About this project
Team up online with three players against intelligent, challenging monsters with breakable parts. They run away when injured, get desperate when cornered, and some will even play tricks on you. Use teamwork to gain the upper-hand and aim for their vital points. Some of these monsters are going to be extremely hard and others may give you nightmares. You have been warned. However, when you finally do triumph, victory will be sweet.
Create new gear in your workshop, everything from sword and shield and bow and arrow to rocket legs and even pets. Use our balanced mod system to make each one functionally unique: give yourself a massive, paralyzing great sword that drains health from enemies or a turret that sets enemies on fire but heals allies.
Whether it's a photo of your favorite sweatshirt or a drawing of your ideal sword, you can upload whatever you want as the look for your gear. If you're not much of an artist, you also can choose from looks drawn by other players.
You can equip any combination of gear, each with its own custom mods and look, to become something truly unique. Once you’ve got all this stuff on, look in the mirror. You’re an Artizen now, my friend.
We plan on releasing a trading post feature which will let players trade gear with each other. This will be great whether you're looking to sell some gear you no longer need, you need to buy some extra materials, or you want to see what the rest of the community has been crafting.
- Dock - This is where new players arrive and get acquainted with the world of Rhiza and each other.
- Studios - This is where you live. It contains your workshop, inventory vault, trophy case, and possibly more features as we expand, like a garden or stable.
- Trading Post - This is where you can buy and sell materials, your art for gear, the gear itself, or even full sets of gear.
- Mission HQ - This is where you can team up with other Artizens in town to complete challenges. Many will have you hunting monsters, but others may be defense missions, rescue missions, etc. The missions available to you will be semi-random based on your skill level. With each mission victory, your skill level will increase, but with each failure it will decrease.
- Wilderness - This is where missions send you. Each wilderness is unique and new ones will be discovered over time. There are approximately 10 areas within each wilderness location and you can move among them as you choose. Monsters will often move between areas, flee from danger, and try to trick you, so bringing a team to corner them is your best tactic.
Artizens is greatly inspired by our favorite games, but mainly by ones that start with the letter ‘M’. Here are some of our greatest inspirations and how they have influenced Artizens. If you love these games, then we love you :)
Monster Hunter - We love the massive monster fights, skill-based gameplay, teaming up with 3 other friends, and crafting with harvested materials. We aspire to satisfy the Monster Hunter hunger for the 2D realm.
Mega Man - We love the skill that goes into the defeat of a boss and we absolutely love the reward: gaining their ability for yourself. The monsters you’ll fight in Artizens will have unique abilities and by defeating them, you’ll gain the materials needed to make gear that has similar functions.
Magic: The Gathering - A collectible card game? What does that have in common with Artizens!? Well, actually it has had a huge influence on our customization aspirations and design philosophy. We want every Artizen to be as unique as a 60-card deck in Magic. That means players need a lot of options, there needs to be hidden synergies between different gear and mods, and what emerges needs to be an expression of who you are and how you want to play.
We’ve been in development on Artizens for over a year and have finished the core systems that make the game possible, but we're still in the pre-alpha stage for our content. What we need now is about 6 months more production directly on things like missions, monsters, and crafts, so we can open the alpha to our first players - you guys!
We plan on releasing more and more content over time, so both the challenges you face and the tools you’ll have at your disposal will be constantly evolving. We want this to be an ongoing game with an ongoing community and ongoing content.
We can’t do this without you. Not just without your backing, but without your input. When it comes down to it, we’re only making this game because we think you’ll enjoy playing it. Because of that, your input and feedback are the most important things to us. As a backer, you’ll get access to the development server, which will let you test out new things before they’re ready for prime time.
- $15 - The Gamer - Get the game and access to its early versions. This is a great way to get early backstage access and get the game for less money than when it’s released!
- $25 - The Music Lover - Get a digital download of every song produced during the lifetime of the game plus the rewards above. That's right, this isn't your ordinary soundtrack. Since we're an ongoing game, we're going to have a whole lot of music over time and each time we master a new track, it'll be sent to you.
- $40 - The Team Leader - Get the game and soundtrack for you and three friends, enough for a party of adventurers. Because all of our missions support cooperative play and many of our monsters are quite challenging, you’re going to want to play with your friends. It's a great way to show off all the cool gear you make as well.
- $60 - The Immortal - Get all the game expansions as soon as they are available. For life. Plus all the rewards above. We plan on releasing new monsters, missions, crafts, and mods for as long as we’re in business, so this will add up fast. This is just for your account, not for your three friends, so you'll have some sweet bragging rights.
- $100 - The Pioneer – *Kickstarter Exclusive* Get a specially made set of equipment with custom art and modifications which are only available through Kickstarter. Plus all the rewards above. We plan on releasing our alpha with 6 weapons/tools and 6 armors. As a Pioneer, you'll get a specially made set of all 12 equips with custom art and mods. This includes Sword and Shield, Bow and Arrow, Potion, Air Bursters (let you double jump or air dash), Repair Turret, Mini Trittentrat (little creepy pet), Helmet, Shirt, Chestplate, Gloves, Pants, and Shoes.
