Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore RPG
A single-player party-based CRPG that combines deep characters and rich storytelling with turn-based combat—NOT A DUNGEON CRAWLER!
“I’m going to rob a bank and donate all my money to this.” — Joshua Derocher, Destructoid
Spearheaded by Guido Henkel, co-creator of the original “Realms of Arkania” series and producer of “Planescape: Torment,” “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” is a party-based computer role-playing game with turn-based combat that hearkens back to the Golden Era of fantasy cRPGs, supported by a team that was instrumental in crafting many other classic RPGs.
Yes, we are not kidding. Why not give a Kickstarter pledge as a gift? Or perhaps, you would like to receive one? We will even create a beautiful gift certificate for you that you can put under the Christmas tree.
Update #21: Greenlit in only 20 Days
This morning "Deathfire" has been greenlit on Steam, plus another cool video clip for you!
Update #20: We passed 3,500 backers and offer a new Goal
Today we offer a new goal for additional backers, as well as yet another exclusive new screenshot from the game
Update #19: Keep Spreading the Word
Plus a new screenshot and the latest Matt Chat entry
Update #18: New $20 reward tier introduced
A new $20 tier has just become available and we tell you what to expect from it
Update #17: Whatcha Got for Christmas?
Ever thought of giving "Deathfire" as a Christmas gift? Here's your chance, plus a look at some of the gameplay
Update #16: The Final Week
Here is some additional information as we head into the campaign's final week
Update #15: $10,000 Pledges Rock!
A brief update with more information about the Beastiary and other things
Update #14: Yes, we have even more rewards for you
More really cool stuff for you to grab, and a marvelous musical interlude
Update #13: More on DICE+, and a first look at the crypt
See how your personalized crypt in the game may look like, and other stuff
Update #12: Dice+ support creates real role-playing flair
In this video update, Guido talks about Dice+, a fun gadget we will support in the game
Update #11: A Welcome and a Big Thank You, and more…
Lots of exciting things going on, as we welcome new backers
Update #10: A Closer Look at Characters
Curious about races and classes? This is the post for you, along with another team Q&A
Update #9: More rewards for you
A massive overhaul of our rewards structure results in a whole lot of more swag for you!
Update #8: Rules of engagement and a new screenshot
In this update we are talking about real-time versus turn-based combat
Update #7: Meet Marian Arnold
This updated introduces you to another member of the "Deathfire" gang
Update #6: New backer rewards added to our tier
We have some exciting new backer rewards for you!
Update #5: 1,500 backers, we have a new goal for you
After finishing our first goal, we have just announced a new one, kicking in once we reach 2,500 backers!
Update #4: Meet the Psycho Engine
A closer look at the AI controlling character interaction
- Update #3: A Look at Factions in the Game
Learn more about some of the factions you will meet in the game, and their impact on gameplay
Update #2: 1,000 backers, we love you!
A milestone has been reached, so it's time for some shout-outs
- Update #1: Exclusive in-game item for all Kickstarter backers! Everyone gets a special in-game item, the Nether Bursa!
If your heart sings at the memory of classic computer role-playing games, such as “Realms of Arkania,” “Wizardry” or the “Might & Magic” series, this project is for you!
If you have never experienced the excitement of these games, well, this project is for you, too, because we are prepared to build a role-playing game that will captivate you, challenge you and surprise you all the way to the end.
“Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” is a party-based computer role-playing game with turn-based combat that hearkens back to the Golden Era of fantasy cRPGs. Built upon the power of the Unity 3D engine, “Deathfire” utilizes a first person view that gives the player the feeling of being there. A solid role-playing engine that utilizes over forty visible character attributes, along with countless invisible ones to track behavior. They make up the heartbeat of the game, and allow us to analyze and adjust gameplay on the fly, and react to the player’s actions, shaping the story around these actions and decisions.
Character interaction is another key ingredient in “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore,” as the player will encounter many denizens of the game world and will be able to recruit numerous ones to follow along as non-player characters in the party. Ripe with personality, opinions, phobias and their own little peccadillos, these characters will enrich the game and create unique gameplay twists—as well as many memorable moments, for sure. (Don’t forget to share them with us, when they occur…)
With a variety of large outdoor and indoor environments, the game will offer a rich game setting with party-based gameplay and turn-based combat that allows for tactically infused battles.
Doesn’t that sound like the game you’ve always want to play? Well, it sure is the game we want to play, and that’s why we started building it, and have been working on it for the past eight months.
Just to give you a quick overview of the key specs, here is the game for you in a nutshell
- Single player, first person Party-based play (four player-, plus two non-player characters)
- Six races and eight classes to choose from
- Over 34 unique character traits, plus base attributes
- Party characters interact with each other
- Turn-based combat
- Indoor and outdoor environments
- Complex puzzles and evolving quests
- Combine items to build weapons and traps
- Interactive game world
- Recipe-based crafting and enchanting
- Involving, adaptive storyline with many key players and twists
- Factions for intriguing political set-ups
- Tons of monsters to battle
- Dialogues—yes, you will be in awe at our cool and intelligent dialogue system
We are trying to keep this Kickstarter page as lean as possible so we can focus on the essentials of this campaign, but over the past months we have chronicled many of the developmental steps of the project up to this point in a Developer Diary. These diary updates covered many aspects of the conception and production of the game so far, and they will continue in the future to give fans a constant glimpse behind the scenes and a sense of where the project is going.
