About this project
Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders is a hex-based, turn-based strategy war game set in the Sword of the Stars science fiction universe. Players will command the tanks, air craft and infantry assets of three different playable factions, fighting battles and campaigns from the Hiver War era, 2408-2436.
Inspired by classic strategy games like Panzer General, our ultimate goal is to create a title which can be played on multiple platforms, and is enjoyable in both single-player and multi-player modes.
"I’m not exactly a strategy buff, but the pure sensation of moving troops around, outflanking and out-thinking even an AI is addictive. The demo was far more massive than I was expecting and an hour slipped away before I’d really noticed.
--the flavour of the sci-fi universe and my unfamiliarity with the genre kept me interested. In their own way, successful defenses and annihilating strikes were exhilarating, but in a brandy and cigars way rather than a bombastic one. With a bit of patience for rather wordy tutorial, I’d recommend anyone check it out." --Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"It looks like a game where you’ll have to sink your teeth in to really understand it, but it might just be worth the energy. I recommend to the fans of the turn-based war-game genre to give this demo a try and see for yourself if this is the game you’ve been waiting for." - 3rd Strike
"TBS games kick major ass, especially with touch devices. Ground Pounders might not look as pretty as some other games, but its cross platform and asynchronous multiplayer make it more than worthy of being on this list." -- Gameswoof, Top 10 Kickstarters for Android
"I love the SotS universe, with its colorful cast of species (psychic whales, dauntless space ants, to name a couple) and hard sci-fi bent, and the idea of playing Panzer Corps in it tickles me. And it sure would be nice to play it on my iPad instead of having to dust off my Android tablet." --Pocket Tactics
If you've never played a strategy game like this before and you're not sure it's for you? We've made an Alpha Demo of Ground Pounders which features the game's Tutorial and should give you a pretty good idea of how the basic mechanics will work. Please feel free to download it from Gamer's Hell and give it a try.
Crushing planets is always fun...but we all know that being able to crush your friend's planets is even better.
Ground Pounders has been designed from the start to be an asynchoronus multi-player game. This means that play is turn-based, but that you can do your turn any time, and your opponent can get back to it any time.
No staring at the screen waiting for your opponent to move in Ground Pounders! Just do your turn, and then maybe play some single-player until your friend does his turn. The game will let you know when your opponent has finished his turn, and it's time for you to play again.
Even better though, Ground Pounders will be multi-player capable across MULTIPLE PLATFORMS! Are you stuck at work with no gaming device but your pad, while your friend across the country is already home on his PC? No problem! Ground Pounders will let you play together, regardless of the fact that you're on separate platforms. And you will be able to switch platforms on the go, so that when your friend needs to go out for dinner later in the evening, he can just switch to his phone-based version of Ground Pounders and continue the game!
Our current plan to to release the game in December for PC and Android-based phones and pads. Are you interested in seeing Ground Pounders supported on more platforms? Check our Stretch Goals! With just a little extra support from you, we'll be able to get the game out for Mac, iOS and Linux right away.
As you can probably tell, we've been working on Ground Pounders on our own for a while! We've brought the game to Alpha phase, and it is relatively close to completion. This is not a project where we ask you to throw money in the hat for a game that you might see in a year, or two years from now--this is a game that we want to finish and deliver NOW.
Our goal is to raise the funds we need to get the game to its Beta phase and final release in the next few months. Ideally, we would like to have our Backers playing the Exclusive Beta by October, and if all goes well we hope to release the game in its final state by CHRISTMAS 2013!
In order to achieve these goals, we need your help. Our Funding Goal is the money it will take to cover the team's expenses during the final push to complete the game between now and January 2014. But it's just as important to us to get as much player feedback as we can, to make Ground Pounders the best game it can possibly be!
- Control one of 3 Armies - Human, Tarka, and Hivers
- 80+ units covering Land, Sea, and Air forces
- Battle across alien worlds on exotic battlefields, including airless moons, lava plains, and meteor blasted wastelands
- Seize orbital superiority and call down Orbital Bombardment on your foes
- Build Airfields, Fortified Areas, and repair/destroy Bridges
- Improve your Unit's experience and abilities over 3 Playable Campaigns
- Unlock and collect Combat Cards for each playable Race
- Build unique Combat Card Decks and tune them for specific Battles
- Choose from dozens of Scenarios, playable in Skirmish Mode or Head-to-Head Multi-player Mode
- Cross-Platform Support for PC and Android-compatible devices
- Create and Trade your own Battles using Scenario and Unit Editors
- Enjoy a SotSdex filled with Lore details on famous Units, Personalities, Battles and Weapon Systems
Backer's Only Forums - All Supporters of the Ground Pounders campaign at $5+ will have access to a password-protected Backer's Only forum and will be able to download special Backer's Only wallpapers, forum avatars etc..
