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The amazing support shown so far has opened up some incredible opportunities to turn Liege into something far bigger and better than we'd ever hoped for. Take a look at the stretch goals we've got planned to make this happen!
For a better sense of some of the possibilities our final stretch goal opens up, take a look at the making of video below! We'll continue to share similar video updates throughout the course of development to keep you informed and give you an in-depth, inside look at the game's ongoing progress:
In addition to the goals listed, additional funds will allow us to bring more talent onto the project to create lots more content, and to give the game a much more polished feel!
- Liege is a cross platform, party-based, tactical role-playing game.
- Liege is a game that's inspired by Japanese RPG classics, chess, and others.
- Liege is an interactive epic about ordinary people like us, placed in fantastic, larger-than-life circumstances. In equally vague terms, it's a game about family, power, love, death, and other way serious, totally heavy things.
- Liege is being planned as a trilogy with a continuous story arc, with the first release scheduled for early 2014.
Here's what I think will make this game special:
- The Story - Mature narrative & story driven gameplay
- The Tactics - Elegant, seamlessly integrated tactical combat
- The Art - Unique, high-definition, lovingly hand-drawn art
One late autumn eve in the Kingdom of Liege, a King, his queen, and their royal heirs fall into a deep slumber from which they never wake.
…and so our story begins. Following their mysterious deaths, a power struggle in the royal court ensues, and as the conflict quickly escalates, the Kingdom plunges into a bloody civil war. As war erupts across the land, we track the converging paths of characters aligned across various factions, from the noble houses vying for the throne, to the orphaned Royal Army, to an underground movement of outlaws with plans to incite revolution amidst the chaos.
Liege is a story that is written for an adult audience. It's a drama about conflicted, intertwined, and human characters, forced to wage war for their lives and their homeland.
Battles in Liege are tactical and turn-based, and they emerge seamlessly as you wander through the realm. There are no jarring transitions that pull you out of the story and into some random battle arena floating in oblivion. Your heroes simply draw their weapons where they’re standing, and the fight begins.
The gameplay focuses on strategic placement of units and movement, and is inspired by games like FF Tactics, Fire Emblem, and chess. Like chess, combat in Liege is designed to be easy to learn, difficult to master. Instead of a tutorial, the mechanics are taught to you through a sequence of actual battles at the start of the game (which will not feature a “voice from God” cutting in with on-screen instructions). You may lose a few battles early on, and you’ll need to apply your wits to start getting the hang of things.
At the core of the gameplay is a system of unit classes and banners. Each class develops over time with specialized characteristics which are designed to interact in interesting ways; for example, you can arrange your pikemen into a phalanx with strong directional defense to defend rear archers, but certain advanced Knight classes are well suited to break this formation. Banners add further depth by granting stat bonuses to favored classes.
The game emphasizes spatial elements over leveling and equipment, so you won’t be able to grind until your party is effectively invincible. Your units will always be vulnerable; in fact, a single direct strike to an undefended unit will often prove fatal. Unused actions during your turn will determine your unit's defensive ability during enemy turns. As a result, you will always need to balance evasion and defense, with well-timed, coordinated offense to survive.
Combat in Liege is meant to deliver elegant, accessible, and deterministic mechanics that reward skill over blind chance. It aims to avoid the arbitrary complexity common to games in the genre, while retaining the depth and challenge that draws us to it in the first place.
tl;dr: Pop chess, played in a seamless narrative context!
One of the earliest goals with Liege was to create a game with an instantly recognizable, signature visual identity. Although the game was inspired by RPG classics from a bygone era, the game doesn't settle with a retro style that attempts to imitate their look and feel. Instead, it leverages the latest available technology to create something that feels like a natural extension of the style pioneered during that period.
Liege is being built to feature high definition, hand drawn graphics, and complex, layered environments. You can see the early results of this effort in the in-game screenshots above: subtle lighting and a range of particle effects, layered over richly detailed environments containing proportional, smoothly animated inhabitants.
In addition to the visuals, the audio is a key part of the game's art direction. Again, instead of attempting to emulate 16-bit classics, Liege will take full advantage of modern hardware to deliver an epic, orchestral soundtrack with a lush, organic sound. We've brought on two amazingly talented composers to cover the game's audio: Aakaash Rao and John Robert Matz. Grab some decent headphones, and listen through some of their samples below!
John Robert Matz
tl;dr: Audio-visual magic, re-imagined from 16-bit RPG classics!
So that's about it. I could go on and on about what this game's all about, but I'll save some of that for updates over the course of the campaign. Your support for this project means I'll be able to continue pursuing it full time, and any additional funding received beyond the target goal means I'll be able to get additional hands on art and sound to add further content, scale, and polish. If this is something you'd like to see happen, then please help spread the word, and consider becoming a backer. Feel free to drop me a line in the comments/twitter/email/etc., and thanks for your time!
Note: Images for physical rewards are for demonstration purposes; final versions are subject to change.
In addition to the standard tiers above, you can get any of the rewards below by adding the amounts shown to any standard pledge.
For International orders for any of the physical rewards except the art book, please add $15 for shipping. For the art book, please add $30 since it will be heavy! Backer surveys will be sent at the end of the campaign to collect details on exactly which add-ons you're interested in.
Risks and challenges
As this Kickstarter hopefully shows, I have the tools and skills I'll need to create this game. The core mechanics and some final game content are already in place, so the remainder of development will be focused on churning out more content and polishing everything to a mirror sheen.
Clearly this is a big project, so managing scope is the main challenge to consider. To address this, I've split the game into three smaller, more manageable releases. Collectively, the series will be shorter than most full-length RPGs; each game in the trilogy is meant to provide several solid hours of dense, meaningful gameplay, rather than countless hours of pointless fluff.
At this stage, I have a clear sense of the pace at which I can produce content and have planned out everything I can, but with any project of this size, unexpected issues will inevitably crop up. I've factored in a significant buffer to account for these, and everyone will be well informed as they occur through regular updates on my devlog. If nothing else, the next few months should be very interesting. I hope you'll join me for the ride!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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