Here's an unedited look at what our combat is like in Aegis: Innocence!
Thousands of years ago, mankind had its first nightmare. From this, a new world of darkness was born to contain the horrors that man dreams of. These creatures fed upon the innocent for nourishment, almost wiping out humanity in the process. No one knows where they came from, but guardians appeared to keep the nightmares in check. They've taken many forms since they appeared: clay figures, dolls, and even wooden carvings. Today, they take the form of teddy bears.
You are one of these guardians, instinctively protecting your charge. One night, you are overwhelmed by too great a number, and your human is on the brink of death. Will you plunge into the realm of darkness to retrieve what's been stolen?
Aegis: Innocence is a 2D Platformer Action RPG with a heavy focus on challenging gameplay, rich combat, and exploration. You play as a teddy bear who fights nightmares to protect your human. When the nightmares drain your human's life energy, you must travel to their world, fighting your way through hordes of enemies to retrieve what was stolen and set things right.
- Explore over 15 intricately crafted areas
- Uncover secrets, discover rare weapons, and reveal hidden lore through exploration
- Time your attacks and find openings to gain control
- Use a variety of light, heavy, and special attacks in multiple directions to gain an edge
- Evade and block attacks to withstand deadly strikes
- Manipulate the environment to destroy and weaken your foes, or use it to sneak in and gain an advantage on them
- Use multiple weapon types, each with its own skill tree, to fit your needs
- Construct the perfect character build by selecting skills from three talent trees to fit your own personal playstyle
- Use of alternate routes and non-linear level design
- See the consequences of your actions with different endings depending on your choices
Now that you know the basics, let's get into the details of how the main gameplay mechanics in Aegis work!
We really wanted to avoid a hack-n-slash scenario in Aegis, so we don't have any "spam one button over and over" mechanics for attacking. You'll have different attacks for every direction you press, so Up will slash at enemies above you, Down will do a sweeping attack, Forward will do a thrusting attack, and Neutral will do a standing attack. There are also running attacks to get initiative against enemies that are out of reach.
We want the player to have to respond to each enemy, changing which attack works best for any given situation. In addition to your ground attacks, you'll also be able to perform direction air-attacks! One-handed and two-handed stances each have their own take on these attacks, giving you a lot to choose from!
Your shield isn't just for soaking up damage (though you can certainly block attacks with it). It's a second weapon that, if utilized correctly, will make fighting tough enemies much easier.
Just like your sword can attack in all directions, so can your shield. If timed correctly, a heavy shield attack can reflect small projectiles back at enemies. You can also charge your attack to deliver a strong blow to stun enemies. The shield running attack is a charge that can knock down smaller enemies, giving you time to kill more serious threats before turning your attention back to them.
Even with your two-handed weapon equipped, your shield still serves a purpose; Teddy equips his shield onto his back, blocking small projectiles (at the cost of stamina).
Of course, your shield isn't your only means of defense. Teddy can dodge to avoid attacks entirely, or he can parry attacks to deliver a devastating counter hit.
We love games that have different playstyles; When you're able to customize the way you approach combat, it can almost feel as if you're playing a completely different game.
We know how fun it can be to plan out different builds and come up with something uniquely yours that works great, so we've included a really diverse system of skill trees in Aegis that will allow you to customize your character's playstyle between a more shield-oriented style (Justice), a style that focuses on 2-handed combat (Vengeance), and a stealthier approach (Grievance). Each weapon type also has its own skill tree, allowing you to unlock the full potential of a build. You can also mix and match trees to make your own, custom builds!
Even though Aegis' gameplay is centered around a sword and shield, there are several other weapon choices! Some weapons are only usable in a 2-handed or 1-handed stance, and are exclusive to reaching a certain level in a skill tree. Explore the world of Aegis to unlock weapons like flails, maces, spears, scythes, and much more!
Each weapon is viable and can be used from start to finish. We want you to be able to stick with a weapon you like and not be punished for it!
Tried and true, we don't believe in messing with a good thing when it comes to healing in a game like this. You'll have a limited amount of patches to use between checkpoints that you can use to instantly heal yourself in battle. Enemies will react to you healing yourself, so be careful to time your heals while they're distracted!
We've also included consumables like sewing kits that will help heal between fights with the downside of having to sit still and make yourself vulnerable while it's being applied.
As you kill enemies in Aegis, you'll collect energy from them that can be used to increase your stats, buy items, or upgrade your weapons. Just as you'd expect, you drop this currency when you die and lose it completely if you die before you collect it again. We enjoy the tension that this mechanic brings to the game because it encourages you to treat every threat with caution.
Killing enemies and completing requests from NPCs will also reward the player with experience points, which will increase your base level. Every time you level, you'll receive a skill point which you can spend in a skill tree. You won't lose experience points on death, but you won't earn this as quickly.
We feel that offering multiple progression paths and ways to improve your character will make for a really gratifying and unique experience for each playthrough.