Early Bird Price - Supporters who jump in early will be able to get their downloadable copy of the finished game on release for a special Early Bird price of $15. Just a little extra Thank-You for your support of our crowd-funding campaign!
Game Credits - All Supporters at $20 and above will have the option of being listed in the game's credits.
Buddy Pack - Supporters at this level will get TWO copies of the game for one low price upon release, allowing them to immediately bash heads against their favorite opponent in multi-player for only $25.
Digital Bundle - Supporters at $30 and above will receive an exclusive set of Wallpapers, concept art and Backer's Only digital goodies focused on the Units, Combat Cards, Battles, Characters and Lore of Ground Pounders.
Beta Access - All Supporters at $45+ will receive exclusive Backer's Only Beta Access in October, in addition to the Digital Bundle and Listing in the game's Credits.
Sword of the Stars Dice - All Supporters at $50 and above will receive a beautiful set of special edition six-sided dice! Each set contains six dice in the six colors above, marked with emblems from the major empires of the Sword of the Stars universe in the years 2408-2508. Human, Hiver, Tarka, Liir, Zuul and Morrigi empires are all here, ready to play. These are suitable to any table-top game.
The Ground Pounders challenge coin is a replica based on the official Sol Force challenge coins which are issued to survivors of every successful Ground Forces campaign.
Sword of the Stars Premium Lore Book! - This giant compendium of Sword of the Stars fiction and art was one of the most popular Backer rewards of a previous crowd-funding campaign. This limited edition, oversized hardbound book is over 300 pages long, and includes never-before-seen illustrations and fiction from the entire Sword of the Stars universe, from 2004-2013. Includes never-before-seen concept art and insider interviews with the team!
The Special Edition Kerberos Stick will come to you loaded with the assets of your Digital Bundle, plus an assortment of extra art, teasers and goodies from Kerberos Productions.
Ground Forces Dog Tags!
Backers who opt for the Gambler's Pack or Barracks Pack will receive a set of collectible photo-etched dog-tags!
Ground Pounders Playing Cards!
The Ground Pounders playing cards are a Spotter deck used by Sol Force troopers in the barracks. The cards feature the silhouettes of common enemy units and are designed to improve the speed and accuracy of Hostile Recognition in the field. This is a standard full-color 52-card deck with Jokers, featuring Sword of the Stars art on the front and back of each card.
Ground Forces T-Shirt!
The Campaign T-Shirt for Ground Pounders features the official shield symbol of the Ground Forces division of Sol Force, with the Ground Forces motto in Latin. Tell the world you were Born to Brawl with the slogan Hi Mundi Custodiemus - "We Will Watch Over These Worlds".
Ground Forces Hydration Bottle!
The Ground Forces Hydration Bottle is a 44-ounce, single-walled stainless steel water bottle with a threaded lid designed to hang from the service belt of standard Brawler armor. Keep the mud, the blood and the crud out of your precious beverage!
Design a Card!
Supporters at this level will collaborate with the Ground Pounders design team to add a unique Combat Card to the final game. Card Designers will receive official recognition for their design contribution in the game’s credits. Please note: Kerberos Productions reserves the right to veto any Card Design if it violates the intellectual property rights of another person or company, or if it violates the company’s policies regarding hate speech, harassment or age-inappropriate content.
Design a Unit!
Supporters at this level will collaborate with the Ground Pounders design team to add a unique Unit to the final game! Unit Designers will receive official recognition for their design contribution in the game’s credits. Please note: Kerberos Productions reserves the right to veto any Unit Design if it violates the intellectual property rights of another person or company, or if it violates the company’s policies regarding hate speech, harassment or age-inappropriate content.
Design a Battle!
Supporters at this level are invited to pick their favorite historical battle, from ancient times to modern, and collaborate with the Ground Pounders design team to model a unique Battle which will be added to the final game! Battle Designers will receive official recognition for their design contribution in the game’s credits. Please note: Kerberos Productions reserves the right to veto any Battle Design if it violates the intellectual property rights of another person or company, or if it violates the company’s policies regarding hate speech, harassment or age-inappropriate content.
Backers at this level will receive TWO Ground Forces t-shirts and a special VIP card, personalized with your name. Holders of the Kerberos VIP card are granted insider-only access to the company’s games in development, and free entry to any Kerberos public event, including those that would normally be Press Only.
True Believers also have the right to cast a vote when choosing the company's next project!
The production team of Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders consists of eight professional game developers, who between them have over 80 years of cumulative experience in the gaming industry and have contributed to over a dozen shipped titles.
