This project's funding goal was not reached on October 28, 2013.
About this project
We're Coming Back in November!
Only 48 hours remain of our campaign here and even the most optimistic among us has to concede a round one victory to the Kickstarter Gods. We are far from defeated however! In the last couple weeks we've really taken on the feedback from our backers here and applied it to a new Kickstarter campaign with a smaller goal, loads more content prepared for sharing, and lots of cool new rewards!
If you have been promoting our campaign or plan to continue promoting, please update your links to our new redirect at http://kickstarter.druidgameworks.com which directs to this page for now but will automatically redirect to the new campaign once it's live!
Thanks again to everyone who pledged, offered feedback, joined our community, and just cheered along the way, you've inspired us in ways you will never know. Thank you for believing in us, we'll see you in November!
- The Druid Gameworks Dev Team
Unwritten: Echoes of Twilight
is a single player, open world, role playing adventure game that
combines the visual appeal of modern graphics and animation technologies
with the classic role-playing elements hardcore RPG gamers love. In
modern games, immersion, interactivity, and customization are often
watered down by major studios, resulting in diluted replay value and
degradation of the “role play” nature of the games. As RPG gamers
ourselves, Druid Gameworks understands all those fun nerdy things RPG
gamers want to see, or do, and we plan to give it to them in spades.
In this precursor and introduction to the Unwritten series, players are introduced to the world of Arthanswold through the heartland isles of Aerendwel and Byre, where the diverse and often unforgiving landscapes range from perilous mountain passes to dark ominous marsh lands, and overgrown jungles. In a player driven adventure, you can explore the world in any direction you want your story to go! Unearth hidden locations, unique characters, and dynamic quests. Chronicle your adventure in your journal, taking real notes whenever something important crosses your path. Customize pets and companions, take ownership of shops, wield powerful ritual magicks, join factions to form friendships, and uncover the shards of an ancient mystery that echoes from the past.
So what is a player driven adventure?
Think of it as a “choose your own adventure” video game. Most RPGs out there today would be considered story driven, where a main quest line is presented as the overall premise for the game play. Even when it’s possible to delay the main quest, it’s not usually possible to avoid it and still progress within the game. In the Unwritten series, game play is player driven, meaning you create your own game experience as you play and develop your avatar’s story. As you explore our universe and make your choices you will lock and unlock different experience pathways with every play through.
“Providing a flexible, easily extensible game engine that fits into any development pipeline is vital, as is minimizing turnaround times for both artists and programmers.” - Dag Frommhold, Principal Engineer, Havok Vision Engine
From the minute we started planning our game we were evaluating engines. Like most fledgling studios we started with all the old standards, Unreal, CryEngine, Unity, Hero Engine, etc. Yet one by one we eliminated them as "not quite right" for our project's needs. Then we took a look at Havok's Vision Engine. Highly modular, adaptable, well documented, fair licensing terms, built in support, and a whole line of AAA products to expand our project's potential?! We were hooked and it's true, in Havok we trust. If you're not familiar with this AAA software powering Unwritten: Echoes of Twilight, grab a minute to check out this video and take in all the awesomeness for yourself!
Unwritten: Echoes of Twilight is a Single Player RPG in development on Havok's AAA Vision Engine, for Windows PC, XBox Live, and Playstation Networks
Your consciousness stirs in an otherworldly place. All around you plays of light and shadow distort your surroundings in a shroud of mist. You can feel yourself lifting into the air, held aloft as if by magic, as a glowing form appears before you; so bright the only detail you can make out is the delicate outline of feathered wings. A distant voice echoes in your mind urging you to reach forward and it's only then that you notice the great husk of an ancient tree that seems to cradle you in the remnants of its tattered boughs. All along the carved wood, unfamiliar symbols ebb and glow. When you reach out and touch them awareness blooms inside you and you begin to piece together a plan for the future that awaits you. Again that haunting voice beckons you from within, "You will be Unwritten," it says in hallowed reverence, "The fulcrum of our salvation or our destruction, we do not know, but pray you are not led asunder. Go forth into the world and write your destiny."
You awaken as if from a dream, the same dream you've had over and over again across the years of your life. Returning to the present the dreams fade away like the last shades of night withering before a rising sun. Today is a special day, your clan is preparing to celebrate your coming of age; a time of great change and a chance to make your way in the world.
