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$11,324 pledged of $45,000 goal
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$11,324 pledged of $45,000 goal
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About

Join Abyssal Arts as we revolutionize storytelling with City of the Shroud. A tactical RPG unfolds in a sprawling world created by author Moira Katson, combining Final Fantasy Tactics and Street Fighter for a unique, real-time combat experience with an innovative story campaign. In a world of bitter rivalries, in a city descending into civil war, players’ choices will create a living world of shifting alliances as they race to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

We have a truly extraordinary team of developers. We have an incredible world, and innovative combat. So why are we Kickstarting? We need your help to bring City of the Shroud to life with vibrant artwork and animation.

  • Brand-new type of tactical gameplay using our real-time tactical fighting system
  • New approach to interactive fiction based on your and every other player's actions, and written by Moira Katson, a chart-topping independent author (#1 downloaded title on Amazon Fantasy 3 times) 
  • Single player, episodic campaign with fierce AI battles
  • Online PVP multiplayer
  • Deep combo and stat system lets you customize your character to suit your playstyle 
  • Customize your character’s appearance through mod support 
  • A distinctive world, beautifully realized in 2D and 3D
          

The story of Iskendrun is driven by the balance of power between different factions fighting over control of the city. You must choose which faction to join, and your actions will determine its fate. However, other players - whose interests may not align with yours - will be doing the same.  

Each faction is led by a leader with a unique personality, history, and agenda. The game's story focuses around these leaders and their fortunes. 

As quests are completed and battles are won, the Balance of Power will shift in favor of different factions. Don't like where the story is headed? Change your allegiance, rally your friends, and fight for the causes you believe in.

Back City of the Shroud to get access to Kickstarter-exclusive story episodes, updated during the campaign. We want to give you a preview of our community-driven story system, so back us and you will get a new episode every 7~10 days. You can influence the story during the Kickstarter, so back soon to make a difference!


The gameplay in City of the Shroud is born of a love for two seemingly different genres, tactical RPGs, and fighting games. We love how each of these genres contains rich, strategic depth and counter-play, so we decided to combine them in a real-time system that plays to their strengths.

Here's how it works:


Special attacks come in the form of gems - follow the ones you want to activate around the wheel to chain them together into combos.
Special attacks come in the form of gems - follow the ones you want to activate around the wheel to chain them together into combos.
 
Use combos, timing, and other fighting game elements to defeat your opponents in real-time tactical battles!
Use combos, timing, and other fighting game elements to defeat your opponents in real-time tactical battles!
Weave attacks together using the combo system and chain them into powerful combos. But you have to choose: do you save up your Action Points for a big, but slow, combo, or do you take an opportunity to land a smaller combo right away? Or perhaps you play patiently, and work your opponent into a bad position so you can execute a devastating combo while their guard is down.  

Learn which moves suit your playstyle, build the ultimate team, and fight to determine the future of Iskendrun!

There are three character classes implemented into the demo, and the final game will feature six character classes in total. Each comes with their own set of unique abilities and strategies. The three currently in the game are: 

A powerful wielder of the energies that permeate the earth, using these energies can leave the Mage open to attack, but the ability to manipulate time or devastate large portions of the battlefield is well worth the risk.
A powerful wielder of the energies that permeate the earth, using these energies can leave the Mage open to attack, but the ability to manipulate time or devastate large portions of the battlefield is well worth the risk.
Brutes are big, powerful, and can even move opponents around the field to keep friends out of harm’s way.
Brutes are big, powerful, and can even move opponents around the field to keep friends out of harm’s way.
The Gunner packs the best range of any class and an impressive bag of tricks to outmaneuver their opponents and cover a huge amount of distance when they need to avoid a Brute-smash.
The Gunner packs the best range of any class and an impressive bag of tricks to outmaneuver their opponents and cover a huge amount of distance when they need to avoid a Brute-smash.

City of the Shroud is built to support character asset modding, straight from the get-go. Each character model is assembled from several individual pieces, so you can build, mix, and match parts to create the perfect character for you.

For the technically inclined, each differently-colored piece is a separate mesh with its own unique textures loaded in (though they look like palette swaps). You can also change out the Brute's torso and head!
For the technically inclined, each differently-colored piece is a separate mesh with its own unique textures loaded in (though they look like palette swaps). You can also change out the Brute's torso and head!

Want to stand out from the crowd? Back us at the $250 tier, and not only do you get direct access to the dev team as we build and structure the system, you can create character assets that will be unique to you and you alone!

