An interstellar tactical wargame. Built by a the worlds most dangerous geeks, and a US Marine.
We, are Fleet Intelligence.
We, have decided to take matters into our own bits. Our agents at Mercenary Game Studios have been infiltrating this planets vast sea of gamer communities. We, have decided they should rest from being network guerrillas, and to continue building our prototype commlink.
We, are searching for the best strategy gamers on this world.
MEDIA, SOL-III :
Fleet Intelligence : Our corporate espionage and recruitment efforts have been documented by these media entities.
"Kickstarting a sci-fi military game." Tracey Lien @ polygon.com
"Infamy suits (the lead engineer) well. When he gets worked up (which is often) the Californian has the brash demeanor of a James Bond villain, taunting the momentarily disabled hero with his master plan for world domination." Owen Faraday @ pockettactics.com
"Ok, you got me in my weak spot guys." Adam Solo @ spacesector.com
"Usually, these kinds of punks will get lynched in our forums.....But the project seemed original, daring and a far cry from the usual delusions of most indie developers.....So we looked at their concept work, and we even ended up writing an article in the magazine..." Omar Boulon @ canardpc.com
FleetCOMM : Operation Vigrior is an open world strategy game. Players will be thrust into one section of the galaxy, running missions, combat scenarios, reconnaissance and saving human colonies.
Fleet Command and Control. Players will be given a fleet ansible. This tool is capable of creating, saving and executing complex combat maneuvers. The player can execute their own designs with one trigger. This tool eliminates the need to ramp up a players interface skill, while giving the player visual feedback in a real time combat environment. Players can focus on strategy and maneuvers, instead of clicking speed.
Fleet Intelligence : This prototype ansible is currently being developed. For this task, We, have selected individuals with unique backgrounds in maneuver warfare. Our agents include a Corporal of Marines.
Fleet Intelligence : However, we still need YOU, Commander. You will be the one creating the next generation of combat maneuvers.
This is our mission in Operation Vigrior.
CORE GAME MECHANICS
(2D) OPEN WORLD. Players will operate in one sector of the galaxy, Vigrior. They will be given an entire campaign, in an open (quite possibly, endless) map, with unique story driven missions. Players can do any mission, any time, in any area they reach.
RTS/RTT STANDARD ELEMENTS. We aren't reinventing the wheel on this game, though we are making some small modifications. No more build orders, no structural dependencies, no resource gathering. Map controls and unit controls are about the same, except you will have the capacity for a dynamic range of maneuvers.
COOPERATIVE GAMING. Players will be able to use their local network, or the planetary network, and run up to 4 player games.
HORDE ENEMY A.I. Players will encounter enemies that operate as swarms, each enemy also having unique abilities. Players will often be outnumbered, however, in the scope of maneuver warfare, numbers don't account for victory. In an open world map, the enemy can come from anywhere, and nowhere.
RECON MISSIONS. Ever seen an RTS / RTT game have fun side quests? You'll get locked areas where you will guide a fleet on a fixed flight path. Your task will be to survive, evade, and cloak.
MISSION AND MANEUVERING DATA. Players will be able to save their current state in Vigrior (assuming they have cleared all combat encounters), as well as save their fleet maneuvering data. These files will be easy to mod, and share all over the web. Players will also be able to record their ansible transmissions to video files.
FLEET UPGRADES. Players will be upgrading their fleets; adding new ships and increasing the rate of their ships maneuverability. They will also be able to deploy multiple fleets at once, if they have earned their stripes.
BOSS FLEETS. We'll let you simmer on what that implies. We don't intend to create "boss characters" that are overdone. Instead, we will be creating unique enemy fleets, with very precise maneuvers. It is up to you to study how to defeat these Viral anomalies.
ROSTER, MERCENARY GAMES
- Google Translate, Voice Actress, Counter Intelligence Agent.
- Andy Lucas, Dungeon Master, SciFi Story Campaigns, Battle Systems Design. Andy has been designing and playing tabletop games, adventures, and RPGs for over 20 years. He groks the role of an adventure hook, and is the guardian of this art form in our crew.
- Ben Canant, has been digitally compositing effects into videos since he was 14 years old. A life-long lover of movie magic, he enjoys bringing his Photoshop skill into three dimensions (width, height, and time.) Additionally, he is a passionate voice actor, having contributed to the flight combat simulator game IL-2 Sturmovik, and a fan project to add voices to classic LucasArts adventure games. He also has been a regular performer on a live radio drama show on KZSC in Santa Cruz, CA. He wants to be an astronaut when he grows up.
- Alan Richardson, Mathematics, Graphics Pipeline Programmer. Alan is a fine tuned compiling machine. He is responsible for coding reconnaissance, as well as researching new technologies for our game engine. He works with the mathematics and graphics pipeline, from shaders to OpenGL.
