Order of Ancients - Competitive RTS/MOBA for PC (Canceled)
Order of Ancients - Competitive RTS/MOBA for PC (Canceled)
Heroes. Armies. War. A PC game where you control legendary heroes and command massive armies in real-time; inspired by Footmen Frenzy.
Heroes. Armies. War. A PC game where you control legendary heroes and command massive armies in real-time; inspired by Footmen Frenzy. Read more
About this project
We wanted to show you a vision; we built a prototype to prove we could build something, and presented the awesome art we'd been working on. It wasn't enough.
We are leaving this here so when we return with much more improved everything you can see the advancement, and we can show you we mean what we say. Thanks for those who did support us; Order of Ancients will be back.
Order of Ancients is a multiplayer game where you take control of an epic hero, command massive armies in real-time, and battle your way to victory in an all-out, four-way brawl!
Select a hero to fight in an arena. You must also command a massive army and use your strategy skills to defeat opponents. Order of Ancients is a battle arena game set in a fantasy world filled with lore. The easiest way to understand Order of Ancients is to think of your favorite MOBA then add in a huge army of units and eleven other players.
We grew up on Warcraft III. It made us into the gamers, and game developers, we are today. The custom mod scene was incredible, and spawned a new generation of gaming. Sure, we played our fair share of Dota Allstars and Green TD, but we were hooked when it came to footies.
After years of waiting, of searching and hoping, for a game that captures the awesome, fast-paced action with no avail, enough was enough. We wouldn't wait for another team to do this...we are that team, and this is that game.
We're creating an experience that rocks. Amazing AAA-quality art and music, brilliant game design that introduces lore throughout, and development architecture that is comprehensive.
Familiar Yet Entirely New
Order of Ancients is a multiplayer online battle arena (think League of Legends or Dota 2) with heavy real-time strategy (think Warcraft III, Command and Conquer) baked throughout. When you hear MOBA, you might expect something that doesn't add much...but Order is a fresh look at online battle arena gaming. You'll find the familiar feeling of a MOBA game but with the massive armies of classics like Warcraft III.
Order of Ancients is a game you can jump into - familiar and new players alike - where you focus on your hero or build up your army. Following in the footsteps of the greats, we plan to infuse new and recent high quality content for everyone to enjoy. Players will also find themselves immersed, with heroes and units having complete stories and background; a game set in a world with an engaging and interesting story.
Order of Ancients is all about the heroes, and on launch, 36 unique and handcrafted heroes will greet players, each with powerful abilities and beautiful appearances. From Grinnwald the Avalanche to Twell the Nitromancer, the heroes of Order come from all different nations to battle in the arena. We are enormous fans of storytelling, with quality lore, and the heroes of Order will fill that desire.
Players command massive armies of ever-spawning hirelings (our version of footmen) to do battle alongside their legendary heroes! Choose from one of four unique evolutionary paths (the nations of Human, Orc, Elf, or Undead) to upgrade your hireling to new and exciting units. Micromanage your brigade of soldiers to engulf enemy heroes and block off escapes!
Order of Ancients thrives on community: matchmaking, clans, skill tree customization, and real time communication with friends. The platform will support chats, clans, account profiles, friending, and more. Whether you want to climb the echelons of heated ranked play or just take down some AI with your friends, we hope our platform will have something for just about everyone.
We want you to love the game, it is that simple. We've been really hard at work here at Inkhorn Games, we want to play Order of Ancients just like you. Our multi-disciplinary team has been working around the clock (literally) on all aspects: concept art, 3D modeling, fluid animation, deterministic RTS physic, lockstep networking, immersive lore, level and game design, unit statistics, hero crafting, and of course, balancing and mechanics! While the list goes one, please check out our timeline of progress so far.
Inkhorn Games is more than a talented team; it also harbors philosophies of innovation, honesty, and focus. The three founders are lucky enough to have found awesomely intelligent people with amazing talent to augment themselves, along with mentors who are providing valuable feedback and support. We are an indie studio in love with making games. Order of Ancients isn't some side project, it is our passion, day-in and day-out.
This is the whole team; even minor involvement, we believe everyone who is working on this should be recognized, and though they may be part time now, we don't see them as short term. Everyone shown here is either full time, part time, or contracted for a particular skill set on the project.