City of the Shroud has online PVP! Challenge your friends or complete strangers in our devilishly replayable multiplayer. 

                                                     
The markets of Iskendrun are what enabled the city to rise to prominence.
The markets of Iskendrun are what enabled the city to rise to prominence.

One of the last remaining cities on the Zuwar peninsula, Iskendrun was founded centuries ago when the five houses of the original Merchants Guild abandoned their caravans and became nobility. 

A tenuous peace held across the peninsula for centuries, but in the last ten years, three of the five cities have fallen, and Iskendrun battles Baysan, its only remaining rival, for control of the ruins. 

While the battle rages far to the north, the people of Iskendrun struggle with desperate poverty, the flood of refugees from the other city states, and the ruinous in-fighting of the city’s most powerful citizens. Fields lie fallow and once-prosperous merchants rely on the charity of the city's priests. 

The refugees take shelter in the poorest parts of Iskendrun.
The refugees take shelter in the poorest parts of Iskendrun.

You are a child of the desert, journeying to the once-great city to escape the war and earn a living. Instead, you find yourself trapped in the city as a magical shroud descends, holding all captive. As the faction leaders accuse one another of creating the otherworldly cage, the simmering conflict in the city threatens to erupt into civil war. 

The chaos will force you to seek out allies, but it is only now, captive and hunted, that you realize those same allies may be in league with the one who has created the Shroud... 

City of the Shroud's musical style combines a fantasy orchestral sound with Middle Eastern and contemporary influences. Click on the sample tracks below to listen for yourself!  

Remember to vote for us on Steam Greenlight!
Remember to vote for us on Steam Greenlight!
        

City of the Shroud is up and running on Windows and OS X, and we intend to release the final game via Steam. We’re currently looking into other platform possibilities - it's just a matter of funding that determines what we can support.

       
 

SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE AWESOME PEOPLE HELPING MAKE THIS POSSIBLE
Matt Gambell for the awesome trailer, Tom Pickard for the awesome environment assets, Susan Evans for the awesome art support, Eduardo Garabito for the awesome PR advice, Sock Thuggery for being awesome, the Brighton Game Collective for their awesome support, and many more!

                                                                                    

Eternal Love and Gratitude: Back the project at any amount to receive this reward. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting us.

Digital Copy of the Game: Receive a digital copy of the game on Windows / Mac. We intend to distribute the game over Steam, so this reward will be in the form of a Steam key.

Name in Credits: Get your name in the credits (or even put "Hi, Mom!", since all our mothers will appreciate that one).

Wallpaper: A digital wallpaper to adorn your desktop or mobile device's background.

Early Access: Get access to the game early as we add content, tune moves, improve features, etc. The game already runs reliably on Windows and Mac, so we're all set to go. Best of all, you can tell us what you think and help make the final game better for everyone.

Soundtrack: Get a digital copy of the soundtrack by real-live British person Chris Nairn (he's also a talented composer to boot). 

Exclusive Beta Forums Access: We'll have special forums for Early Access players to discuss the latest gameplay changes and give feedback and suggestions directly to the team. We'll e-see you there! (You can always sign up for our forums to talk to us normally too!)

Short Story Collection: A collection of short storiesby Moira, exclusive to this Kickstarter. There will be one short story per leader, set in Iskendrun long before the events of City of the Shroud, giving you a glimpse into their lives, who are they are, and why they think the way they do.

Making-Of Journal: A collection of concept art, developer diaries, design notes, and more that covers the evolution of the project and gives you insight into how everything went down behind the scenes. This one will ship out AFTER the story is complete, since otherwise we'd only be telling part of the tale!

Early Access to Character Customization: City of the Shroud supports character appearance modding, and this reward will get you in on the action early, with a direct line to the team so that we can get things working in the best way possible, and you can show off your stuff as soon as we launch.

Exclusive Customization: Ever wanted to be totally unique in a game? Well, now you can - build your ideal character outfit and we will implement it into the game and make it exclusive to you. (You supply the parts, we'll work together to make sure they're compatible with animation, etc., and then implement them into the game for you.)

Custom Visual Effects Color: In addition to any fancy duds you bring to the party, you can choose a unique visual effects color to go with your outfit... or to make a completely unrelated statement - it's up to you!

Name an Achievement: Does what it says on the tin. Work with us to find the perfect achievement for you, and then go ahead and name it the worst pun you can possibly imagine. Limited to the first 50 backers at this level.

