$672
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
10
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, November 25 2012 3:00 AM UTC +00:00
Blackforge Games LLCBy Blackforge Games LLC
First created
Blackforge Games LLCBy Blackforge Games LLC
First created
$672
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
10
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, November 25 2012 3:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

Help us tell more people about Exodus, like us on facebook! www.facebook.com/ExodusGrandMelee

Check out more on our website for the game back story and more information! www.exodusgrandmelee.com

We have some videos of unit animations and a walk through of the star ship command deck on our youtube channel!

https://www.youtube.com/user/BlackforgeGames

Exodus: Grand Melee is a 4x mmorts game with galactic scale pvp campaigns, true galactic empire building/management simulation, and a choice of rts or turn based mech/combined arms combat. Players take control of a mercenary company, customize and expand company assets, bid on contracts for missions from large factions, and battle against each other for control over resources, territory, and politics, in a massive game universe with thousands of persistent battlefields that run in real time, 24 hours a day.

Let the Players Decide how to play, has been the guiding mantra while designing Exodus. As the players command there forces they are faced with making decisions that could alter their character's and Merc Company’s legal standing. Players can choose to act lawful or chaotic, good or evil, or anywhere in between as players and even entire factions are regulated by galactic laws with powerful interdiction powers.

The Mercenary Company is where players start the game. With a single small star ship and a light company of mercs on board ready for action, the players can choose to play single player rts or turn based combat missions vs AI that are part of a larger grand scale campaign that's happening live in the game universe. Once players are familiar with the game, and have an upgraded ship and forces, they can move away from the center of the galaxy out to the territories of the Elite House's where the pvp campaigns rage and high paying contracts are plentiful.

The Elite House's, are player created and managed factions that occupy territory within the game universe. Teamwork and determination are needed to be part of the elite as faction territory can be attacked anywhere at any time. Players can act as the military arm of the faction by providing offensive and defensive planning and execution of combat missions.

Territory ownership comes with the ability to develop those territories into a massive galactic empire. Players can manage the development of cites by directly managing the build queue order and placement of facilities to be more effective. Tactical placement of defensive facilities near key military and civilian installations can have significant effects on the results of combat, and is critical to the success of defensive operations. If a build queue goes empty, players can assign custom AI governors to issue orders in their absence.

Research takes on a whole new importance in Exodus. Players can pursue specializations in two main fields of research, empire wide and combat unit design. Empire research focuses on advancing the general technology level of the faction through various disciplines, granting minor bonuses to infrastructure build times or production speeds, faction ship travel speeds and max jump distance's, food production, mining rates, and other small but still significant faction wide bonuses. 

Combat Unit Design in Exodus is ongoing and intense during a full scale war. Players can customize combat unit designs extensively and research them with light units being completed as quickly as a couple of days! Changing the armor type on a unit can make it more or less vulnerable to various types of weapons damage. Choosing which weapon systems and equipment to use determines how that combat unit is most effectively used at various ranges, speeds, and terrain conditions against limitless types and combinations of enemies all designed by players! Unit design turns into a complex game of tactical forethought and balanced force unit composition.

At the End, all players will be faced with a difficult choice. All great things must come to an end, but what if it didn't have to? we have chosen to let the players decide by putting the choice of a game wide reset into the players hands. There will be a list of game ending win conditions that covers all aspects of game play. Politics, economics, military strength, research, and so on. As each win condition is met it will trigger a statistical analysis of the game for that condition which will be used for leader board standings of players and factions. Additionally, each win condition triggered will cause the appearance of an unknown enemy invasion force local to the faction who met the condition. This invasion force grows larger and larger as more win conditions are met, eventually becoming large enough to potentially defeat all the factions in the galaxy combined. The invading enemy will be intelligent, organized, technologically advanced, and have an unshakable goal to strip the resources from every planet in the known galaxy or die trying.

Fight, flee, or commit treason?! Players can choose to band together, ignore their differences and fight the invaders, pushing them back to where they come from and preventing galaxy wide xenocide, which is a difficult task but not an impossible one. The players can choose to flee the galaxy, join a mass "Exodus" and start a new life in a fresh home (game reset). Finally, players can choose to commit the ultimate treason and become mercenaries of the invaders! By doing so players gain access to advanced technology and a seemingly limitless supply of resources and fresh troops!

