Call of Combat
Call of Combat
Competitive real-time tactics game where team synergy, calculated battle plans and their thorough execution are key to victory.
Competitive real-time tactics game where team synergy, calculated battle plans and their thorough execution are key to victory. Read more
About this project
Please try our completely free Kickstarter demo, it's light and requires no registration. Download it here:
Currently, the game is in an early stage of development, contains core gameplay and limited maps. Nevertheless, we believe that you are able to enjoy several deadly skirmishes against friends with whom you've surely shared the link above!
Call of Combat is a multiplayer real-time strategy game, where team synergy, calculated battle plans and their thorough execution are key to victory.
Each player orders a squad of 4 soldiers through typical battlefields of World War 2. Players team up and engage combat in large organized battles. The most seasoned combatant of each team has the role of coordinating the team’s actions through the commanders interface, simultaneously serving as a tactical overview of the battle. It is through the leader’s strategic guidance and combined effort that victory is achieved!
This Kickstarter projects aims to reinvent two small cult classics: Chain of Command (1999) and the original Call of Combat (2002); to which the latter was a student hobby project by Florian Käding (co-founder KAVA). Although it was at that time never marketed or advertised, it gained strong popularity among a very loyal and supportive community; which is still active today. For over 10 years, the servers were always active and since rankings were implemented over one million games were played; thousands of players active in both casual and competitive scenes. Keeping the classic game, with its old code-base, running proved an uphill battle thus after 10 years it was decided that a more contemporary revision of Call of Combat was required.
Maximize Core Gameplay
If total pledges reach €30,000, this is how the game can be improved. The demo is only a preview version of what we want in the final game. Our aim is to improve the core gameplay with the following:
- Tweak and balance all gameplay elements to make the battle fair on all sides
- Bigger battles - From 10 to more than 30
- Update the animations of the soldiers
- More lag-resistant net code
- New maps for more tactical challenges
- More weapons such as machine guns (MG42 LMG, or the BAR) to give you even more strategic options in battle
Regiments (clan system embedded in the game)
We will introduce a hierarchical regiment (clan) system to the game. A regiment is led by a Regiment Commander (CO) and several Executive Commanders (XO's). It is organized into different companies, each of which is led by its own Company Commander (CC). Players can apply to join a regiment and will be able to gain rank and status within the regiment.
Regiments will be given their own forum and chat channel to share stories and cunning battle plans. They will be able to challenge and battle each other in special competitive regiment games.
We will add an individual and regimental (clan) leaderboard. Basic personal statistics will be ‘Kill/Death Ratio’ (KDR) and ‘Rolling Efficiency’ (REFF). These measure individual skill. Other more team-oriented statistics, like the Win/Loss Ratio (WLR), will play a prominent role on the regimental leaderboard.
We will add Promotion Points (PPs) to the game, that can be gained after each played game and are required to gain rank. They are handed out at the end of each game in the debriefing phase and are distributed automatically across all surviving players. To stimulate team play, promotion points depend not only on individual performance and survival, but also the performance of the team as a whole. A two-tier rank system will be set up that distinguishes enlisted (non-officer) and officer ranks. Promotion points award you an enlisted rank, while officer ranks can only be gained by participating in a regiment or performing well on the leaderboards.
Chain of Command
Each team will have a chain of command generated for them based on ranks and promotion points before each battle. The chain of command determines who will be commander on the team. The commander has two main responsibilities:
- Establish the general plan of attack
- Hand out weapons and specific roles to his or her team-members
The chain of command also directly affects battlefield intelligence. Individual knowledge of the situation (soldiers whereabouts, spotted enemies) is only shared upward in the chain of command. The commander has a lot more information than his subordinates. This system motivates players to trust their leader's orders.
The strategic map is an overhead view of the battle map. This map offers a quick overview of where your team members and any visible enemies are. A battle starts with a planning phase where the commander can draw a battle plan on the strategic map. The commander can make a plan that consists of both offensive arrows and defensive lines.
Teammate Communication System
The Teammate communication system consist of shout-outs with which the players use to communicate actions taken (“moving in”, “flanking”) requirements needed ("need ammo", "cover me", “enemy spotted”) or warning signals for incoming noobs ("enemy spotted","grenade incoming"). Unlike the battle plan feature, used to set out a global strategic plan, this system is capable of improving coordination between players on a tactical level, for example when trying to capture a house or objective in unison.