Choose from one of six playable character races to design and customize to suit your vision for your avatar. Explore dynamic and changing landscapes, supernatural worlds, interact with rich characters and their unique stories. Recruit companions or join a faction to make new allies. Choose your path and write your story as it unfolds. Will you choose to be the hero? Or the villain? The everyman? The choice is yours and the possibilities are almost endless.
While we would love to pack every game we make with every feature we love that's not usually a feasible goal. Here's a list of those features we plan to make our top priorities throughout development!
- Player Driven Gameplay
- Player Created Journal Option
- Open World Map with Few Load Screens
- Unique Explorable Landscapes
- Six Playable Races with Rich Histories (Unlock More by Hitting Our Stretch Goals!)
- Unique Alternate Starts
- Evolving Storylines and Game Map that Respond to Your Choices
- Crafting, Trading, Economy
- Character Tailored Questlines
- Customized Companions and Mounts
- Dungeon Diving & Rewards
- Unique Weaponry with Race Bonuses
- Optional Survival Needs (Eating, Sleeping, etc)
- Role-playing Immersion Focus
- And much, much, more!
Concept Artworks Created By: dleoblack
Original Music Composed By: João Guerra
What is awesome about Kickstarter is it gives you, the people who love RPGs as much as we do, a chance to support this project and get involved in its design from the ground up! Through pledging you not only have a hand in raising our budget, but you get the opportunity to synch up with developers, share your ideas, vote on options, get early access, behind the scenes info, and much more!
Along with our eternal gratitude we've put together a list of prizes here to reward you for your generosity and general superbness! Most of these things, DLCs included, will be Kickstarter exclusives and won't be available again after our project ends here so get them while they're hot!
Please note all reward tiers stack so you receive the reward at the level you pledge AND ALSO all rewards for the levels below it as outlined in the overview graphic below.
There are six playable races planned in Unwritten: Echoes of Twilight, but there are a total of fourteen races in our universe planned for future titles. Bust the lid off our goal by $10,000 and unlock the next race to be included in the roster! As you unlock one we'll set a new goal until the lid is blown off our goal and all fourteen races are playable!
Druid Gameworks Studio LLC began back in
2010 when core members Cole MacLean, Jamie Ford, and Mark Buckley were
two years into development on Reclaiming Sancre Tor, a 40+ gameplay hour expansion project for
Bethesda's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It was during that long
collaboration that we discovered a shared passion for making great
games and almost immediately we began drafting ideas for a truly engaging role play gaming experience. When our project was complete we began testing engines, doing our homework on the industry and took those first steps into indie development on a new breed of RPG game. The dev plan for the Unwritten series was born three years ago
with these words "Make a better RP Experience for Immersion Players" and
that remains our goal.
Today Druid Gameworks is a fledgling Indie Game Studio made up of several veteran developers from the Elder Scrolls Modding community as well as industry experienced artists. Combined we have over 50 years of game design credit and we're ready to put it to the test in our first commercial title. We brought you some of your favorite mods and can't wait to earn a spot on your list of favorite games!
Please help us spread the word about our Kickstarter so we can get additional funding to make this game as phenomenal as possible! Grab one of these sig bars for your forum sigs, profiles, blogs, and help us get folks kicking into our project to make our dream come true!
Risks and challenges
Every creative project has the potential to hit some potholes on the road to success and we're certainly no strangers to Murphy's Law, but our team has experience in not only attempting large scale development but completing it, despite some terrible setbacks. Here are some of the common dangers for game designers and how we plan to tackle them if they crop up on us!
1) Workflow Blocks: These sort of hurdles are common in game development. They can be caused by poor planning, lack of productivity, even software limitations. We will do everything we can to avoid bottlenecks in our workflow, or to expedite solutions if something does sneak up on us. From thorough planning and regular team meetings, to replacing unproductive team members, to utilizing Havok's top notch support for technical issues, we won't allow these things to delay production for long. Managing workflow and maintaining a project's scope is something experience teaches best, and that's experience we gained during the development years on our expansion Reclaiming Sancre Tor.
2) Hardware Failure: This is always a concern when the success of the project depends on functional hardware. Our team uses top notch equipment, custom built and designed to handle the heavy demands of game content creation. We have an emergency fund at the ready to replace any failing hardware quickly and we have the know how to handle most common types of repair ourselves.