No one gets left behind in Exodus; there is a niche for every player type in the game. Warriors, Diplomats, Leaders, Builders, Researchers, Miners, Merchants, Spy's! Every player type has a purpose, a goal, and a means to an end.

  • 4x mmorts PvP combat.
  • A massive 3d game universe with thousands of star systems provides players with limitless locations to explore and conquer.
  • Empire building on a massive scale that continues through AI management while players are offline.
  • Grand scale strategic campaigns between factions over territory, resources, and politics.
  • Single player PvE campaigns that have a direct impact on the game universe.
  • Player choice between real time and turn based combat modes.
  • Realistic fog of war and weather effects in combat.
  • Player created and managed guilds.
  • Players choose how to play and when!: Mercenary for hire, Opportunistic Pirate, Elite house warrior, Researcher, Engineer, and more!
  • Generated battlefields offer limitless tactical options
  • Combat unit customization keeps combat fresh and the enemy scrambling to counter your latest unit design.
  • Empire research advances through "ages". As a faction advances to higher ages, technology from previous ages becomes available to all other factions in the game, allowing young factions to compete with old factions in technology.
  • Ladder styled PvP tournaments that have direct impact in the game universe.
  • Leader boards for factions and players covering a wide variety of stats and standings
  • Language Localization for; English, Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin
  • and much more!

There is a distinct lack of space 4x mmorts games with a balanced combination of grand scale strategy, mech + combined arms combat, and true empire building simulation. Through fault or design, very few games exist that can provide balanced grand scale strategy war campaigns for large player factions while providing players of all play types and time availability with a rewarding and enjoyable experience in an mmo setting, a problem we are aiming to fix with Exodus.

     Exodus: Grand Melee has been in production since August 2011 and we have a pre-alpha build of the combat engine but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Complete Game Design Document

We have a feature complete game design document that details every feature to be included in the game. It's over 300 pages long!

Game Client/Server

We have a first playable build of the combat game server and user client already completed that allows for basic player matchmaking and live 1 on 1 arena styles rts and turn-based pvp mech combat. This is a "pre-Alpha" build of the combat engine and is a significant milestone in the project.

Unit arcs of fire indicators with chat window
Unit arcs of fire indicators with chat window
Unit weapons range indicators
Unit weapons range indicators
Unit pathfinding
Unit pathfinding

Custom Unit Designer

The mech lab is prototyped but is still a work in progress. We have plans to include customization for mechs, vehicles, infantry squads, weapon systems, and star ships.

Mech lab prototype
Mech lab prototype

Game Universe/Star Map

We have a basic prototype of the game star map that's currently only 2d. The star map contains over 2000 star systems with the ability to have many more. Whats shown in the screenshot below is colored disk placeholders representing faction territory ownership for the star systems in the center of game universe. The green circle in the center represents a 30 light years distance radius from sol. We have plans to render the star map in 3d with a zoom feature that goes from a galaxy wide view to a detailed map of each territory on the surface of each planet with no loading screens!

Star map prototype
Star map prototype
Planetary view concept
Planetary view concept

Exodus: Grand Melee game play will be rendered in 3d and fully animated. We want to provide a high quality 'cinematic experience' to players of the game to promote immersion. Here is what we have so far for art assets.

Combat Unit Art Assets

Currently we have 6 mechs designed, modeled, and animated, but only 1 textured. With a couple dozen concept drawings of various mechs, vehicles, and spacecraft.

Crusader light mech
Crusader light mech
Warp Raider light mech, textured
Warp Raider light mech, textured
Warp Raider light mech, light forest
Warp Raider light mech, light forest
Ogre Assault Mech
Ogre Assault Mech
Exodus Ghost Heavy Mech
Exodus Ghost Heavy Mech
Novaus Heavy Mech
Novaus Heavy Mech

Environment Art Assets

We currently have A handful of environment assets modeled such as tree's, rocks, and grass, and a small set of terrain maps. Pictured below is a work in progress mountainous terrain map, with redwood tree models for the forests to show the scale.

