Here's what you need to know about Four Kings One War:
- We're a two player strategy game inspired by chess. We use traditional chess pieces in a large coliseum-styled arena.
- You control two regiments as though they were one army and get two moves per turn.
- The rules and playing arena create exponentially more strategic manoeuvres than traditional chess.
- The game play creates opportunity for guerrilla style tactics and hidden attacks.
- We're agnostic across all platforms.
- We're an uncharted strategic experience ready and waiting for new champions to be crowned (literally... see more about our tournament plans below).
You can get pre-launch access within 48 hours of our campaign ending to either our PC/Mac version or our mind blowing, near life-like and totally immersive Virtual Reality version.
For more information, we welcome you to please read on, or check out our website https://fourkingsonewar.com/ where we have strategy videos, rules of engagement and much more.
Why create a strategy game based on Chess?
When people think of strategy, the game that regularly comes to mind is Chess. Developed over 1,400 years ago, this classic strategy game, beloved by millions, hasn’t evolved much since it was first conceived – until now. Four Kings One War is a strategy game based on Chess, but designed to suit the modern mind. We believe that just as military strategy has become more complex and strategic over the years, so too should the strategy games we enjoy. We no longer stand face-to-face in the field of battle. Instead we look for blind-side manoeuvres and guerrilla-styled tactics to baffle our opponents. This is the promise of Four Kings One War.
If you really think you are a strategist then stepping into a Four Kings One War arena will put that to the test. Are you ready for the challenge?
It's true, we don't need your pledges to make the game - we've already created it - and you can get early access to it within 48 hours of our campaign ending (assuming we've hit our very low target). We're running this crowd funding campaign for two reasons. Firstly, to be able to further develop our game faster. While you can play any other player in Four Kings right now, we're keen to bring on an AI to allow you to 'play the computer' and to learn the game along with new strategies at your own time and pace.
The second reason is because we have loads of great new features in mind and frankly, we're in kind of a hurry to bring them to you. The sooner we have the funds, the sooner we can get on to building out our incredible vision for this game and, in the process, give you an even better Chess-based strategy game and strategic thinking community to engage with.
Just in case you missed it... you can access our game within 48 Hours of our campaign ending.
We have already raised enough capital and done enough development work to provide our Kickstarter community with immediate access to Four Kings One War.
That means, if you pledge enough to get game access, we'll be able to send you a key to download the game and start playing within 48 hours of our campaign ending. And that's in both VR (HTC Vive & Oculus) and PC/Mac formats.
But we don't want to stop there as we have so many amazing experiences and features to add to Four Kings One War. We need your help to bring these to life soon.
Here's some more detail on each of our upcoming development and community focused plans...
Artificial Intelligence: Play the computer and train your strategic skills.
Our first goal is to provide our users with a state of the art AI to play against as well as learn how to improve their game. As soon as we reach our $50,000 target we will start the programming of our in-game AI.
Although our AI will be continually improved, we want it to be impressive right from the start. Given the increased size and gameplay options that Four Kings One War provides, we can only imagine what a smart AI would learn from this game and are very excited to see it evolve.
The goal here is to provide you, the player, with an immediate source for both playing and training in Four Kings. We also want our AI to be able to teach our users how to improve their game. It will have the capabilities to analyse your game play through metrics and statistics we have set up in the background and at random times throughout a users interaction with the game it will push spirit animals into the environment which all have different meanings. If you understand the "animal code" and what each spirit animal means you will then start to understand what the AI is trying to teach you in order to improve your game.
The importance of this will become clearer as you read some of our larger goals.
Organic (Physical) Injection Molded Boards: Play online or off.
Not everyone enjoys playing strategy games in a digital format. Many still love the face-to-face combat and tactile nature of a physical board. We're committed to taking our game back to it's roots with our organic board.
Once we reach our $200,000 mark we will start production of injection molds for our organic physical boards. These boards are replicas of the boards you see in the photo's below with a little more detail added. They look stunning and, at 800mm square they really have a presence. We want to be able to supply these boards worldwide to our players as affordable as possible. The first board released will be the coliseum board as seen in photo's however there are a number of other board designs we have up our sleeves...