Order of Ancients is an RTS; to those of you who aren't game developers that just means "wow super fun awesomeness, love that genre". To our fellow game developers, that means networking, determinism, unit control, pathing, and much more. Right now we have a technical alpha build in Unity, but realistically, that isn't a long-term solution for online multiplayer because Order utilizes thousands of units and a dozen heroes across servers in online competitive gameplay. You guessed it, it's "yikes, complicated". Well, we've taken strides towards making the Unity engine viable with projects like Lockstep.IO (open source networking drop-in for Unity, in progress), but there are still hurdles. The technical build isn't close to consumer ready, but we're working on it.
The point we are making is that in the process of completing Order of Ancients and making it a scalable, multiplayer-ready game requires us to also build out a suitable engine to handle the networking aspects of Order. This isn't so much a challenge as much as it is a part of the process; we are telling you this for full transparency. In addition to building out the custom pieces needed to make Order of Ancients battles epic in scale, we will also be incorporating other technology into it, for example custom physics and pathing (since A* is not capable of handling mass units). We discuss this more here.
There are a lot of assets in Order of Ancients: heroes, units, buildings, the map, lore, spells, abilities, et cetera. This is all super important, having the highest of quality art and creating a game that is visually appealing yet still performative. We will be utilizing physically-based rendering (PBR) techniques for all in-game models. PBR is relatively new, but it is next-generational asset composition that allows for more dynamic in-game results. PBR is normally used to create ultra-realistic modeling, but for Order of Ancients, which has heavy fantasy elements, we will be using it in an innovative way to bring a really exciting look at next-gen 3D modeling in-game.
We've wanted this to happen for a long time. We also know other people have too - across forums and fan sites, background discussion has circulated among fans. Order of Ancients is a complete experience, with all the necessary components, to make a great PC game. We know it must be done a certain way, the right way. The passion going into this game is paramount with all the great games of our day; Inkhorn knows its stuff. We aren't waiting anymore for someone to produce a Warcraft III quality standalone game that is invigorating for the PC gaming scene; we're doing it, and doing it right. Only, we need some help, your help.
Yep, you read that right. This is a free to play model, but never pay to win. We are a team filled with gamers, there is nothing we hate more than pay to win games. League, Smite, Strife, and HotS - they've worked out a great model, with the major difference being that we are still feel that we can do better, and so our pricing is a bit more fair to the gamer.
In the spirit of LoL and HotS, we are not running a Steam Greenlight campaign. Let's face it: we all love Steam. It does wonders for the PC gaming community, but we really believe that Order deserves the same treatment as other popular MOBA games as a standalone platform, and that is how we are creating it. We are veterans capable of handling a project like this, and believe it is best for Order of Ancients to go down that road.
Moral of the story: do not be evil. We like that, think we'll pick that up. In the meantime, give our lobby music a listen! The lobby is the area where you will put in your login information and sign into Order of Ancients.
Right now is the time to make Order of Ancients. We've been working on it for months; coding is underway (technical build just got wrapped up in the last two weeks) and art is pouring in. Game design is done. We are at a technical alpha stage - we need your help to get to a consumer ready beta and full release game. Outside of the time and effort we've put into the game so far, we've also spent money from our own pockets, along with some backing from mentors who believe in us. We are here because we need you - we don't have huge amounts of money burning holes in our pockets waiting to be spent, we need Kickstarter to make Order of Ancients a reality here and now, not waiting on another team to invigorate the glory that once was Warcraft III custom mods. We're here because this is what Kickstarter was made for: an indie team who needs the help from the community to create and innovate.
There are three distinct reasons we decided to pursue Kickstarter as our avenue of funding for the game.
- Firstly, the community here at Kickstarter. It is incredible. Games that have been made here, with the help of the people who are early believers, make the Kickstarter challenge all the more desirable. Traditional funding could always be wrangled together, but that kind of money doesn't bring a group of people who are able to truly help you along the journey, whereas Kickstarter does. We also don't want to pursue that - we want to make the game here and now, the way it should be made, free from outside interests.
- Secondly, we would like to stay away from traditional publishers, or even digital publishers, at all cost. We have certain views on the indie industry, and believe it is best for growing studios like ours to pursue their own path before relying on someone else. Kickstarter enables us to pursue this path with the right kind of support.
