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A tactical RPG where all players' choices come together to drive a living story, created by a AAA veteran and a chart-topping author. Funded in 9 days.
A tactical RPG where all players' choices come together to drive a living story, created by a AAA veteran and a chart-topping author. Funded in 9 days.
302 backers pledged $16,239 to help bring this project to life.

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City of the Shroud

$16,239

302

City of the Shroud is funded in just over a week!
City of the Shroud is funded in just over a week!
If we reach any 10 of the above, we'll add Survival Mode to the game for everyone! 2 more to go!
If we reach any 10 of the above, we'll add Survival Mode to the game for everyone! 2 more to go!

Hello! We’re the Abyssal Arts team, and we'd like to bring you City of the Shroud: an homage to our love of tactical RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem. As much as we love those games, ours has two key differences: an explosive, combo-based battle system, and a story where your choices, and the choices of every other player, determine how it all plays out.

We have built a breathtaking world, alive with complexity, and a story that can unfold only with player input. The core mechanics are complete, we're approved to launch on Steam when the game is done, and we've already got experience doing the sorts of stuff that's left to do! 

We need one more thing to complete the game: funding so we can build the art assets to bring the world to life. We need your help to build the last three character models as we work to finish the game.

  • Combo-based battle system: think on your feet and chain together your attacks to defeat your opponents in real-time
  • The story is a living episodic campaign: every player's actions impact how the story unfolds for the entire community
  • 4 episodes: each episode is crafted based on the cumulative influence of every player's choices and actions from the previous episodes
  • Written by multiple chart-topping independent author Moira Katson
  • Online PVP multiplayer
  • Deep combo and stat system lets you customize your character to suit your playstyle
  • Mod support: customize the appearance of your units in battle
  • A distinctive world, beautifully realized in 2D and 3D
  • Runs on Windows and Mac
City of the Shroud was Greenlit in just 3 weeks!
City of the Shroud was Greenlit in just 3 weeks!
 

Combat in City of the Shroud has its heart in tactical RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics, but we replaced the slow, stat-and-menu-focused mechanics with a real-time, combo-based battle system of our own creation.

Using the Combo Wheel, you chain together powerful special abilities into brutal combos.

A Mage uses Disintegrate + Corrupt on an enemy Brute.
A Mage uses Disintegrate + Corrupt on an enemy Brute.
A Brute uses Slam + Suplex on an enemy Brute.
A Brute uses Slam + Suplex on an enemy Brute.
A Mage unleashes 4 attacks chained together on an enemy Mage.
A Mage unleashes 4 attacks chained together on an enemy Mage.

The game plays in real-time, and each character has a limited pool of stamina that they can use to move or attack. The key to victory is staying calm in the face of chaos - choose your moves wisely and keep your wits about you to emerge victorious.

All combined, you can get into some intense situations.
All combined, you can get into some intense situations.

The final game will add 3 more character classes, for a total of 6. As you progress through the game, you will find all sorts of special abilities to chain together in interesting ways, plus stat gems to increase the power of your fighters. You'll also gain access to counter, block, and dodge techniques that will take your fighting to the next level. This page only scratches the surface of what we've got in store for you!

Try out the combat yourself! Grab the latest prototype from itch.io below, GameJolt or IndieDB.

Available for Windows and Mac
Available for Windows and Mac

"This game is a lot of fun, has a lot of room for growth, and the mechanics are really cool. Good job guys. If you have that need for tactical gameplay, this will fill that need for you."
- Virtual Remedy

"It's very solid, I like it - I like the combat. I'm not really a tactical RPG type of person as one of my main game types, but this is one that I find fun."
- King Radinov

"I'm digging the art direction, I really enjoy the tactical gameplay elements, and the possibilities of that. It feels really rewarding."
- RedAtMath

"I do love this combo system - it's a really neat system, a really neat idea."
- Highsight

"It's a community-driven story ... Based on everyone's combined decision making, it will influence the story and what happens going forward, which I thought was really cool!"
- Krozjin

