This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness
Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness
An isometric, party-based, real-time with pause RPG in a world infested by greed and envy. Coming to PC, Mac & Linux on GOG and Steam.
An isometric, party-based, real-time with pause RPG in a world infested by greed and envy. Coming to PC, Mac & Linux on GOG and Steam. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
We have reached our base goal quicker than anyone expected, and the first stretch goal is now completed as well! Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness is going to be a reality because of you! Thank you so much!! Our next goal is now active—a brand-new playable race with a focus to Illusion Magic, Herbalism and Alchemy!
Social stretch goals now available!
Share our post on Facebook, and let others know what you think about Black Geyser (in the form of positive comments, likes etc. to the post and its comments). Our current goal is 500 shares, unlocking Kendall the Blacksmith!
Chaos and despair spread throughout the Kingdom of Isilmerald. Its desperate people cry out, praying to the gods for help. But the force they face is no mere plague of the undead, or demonic attack… Something far more sinister, far more primal is afoot. Avarice!
Will you yield to the dark tendrils of desire coiling around your heart? Become an agent of greed and usher the kingdom into chaos.
Or rebuke its seductive advances? Vow to discover the truth of the madness and restore the kingdom to its rightful glory? Temptation beckons you to become one of its couriers... or dares you to stop it. The choice is yours.
Inspired by Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and other classics, Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness is an isometric, party-based, single-player RPG set in the new fantasy world of Yerengal. The story focuses on Isilmerald, the largest, most racially diverse kingdom in Yerengal ruled by a human lineage. The game is coming to Windows, Mac and Linux on Steam and GoG. Key features include:
- Greed. It's spreading all the time in the kingdom, directly affecting gameplay. You can slow this process with your actions—or speed it up if you prefer.
- Party of up to 5 characters. You start with a single protagonist. Additional NPCs join you later if you choose to accept them. Every NPC boasts a rich, complex personality and past.
- Choose from several races, classes and skills during character generation.
- Real-time-with-pause (RTwP) gameplay: pause the game at any time.
- Rich lore and storyline. Hundreds of quests.
- Tactical combat. Powerful magic. Clear, slot-based spell system.
- Deep NPC interactions. Complex dialogues and persuasion.
- Hand-made, beautiful graphics.
- Free-roaming exploration in wilderness and subterranean areas.
Choose your playing style
Whenever a creature acts greedily in the kingdom, the power of Zornilsa, the goddess of greed, grows. Your actions are no exception. Keep this in mind when controlling your party (rewards, looting, donations in temples etc.). As Zornilsa gets stronger, the world becomes more chaotic, directly affecting gameplay:
- Prices go up as merchants lose interest in keeping a stable marketplace.
- NPCs become suspicious and unfriendly, making positive interactions more difficult.
- Law-abiding citizens may end up as desperate outlaws prone to attack.
- Loot Scavengers and hostile adventurer parties may appear after battles and attempt to seize your loot.
- Vineyards and manors tempt greed-infested groups and individuals, becoming a flashpoint for their hidden—and eventually open—conflicts.
Your approach to greed allows a variety of different playing styles, greatly increasing replayability. For example, if you take all loot and accept quest rewards every single time, avarice will infest the kingdom faster, triggering an opposite process: NPCs will offer you less valuable rewards for quests, and—while you will never miss a powerful item from a villain—you might miss some of the finest wares from merchants. Shops will get extremely expensive, and may even go bankrupt and close shop.
When one door closes, another opens—chaos has its advantages and disadvantanges.You can become influential and powerful regardless of the path you choose. No path is inferior or superior to the others. Being extremely greedy will lead the kingdom into much greater chaos by the game's final chapters, allowing you to fish in troubled waters or become a ruthless tyrant in the eyes of the people. Being generous, on the other hand, will bring you different types of challenges and allies while you strive to become powerful enough to openly defy a dark goddess. The choice is yours—and so are the consequences.
Being greedy or generous isn't the same as being good or evil in the Kingdom of Isilmerald. Sometimes these moral concepts will overlap in extreme situations, but greed isn't necessarily evil, and you can be evil without being greedy.
Plant Item: a new skill for thieves and swindlers
In a greed-infested kingdom, where tension and distrust among the people of Isilmerald fester, cunning and subtlety are the player's ally. The Plant Item skill offers a chance to get results without a direct conflict, or give an edge to an unavoidable one.
This skill is the opposite of pickpocketing. It allows the Thief or Swindler class to silently plant certain items into the clothing of other characters. For example:
- You can hide poisonous or sleeping powder under the armor of guards, which will start to affect them after a designated amount of time.