- Lastly, this is why we are sharing Order of Ancients with all of you. As we said, we are at a technical alpha stage - we're working on the technical feasibility of the game as art is pouring in and models are being developed. That leaves us at the precarious stage of needing outside funding to get this game to market, but not being far enough to get The Man to believe in the vision. There are also negatives about inviting The Man into our camp too, and we'd prefer to have the support from gamers than suits when getting started.
We know Kickstarter is the right step for Order of Ancients; outside of our logic, it is instinctual, and the entire team feels it. We are sharing everything so you can be a part of what we are doing here at Inkhorn Games.
This is really it; it is us and you. We've built companies, games, a lot of different projects in the past, but it has all culminated to Order of Ancients. Benjamin Franklin said, "If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." We think that is very applicable to us. We are insanely passionate about Order, but it is reasonable to look for help, and that is where we are all together. With your help and support, we can, together, build an amazing experience. Our labor, your love (and money), one awesome freaking game.
Massive multiplayer battles, amazingly dynamic heroes, and the world of Order of Ancients await! Support us today! And thank you!
Here is a summary of things for a quick view at the game, in convenient image format!
We are asking for the funding amount because that is what we need to deliver. It is cash strapped, absolutely, but it is what we have come up with in terms of projections, forecasting, and modeling of the financial situation (Jack handles all that number crunching). We've worked on shoestring budgets in the past, sort of used to it by now.
We will list a stretch goal here, but honestly, we do not think listing tons of stretch goals well above the goal is right, not until we've hit our first goal. When you all help make that happen, we start sharing stretch goals.
We also think that hitting stretch goals is purely a community thing, so with each goal hit, we will give backers added rewards for helping get there!
Stretch Goal 1 - $150,000 - Hero Skins!
The first goal is to get each hero, 36 in total, a unique skin. The special something for hitting this goal is to provide every backer $5 and above a distinct Kickstarter-only skin for a community-voted hero. We will poll all backers, determine the favorite hero, and provide a special skin as an added reward to all tiers above $5.
We've covered all the rewards here in a graphical format. Easy viewing, right!? Some of the rewards have specific explanations under them to make it a little more clear. If you have any other questions, please ask.
Also, it is important to note, all rewards offered during the Kickstarter are exclusive to Kickstarter only. We don't want to mention that a bunch below, so bringing that up now.
Wallpapers will be delivered to you shortly after the Kickstarter!
Still undetermined are heroes we'll be giving at launch. It'll vary!
The beta title is something players will see next to your username, for example 'Notch <Lord of Indies>', which will appear in-game and in your profile.
The digital art book will be delivered before the game, but that is still a work in progress!
In the game you will have a profile avatar and profile page, you will receive a border for the player avatar and something for the profile itself.
A custom alpha tester title, and a profile avatar. As an comparison, remember in the Warcraft 3 days you could win games and be awarded an avatar for your profile showcasing your achievements? Same deal with Order of Ancients, only this will be a unique avatar for backing!
T-Shirts will be delivered shortly after the Kickstarter, along with a poster once we've worked out details along with the polling for favorite designs.
A custom figurine of a hero to be polled by the users! You will also get a bound and printed expanded art book, delivered once the art asset is much more complete for a much larger book.
A unique player title exclusive to this tier only. We are also building a massive amount of lore into Order, so a nation where a hero originates from will be named after you!
Same deal about lore, only this time, you are one of 7 Timeworn, the gods of the Order of Ancients universe.
Simple enough - we'll make you a hero of Order, lasting forevermore!
All the things. I mean all the things, big, small, unique and interesting.
Here are some social links we wanted to share with you all. If you want to follow us for the latest and greatest, please do! Say hello, share something funny, we welcome it.
Order of Ancients - Website
Inkhorn Games - Website
We are also on Kicktraq! Hopefully we can all watch our campaign as it moves closer to the funding goal.
Finally, if you haven't heard of The AbleGamers Charity yet, please check it out. Gamers, with all of theirs faults, quirks, and quips, are a wonderful community, and this organization is really addressing something tangible we can all get behind. We are pledging to adhere as closely to Includification Guidelines for the release of Order of Ancients as we can manage. Just as a point, we are in no way affiliated with them.
