We are beyond excited to announce that Project Lodus will be releasing on Windows PC! Check out Update #7 for the details.
Because of that we can now assure you that in the reward tiers that offer copies of the game, we can guarantee that you WILL get those copies on Windows PC. Sorry for the confusion - we unfortunately cannot edit the wording of the reward tiers after they're created.
In regards to questions of what, if any, kinds of DRM you might expect on the final game: It is our intention to not overload the game with oppressive DRM, but it is difficult to make a guarantee this early. We think Steam would be a great fit for us, so you might expect something like that.
Final Hours Updates:
Every backer will now be receiving the Project Lodus soundtrack, regardless of the outcome of our campaign!
Every backer will now also be entered into a raffle to win 1 of 10 Project Lodus shirts (from the 300 tier), regardless of the outcome of our campaign!
Read more about these special promotions in Update #16.
Audio credits: “We Can Make The World Stop” by The Glitch Mob, “Farewell to the Former World” by Blue Sky Black Death, “Three Thousand” by These New Puritans. All copyright their respective owners.
We're proud to announce we're the first developer to partner with the new and awesome GamerSuggestions.com! We still have our forums for discussion and debate, but GamerSuggestions allows anyone to submit and vote on items for Project Lodus. We'll be watching and voting ourselves too!
As the more perceptive among you have no doubt noticed by the title, Project Lodus is a Cyberpunk Co-op Action RPG being developed by industry up-and-comers (can we say that about ourselves?) Leviathan Interactive. We're focusing on crafting an engaging story experience, presenting some seriously eye-popping visuals and art direction that make for an exciting world to have fun in, and populating said world with tons of everyone’s favorite stuff: loot. We're also taking a different approach to the combat system, involving some big name Hollywood swordmasters from the very beginning giving us pretty badass-looking choreography while still allowing the player to rely on specials, abilities, and other basic cornerstones.
RPGs are easily our favorite genre - we want to stay true to classics like Baldur's Gate and Diablo. More to that, we want to be honest with you guys and say that we don't want to see a whole lot changed. Those games were tons of fun, so why mess with a good thing?
Well, we also love smart design. Changes can absolutely be for the better, if they are done right. Clunky user interfaces make it harder to get to the loot you want and even sometimes to sort the good stuff out from underneath the pile of junk. Repetitive attack animations make the game all about the grind for the loot. The grind can be rewarding, but why can't your character, "Sparky McKickbutt" look as cool as his gear suggests he is 100% of the time? Why can't getting the loot be just as fun as the loot itself?
These are the main questions we're asking with Project Lodus. If you read on, or if you haven't already take a look at the video above, you'll see that we're well on our way to an answer already.
Now, the reeeeally savvy among you are no doubt asking yourselves... "Who the heck are these guys?" And that's fair, considering the vast majority of you have never heard of Leviathan Interactive before. We're a new studio, but we are definitely hitting the ground running. Everyone working on Project Lodus - about 10 people - are super passionate about the project and what they are contributing. Honestly, we can't be more grateful for everything this team has done so far.
Our core team is made up of Hans, Garrett, and Cameron. We're gamers through and through - fans of good games, and even sometimes bad ones. (We're all looking at Cameron, who played and beat Rogue Warrior. Ouch.) In a nutshell, we're fans who love what we play, but we definitely think some things could be a little better.
Everything that Leviathan has done so far on Project Lodus has been on our own dime - we're completely self-funded. And while we started out doing this on the side, we've recently transitioned to putting our full time and effort into this dream of ours. Project Lodus has 100% of our faith and attention, and we really hope you guys dig it. Let's get into what this game is all about.
A group of friends living in a secluded society, brainwashed and closed off from the rest of the universe discover the remains of an advanced civilization hidden underneath their so-called utopia.
With the help of an eccentric old man who is more than he seems, four kids venture below the surface and unearth the long-lost secrets of an underground world riddled with technology, the likes of which no one they know has ever seen.
They soon learn that secrets and conspiracies hold merit, and that such power brings great evil to those who are not prepared to receive it.
