Squad-Based Tactical Combat with Ranked Competitive Play. Brought to you by veterans from Diablo III and Rogue Legacy. Read more
This project was successfully funded on April 9, 2014.
About this project
Missed out on the campaign but still want to support? Check out our Paypal/Humble Store page here!
- Official Website: www.duelyst.com
- Official Forums: forums.duelyst.com
- Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Duelyst
- Follow us on Twitter: @PlayDuelyst
- Steam: Duelyst
Pre-Order amounts will be added towards new Stretch Goals on our official website!
Duelyst is a tactical turn-based strategy game with ranked competitive play for PC, Mac, and the web, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from Diablo III, Rogue Legacy, and the Ratchet & Clank series.
The focus is on squad-based combat on a tactical map for intense, fast-paced 1v1 battles with the simple winning objective of defeating your opponent's General.
Duelyst plays like the classic tactics games of our childhood while avoiding the standard tropes from the past. You'll never need to spend hours on resource management or grind random encounters to get to the next fight.
Instead, our goal is to vigilantly remove every extraneous feature from the game to focus on its heart and soul: squad-based tactical combat.
- Platform: Available for Windows/Mac/Linux and desktop browser.
- Business Model: Every battle unit and spell is earned by spending time playing the game. As a result, this is NOT pay-to-win! Just like you, we want to buy a good solid game that we can go home to and play regularly with our friends.
- Customize Your Battle Squad: Recruit a large roster of 100+ battle units and spells each with different abilities that interact in unique and endless ways during combat. No squad or battle will play out the same.
- Skill-Based Tactical Combat: The emphasis is on unit positioning, understanding your squad's abilities, anticipating your opponent's capabilities, and maintaining board control. At it's core, it's a tactical tabletop board game without all the manual math calculations.
- Online Multiplayer: Find equally matched players to play head-to-head anytime in Ranked or Draft mode on various competitive tiers.
- Short Sessions: Each game session is designed to be played in less than 30 minutes. Now you can play competitive skill-based games without investing hours towards a single session.
- NAGF (Not Another Generic Fantasy): The world of Duelyst has an expansive identity and mythology where you will see gorgeous landscapes filled with rich, complex characters, untold stories, and unraveled histories.
- At Launch: 6 Factions with a roster of over 100 faction-specific and mercenary battle units and spells.
- Ranked Draft: Each player forms their battle squad from the entire collection of units and spells available in the game in a Draft format. Each turn will last 90 seconds in a multiplayer head-to-head synchronous live game.
- Ranked Normal: Each player creates their own unique squad of units and spells from their own collection of units. Each turn will last 90 seconds in a multiplayer head-to-head synchronous live game.
- Practice Casual: Non-ranked play with no limit to the length of time for each turn. Submit your turn in asynchronous play (eg. "play by mail").
- Single Player: Practice and challenge yourself against the computer AI. Earn new units and spells as you progress in the practice mode.
"Duelyst is a marriage of the tactical game design found in titles like Hearthstone, Final Fantasy Tactics and Hero Academy with competitive play." - Polygon
"Traditional turn-based role-playing meets the rapid-fire pace (90 second turn limits!) and simple-yet-deceptively-maddening strategy of Hearthstone." - Rock Paper Shotgun
"Once in a while we see a project that’s worth talking about regardless of how it’s being funded." - PC Gamer
"Let's make more strategy games this pretty." - Kotaku
Duelyst was originally a tabletop board game we designed for ourselves for one of our game nights. A close friend suggested that it should be rebuilt as a digital online game so that more people can play it outside of our small circle.
As a result, Duelyst quickly turned from a tiny prototype to a full-package passion project for all of us.
Our team vision is to create thoughtful, immersive games. We want to create persistent value so that you always know you're investing your time and money wisely.
We decided on Kickstarter because we didn't want our games to be adversely impacted or muddled by publishers or non-gaming investors. With your crowdfunding help, our team can focus on the game itself with minimal external influences.
As a result, the end product will be better with a more laser-focused, singular vision. Most of all, Duelyst has the chance of getting funded and ultimately shared with other like-minded tactics gamers.
Keith Lee - Team Lead (@keithlee0)
Keith was the Lead Producer for Diablo III at Blizzard Entertainment and the Lead Game Programmer at Insomniac Games. He's been credited with:
- Diablo III (2012), Blizzard Entertainment
- World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (2007), Blizzard Entertainment
- Resistance: Fall of Man (2006), SCEA
- Ratchet: Deadlocked (2005), SCEA
- Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (2004), SCEA
- Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (2003), SCEA
Glauber Kotaki - Lead Artist (@unseven)
Glauber was the Lead Artist for the popular game Rogue Legacy and the Animator for Chasm and Deep Dungeons of Doom. As a 2D game artist for over 10 years, Glauber continues to be very active in the indie games community with published articles from Gamasutra.