- "Spider", Enemy Concept, Sketches, Design Theorist. An agent of chaos, 'it' is responsible for the Virals. We contain its' madness in our studio, to save the MultiVerse from total destruction.
- Nuwati Solis, Sound Shaman, Vapor, Electronica, Dubstep, WUB(WOB^3). Wob wob, wob wuub wuuuuuub wob, wob wob wab wob waarrrrrbz.
- Jason Smidt, Art Director, Particle Effects, Protagonist Ships, Experiment #4. He is the sole human voice in this studio. Surrounded by insanity, volatile technology, angst, and psychosis, he explores and dissects our cacophony, with the grace and cunning of Bob Ross.
- Slade Villena, Pyrotech Cosmonaut, Game Engine Tools and Battle Systems Engineer. A former US Marine turned cyberpunk code-slinger. He is currently recovering from toxic exposures to industrial brogramming. Part of his recovery process includes making real game engines, while following a balanced programmer regimen of dubstep, wubwob, electronica, bacon, ramen, and curry.
This project supports the Kicking it Forward campaign.
We're not asking for a "fortune" here on KickStarter. We're asking for fuel. This is an expedition for us, it is a journey we want to complete. Unfortunately, this economy is a complete mess, it's hard to find steady work for all our crewmates, some of us still go to school.
You've made it this far down the page; past all that cacophany of lasers, battle formations and dubstep. Surely, a feat to be reckoned? Here's what we need from you all.
- A community of interested Gamers. This is our most critical component. We want YOU, Commanders, Conquerors, and Wingmen. We can't accomplish this without an armada. Without you, we have nothing.
- Enough scheduling and production time to complete a public beta, to be launched between August 1 - 15, 2012. We give ourselves a two week spread to maneuver around casualties and heisenbugs. If properly fueled, we will guarantee delivery.
- Room and Board, for all our crew members. We got the tools and the talent, now we just need a steady supply of curry, bacon and ramen. Our landlords need to be satisfied as well.
12000 US$ is the bare minimum we need to survive. And that's stretching it, way past "spartan" levels of living. We have multiple sources of talent in our crew, and unfortunately, talent can't survive without food and shelter. That's without bacon, just ramen and curry. We'll handle it.
Check the rewards tab on this page, and you'll see how we respect the needs of gamers, and their budgets. We offer buddy passes, free system ports, all expansions, and all editions of this game. We also offer our research, and we welcome the scrutiny of our patrons, we roll prototypes to show our progress. We won't keep you in the dark.
So, how do we work for that bacon? Check out our offers, we'll give you a solid deal. We're also going to show our ammunition and capabilities, listed below. These studio assets will be updated periodically throughout our Kickstarter regimen.
GAME ENGINE : DRAUPNIR
Mercenary Games operates with independent technology. We are not beholden to external interests, nor marketing entities. We make games from the ground up.
Our core systems are C, C++, and OpenGL. We choose these technologies so we can spread the engine to all platforms that support reusable and portable systems. No gatekeeper tech.
We also use a mixed set of open-source and closed-source tech originating from other independent crews; GLFW, Pyro, AntTweakBar, enet, OpenSteer
As of this writing, our engine is approaching an alpha state, and requires at least 4-5 months of full time development to create a playable beta in a PC environment.
Why do we want to port this engine? We feel that this kind of strategy game needs to be seeded in gaming environments outside of the PC realm. Mobile devices, game consoles, and tablets have limited complexity of interface. These devices cannot accommodate the full spectrum of a traditional strategy game environment. A few of the problems we have researched include limited screen space, the lack of a keyboard and mouse, and being bound to the limits of a console controller. Mercenary Games attempts to solve these interface issues with our game engine, our fleet editor tool was designed to operate in as many environments as possible.
Our porting targets include the following digital oceans. These also represent the order where we will be porting our engine;
- Windows XP / Vista / 7, our engine is stable in 32 & 64 bit versions. Our goal is to create the game on these systems first, and to spread to the next set of systems once our engine is in a beta state.
- Linux (currently testing 64 & 32 bit versions) and Mac OSX (in development); Part of our porting efforts include these operating systems! Linux is close to our <3, and Macs? Yeah sure, bring them along, Macs need better games anyway :)
- iOS; supporting the first-gen iPad, and possibly iPhones.
- Android; through the Android NDK or through Google Native Client.
- PlayStation3; our programmers have experience developing on the studio developers kit. We honed our engine skills at UCSC's PS3 academic program. Porting to this system will not be easy, and will most likely make us hire a few more mercenaries.
UPDATE : we are now officially supporting Linux as part of our public beta release, as well as Mac OSX.
Unfortunately, we will need a good amount time to port our engine. We can guarantee a Windows + Linux + Mac Desktop PC release with our initial goal. However, if we significantly surpass this goal, we can commit our time and effort to releasing to other digital platforms.