Mountain_map_1
Mountain_map_1
Ground level view of terrain map
Ground level view of terrain map

Players will interact with the game through the command deck of the star ship they are piloting. Issuing orders to any distant troops or territory's through the command decks 3d console interfaces. We have 1 command deck model finished ready to use.

Login Screen
Login Screen
star ship command deck with star map mock up in center
star ship command deck with star map mock up in center
Top down view of command deck with walls cut away
Top down view of command deck with walls cut away
Detailed view of command deck
Detailed view of command deck

Infrastructure Models

We have bold plans to include the creation of multiple sets of 3d infrastructure models that cover all types of buildings; military, industrial, and civilian. Each set of models will have a unique faction focused design, but we have only just started. Currently we have one partially completed model.

Military Headquarters (unfinished)
Military Headquarters (unfinished)

Game Music/Sound Fx 

   We are lucky to have Christopher Rogers, a very talented music artist on the team who has already completed several original sound tracks for the game. Here are some music samples.

Title Screen Track

Combat Track 1

Combat Track 2

Combat Track 3

General Track 1

There are a couple of reasons why we are using kickstarter to complete the production of the game. First and foremost, we have lost the support of our original investor who was funding the games development due to increasing costs of production and personal health issues. This leaves us with no choice but to find alternative funding sources or abandon the project.


By seeking a traditional publisher for funding we would be subject to the caveats of the mainstream industry where in the age of digital distribution formal publishers are becoming increasingly risk-averse in terms of the products and budgets they are prepared to consider. These publishers often choose to develop projects they consider a “safe investment” which often results in unique but risky projects such as Exodus being passed over due to the small customer market its designed to provide service to, and leads to publishers copying recently successful products and expansions of similar and uninspiring games. 


Even if we found a publisher willing to fund our project, we would lose creative control and be required to make compromises as to what features make it to the final version of the game. Game play features would likely be whittled down and monetized into a generic facebook styled game with empire building mechanics akin to games like farmville which would be a travesty of the original vision of the project. In such a large scale and complex game that could lead to major imbalances in game play and a massive loss of quality in the final product. We don't want to lose creative control, so we can ensure the community gets what they deserve, the best game experience possible without the mainstream overhead.

With these hard facts in mind, our best chance for funding and developing the project as planned is to go straight to you, the gaming community, and ask for your support in producing a game that you want to play!

Everyone wants to get cool stuff from the kickstarter projects they back and we want to give our backers unique and one of kind rewards! We have included lots of rewards that are produced directly by developing the game itself but only one physical reward at the platinum pledge level. However, we do have plans to include an online store on our website in the near future to offer physical merchandise at cheap prices! such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and much more! By keeping the physical merchandise separate from the kickstarter campaign, we can ask for a lot less money for our fundraising goal and allows us to focus all money we raise on kickstarter to be concentrated on whats most important, paying for the development of the game!

Early Pledge Specials

We want to give special rewards to the initial wave of backers who help to get the project funding started strong by providing early pledge specials! these early pledge specials include more bang for you buck with increased premium game time, more game store points, higher level founder unit packs, and limited edition founders tags that are only for our early pledge backers!

Founders Tags will be unique medals that only our kickstarter backers will receive for display on there player profile in game. Founders tags are a great way to proudly identify yourself as an early supporter of the game!.

Private Dev Forums will be used to give all of our backers who pledge $10 or more an inside view of the process of developing Exodus by posting regular updates on progress throughout the production of the game. Backers will be encouraged to post feedback to the development team on a regular basis which will be digested and considered by the dev team for implementation in the game. *Note* posting of feedback will not guarantee feature implementation.

Closed Alpha Test Access will be given to the first 50 backers who donate $500 or more to the project. This will grant you early access to the game in its raw form and a direct communication line to the development team (separate from the forums) to give feedback from testing. Early feedback from alpha testers will be critical in identifying and correcting any possible flaws that have been overlooked by the devs during production.