At its heart, this is a coming of age story. At the time of telling, all of our main characters will be 15 years old. As the game moves forward, we will see each of them grow up, mature, and be affected by the events unfolding around them. By the end of the game they will talk differently, act differently, and absolutely look the part of a seasoned, battle forged badass.
Throughout the story, our heroes will be forced to face down a more humane issue than just finding the next baddie to rip to shreds (although that will most definitely be an option!): human augmentation. In order to survive in the technology-ridden city below, they must assimilate pieces of tech - armor, weapons, neural augmentations - to survive. Those upgrades don’t come without a price. Story and events will have tangible effects on character development making your time investment worthwhile for more than just insanely epic loot.
At Leviathan, we fully believe in carving out your own unique spot in whatever you do. So when thinking about RPGs we immediately knew for us that meant no elves, no orcs, no magic wizards – that fantasy setting has its place, but we wanted to create our own brand new world.
What we ended up with is a mashup of classic scifi art inspired lighting and style, cyberpunk environments and mentalities, a modest dash of post-apocalyptica for fun, mixed with lots of our own style for flavor. The surface town our heroes are from is set on planet Lodus’ barren alien desert. But as they venture underground, an entirely different experience awaits. An ancient yet preserved cyberpunk metropolis rests in a massive cavern waiting to be explored. A thick blue atmosphere coats the dead city that still seems eerily alive. The heroes will be fighting on top of interconnected skyscrapers, down in the streets where back alley aug dealers used to be – there are so many places we can’t wait for you to explore.
Any RPG wouldn’t be complete without tons of loot, we’re no different. We plan on having lots of it, with crafting systems that add to the depth and longevity of your kit building beyond just picking up a new sword. Basic weapons will be basic as you’d expect, but in progressing through the game you’ll find cooler and cooler tech. For example: a shield at first could be just a simple metal shield with a simple folding mechanism for when it’s not in use. Midway through the game, your shield will be built into your arm and have more elaborate mechanical parts to fold out. Later, you will start to replace the metal surface of it with a force field and the highest level ones might be completely energy-driven.
One of our biggest artistic undertakings will be designing the User Interface for this game. Too often we see clunky, near unusable UIs that really take away from the excitement and immersion of the game. After all, it's your loot, you earned it. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to find, equip, trade, or even junk your items and jump right back into the fight.
We already said that we want to do big things with our combat system, and being that we're making an Action RPG, you might have already assumed that. It's just a fact - combat is a key, irreplaceable part of the genre. And there are a lot of parts that come together as you grind through that dungeon with your friends. At any given moment in battle, a player has to consider a huge range of variables, such as:
- Their character’s health
- Their opponent’s health
- Health of party members
- Environmental hazards
- Enemy “tells” (that a big attack is coming)
- Triggering context-sensitive attacks
- Objects in the world that may be required to further the story
And a lot more. But the most central component to all of this is... come on... we all know it... stats. Behind all of this, there is a back-end that revolves around a multitude of stats - his, yours, hers, it's, etc.
If you take stats away from the player, you end up with a really dumbed-down system, and that's out of the question. We’re fans of realism in combat, but if you up the realism too much, you end up with something brutal like Dark Souls, which was a great game, but masochism's not quite what we're going for here. We realized that our sweet spot was in the realm of a wide base set of statistics that are still visible to the player, but are built into the system in such a way as to serve the intense choreography we would be getting from our swordmasters. Keep the basic input method of games like Bastion or Skyrim, reward players for strategic use and encourage a deeper understanding, and then wrap it all up in completely badass choreography.
Which is a nice segue into introducing those swordmasters we've been talking about. One of the most unique things about our 10 person team at Leviathan is that it includes our very own resident swordmasters. Whereas most game companies will hire professionals on for a short time as consultants and build their combat system at a later time without them, we are integrating the professionals from the beginning. Not only are they choreographing the combat, they are actually assisting in its integration into the game and later will play a key role in balancing and fine-tuning.
