AU$ 235
pledged of AU$ 10,000pledged of AU$ 10,000 goal
7
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Sep 3 2015
AU$ 235
pledged of AU$ 10,000pledged of AU$ 10,000 goal
7
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Sep 3 2015

About

RULE concept art showing a battle over New York City
RULE concept art showing a battle over New York City


THE PITCH:

Ever wanted to rule the world? In RULE, you can.

Build and command armies with (or against) your friends to create persistent territories on a 100% accurate map of  Earth.

Start your empire anywhere you want - your backyard, your office, your favourite sporting ground, or even in the middle of the wilderness. It's our world, your war.

Fight other players for total domination - whether you’re fighting street battles with your neighbours for control of the suburbs or waging war against rivals in other cities or countries. Alternatively, form alliances with your friends for strength in numbers - if you trust them, that is. 

Gameplay in RULE can occur at any scale, from this street-to-street firefight in London's CBD...
Gameplay in RULE can occur at any scale, from this street-to-street firefight in London's CBD...
... to a city-wide battle for control of London's centre ...
... to a city-wide battle for control of London's centre ...


  

... to a strategy-level war for the British Isles. There's no war too big (or too small) in RULE.
... to a strategy-level war for the British Isles. There's no war too big (or too small) in RULE.

Real-life terrain affects gameplay: seas, rivers, mountain ranges and cities form barriers and offer concealment.

Areas containing raw materials to fuel your expansion become valuable strategic objectives - take what you can. but guard what you’ve got. Highways, air corridors and sea lanes link your troops to vital supplies that will keep them fighting.

 How will you RULE? What will your strategy be? Infantry excel in close quarters with guerilla tactics but armoured vehicles and jet aircraft dominate in open spaces. Naval forces rule the waves and launch daring amphibious assaults. Will you ambush opponents with insurgent attacks? Instil shock and awe with a bombing campaign? Or plow through their defences with an armoured blitzkrieg? It’s up to you.

There are no edges to the map in RULE, no corners to hide in and no instanced pocket battles. The game map is Earth - all 510 million square kilometres of it. Every territory is different. Every battle is unique. Grand strategy becomes quick-reflex tactics with the roll of a mouse wheel or the pinch of a touchscreen as you freely zoom in and out from global satellite view to up-close detail, maintaining control the whole time. So, what’s it going to be - will you be a conqueror or be conquered? Will you end up destroyed, or will you outmatch everyone else and RULE?

THE GAME:

RULE is a proposed multi-platform 2D massively multiplayer online real time strategy (MMORTS) game based on real-world satellite imagery.

Players in RULE are placed in the role of a leader of an independent military faction, and will create and control units and structures to establish and expand persistent territories on an interactive gameplay map depicting a 1:1 representation of planet Earth, including satellite imagery.

RULE is intended to be played on personal computers (PCs) and touch-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. On PC players will control the game using a mouse and keyboard. On mobile devices players will use their fingertips or a stylus to input controls.

The map’s elevation and terrain values will also affect unit movement and combat abilities, meaning real-world terrain features will be represented in-game as gameplay elements.

Units have varying strengths and capabilities - for example, infantry units can move across most terrain types but are vulnerable to damage, while armoured vehicles are more resistant but encounter severe movement penalties in certain terrain types. Units in RULE are stylised versions of real-world military forces and equipment - for example there is a 'Fighter Jet' unit in the game, as opposed to an 'F-18 Super Hornet' unit.
Players will be able gain access to new units and structures through research. For balance, all players will have access to the same range of units, with no themed factions in he game.  

While new players all start with the same batch of starting resources, in-game Resources to spend on unit creation, construction and research are unevenly distributed throughout the world, forcing players to compete for valuable geostrategic areas. Resources will be extracted from locations on the map reflecting real-world resources such as mines, oil fields, forests and farms, meaning territorial control of certain areas is vital, just as in real-world geostrategy.

Players can choose to start their territory in any location by placing their Headquarters at the start of play.

Players will engage in combat with each other and can optionally form alliances - which they can leave at any time, opening up the potential for sudden betrayals.

RULE will feature a native player profile system that can also optionally be linked to social media such as Facebook in order to reduce barriers to new players joining the game.

Optional location-based services can also be enabled to allow the user’s real-world location to affect gameplay.

RULE has no victory conditions and never ‘ends’ - the challenge of the game is to establish the largest and most powerful territory and hold it for as long as possible. This challenge will increase as territory grows larger and larger and the player in turn encounters more and more opposition from other players. Even after creating a large and powerful territory, established players will still have to fend off newly-joining or recently-defeated players springing up inside the their borders.

WHAT YOU'RE BACKING:

RULE’s relatively simple 2D graphical style and medium-complexity RTS gameplay should mean a shorter development timeframe than other games, especially 3D titles.

