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€767
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40
backers
15days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, December 1 2019 10:23 AM UTC +00:00.

Cult Of The Abyss

'Alice in Wonderland' meets 'Night of the Living Dead'. Cult Of The Abyss is a cute-horror-survival-sandbox.

Cult Of The Abyss

'Alice in Wonderland' meets 'Night of the Living Dead'. Cult Of The Abyss is a cute-horror-survival-sandbox.

€767
pledged of 20 600 €pledged of 20 600 € goal
40
backers
15days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, December 1 2019 10:23 AM UTC +00:00.

About

'Alice in Wonderland' meets 'Night of the Living Dead' 

Cult Of The Abyss is a cute-horror-survival-sandbox that lands you in a  broken world ruled by a dark apocalyptic cult.  A whimsical journey takes place in which you play the character of a boy called “Quest” and his best friend “Dippy” - his dog.  You both need to search for loot, explore and survive while you try to find a way home. You build your own hideouts, protect and defend them to not get overrun by the eerie creatures that hunt you at nighttime.    



Open World / Sandbox

Explore a vast, procedurally generated, endless terrain with different biomes and a spooky world underneath. Decide where to build and what to do – be  creative! You can change the entire environment by dismantling, destroying, digging, building and repairing. It's all up to you!

Day/Night Cycle

Pay attention to the time of day: at night the Cult’s ghouls form hordes and appear from subways and dungeons. They search for prey and pray to the totems. 

Underground

Find an eerie world below the magical world. Roam through dark subway stations and tunnel systems. How about building an outpost there? Find loot in the bony catacombs and explore. But beware of the creepy creatures that live here!

World & Character Systems

I'm a fan of systemic design & emergent game play so would like to explore much more in this direction.

  • Over time every character will develop different needs. States like hunger,  thirst, stress, headache, bleeding, exhaustion, the need to take a dump, intoxication and more.
  • Based on these needs  and the current environment, every character gets into situations like  “I’m hungry”, “enemy in range”, “companion in fight” or  “blocked path”  and others.
  • Characters are able to plan how to solve the situation and try to execute the plan made.
  • You can build relationships between characters (it's pretty basic atm like i.e. taming)
  • Ghouls search for totems they can pray to so they can elevate their mood
  • At nighttime ghouls seek to come up from the underground to seek for food, during the day they want to go back down
  • At “witching hour” ghouls sense exactly where you are and hunt you down
  • There are fairies looking for friendly/neutral characters to heal them
  • As a player you can get the stat “missing Dippy” which will drain your mood
  • The Cult's ghouls will form hordes that get bigger over time
  • If you open the gateway, the Abyss will do anything to not let you go! 

Companion and Character Interaction

Keep an eye out for your companion. He is depending on you and you need to take care of him. At the moment the interaction with NPCs includes feeding, cuddling, you can shoo and call them. I am planning to add more Tamagotchi-like interaction especially for relationship between player and companion „Dippy“.

Crafting / Produce

Harvest, chuck, pick and loot the items you need to craft things with and which are needed for your survival. Build  “furniture” like workbench or fireplace to unlock more specific recipes.

Base Building

Craft or find different types of blocks and objects to build a hideout for you and your companion to survive the night. Protect your base with spikes, magical plants and other tower defense mechanisms. Settle and  rebuild a broken house in the city area.

Loot Items

Find all kinds of items in different spots like shelves, cupboards, cars, dead bodies and more. You should also look for magic weapons and items to cast spells with.

Biomes Plants Farming

Seed and harvest plants to eat and grow. Plants will grow over time at different speeds on different biomes.

Tower Defense

You can build “Thaumatech"-towers to protect your base as well as spikes and traps. Thaumaturgy is the special source of magical energy in the world of Cult of the Abyss and Thaumatech is the technology that can use it. I'd like to add magical plants that help you to defend your base and protect against attacks of big hordes.

Game Over

You need to find a way back home and once you do you solved the game. If your character dies you can decide if you want to re-spawn. If you do so you must find your belongings and your companion Dippy. If you are without your companion for too long your mood-level shrinks and you might fall into depression. If you or your companion die there is also a resurrection spell to call him/yourself back to life.

I have a ton of ideas I would like to trial and implement.