If you are interested to really step into the world of “Deathfire,” please feel free to take a look at any one of these Developer diary entries:
The conception of Deathfire
A look at the general concept of the game and some of its features
Deathfire’s Character Generation—The stats at the heart of the game
An in-depth look at the character stats in the game and the character generation
The technology behind “Deathfire”
A discussion of the core technologies we are putting to use
Items and weapons—key ingredients in a good role-playing game
Loaded with cool items and weapons, the game will feature something for everyone, and this post explores some of the implementation of items
A first look at the user interface
The anatomy our user interface explored in more depth
Oh no, it moves…
An art blog post that shows how one of the monsters in the game has been designed, put together and animated
Let me tell you a story
The background story of “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore”
Darkstation Podcast with lots of background information
A podcast with Guido Henkel covering, among other things, “Deathfire”
A look at the focus group results and Deathfire’s final title
Finding a good title for a game is not easy. Not only should it represent the game well and reflect what it is, but it also needs to jive with gamers. For that purpose we held a focus group and shared the results with fans in this blog post
Mysterious notes discovered in the Ruins of Nethermore…
Another look at story elements in the game. Taken from the diary of the elusive elven wizard Tesselar, learn about some of the horrors and factions that await you in the game
The Deathfire Team is growing
We have added new members to the team and here you can see who they are
As you can see, we have been busy, covering many facets of the game over the past months, and you can find all Developer Diary updates on the official Deathfire website.
“I’m looking forward to hearing more about Guido Henkel’s next project. Working on high quality projects like Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2, Realms of Arkania and more has given Guido great experience in the RPG genre!” — Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder of Bioware
“With decades of experience building complex role-playing games, his products have been enduring and entertaining to play that stood the test of time. Imagine what he can do for “Deathfire.” I think it will be worth the wait.” — Robert Sirotek, Co-Founder of Sirtech, creators of the Wizardry series
“I’m so excited to see what Guido comes up with for his new game, “Deathfire.” Guido is a talented, creative game creator with so many wonderful tools at his disposal. Thumbs up, mein Freund!” — Nancy Holder, Fiction Editor, FTL Games, creators of the original Dungeon Master
“There is no doubt Guido is a Role-Playing Master… with his 30 years of quality and expertise, I’m really looking forward to “Deathfire” and its ability to please Role-Playing fans everywhere.” — Mark Caldwell, Co-Founder of New World Computing, creators of the Might & Magic series
By now you may be curious as to who we are, and what would make us qualified to create this particular game. Do they even know what they’re doing? may be a valid question on your mind.
“Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” is spearheaded by Guido Henkel, an award-winning veteran game designer, programmer and producer, who has been at the helm of countless computer role playing games in the past. Most notably, he was one of the creators of the original “Realms of Arkania” trilogy, also known as “Das Schwarze Auge” in Germany, a series of games that won countless best RPG awards throughout the years. He was also the producer of “Planescape: Torment,” another award-winning game that is still celebrated as one of the best in the RPG genre.
Over the past months, Guido has gradually built a solid team of veteran game developers around him who help bring the “Deathfire” vision to live. Many of the team members have already worked with Guido on “Shadows over Riva” and many other games over the past 20 years.
Currently consisting of six team members and a freelance illustrator, this team of game developers has worked on titles, such as the “Realms of Arkania” series, “Planescape: Torment,” “Fallout 2,” “Neverwinter Nights,” “Spellforce,” the “Divine Divinity” series, “Heroes of Might &Magic,” “League of Legends” and the “Sacred” series, to name but the biggest successes. As we secure funding for the project, we will fill additional positions in the team with equally enthusiastic game developers, some of which may very well be recruited from the computer gaming or fan community.
By now you have undoubtedly heard the tenor how Kickstarter has revolutionized the game industry and how it makes it possible for creative people to finally get their own projects off the ground. You may have heard it so often, in fact, that you’re getting a little tired of it, but here’s the scoop: It is true…
The team behind “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” has been involved in the creation of games for over 30 years. Let that sink in for a moment…
That means, since the dawn of computer games, actually. Collectively, we have been working on games for about 140 man years—though such a summation hardly makes any sense— on many different platforms, with many different publishers and with many different licenses, but the bottom line is, the only way to be able to put creative decisions before commercial ones is to develop a game independently, and we are asking for your support to help us do just that.
We may not wield a AAA-budget, but at the same time, we are not going to waste the money on huge trade show booths, legions of bloodsucking lawyers—unless we put them in the game and allow you to chop them to pieces—and a mahogany row of executives with seven-figure salaries.
We are the game developers without a yacht. We are the people who actually make the games, and we are willing to put our best foot forward, and work with you to bring you the most engaging role-playing experience we can.
