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Adventure through a world rife with peril and intrigue, to solve a dangerous mystery in this fantasy, turn-based RPG.

Adventure through a world rife with peril and intrigue, to solve a dangerous mystery in this fantasy, turn-based RPG. Read More
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on March 30, 2014.

Cloud Nine Games
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Cloud Nine Games

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About this project

February 08, 2014: Game Announcement at

February 05, 2014: Interview at

February 03, 2014: Game Announcement at

February 02, 2014: Campaign Review at

Subterranea is set within, around, and below, a massive swamp named Vengarth. Some time ago a poor fishing village by the name of Gimlet, whose inhabitants scratched out a living on the edge of the swamp, had a marked improvement of fortune after a mysterious Elf-Lord appeared in their midst.

The Elf-Lord, Lord Lenzo, struck a deal with the villagers - in exchange for harvesting the rare and valuable plants that were found in abundance in Vengarth Swamp, the Lord showed them how to refine the plants into valuable alchemical and magical reagents and helped them to trade those reagents across the country for his own and the townspeople's prosperity.

Under Lord Lenzo's benign but increasingly absent rule, Gimlet Village grew and prospered into Gimlet Town. The fishing families who originally lead the village formed a cabal of Merchant Lords and have effectively taken over the stewardship of Gimlet Town.

Recently however, a group of harvesters stumbled upon an entrance to a sunken temple within the swamp and unwisely entered looking for valuables. The survivors brought warning to the town, and the cabal instructed other harvesting parties to keep their distance from the temple entrance. Despite their instruction, harvesting parties keep disappearing from all over the swamp with increasing regularity.

When the cabal's profits are threatened they act. You control a party of adventurers who have answered their call to arms. You are not alone though - other adventuring parties have also come seeking rewards from the wealthy cabal of Gimlet Town - these adventurers may need to be dealt with one way or the other.

The game features deadly intrigue, murky and conflicting agendas, a sprawling megadungeon to conquer and ultimately a mystery that lurks far beneath the surface of Vengarth Swamp!

Subterranea features the following;

  • Tactical Turn-Based Combat: There is a wealth of tactical options available to each of your characters, each round. Melee attack, ranged attack, cast spell, sneak attack, attack of opportunity, bull rush, use magic item, drink potion, feint, overrun, read scroll, ready defense, total defense, use skill, use ability, etc. This wide range of tactical options requires a turn-based combat system that lets you weigh up your best move whilst the game action is paused. Enemy artificial intelligence has access to the same range of actions, and in addition will perform strategies like flanking and using cover and elevation, to attempt to get the best of you.
  • Physics-Based Emergent Gameplay: Want to cast Earthquake to bring a cave roof down? The Physics Engine calculates what happens next - who has to make Reflex saves to avoid or reduce damage and who is safe from flying debris. Physics introduces an extra element of randomness beyond just dice rolls and can lead to a series of connected events that result in entirely new outcomes in each encounter.
  • Puzzles and Traps: The world of Subterranea itself will provide a number of environmental challenges. Collapse a rope bridge to plunge some enemies to their death? You'll need to figure out how to get across that chasm now. I hope you've packed your rope.
  • Branching Dialogue with Choice and Consequence: You'll need to develop some skills in Diplomacy, Bluff and/or Intimidation to thrive when pitted against the machinations of the game's antagonists.
  • Deep Character Customization: When creating your characters, you will be able to assign ability scores, race (7 options), class (11 options), gender, appearance attributes, skills, feats and spells to produce highly customized characters.

There are a number of assets that still require funding before Subterranea can be completed:

  • Engine License: The professional license of Unity brings deferred rendering, render-to-texture effects, in-game video, dynamic navigation mesh obstacles, and many more features that are critical to completing Subterranea.
  • Animations: Great animations really make a 3D game look and feel fantastic. An annual subscription to the catalogue of an animation vendor, will give me access to most of the animations I will need to complete the game.
  • Music: Any game, especially fantasy RPGs, benefit greatly from a custom, coherent, and setting-appropriate, soundtrack. A collaboration will be entered into with a game music composer, who has specialized in fantasy music themes, to provide a customized Subterranea soundtrack.
  • Programming Frameworks/Plugins: An Indie Developer can rapidly accelerate their development schedule by purchasing certain programming frameworks and plugins.
  • Custom 2D/3D Art: There is a large amount of professional 2D and 3D fantasy art  available to purchase at reasonable prices. The rest of the funding will go into purchasing these, and any excess funding that is not used to achieve the stretch goals will also be used here, to make Subterranea look and feel better.
  • $17,500 AUD: The Mac and Linux releases will occur simultaneously with the Windows release in March, 2015. Without this funding, the kit needed to test deployment and provide post-release support would have to be funded from future game sales, pushing the Mac and Linux release dates back.
  • $21,000 AUD: Multiclassing. Although the game supports level advancement up to 20, multiclassing support is currently on the TODO list, as it will require some UI and Rules Engine redesign, as well as a lot of testing of all of the combinations. Achieving this stretch goal would ensure multiclassing gets in to the game by allowing for some help to be enlisted for the unit and functional test cases required to ensure that multiclassing is implemented thoroughly and correctly.
  • $25,000 AUD: Multiplayer Coop Support via LAN or Internet! I would love to add this feature to Subterranea now, but the reality is that I'd need to purchase a rock-solid multiplayer game programming framework and enlist some testing help to ensure that the Coop play works well in every situation within Subterranea.
  • $30,000 AUD: Professional voice acting. The key character parts in the game will be voiced by part-time actors with tones and accents that sound compelling in a fantasy-themed RPG!
  • $30,000+ AUD: More, more more! This level of funding would mean a whole lot more of many things within Subterranea. More monsters to battle, more equipment to... well equip. More traps. More puzzles. The scope of the world (i.e. number of environments) would remain the same, as the timeline below is based around estimates to complete scoped gameplay systems and environments, however having many different monster types and many different versions of items, etc. would greatly enhance the enjoyment of the game by providing more variety.
  • Now: The game has most gameplay systems implemented, and some content created, but lacks polish.
  • Alpha Release: This release has complete gameplay systems, and most of the content created, but still lacks polish. Incorporating feedback from Alpha Testing gives the opportunity to go as far as completely revamping gameplay systems, or content, that aren't working well. The target date for the Subterranea Alpha Release is October, 2014.
  • Beta Release: This release has complete gameplay systems, is content-complete, and has a fair bit of polish. Incorporating feedback from Beta Testing gives the opportunity to improve polish and make moderate changes to gameplay systems and content. The target date for the Subterranea Beta Release is January, 2015.
  • First Release: The first release of Subterranea is targeted for March, 2015.
  • Post Release Support: If any issues/bugs are found after the game is released to the public, I intend to keep patching until they are eradicated. I love this game, and want it to be perfect!