Exchanging Equipment & Looting
This is the ability to pick up weapons and grenades from dead soldiers. It will also be possible to give other team members ammo and grenades. This works particularly well in combination with the shout-outs in the teammate communication system.
This is a game mode that contains a number of strategically located objectives. These areas are shown on the strategic map, and will have to be captured and held to win the game. This will determine the flow of the battle, as control over these strategically important positions will decide which team is able to go on the offense and achieve victory.
With this feature, you will have the ability to customize the accessories on your character, tailoring each soldier to your own unique look. If the total amount of pledges reach €1,000,000, we will even let your soldiers grow mustaches. For the other earlier stretch goals, see below.
Open Game Mode (40k)
For our first stretch goal, we will add the “open” and “respawn” game modes. These game modes will ensure it is always possible to join a battle and play without having to wait for a game to end. These game modes make it possible to have some quick and uncomplicated fun, and they will exist next to the normal competitive game modes that are already in the core game.
Battle plan feature (55k)
For this stretch goal, we will expand the basic strategic map and introduce the battle planning feature. This feature will make it easy to work together as a tactical whole and achieve victory! The battle plan feature includes:
- An expanded Commander role, you can assign individual orders (assault/engage/defend/withdraw) to each team member or group of players before and during the game
- Team-members can see the Commander’s orders appear directly on the map during the battle
- Team-members can directly share information with the Commander, who can adjust the plan if needed
- The ability to save and load battle plans and easily share the plan on the regiments private forum section to discuss
Morale system (70k)
War is dirty business, battlefields are dark scary places punctuated by adrenaline rushes. We would like to illustrate your soldiers' feelings as they are confronted with the nature of war.
If we reach this stretch goal, we will expand the morale system of Call of Combat. Emotional states such as fear, panic, or sheer bravado and confidence will be added as tactical elements in the game. You can not only win a battle by annihilating the enemy, but also by breaking their will to fight! Frightened soldiers will be less effective in combat or might even run off, while confident soldiers will act more decisive and courageous.
Such a morale system will be closely tied to the chain of command. Commanders and other superiors can directly impact their team’s ability to fight by wisely positioning themselves and by issuing the right orders at the right time. Suffering losses or losing a victory point will lower the morale of a squad, possibly even routing the unit if circumstances are dire. Having a commander nearby can turn the tide, boosting the morale of the squad and getting them back into the fight!
Naturally, all these emotional states will also be added graphically into the game. You will see soldiers cowering in fear, or cheering as they surge forward in confidence.
Les Maquisards - French Resistance Fighters (85k)
With this stretch goal we can add new weapons, characters and a special civilian fighter class to represent the resistance forces in France that fought with Allies. The resistance fighters know the area as they grew up there. They will have a special ability to deploy outside the normal deployment zones and can hide from the enemy for limited periods of time. They will however lack in firepower and combat effectiveness, as they do not possess the weapons and training of regular soldiers.
Soldier classes & special abilities (110k)
If we manage to attain this stretch goal, we will be adding more soldier classes to the game. Each class will be specialized in a specific combat role and armed with different weapons and special abilities. The classes that will be added for each side will be;
- Assault: specialized in close combat, however they are less effective in long range firefights
- Recon: faster and with better means of communication and spotting, though the team is smaller and lightly armed
- Light machine gunner: a small fire-team that can lay down a torrent of fire
- [Experimental class] Marksman: lone-wolf with a very high accuracy, especially if he stays put. However, he is alone and sensitive to low morale
- [Experimental class] Engineers: specialized in explosives and entrenchments, he has the limited ability to modify the battleground by blowing up walls and digging defensive foxholes
Experimental means that they might alter the core gameplay too much. But these are ideas we think are so cool that we would be crazy if we did not experiment with them.
Further Stretch Goals
We have many, many more ideas on how to expand this game and we would love to hear your input what our next Stretch Goal should be! Please join us on our forum, here is a quick overview of some of our ideas:
- Persistent territory struggle (regiments fight over territory where each area has its own map)
- Eastern front expansion with Red Army soldiers and new environments and maps
- Managing your own squads and soldier personalization
- Accurate maps of historical battles (including hills, bunkers and watch towers)
- Tablet companion app with strategic map and battle planning features
- Community map editor
When: Immediately during Kickstarter campaign
By pledging as PRIVATE FIRST CLASS you will be able to log in to the Kickstarter demo not only as an anonymous private, but with your own personal call sign and pledge level as rank.
