We love fast-paced gameplay. We're mad about old school games that are a challenge to play. We're passionate about pixel art. We really love Roguelikes and classic RPGs. And we sincerely believe that every good game should be a piece of art, not just business. As a result, we're creating UnDungeon to reflect all of our principles.
Every gamer probably has their own perspective on what the ideal game is, but as developers we're in the special position of being able to bring our ideals to life. So, UnDungeon introduces a mix of Action, Roguelike, and old-school RPG styles and wraps them in a gorgeous pixel skin. And now, we’d like to share it with you!
UnDungeon will be released for PC/Mac/Linux on Steam and GOG (DRM Free). Additionally, we'd like to launch it on PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PS Vita - but ports for these consoles will be possible only after achieving corresponding stretch goals!
Since our childhood, we've always been told that the universe is endless; that there are billions of worlds and that it's impossible to reach any of them. They’ve been telling us we are billions of light years away. But what if they haven’t told us the whole truth?
What if we live in a multiverse of parallel worlds which are separated by nothing but a thin membrane. And what if this membrane is not impenetrable?
The moment in history, known as The Shift, not only made the Earth absolutely insecure, but destroyed it as a shelter for mankind. The reasons for the cataclysm are still far beyond human understanding, but its consequences have essentially changed scientific dogma related to the structure of the Universe and the position of the human race within it.
A small failure in the Multiversal mechanism combined seven parallel worlds together. Inhabitants of these very different civilizations suddenly became neighbors... against their will.
The game world is based on the Multiversal principles. This means that all dimensions which exist in the Multiverse are parallel. Therefore, multiple variations of the same place, such as Earth, are possible.
The affected worlds are not aliens to one another. They are just different variations of the same planet; variations where something went wrong in the past, causing unusual scenarios to develop.
What if one variation of our Earth was inhabited by aliens long before the appearance of homosapiens? What if, in another dimension, the evolution went a completely different way? And somewhere else again, common physical laws don't work as you'd expect?
No matter how dissimilar they are, The Shift brought them all together into a single melting pot.
Right after The Shift took place, seven Heralds appeared in different parts of the world. Each one is a keeper of the artifact called The Core.
The Core does not let its carrier die, instead causing him or her to be reborn again and again - changing the surrounding world each time the Herald resurrects. This artifact is a clue to the nature of the Shift. Each Herald feels a craving for a certain location of the newly-created world, where the power of the Core can be revealed.
The Herald moves across a procedurally-generated map which is divided into regions relating to the different worlds. He or she visits various locations communicating, fighting, and trading with other inhabitants.
The Herald desperately explores the environment trying to obey the call of the Core. Mistakes are not allowed because the score is ruled by permadeath.
Although the Core will resurrect the Herald, the old world will be lost forever, and you will have to start the exploration of a completely new planet - the equivalent of a new game beginning.
All combat takes place in real time. A character uses artifacts and amplifiers that can be combined, enabling the Herald to adapt to all possible threats.
Traditionally for top-down games, UnDungeon provides fast-paced combat with dodging, reflectors, frequent change of positions, etc. We rely on realistic physics to create more spectacular projectile trajectories, debris scattering, bouncing, grenade throwing, etc.
Each action performed in a battle, except movements, consumes a certain amount of energy points (EP).
The energy is an alternative to the traditional weapon-recharge mechanic, which makes combat more comprehensive and helps avoid mindless ability-spamming.
As a player, you act as one of the seven Heralds, each of whom comes from a particular world destroyed by the Shift. The Heralds are not ordinary creatures; they are absolutely unique in comparison with common action\RPG heroes. So let's get to know them better.
It's necessary to mention one important aspect: all characters in UnDungeon are not going to save innocents or fight for love and peace. Some of them are willing to destroy humanity and other competitors in order to gain new territory for their race.