A development timeline of between six and eight months is suggested, but this is flexible as RULE has innovative elements that will need to be explored and refined as development proceeds.

RULE’s suggested timeline and budget is:

  • Development of core RTS gameplay assets:
    2-3 months. Budget: $2000.
    This phase will overlap and be tied to the development of GIS assets. 
  • Development of art and sound assets:
    1 month. Budget: $1000.
    2D art, minimal animation, simple music and no voice acting.
  • Development of GIS assets:
    4-5 months. Budget of $5000.
    This is anticipated to be a complex and significant phase. Will involve the sourcing and collating of terrain, landcover, mineral deposit and hydrocarbon deposits datasets, then implementing those assets as gameplay elements. 
  • Development of user interface:
    1-2 months. Budget: $1000. 
    Creation of RULE's player account system and creation of plugins to social media . 
  • Play testing:
    Alpha and beta testing.
    1 month. Budget $500.

WHY I WANT TO MAKE THIS GAME:

I've always loved the idea of crossovers between the imaginary world of a videogame and the real world we inhabit. 

Seeing something you're familiar with in the real world within a videogame is always highly interesting, because you can do things with it that can't be done in real life.Other people feel this way too - character creators are often used to build digital likenesses of the player, home teams are picked in sports games, and social simulators are used to produce replicas of the player's family.

I'm fascinated by the rivalries between physical areas - between different schools, or towns, or cities or entire countries - in sports, politics or other activities. I'm also fascinated how previous rivals can suddenly become allies when a bigger threat emerges - two cities might have a diehard sports rivalry but they will both cheer for their nation's representative at the Olympics.

There are casual real-time strategy games out there that tap into this. Games like Supercell's Clash of Clans and Boom Beach have become hugely successful off the idea of fighting little battles alongside (or against) your friends.

What games like this lack, however, is the real-world familiarity mentioned above. Battles in nearly every mobile RTS always take place in largely identical, self-contained maps that aren't memorable to the player. Battles on PC or consoles might be more graphically impressive or have a wider variety of units, but the concept is largely the same - there's a finite amount of maps, and success largely revolves around learning those maps by rote. Every time a new game is started, the map will reset and be identical to last time. Maps nearly always finite, too, there's always a corner to put your back against and turtle up. It's not so in the real world.

I wanted to both break this trend and apply the excitement of videogame-real life crossover to the competitive/social aspect of casual real time strategy games.

So, my idea is to create a real time strategy game over the top of real world maps. That way the battles wouldn't be fought over some forgettable generic background map, but locations instantly recognisable to the player. New alliances and rivalries could be created through gameplay and because players were building persistent armies and territories that they returned to day after day, a greater sense of ownership would develop. This would combine with the competitive excitement of a real time strategy game to make something truly unique.

I hope this sounds cool to you - or at the very least, makes a bit of sense.

I look forward to making RULE a reality - with your help. 

Together, lets get this thing off the ground.

Risks and challenges

Obviously, RULE is an ambitious project.

Other games have attempted to create a working RTS game on maps of the world, but most use stylized versions divided into cells or some other mechanism.

RULE is attempting to subvert that. I believe the technology and the interest exists to make it happen.

There are, however, a few foreseeable challenges:

First, obviously, is the issue of using satellite imagery to create a war game. The companies that produce this data may not wish to be associated with violence. This is addressed by RULE's art style (no blood, gore or overt violence) and focus on on-the-fly teamwork and competition, as opposed to nationalism or extremism.

An RTS needs a working resource system - something to build those armies and bases with. My idea was to make real-world resources reflect in-game resources, in a simplifed and stylised way. Obviously there's a lot different resources out there - things like iron ore and coal and bauxite and liquid natural gas and uranium - and they're only in certain places in the world.

I wanted the game to reflect real-world geostrategy (chiefly the idea that your neighbour might want to invade you because you're sitting on valuable resources).

So for the game to work like this, we need to know where the important resources are - everywhere in the world. Even if that information is freely available, it still has to be processed and turned into a gameplay element for RULE. That's going to take a while and a bit of work.

Any RTS needs to be well-balanced or it quickly becomes impossible to play fairly. RULE's huge size, persistent gameplay and unique resource system will require a lot of playtesting to ensure that it works smoothly and doesn't offer easy exploits to unscrupulous players.

These issues will be a challenge - but like I said, with your help, they are surmountable.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About US$ 7

    Contribute more than $10 to the development of RULE and you will be recognised with a Contributor Credit in RULE's Credits!

    Let's get this thing off the ground!

    Estimated delivery: Dec 2015

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 50 or more About US$ 35

    Contribute more than $50 to the development of RULE and receive early access on the game's beta servers. Play RULE first!

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    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)