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A story-driven action/stealth sidescrolling RPG with a fresh new vision of cyberspace. Read more

1,930
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£30,647
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on December 12, 2013.

A story-driven action/stealth sidescrolling RPG with a fresh new vision of cyberspace.

Open World + Exploration + Map of Harbor Prime

18 likes

Greetings everyone!

Things are moving well so far – our first week and we are over 50% of the way toward our initial goal. Several journalists have written articles about Dex and their first impressions from our Kickstarter campaign. Another great influx of backers and fans emerged thanks to you – our sincere appreciation for all the sharing, whether on reddit/facebook/twitter or specialized forums! Please, keep an eye on us and continue to help us spread the word and reach yet more people.

In this update, before elaborating further on our RPG features, we want to address a common question: Will the game and level design be linear/open-world/Metroidvania/hub-based?

To illustrate this, here is a current version of the city map:

Images tell more than words, but still, let me clarify: Dex is a semi-open world RPG.

Our aim was artistic – a vision we felt compelled to bring to life. We wanted to create a living, thriving cyberpunk city in 2D artwork and animation. Of course, comparing Dex with monster-budget AAA open-world games such as the ingenious Elder Scrolls series is not appropriate. But still, we feel we can give birth to something truly remarkable and unique.

 Our gameplay and level design idea:

  • Create a living 2D city with shops, NPCs, markets, corporate headquarters, slums, etc. Everything you expect from a cyberpunk world.
  • The game world is divided into locations. The transition is not seamless – it is not one huge open world, but rather, dozens of connected locations.
  • You can visit locations repeatedly. (There are certain exceptions, story-wise.) This works pretty well with the RPG features, such as implants – you acquire an implant for high jump, for example, and you remember that in one abandoned power plant there was an intriguing platform you were unable to reach. You return there now, with the newly acquired implant, and you are able to access a new area.
  • In the city center is a hub – a series of interconnected locations. There is only occasional violence here, so these locations serve mostly as a “safe house.” You can return there in between missions, to get new missions, to find out more information, to buy stuff, etc.
  • The city is open to exploration. Yes, there is a story and there are side missions, but there are also locations no one will guide you to – no GUI markers, no quest markers. Some of these locations are hidden in the city or in the underground; some are simply side exits or rooftop entrances. Explorers, enjoy!
  • We are also considering some typical sandbox/open world features (a kickboxing arena, where you can train or join tournaments; casinos, where you can play various mini-games, etc.), but we are not quite sure whether or not to include these (considering both development time and the overall feeling and gameplay). Let us know your suggestions!
  • Storytelling is mostly linear, with several possible endings. However, you can choose to do missions in your own order (where applicable), plus there is a large selection of side missions, most of which are independent of the main storyline. The levels themselves are linear in the sense that there is one clear goal, but non-linear in the sense that there are multiple possible approaches (mainly action/stealth/hacking, as addressed before).

Stay tuned! We have more updates to come, with interesting concepts, screenshots, and other fun stuff. If you like the game, consider backing us and sharing Dex with your friends.

Stretch goals are coming soon – we aim to reveal them once we cross the £10,000 threshold.

Cheers and thanks for all your support!  

Kirill, redeicarciofi, and 16 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Dreadlocks on November 22, 2013

      Ryan: we actually side-developed our own version of Magic The Gathering and Arcomage (originally a card game in Might and Magic VII), an in-game collectible card game play in the augmented reality by gamers in the game world :). However, it seemed too elaborate minigame to develop in a high-enough-quality. Kickboxing etc. reuses more of the game mechanics present in the rest of the game, so that one is most likely to be approved (among the open world / minigame features).

      "My suggestion is to go with a smaller amount of these side-activities, and make them more meaningful in the context of the setting, story themes, or tone. For example, if one or more of these activities are illegal, that would help dictate the appropriate location and tone; and a very seedy, underground kickboxing arena (that includes betting?) or gambling "club" sound very intriguing!"
      - Completely agreed! Include only a few of the side-activities, but entangle them within the story and atmosphere of the city!

    2. Creator Dreadlocks on November 22, 2013

      Saud Al-Zaidi: "As for the kickboxing will there be an option on the level of enemies and will increasing the level mean fighting enemies simultaneously?"

      Yes! One of our inspirations was arena in Might and Magic VI (dungeon-style RPG, but anyway). The other was boxing ring in New Reno in Fallout II :). And yes - if this comes implemented, it would be a location (we actually already have two possible places for it, one legal and one pretty underground) where you can join training or join the tournament, advanding through a ladder, with difficulty raising and some rewards associated (XP/money/maybe some unlockable perks or combat moves/enhancements based on the arena - to be decided)

      "will you be able to use your abilities from augmentation or will there be some kind of rule where you have to disable everything?"

      Good point. The illegal-style kickbox arena would fit more into the "keep your augmentations etc." way, while the legal arena might be melee-only (with restriction to use special skills and abilities).

      We'll sum up all feedback from you comments and prepare something for you all, guys, with the first alpha release! :)

    3. Creator Dreadlocks on November 22, 2013

      Christian: "Will it be possible to make custom marks on the map?"