  • I'm  thinking about friendly intelligent NPCs the player can interact with. There are the so called "Loomies" which are natural inhabitants of the world but were killed by the Cult. I'm planning to create Loomie survivor characters you can encounter
  • I'm  also still playing with the idea of having imaginary friends that appear and help  you i.e. building your base or chucking trees and defending your base
  • I want to work on the city and underground-dungeon generation
  • I’d like to add water-life and the possibility to go fishing
  • Re-enforcing the cult aspect in the world by having specific cultist's biomes and bases/dungeons would be great to add as well
  • Cultists should have a bigger range of behavior i.e. form black masses or rituals 
  • Totems need a system. i.e. standing too long next to a totem will drain the player's mood and spawn something evil or maybe reveal your position
  • Poison plants or slime growing over tiles
  • Improvement of the controls

And of course there are so many more enemy characters I’d like to add, more items, more biomes and building the environment in general… endless possibilities. 

 Platforms 

Cult Of The Abyss is developed with Unity so in theory a lot is possible. At the moment I focus on PC -> Win/Mac builds. 

Language

So far the game is in english. A manual in german and english is available. At the moment I want to focus only on developing the game but later on I can work on localization. 

 Listen to the main theme :)

I never called myself a “gamer” but computer games have definitely been a big part of my life. It all started with Dune 2 from Westwood, anything from Nintendo console to Age of Empires, Duke3D and StarCraft. I remember spending entire nights at LAN parties using null modem cable trying to make it work. 

Today I like to play games like Rimworld, 7 Days to Die and Hearthstone. All of these games carry a certain experimental and sandbox angle. The urge to creating is a big driver for me and has lead me to all kinds of different areas. At the age of 16 I started learning basic coding at IT school and continued to study graphic design at uni. I made electronic/hip hop music and for many years and used to be a graffiti writer as well. While working in the industry as a Concept Artist, I played around with Unity3d and understood that I could combine all these learnings to create my own game. I was hooked on the idea to make a game that I would play myself and for which I could define every aspect autonomously.

I don't use any fancy tools, everything I do is made from scratch. 

I paint every graphic, stroke by stroke, I write the code line by line and I compose all the music note by note.

Going solo comes with pros and cons It means more freedom but also more insecurity. The cons are definitely the risk you take. I put a lot of time, energy and money into this project, hoping it will be worth it. Self-doubt comes and goes and it's always hard to push through. But being a solo developer is my dream, I want to make cool games, and I think I'm on a good path to make it come true. :)

When I was little I remember wondering why nobody made a game where you could “do anything you want”. Later open-world sandbox type games appeared filling this gap.

I wanted to develop something close to genres that inspired me but adding my own twist. Since I had a lot of fun with survival games I chose this game model as a base idea. When thinking of the type of game it lead me to the question about how to shape the setting of the world.

Most survival games have a classical zombie setting in a contemporary world with military aspects. But I knew that my game had to be a whimsical, magical - and in parts even bizarre world - with a little bit of humor. I like dark fantastic worlds and “new weird” fiction. The Lovecraftian universe is an Influence as well and I thought that I will try to mix things up: use ideas of zombie-world and combine it with magical and dreamy aspects. An overall anachronistic composition gives me the freedom to not get stuck with rational patterns and helped me to create the world of “Cult of the Abyss”. 

I've been working on the game now since about roughly 2-3 years and the game went through different stages and changes in theme and code. Have a look at the history of the game's development below:

The game is now in alpha state: in parts incomplete but already offering fun game play, a lot of functionalities and assets in place for you to try out and explore. I need some time to polish and improve, add more content and features. This is why I started this campaign. So far I funded myself but now it's time to step out and see if there are people who like to idea and offer support.

The money raised by this Kickstarter would mostly be used to get me going. In case the campaign is over-funded I will definitely think about platform-ports and other stretch goals.

Running a Kickstarter is also a great tool get some visibility and growing a community. As some of you already know I'm curious about feedback and always consider ideas from players and game testers.

Chris

Risks and challenges

I'm working on "Cult Of The Abyss" since 2-3 years now and there is still a long road ahead. I'm known to be fast and and good at self-education but in game development there are always unexpected problems which may delay the release of the game.

How can you be sure that this project isn't Vaporware?
- There is already a playable build that has fun things to do.
- I have funded myself so far to make my dream come true and have put a lot of work into development of the game
- You can see in "history of development" that I have tested many ideas upfront to be sure of the way to go
- If you tested the alpha build, you can see it's already fun and there are a lot of things you can do - I just need your help to make it as great as it can be
- I have kept the physical Kickstarter rewards small so i can fully focus on the game development.

I think the above are some good arguments to trust in this project and I will be transparent about what's going on during development.
Of course there is a risk that small features and parts will change, fail or must be redesigned.
Please see yourself and download the demo.

Thank you!
Chris

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