Let's bring back Fable!
Set in the whimsical world of Albion, Fable Fortune is a Fable themed free-to-play collectible card game (CCG) that combines the franchise's most cherished gameplay systems with an array of pioneering game modes. We are planning to launch the game on PC (Steam & Windows Store) & Xbox One with the potential for Android and iOS versions to follow at a later date. Our initial target of £250k is to enable us to reach closed beta on PC.
Rich Ham - aka Radho plays a full co-op match and gives you his opinion on the game.
And so our story begins...
Fable Fortune was the secret project that we, a small team of veterans, have been heading up from within Lionhead. Inspired by the popularity of Fable Pub Games, Mike West (our Creative Director) originally pitched a Fable CCG back on Fable II. 18 months ago, his passion for the concept finally paid off when he moved into the Franchise Team at Lionhead and we received the greenlight to start development on Fable Fortune. We have been working on it ever since.
We were getting close to finally announcing but as many of you will be aware, Microsoft recently made the decision to close Lionhead which obviously impacted our project. Almost immediately after this news broke we knew what we wanted to do! We wanted to make a new studio, with a suitably silly name and carry on making this ourselves. We believed in the game and we believed Fable fans would want to see it. We just had to convince Microsoft to let us carry on…
We approached Microsoft - hoping for the best, prepared for a corporate hand to the face. To our delight they were very open to the idea and agreed to grant us the licence for Fable Fortune. To be clear, we haven’t been granted a license to the entire Fable franchise, Microsoft have retained these rights, but we have the creative freedom to continue developing Fortune as an independent studio. We care deeply about Fable and it means the world to us that Microsoft have trusted us to continue using the IP.
And that's where you come in...We are close to the finish line, but it is going to be impossible for this small indie studio to complete and launch the game without your valued support. It takes a lot of resources to not only launch a game like this but to continue to support and develop it. Microsoft have helped us by giving us the license for Fable Fortune, but they are no longer investing in the project. We need to secure the remaining funds ourselves to complete development.
So please help us achieve this goal by supporting our Kickstarter and we will make you a game we are all proud to play.
We asked ten random peasants on the streets of Bowerstone what they thought of a card game set in the world of Albion. They ALL heartily agreed that Fable Fortune takes the incredible lore and iconic systems from the series and fuses them with a deep, yet accessible card-game, whilst smothering everything in an unhealthy dollop of Fable humour!
They then went on to explain that Fable Fortune's location, quest and alignment systems ensure you experience entirely new strategies every time you play.
In fact, they only stopped explaining how excited they were about the innovations contained within the game when we lowered our weapons and allowed them to leave.
And now we'd LOVE to tell you more about the game... we're glad you asked!
Every match takes place within an iconic Albion location drawn directly from the Fable series.
Whether punching the smug faces of overconfident heroes in Fairfax Castle, or leading a band of pitchfork-wielding peasants into the dark shadows of Lychfield Cemetery, you'll be taking on a set of quests unique to each of these locations.
Each hero can only reach their true potential by completing quests - unique tasks chosen by both players during a match. Construct decks and build strategies to fulfil the objectives of your chosen quests and reap the hard-won rewards!
Of course, for every quest a player completes, they must then make a choice between Good & Evil...
Core to all Fable games is the player's choice to use their heroic powers for Good or Evil - and Fortune continues that legacy.
Over the course of each battle, the player's hero will morph to reflect their alignment, changing the effects of their special abilities and also morphing many cards in their deck into more powerful variants.
Wise choices as to when to follow the path of Skorm or Avo, can turn even the closest of matches.
Make friends you'll keep for a lifetime!
Fable Fortune will feature a co-op mode entirely unique to the CCG genre, allowing you to team-up with a friend against a host of Fable villains such as Nostro or Logan.
While each player builds their own deck, their units are shared in a fast-paced brawl that creates many epic dual deck combinations!
There’s something for everyone in Fortune because it has been designed with a strong event system at its core.
At any one time there will be the core PvP league, a co-op boss and at least one gameplay warping event available to play.
Whether you are ultra-competitive or prefer co-operative games, brand new to card games or a 20-year veteran, you’ll always find something to excite you within Fable Fortune.
