SLAUGHTER AT MASADA! The Ultimate Sci-Fi Adventure Gamebook (Canceled)
YOU are Commander Cromulus of the Black Lance Legion. Lead a team of space marines fighting on the brutal Martian battlefront!
This (crazy) one-week campaign is running because we need the final push to create the artwork, create new music, and add some new features to finish the development of "Heavy Metal Thunder Part 3: Slaughter at Masada!", the sci-fi gamebook series by Kyle B.Stiff (Louisville, Kentucky), illustrated by Marc Gonzalez and developed and produced by Cubus Games (both in Barcelona).
Slaughter at Masada takes place on Mars, a brutal warzone where three sides are vying for dominance. Masada has been under siege for three years, and to overcome despair the people trapped in Mount Olympus have embraced a deadly philosophy of WAR FOR THE SAKE OF WAR. They are surrounded by Invader berserkers - criminal psychopaths too dangerous to be trusted inside spaceships. And now the Black Lance Legion has arrived to break the siege and recruit the fighters of Masada - even against their will, if necessary.
Cromulus has been promoted to Commander of his own team. He'll have to figure out each soldier's strengths and weaknesses to win battles and avoid casualties. He might also have to look out for spies sent by the treacherous Captain Jim Dandy… unless, of course, there are no spies on his unit. Cromulus may be a survivor, but he's never been accused of being mentally stable...
The ground war begins... on Mars!
Slaughter at Masada! is the sequel to...
PART 2: SOL INVICTUS (2015)
Ignite the flames of war and take back your homeworld!
For three years the soldiers of the Black Lance Legion have watched as the Invaders turned their solar system into a hellish, desolate wasteland. Humanity’s most advanced fighting force lurked in the shadows, doing little while their species was forced to choose between eternal enslavement… or extinction.
In SOL INVICTUS, Cromulus finds out that not all humans are willing to take the kinds of risks that he takes. And while he has less than zero tolerance for pacifism, what the Legion does with its softer recruits may be too much even for him…
Sol Invictus is the sequel to...
PART 1: HEAVY METAL THUNDER (2014)
Undertake a thrilling journey across the darkest regions of space…
As humanity rose to its zenith and laid claim to the solar system, there were no celebrations, no cries of victory, no songs of conquest – there were only wry, sarcastic smirks and debates concerning how long it would take humanity to ruin the neighboring planets of the solar system.
They felt no need to rush, for they had already won the war… Or so they thought.
Then the Invaders came. Technologically advanced, hyper-militaristic, highly organized... they found in humanity a race bent over and begging to be conquered. They devastated, annihilated, and set up their own system of rule. They took their time in destroying our off-world colonies.
WHY DO WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT?
1. TO GET THE ARTWORK DONE
The more support we get, the more illustrations and character portraits we'll have in the gamebook. For us is really important to keep the style of Marc Gonzalez in the whole Heavy Metal Thunder series, that has also been evolving since the first sketches in 2014.
List of Illustrations
1-Martian Road Rage (done!)
2-Deimos Rex (done!)
3-Commander Cromulus portrait (sketch done!)
4-Captain Arcite portrait (2 versions done!)
5-Advertisement for the Boys' School
6-Battle on the Barricades
7-... MORE IMAGES REVELAED NEXT WEEK
2. TO DEVELOP THE NEW FEATURES OF THE GAME
This new gamebook focuses some of the decisions in army management, so we want to develop a visual and playable system to manage your soldiers in the the gamebook. You will be able to assign different roles to your squad members as long as you discover their abilites.
As Kyle says:
"Decision-making is an important part of any gamebook. This gamebook adds an element of team management, so we want to develop a visual, intuitive user interface for this new system. Which of your soldiers will you arm with a sniper rifle, and who will be your tech specialist? Who is wounded? Who is keeping secrets? You will be able to assign different roles to your squad members, so keep an eye out for everyone’s potential strengths and weaknesses!"
3. TO CREATE NEW IMMERSIVE MUSIC
Here you can listen some of the tracks of Heavy Metal Thunder Part 1 and Part 2 (don't miss HMT Main Theme!). We want to give the same immersive atmosphere to SLAUGHTER AT MASADA.
A FEW WORDS FROM THE ARTIST
WHAT IS HEAVY METAL THUNDER SERIES FOR YOU?
“For me The HMT series, written by Kyle B. Stiff, are a wonderful mess of literature, game and art. It brings me the opportunity to experiment different ways of expression in a dark, fucked-up sci-fi world. Along the series I grew up as an artist and for me to participate in this third part it’s a new and thrilling challenge. So, let’s work!.”
“I enjoy a lot in the process of an illustration. In the first and second part of HMT I had a lot of doubts of what medium or style I could use. At last I decided to work in a digital medium, playing with high contrast between a very reduced palette of colors and pure black. This way of working allowed me to produce a lot of light effects, putting more focus to the atmosphere of the world that surronds the characters and the story itself.”
“For this third part I want to expand this world and its characters to a different and new level, exciting for me and our readers and gamers… Hail on Mars!”
