About this project
All paypal contributions will go towards reaching our stretch goals!
In the 24th century, humanity is at war with a hostile alien race. Outnumbered a million to one, mankind's only hope of survival is the J.U.M.P. Corps. Its mission is to fight the alien menace hive by hive and planet by planet.
Hive Jump is one part Spelunky, one part XCOM, and all parts alien ass-kicking. You and your friends assume the role of JUMPERS, and blast your way through subterranean alien hives in run-and-gun 2D platforming action. Kill aliens, avoid traps, collect resources, and defeat the hive queen lurking at the bottom of the hive to complete the JUMP.
- Action Platforming: Engage swarms of aliens in frenetic combat. Avoid traps, withstand ambushes, discover treasures, rescue survivors, and more.
- Co-op Multiplayer: Play single player, or 2-4 player co-op. (local or online)
- Procedural Levels: Jump into procedurally generated alien hives. Level modifiers like dark levels keep you on your toes and offer new challenges to overcome.
- Unique Permadeath: Keep the transponder backpack in one piece! It is your mobile respawn point and if it is destroyed by the aliens you have no more lives.
- Challenging AI: Intelligent and fierce enemies await in the hive.
- Upgradeable Sci-Fi Weapons: Pulverize aliens with pulse rifles, flamethrowers, and a variety of experimental bombs and weapons.
- Hand-Designed Challenges: Plunder challenge rooms and uncover lost relics to upgrade your arsenal.
- Dynamic Lighting: Experience pixel-perfect dynamic lighting using Sprite Lamp.
- Strategic Campaigns: The results of your jumps directly impact the ongoing galactic war against the aliens. Manage your planetary campaign between jumps in a turn-based strategy mode.
- Controller Support: Play Hive Jump using your favorite console controller.
- Platforms: PC / Mac / Linux (via Steam) and Wii U
Each mission will place you and your JUMP team at the surface level of an alien labyrinth of tunnels and caves – which are collectively referred to as a HIVE.
You will explore each level, finding the single pathway which leads to the next level further below. All the while, the alien race known as the Ordovicians will attempt to stop you by viciously attacking your team. Certain pathways may lead to ancient Relics which were left in the hives long ago - each relic contributes resources to aid in the war effort when found. . Who knows what other vicious perils await you in the depths of the hive?
Below is the standard issue JUMP CORPS equipment list. These items help you survive.
Besides being vicious beyond negotiation, the Ordivician aliens are made of an energy-rich substance (fondly referred to as “goo”) which we use to create upgrades for your weapons and armor. Kill aliens and collect the Goo they leave behind.
Descend far enough into the hive and you’ll discover the Hive Queen’s lair. Here you must activate a detonator, which will start a countdown. Protect the detonator until it arms. Then you can beam out and the Nuke will fire killing the Queen and freeing the planet for Humans to inhabit once again.
Hive Infiltration - TL:DR Edition
When an alien hive is successfully cleared, it affects your ongoing planetary campaign! In this turn-based strategy mode, it’s up to you to decide where to strike next, what upgrades and weapons will guarantee your success, and where to build up defenses against the alien counter-attacks.
In this campaign mode, you will have to carefully balance your two available resources: Jumpers and Alien Goo. Alien goo is a powerful supply of bioelectric energy, and can be used to requisition new weapons, research upgrades, build fortifications, and request more Jumper reinforcements.
Some planetary campaigns will be more difficult than others. This is determined by the number and strength of hives, as well as the quantity of resources given at the beginning of the campaign.
Campaign Map Interface
The planetary campaign is only complete once all the alien hives on the map have been eradicated. Human bases are represented in cyan, while alien hives are color-coded orange. Grey areas indicate an unoccupied territory that is ripe for conquest by either the humans or the aliens.
Human Base Options
On a human turn, players will be able to manage and upgrade their bases, as well as scout out a new alien hive to attack. Players can only JUMP one hive per turn, unless they have earned a bonus ability from successfully clearing a Hive that says otherwise.
Alien Hive Options
Choosing which hive to JUMP next is very important, so players have a variety of tools at their disposal. Gathering intel about a hive is helpful, and players can even spend resources to bombard a hive in order to reduce its fortification level, making it easier to JUMP.
A successful JUMP will replace an alien hive with a human base! It will also grant the player a large amount of resources, as well as a random bonus ability to use at will. Bonus abilities are one-use items that can have effects like: Fully Fortify a Human Base, Take Another Attack Phase, Revive Slain Jumpers from this turn, etc...
After each JUMP, the aliens will have a turn to retaliate. The aliens can expand to new territory, fortify their hives, and launch attacks on your bases. It’s up to you to make sure they don’t succeed!
More weapons in development! Check our website for more information!
The Ordovicians, or 'Vicians for short, are a hostile alien race governed by queens in a hive society. The alien race outnumbers humanity a million to one and has no intention of sharing the galaxy with humans.