So why pixel art? We felt that pixel-based graphics would capture the feeling of childhood wonder that we wanted with our storybook style world.
We were very tempted to go with the flow and use a 2D skeletal system for our character art and animations, but it just felt too mechanical and puppet-like. Even though it's much cheaper to produce art for a system like that, you can almost always tell right away when it's being used in a game. We decided to go with the more traditional way of producing our art by making sprite sheets. This might be more costly, but the results look great!
Nowadays, people tend to expect chiptune music to be paired with games that use a pixel art style, but we didn't feel like that style of music fit the atmosphere we were trying to create. We want the music of Aegis to help transport you into its storybook world and invoke a sense of wonder as you explore it. This is why we went with an orchestral music style instead.
We've uploaded a sample of our music below including the title theme for Aegis, the theme that plays when you fight the boss of a forest area, and the general theme of our snowy landscape area.
Stasis Soft is a small indie game studio founded by brothers Eric Patton and Alex LaPlace with their long-time friend, Peter Bell, in 2012. Eric has been working on Aegis and saving up money to pay for art and music since then, and he finally quit his job at the beginning of 2016 to focus solely on developing the game. We've all sold what belongings we could to fund our dream, and we're committed to creating a truly amazing experience for you! We appreciate all of the encouragement and support that the community has given us!
Stasis Soft Core Team
Art & Music Contractors
Joe is a professional pixel artist who also designs and develops games. He creates and animates all of our enemies, bosses, NPCs, and our main character, of course. He's an extremely talented artist, and we're so happy to have him working with us!
Marc is a talented songwriter & composer from Gothenburg, Sweden. He's been immersed in the world of music since the age of 7, and taught music as a piano and ensemble teacher. His main platform for publishing his music is YouTube, and he's very active on his channel, uploading new music every Thursday. Marc composes and produces all of the music for our game, and we can't wait to share more of it with you!
Luis is an incredible pixel artist, indie game developer, and game designer. He quit his job in 2013 to create a game studio, Ansimuz Games, where he developed Elliot Quest. We're proud to have Luis on our team creating beautiful environment backgrounds and props!
So let's talk about where the money will be going! This is all based on the $60,000 funding goal. The percentages could change if we go beyond that:
- Kickstarter Fees: ~10% - Kickstarter takes 5% of the total funds raised right off the top. An additional 3-5% is taken as payment processing fees.
- Rewards: ~6.5% - In order to make sure we have enough to ship and create any physical rewards.
- Art: 33% - Our awesome art team doesn't work for free, and we don't blame them! This makes sure we can pay them to produce the art for the rest of the game.
- Production Costs: ~33% - This percentage assumes one year of production expenses and costs of running a business.
- Music & Sound Effects: ~17% - With this, we can finish up all of the music for Aegis: Innocence and get any sound effects we might need.
With $60,000 we can fully create Aegis the way we envision it, but, if we surpass that initial goal, it will allow us to add some really cool features. Trust me, these stretch goals are future accomplishments we wish to set out and complete anyway, but raising enough for each additional feature will allow us to confidently assure our fans that we can add these new aspects to the game during production.
- $61,000 - Achievements - We understand that some achievements can be bland, but the thought of killing every boss without taking damage would be an enticing goal to aspire to. We will add a variety of interesting, yet challenging achievements into Aegis: Innocence for those completionist types out there that enjoy challenging themselves.
- $65,000 - New Game+ - Play the game again with your skills and weapons carrying over. Now the enemies won't hold anything back and will give you everything they’ve got to take you down at your best.
- $85,000 - Tower Arena Mode - Battle your way through a seemingly never-ending tower where each story contains a different tier of enemies that become exceedingly more difficult as you rise up. How far can you go before you meet your doom? What amazing awards await you at the top?
- $95,000 - Console Versions - Bring Aegis to your favorite console! We'll be able to port the game to the PlayStation Store, Xbox Marketplace, and the Wii U eShop now! Note: PS Vita and PS4 will now be released digitally even if we don't meet this stretch goal!
- $125,000 - 3 New Areas + Extended Soundtrack - Three secret areas will be added for you to discover within the world of Aegis as well as additional music tracks.
- $150,000 - Translations - We'll be able to have Aegis' dialogue, item descriptions, and all other text in the game translated for our French-speaking and Spanish-speaking fans!
- $175,000 - Nightmare Mode - If you thought defeating each boss throughout the game was tough enough, try fighting them back to back in Nightmare Mode! After unlocking New Game +, enter a mode where you become stuck in a bad dream where the only way to escape is to vanquish all your greatest foes once more.
- $200,000 - Speedrun Mode - We'll add a speedrun mode that tracks your progress to each key event and will add you to our global leader boards. Compete to see who can beat the game the fastest on "any %", "100%", and "fully unlocked" mode where you have all skills, weapons, and stats at maximum.