3) Data Loss: Just like hardware, losing data can be a huge setback to a creative project so we're not cutting any corners when it comes to protecting our interests, and yours. Our data is housed on two separate servers, with separate hosts, each equipped with malware/hacker protection, and daily offsite backups. We employ the same secure networking system AAA studios like ZeniMax, Lionhead, and Ubisoft have used to manage our development network. We also use version control and monitoring to ensure our data isn't accidentally overwritten with many developers editing the same project.
4) Zombie Apocalypse: In this day and age the threat of a zombie hoard crashing through one's office should not be underestimated. We are confident that we have developed a fool proof zombie training program that will turn these single minded little guys into the ideal office assistants: shuffling off to make our coffee or to power our generator so that whatever doomsday brings will not interrupt development on the coolest game in RP history!
5) Company Instability: Very often Indie companies form as just a loose collective of friends working together with a gentleman's handshake holding their structure together. When productivity goes down, or problems arise, these companies can quickly tear themselves apart and collapse their project. Druid Gameworks Studio LLC is a proper company, having consulted attorneys to put together all the paperwork, registrations, and contracts required to form a solid business structure. There is no ambiguity in our company and that's the foundation of a solid creative endeavor.
What Happens If Our Kickstarter Fails?
Obviously the best case scenario would be success. It would allow us to purchase our licenses and access software early in development, hire industry experienced staff to round out our team, empower us to not only achieve our vision, but make our game the best and fullest it can be. That said, we know we are under dogs; an unproven studio, minimal industry experience, and the game is early in development. We're asking you to toss your lot in on a veritable long shot, and we can appreciate the concerns this can raise for potential backers.
This game is our dream and we're tossing our lot in too, so if Kickstarter fails, we are committed to continuing development using personal funds and private investors to keep the project afloat and moving forward in the short term. There's no way to finish our game in its entirety without additional funding so after further development, we would reattempt raising a project budget with a new Kickstarter campaign. We'll need your help to reach the end goal and we'll keep working until we earn your trust.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Players will be able to choose between 3rd and 1st person perspectives, with a zoom function for investigating detailed environment clues.
The planned combat style will be free form, not turn based or command prompted, though you will be able to give companions strategic commands and set their fight style before engaging an enemy.
Short answer, yes. Modding is a major part of our development plans, however it's too soon to speculate just what level of modability will be possible within our engine's licensing terms.
All early release copies and physical copies rewarded through Kickstarter will be DRM Free. We also plan to sell a DRM Free digital version on our website as part of our public release, provided it's not a violation of our other distribution agreements.
It's undecided. Havok's Vision Engine is capable of creating Linux and Mac versions but we haven't worked out what the workload would entail on top of an already ambitious project. We are currently researching our options and will update with a firm answer one way or the other once we decide
Turns out, yes there was, "Unwritten: That Which Happened" by Roxlou Games. Despite several searches early in development we found no significant related hits for the title phrase "Unwritten" and only learned of the coincidence when Roxlou Games reached out to us here to express their support and acknowledge the vast difference between our two projects despite a similar name. They have since renamed their game "Unwritten Passage" due to a dust up with Marvel Comics over their comic series titled "The Unwritten". We will likely follow Roxlou's example and change the title of our game down the road, but for now we are keeping our "working title" to prevent disruption and confusion throughout our Kickstarter campaign. We wish Roxlou Games all the best with their endeavors!
Producing the kind of content we want to feature in Echoes of Twilight requires a lot of funding especially in the beginning with needing to pay licenses just to access proprietary softwares. Adding developers with industry experience brings a heavy price tag too, even if contracted for a year they need a competitive wage or will go elsewhere. We've broken down our budget for those backers looking for more expense details. Some of these are rough estimates based on research, but most of the prices listed are the result of direct quotes with the various software creators and contractors. http://www.druidgameworks.com/kickstarterfundsoverview.html
Since Reward tiers can't be edited once a pledge has been made, we have posted a current updated copy of the rewards here for your convenience!
COMMONER: Pledge $5 or more An Exclusive Kickstarter Backer Wallpaper, a unique Backer badge on our forums and our thanks for being awesome!!
ADVENTURER: Pledge $10 or more Insider Access Pass to our Backer Forum with a Backer Forum Tag, Early Updates, and News!
HUNTER: Pledge $20 or more An Early Release, DRM Free, Digital Copy of the Finished Game on YOUR CHOICE of platform PLUS Unlock Exclusive Kickstarter Achievement and get your name added to our Beta Tester pool for a chance at being a beta tester!!
