single turn -- One move in the wrong direction or an attack at the wrong time can immediately swing your massive lead into a crippling loss!
Battles can involve anywhere from 2 to 32 fighters, however our playtesting hints that it's most fun with 12 or less. This is due to the turn-based nature of combat, as you would not want to wait more than a few seconds between actions.
Our stretch goals include different battle modes that operate in real-time instead of turn-based, which would open up massive wars that could involve hundreds of fighters in one battlefield.
Each battle is part of a greater narrative, such as a guild war or a quest chain, and players can have multiple squads involved in many fights at the same time.
When a player exits battle the AI takes over and the fight continues uninterrupted. They can return at any time, thus allowing multiple battles to be managed concurrently without breaking the real-time and multiplayer nature of the game. This creates a truly "massive" multiplayer experience as guild wars rage across the world map involving hundreds or thousands of players!
One of the coolest features in Heroes of Dire allows players to borrow fighters from their guilds and friends!
When building a squad to send into combat, you can pick fighters from friends and guild mates who have flagged them as "shared". Shared fighters are controlled by the AI unless their owner is online, and decides to jump in the battle too.
This system allows for multiplayer cooperative battles, so you and your friends could play through hours of quests, guild wars, and special Dungeon Master events together! Also, because battles can involve up to 32 fighters, you could have as many as 15 friends playing together in a single fight!
Guilds play an integral role driving the story and action in Heroes of Dire! Besides social and organizational hubs, they will wage war for dominance of the world map, with members winning prizes and benefits for capturing new cities, temples, roads, and relics.
Many components of the guild system are still unfinished, however players who take part in the closed beta test will have the opportunity to shape its mechanics as we develop them in preparation of full release.
Players who pledge support at The Sorcerer level and above will be invited to take part in our closed beta test starting June, 2016 and lasting until the game is published.
All data will be wiped at the end of the beta test, but Kickstarter perks will be re-assigned for the full release. Testers MIGHT be allowed to keep some things like custom titles (TBD).
Spellbook has a rich history of working directly with players to invent and improve game mechanics. Our most successful game, The Infinite Black, was designed almost entirely by players over the course of several years.
Very few of our game mechanics are imagined in-house, instead coming directly from posts and polls made on our forums. You can also chat directly with staff during regular live SPELLBOOK.TV Twitch streams to discuss mechanics.
Custom Player Titles are available as backer rewards and will be visible to everyone. In addition to looking cool, these titles help inform us of who is who in the community. Players sporting powerful or unique titles will stand apart from the crowd, lending weight to their obviously superior opinions and impressive physiques. Everyone will have the chance to earn new titles when taking part in special Dungeon Master events.
Quests are a series of battles that take place in various maps against different NPC factions. Each step in a quest is increasingly more difficult, with an opportunity for random loot after every fight. Once completed, players earn Silvers and a powerful item as a reward. Quests may be bought and sold on the open market.
Each quest has a story generated "Mad Libs"-style using the boss name, minions, map type, and quest rewards players see during the adventure. We've developed over 250 procedural story templates! You can check out a few now with our online Custom Story Builder Tool.
Plot Quests are authored by Dungeon Masters and drive the ever-evolving story of Dire:
Backers who support us at The Master of Lore tier and above can submit their own creations from the Story Builder Tool and we'll include them in the game! You'll be credited as the writer, and your story will become a permanent part of Dire lore enjoyed by tens-of-thousands of players for years to come!
We've licensed 9 tracks from the fantastic musicians Two Steps From Hell, who you'll recognize from movies and trailers such as Interstellar, The Avengers, Godzilla, X-Men Days of Future Past, Tron, and Star Trek.
Their powerful sound lends a dark and epic sense of adventure to the world of Dire! It just wouldn't have the same heart or soul without them, and we're really happy that we are able to include their music in the game.
The Heroes of Dire game client will be a free download available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux!
New players will be asked to Create a Spellbook Account and then prompted to "Start a free Recruit Account" or "Enter a Veteran Key". Recruit accounts have some limitations, but allow new players to join with friends and play immediately. They can be upgraded to Veteran later by making a purchase.
In June 2016 all Kickstarter backers will receive a Veteran Key by e-mail. Keep your key secret! When you first log in to Heroes of Dire, select "Enter a Veteran Key" and type in your key. Your account will be upgraded immediately and all of your backer rewards will generate automatically!
Closed Beta Test access will be restricted by your key. Only players from The Sorcerer tier or higher will be allowed to play during beta testing.
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Risks and challenges
We delayed our Kickstarter funding drive until we knew that Heroes of Dire was a solid product, and about 80% complete.
Our past success in online mobile games gave some financial padding, allowing us to self-fund the initial development costs. Assuming we can reach our modest funding goals, the chance of failure at this point is low. We've already built a fantastic game and just need a few more months of polish.
Spellbook has secured the www.DIRE.com website, registered the Dire trademark, and licensed an incredible soundtrack from the musicians Two Steps From Hell.
The game's server has been successfully tested and deployed to our cloud hosting provider. The costs of operating each server is mostly fixed and manageable, thanks to Microsoft's impressive Azure platform.
The Heroes of Dire game client is progressing well, continues to add new content daily, and isn't at risk from any serious technical "unknowns". You'll soon be able to watch a live streaming demo on Twitch!
We just need your help to keep the lights on a little longer while we complete the game!
Once published, maintaining a baseline of revenue to cover server hosting costs will be the largest risk to long-term success, however those costs are not as daunting as they once were for online games. The prevalence of cheap scaleable hosting from cloud industry pioneers like Amazon and Microsoft has radically altered the equation. We're confident that, based on past experience, numbers as small as 300 to 400 active players can generate enough revenue to keep a server online.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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