Here's a list of what you'll get as rewards when you pledge! We've tried to come up with some rewards that we like to see when we back a project, so I hope you'll like them too!
For only $1, you'll have your name forever enshrined on our website! We'll put your name in the game's credits at $15. If you pledge $100 or more, you'll get placed in the special credits section that shows before anything else!
The first 150 backers at $10 will get a digital copy of Aegis: Innocence as a special early bird price! Everyone can get one digital copy of the game at $15 or two copies at $25 or more.
Receive a Steam key to play on PC, Mac, or Linux! If we unlock our stretch goal for console ports, then you can choose one of those instead!
**We are also now releasing the game digitally on PS4 and PS Vita even without our stretch goal!
We've added hard copies of Aegis: Innocence on PS4 and PSVita for anyone who pledges $40! Also, at $75 or above, you'll be able to choose a hard copy on either PS4 or PSVita in place of one of your digital copies!
You'll get the manual for Aegis in PDF format for pledges of $15 or more! Lovingly crafted to feel like game manual's from days past, this will include art, tips, and control schemes for Aegis.
For those who pledge $75 or more, you'll also get a physical copy of the manual!
Want to help us catch bugs and learn the game inside and out? Want to just play the game early and laugh at why that one enemy is just a pink square because it's still placeholder art? Well, you're in luck!
You'll get access to beta for Aegis: Innocence if you pledge $25 and both alpha and beta when you pledge $40 or more.
We've got some great wallpapers in all shapes and sizes for you! Find out what they are, and be the envy of someone who doesn't have them by pledging $40 or more!
Here's just a small sample that you can download for free now!
When you pledge $60, you'll get the full digital OST for Aegis as a download so you can burn it or upload it to whatever you want!
Those who pledge $250 or more will also receive a hard copy of the soundtrack signed by the entire team!
Want a really, ridiculously cool looking weapon that only you and all others who pledged $100 or more will get? Well prepare to get excited, because you'll get a special weapon skin exclusive to our backers!
Well, you knew this was coming. Who makes a video game about a teddy bear and doesn't offer a plush version of it as a reward? Not us! You'll have your very own protector to fight nightmares for you!
As a special bonus for early bird pledges, the first 30 who want their very own plush teddy will get it for $150! Anyone will be able to get one after that for a pledge of $200 or more.
Below, you'll see the blueprints for your very own plush version of the main character along with a prototype that we've put together!
What's a fantasy game without a few merchants, villagers, and random people to help out? Design your own non-player character for a pledge of $500 or more, and we'll put it somewhere in the game's world!
Have a great idea for an enemy that we don't have yet? Get with our character artist and design it and its move-set when you pledge $600 or more!
Have you ever wanted to be a game designer? Well, now's your chance! Work with the team to develop a feature of the game, and see it unfold before your very eyes with a pledge of $1,000 or more! Heck, we might even hire you if we really like it!
Since Eric left his job at the beginning of 2016 to work on Aegis full-time, we've been relying on his savings to keep the company going. This has paid for art, music, and barely livable salaries for everyone, but we're running dangerously low on money. We've poured our time, money, sweat, and tears into this game, and we know it's going to be amazing. We've got the perfect team to work on the game now, but we won't be able to finish it without your help.
Video games cost a lot of money to create, and we had considered the possibility of going with a publisher. We would really like to avoid going that route if we can since we'd be able to keep full creative control of the project without one.
If you support us, your pledges are going to help us with:
- Paying for Art: Let's face it, art is expensive, especially when you want something that's of excellent quality like we do. We've found artists who charge very reasonable rates for high quality work, and this will be the biggest expense we have so we can make a beautiful game for you.
- Paying for Music & Sound: Marc works hard for us, and we'll be paying him to finish the rest of our soundtrack. We also need to set money aside for the creation of any sound effects we might need.
- Staying Alive: We've been living in poverty this last year to stretch our savings as far as it will go, so we're going to take just enough to eat, keep the electricity and internet going, and have the occasional meal that isn't ramen noodles.
- Cost of Business: Running a business costs money, and we need to set aside something to cover those expenses. They add up quick!
- Marketing: We'd love for Aegis to sell well so we can bring you our next ideas too! In order to do that, we need to set aside money for promoting ourselves in places like Google and Facebook, promotional art, and so on. The more people that know about Aegis, the higher the chance they will want to buy it!
Spread the word about our Kickstarter, and help us get funded! If you know anyone who might be interested in our game, let them know! We've set up links to make it super easy to share on various social media sites below.
We truly appreciate your help! Thanks for your support!
Risks and challenges
Making a video game takes a lot of time, money, and dedication; making a great video game even more so. Our top risk is that Aegis: Innocence will take longer than we expect it to, which will increase the cost beyond what we've anticipated. We have plans in place if this happens to sell anything else that we haven't already used for funds and reach out to an investor or publisher to get the game finished. Aegis will be finished no matter what, and we'll do whatever it takes to ensure that.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)