That said, you will certainly play as a positive hero as well, but don’t hope for any privileges as with most RPGs. There's no way to solve quests the 'right' way in UnDungeon, because each solution leads to different consequence... and there is always someone who will disagree with your choice.
Exploring the world, the characters will find various supernatural objects and artifacts. There are two types of objects: passive and active. The passive ones alter various characteristics, add small additional properties, and can be stored and used in an unlimited quantity. As for active objects, they provide new features or essentially change the existing ones.
Since such objects are placed in special slots, it is possible to mix all the available character's abilities, forming a huge variety of combinations.
Each Herald has a unique pool of objects which is not available to the other characters. Consequently, each one has an exclusive playstyle and development path. What's more, each artifact provides an impact on characters' appearance.
And since the order and number of objects are totally random, each new trial is characterized by a unique character's look. Plus, each equipped artifact provides the influence on the character's appearance (sometimes these changes are vital). See the examples below:
UnDungeon is created in the isometric perspective: hand-drawn pixelart is combined with a large number of animation frames and extremely high detail.
We also plan to create a set of pixel cutscene movies that would illustrate some key events of the game. 90% of our art is drawn by hand. Seldom, we use 3D-workpieces as a basis of large objects.
The graphics were inspired by such projects as Hyper Light Drifter, EITR, Dungeon of the Endless and a mix of different genres - sci-fi, fantasy, steam and cyberpunk. Since we think that pixelart, like any branch of art, should evolve, we use features that are not common to pixel games: glowing, gradients and various colors blending modes, unlimited palette. Plus, glitch art is used to emphasise the Shift.
All game graphics and animations are made manually. We have set a goal to make the visual aspect of Undungeon as bright as possible preserving the vibe of hand made pixel art in a top-down perspective.
Music and sound design for UnDungeon are created by our good friend and experimental musician stonefromthesky. Both music and sounds are two very important components that affect the gaming experience. The sound designer's goal is to emphasize the game atmosphere. Therefore, music varies from ambient to sludgy electronic depending on a surrounding world and situation. For instance, The Wasteland Law was written for the exploration of a post-nuclear desert world. We are trying to make more studio and live sounds, because we don't want to use common chiptune soundtracks. Below, you can listen to several songs that will become the game soundtrack.
Currently, UnDungeon is situated at its pre-alpha stage of development. The working prototype has been already developed. It includes the combat system, map and local level generation, ability combination system, loot, and other aspects. The next one is a quest system.
At the same time we work on sound design. A part of OST is finished and the work on sounds is in progress.
It is hard to estimate the volume of work on art, texts, and level design - the game requires as much content as possible to become more flexible and saturated. But we are going to finish core of the game by the end of the year.
During the year, we plan to release an exclusive demo for backers - and we're looking into the possibility of creating a public demo after this.
We started working on UnDungeon more than a year ago, just as a hobby as a change from the boring office routine. The history and concept elements of the game were combined from lots of various notes, sketches, ideas (that were impossible to release during a full-time at office), and all features that other games lack.
None of us believed that the game would become such a big project. We were confident that it was impossible because of our daily jobs. Meanwhile, our idea was getting more concrete and detailed, the first animations appeared, and the first line of code was written.
Later on, we realized that we loved this game and wanted to finish it at any cost. But to implement all our ideas we needed financing.
All that we have so far has been achieved without any financial support. And we don't want to find an investor or become a part of an already existing studio, because it seems vital to make the game as we see it. Therefore, Kickstarter is the only opportunity to get the necessary finances and not to lose the game of our dream.
Scout - €10
*EARLY BIRD* You become a part of the Shift! You'll receive a digital copy of the game on its final release, (PC, Mac, Linux) and exclusive KS backers wallpapers, with a special discounted price for Early Bird backers!
Wanderer - €15
The Shift is here and the world will never be the same again! You'll have to do everything you can to survive! A digital copy of UnDungeon (platform of your choice) + Kickstarter exclusive UnDungeon digital artbook + exclusive KS backer wallpapers.