Emil Anticevic - Tech Lead (@eanticev)
Emil has built teams and shipped products from the ground up for both enterprise web and consumer mobile apps. Recently, Emil launched Kurabi, LoL Connect, and the Frametastic app which have all garnered millions of downloads. He enjoys running social experiments in Rust and powering through bad sci-fi books better left alone.
Anton Fadeev - Lead Environment Artist
When Anton's not making the world of Duelyst come alive, he's busy working on an unannounced sci-fi project. Anton has an extensive background in illustration, web design, and marketing.
Collin Hover - Gameplay and Graphics Programmer (@collinhover)
When Collin isn't building custom engine code ranging from real-time dynamic lighting to distortion effects, he's contributing to open source projects and even running a few of his own.
Marwan Hilmi - Web Programmer
Eric Karl - Contributor
Eric worked on the Ratchet & Clank series at Insomniac Games and at Microsoft on their DirectX Graphics and Gaming team. Eric has also shipped several mobile/web titles as an indie game developer.
Ben MacDougall - Music Composer
Ben has written music for many projects and media-types and recently taught a seminar on bespoke composition for radio at Harvard University. In 2012, Ben won the Jo Horowitz Award in Composition for Screen at the RCM in London and he is the official composer for Bremont. He hosts a weekly radio show for the BBC and in his free time can be found sampling instruments and other objects.
Kickstarter-Exclusive: Rogue Legacy + DOGE Shibe Skins
Bonus Rewards: Everyone will receive the official Rogue Legacy Alternate Skin and DOGE Songhai Alternate Skin simply by pledging at GUARDIAN TIER or above.
Exclusive Chromatic Energy FX
Functionally, your opponents will see this unique visual Chromatic effect when hovering over your units during battle. You will optionally be able to enable/disable this FX in your settings anytime.
General Alternate Colors
Alternate Faction Color Sets
Ben MacDougall will be composing the high-octane OST for this game. The soundtrack will be included in digital form at the $40 Digital Collector Tier - with bonus tracks included as stretch-goals are reached and the game expands as a whole. W00t!
Digital Art Book
This artistic beauty will contain tons of concept art + world map, sprite and pixel artwork, early sketches, notes on the characters and the world, plus revealing knowledge of the finer details of the character and game design.
How Add-Ons Work: You can add extra rewards to your current tier. Remember, no need to change your tier, just add the amount to your current tier. We will see the add-on amount and will send out a survey after the KS campaign to properly match your requests and reconfirm your shipping address.
Add $35 - Hardcover (36 pages, 8.5" x 12.5")
- With high quality glossy paper and printing, this 36 page hardcover measures 8.5" x 12.5" and collects ALL the concept art, world map, pixel artwork, and early sketches.
- The Art of Duelyst will be worthy of your bookshelf or coffee table.
- Limited Run of 500 only.
- Each signed and numbered by our artists.
- Plus bonus physical artified bookmark to keep your place!
- US Shipping is included.
- For International Shipping, add a flat +$15 to the add-on.
Add $5 - PDF In-Depth Strategy Guide / Manual
- Deep dive into all Battle Units and Spells in full detail with stats and abilities.
- Covers each Faction in-depth and outlines all battle map strategies.
- Included automatically with the $40 Digital Collector Tier.
Add $5 - Digital OST Soundtrack (14+ tracks)
- Ben MacDougall will be composing the high-octane OST for this game.
Add $5 - PDF Digital Art Book
- Tons of concept art + world map, sprite and pixel artwork, early sketches, notes on the characters and the world in PDF format.
Core Game Rules will continue to evolve based on player feedback / behavior in the upcoming months.
As a Duelyst, you play the role of a Bloodborn General leading your own battle squad. You have the ability to call forth battle units and cast powerful spells to battle against your opponent's General.
Victory is achieved by defeating your opponent's Bloodborn General.
- Battle Units: Each Battle Unit has 4 key stats: ATK, HP, Core Cost, and Unique Ability. Only Battle Units can move and attack on the battle map.
- Battle Spells: Each Battle Spell has 2 properties: Core Cost and Spell Effect. Spells generally target empty tiles, allies, or enemy units. Spells targeting units will typically be permanent (but can be cleansed/debuffed).
- For Ranked Normal mode, you pick your Faction and then choose faction-specific battle units and battle spells.
- Additionally, you may pick neutral spells and mercenary units to complement your squad with no restriction on unit to spell ratios.
- There is an upper bound of 25 total units + spells per custom squad.
Cores are the primary resource cost for taking actions such as deploying units, casting spells, moving and attacking with your units (for those familiar with tactics / ccgs, this is essentially your AP / Mana Pool).