Flaming Fowl Studios is a brand new indie games developer started by a number of long term ex-Lionhead developers. We have been working on Fable Fortune within Lionhead for the last 18 months. However, Microsoft have kindly allowed us to acquire the rights, and therefore we now need your help to finish development and bring some more great LH developers back into our team.
The company is run by:
• Mike West, Creative Director. Mike has been part of the design team on the Fable franchise for the last 12 years including Fable, Fable The Lost Chapters, Fable 2 & Fable 3. He is a driving force behind everything Fable and has been an avid player of CCGs since the mid 90’s. The fact that he has a beard is entirely coincidental.
• Craig Oman, Executive Producer. Craig has been at Lionhead for 7 years and oversaw Fable Anniversary as Executive Producer. Craig makes sure the project is on schedule and to budget. He carries a wide array of pointy sticks...
• Marcus Lynn, Technical Director. Over the last 12 years Marcus has been a core developer in many of Lionhead’s titles including The Movies and previous Fable games. Marcus tends to avoid cameras but as we have assured the lawyers, he does really exist and he's not just our scapegoat if things go badly... honest.
We have been developing the game alongside Mediatonic, a long-standing independent UK developer. Not only do they have great experience working in the CCG genre, but more importantly to us they have a similar sense of British humour. This has always been an essential part of any Fable title and we fully intend to carry that over to Flaming Fowl Studios
As we are a brand new Indie studio, barely a few weeks old, we need your support to get Fable Fortune across the finish line. Kickstarter offers us a fantastic opportunity to develop Fortune without the constraints of a publisher or investor impacting our creative vision.
This is a game we have wanted to make for many years, a deep, balanced CCG which is truly part of the Fable world. Therefore, we’re turning to you for help, to allow us all to venture into the world of Albion once again.
The good news is that a lot of core systems are already in-game, so we’re a handful of months away from Closed Beta. For a game with this much content, features and polish, our initial Kickstarter goal is relatively low. If successfully funded, the money we raise will be used to complete the first six heroes and two co-op bosses, as well as fund our running costs as thousands of players are brought into the closed beta.
When the Kickstarter ends, we aim to get the game into the hands of the gold tier backers within two months (rather than the 6-12 months common to many Kickstarters!), with the rest of the backers being added in later waves.
Any funds raised over our closed beta target will enable us to complete all audio and the initial card set, including the final two heroes. This will also allow us to reach open beta and release the game to the world!
Additional funding beyond this will allow us to accelerate the implementation of future features. These include tournament mode, 2v2 mode and a single player adventure mode. It will also allow us to add more environments and co-op bosses such as a mob of hobbes, the White Balverine or Jack of Blades himself. Which should we choose? That's up to you!
We are also looking to bring the game to platforms other than PC and Xbox One, but need to hit some of the higher goals to reach them.
Certain stretch goals will add more content to many of the reward tiers, so remember to check back and see if you are going to get even more content.
The other way you can help us is to spread the work on social media and for that we have create our mission rewards. Every time we pass a goal on Facebook, Twitter, Backers or Funding we will add a stamp to our missions scroll. For every four completed, every single backer will receive a Kickstarter exclusive alternate art card for their collection!
No self respecting adventurer sets off on a quest without knowing what's in it for them. We can't reward you with glowing balls of XP, a chicken hat (yet!), or Lady Grey's hand in marriage.
But here's some stuff that's even better:
Every reward tier comes with a Beta Chest filled with virtual goodies. There are three levels of chest available.
At BRONZE level you will receive the following items:
- BRONZE Closed Beta Access – Invites will be rolled out in phases so we can be sure we can ramp up our servers at the right speed. With a BRONZE kit you will be invited after all GOLD and SILVER members.
- Beta Forum Access with Exclusive Kickstarter BRONZE Forum Badge - We want you asking questions, reporting bugs, suggesting rule fixes, or just discussing the best decks available. These forums will have Fable Fortune developers on them to help answer questions where necessary. As a BRONZE backer you’ll also have an exclusive badge to identify you as someone who has been with us right from the beginning. This will exist on your profile through closed beta, open beta and beyond.
- Exclusive Kickstarter BRONZE Tournament Entry Ticket – To show our appreciation for all our wonderful backers we will be organising special tournaments after we reach Open Beta. With your BRONZE Chest you’ll gain access to the exclusive tournament just for BRONZE level backers.