"[City of the Shroud] is fast-paced, constant - the battles are really short and it really keeps you going, 'I'll do it this time, I'll do it this time, I'll do it this time!'"
- NerdCaveOnline

We only know how the story begins. You, the players, will complete it. As each player chooses their path, bestselling indie author Moira Katson will craft a living story that reflects the choices and allegiances of the player base. Factions will rise and fall, alliances will be made…and destroyed. As the enemy grows closer to their aim, players must work to discover their plans—and thwart them, with what little they have left. Choose your allies wisely, for someone in this city has called destruction down on it.

Enter the world of Iskendrun… As the city teeters on the brink of civil war, a new enemy has dropped a magical shroud around the city, sealing the inhabitants inside as it stalks the streets, sending creatures of shadow and night to drag the citizens into another world.

But to triumph over this darkness, you need allies…and any ally you court will gain you bitter enemies as the city searches for the dark magician and their allies. After all, who has summoned this enemy to the city? Who stands to benefit as Iskendrun falls?

To bring the world to life, we're asking you to help us build the character models for the remaining three classes in the game. We have funded development of the game ourselves until this point and just need this last bit to help us make it over the final hurdle.

Anything extra will go to other areas of art production that we were planning to cover outside of Kickstarter. This means we get to release the game to you sooner!

Moreover, we're proud to have developed City of the Shroud where players can see what we're working on and give us feedback - Kickstarter is just the next step of that! Every backer gets Early Access to the game via Steam, and we can't wait to hear what you think.

City of the Shroud is already Greenlit and ready for distribution on Steam - once we finish the game, of course. All reward levels come with a Steam key that includes in-development builds of the game for Windows/Mac as soon as the Kickstarter campaign is successfully complete.

  • Steam key for all 4 episodes of City of the Shroud + Early Access on Windows/Mac
  • Your name in the credits
  • Wallpaper for desktop and mobile
  • Backer forum badge
  • All of the items in the Citizen tier
  • Early copies of every title in Moira's upcoming sci-fi/fantasy trilogy
  • Digital download of the soundtrack
  • City of the Shroud short-story collection (e-book)
  • Digital art book and development diary
  • Backer-exclusive forum access
  • Everything in the Merchant and Citizen tiers
  • Your choice of City of the Shroud t-shirt or hoodie
  • First access to in-development features like the new character classes (via a special branch on Steam)
  • Exclusive play and feedback sessions with the dev team
  • Design an encounter for players to overcome in the final game
  • Your name in the credits as a designer
  • The team will send you a signed postcard!

What's this? A super-limited amigurumi of the Mage? Back at the PATRON ($250) tier ASAP to be one of the lucky few to give one of these guys a home (only 5 will be made!). Made by our dear friend The Yarn Mouse. (3 of 5 are claimed!)

Drawing on JRPGs, heavy metal, and other creative influences, City of the Shroud's unique musical style combines a fantasy orchestral sound with Middle Eastern and contemporary elements.

 

City of the Shroud's mechanics and systems are all complete (give or take some polish and tuning). Our story engine is online, our battle system is solid, and online multiplayer is functioning. We've even started getting the game tied into Steam! In other words: we really just need art!

We're still investing our time and resources into this game (that doesn't change with Kickstarter!), so nearly everything from Kickstarter is going straight into art production.

We're also working with the same fine folks who built our first round of materials, so they already know what we need and how to build it. That will save a lot of time!

As a team, we come from different backgrounds - Keaton spent 4 years at Capcom Japan as a Production Manager on titles like Deep Down and Dead Rising 3, while Moira has self-published numerous novels and short stories and has hit #1 on the Amazon download charts on 3 separate occasions. We've been working together for years now, and together, we're able to bring you something we would never be able to do alone.