GUILDSMAN: Pledge $30 or more An Early Release, DRM Free, Digital Copy of the Finished Game on YOUR CHOICE of platform, A Limited Kickstarter Edition Digital Soundtrack from Unwritten: Echoes of Twilight (22 Tracks) Featuring Exclusive Game Art PLUS a Bonus Digital Copy of the game for a friend!!
GUILDMASTER: Pledge $40 or more Receive all the perks of the GUILDSMAN Tier PLUS an Access Pass to Our Alpha Game!
PADFOOT: Pledge $50 or more Kickstarter Exclusive Weapons Pack Quest DLC: Bowrick's Arsenal: Quest deep into the ruins of the infamous Nagaten Prison to learn the truth about Bowrick's fate and recover his legendary arsenal...if you can. PLUS a Druid Gameworks Decal (black or white)
SHADOW: Pledge $60 or more Exclusive Voter Pass: Cast Your Vote in Developer Polls to Push the Content YOU want to see into the game! PLUS a 1-Disc Physical Boxed Copy of our Game for Windows PC!
RANGER: Pledge $75 or more Kickstarter Exclusive Armor Pack Quest DLC: The Falconer PLUS Signed Digital Gamemap! Quest to restore the falconer's armor and learn the secrets of this ancient trade. PLUS Kickstarter Exclusive DLC: Heritage: Choose your inheritance and unlock a family legacy that will help you begin your journey in style!
GUARDIAN: Pledge $100 or more Kickstarter Exclusive Quest DLC: Agenem's Sorrow!!! Travel to a new world in the footsteps of the lost patron Agenem; explore new terrains, creatures, and characters in your quest to complete the journey of a god!! PLUS Signed Digital Postcard with Exclusive Game Art and Signatures from All Druid Developers!
KNIGHT: Pledge $150 or more Signed Digital Artbook with Exclusive Behind the Scenes Game Art and Signatures from All Druid Developers! PLUS a T-shirt! [Your choice from 3 Designs While Supplies Last-Please Add $8 to your pledge for shipping]
MASTER: Pledge $250 or more A 2 Disc Special Edition Physical Copy of our game for Windows PC, PLUS: A Physical Full Color Artbook and a digital Access Pass to our BETA GAME!
NOBLE: Pledge $500 or more See your likeness or avatar appear as an NPC extra in Unwritten: Echoes of Twilight! PLUS Receive a Lifetime Pass and get a free digital copy for every future title in the Unwritten Series!
PATRON: Pledge $1,000 or more KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE Receive a Limited 3-Disc Boxed Collector's Edition of our Game for Windows PC, PLUS see the legend of your Patron self written into our universe lore!
LEGACY: Pledge $5,000 or more Receive Special Thanks in our Credit Reel PLUS Join the Development Team on Skype and sit-in for two of our regular staff meetings and get exclusive access to insider info, make suggestions, and give feedback, straight to the team!
UNWRITTEN PACKAGE: Pledge $10,000 or more Receive Executive Producer Credit in the game’s Credit Reel, and Join the Developers for a Launch Party in St Louis to receive all your rewards in person and signed by the team! PLUS a special Druid Gameworks Staff T-Shirt with your Name!
There sure are!!!
• Add $5 for a Druid Gameworks Logo Decal in black or white
• Add $5 for a Full Color Echoes of Twilight Postcard
• Add $5 for an Echoes of Twilight Mouse Pad
• Add $12 for a Druid Logo or Echoes of Twilight Mug
• Add $15 for a Druid Gameworks Logo T-Shirt
• Add $15 for an Echoes of Twilight T-Shirt
• Add $20 for City Postcard Set of 4 [Signed!!!]
We love that our fans make sad face when thinking about this game not getting funded :D
Yes, we will keep trying. This first Kickstarter has been a real learning experience. Despite weeks of preparation, and looking at other successful game projects, and reading through the Kickstarter tips and tutorials, nothing could poke holes in our project quite as effectively as actually running it. We have a much better idea about what our backers expect, what you folks need to see to get behind us, and what we need to do to improve our campaign on the next try!
We plan to put together a new streamlined Kickstarter very quickly after this one ends, waiting only long enough to prepare the materials we didn't have early enough this time around.
- (30 days)