Early Access to All Future Betas of Abyssal Arts Games: Get access before anyone else to all betas of future games by Abyssal Arts. We'll send you builds of our work long before anyone else so you can give feedback and influence their development first.

Digital Copies of All Future Abyssal Arts Games: You gave feedback, now get the game. You get a digital copy of all our future titles once they're released.

Appear in a Quest: There are many stories to be told in Iskendrun, and yours is one of them! Work with us to put yourself (or a character of your creation) into one of the many events waiting in the city. Comes with a shout-out in the credits as well.

Design a Map: Design one of the maps people fight on! Specify the layout, setting, and environment style that you want, and we'll build a level to match and put it in the game. We'll also include you in the credits with a special shout-out!

Design a New Ability: Got an idea for an ability that would be just too-cool? Well, now you can brute-force (see what I did there?) it into the game. Work with us to design a special ability for the class of your choice, and get a special shout-out in the credits too.

Star in a Series of Quests: One quest not enough? Do you yearn for a whole chain of quests? Then this is perfect for you. Work with us to make a series of quests starring yourself or a character of your creation, and get an extra-special place in the credits.

Unique Character Portrait: We will paint a custom piece of portrait art just for you to use as your protagonist's image in the game. Use it as an avatar, show it off on YouTube, or hoard it and never let another soul lay eyes on it (except Samogon, of course). 

Poster Image of Your Character: We will work with you to design a custom-painted poster image based on your unique portrait (or whatever you want to include - its your image!). For best results, we recommend waiting until the campaign is over so that there is plenty of material to draw upon. Once the image is complete, we will have it printed and shipped to your door.

All of the core systems and gameplay in City of the Shroud are already online and functioning. We just need to build the content to make it look pretty while tuning it to beautiful perfection.

  • Community-driven story backend complete 
  • Combat system complete 
  • Dialogue and quest system complete 
  • Gems (special attacks) obtainable; gem crafting not yet implemented 
  • Menu UI functionality in place; art and layouts are placeholder 
  • 3/6 classes implemented 
  • 2 maps implemented, several more planned (modular system, easy to make more) 
  • 2D environment artwork for city areas in progress 
  • 2D character portraits for dialogue in progress 
  • Overture and main theme composed, more to come
If we can reach our Kickstarter goal, that will give us enough to build the art assets to complete the game. Once those are constructed, all we have to do is set them up in the game, and we’re ready to go. If you want to take the game for a test-drive, you can download a demo of the multiplayer here: 


We wanted to connect directly to the players and try something completely new - rather than compromise our vision, we’ve chosen to bring our game directly to you. We only want to be accountable to ourselves and to people like you, who believe in the game and want to help create something unique and amazing!

Who doesn't love budgets? City of the Shroud's Kickstarter budget is broken down into a few sections. 
Expense of creating this pie chart not included.
Expense of creating this pie chart not included.
Kickstarter will take their fee (~8%), but from the remaining amount: 69% of the funding will go to art production - hiring people we know and trust to make concept art, 3D environments and characters, animation, and visual effects. 12% will go to business expenses (3rd party backend support, legal fees, etc.), and the remaining 10% will go to dev team support and game show attendance. 


Risks and challenges

We estimate that we will be able to launch the first chapter of the game later this summer.

Making a game involves a lot of unknowns and dependencies that are hard to predict, but we have already done a round of art production (and have extensive experience doing it), so we know how much things will cost and how long they will take to create. And if something should happen, we will be open and honest with you every step of the way.

We’re also trying something completely new with the live campaign driven by player actions. We are confident we’ve struck on a system that balances the input of players with the human needs of our writer (sleep, breathing). We are intentionally choosing not to add anything that might impact the schedule and delay the release of new episodes (voice overs, etc.), but if there’s enough demand for something, we’ll certainly look into it.

Spreading the word is also a challenge - the more people who help spread the word, the more likely we are to succeed. Please share this campaign far and wide - every Tweet, Facebook post, and reddit thread makes a difference!

We believe deeply in the project, and have invested our time, money, and an enormous amount of effort to make this game. Help make this game a reality!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    DESIGN, BUILD, NAME

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    EXEMPLARY CITIZEN

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    ・Make your character mod appearance unique to you
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    SPONSOR

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    ARCHITECT

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    MARTIAL ARTISTE

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    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

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    ・One appearance not enough? How about starring in your own series of side quests? Work with us to create a series of quests that revolve around you!
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    JUST FOR YOU

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Funding period

- (30 days)