Closed Beta Test Access will be given to all of our kickstarter backers of $20 or more. When it comes time for beta testing, our backers will be invited to help perform the final stress test phase of development! guaranteed to be fun times for all.

Premium Content Subscriptions will also be given to all of our backers of $10 or more. Here is what features a premium subscription will grant you in the game.

  • Removal of wallet credit limitation
  • Unlimited access to premium game content: Assault combat missions, exploration missions, single player and multi-player scenario campaigns and solo missions, monthly grant of game store points, priority access to the game server, ability to create an elite house faction and claim territory, use of advanced AI governors to manage territory, and a shared bank for asset swaps between characters.

Game Store Points will be used to purchase premium content from the game store, which will have lots of items for sale to players for affordable prices. The game store will focus on minor character enhancements, PvE missions and campaigns, cosmetic items, and single use convenience items. The game store is intended to provide players with an alternative path to unlocking premium content without a heavy time investment into the game.

Character Enhancements:

  • single use pilot damage reduction (1 hp, only in 1 battle)
  • re-spec a pilot's skill tree (multiple use limitations apply)
  • faster experience gain for individual pilots  (+10% exp)
  • character name/portrait changes
  • extra character slots
  • +more

Convenience items:

  • advanced AI management of faction territories (time limited)
  • combat unit components for repairs/production
  • component repair kits; multiple types, and sizes, to meet player needs
  • qty of delivered food/water (limitations apply)
  • qty of delivered basic resources (limitations apply)
  • factory production queue priority access (your order gets pushed to the front of the line, single use per order)
  • privately hired construction crews (no support infra/construction crew required to build for x points of infra construction, limitations apply)
  • privately hired repair technicians (no repair facilities / technicians required to repair x points of damage, limitations apply)

Cosmetic Items:

  • custom game interface (specific to, merc, pirate, house, and more)
  • custom unit skins (camo schemes, ‘odd’ colors, custom patterns)
  • unique player insignias on units (player + dev made ones)
  • unique faction insignias (player + dev made ones)
  • custom 3d models for combat units, components, buildings.
  • seasonal based items (xmas hats for characters, ammo based weapons eject easter eggs instead of shell casings, and more)

Founders Unit Packs will contain everything a player will need to start there career in the universe of exodus. Each pack contains a star ship, characters, combat units, and equipment.

- Bronze Founders Pack

  • 1 Frigate class jump ship, max jump distance: 50 light years, max drop ship capacity: 1 (included).
  • 13 characters; 4 mech pilots, 6 vehicle pilots, 2 infantry officers, 1 star ship pilot.
  • 4 light mechs.
  • 4 light tanks.
  • 2 infantry transports.
  • 2 platoons of infantry.

- Silver Founders Pack

  • 1 Destroyer class jump ship, max jump distance: 40 light years, max drop ship capacity: 2 (included).
  • 25 characters; 8 mech pilots, 12 vehicle pilots, 4 infantry officers, 1 star ship pilot.
  • 4 medium mechs.
  • 4 light mechs.
  • 2 medium tanks.
  • 6 light tanks.
  • 4 infantry transports.
  • 4 platoons of infantry.


- Gold Founders Pack

  • 1 Cruiser class jump ship, max jump distance: 30 light years, max drop ship capacity: 4 (included).
  • 39 characters; 14 mech pilots, 18 vehicle pilots, 6 infantry officers, 1 star ship pilot.
  • 2 heavy mechs.
  • 4 medium mechs.
  • 8 light mechs.
  • 4 medium tanks.
  • 8 light tanks.
  • 6 infantry transports.
  • 6 platoons of infantry.


- Platinum Founders Pack

  • 1 Battle Cruiser class jump ship, max jump distance: 20 light years, max drop ship capacity: 6 (included).
  • 57 characters; 26 mech pilots, 22 vehicle pilots, 8 infantry officers, 1 star ship pilot.
  • 2 assault mechs
  • 4 heavy mechs.
  • 8 medium mechs.
  • 12 light mechs.
  • 4 heavy tanks
  • 6 medium tanks.
  • 12 light tanks.
  • 8 infantry transports.
  • 8 platoons of infantry.