- $250 (limit of 20) - The Chosen - Let our illustrator produce custom art for an equipment of your choice, just for you. Plus all the rewards above. You can choose one of the starting crafts, tell us what you want it to look like, and we’ll have our illustrator draw it up for you. Check out the list of crafts above to see what you can choose from.
- $500 (limit of 10) - The Alchemist - Design a new modification to a craft with our team. Plus all the rewards above. We have a virtual office and we’ll give you access to it, so you can meet up with us online. We’ll work together to come up with a new modification to an existing craft of your choice. For example, maybe we don’t have a mod that makes swords hit twice instead of just once, so you could help us to build the ‘double-hit’ mod. The only restrictions are that we all think it’d be fun for the whole community to use, it will work on an existing craft, and that it has balanced pros and cons, otherwise it can be anything. You’ll be added to the credits for your contribution.
- $1000 (limit of 5) - The Craftsman - Design a new armor, augment, projectile weapon, or tool with our team. Plus all the rewards above. This is a much bigger deal than modding a craft. A craft is a whole new object you can use in the game. It will change the way everyone plays the game and you could be one of the devs! You’ll join us online to design a new craft that we all think will be fun for the whole community. You’ll be added to the credits for your contribution.
- $2000 (limit of 2) - The Virtuoso – Design a new melee weapon, pet, or monster with our team. Plus all the rewards above. These are very complex crafts and require quite a bit of animation, scripting, and design. You’ll join us online in our virtual office and help us make this new complex craft as fun for the whole community as we can. You’ll be added to the credits for your contribution.
- $5000 (limit of 1) - The Visionary – Design an entire mission scenario with our team. Plus all the rewards above. This is a huge deal. Missions are the core of the game and involve a lot of different things coming together: level design, background drawings, NPCs, big and little monsters, win conditions, time limits. You’ll join us in our virtual office to design a unique mission that will be fun for the whole community. You’ll be added to the credits for your contribution.
Risks and challenges
COST OF DEVELOPMENT
Games are expensive to make and ours is no different. However, we have covered a large part of our initial costs over the last year by finishing the core systems and getting online multiplayer working.
By succeeding in our kickstarter funding goal, we will be in a position to provide an entertaining initial playable Artizens game (alpha) but we will need additional funding to scale up. We will do everything in our power to raise the additional money needed: investors, another crowdfund, taking on additional work. We won't give up achieving our complete vision of Artizens without a hearty fight.
A game where you can upload your own art is bound to run into some tricky issues. The top two that come to mind are inappropriate content and illegal use of copyrighted material. We plan on upholding all state and federal laws, of course, but we don't plan on going beyond that to specifically enforce quality of content or check to see if players have told us the truth about owning their work. Instead, quality and appropriateness of content will be judged by the community and they will be given tools to enforce both their individual standards and standards for the community.
Games like ours thrive on balanced gameplay. With so many options of things to make and equip, it can be easy for unbalanced, optimal combinations to emerge. However, this is an ongoing game with deep community involvement, so if it's broken, we'll hear you and get to work on it right away. We'll also be constantly doing our own internal testing and balancing to hopefully catch these issues before they arise. We have experience working on ongoing games, responding to player feedback, and addressing problems very quickly. A fair, balanced, and fun experience for everyone is our priority, and we know it's an ongoing task to always maintain that.
This is an important issue that has been on our minds since we started developing Artizens. On one hand, we feel that it is not the dev team’s place to impose any value judgement on how our players want to enjoy the game. On the other hand, we cannot allow content that personally insults or harms any of our players.
Some games choose to require custom content to be approved by a moderator before being able to appear in-game. However, we don’t like this because we expect that the majority of our players will be creating appropriate and interesting content. It is not fair for us to force them to go through an approval process before they can enjoy their creations. We want players to be playing as their custom character right away.
Instead, our plan is to have a two level system, which includes, (1) immediate personal hiding, and, (2) flagging for permanent takedown. Personal hiding allows you to select individual players and revert offensive gear to its default appearance. This is extremely fast, easy to do, and still allows you to play alongside those players. Flagging allows you to report a player for direct moderator action. This is appropriate for violent images and hate symbols that are against our terms of service.
We feel that this simple two-level approach will be sufficient for early versions of the game. As our community grows, we’ll be looking for feedback about how we can make moderation more effective without imposing constraints on our players’ creativity.
For now we are focusing on the desktop release of the game. After the alpha has launched we'll be looking into other consoles and devices to see which ones are a good fit for Artizens.
Players won't get objectively better over time through their stats or level, instead, you'll get access to more kinds of gear and more modifications for them. You'll be better than you were in the beginning because you'll have a build for any kind of scenario, your natural skill will have improved, and you'll have met some talented friends. This also means that new players and veterans can fight side by side without a massive difference in their stats. Instead, the difference will be in their talent and specializations.
When you create custom items, its stats are determined by what mods you add to it. Each mod is a balanced pro/con pair, so you can make your great sword do more damage, but it may weigh more, need to be repaired more often, or sap your life. You can stack these mods and add as many as you can afford with the materials you've harvested to create really unique gear.
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