Best of all, we've designed the boards so that if you wanted to change your design, you'll be able to simply buy a new facing to clip on to your existing board, saving the cost and materials of having to replace the whole thing.
New Features, New Environments & Mixed Reality
Once we reach around $500,000 we'll start building our next environment to add to our continually growing global map of environments to choose from. We'll also start to bring in the upgrades and iterations to our current environment.
One of the most exciting features we're planning for the current game environment is to include fight sequences within the game. When a player makes their move, a spirit warrior will morph out of the staunton chess piece and charge towards the opponent to engage in a short fight sequence. Each piece will have a unique spirit warrior assigned to it with different possible fight sequences depending on the drama of the exchange. Once the fight sequence has played out the staunton chess piece draws back over the spirit warrior to occupy the new square.
At the end of the game, you'll be able to watch the replay in classic staunton style (so you can analyse your game) or watch the cinematic replay of the game, where the computer will stitch together all the different fight sequences and, play it back in a short mini-movie style replay.
We want to be constantly bringing out new environments for our players to choose from and this is the stage where we will start to build our next one. Our current environment is set in a New Zealand forest. Where will the next one be? We have a never ending vision for these environments and want to create a global map for players to choose from.
Once we reach this stretch target we also want to start programming our Mixed Reality version. Utilizing this amazing technology we will be able to bring organic boards and digital technologies together. Users will be able to use an organic board where they set their own army up and leave their opponents side empty. Then, hook up to our online community to play someone across the world where their opponents army then appears on their organic board as holograms as well as an avatar of their opponent standing behind the board. Users will then also be able to choose what holograms they want roaming around their playing location or flying around their board all integrating seamlessly with the natural surroundings. We really excited to see where future technologies will allow us to take the game.
Big Prize Tournaments.
As soon as we hit the one million mark we will start to put our tournament plans in place. We want to give the opportunity for all of our community to be able to change their lives by playing Four Kings One War so we plan to have tournaments for all skill levels. Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced, Under 16. This is one the areas of Four Kings development we're most excited about. Once we start with the tournaments, we'll be looking to host more and more of them. Imagine a world series of Four Kings One War. Imagine being the world's first professional Four Kings player.
While the prize money will naturally start out at a limted level (say $100,000), we're keen to grow this further as quickly as possible. We want to be offering tournament prizes of $1 million or more in the not-too-distant future.
You won't need to be a "Grand Master" to win big dollar prizes either - especially in our earliest years. As a new game, Four Kings One War's best strategies are still waiting to be unleashed. If you can discover them, then then the opportunity to win big awaits. We can't wait to crown the first Four Kings One War Champions.
We were in a bit of a dilemma about our choice of funding target. Ideally, we'd like to raise at least $50,000 from this campaign in order to build out our AI. We think it's a critical part of delivering you a great game experience.
So, why not set it at $50,000?
One of the quirks of Kickstarter is that we're limited in how we can communicate with our supporters until we reach our target. For us, it was really important to be able to provide you with access to our game as soon as possible - which we unfortunately can't do until we hit our target. As a result, we made the difficult decision to set our target at a level we're confident of hitting on day one, so we can be assured of delivering you access to the game as soon as our campaign ends.
Please note - we're still really keen to hit (at least) that $50,000 figure - so please do support us. If you choose a pledge that gives access to the game - you're guaranteed to get access to the game within 48 hours of our campaign ending - and once the AI is developed, your game will instantly become even better. Sweet!
Here's the stretch targets we're keen to hit:
Who enjoys playing Four Kings One War?
Four Kings One War provides a turn-based, real time strategy game like no other. Based on the DNA of Chess, it’s an evolution away in terms of strategic opportunity and warfare attack.
While being a seasoned Chess player will help you to understand the game quickly and, may give you an edge, it's not necessary for you to master the game.