Finally, we wanted to talk a bit about the community. In addition to the development side of Order, we've also created some nifty tools for other Kickstarter creators that we wanted to share. These tools are open source and free. Here you can find a drop-in Slack integration for teams. We will also be releasing a monitor tool mid-campaign located here. It'll be a simple Chrome plugin to get quick analytics on your platform.
Risks and challenges
We are serial entrepreneurs so risks and challenges are something we face on a day-to-day basis; it has become a part of our very lives. The ups and downs, the bad news, and the ability to get back up again and do it all over. For the the last 6 years, the founding team has been on the roller coaster ride of various startups, and during this time resilience and perseverance are some of the most important traits we've seen grow in ourselves.
We mention the previous because we want to cover this section thoroughly; in our minds, identifying (but more importantly providing answers) to the risks and challenges is extremely important, so please bear with us for this last stretch of the Kickstarter.
Firstly, we will list the risks and challenges we foresee. Secondly, we will provide strategies and solutions to the listed challenges; we do not want to encounter a situation where we are a caught unprepared.
Risks & Challenges:
• Game Balance - creating a highly balanced game involves a lot of differing, relational aspects between heroes, unit tiers, and items. This balance is pivotal to competitive play, both ranked and unranked, and making the game experience enjoyable and uniquely interchangeable for theory crafters and casual players alike.
• Design vs. Performance - we have a strict vision for Order of Ancients, one that involves beautiful, living scenery, unique units, and wonderfully designed heroes. We have already begun this vision, as you can see with our art and 3D units, concepts, and more. While we want to adhere to this strict visioning, we also want OoA to be an extremely smooth, performance-friendly game, so that it can be played on all operating systems as well as older systems with out-of-date hardware. These things are contradicting enough to be a challenge.
• Timeline - a lot of Kickstarter campaigns face this problem, and we also accept this as a challenge. To be able to create a fully-fledged game that also agrees with all of our plans and intentions within a strict deadline that we hold ourselves to is certainly an issue that needs to be mapped.
• Funding - it is costly to build a great game, and also hard to make it great within a confined budget while not making overwhelming sacrifices to get it shipped as promised.
• Game Balance - testing, testing, testing. This is fairly obvious to us, and most game developers and designers, to address the issues surrounding game balancing. We all can remember that the original custom maps were plagued with imbalance, making gameplay often one sided and strategies systematic. We are creating entirely new units, and all new heroes, to make the game more enjoyable. As we start designing, developing, and testing, it is vital to not only internally value balancing mathematically and through play, but also for all those backers to help us in this endeavor. Beta access begins at a very early tier, meant to get all our supporters to be able to help us in this balancing process. It is us and you, and that is the solution.
• Design vs. Performance - the challenge of making the game ridiculously beautiful while extremely hardware friendly can be tackled with the right engines, structuring, and networking. Finding the balance between utilizing the latest in graphics power, for example the low-poly smooth scaling of units, as well as the right game engine to handle the deterministic approach to mass unit combat across machines and operating systems. These things are detailed more closely in the earlier sections of the Kickstarter.
• Timeline - we have been in the startup world for the last six years. We've raised money, worked with clients in consulting scenarios, and designed/built/released software products from mobile apps to games. We are dead set on timelines and have always been. The same rings true with the timeline of Order - we have experience in our pasts to validate our credibility, but we also will be fully transparent with backers and supporters every step of the way. With our past experiences, transparency, as well as the goals and milestones we are placing upon ourselves, we feel we can hit all timelines planned in our Kickstarter.
• Funding - while we've built projects on shoestring budgets before, and have taken funding from a low point to a fully completed project without having to expand, we are raising this Kickstarter amount mathematically. We built our financial model similar to previous experiences we've had with budgeting funds in the past. To allocate funds categorically we've put together a pro forma model; between developers, external services, artists, fees, taxes, and miscellaneous things, the funding is the right amount to build Order of Ancients for public use. It is obviously meant to be tight, and we will stay within this tight budget without any overspending.
These are just some of the challenges we see right now, as well as the solutions to them. There are obviously more - creating an amazing game, building something ridiculously fun that can be played again and again, and a seamless and functional product. Combining development with art, timing release cycles, balancing the business and game, all of these things are realistic challenges EVERY Kickstarter game will face. We believe we have these coordinated, and are ready for the obstacles we might encounter. Plus, honesty. It is a part of us and we will make you a part of it too. Open transparency is the way to go!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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