- Your character can steal jewelry from an NPC, hide it in the pockets of another NPC and then accuse him of stealing! These types of scenarios can instigate a conflict between two creatures, giving the Thief and Swindler classes much greater influence in the game compared to previous RPGs.
- While Plant Item is tremendously useful in the right hands, it's not always predictable. Some NPCs may react in unexpected ways when you try to incriminate or fool them. E.g. drunks in taverns may simply ignore you.
Brewing and Drying with dozens of ingredients
Healing potions too expensive due to greedy merchants? Brew your own! Can't enter a building because the guards are too powerful? Use the Plant Item skill and surprise them with something poisonous!
- You can brew potions from a large variety of plant and insect ingredients. Being creative or open to dabbling in the dark arts can reveal new and unusual ingredients.
- Drying plants and insects allows you to create powders. You can use powders directly as an attack in combat, or for non-combat purposes. For example, powders can be put on the skin of unsuspecting creatures by using the Plant Item skill.
- You can combine (mix) powders to create new powders.
- Brewing & Drying is available to all classes (class-specific bonuses apply).
Throwing as a short-ranged attack
Can't create your favorite combat powders due to missing or overpriced ingredients? Then use what nature gives you, for free. Throwing a handful of sand at your enemy may cause temporary blindness upon a successful hit. Other substances, such as salt, will cause a prolonged pain effect for severely injured opponents after the substance enters their wounds.
Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness offers carefully designed, engaging quests with different outcomes and long-term consequences.
When you receive quests from NPCs, there is a good chance they are already infected by greed to some extent. Since it's often impossible to tell the severity of their obsession, you should take everything they say with a grain of salt. Intelligent NPCs may be well-aware of their obsession and able to disguise it while manipulating others.
If you aren't careful, you can easily find yourself misled or double-crossed, resulting in an outcome you wouldn't want (for example, innocents have died while you want to play good in your current walkthrough).
Very few creatures are unaffected by the divine curse. These include spirits (souls) and mortals who were already insane before the era of greed. It's not easy to understand what they say or want from you, but they are unlikely to lie to you; their hints and quests are expected to be more genuine.
Though you may choose to play lone wolf, Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness allows for a party of up to five characters, with player assignable party formations.
Yerengal is filled with deep, engaging joinable NPCs with extensive backstories and rich personalities. Some who join your party may even be famous characters of Isilmerald.
Keep in mind that greed will affect your party members as well—in different ways and to a different extent, depending on their characters and personal desires. This may result in unexpected situations and conflicts within your party.
When the mother and father supreme gods forged the universe, one planet stood out among them all... Yerengal. Rich with diversity of life, terrain and climate, the gods swelled with pride over their creation. In time, it seemed only fitting they would choose Yerengal as their testing ground for intelligent life. Filled with hope and excitement, they gave birth to the mortal races including: humans, dwarves, elves, feldegugs (white elves) and the mysterious rillows.
In time, the children of the gods spread out populating every corner of Yerengal. From the northern icy tundra of the Jotnar, to the burning dunes of the Eastern Empires and beyond the endless Zarndur Sea.
Isilmerald, a kingdom of mortal lineage
As mortal races proliferated in Yerengal, gods often intervened... Some acted benevolent, others sought only amusement, while yet others held dark motives all their own. Over the years this godly interference led to various demigods coming to power across the land.
A melting pot of mortal races, Isilmerald found strength in their differences, united together and resisted demigod influence at every turn. Truly impressed by the people's valor, the supreme father god blessed the kingdom, granting them good fortune for as long as they remained a harmonious people. Ruled throughout the centuries by a purely mortal human lineage, the kingdom has come to represent justice, righteousness and freedom in Yerengal.
A capital city preparing for war
Isilmerald and its capital city, Isilbright, are central to the game. The royal court, King Velianrick and its inhabitants will all be familiar recurring elements to players.
Though Isilmerald has enjoyed its godly blessing of good fortune, it has not gone unaffected by the greed sweeping across Yerengal. Like all other kingdoms, its people fall prey to the uncanny affliction. In recent days tensions have splintered the kingdom in two—Isilbright controlling the northern half, the wealthy mining town, Deron-Guld claiming authority over the south. With the kingdom's harmony shattered, the factions stand on the verge of war.
Your actions in the game may decide whether the only kingdom of mortal lineage rekindles its kinship or collapses into ruin!
A tremendous amount of time, money, and resources have already gone into the development of Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness. We are not launching this campaign to start from scratch, but to get through the finish line.
The engine (a tailored, extended version of Unity) and the most important features of the game are already finished.