Here's what our earliest players say they love about the game:
- They love chess however feel frustrated with how structured it has become. It feels too much about learning existing strategies rather than creating their own.
- They enjoy a strategy game that is a mental discipline and a battle from start to finish.
- They like being part of an emerging game culture and having the chance to make their mark.
- They love having a new strategic challenge.
- They prefer games that remove all question of luck.
- They want to master their ability to think outside the square.
- They like to test their strategic thinking against the best.
- They think they have what it takes to be an outside the box thinker
- They were looking for a strategic challenge that couldn't be memorized.
- They wanted a fully immersive VR strategy game that's more than just shooting people.
- They want to challenge their brain power.
Where did Four Kings One War come from?
Four Kings One War was first created by Glyn Leggett back in 1999. The idea originally started with Glyn's love and passion for the game of Chess. But, as many Chess players do, Glyn found himself wanting more from the game. Something that maintained the balanced and measured way that chess pieces move and complement each other, but with more strategic scope and purpose. As Glyn describes, a game that would bring strategy forward to meet the modern mind. After 16 years of game play and development, this new strategic challenge has emerged. If you know how to play chess, then you are ready to go. If not, there's a few simple videos on our website to help you get started. To get a bit of an idea, here's an overview of the game:
A basic product was never going to cut it
If you're going to try to create a variant of Chess, you can't go about it half-baked. Chess is perhaps the most popular game of all time, with a huge audience of loyal, passionate players.
Our focus from day one has been to create the best possible game we can. Which is why it's taken nearly 20 years to get to this point. We've had thousands of games in that time. Tested dozens of rule variations, and movements to narrow down to the game as it stands today.
From all this research, we're confident that we've now created a strategy game that all strategists – whether they're Chess players or not – will enjoy.
As you can see from these images, even our initial hand-made demo boards were something special.
Launching in VR
We eventually decided to launch with our VR game (along with PC / Mac variants) in order to ensure your first taste of this game is as impressive as possible. And we're 100% focused on continuing to develop the game, to make it even more mind blowing.
Our first Four Kings One War VR game is set in a native New Zealand bush scene (we're Kiwi's - what did you expect?) surrounded by the sounds you'd hear if you were actually here. Within the environment, you're free to play the game in a number of locations:
- The enormous main combat arena is set in a bush clearing, where the playing arena is the size of a house and the pieces are five-foot tall.
- The training area is set in a Glow Worm Cave where the arena is closer to a life-sized version of our original demo board.
- Our waterfall features another 4K1W arena - again with a life-sized board.
- The Abyss... for those who don't like distractions!
Developed in partnership with StaplesVR we have created a gaming environment that is as functional as it is spectacular. But we don't want to stop here and we certainly don't want to keep our players waiting for years for the next iteration. Here's some shots from within the game environment – you'll have to take our word for it that in immersive VR it looks amazing.
However here is a sneak peak with some in game footage.
Lets hear from some of the community
Check out some in game strategy talk.
You've read this far... surely it's time to make a pledge?
Just for fun!
Some community shots
Risks and challenges
This is a unique project for a crowd funding platform because it comes with pretty much no risk. In exchange for our early adopters support (that's you by the way) you'll be able to get your reward within 48 hours of our campaign ending.
You'll get access to Four Kings One War in either Virtual Reality and or PC/Mac formats. The game has been tested extensively already (we've literally played thousands of games) so you'll get a complete gaming experience from day one.
There may, of course, be minor bugs that arise as we add new features, but, we have a team of experts on hand to address any that come up, and can always roll back to a previous version should we need to. We'll be carrying out extensive pre-testing to try to avoid this of course!
Our biggest risk right now is based around how fast we build our community to ensure there are plenty of people to play against, but, you can help us to solve this by spreading the word! Should we hit our stretch target of $50,000, we'll also be able to solve this with the introduction of an AI to play against.
Four Kings One War is already on Steam (though not yet available to the public) and has been in beta testing for months now - so the version we have available for you is near perfect.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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