Will will then also participate in the Call of Combat Kickstarter competition. This will be your opportunity to immortalize yourself in the official Hall of Fame as the winner of the first Call of Combat competition ever! If you win the competition you will also be granted an exclusive "Kickstarter Competition Winner" medal in your profile.
When: Estimated late Q2 2015 for Early Access and Q4 2015 for release version
You will receive one or more digital copies (depending on pledge level) and full access to the official release version of the game that will run on either of the three mentioned platforms. You are free to gift away any extra copies you get as part of the higher pledge levels. Each copy of the game also comes with Early Access to the beta version of the game. In this beta stage the game will still be in active development, but unlike our current demo it should have most features implemented in some form or another.
Note that any extras except for Early Access (helmets, server priority, access to private testing, etc...) will only be linked to a single main account associated with the pledge and will not be available for any of the extra copies.
When: At release of game or when implemented during Early Access
Every room / server has a few reserved spots that only people with server priority status can join. This means you will be able to join a server (and play in it) if the server is full and the reserved spots are not taken. If the reserved spots are all taken by others who have priority status you will be first in line to join when a spot does open up.
When: Early Q2 2015
This will give you access to private testing servers where you can play with any new features in development, new additions and untested mechanics in all its buggy glory. We will be making regular updates for private testing and provide people with access to the necessary forums to participate in active discussions with the developers about the merits of newly implemented features and how to improve them.
Private testing will be a continuous process that will continue even during the early access phase and after release. After all, it is not as if we'll stop expanding and working on the game after release!
When: At release of game or when implemented during Early Access
You will be able to equip your soldiers with specially designed in-game helmets that are available uniquely to Kickstarter backers. As a CAPTAIN you have one design at your disposal, while a MAJOR can choose from two. The COLONEL and GENERAL-OF-THE-ARMY have all three the designs in their inventory.
When: Q3 2015
You will receive personalized (e.g. with your name, call sign and/or regiment) vintage style "Call of Combat" WWII dog tags with metal chains.
When: Estimated Q3 2015
Starting with MAJOR it is possible to get a 3D printed model of the current character playing a round of chess against a soldier from the original game; a display of the transformation from 2002 Call of Combat to the modern remake.
The MAJOR pledge level will receive the printed model in white printed plastic as shown in the artistic rendering in the above image. The COLONEL pledge level will receive the same design but it will be larger and printed using colored sandstone.
The model of the GENERAL-OF-THE-ARMY pledge tier will be the same size as the COLONEL one, but meticulously hand painted. The painting will be done personally by Call of Combat art director and professional scale modeler Marcel du Long. Check out his website for some impressions on what a hand-painted model would look like.
Approximate dimensions per pledge level:
- COLONEL: 10 w x 5.5 d x 6.5 h CM
- MAJOR: 13 w x 7.5 d x 8.5 h CM
- GENERAL-OF-THE-ARMY: 13 w x 7.5 d x 8.5 h CM
When: Estimated Q3 2015
You will receive a unique Kickstarter voice pack for your soldiers specifically. This applies to in-game shout outs, screams and announcements.
When: Estimated Q3 2015
With this reward you will receive a print on canvas (60 x 40 cm) of the "Bataille a la Ferme" map.
The war council is a restricted group whose elite members can voice and influence the future development of the game.
When: At release of game or when implemented during Early Access
This reward makes it possible for you to reserve a name and slot for your regiment in-game. Regiments will be an integral part to the game play of Call of Combat, being directly tied into many features such as the battle plan and leveling system.
Note that you will not be able to reserve a regiment name that was previously used by an Army Group in the original Call of Combat, unless you have a claim on it (e.g. you were a previous owner) or have the explicit endorsement from previous owner to use that name.
We will be allowing new regiments to the game as it grows and we get new players. To avoid having too many regiments active at the same time for too small a player base we will only be allowing new regiments to become active when we believe the community is big enough and when at least 20 active players pledge to join your regiment. Regiments that receive the most support (i.e. get the most pledges to join from active players) will receive priority.