The aliens will hunt you throughout the hive, traversing the difficult geometry with ease. Their goal is to stop you at any cost and destroy the transponder backpack. Enemies come in 4 classes: mini, minor, major, and elite, each getting progressively stronger and more dangerous.
Example of a Mini-Class Alien: Buzzers are a fast but weak flying enemy that harass you from a distance. While not very dangerous alone, the mini-class aliens become especially deadly if they start to swarm.
Example of a Mini-Class Alien: Drones are worker aliens capable of climbing all over hive walls. Watch out for swarms of them crawling on the ceilings above you.
Example of a Minor-Class Alien: Soldiers are strong and capable minor class aliens. They can leap short distances and their claws can tear right through your armor.
Example of a Major-Class Alien: Crushers are hearty and devastating major class aliens. Their massive claws strike like a megaton warhead and can block conventional weapons fire as well. Approach with extreme caution.
Elite-Class Alien: The Hive Queen is the heart and mind of the Ordovician hive society. Once you find her deep within the hive, the H.S.A. ship in orbit will beam a portable nuke to the location of the Transponder Backpack. That should put this queen to bed permanently, provided you live long enough to arm the nuke. Good luck Jumper!
There will be many more variants and evolutions of aliens in Hive Jump, each with their own unique abilities and behavior. We'll be releasing more info about these enemies throughout the Kickstarter campaign. We'll also be working with backers at the Alien Designer Tier to get their alien ideas into the game.
The Hive Jump soundtrack is being composed by the mega-talented Jimmy Hinson, a.k.a. Big Giant Circles, composer of “The Glory Days,” and “Imposter Nostalgia.” He’s created brilliant music for: Mass Effect 2, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, Borderlands 2, and more!
Hive Jump features never-before-seen dynamic per-texel lighting for sprite-based games thanks to Sprite Lamp. We're working closely with Finn Morgan, creator of Sprite Lamp, to make Hive Jump's lighting unlike anything you've seen before!
Social Stretch Goals
For every 100 likes Hive Jump's Facebook page gets, our Facebook fans will get to vote on relics that they want to see included in Hive Jump. Whichever relic receives the most votes will appear in Hive Jump.
Work with the Hive Jump development team to create a unique NPC in the game. Give us a likeness to recreate in pixel form, and a line of dialogue for the NPC, and we'll bring your creation to life! Upgrades previous poster reward to 12" x 24" signed by Eric Hibbeler.
Collaborate with the dev team to design a relic room that challenges players and yields a unique reward at its end. In the following video Game Designer Matt Donatelli shows how these rooms are created!
Expand the H.S.A. arsenal with a weapon of your own design. We'll make your alien-blasting dreams a reality!
Work with our designers and artists to birth a new evolution of deadly aliens. Watch your babies rip jumpers to shreds! This tier also includes an Hive Jump Alien Miniature modeled by our very own Matt Stevens.
Enter the big leagues and design a mini-boss that wipes out entire platoons of jumpers. This tier also includes a cuddly Hive Jump Alien Plushie made by the fantastic Aleeza; see her work on Etsy.
For the ultimate backer of Hive Jump. You are the patron saint of alien-blasting, you are the general of the JUMP Corps, you are the hero that helped make our dream of Hive Jump into a reality. Thank you.
Matt Raithel - @raitheoshow
STUDIO DIRECTOR & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Matt Donatelli - @mattdonatelli
John Mikula - @johnmikula
Ben Severs - @bsevers18
Matt Stevens - @redbeardstevens
David Greenfield - @vaidd
QA & ADDITIONAL ART
Connect with Graphite Lab
- Facebook: Like and share with friends
- Twitter: Follow and tweet to us
- YouTube: Subscribe for sweet vids
- Tumblr: Follow for the beautiful arts
- Twitch: Follow for art streams and dev tests
- Newsletter: Sign up and get official updates from the team
- Podcast: iTunes and YouTube
Up to this point, Graphite Lab has been a Work-For-Hire business. While we’ve been successful with that business model for over 5 years, it does take a lot of time to stock the coffers well enough to embark on an adventure like Hive Jump (without some help, that is).
Kickstarter offers us the best chance to secure the remaining funding we need to finish the game, while building an amazing community to support the game’s development.
We’ll be using the funds to meet the following goals:
• Support the development team as we complete Hive Jump on an accelerated schedule.
• Additional programming support allowing for faster development of core features and game modes.
• Additional art support allowing for more game content: art, animations, and special effects.
• Promotional support allowing us to demo the game at venues such as Penny-Arcade Expo South in San Antonio, TX this coming January.
Risks and challenges
As a team, we have over 25 years of combined experience with credits in over 60 shipped titles. This experience has helped us plan for the risks that could impact Hive Jump.