To read the full details on all eight members of the team and all the games we've made over the years, please check our Team Bios here.
Do we have Stretch Goals? Yes we do! Our primary goal for this campaign is very simple, just enough funding to keep the lights on while we take the game to its Beta phase and final phase over the next few months. But if we manage to raise more than the basics, we've put together a few Stretch Goals that we believe will increase the value of the game for all Backers of the project.
48K - MAC VERSION!
Our first Stretch Goal is to release the Mac and PC versions of Ground Pounders simultaneously. If we reach this goal, all Backers at the Early Bird Level and above will receive both the PC and Mac versions of the game for free.
60K - iOS VERSION!
Our second Stretch Goal will be to make Ground Pounders available on all Apple-compatible pads and phones. Again, if we reach this goal, all Backers at the Early Bird Level and above will receive the PC, Mac and iOS versions of the game.
68K - LINUX SUPPORT!
Never to be forgotten are the Linux users! If we make our third Stretch Goal, we will make a Linux version of the game available to players who prefer that platform. All Backers at the Early Bird Level and Above will have access to the Linux version.
75K - CARD BOOSTER PACK!
Our fourth Stretch Goal is a Booster Pack DLC which will add 15 new Combat Cards to the base game. If we reach this Stretch Goal, all Backers at the Early Bird Level and above will receive the Booster Pack DLC for free.
80K - HIGH DEF MAP PACK FOR MOBILE USERS!
If our campaign reaches the lofty goal of 80K, we'll release a second DLC, a High-Definition Map Pack. All Backers at the Early Bird Level and above will receive the Map Pack for free.
105K - LIIR "WET WARS" EXPANSION!
If our campaign reaches 105K, all Backers will receive a full DLC expansion for the game which will model the planetary combat on water worlds versus the Liir! Here's your chance to explore far-future wet navy strategy and tactics, command the aquatic war machines and conquer underwater cities of the SotSverse.
130K - ZUUL WAR "MUD AND BLOOD" EXPANSION!
When Ground Pounders reachers 130K of player support, we will move the game into the Zuul War era! Everyone's favorite "Evil Race" will hit the ground running in vicious ground combat versus Human, Hiver, Tarka and Liir armies!
150K - GROUND POUNDERS BOARD GAME!
If this campaign reaches the highest levels of funding, we will design and print a Special Edition Board Game featuring full-color printed hex maps, printed cardboard counters, special edition Dice and full-color cards. All Backers at the Barracks Pack level and above will receive their own boxed copy for free as a thank you for their support.
Risks and challenges
Once we secure funding for the last few months of work and testing, there is very little standing in the way of completion of this project. We have already released an Alpha Demo with the core mechanics of the game already in place, and our major goals in the coming months will be to add content, open up the game for testing by our Backers, and begin collecting the all-important player feedback and suggestions!
From the present Alpha to the Beta, we will be opening up the multi-player suite and implementing the first playable Campaign, as well as adding the Unit Experience feature, Deck Building feature, and incorporating more Air, Sea and Tunnel Units.
From the beginning of the planned Beta in October to the Final Release of the game in December, we would like to incorporate all three complete Campaigns, all the corresponding SotSdex info, and get the game playing smoothly on Android platforms as well as PC.
Our major focus from the beginning of Beta until release will be to collect feedback and suggestions from our Backers. We are especially looking forward to any Card, Unit and Battle Designs that they will add to the final game!
Naturally we have high hopes for this campaign, and we've come up with some Stretch Goals in case things go well. If we manage to achieve them, we'll be able to add additional platforms to the Ground Pounders package, as well as content and extras which we hope will add to the value of the final game for all Backers.
Fingers crossed for our first campaign on Kickstarter--thank you for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! The game will deliver your messages to your opponent when it submits your turn.
How will the races differ from each other? Will there be more than just cosmetic distinctions between the sides?.
The races differ, as in the original Sword of the Stars, in many ways--from initial design philosophy to actual special units. Hivers get tunneling units, for example, and Tarkas have fast artillery units that no other race can match.
Multi-player is 2 player only for the initial release of the game, but we may add more in expansions.
The plan is to be able to have at least a half-dozen games on the the go.
For multi-player, you'll be able to set up games using people in your friends list, or you can be auto-matched to a random player.
No. But if you submit a finished turn and your opponent does not, after a set period of time the game will automatically be forfeited to you.
Yes! Our first self-published game, "Sword of the Stars: The Pit" is already carried on a variety of distribution sites (Gamer's Gate, GOG, etc.) that offer a DRM-free option, specifically for those players who prefer to avoid it. We intend to do the same for players of Ground Pounders.
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