We are a team of creative minds that have a passion for wargames, of which some were actually big fans of the prequel of Call of Combat. We call ourselves ‘KAVA Game Studio’, don’t ask why. And we are dedicated in making multiplayer games that are easy to learn, but hard to master.
In 2012 we put our heads together and started thinking of a plan to revive Call of Combat. We set up in a small office in Amsterdam, and worked out a strategy to fulfill the desire of the existing fan base and also grow the community. We envisioned this by focusing strictly on the strong points of Call of Combat; the intense close combat, strong relationship with the community and the strategic gameplay.
Call of Combat is a game that has been passionately supported by the community for more than 10 years. With a little more support, we hope to finish the game in an enriched state and get it back out there for both old-time enthusiasts and new players to enjoy!
The following people are involved in building the game:
Florian made the original Call of Combat game while he was gloriously crushing his opponents in numerous historical war games. He carried the development for over 10 years when he decided it was time to rebuild the game from a maintainable modern foundation. He is now building the technical architecture of the game and he is making sure the game stays true to its roots.
Antoine used to be an engineer and a scientist, researching new ways to interact with medical machines. At night he experimented building games. After he joined KAVA, he has been focusing on game design.
A battle worn veteran of the game industry. He co-founded Vanguard Games, a game studio with hits as the EA-published twin-stick shooter hit Gatling Gears, console and PC strategy hit Greed Corp, and Windows (Phone) 8 hit Halo: Spartan Assault. He is in charge of creating the unique look of Call of Combat (UI and environments). Although making the game look pretty is already a gargantuan task, he also contributes to game design through his great experience playing numerous war games.
Wessel is an amazing shader wizard and inventor of all craft. He invents awesome things. At least every minute. He is the future inventor of the holodeck. He is also an artist, and the maker of several puzzle games.
Jonathan is a talented 3D designer. He has a special skill that allows him to skip sleep. So he knows and has played every single game that exists on the planet. He is also the creator of an crazy action filled upcoming online game.
Brett is a long-time fan of both Call of Combat and its spiritual predecessor Chain of Command. Having spent countless hours of his childhood honing his skills as a commander, to no avail. He now spends his time as a software craftsman, always striving for a better game. He is making sure that Call of Combat stays true to its roots.
Past or recurring contributors without whom we would not nearly be there: Erik Vader, David Belli, Vitor Hugo, Marco Schoenmaker, Alex Downham, Frans Baud, Tijmen Brommet, Martin de Haan, Hans Krill, Marcel Herkelman, Zino van Hamersveld, Christian Wirtz and Game Drive.
And special Thanks to the Dutch Game Garden
Risks and challenges
As with every project, there are risks and challenges and so too with the development of Call of Combat. Projects can run out of time or money, features might be more challenging than presumed, results may be different than expected, etc.
What we do know is that Call of Combat has proven its formula 13 years ago and that spark has inspired KAVA to not give up and keep going until the contemporary version of this cult hit is live again. Our lead developer Florian has been there since the beginning and is determined to get the job done!
We foresee timing to be the biggest risk, the game is offline for more than 2 years now and we are relying on the patience of the community. We hope to pre-empt this by releasing a closed-beta version within a matter of months and by sharing updates on a regular basis.
Another risk is the ‘expectation’ of the players of the previous version. As we are working on a contemporary version that is compatible with the concept, it sometimes differs in look and feel. You can compare this with cars; some people prefer the old Beatle above the new version. Releasing the demo is a good way to manage the expectations and by having frequent dialog with the community on our communication channels, we’ll ensure to that we find a right balance between old and new.
Thank you for that. On your Kickstarter account, you will receive a message with instructions. Within minutes, most of the time, but it's a manual process, so it can take more (especially during European sleep time).
Is Call of Combat named in such a way to take advantage of the fame of a certain first person shooter series?
Not at all. The original Call of Combat came out in 2002, over a year before this certain series.
One of the goal of the Kickstarter campaign was to evaluate how successful Call of Combat could be. But if it fails, we will not take it as the only indicator for potential success. If we see that the game is getting attention in the press, and if the community grows, if the potential is still there, we will fight to make this work, and we will be looking for other ways to fund remaining development (investors or publishers).
But in the end, you, the community, are the main reason of existence of this game. You can play a big part in making this work by playing the game and spreading the word with all the tools at your disposal. Feel free to share in your social networks and tell Youtubers, curators and opinion leaders about Call of Combat.
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