As you can see from the way we have covered the development of the game on our blog over the past months already, we will continue to give fans and backers a constant close-up look at what is happening, allow them to share in the decision-finding process with us, and become part of the overall process.
Over eight months of work have been put into this game, testing the core engine as a proof of feasibility, developing some of the components that make up the game, and creating a solid amount of art and design in the process. All of this has been created by a skeleton crew of four with each of us pulling double-duty and personally carrying the financial burden.
We have recently added new members to the team and with your support we will be able to scale the team up some more with developers who will bring not only their expertise to the mix as well, but who will then allow us to ramp up production and get things done more quickly. Our plan is to add one more Unity programmer, one additional designer/writer, and another artist/animator to the team full time, while we will contract out music and sound effects, as well as other, very specific tasks.
The money we are asking for in our main goal will help us put together a team as outlined above. There won’t be any spare money to float around and we will have to be very careful with our investments, but at least it will be enough money to complete the game and keep food on the table for everyone.
Naturally, our hope is to exceed the base goal, in which case our constraints will be a little more relaxed, and we will have the ability to add additional team members. That, however, is entirely up to you, as you have our fate in your hands. The more support we get, the more talent and energy we can put behind making “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore.”
This is the best part, really. “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” has been designed with expansion in mind, and through stretch goals, we can expand the vision and scale of the game almost seamlessly.
Therefore we are planning a number of stretch goals that will increase the scope of the game. One of our proposed stretch goals will add the player option for tactical Third-Person Combats to the mix, allowing the player to decide whether he wants to switch from a first-person camera to a more removed third-person view for the game’s combats. Another one of our planned stretch goals will add Towns to the game, complete with locations such as Healers, Armorers, Weapon Smiths, Taverns, Temples, and so on. One additional goal we have planned will add an Overhead Map to the game, complete with Overland Travel, Hunting and Gathering. At this point we will no longer have a linear game, but will also add additional main story lines to the game so that you can really go out and explore. Expansions to the crafting and enchanting system could also be part of the game at this stage. It also deserves noting, however, that upon reaching this stretch goal, our development timeline will have to be adjusted by an additional six to eight months, in order to accommodate the design, creation, and implementation of all the additional content and, more importantly, the testing that will be required.
Another stretch goal we have in mind will expand the game to also include a fully editable Journal and Quest Logger.
At this time, however, let us not put the horse before the cart. Let us get closer to the main goal first, before we lay out more detailed plans for stretch goals. We would not want to be remiss, however, that with enough funding, the potential is there—and accommodated for—to turn “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” into a full-blown world, similar to the immersive and open experience you found in games such as the original “Realms of Arkania” trilogy, the “Wizardry” or the “Divine Divinity” games. The sky’s the limit… as long as we don’t run into fire-breathing dragons.
We understand, of course, that no matter how many pledge reward categories we offer, we will never be able to meet everyone’s ideal constellations. Some packages may contain too much, others too little, and others yet will simply not contain the items you are really interested in, without having to blow your budget. For that reason, we are giving you the chance to also purchase add-on items directly.
Note: Purchase of digital add-ons requires a base pledge of the DIGITAL BASE EDITION (including the EARLY BIRD EDITION) - or above, whereas purchase of physical add-ons requires a base pledge of the REAL DEAL EDITION (including the INSTANT WINNER EDITION) or above in order to cover shipping and handling fees.
- Digital Strategy Guide (PDF/EPUB/MOBI) $10.00
- Digital Art Book (PDF/EPUB/MOBI) $10.00
- Digital eBook Novel (PDF/EPUB/MOBI) $10.00
- Beastiary eBook (PDF/EPUB/MOBI) $10.00
- Extra digital copy of the game $25.00
- CD Soundtrack $15.00
- Print Art Book $45.00
- Print Strategy Guide $15.00
- Print Novel $15.00
- Print Beastiary $15.00
- Mouse Pad $15.00
- T-Shirt $20.00
- Tarken Shaman Figurine $450.00
- Grimoire $45.00
All reward tiers have exclusive access to the Backer’s-Only area of our message boards, complete with a personalized forum badge, indicating the pledge level they chose. Therefore, if you picked the EARLY BIRD Edition, you will receive an “Early Bird” title badge in our message boards for all the world to see your commitment to this project.
We understand that the sheer number of reward tiers can become a little intimidating, and for those of you who would rather see a reward feature comparison we have created these tables as an overview.
All-Digital Tier Rewards
Physical Tier Rewards
Risks and challenges
Since we are using the Unity 3D engine, which is well established, incredibly well supported and has a developer community that is rich with tools, plug-ins and information, we do not expect major hold-ups on the technical side of the project.
However, implementing detailed and cross-referenced story lines the way we have planned, along with a wide variety of highly detailed characters, always poses certain challenges in order to maintain a proper balance in the game. Particularly, if we reach stretch goals that will expand on the content of the game, creation, tuning and testing of the content will undoubtedly add additional development time to the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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