So who are these guys? Our fight team is comprised of Jan Bryant, Dan Speaker, and Kim Turney. You can check out their laundry list of credits by clicking their names and heading to their IMDB pages, but some key projects they've been involved with have been Hook, Army of Darkness, Master and Commander: Far Side of the World, Hidalgo, and Three Musketeers. They've worked with some amazing people, so we're really excited to have them on our team. If you want to learn more about them, check out their website:
But why all the emphasis on choreography? As we mentioned earlier, loot is always fun, but the journey to the loot can be really repetitive. At most, a game might have around 3 - 7 attack animations per weapon. Now, if you lump specials and abilities on top of that, you have a pretty acceptable array of moves to pull from. But consider this: in an 8 hour game, with 5 attack animations, you could see the same animation 720 times. Honestly, if the female voice living inside my smart phone can tell me where to hide a body, I think we can do a little better than that.
And that's really the central point to our combat system. We are doing away with the same old repetitive attack animation system and replacing it with what will hopefully be a seemingly endless patchwork pattern of choreographed attacks that feel unique and supremely realistic.
Like many projects on Kickstarter, Project Lodus has been 100% self funded up to this point.
When you're self-funded, you have to strike that balance between being entrenched in your own game and dreams, and sticking your head out every once in a while to show people what you've got. Before coming to Kickstarter, we were able to show our game to several publishers. We were absolutely thrilled with the positive responses we got. They loved the idea, they just needed something playable, with a bit of polish.
By supporting this project, you are helping us make a vertical slice demo, which is basically a small part of the game world presented in a playable state with all the intended features in. This is what the next step would be for any developer in our position, and it’s what publishers and other investors want to see in order to make a money decision.
The funds will enable us to pay some or even all of our employees for their work and it will also help to pay for the time we spent in the motion capture studio.
Of course, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing funding platform, meaning if we do not reach our goal, we don't get anything. The goal of $50,000 we set is the minimum we need to get this thing off the ground and to a more tangible point. The final cost of development will be substantially higher, and it would be a lot to ask you guys to put that much faith in us. That being said, we already have a huge amount of interest in this game from suits in the industry. So the more money we can raise here, the more polished our vertical slice will be, and the more locked-in our chances will be of getting published. It's up to you guys!
But who ARE you people? We want to know! The thing is, guys and gals, we're asking you to believe in us. If we were big-name industry celebrities, that might be a lot easier. But we know we're a new studio and we have yet to prove ourselves in a tangible way.
If you do decide to donate, there is no way we can ever thank you enough, even if we don't reach our goal. And while we would love to come (probably uninvited), sit on your couch and play hours upon hours of Skyrim with you, we figure it's best to settle on social media and forums.
Our goal as a company is to be as open as possible, to share our ideas with the fans and involve them because without the fans, there is no game. The best place to be a part of Project Lodus right from the beginning is our forums. Our devs are on every day and relish dialog with interested fans. (Plus we really need to help Garrett to stop having conversations with his ThreeA toys). Other ways to be involved are of course Twitter and Facebook.
Investing in a demo takes courage, but it's also a great way to have an impact on the game from the beginning. We'll be looking for your input on everything from release platforms, to balancing the combat system, and pretty much everything in between. It's your money, and we want your voice to be heard.
Garrett Schultz - Garrett has been a graphic and user interface design professional for eight years. A passionately creative person, he is actively involved in many fields of art and is equipped and excited to share his vision as Art Director. When not creating, Garrett enjoys gaming, discovering music, and finding inspiration (just check out his Tumblr!). Favorite Games: Thief: Deadly Shadows, Bioshock, The Mass Effect Trilogy.
Hans Pasricha - An avid gamer with years of project management experience in the mobile and web markets, Hans is humbled and excited to be a part of such a talented team. With extensive experience in stunt choreography, he is uniquely qualified to bring Lodus's combat system to life in an exciting way. Favorite games: Fable 2, Portal 2, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Cameron McAteer - A fast learner and self-starter, Cameron is currently attending CSUN where his programming skill set broadens every day. He often shares stories and ideas with friends that would make their favorite games even better, and is passionate about his role as Technical Director on Project Lodus. Favorite Games: The Halo Franchise, The Half-Life Franchise, Rummikub.
So that's it. We hope you guys like the project! It has been our main passion for many months now, and we would be really excited to focus even more on it. Even if we do not reach funding, this will still be our dream. We will continue to work, and to try to make this happen.
With Utmost Thanks,
- (35 days)