Cloud Nine Games supports "Kicking It Forward"!

Risks and challenges

You can't make a game like Subterranea for the money you are asking for!

Cloud Nine Games is predominantly a one-man band - that means that design and implementation decisions are instant, vision is coherent and overheads are very low. I don't need any money for "living", that's already covered, I just need extra money, above the money I've already invested in the game, to finish it.

Assets in a 3D game can be suprisingly cost-effective - for example, an individual animation can be purchased from a professional animation vendor for $10-15 USD. This animation can then be reused for all of the biped models (i.e. Humans, Elves, Orcs, etc) in the game. Compare that to a 2D game, where I would need to commission a 2D artist to create walk, attack, etc. animations for every race/gender combo, at $100-300 USD a pop!

You're overpromising!

A real danger for indies is overpromising. I'm well aware of this and won't fall into the trap of extending the essential scope of the game throughout the development cycle. The scope has been designed and the estimates to complete the game have been based on how long it has taken me to create content so far. Of course, within the scoped environments, more variety of monsters, items, traps, puzzles, etc are always possible, and more achievable with more funding.

Post-Release Support?

This is a passion project to create a game I'd love to play myself. If issues are found, I intend to keep fixing them until the game is perfect! I can only offer my word here, but check out the Cloud Nine Games website for my community engagement and frequency of development updates to take some assurance.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $4 USD

    IMMORTAL - Your name will be whispered in reverent tones by all future RPG fans when they see you listed proudly in the Subterranea credits!

    (USD conversion rates for all pledge levels:

    IMMORTAL: $4.50


    WIRED FOR SOUND: $26.70

    BETA BARON: $44.50

    THE BOOKWORM: $57.80

    ALPHA ARCH-DUKE: $71.20

    I'M IN THE GAME!: $89


    MERCHANT LORD: $445)

    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $16 USD

    ADVENTURER - You've just pre-ordered a DRM-free digital copy of Subterranea on the released platform of your choice (PC first in early 2015, followed by Mac and Linux), for less than the retail price! A Steam key will also be made available if Subterranea gets Greenlit. Plus your name lives on forever in the credits!

    Estimated delivery
    57 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $27 USD

    WIRED FOR SOUND - You get the game and the credit, as well as a digital copy of the Subterranea soundtrack. This custom soundtrack will be commissioned by the funding from this Kickstarter. The soundtrack will be sent to you as soon as it's ready, while the game is still in development.

    Estimated delivery
    10 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $45 USD

    BETA BARON - You get the game, the credit, the soundtrack, and most importantly, early access to the beta version of Subterranea to playtest and give feedback - influence the final product!

    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $58 USD

    THE BOOKWORM - You get the game, the credit, the soundtrack, the beta access and a printed and bound copy of the Subterranea manual, shipped anywhere in the world.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $71 USD

    ALPHA ARCH-DUKE - You get all previous rewards (printed manual sent at your option), plus early Alpha access to the game, to have a large influence the design and development.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $89 USD

    I'M IN THE GAME! - You get all previous rewards (printed manual sent at your option), plus you can nominate a fantasy-appropriate name to appear somewhere in the game, in a surprise spot!

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $179 USD

    DESIGN CREDIT - You get all previous rewards (printed manual sent at your option), plus you get to design an encounter within the game, including the level design, enemy types, and any exciting scripted events that you would like to surprise other players with! You'll appear in the credits as an Assistant Designer. You can submit as many encounter design proposals as you like - pledging at this tier guarantees that one suitable one will be selected. If the other proposals are good, they will quite likely end up somewhere in the game also!

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $447 USD

    MERCHANT LORD - You get all previous rewards (printed manual sent at your option), plus you get to alter the design of one of 5 members of Gimlet Town's Merchant Lords, who along with Lord Lenzo form the town's ruling cabal. Design includes back-story, appearance and motives (in conjunction with other antagonists).

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer

Funding period

- (30 days)