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Forgotten Fane is an original level for the videogame Unreal Tournament 2004 game for singleplayer/cooperative gameplay.

Overview

     Forgotten Fane is a singleplayer & cooperative level designed for Unreal Tournament 2004. It is the stand-alone first episode in a planned series of levels that challenges players to explore a recently-unearthed subterranean temple. Players are threatened by their environment, from precarious precipices to deadly traps, and also by the subterranean wildlife as well as the guardians of the temple. Forgotten Fane is inspired by and takes place within the Unreal game universe, although its story is intentionally left vague to allow players to fill in the details with their own imagination and the clues they discover while exploring.

The average play length for Forgotten Fane in testing ranges from approximately 30 minutes to one hour.

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Philosophy and Goals

Do you look back fondly upon the first person shooter games of the late 1990s? Do you still remember the layout to classic Doom levels? How about other classic games like Marathon, Duke3D, Hexen, Quake, or Unreal? If you're at all like me, you spent countless hours playing these classic first-person shooter games, both by yourself and with friends. Modern shooter games deliver a lot of spectacle, but something seems missing when your player is being led around from cutscene to cutscene by a voice on the radio or a demanding NPC.

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     Forgotten Faneseeks to recapture the experience of playing in an old school first person shooter. Does that mean hunting around for color-coded keycards? Not exactly. Instead what I want to accomplish with this level is to reintroduce non-linear gameplay. While Forgotten Fane has progression and objectives to complete, the player is not railroaded into following a linear path. If you decide to wander off the beaten path you may find a room you've never explored before, containing a hidden note, or perhaps you will stumble upon a lever that reveals a secret room filled with all sorts of items... or enemies. Not all of the objectives are required to complete the level, and there may even be multiple endings for those who choose to explore thoroughly.

Why Your Contribution Is Important

     Around this time you might be asking yourself why you would want to contribute to my Kickstarter project. Who is this guy who needs your help to bring this level concept to fruition? Let me tell you a briefly about myself. I have been doing development in Unreal Engine for 7 years, and am extremely passionate about it. I'm a multi-talented developer who has been both programming and developing levels for Unreal Engine games as a hobby since 2005. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that developing high quality content for games takes a large amount of knowledge, skill, and time. While I am happy to spend my skills and time working on new game content for people to play and enjoy, in the current economic climate it's extremely difficult for me to continue doing part-time and freelance work, search for a steady job, AND develop cool things for people to enjoy.

     Forgotten Fane has been in development since 2011, and much significant work has already been done on it. Basic level geometry has been blocked out and much of the essential scripted events and enemy behavior within the level has been created. Your contribution directly assists the completion of the project by granting me the opportunity to pursue full-time development of the level. Many of the features I would like to implement are infeasible to accomplish without full-time development, these include:

  • Level-Wide Visual Detail Passes
  • Visual Special Effects
  • Audio Effects and Engineering
  • Advanced Scripted Level Events
  • Multiple New Optional Objectives and Level Conclusions
  • Custom Programming for unique level features (e.g. Enemy Monsters)

     My project planning schedule for these tasks is as follows:

  • 1 week: Planning phase: Blocking out new areas and adjusting old areas, determining gameplay elements to be included
  • 3 weeks: Level wide detail passes, including all visual and audio FX
  • 2 weeks: Level scripting, item placement, and AI behavior
  • 1 week: Playtesting and balancing
  • 1 week: Custom programming (Monsters and level-specific behavior)
  • 1 week: Scheduled additional time for project delays

     My project budget covers living expenses and labor over the projected 8-9 week development period of Forgotten Fane.

     Currently, all of the content in the level is either directly created by me or used with permission from other freely available sources. In addition to permitting my continued work on the level as a whole, your contribution will allow me to pay for any additional services or content that may be helpful such as 3D models, sound effects, textures, and so on.

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Additional Details

     Why develop a single level?  Although I would like to eventually develop a full game, this is my first Kickstarter project and I wanted to start with a smaller scope. A single level is like an atomic unit of a game.

     Why develop a level for Unreal Tournament 2004?  As mentioned above, developing a single level is less ambitious than developing an entire game. I am most familiar with the Unreal Engine, and Unreal Tournament 2004 has many features that Unreal Tournament 3 lacks. For example, built-in enemy monster pawns which would have required significant programming and artwork to create for UT3. In addition, Unreal Tournament 2004 has extremely low system requirements and supports Windows, Mac, and Linux.

     Forgotten Fane is designed to function within the freely available Monster Assault / Monster Evolution framework designed by fellow developer Eric Eberhart (DW>Ant) with contributions from myself (E.R. Whiting, DW>Wail). As long as you have a copy of Unreal Tournament 2004 you can play Forgotten Fane free of charge.

     To learn more about the Monster Assault / Monster Evolution framework, please view the prerelease trailer for Monster Evolution below, or visit the official Monster Evolution server at IP:  216.86.152.31:7777

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     Forgotten Fane will never be sold. None of your contribution will be used on advertising, marketing, licensing, or other corporate nonsense. The funds you provide go directly towards a single developer and a labor of love, borne out of a desire to create a fun game experience, not to turn a profit.

    However, without your contribution it may never be complete. Please help me finish this project by giving me the means to support myself as I strive to create the best level that I can.

     Funds raised exceeding the asked for amount will go directly towards paying for additional content for Forgotten Fane. For example, if a sum exceeding $5000 is raised, I may be able to direct funds into paying a 3D artist to create specialized models that I am unable to create myself, or to pay a musician for custom theme music.

    If I am otherwise content with Forgotten Fane and there are still additional funds raised from Kickstarter, that money will be used to continue development on other freely-available levels. So while Forgotten Fane is a standalone level, if there are additional funds I may be able to continue work on the planned sequels that otherwise will never see the light of day (nor the light of computer monitor).

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Thanks for Playing!

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FAQ

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    You will gain direct access to download the latest version of Forgotten Fane at no cost, an unlimited number of times, from my website.

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    You will receive a digital backer's-edition version of the Forgotten Fane map, including the latest updates and files for UT2004 needed to play it, as well as a collection of Forgotten Fane wallpapers for your computer desktop. You will be listed as a contributor in the closing credits (played when the level is successfully completed).

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    In addition to being listed as a contributor in the credits, you will be immortalized within the level by having your name, or a name of your choice, displayed a piece of scenery (e.g. a tombstone, scrawled upon a wall).

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    In addition to the previous benefits, you may add a customized message to accompany your name, such as a clever epitaph to accompany your tombstone, or a cryptic poem. Some basic restrictions apply (no obscenity, advertisements, etc).

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    I will build a section of the level space based on your idea. For example, you may wish to have a statue of yourself or a loved one tucked away in a secret alcove. Or perhaps you have always had an idea for a level space but never had the technical ability to bring it to life. I will do my best to bring that vision to reality within the scope of the level's other design considerations.

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Funding period

- (30 days)