- Exclusive Kickstarter BRONZE Guild Seal Card Back - These card backs will never be available to purchase or unlock once the Kickstarter completes so will be a sign to your opponent or co-op partner that you were there at the beginning.
- SILVER Closed Beta Access – You will be invited to play after all GOLD members have been invited.
- Exclusive Kickstarter SILVER Forum Badge – Your badge will be upgraded to the SILVER level – oh shiny!
- Exclusive Kickstarter SILVER Tournament Entry Ticket – Instead of the BRONZE level tournament, you will be invited to a SILVER only tournament featuring even better prizes.
- Exclusive Kickstarter SILVER Guild Seal Card Back – What’s better than an exclusive BRONZE guild seal card back? That’s right – a SILVER one!
- SILVER Card Pack – Also in your chest you’ll find a special pack of cards. This SILVER card pack is guaranteed to give you at least one MYTHIC card. I'm told that’s pretty good.
With a GOLD level chest, you are getting the very best we can offer:
- GOLD Closed Beta Access – You will be among the first people in the world to be invited to play Fable Fortune.
- Exclusive Kickstarter GOLD Forum Badge – A badge so shiny people will have to put on shades to read your posts!
- Exclusive Kickstarter GOLD Tournament Entry Ticket – You will be invited to take part in a very exclusive tournament only available to GOLD level backers. Expect amazing prizes!
- Exclusive Kickstarter GOLD Guild Seal Card Back – Well now you’re just showing off! These will be worth their weight in virtual gold.
- GOLD Card Pack – A very, very special pack of cards with a guaranteed FABLED card inside, the rarest cards in the game.
Why No Swag? - You may have noticed that we haven't included any physical rewards for our Kickstarter campaign. Our goal is to use your money to make the best game we can, as quickly as we can. Not to make t-shirts, mugs and novelty flags, which can all come later if you want them (we certainly do!). As with everything else, if there is anything you'd like us to make in the future, come to the beta forums and tell us... Union Jack underpants anyone?
So you've made it past the bright lights, the pretty pictures and the not so pretty developers and now you want to know the real core of the game. Well, smarty pants, this section is just for you.
Mechanics such as drawing cards from your deck, defeating your opponent when their health reaches zero, and playing units and spells from your hand by spending gold will be familiar to seasoned CCG players.
However, in this section we’ll detail some of the ways in which Fortune does things differently.
Albion is a fascinating place to explore, but without quests a hero could find themselves flexing their muscles at passing villagers, scaring children, or aimlessly farting at strangers in Bowerstone. But with a quest, they only do that on weekends.
The first choice you will make in any match is choosing one of three quests, each unique to the location you are fighting in.
For example, strange things are afoot in Lychfield Cemetery, the dead are rising and unholy power emanates from the ground.
Quests here reward players for summoning cheaper units, units that trigger an ability on death, or placing units in guard.
These objectives make combat in this area a bloody affair, go in expecting casualties:
The Arena thrives on showmanship and a diversity of entertainment. To reflect that, the quest objectives here are varied and encourage a wide range of decks and play styles befitting the core PvP league:
Our quests have been designed to ensure that a wide range of different decks are viable at different locations. Each week, particular combinations of locations will be available, keeping deck construction and gameplay fresh. You'll find that your top decks one week will simply not cut the mustard the next.
Once you complete a quest, you'll choose to follow the path of Good or Evil:
Your hero will morph to mirror your decision, but choose wisely as this will also change their hero power.
For example, Sir Gasket has a starting hero power that summons a basic 1/1 Peasant.
If you choose the Good path, Sir Gasket will now summon peasant medics. They help your other units survive longer and are beneficial in decks which rely on board presence.
However, if you choose the path of Evil, Sir Gasket outfits his peasants with bombs rather than bandages. His sappers are great in offensive decks or against enemies with many small units.
Furthermore, some of the cards in your deck will morph based on your Good and Evil choices. The moral decisions you make will often change these cards behaviour significantly
For example, the 'Bank Clerk' can morph into either the Evil 'Inside Trader' or the Good 'Philanthropist'. Both cards are clearly better than the initial 'Bank Clerk' but only by looking at the cards in your hand can you determine which one is currently more useful.
In this case the Player is Evil, so the 'Bank Clerk' morphs into the 'Inside Trader' as he is played on the board:
As with other gameplay elements in Fortune, the Good & Evil design is core to Fable and brings a wealth of options to deckbuilding and in game choices.