Nomad - €20
With this tier you'll be able to see and hear the consequences of The Shift. The world has changed, but you're well prepared... and can hear some stones falling down from the sky. Everything from the Wanderer tier + the digital soundtrack by stonefromthesky
Tracker - €30
Your Herald will receive powerful artefacts for the journey. Smash them all! Everything from the Nomad tier + Kickstarter-exclusive Artefact, upgrades & character skins
Ranger - €40
Make a difference to the history of The Shift! Jump on a closed beta, available exclusively for KS backers during (approx) Q3 2017. Plus, get an extra digital copy of UnDungeon! All higher pledges will include 2 copies of the game. Everything from the Tracker tier + 1 additional digital copy of UnDungeon + demo access.
Piligrim - €50
Get the music of the game on vinyl and bring the inexpressible UnDungeon atmosphere to life. In addition to the music, you'll get a solid piece of dark matter with some stunning artwork. Everything from the Ranger tier + LP Vinyl UnDungeon OST by stonefromthesky. Free shipping worldwide!
Pathfinder - €100
Learn the story behind The Shift and feel it on paper! A unique printed high quality artbook exclusively for KS backers. Everything from the Ranger tier + physical artbook. (Worldwide free shipping!)
Strider - €170
Bring a part of The Shift in your real life by getting high quality warm merchandise! A unique UnDungeon sweater with pixelated creatures to make the difference in your style! - All from Ranger reward + UnDungeon sweater + Signed UnDungeon poster! (Worldwide free shipping!)
Shifter - €200
Make your life full of The Shift with a unique printed high quality artbook, LP UnDungeon OST by stonefromthesky and an exclusive UnDungeon sweater. Everything from the Strider, Pathfinder and Piligrim tiers!
Derwish - €500
Get a unique opportunity to become a part of The Shift and decide how the cataclysm will affect the new world! Create a unique item and we'll add it to the new world (subject to approval). Everything from the Shifter tier + design an item together with the Undungeon team.
Outlaw - €700
Get a unique opportunity to become a part of The Shift and decide how the cataclysm will affect the new world! Tell your story via the letters of The Shift (subject to approval). Everything from the Shifter tier + design a quest with the UnDungeon team.
Pariah - €800
Get a unique opportunity to become a part of The Shift and decide how the cataclysm will affect the new world! Select the face of the death - decide how a creature will look (subject to approval). Everything from the Shifter tier + design an enemy or NPC with the UnDungeon team.
Exile - €1000
Get a unique opportunity to become a part of The Shift and decide how the cataclysm will affect the new world! Create your own area of the world (subject to approval). Everything from the Shifter tier + design a location with the UnDungeon team.
Observer - €1500
Get a unique opportunity to become a part of The Shift and decide how the cataclysm will affect the new world! Create an invincible boss who will terrify all enemies (subject to approval). Everything from the Shifter tier + design a boss with the UnDungeon team.
Herald - €7500
Get a unique opportunity to become a part of The Shift and decide how the cataclysm will affect the new world! Meet the freaks behind UnDungeon!! Everything that you have on all other rewards + visit Germany & Ukraine and enjoy our hospitality - we will cover reasonable travel and accommodation costs!
Risks and challenges
To get the desired opportunity to work on the project, that evolved into UnDungeon, we gathered as a team more than a year ago. We passed this long road together torn apart between full-time jobs and the game. All this time, the development was done without any budget or financing. Therefore, we are confident that nothing can stop us (:
We gained a huge experience, saw the limits of our opportunities, and understood how the game should look like. Despite the campaign results, we are going to finish the project. But financing will essentially speed up the development. UnDungeon requires lots of visual content and detailed hand drawn animations that leads to hundreds of working hours and sleepless nights.
Of course, everything is possible: missed deadlines, technical problems, health problems, and more. You never know when something like this happens, but we have prepare as much as possible - the workflow is already adjusted and is run on pre-established patterns.
- (33 days)