Time/Budget – Our $50,000 goal is not enough to fund our team forever so we will continue to balance some work-for-hire projects alongside Hive Jump to manage that risk. The plus-side is that the team will keep in peak condition as full-time game developers, and we can afford to evolve Hive Jump throughout development instead of being bound to only what we can do with our Kickstarter Budget.
Visibility – We’re usually bound by strict non-disclosure agreements, meaning we can’t share information about projects while in development. Hive Jump is much different and we’re doing our best to get it featured by press and fans alike. We’ve set up a website, developer forums, Facebook and Twitter accounts; all of which are aimed at connecting with our fans and gaming press.
Unknowns – We know disasters will happen from time to time, so we’ve put enough redundancy in place to protect ourselves in the event of most common tragedies that befall your average dev cycle. We have a strong server infrastructure in place to back up our game/project code, we have a network of contract game developers that can help in a pinch, and we have strong work-for-hire relationships that can bring in extra capital to keep our studio running among other failsafe measures.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes. Backers at the $35 tier and above will have closed-alpha access to builds of Hive Jump. When Hive Jump enters a more polished beta phase, we are planning on utilizing Steam Early Access to gather valuable player feedback to squash bugs and make the game even better!
Yes. Mac and Linux versions will be available through Steam as part of the core game.
Yes, but the WiiU version will arrive on a later launch date (expected Fall 2015). This later date is to ensure enough time to properly port the game to the Wii U platform, design proper input controls, and explore features that may enhance Wii U players’ experience playing Hive Jump.
Both consoles are available as stretch goals. If we are able to raise enough money to cover the licensing costs and additional development expense, we will bring Hive Jump to these platforms.
Licensing fees are less costly for the XBOX ONE, and there’s also a shorter development cycle for porting the game over to XBOX ONE. We’d love to bring Hive Jump to both platforms though!
English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Russian.
Yes. Controller support is already built in.
Yes. Local co-op will be part of the core game.
Online play will function through Steam matchmaking, utilizing your friends list or matching you with strangers.
There are no plans to bring Hive Jump to handheld devices at this time.
Yes. The Wii U version will be more than just a port. It will have special features leveraging the unique aspects of the platform. We will reveal more at a later date.
Its definitely a goal of ours to try and get online co-op running on the Wii. But in all fairness, we're still working through the details of that decision. We want the Wii U to be more than just a simple port - we want it to be unique to the platform and take advantage of its special features - we're working through some of those high level decisions now, but there will certainly have to be some of those challenges that we'll have to tackle in the field.
If we’re successful, then backers will receive a survey at the end of the campaign where they can specify what type of game key they want. Backers will choose either Steam Keys (PC/MAC/LINUX) or Wii U eShop keys. If you bought multiple keys, you will be able to mix-and-match which of the two platforms you want - Such as 3-Steam Keys, 1-Wii U Key for example. The actual game keys themselves will be delivered when the game launches on the Steam Store (Summer 2015) and the Wii U eShop (Shooting for Fall 2015). Alpha keys will be delivered when we release alpha versions of Hive Jump for testing to our Alpha Backers (Dates still TBD on those keys.)
To DRM or not to DRM! That is something that we deliberated on for a while. A few months ago, we had to make some calls about how we would handle online networked multiplayer. Since we were already Greenlit, we found Steam Matchmaking was a great way to achieve that reliably and without breaking the bank. Wanting to be thorough, we explored further – could we disable online play and send out a non-Steam DRM free version? We could, but it felt complicated and it would eliminate a part of the game we love, so we decided against that route. Could we script the match making ourselves? We could, but we ran into a big cost concern there. We really respect the choice to go DRM free, but we feel it’s best for Hive Jump if we keep it attached to Steam (which really has the least intrusive DRM in our opinion), so we can keep the costs low and keep the online play solid and secure.
We will be offering T-Shirts as add-ons upon the completion of the campaign (9/5/2014). That means any backer at any level can add-on a T-Shirt to their rewards via BackerKit, the system we will use to gather all your backer data, survey responses, shipping addresses, and more!
Example: So you want to buy an EARLY BIRD 4-PACK for you and your friends at the $60 level, and you also want a T-Shirt. No problem! Pledge at the $60 level, and then add on a T-Shirt when the campaign finishes. The estimated price of a T-Shirt add-on is currently ~$18, but could fluctuate slightly based on the quantity of T-Shirts we need to order.
We're aiming for Alpha Access Backers ($35+) to be able to play an alpha version of the game sometime around Holiday Season 2014. We're considering Steam Early Access as well, which would land sometime during the Spring 2015 season. Finally, we're aiming for a final PC/MAC/LINUX release of Hive Jump in Summer 2015, with a subsequent Wii U release some months afterwards (hopefully Holiday 2015).
All these dates are best-guess estimates, and are subject to change based on the needs of the game and the development team.
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