This design allows you to react to the cards in your hand and the situation on the board and switch your morality at the optimum moment to defeat your opponent.
Since Fable 2, the series has always allowed players to venture into the world of Albion together and Fable Fortune continues that trend.
Fortune's co-op mode pits two allied players against a devious AI boss, themed to each of the games varied locations.
Players take turns casting spells, but any units on the battlefield are shared between them. This allows for some unique and extremely powerful combinations as players build complimentary decks only viable in co-op.
The enemy bosses have three difficulties to accommodate new players right up to CCG experts. As this mode has been a core pillar since the game's inception, players will have access to their whole library of cards.
The new guard mechanic is an elegant solution to the challenge of allowing players to choose how to defend on their opponent’s turn. For one gold, a player can choose to put a single unit in guard, meaning it must be attacked first by any of their opponent's units. This allows players to more easily balance attack and defence irrespective of the cards they draw, rewarding intelligent play.
There are also a number of cards in the game with the keyword Safeguard which trigger abilities when put into guard, and this has added to the strategic depth of the game massively.
We thought long and hard about how to balance out the advantage of going first and settled on our trophy cards. Each player must put a single trophy card in their deck, and if they play second, this card is guaranteed to be added to their hand.
As there are a variety of trophy cards available, you will always find something different to add as a trophy to your deck.
The final and arguably most important design innovation in Fable Fortune is our event system. Whenever a player starts up Fortune they will be presented with an array of exciting events to take part in.
Each of these events will be designed to steer players away from familiar decks and strategies and will promote weird and wonderful tactics.
Each will also have its own reward tier, gifting players in game items for participation or victory depending on the style of game.
There will be a core PvP league for more competitive players, a fortnightly co-op challenge against Fable bosses and other exciting one-off events.
This feature is one that we want YOUR input in. We will be asking you in the forums what kinds of events you want to play next and how YOU want Fortune to grow next, the possibilities are endless.
Fable is a brand we have worked on for over 12 years and therefore we understand more than anyone how important it is to ensure that any game with the Fable name, feels like a Fable game.
Fortunately for a game primarily about creatures and characters, Fable has a huge wealth of lore for us to use. You may have already noticed some of the major cast members from previous Fable games such as the Guildmaster from Fable 1 or the Nightcrawler from Fable 3. We also have whole races of creatures in the game including hordes of Hollow Men, mobs of bumbling Hobbes or a pack of ravenous Balverines.
The locations many of the cards are set are also from past games. For example, the will user is training in the original Guild, the sheriff patrols the mean streets of Bowerstone and where else could the banshee roam but in the flooded villages of Wraithmarsh.
However, within Fable Fortune we have been able to expand the world of Albion even more. We have scoured the concept art archives to find characters like the 'Truffle Hunter' or the 'Sea Witch' which was an early concept for Fable 1's Kraken.
It isn't only the cards that hark back to previous Fable games, the battlefields will also remind veteran Fable players of key locations in the Fable franchise.
Lychfield Cemetery from Fable is one of our starting locations and where you will face the might of Nostro and his hollow army.
You will also visit Fairfax castle, where Logan will pass judgement on your deeds
But who do YOU think is missing, what creature would make a great new card and which locations in Albion do you want to fight in?
We have also acquired the licence to use all of the original scores from the previous Fable games, so expect some old favourites to play along with the locations you love.
So if you love collectible card games or you’re looking for a fun and exciting co-op game to play with your friends as well as being a huge part of a Fable project, then now is your chance, what better way to see the Kingdom of Albion live on than with your help as a Kickstarter hero!
Risks and challenges
If we hit our Kickstarter goal, then we will be able to afford the monthly costs to head safely into Closed Beta. However depending on the total achieved we may still need to look elsewhere to organise the final funding but we don't believe this would be an issue.
We are continuing to work with the original development partner on this project, so there is very little risk once the funds are with us.
For anyone joining the Closed Beta, due to major balance passes and additional content being added, there will be periodical game resets, but any kickstarter pledges or in game premium purchases will be rewarded back to the players. In theory this means you will get to open your packs multiple times and get to play the game with different sets of cards for free. There will be one last reset just before Open Beta and after that point your collection will stay as it is.
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