Exodus: GM Military Challenge Coin

A common tradition in the military, commanders of a unit often present challenge coins to the units members for recognition of special achievements while serving. As a veteran of the US Marine Corps and recipient of many challenge coins, Anthony Soto will carry this tradition over to Exodus by having die struck high quality custom challenge coins made especially for our PLATINUM level backers! such a large contribution to our project deserves a unique reward that's rarely if ever been offered on kickstarter before!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenge_coin

Larger Pledges than whats listed on kickstarter

If you are interested in pledging more than $1,000 we are open to larger donations and would be happy to discuss it on a more personal level by contacting us directly.

All funds that we collect will be used to provide the initial investment to secure a large commercial loan to continue to pay for the professional development of the game. If for any reason the commercial loan fails to go through, Exodus will still be made! just with less features than originally planned for at launch.
Anthony Soto, the founder of Blackforge Games will personally secure the loan for the projects development by taking full responsibility for the loan's repayment terms with assistance from The U.S. Small Business Administration's Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative which provides assistance to US military veterans in financing start up company's. Once the commercial loan is finalized, all funds raised will be used to hire more developers, and to purchase development software and equipment. Here is a link that explains more information on the SBA's veteran loan program.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2008/07/03/what-is-the-sba-patriot-express-pilot-loan-initiative/

All money we raise on kickstarter will be put directly towards supporting a larger staff for game development. The more money we receive, the larger the development team we can support and the more great features we can add to the game! such as;

  • Star ship space combat.
  • Voxel based terrain and object destruction.
  • Oculus Rift VR headset support.
  • and more!

Exodus: Grand Melee will continue to be developed the way it has been for the past year. Each day the development team works from there homes and collaborates over project details through teamspeak, email, and chat. By working remotely, the costs of production are significantly reduced by the absence of overhead costs to pay for office space and utilities.

The project lead and founder of Blackforge Games is Anthony Soto, a 28 year old US Marine veteran of the Iraq war, Husband of 8 years, and father of 1, he works tirelessly to ensure the success and continuation of this project. For the past year, Anthony has designed and managed the production of Exodus:Grand Melee from his home in Haverhill Massachusetts.

"When I was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps I learned many skills, traveled the world, and experienced the reality of war. My time in the corps taught me to hold myself to a higher standard, to lead by example, and to never accept defeat in the face of adversity.  A couple of years after I left active duty I was offered the chance to produce Exodus by a friend. Refusing to let a golden opportunity pass by I accepted his challenge and have for the past year poured all my experiences heart and soul into managing the production of Exodus. My goal was to produce a game that I would want to play ad infinitum, a game the community has asked for and never received. Over the past year I have made plenty of mistakes while learning some hard lessons about game dev, but above all else I have steeled myself to soldier on, and I am determined to carry this team and this project to glorious success!"

Steven Mears is a 32 year old native of Idaho who's devotion to the project is unflinching. Steven's 10 years of hobby game programing experience and his intelligent and logical approach to game design brought a new level of depth and complexity to the game.

CJ is an experienced programmer with 10 years of software development, 3 of those in ios/unity dev. With 4 of his own ios apps released and with his work on several other pc projects, it comes with no surprise that CJ's work on the game front end client has been incredible. His experience and drive has kept this project moving forward with a feverish momentum.

Chris Rogers is the best friend of the games creator Anthony Soto and has generously donated several music tracks to the project.His lifetime love and natural ability with music makes him a great asset to the team.

Ivan is from Sofia Bulgaria and has been an incredible asset to the project, his natural talent and high degree of skill has shaped the artistic design of Exodus into a work of art since its inception.

Risks and challenges

The greatest challenge the dev team faces is not reaching our funding goal! Since Exodus has already been in production for a year, much of the games technical challenges are already solved and we have detailed plans prepared for each further stage of development. We are prepared to meet any technical needs of the games design, all that's left is to raise the necessary funds to pay the developers to finish the job!

Thank you for your support kickstarter!
- Exodus Dev Team

Exodus: Grand Melee and all associated images, sounds, scenarios, and other related materials are copyright © Blackforge Games LLC 2012. All rights reserved.

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Funding period

- (33 days)