As of this writing, our engine, including all our particle effects and sprites, measures at a very lean 115MB of memory (including our own internal game engine editors and modding tools), while only occupying 30MB of drive storage space. We've also tested and operated on the oldest, and most unreliable systems we can find. We designed this engine to take a beating, and survive. We intend to keep our systems lean, and with your support, this engine can fly through all digital channels.
Our game engine supports modders and people who want to learn how make games. As best as we can, we would like deliver Draupnir as a completely moddable engine.
This would be a worthy side quest for our team. If we receive more than 4x of our funding goal here on KickStarter, we will use that extra capacity to forge a modding kit, using a Creative Commons License. This kit will include game assets, character editing tools, map editors, planet editors, the fleet editor tool, and everything else we can discover within the next few months. As part of this guarantee, we will include community voted mods as part of the game's release, on the house, for as long as the game is distributed, in any platform we support.
We cannot offer our internal source code. The past few months in this industry have shown our team that there are shady characters willing to rip off independent crews. We wish to keep our art, and our tools safe from those who would do this to us.
ART CELL, Jason and Spider
The art of Virgior is designed with visual differentiation in mind. Each ship has a unique size and silhouette, and its shape is designed to evoke its ability and function, and in some cases, its background. Brace yourselves for stuffy language.
Unity Ships (By Jason)
The ships of the Unity fleet are all hard lines and strong features. Smooth and symmetrical, they embody order and a strongly-constructed power.
They’re also blue.
Blue is a good guy color.
The Thor’s design is large and powerful, and is based on the shape of a pendant of Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. (no emblem yet)
The design of the Heimdall is based on an inverted shield shape with a reinforced front, to signify its defensive capabilities. (no emblem yet)
The Loki is loosely based on a caricature of a ghost, showing off its sneaky side. Its emblem is a single eye, serving to signify spying and evoke its namesake, Loki, who had a venomous snake tied above his face as punishment, dripping venom into his eyes. (emblem shown)
Viral Ships (By Spider)
The Virals were requested to be Organic, Crystalline, Asymmetrical, part ship and part Life-form. I ended up deriving much of their look from Shells, or Carapaces while adding a flare of Wickedness to them. Clearly, I listen to a lot of Metal…
This ship came out completely different from it’s original intent and design. All that is left of the original design is the “Quad-Wings”. Though, I still plan to go back and give the original another try. I love H.R. Giger… Don’t you?
More or less a collaborative effort between Jason and I, Jason suggested a Horseshoe Crab-like body which sounded like a great idea to me. Though, this ship did require several variants to get it where it is today. Furthermore, it had to appear like it could take a total beating and still chug-along.
My first design was the Gasher for the Kamikaze-Ship, and required very few revisions, if any. It's also the only ship that has any kind of consitant Hard/Straight lines solely because of its function; in addition to make its Cone feel thick and heavy.
Figure = Function, and… “Design is Law.” In my first week of working with Mercenary-Games, I was asked to create three ships based on one-of-three Functions/Motions: Kamikaze, Sniping, and Cruising. It’s also the only ship that has any kind of consitant Hard/Straight lines soley because of its function, in addition to make its Cone feel thick and heavy.
Yes! Thought it's fairly sparse at the moment.
Short answer, it's a fleet maneuvering game.
Long answer, we're blending combat maneuvers and abilities from many strategy games, and making some weapons of our own. We give you more control and maneuverability over your units.
Will this game be offered DRM-free? (i.e. possible to install and run on a standalone PC without an Internet connection).
Short answer; yes. We are gunning for Steam and Desura, and I believe their platforms support a less restrictive DRM system.
The game will also feature solo play, and will not require a web connection. We're going to be introducing network play possible through LAN, and using a server module that will be open source.
To answer your question in full, we will have to research our options. We do want our game to be flexible to the user, and we don't feel like playing "network nanny" with cumbersome authentication technology. We want our players to just click the game, and go! :)
When you are actually playing the game wouldn't you need to make a lot of adjustments to your formations to account for the actual positions of the enemy fleet?
Nope. Our fleet editor is going to be an "out of the game loop" tool, you can adjust and tweak to your hearts content there.When you run a mission, you simply load data generated by the fleet editor, and toggle formations with 1 click, you'll be adjusting "frequently" by shifting to different fleet formations, but the formations themselves don't require any tweaking.If you still wanna tweak? Head back to your handy dandy fleet editor when you are done with your mission :)
We intend to ship in Linux and Mac OSX.
2 years, 3 months, 31 days and counting.
Tell us about it : firstname.lastname@example.org
All we need, is a make, model, and graphics card, plus what happened to your build.
Sorry 'bout the crash. Now allow us to slay the bug for you. Report and recon us some juicy targets, and Mercenary Games will add you to our "Bug Hunters" credit list.