Most of the game content is also done. But there is still significant additional work necessary to make Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness a true, full-featured RPG. We need to complete the missing parts, refine and balance every aspect of the game, and do all the Quality Assurance. This is possible only with your help and participation.
Every cent we raise above the base funding goal will be used to enhance the game with extra content, including brand-new monsters, character art, and tons of subquests. And your voice will help us make these enhancements manifest Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness into something far greater than we could have imagined on our own.
The estimated release date of the game is August 2019.
Your feedback is essential
We love this project and we want to do it right. The best traditional tabletop RPGs take place with a group of close friends that come together and develop house rules—they make the game their own. We want to capture something similar with Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness, asking you to be our gaming group.
We want to involve you in the development as much as possible, giving a behind the scenes look at the game's creation. For example, when you reached out to us last year and asked for a more ornamented, old school UI, we listened and integrated the changes. Your feedback isn't just always welcome, it's required to make the game we're passionate about making.
We need your help to finish the game
Years of hard work and a lot of money have been invested into Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness. As a new studio specializing in role-playing games, we are grateful to our investors who have funded development so far.
A successful Kickstarter campaign is now required, a proof of interest to our investors that will secure their final round of funds. These funds, combined with the money raised on Kickstarter, will ensure the completion of Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness.
Preserving our creative freedom
As large as the gaming industry is, in some respects, it's very much a tight-knit community. Word got out pretty quick what we've been up to, and we've already received inquiries from publishers interested in Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness. We concluded that involving a game publisher for funding the completion of the game would tie our hands, limit our creative freedom and restrict our ability to customize the game based on your feedback. On the contrary, a successful Kickstarter lets us keep our freedom and directly involve you in the project.
At the end of the day we only want to answer to one person, (the collective) you.
GrapeOcean Technologies was established by a small group of life-long RPG fans. Since formation, more than 15 people have joined our team—all fully devoted to bringing Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness to market. While our team is diverse in many respects, we all have two fundamental things in common: we are insanely passionate about classic-style RPGs and we have experience dealing with large-scale, complex projects.
Amanuel's Hoard - a non-money based goal
Lord Amanuel was known as the greediest man in all of Isilmerald, even before the period of chaos and greed began. When avarice infested Isilmerald, he mysteriously disappeared. No one knows what happened to him, but his castle, lands and entire hoard of wealth are rumored to remain. Hundreds of adventurers, infested by greed, have entered his lands seduced at the thought of claiming Amanuel's riches... So far, none have returned.
For every additional 750 backers starting at 3,000, we will add a new area to Amanuel's estate! This is in addition to our money-based stretch goals. Continue to spread the word about Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness, and let's see how big and insane we can make his estate!
Want to customize your reward tier? Add the following onto your pledge using the Manage Pledge button at the top of the Black Geyser Kickstarter page. Note: Digital Add-Ons require base pledge to be at the €16 or above. Physical Add-Ons, such as mouse pads or T-Shirts, need the base pledge to be at a physical tier level (€50, €135, or above) to cover the shipping and handling costs.
Digital Add-Ons (require €16 tier or above):
- All Future Expansions/DLCs as Digital Downloads +€15 (included in tiers €100 and above)
- Tales of Isilmerald Lorebook PDF +€7 (included in tiers €35 and above)
- Isilbright Herbalist Guide PDF +€7 (included in tiers €45 and above)
- Digital Soundtrack +€7 (included in tiers €35 and above)
- Digital Ringtones +€5 (included in tiers €35 and above)
- Early Access Beta Key +€22 (included in tiers €85 and above)
- Extra Digital Download of the Game +€19
Physical Add-Ons (require physical tier €50, €135, or above):
- Erupted Souls T-Shirt +€20 (included in tier €135 and above)
- Personalized Mouse pad +€12 (included in tier €135 and above)
- Erupted Souls Keychain +€6 (included in tier €135 and above)
For example, if you've chosen the boxed edition tier level (€50) and want to get a keychain (€6) as well, add €6 to your existing pledge via the Manage Pledge button. Since this is a physical tier, the total pledge will be greater than €56 due to the shipping costs associated with the €50 tier.
We will ask you for any add-on details (such as your T-Shirt size) at the end of the Kickstarter campaign through a survey.
Risks and challenges
Computer RPGs are big, complex projects. As such, they require thorough planning, risk management, and a strict software development discipline throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.
Fortunately, our core team is very experienced in project management and software development. We have worked together for more than ten years on several commercial and university projects.
While our private investors cannot act as a substitute for a successful Kickstarter, they have pledged significant funds if our Kickstarter campaign is successful. They have also agreed to help us handle any budget risks and unexpected events during the development.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter