About this project
"I had the opportunity to play an early build and came away filled with wisdom and excitement...It has the beginnings of a fascinating science fiction adventure, with heavy touches of mystery and meta-fiction."
- Adam Smith @ ROCK, PAPER, SHOTGUN
"Overall, there's a definite, "condensed" Deus Ex vibe to it (the original) and the visuals remind me quite a bit of System Shock 2" "...the gameplay, if you're into that sort of thing - story-heavy first-person RPG-shooters, that is - looks like it could be amazing."
- Andy Chalk @ THE ESCAPIST
"I thought the writing was top-notch, as well as the voice acting....I was enjoying the story, and I was curious to see where it was going. You certainly had me hooked!"
- Timothy Cain @ Obsidian Entertainment. Senior Programmer on Project Eternity,after having played CONSORTIUM.
The first "official" Stretch Goal is at $70K, but there are a number of things unlocked as we make our way towards it.
$55K: The third most spoken language on Earth is Spanish, so we intend to localize the game to Spanish first.
$60K: There are a few very cool interactive scenes in CONSORTIUM that we have cut due to time and resource restraints that we would love to be able to squeeze back in if we hit this goal. These scenes would increase player freedom and add more consequences to actions...
$65K: Localization to another language, decided by YOU, based on a poll.
$70K: "EXTREME ZENLIL SIMULATION". All exterior doors will be able to be shot out, triggering completely simulated decompression events, potentially causing main characters to die. The environment becomes significantly more fragile (lights, computer screens and more can become damaged). Turbulance will feel more real, creating a more immersive and believable feeling of flight.
$75K: Localization to another language, decided by YOU, based on a poll.
How the add-ons work: Simply add either $30 or $10 onto whatever tier you've pledged at, and you will automatically be sent these add-ons. You could also choose to add $40 for both of them. NOTE: The "iDGi-1 Discoveries" document is included in the $50 "CONSORTIUM KNIGHT" tier and higher but the DVD is exclusively an add-on.
CONSORTIUM is a first-person story and character-based role-playing shooter set in an interactive world defined by your choices.
Rather than endlessly exploring a huge, expansive and ultimately static world, you’ll find yourself within a dynamic, bustling, interactive and alive micro-environment: the Consortium Command Vessel, C-3800-D "ZENLIL."
The crew of Zenlil live their lives and do their jobs throughout the ship, reacting to your presence and actions where appropriate. Freely walk among them and speak to everyone you encounter, experience what it’s like to be a part of something much bigger and brighter than anything you could imagine – and then choose to help ensure it stays that way or work to tear it apart!
CONSORTIUM is a role-playing game in which you are able to role-play as yourself. You are you (as in you can speak as yourself, a man/woman from "our world") and you're being given the opportunity to physically control a man from a parallel world. This man is first day Consortium field agent Bishop Six, operative for a powerful peacekeeping force in a not-quite-utopia future of 2042.
How you choose to speak for, interpret and play this role is entirely up to you! Do you choose to role-play the Bishop and be what the Consortium want you to be? Or do you choose to forge your own path simply using his body and voice as your vessel for communicating with and exploring their world?
You have total control over the Bishop's inventory, medical state, and the state of all his weapons, armor and equipment. You can also customize his Battle Utility Suit with hard-point devices such as personal deflector shields and shock absorbers.
You must also manage and balance the Bishop's Utility Energy, with which he can power everything from medical nanites to energy weapons... as well as Storage Energy, which represents stored items such as armor, weapons and ammunition.
- The choice to say nothing is always available every time you are able to speak.
- Antagonize your enemy or disobey orders for maximum action!
- Choosing to kill or incapacitate your enemies will have a definitive impact on the world!
In CONSORTIUM you will face combatants that feel and act like real people, and combat situations which only exist to serve the storyline. There’s only one question you need to ask yourself when it comes to combat: do you want to be a cold-blooded killer or a merciful savior?
Combatants you face will flee when afraid of you, become bolder when overpowering you, fall unconscious, become mortally wounded, bleed out, and surrender.
- Make the right choices and it’s possible to play all of CONSORTIUM without ever raising your weapon.
- Hold realistic feeling conversations with twenty-one different and fully realized cast members.
- Build relationships that develop and change over time based on your choices.
Intelligence. The first thing you’ll realize when traversing Zenlil as Bishop Six, is that everyone you meet have wholly unique personalities and each react to your presence differently. Some people like you right from the start, some don’t... and all can have their minds changed through your dialogue choices, action, or inaction.
Alignment. All twenty-one cast members you’ll find in CONSORTIUM have a number called "Bishop Six Alignment." This number represents a character's general affinity towards you. Everyone starts with 0 (neutral). As you interact with people, you will often see plus or minus numbers over their heads, indicating their B6 Alignment changing. Over time you will begin to notice characters with high or low B6 Alignment treating you differently.
Note: All alignment HUD elements (the number that appears over character heads) will have a toggle option in the main menu, for turning them off!
CONSORTIUM is the game equivalent of a novel that you'll want to curl up on a couch with and lose yourself in. It is designed to stoke and challenge your imagination. What this essentially means is that we are very proudly single player. Not that there's anything wrong with these things, but you’ll find no micro-transactions in our game, nor will you require an internet connection to play.
This term is taken from the imaginary “fourth wall” envisioned in the production of a play – the wall that separates the characters and the world of the story, from the members of the audience. When characters speak directly to the audience, or acknowledge their presence, this is referred to as “breaking the fourth wall.”
CONSORTIUM is a unique experience in that we are constantly skirting along the edge of the fourth wall, as the player is both part of the story-world, as well as the audience. We believe this technique makes for a more interactive, and fully immersive, form of storytelling, which has yet to be employed to the full extent in other forms of entertainment.
The story of CONSORTIUM revolves around a universe parallel to ours, but in the year 2042. This is a surprisingly bright future... even nearing utopic. Global hunger and energy problems seem to have been largely solved, and war has taken a back-seat to peaceful endeavors. Thousands of people are living in orbit, on the Moon, on Mars...
iDGi-1 is the name of a satellite constructed within our own universe, capable of connecting you to this parallel universe and to the mind of a powerful, sentient A.I. residing on the other side. While exploring this new world through the use of iDGi-1, you will inhabit the body of a human being known only to us as Bishop Six (his true identity and back story have been concealed from us to avoid a "temporal breakdown”). Upon first connecting to the other world, it will appear that your interdimensional arrival has gone unnoticed by its people.
But not everyone is ignorant to your presence! The sudden and unexplained murder of a Consortium officer racks the crew, and a once-thought harmless enemy re-emerges with a frightening array of experimental weaponry and equipment. Shortly after your arrival you will learn that someone in their world knows who you really are, where you're really from, and they'll stop at nothing to ensure the Consortium does not use you for their own agenda.
Who, why, and how are all mysteries that must be unraveled for yourself. You are led to believe that the Consortium is a force of good in this world you have entered – but is this truly the case? As the true purpose for your presence is revealed, you will come to realize that your actions will have far-reaching consequences, not only for their universe – but for ours as well.
Far more detail on the story behind CONSORTIUM can be found HERE.
CONSORTIUM unfolds in a non-linear fashion, its presentation and pacing dictated in many ways by your conversation choices, actions and what you choose to look at. There are no cut-scenes and you always have complete control over what to do and say.
Why does the game look so simple?
The iDGi-1 satellite is a brand new technology, and is currently only able to stream basic details of the parallel universe to your computer. Details that are considered extraneous are discarded due to bandwidth limitations. In addition, iDGi-1's environment streaming ability is currently limited to a low color light spectrum.
It is imperfect, and the quantum connection often experiences various issues, resulting in distortion, especially when the host you are inhabiting (Bishop Six) is injured.
Our flash-based A.R.G. started in 2010, and acts as the back story to everyone and everything happening in CONSORTIUM - and it is absolutely 100% free to play. Three years of A.R.G. updates (with the help of the public!) has helped us build the level of depth required to truly make the CONSORTIUM game world as immersive as possible.
To begin your own explorations of the other world – click “Experience” at INTERDIMENSIONALGAMES.COM and then wait for the Moon to eclipse the Sun on the space scene. Click the anomaly once it appears. This will take you to when we first connected to their world, back in 2010. The system will allow you to ‘play along’ as if you were with us at that time. NOTE: Keep an eye on the Progress Bar on the top right of the screen, as this will tell you how close you are to being caught up to present time.
Here are some of the things you'll find while experiencing our A.R.G...
- Audio & written blogs.
- Audio puzzles.
- Alternate world/future News Articles and Mission Reports regarding countless elements/characters in our story.
- Regular puzzles/riddles/hidden secrets that are what A.R.G.s normally comprise of.
- Hand-written journals also with secret codes and puzzles hidden within.
- Hidden dialing coordinates (find them all to dial into an entirely different time/place!).
- An entire “internal Worldview Industries” e-mail program, packed with over a hundred email correspondences between characters.
- A *massive* in-game forum between the public and characters of our game.
- A fun “arcade-style” game called the Greenberg Device, with 21 unique levels of play.
- Once you reach the 93-99% complete mark (according to the in-game progress bar) you can then access the "King-Made Question Bot." Simply put, you can directly ask this BOT questions about anything at all, and it will reply to the best of its ability.
We invite YOU, the gamers, to become our publisher!
We want hundreds, hopefully even thousands, of people to play our game before we're done to help us focus on the right elements to polish, and to be an active part of the process of balancing and refining the game. Also, because we are entirely independent, we do need some financial help to allow us to finish the game to a degree of polish and gameplay refinement to meet our high standards.
CONSORTIUM is being developed with Valve Software’s SOURCE engine, which has been used to power immersive single-player experiences such as Valve’s Half-Life and Portal series of games.
We were chosen from over a thousand applicants for the “experimental stream” of the awesome new Canada Media Fund (C.M.F.). Their support has allowed us to come as far as we have...
We were also backers of the incredible Kickstarter-funded Oculus Rift project (have a dev-kit incoming!) and believe that CONSORTIUM would be the perfect fit for this technology. We will be doing everything in our power to make this a reality.
CONSORTIUM is actually the first in an envisioned large series of games. Each game would be completely separate, yet connected through the game world, its characters, and of course the meta-storyline involving the "in-game" version of Interdimensional Games. And to be absolutely clear: this Kickstarter campaign exists solely to fund and help produce one game, CONSORTIUM, and any future games will be entirely separate entities.
Gregory is an 18 year video game development veteran. Through working with companies such as Cavedog Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Relic Entertainment, Turbine, and Radical Entertainment, Gregory has experienced video game development from many vantage points. Gregory has played principal creative roles for the following titles, among others: “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets PC,” “Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction,” and “Scarface: The World is Yours.” Gregory was also the project lead for Cavedog’s ambitious “Amen: The Awakening” and wrote the original game design treatment for Relic’s “Homeworld.”
Jason started his video game development career in 1994, with Sierra On-Line. He worked on such game classics as “King’s Quest 7,” “Space Quest 6,” and “Leisure Suit Larry.” In 1996 he became the animation director for “King’s Quest 8,” the first real-time 3D adventure game from Sierra. Jason was the animation lead for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets PC,” where he worked closely with Gregory. Jason has been running his own art asset development company, Turnstyle Studios, for over 10 years.
To learn how Jeremy's music will be used as a storytelling tool in CONSORTIUM, click HERE. From the very beginning of this project we’ve believed that music is one of the most important storytelling tools we have at our disposal.
Known to many as the “John Williams of video-game music,” for the past 18 years Jeremy Soule has provided music for some of the most successful and admired games of all time. “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic,” “Harry Potter,” “Total Annihilation,” “Guild Wars 2,” and the “Elder Scrolls: Skyrim” are a small sampling of Jeremy’s games.
Jeremy worked with Gregory on the unreleased AMEN: THE AWAKENING project and they’ve both been chomping at the bit for a chance to work together again in a creatively unrestrained fashion.
Risks and challenges
Consortium as a game is very nearly realized; the current build has hours of implemented content. This is not just an idea, or the outline of a project; it is a game that will be complete in just a few months. We're asking for help to polish a product that is low risk, and a very high return.
That being said, shipping games is hard and challenging work!
Among our remaining challenges is the Beta testing phase: this is when we test the game across as many machines out there as possible, gathering all feedback and working hard to get the game completely bug free and polishing all aspects of the GUI and game mechanics.
The success of this campaign will allow us to take the time needed to do this right, but most importantly of all: it will make us directly accountable to YOU, the gamers, to make sure that we're focusing on polishing all the right parts!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Some of you may remember that when we first announced the game we also launched a Kickstarter campaign during the 2012 holiday season, at the time asking for $200,000. We decided to cancel the campaign about half way in, as it was taking far too long to generate an awareness of the existence of our game and campaign than the 30 day deadline would allow for.
So why are we asking for $50,000 now? It's the bare minimum needed by us to insure we can finish the game by this Summer without delay. $200K would be a dream amount for us, as we would be able to restore cut features and content that we would love to see make it into the game, which was the original intent of the first campaign. The stretch goals we envision for this campaign are very specific, and will be revealed upon us getting close to our first goal.
With $50,000, the entire team would be able to spend three additional months finishing and polishing the game AND be able to feed our families and power our computers at the same time. Some business expenses needed for being able to sell the game would also be covered, and of course we would also be able to produce the t-shirts, posters and other swag we're offering here.
If you mean any opinion you might have Right Now, then please either comment directly on the K.S. page above, or send us a direct message! We WILL respond to everyone in time!
And If you contribute to our Kickstarter at the $20 pledge level or above, we will bring you into the inner design and production circle. In addition to getting general design ideas from you on a private forum, you will be given the opportunity to speak your mind about the game and also have access to regular beta builds of the game to play and give feedback on.
To learn more about the production of the game, the story, and also some great examples of what awaits in our Alternate Reality Game... checkout our Company Blog: http://corporate.interdimensionalgames.com/consortium/
Also, for *in-game* company updates please see Vidal Desertch's Twitter: https://twitter.com/VDesertch
And lastly, an entirely *out of game* forum post that has been following our A.R.G. since the very beginning, back in 2010. Many of the people making posts on this forum are directly responsible for the depth of our game's back story, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to them for that. Any/all updates we've ever made have been at least spoken of or dissected, on this forum. I must warn you, not only is this the ultimate place to find SPOILERS, but it's a really long read to start from the beginning! http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/viewtopic.php…
We thought this would cause at least a bit of confusion. Let me explain!
The best way to look at the purpose of the “other platforms” tier is to say that money raised in this campaign will not be going toward porting other platforms. We will be doing that out of our own pocket and time, and it will take an indeterminate amount of time to do so, following the release of Consortium on Windows. It could be half a year or more.
So the $15+ (or early bird) is for receiving the Windows edition this summer, as that is what the money raised in this campaign is going toward. For people who only have other platforms available to them, they can now still pledge – but they are essentially only pledging for the iDGi-1 Discoveries Document (at the add-on price) and a promise from us that a port will become available eventually. We will then give them that ported version for “free,” before selling it to the world.
We felt that $10/$15 is too low for (technically) two copies of the game, but we also wanted to encourage folks to put in a bit extra for the $17 special edition AND for non-Windows users to still pledge higher tiers. So with these things in mind, we’ve decided to offer a second copy of CONSORTIUM (on a platform other than Windows) to everyone who wants it at the $17 tier and above, also for free, once it’s available.
The bottom line is we do not want to remove focus from the Windows copy, which is what we’re developing with the money and time that this campaign would give us. We also wish to free-up potential stretch goals for things everyone can enjoy, while still eventually delivering other platforms versions down the line.
We truly wish we could throw money and time at it and have every port available in three months, but the reality is such that this is impossible.
We do want to launch on Steam, and will be starting a Greenlight page very soon to reflect this. However, we also intend to sell the game separately. Not 100% confirmed, but we are interested in also making CONSORTIUM available on GOG.com and Desura.
Yes, both will absolutely be DRM Free.
At the $50 pledge level (or higher)... OR as a $10 add-on... you can receive a digital copy of the iDGi-1 Discoveries document. Due to the very high price to print/produce a physical copy of this book, the only way to get a non-digital version is through the Consortium King tier ($500) or above.
Please see here http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/idgi/consortium-0/posts/438132 for specific details on just what the book is, and what's in it!
As it stands, the digital copy of the soundtrack will be available in both high quality .Mp3 or .FLACC. The written materials, such as the "IDGI-1 Discoveries" booklet, are slated to be in .PDF format. Other formats will also be considered if there's enough interest.
If this is something you'd like become possible, please let us know. This can easily be setup if there is enough interest in it.
Yes, those that pledge $20 or more will be granted easy access to our private company discussion forum, and regular "beta builds" of the game to test system compatibility, gameplay balance and just general playability. This process will start soon after the completion of the campaign, in April.
As far as the specifics of what will be expected of you, as a Beta Tester: this will largely depend on how many people we can reel in to play our game as Beta Testers! At the very minimum we will be sending you scenes / sections of the game, and ask that you simply play it as much as you can. We'll then have a specific section in the Private Company Forum for you to make any postings regarding Absolutely Anything you may have to say about what you've just played.
We believe this method will not only allow for an easy place to discuss and track down BUGS but also allows for open discussion on different sections of our game... ultimately giving it the spit polish it deserves!
Sure! We are very lucky to have award winning composer Jeremy Soule in our corner, and also believe music is one of the most important storytelling tools we have at own disposal. Please see here for more information on music in Consortium: http://corporate.interdimensionalgames.com/2012/12/15/music-from-the-soule/
We will be launching on PC but are planning to port to as many platforms as makes sense, based on how well received the game is. While Consortium is firstly designed for the keyboard and mouse, it has also been designed to work beautifully with a PC-controller, if you so choose.
We have a number of stretch goals planned, but want to wait until we get close to our core goal before beginning to reveal them...
We are a small team, and from the beginning we wanted to intensely focus on making a very powerful single-player experience, and not be deviated from that plan for any reason.
Very. One of the most important game design aspects of Consortium has always been replayability. Every time you speak to someone there are enough different branches and choices that you can hold the "same conversation" multiple times, and still be surprised by the different paths you can take and the different information you can learn. There are also many parts through the story where your actions or inaction will effectively cause 'ripples' throughout the rest of the game, with new conversations, scenes, attitudes, and outright plot-lines opening up because of it.
We are absolutely dedicated to ensuring CONSORTIUM is ported to all possible operating systems. However, we will NOT have a Linux or Mac version available at the launch of CONSORTIUM on PC. Please take a look at the second reward tier down, named "Other Platforms" for more details.
We will value the package for shipping using the cost of the actual items shipped, not with a valuation equal to your pledge. This should help keep customs fees low for our non-US backers.
This is subject to change, but a 1 GB videocard, dual-core processor, and 4GB of ram are in the ballpark of what you should need to run the game the way it should be run.
We definitely want to support as many languages as we can, and thus far Consortium has been programmed with that in mind. At this time however we cannot say which languages the game will support other than English. There are too many variables in play before this decision can be made. We want the game to be playable by as many people as possible, so we are definitely looking into translation of our games script and other text elements.
A lot of us here at iDGi have roots in video game modding, so we will absolutely be including our toolset for others to make modifications to the game. We would also love to eventually release our game source code so that could be used to have even more control, and also to keep with the spirit of open source code.
So in short, the toolset will be released, probably included with the beta, and the source code might also be available some day as well.
Yes! English to start and we hope to also translate the game down the line into other languages.
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