      Great idea! Noted! Thanks!

    4. Creator Dreadlocks on November 22, 2013

      suppafoxe: "About mini games and stuff, I'd prefer a hi-quality tighter experience than lots of padding or poorly implemented stuff. I want to remember playing the game for the couple of awesome and memorable moments, than for the hours spent doing stuff just to move on on the adventure."

      Absolutely agreed! Dex is a story-driven game, so always, our emphasis would be on making it an intensive experience. We want to include open world features and maybe a few side-distractions, however, the main focus is on interesting storyline, remarkable locations and characters and - last but not the least - the gameplay itself (action/stealth/hacking mainly), sprinkled with the RPG elements.

    5. Creator Dreadlocks on November 22, 2013

      "Will you allow us to go on exploring and playing in the city even after we've finished the storyline? Will there be any point (ie content) in doing so?"
      - this one is a question yet to be answered. We discussed the options for replayability in the recent interview (http://www.meangoblin.com/talk-people-behind-dex-cyberpunk-2d-rpg/), but that's all I can say to it now. We have options, but this is a difficult question and difficult decision to make.

    6. Creator Ryan | Tormented Weresheep Dreamer on November 21, 2013

      @Saud: I like the idea of restricting implants in the fights, or maybe just for certain fights, it made for an interesting twist in KOTOR II.

      @Christian: I also like the idea of player-placeable map markers so we can remember to go back to places once we gain new abilities.

    7. Creator Saud Al-Zaidi on November 20, 2013

      I think having mini games is really important in such an RPG since you might want to cool off after playing a lot and progressing through the game. Gives you a chance to experience something different while playing. I like the Casino and kickboxing idea really fits. As for the kickboxing will there be an option on the level of enemies and will increasing the level mean fighting enemies simultaneously? will you be able to use your abilities from augmentation or will there be some kind of rule where you have to disable everything? That will be interesting.

      An RPG game should have a collection of mini and it will a nice surprise to know whether all the mini games will be in one big city of pleasure or will each be at a different location.

    8. Creator Christian on November 20, 2013

      Will it be possible to make custom marks on the map? I love games where you can revisit certain areas after an upgrade and get to places you couldn't get to before ... but I hate it, if I see these things before I can use them but yet I have no in-game way of making a note to myself that I found that there.

    9. Creator sunkzero on November 19, 2013

      Will you allow us to go on exploring and playing in the city even after we've finished the storyline? Will there be any point (ie content) in doing so?

    10. Creator Lilian Vilpoux on November 19, 2013

      The past comments already sum up what i think about it all; that DOES look like a great game to come, a few added side distractions would be very welcome. Just one thing; i may be totally out of drool when the game's out.

    11. Creator suppafoxe on November 19, 2013

      I really like what I hear :)

      About mini games and stuff, I'd prefer a hi-quality tighter experience than lots of padding or poorly implemented stuff.

      I want to remember playing the game for the couple of awesome and memorable moments, than for the hours spent doing stuff just to move on on the adventure.

    12. Creator Neo on November 19, 2013

      Thanks for the important update about the game mechanics and models! :)

    13. Creator Ryan | Tormented Weresheep Dreamer on November 19, 2013

      I like this more and more as you guys reveal new details, and I especially appreciate the emphasis on rewarding exploration, and not having blaring in-game directions to all the hidden locations, because then they wouldn't be hidden ;)

      I really like the idea of side distractions (the kickboxing and gambling), and as long as you have the resources to make them interesting, I think it can only add to the game, even if they are limited in scope. I'm sure I'm not the only one who spent a ton of time playing Pazaak in the KOTOR games, or all the gambling in New Vegas (I play Caravan in the real world too!), not to mention the various arena side quests in a variety of other RPGs. My suggestion is to go with a smaller amount of these side-activities, and make them more meaningful in the context of the setting, story themes, or tone. For example, if one or more of these activities are illegal, that would help dictate the appropriate location and tone; and a very seedy, underground kickboxing arena (that includes betting?) or gambling "club" sound very intriguing!

      Another thought regarding either the kickboxing or gambling (sticking with the underground tone), would be to have it lead into a sidequest(s). What I mean, is that maybe the kickboxing is being fixed so certain people can make a mint off the betting. You will only start to get hints about the situation if you bet, maybe more hints if you don't figure it out right away and keep betting away your money (or could find out before betting in AR). Then it leads into a sidequest where you can clean up the situation, or even join in fixing the matches (possible choice). This sidequest could also be potentially unlocked by fighting in the arena, and the organizers will try to pay you to lose matches or something like that. I know, it's been done a million times, but just some general thoughts on how to make these side activities tie into the feel of the city more. And a similar scenario could be applied to the gambling as well. Anyways, more is always better if done well, but often having less at higher quality is better than more that isn't.

    14. Creator Sir Jordi on November 19, 2013

      Great character design!

    15. Creator Erik Vesely on November 19, 2013

      wonderful guys !

    16. Creator Marek Homsi Andráši on November 19, 2013

      OK... upped my pledge.

    17. Creator redeicarciofi on November 19, 2013

      I think this game is gonna be great!