At the bottom of your screen is an Action Bar with 6 Active Slots. Each turn, empty slots in your Action Bar are refilled and randomly drawn from your pre-built custom squad composition of Battle Units and Battle Spells.
- Battle Units in your Action Bar can be deployed on any empty tile around your General (assuming you meet the Core Cost requirement).
- Battle Units deployed on the battle map can move-attack or attack once per turn for 1 Core Cost.
- Battle Units cannot take another action per turn (unless modified by a unique ability / spell).
- Battle Units cannot take an action on the same turn as its deployment. Spells in your Action Bar can be cast on a target unit or tile based (assuming you meet the Core Cost requirement).
- Deployed Battle Units and cast spells are discarded from your pre-built custom squad.
- The turn ends when the player runs out of Cores with no actions left to complete or 90 seconds (for live matches).
- At start of each turn, any empty slots in your Action Bar will be refilled and randomly drawn from your custom squad build of units / spells.
- The match begins with 1 Core for Player 1 (first mover) and 2 Cores for Player 2 (second mover).
- Player Cores will increase by 1 up to a maximum of 6 Cores (excluding terrain bonuses) at the end of the turn.
- If a player completely depletes all squad components, the player's General will continue to receive -1 HP each turn.
- Movement: By default, Battle Units can move 2 tiles (unless modified by a Spell or Ability).
- Attack: Melee Units can only attack adjacent tiles. Ranged units can typically attack up to 2 tiles away (including diagonals).
- Combat Resolution: Units at 0 HP are immediately removed from the battle map (ie. no reviving).
Tiles can offer temporary or permanent bonuses if a player's unit continues to occupy it (eg. +2 Cores).
- Allies can fire and move through friendly units (but not through enemy units).
- Some Battle Spells and Battle Units can deploy covering shields to block line-of-sight.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest risk will be ensuring we can deliver our game to you by December 2014 at the highest possible quality.
This means many months prior of QA / Beta testing, battle unit/spell balancing, and multiplayer online stability and reliability.
To mitigate this, we'll always be staying in close touch with you during our development process to keep you informed on our status and any unexpected challenges that we might encounter.
We removed a lot of risk by creating a fully working tabletop board game before ever writing a line of code.
Moreover, our team has shipped many AAA titles + consumer mobile /web products in the past on incredibly tight deadlines and budgets.
Most of all, we're 100% committed to shipping and delivering our game to you no matter what. Thank you for putting your trust in us and we plan to deliver an awesome game to you :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Duelyst will release for Windows, Mac, Linux, and desktop browser (Chrome, Firefox).
PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, and Wii U require a significant level of effort so we’re still investigating the options as we continue core development. We will have new Stretch Goals on our www.duelyst.com site as well.
Yes! We now support the Linux platform after achieving our 1st Stretch Goal!
Yes, we'd love to release Duelyst on mobile + tablets for iOS/Android since we think they're awesome devices to play on.
Our team's put a lot of thinking around our custom engine to ensure cross-platform portability so mobile/tablets are definitely on the list.
But our first priority is delivering an amazing game for our initial promised platforms: Windows/Mac/Linux/Browser.
We’d absolutely love to work on a physical tabletop version!
After shipping our digital game and assuming it’s a success, we’d have the resources to also produce and launch the Duelyst board game (or work with a great partner to help us co-produce it).
We currently haven’t planned on implementing a local multiplayer mode for launch.
However, if there is a strong demand for a shared “hot seat” mode, please let us know and we plan to open up a Trello board to vote up features and also make this into an expanded Stretch Goal.
Additionally, we are exploring a non-ranked dueling system with friends using a mutual friends list.
At launch, we plan to only support 1v1 (multiplayer live and also asynchronous head-to-head) to ensure the best head-to-head play experience.
Matches beyond 1v1 are on our long term top priority list (such as 2v2 and team play).
The Kickstarter-Exclusive Abyssian Faction as well as Kickstarter-Exclusive Spells and Mercenaries *WILL* be obtainable by ALL Players, IN-GAME, through yet-to-be-revealed means. This is in-line with our intended goals and design mantra.
By pledging at the appropriate levels *now*, you can gain Kickstarter-Exclusive early access to these spells and units and have immediate access to them once Duelyst is released later this year.
