Crystal Companies is a tactical card game in 3D with dynamic battlefields and 4X strategy for Mac and PC.
Gameplay focuses on 1v1 skirmishes where victory depends on exploring the battlefield, gathering and managing resource, capturing strategic points of interest, and defeating enemies.
We have been developing Crystal Companies for over 3 years, and the game is currently in pre-alpha. We need your help to prepare Crystal Companies for an alpha release on Steam Early Access!
Lead a company of miners and mercenaries into the great unknown in search of crystal and adventure! To succeed in your quest of resource extraction, deploy contracts to gain companions, services, and provisions, as you outmaneuver rival companies.
The wilderness is equally unforgiving to all companies. Those who come prepared to face all manner of terrain and weather will improve their chances of success—or at least survive to fight another day.
Crystal Companies interweaves the collection and deck building aspects of CCG’s like Magic: The Gathering, the strategic depth and positioning of games like Fire Emblem, and expansiveness of war gaming systems like HeroScape.
With an army of mercenaries, spells, and structures, set out onto the frontier to engage in turn-based battles against rival companies for profit, control, and glory.
Use contract cards to deploy units onto the battlefield and then issue them commands. While on the battlefield, mercenaries can be commanded to move, attack, activate abilities, capture territory, and collect resource each turn.
Battles take place all across the uncharted frontier, where environments are diverse, and adapting to them is key. Exploring the battlefield reveals enemies, resource deposits, and capture points.
Controlling the battlefield is essential to obtaining military and economic advantages. Fortifying your position with walls and towers wards off enemies and solidifies control.
As a skirmish develops, mysterious events can occur, which may alter a battlefield’s terrain, reveal hidden resources, or spawn enemies.
While you will be fighting primarily against rival mercenaries, the frontier is rife with wild animals and free agents that may help or hinder your quest for supremacy.
Achieve victory through economic savvy, military prowess, or battlefield domination.
To capture the sprawling and diverse nature of the frontier, each battle takes place on a procedurally generated battlefield. A region’s landforms, climate, and biome collectively influence a battlefield’s terrain, weather, and creatures.
Terrain and elevation play an important role in each battle. Whether it be sieging from the high ground, maneuvering around burning lava, or hiding in the mists, considering the environment is critical to victory.
Trees and boulders obstruct most mercenaries, but some can fly, leap, or trek over impassable terrain. Other characters can transform the environment using special abilities.
Procedurally generated maps give players a new experience with every battle. Devising a strategy is important, but adapting to each environment is key.
To complement the unpredictability of procedurally generated maps, we want to give players the ability to construct their own original battlefields.
In addition to the Crystal Companies game, we will be releasing a full suite of fun and practical map editing tools to help players easily translate their map designs into tactical battlefields.
Use the map editor to paint mountains and rivers, scatter rocks and trees, or explode out entire habitats.
We want to cultivate a community of world shapers, and are excited for the battlefields you create!
The frontier attracts all manner of people, not to mention the tools and technology they bring. Ally yourself with a single group, recruit from a couple, or unite them all. The way you build and run your company is left up to your discretion.
We set out to build a game where environmental hardships and economic competition force pioneers to fight to resist the lure of corruption. By emphasizing adapting to the environment over executing planned build orders, players must make difficult decisions based on current conditions. While enduring the turbulence of battle, players are constantly balancing economy, military, and control of territory.
Our journey began in the summer of 2013, after a discussion on how a card game might feel if the flat playing surface was replaced by a tactical battlefield. Not merely a chessboard imitation, but an immersive, dynamic environment. One that would connect players to the game’s world, lore, and people.
We believed that by synergizing meaningful map generation, tactical strategy, and collectible cards, we could provide the immersion we felt was missing from the traditional card game experience.
Over the past several years we’ve developed the core components of Crystal Companies, and with the help of our amazing community, we've been able to refine many aspects of the game.
We’ve come to Kickstarter to invite you to adventure alongside us as we prepare Crystal Companies for Steam Early Access. We’re excited to develop Crystal Companies further, and need your help to build the great features we have planned. The money we receive will fund the development of Crystal Companies, which includes the following goals:
- Polish multiplayer features (e.g. ranked competitive, dueling, and spectating).
- Complete 2D/3D visuals for mercenaries, structures, and spells.
- Expand map editing tools and features.
- Develop adventurous, single player campaigns.
- Explore new game modes and battle variations (rules/goals).
- Implement ways for players to customize their experience (e.g. aesthetic changes, emotes, and account branding).
Boreal Games is a team of three from Maine dedicated to building rich and inspiring creative experiences.
Bradley Shepherd began concepting Crystal Companies in 2013 and developed the game throughout two computer science degrees. Bradley is the driving force behind the design and implementation of game mechanics, procedural map generation, and backend systems.
Devin Shepherd is the team's community manager, writer, and art coordinator. Devin is responsible for conceptualizing the lore, world, and characters of Crystal Companies and ensuring the correct aesthetic qualities are communicated consistently across the game’s visuals, messaging, and mechanics.
Will McEnery focuses on 2D design and user experience and joined the development of Crystal Companies while he was pursuing a degree in New Media. Will’s responsibilities shift between developing the design of the user interface, coding frontend interaction, and creating technical art.
Friends of Boreal Games
We've had the pleasure of working with these talented people on various aspects of Crystal Companies.
Risks and challenges
Challenge: Attracting and Retaining an Audience
A central challenge for every studio is building a game worth playing. To mitigate market risks, we have, and will continue to develop Crystal Companies actively with our community. Giving players early access to Crystal Companies has given us the opportunity to listen to player feedback and iterate on game mechanics more productively.
Above all else, gaining and keeping your trust is paramount to the success of Crystal Companies. We will strive to be transparent with our progress, our challenges, and our mistakes.
Challenge: Small Team, Big Scope Project
Being a small team working on a relatively big scope project like Crystal Companies comes with its own set of challenges. With fewer team members and a meager budget, we’ve had to learn to spend our resources wisely. Placing emphasis on planning and good design has saved us many times from miscommunications and haphazard implementations.
Investing in automated systems like our procedural map generator has streamlined map creation, freed up hundreds of work hours, and increased replayability. We will continue to refine our development process and look for opportunities to invest in long term solutions.
Our goal is simple: produce our best version of Crystal Companies, no matter what. We are thankful for the support we’ve received thus far, and will make sure that any funding we receive now and in the future is appreciated and used effectively. We will be open to long-term funding options, but won’t be deterred if an investor bows out last minute. You can expect that we won’t give up if the going gets tough.
We are eternally grateful for the Libra Future Foundation, Maine Technology Institute, the UMaine Foster Center for Student Innovation, our friends and family, and all of our players for their support, feedback, and advice during the pre-alpha development of Crystal Companies.
Please let us know if you have any questions about Crystal Companies or Boreal Games.
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