                 
                 

SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE AWESOME PEOPLE HELPING MAKE THIS POSSIBLE

Matt Gambell for the trailer, Tom Pickard for the environment and UI assets, Gilles Ketting for his artwork, Stephen Chan for the Abyssal Arts logo, Susan Evans for the art support, Andy Selby for making our sound effects, Eduardo Garabito for the PR advice, Sock Thuggery for being awesome, the Brighton Game Collective for their support, and many more!

Risks and challenges

As with pretty much all indie titles, the two biggest risks we face are budget and schedule. For any unexpected budget issues, we plan to address them as we have up until this point: with freelance work via our own efforts. We already know what's left to do and how long that will take to produce (it's repeating a process we've already been through), and the core mechanics are already built, so we've made sure to minimize the risk/potential impact.

As for schedule, there is always the chance that something takes longer than planned - a contractor suddenly becomes unavailable, a core feature needs more polish, and so on. We'd be foolish not to acknowledge that there is always the chance that things will slip, but we've done everything we can to minimize any impact this might have, from making sure the game is mechanically pretty much assembled to extensively testing it with users and at game shows. And if we make it through Kickstarter, you can join us in polishing the game via early access builds on Steam, since we're already approved!

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  1. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    EARLY BIRD

    You get a City of the Shroud Steam Key for all 4 episodes of the game at 25% off the final price (Win/Mac), Early Access, your name in the credits, a wallpaper for your desktop/phone, and a forum badge designating you as a backer!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    CITIZEN

    You get a City of the Shroud Steam Key for all 4 episodes of the game (Win/Mac), Early Access, your name in the credits, a wallpaper for your desktop/phone, and a forum badge designating you as a backer!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    MERCHANT+

    You get everything in the Citizen tier, a digital copy of the soundtrack, a world-expanding City of the Shroud short story collection (e-book), and a digital Art Book and Development Diary.

    We'll also welcome you to the Backer Exclusive Forum, and give you every book in Moira's upcoming sci-fi/fantasy series before they're released (also e-books) - all at 20% off!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    MERCHANT

    You get everything in the Citizen tier, a digital copy of the soundtrack, a world-expanding City of the Shroud short story collection (e-book), and a digital Art Book and Development Diary.

    We'll also welcome you to the Backer Exclusive Forum, and give you every book in Moira's upcoming sci-fi/fantasy series before they're released (also e-books)!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    NOBLE

    You get everything in the Merchant and Citizen tiers, your choice of a City of the Shroud t-shirt or hoodie, and you'll get to play in-development features before anyone else (new character classes, anyone?).

    We also want to hear what you think about this stuff - join exclusive play and feedback sessions with the dev team, design and name an enemy team for players to battle in the game, and even get credited as a Designer.

    We'll also send you a postcard signed by the team! (Whew!)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    PATRON

    The first 5 (!!) backers on THIS TIER ONLY get an amigurumi for a character of their choice from The Yarn Mouse! These are *super* limited, and once they're gone, they're gone! [5/5 Remaining]

    You'll also get free Early Access and digital keys to ALL of Abyssal Art's future titles!

    You'll ALSO be getting a big ol' City of the Shroud poster (24"x36"), you get to write your own quest in the game for everyone to play, design a map for everyone to battle on, and you'll be credited as a Super Designer!

    Oh, and everything in the tiers above too, of course.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SUPER PRODUCER

    In addition to all of the above, your lovely visage will be painted into the game as a character, and you'll get to star in a series of side quests that you write!

    You'll also get to design your very own boss fight (how wicked), design an ability for the class of your choice, and get two extra keys to give to your friends!

    You'll also be credited as a Super Producer! in the credits. You can choose whether to include the exclamation mark or not.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    OMEGA BACKER

    All glory to the Omega Backer! In addition to all of the above, we want you to join us as a consultant on our next game. Be there from the beginning and help us create the ultimate follow-up!

    You're also invited to a sweet pizza party with the team in the US or UK (or both)*, where we'll present you with a poster signed by the entire team.

    To top it off, we'll put your name in the most special of places in the credits... o-ho-ho-ho-ho.

    *Sadly, travel isn't included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)