Marc González - @caravell
A FEW WORDS FROM THE AUTHOR
WHAT IS HEAVY METAL THUNDER, AND WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO PLAY IT?
"Heavy Metal Thunder is a gamebook series. It’s a hybrid that merges the strengths of two different mediums, so you’ve got the immersive experience of reading and losing yourself in a detailed story as well as the character customization, inventory management, and life-or-death struggle that only a really powerful game can deliver. The story isn’t linear; the player has to make choices every few paragraphs. Do you take this path or another? Take this item or leave it behind? Cooperate with this shifty stranger or gun him down?"
"It would appeal to anyone who wants to lose themselves in a gritty sci-fi space age war story. The protagonist is a soldier, a jetpack infantryman separated from his comrades. Alien invaders have taken over our solar system and things look bleak for the human resistance."
"The protagonist has to investigate a ruined space station, travel through space with meager supplies, deal with the half-crazed inhabitants of the asteroid belt, avoid hyper-militaristic aliens trained to hunt and kill humans… and then things get really crazy. It’s a long adventure, and every reader is bound to have a different experience!"
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA?
"I got the idea for Heavy Metal Thunder the same way most writers get ideas for their books: After a bout with viral meningitis, I had a botched spinal tap and ended up leaking precious spinal fluid. I was bedridden and nauseous for a week and retreated into a dreamlike state. One of my “visions” was soldiers in space wearing black armor flying around on jetpacks and fighting with hand-to-hand weapons."
"There were large, dark ships firing red lasers across the battlefield. The scene was silent. I could see the red flare of jetpacks, whirling faceless warriors, then the rush of freezing mist as faceplates were smashed open. It was very cool and totally worth the spinal tap. Instead of shelving the idea, I gave it some space to breathe, and it grew into the story of a grunt soldier who starts out fairly weak and confused but turns into an unstoppable badass who would do anything to wake up his species and fight back against an alien invasion."
WHY SO DARK? HEAVY METAL THUNDER SERIES CAN GET SERIOUSLY DARK!
"A lot of sci-fi stories show how our lives are improved by fancier technology, but I like the idea that people will always suffer and strive against impossible odds no matter how fancy their phones are. The people in Heavy Metal Thunder lost the initial war against the Invaders because they lost their edge, their fighting spirit, and that spirit has to go through hell if it’s ever going to shine like a diamond."
"Heavy Metal Thunder takes its influences from dark science fiction; more Metabarons than Star Trek. It’s also got an edge to it, a unique brand of violence that comes straight out of the sound of heavy metal itself."
"And that’s not so crazy, is it? What value is heroism if life is good and better technology is only going to make life easier? The way I see it, heroism only makes sense in a world of darkness."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH CUBUS GAMES?
"If aliens come to our world and they aren’t interested in handshakes and cultural exchanges and our cities are turned into smoking piles of rubble, I would want these guys on my team of guerilla warriors. They know what it’s like to cultivate a dream, get knocked down, and then get right back up because the dream is worth fighting for. I’ve been involved in a lot of crazy projects over the years, and I can say without reservation that the ability to keep going even when things look extremely difficult is the most important card to have in your deck of tricks. (Good looks would be second and a completely silent motorcycle with multi-colored neon lights would be third.)"
"I knew these guys were good, and I admired their spirit because it was the same as my own, but I have to admit that when the project really started coming together and I saw samples of art, music, and bits of gameplay, I was blown away. When I played the beta version, I was humbled to find out that I had been working with stone-cold masterminds capable of creating – and I say this without pride – what can only be called the greatest gamebook ever made by the human species."
"I knew that if these guys weren’t on my side, I would have to have them killed. They’re simply too dangerous otherwise."
LAST MESSAGE FROM THE CUBUS GAMES TEAM
If you decide not to pledge yourself, but you like the project, PLEASE SHARE IT! Sharing is caring. Your friend or follower might be the one making us reach our funding goal, and thus bring this project to life.
The invaders have taken everything from us... except our free will!
Risks and challenges
Gamebook development is an unforgiving taskmaster, with time and financial limitations often providing unexpected challenges that can ultimately lead to changes and delays. Fortunately, the Cubus Games team has collectively been involved in 5 gamebook app developments (already released) and has short but intense expertise in this kind of interactive fiction games specifically.
It's true that "The Frankenstein Wars" project has taken more time than expected (see campaign updates to know the reasons) but this time is a different case: the narrative of "Slaughter at Masada!" is almost done.
We’re very confident we can deliver a gamebook that lives up to "Heavy Metal Thunder" series' fan expectations, (hopefully) on time and on budget. Why? Because the project is already in development and because we work with passionate and talented people from Barcelona and Louisville-Kentucky (USA). It’s a very powerful team from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean!
The chosen digital rewards aim to deliver great experiences and feelings to backers. The more the project goes well, the more we’ll be able to add new interesting stuff (mainly great artwork) in the backed pledges!
We are aware we risk a delay in unexpected problems during betatesting. To mitigate this risk and ensure prompt responses, we will be fully available via email. However, we have the commitment to spend every loop to improve the gameplay experience so that possible delays will mean a better final product.
The ground war begins... on Mars!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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