Pledge $2 or more
Thank you for your support! You have our deepest gratitude and we invite you to join the Duelyst Forums where you can discuss the game with the community and be identified as a Kickstarter Supporter.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or more
1,299 backers Limited (1 left of 1300)
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: GUARDIAN TIER
Includes a digital download of the game and a set of 6 Hi-Res Backer-only wallpapers. All previous rewards included. Get it while it lasts!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or more
Includes a digital download of the game and a set of 6 Hi-Res Backer-only wallpapers. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
Includes specialized "Rogue" Alternate Faction Color Set for the Lyonar Kingdom and the "Cobra" Alternate Faction Color Set for the Songhai Empire. Plus a unique "Chromatic" Energy visual FX your opponents will see when hovering over your units and casting your spells. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or more
Be the first to experience the game with Closed BETA Access. Help us improve the game by making it better, stronger, faster. With your help assassinating bugs, you'll be thanked by name in the CREDITS. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or more
Includes a digital DRM-free copy of the OST SOUNDTRACK composed by Ben MacDougall. Plus a DIGITAL ART BOOK that includes pixel sprite concepts, character concepts, environment concepts, game assets, story revelations, hidden in-game Easter eggs, and behind the scenes notes nicely wrapped into PDF format and sent your way. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
Includes specialized Alternate Color Sets for every playable Faction to be seen by your opponents: Lyonar Kingdom, Songhai Empire, Vetruvian Empire, and Sharian Host. Plus a second set of Hi-Res wallpapers. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $60 or more
SECRET SQUAD TIER
Includes the Kickstarter Exclusive "The Abyssian" set of battle units and Bloodborn General. This playable Faction 5 includes 7 unique classes each with their own distinct abilities (Guardian, Assassin, Chaser, Arcanyst, Justice, Sentinel, and General). PLUS another copy (key or download) of the game. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $70 or more
SECRET POWERS TIER
Includes the Kickstarter Exclusive "Secret Powers", a set of 5 additional spells and 5 additional neutral mercenary minions. Includes "The Abyssian" playable Faction 5 with 7 unique classes. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
43 backers Limited (107 left of 150)
RESPLENDANT PRINT TIER
Includes a hand signed limited edition archival poster shipped directly to your location with a beautifully fashioned thank you note on the back. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $150 or more
13 backers Limited (62 left of 75)
SONGHAI GENERAL MINIATURE COLLECTOR
Includes the Bloodborn General (Songhai Empire) 75mm Miniature Figurine created in high-definition acrylic resin. Numbered and personally signed by the artist. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $150 or more
31 backers Limited (44 left of 75)
SHARIAN GENERAL MINIATURE COLLECTOR
Includes the Bloodborn General (Sharian Host) 75mm Miniature Figurine created in high-definition acrylic resin. Numbered and personally signed by the artist. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $250 or more
36 backers Limited (14 left of 50)
TWIN STRIKE MINIATURES COLLECTOR
Includes BOTH Bloodborn General 75mm Miniature Figurines for the Songhai Empire and Sharian Host. Numbered and personally signed by the artist. All previous rewards included.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $500 or more
7 backers Limited (3 left of 10)
DUELYST TRAINER TIER
Visit Counterplay Games' office in San Francisco where you will be one of the first to play an early build of Duelyst on-site! Give your feedback, thoughts, and rants directly to the development team over lunch. Additionally, we'll give you a tour of our underground product lab. Can't make it to San Francisco? Have a Skype or Google Hangout session with Duelyst Lead Keith Lee about the game or anything else on your mind. Your name will be permanently affixed to the "First Players" section of the Duelyst credits. (Transportation and lodging not provided). All previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)
The Duelyst team will assist you in designing a fully playable Battle Unit with its own distinct abilities, pixel art, animations, and personality. On top of that, you'll get to sit in with the team at our underground product lab, have dinner with the developers, and receive an invitation to the internal developer launch party (transportation and accommodations not included). Receive both 75mm miniatures (Sharian Host and Songhai Empire) both signed and numbered. You will be named in the credits as Designer.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $2,500 or more
1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
Our team will assist you in developing a fully playable spell in the game from start to finish covering the gameplay design process, visual FX, pixel artwork, iconography, and the naming of the spell. Receive both 75mm miniatures (Sharian Host and Songhai Empire) both signed and numbered. You will be named in the credits as Designer.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
BIG BOSS TIER
The Duelyst team will assist you in designing a fully playable BIG BOSS Legendary Battle Unit with its own distinct abilities, pixel art, animations, and personality. On top of that, you'll get to sit in with the team at our underground product lab, have dinner with the developers, and receive an invitation to the internal developer launch party (transportation and accommodations not included). Receive both 75mm miniatures (Sharian Host and Songhai Empire) both signed and numbered. You will be named in the credits as Designer.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
The entire Duelyst team will assist you in developing an ENTIRE FACTION in the game! This covers everything from concepts, abilities, pixel art, and animations. You will assist with the Faction Crest and each individual unit class: Guardian, Assassin, Chaser, Arcanyst, Justice, Sentinel, and General. On top of that, you'll get to sit in with the team at our underground product lab, have dinner with the developers, and receive an invitation to the internal developer launch party (transportation and accommodations not included). Receive both 75mm miniatures (Sharian Host and Songhai Empire) both signed and both numbered as No. 1. You will be named in the credits as Producer.Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)