This questions is a very huge internal debate. It is also a matter of team unity, and respect for all of our work.
We cannot commit an answer to making our source available freely to the public.
Because an "open source" project is not our mission, nor will an open source project make our game happen.
We need to delivery this game first, then we can think about it again.
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FUND A MERCENARY. With this contribution, you will have the gratitude of an independent game developer crew. Seriously, we'd be thankful for any amount of "fuel" to aid us. We wanna finish this expedition, and you helped make it happen.Estimated delivery:
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[DEMO PASS] We value your patronage. All our Kickstarter backers will have exclusive access to our combat prototypes and fleet maneuvering tools. These prototype systems will be released periodically over the course of the games development, and will also be available after our Kickstarter fueling cycle. This pass will not be available after May 4th, 11:59PM.Estimated delivery:
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SINGLE PASS : Pre Order this Game. Mercenaries deliver! We don't "suffer" from deadlines, we thrive on it. We work with good resources, precision game engine tools, rapid prototypes, and great talent. We work as a team, we believe in sharing our talents, and testing them. We may be undermanned, but we are never outgunned. If we are successfully fueled for this expedition, here on Kickstarter, we promise you access to a playable public beta beginning August 2012. You will also get a copy of the game when it is released to a platform distributor on PC. (Hi Steam, and hi Desura! We're still working on it.....)Estimated delivery:
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[OMNI PASS] Exactly like the [MULTI PASS], except only for 1 person.Estimated delivery:
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[ MULTIPASS ] This is the package we wanna offer the most; 1. You, and a fellow commander of your choosing, will get access to a playable public beta beginning August 2012. You will all also get a copy of the game when it is released to a platform distributor on PC. You will all receive ported versions of the game in ANY system the engine supports. 2. You, and a fellow commander of your choosing, will get expansions, upgrades, "DLC", and every edition of this game, forever. That's right folks, if we are successfully funded here at KickStarter, with the MULTIPASS, we will give you and a friend the entire game, and all its expansions and editions, in every system we port!Estimated delivery:
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[OMNI PASS] + Soundtrack. We will distribute the soundtrack through soundcloud.com You will also be featured in the "Cadets Roster", featured in our game engines credit sequence.Estimated delivery:
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[ CADETS COMMISSION ] Get access to the previous rewards, the MULTIPASS, and access to our entire soundtrack via SoundCloud. Additionally, your MULTIPASS can now commission (3) other commanders to the game! Feel like getting a game for your clan buddies? This package is just for you. We will also add your name, or a distinguished and respectable code-name of your choosing, to the "Cadets Roster", to be featured in the game engines credits sequence. Please be advised that code-names will be on a first commissioned, first served basis.Estimated delivery:
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[COMMANDERS COMMISSION] We will upgrade your MULTIPASS, and you and (7) fellow commanders will now have access to the complete game, all its ports, and every expansion! In addition, we will give you access to our closed beta testing phase. (No date set at this time, please stay tuned) You will also receive our art package. This includes posters of every character ship we create, propaganda posters from the Vigrior Sector, as well as classy (not slutty) Pin Up posters! Stay tuned for more details on this art package. We will also add your name, or a distinguished and respectable code-name of your choosing, to the "Corps of Commanders", to be featured in the game engines credits sequence. Please be advised that code-names will be on a first commissioned, first served basis.Estimated delivery:
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[COUNCIL MEMBER] Want to be immortalized in a sci-fi story, but never had the time to audition? This package is just for you. We will include you as an NPC character in our game, and design an entire mission around a character you create. (We still have final say in the characters fit into the story.) We will help you develop this character. This character will be part of the Union Council, the governing body of our game universe, and will be given a unique story arc. We will design a star system, a character comic sketch, with a set of missions and areas, just for you. In addition, we will be porting the game to iOS. We will give you the IPad3 tablet (Wifi only, your choice of white or black) where we develop the game engine port, as well as a MULTIPASS for 7 friends of your choosing. You will also receive special modifications to the game engine, which are directly bound to this IPad3; these modifications include "OVERKILL MODE", and specialized fleet abilities that are directly bound to this specific IPad3. We will also include a customized "Mercenary Games" protective shell for the IPad3, along with the rest of our rewards. You will also be included as a Character Designer in our teams roster during the game engines credit sequence. A code name of your choosing will be added to the list of "Union Council Members". We will ship this whole package by Christmas (Dec 25, 2012). International orders, please message us in advance for details.Estimated delivery:
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[40" LOCUS EDITION] If you would like the 60" Locus, please send us a private message here, and we can discuss details. Just like the COUNCIL MEMBER reward, and the game will be built on a 40" Locus from GeekChic. [ http://geekchichq.com/furniture/locus ] Delivered on Dec 25, 2012. INTERNATIONAL ORDERS WILL TAKE LONGER TO SHIP.Estimated delivery:
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