Share this project


Share this project



TUG is a multiplayer open-world sandbox-RPG using new technology and social sciences to directly involve players in the game’s design.
7,231 backers pledged $293,184 to help bring this project to life.

Progress update, openGL, where we are at, and where things are headed.

Posted by Nerd Kingdom (Creator)

Hey everyone, Ino here! It's been quite some time since I was able to personally post something to you guys on a formal channel. What can I say? It's been a crazy year... crazy, but great.

As some of you may be aware by now, we successfully raised another $8.5 million to expand on TUG, move into openGL, and put a lot more emphasis on tools and modding bits. Our team is expanding, and we are doing even more rad stuff with tech, art, and design.

We also pushed an update out to TUG on steam just prior to the holiday break, which helped a great deal with stability across the board. If it's borked for ANYONE, please email so we can start digging into details to understand some of the problem, and see if we can get hot fixes out for some of these issues.

OpenGL is currently in development, and we are preparing the team to move away from the current DX11 engine, over to OpenGL, this also means that we likely won't get another major content update out to current TUG (tug 1.0?) for some time... almost a YEAR! This sounds rough, but after a lot of thinking, we know this is what is going to be best overall for our community, the project, and the future of this Nerd Kingdom. Still, we will do some other interesting things with the current version of TUG with mod jams and some interesting research projects, that will allow us to leverage our shiny new mod distribution system that is nearing completion. 

Additionally, and this is potentially a HUGE change... we are seriously considering making TUG a free game... and I say this knowing FULL well that we already have people who have committed their own earned money to help us. So we are not taking this thinking lightly, and its going to take a lot of dialog and thought into what it will take to make this work. I go into detail of why I personally, and we as a team, think this is important. But the short of it being, we want to get this in the hands of as many people as possible, modders, researchers, players, and builders.

The great thing about solid financial support, is we have some freedom to build something great, and not have to worry about "monetization schemes". To be clear, how we will monetize is unclear, but we have a bit of time, and a few ideas to think through. With this said, any "monetization" we apply to TUG, wont impact any of our backers ability to play. You all believed in us, and have been nothing but supportive... it's not our intent to drain anyone of all the moneys. Treating TUG as a platform, as its intended, means we have a lot to consider.

We are also working on getting backer physical rewards taken care of. But if any of you are interested in digital bits instead of physical ones, we will make that an option when we send out backerkit stuff.

I go a tad into detail on some of the above thinking on my vlog here, in case you were interested:

(edit: anyone who absolutely hates this and has lost interest in what we are doing as a whole because any of these topics, please email me directly, and i'll do what I can to make this right with you.

For technical issues regarding the current version of TUG, email

If you wanna follow along in the stuff we do, feel free to follow me @inoritewtf or @nerdkingdom. And if you want to send me a much more personal message of your love and or hate of what is going on, my personal email is


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Michael Berne, I totally get where you are coming from. As a gamer, I feel the same way of nearly ever model I have seen. But I think there is a way to make it free, without it being FTP as the gaming community understands it, even the industry, but we think its important to consider. Sorry so cryptic right now, will dig into it more in the vlog Thursday, and AMA soon after.

      @Thomas, yes, without question. Some of the talks about the framework, is sort of along the ideas of modders creating something compelling, it helping fill in some features that we didn't expect. The result being Nerd Kingdom paying the modder some license to show appreciation for the work, or paying him to continue with good standards and code. But yea, more to think and talk about here.

      @Jalister, yea, this move will get us into linux, as well as Mac with DRAMATICALLY less work than our current system.

      @lonatan S, the fact of us mentioning this here is about having dialog about it. We have seen a lot of successful projects doing "similar" things that have done awesome selling it as a one off project. There are some variant conditions here that make us want to look at it from another angle. The move to free would not have any impact on anyone for what we promised to deliver with this projects initial introduction. Please also keep in mind, it can still be played offline, on your own servers, modded, etc... no other "FTP" game does this. Our monetization would have to be around the communities continued belief and support in what we are creating.

      @More questions is what we want! Well, at least I do... I can see people face palming at me across the office fairly normally though :P... no questions, no dialog!

      I cannot say how proud I am to be a part of a community of such sophisticated, understanding, and supportive players, modders, users, trolls, etc. I cannot thank you enough for.


    2. Missing avatar

      Krozber on

      Keep up the good work. As long as the project is moving "forward" I'm happy. I just hope the switch to OpenGL doesn't affect how much content goes into the game.

      Obviously, there's a lot of concern over microtransactions. It sounds like there's nothing to worry about for backers, but I hope your vlog comes out soon to assuage all of our concerns. It seems your post has given us more questions than answers. ;)

    3. Ionatan S on

      This is your project and we backers are aware of the implications of backing a project, or at least we should.

      With that said, I would like to add that if I knew this will turn into a free product I would have never backed up. There is nothing that I hate more in gaming than P2W or Freemium. I understand that this may not be the case here and maybe you will pull a success model like Path of Exile but allow me to be skeptic about it.

      If you guys will take this free direction (and the fact that you are mentioning this here is pretty much clearly showing your intentions) then that is not just a huge change but also a huge disappointment, at least for me.

      These things should be clear at the start of a project. I am sure a lot of the original backers are probably of the same opinion as mine.

      In any case, I wish you the very best with the project.

    4. Jalister on

      I'm not sure about the free aspect of this. I guess it will depend on how you go about doing it. I do like the move to OpenGL though. I wish more developers would stick to cross platform systems, instead of locking themselves into one operating system with things like DirectX.

      I don't remember if any sort of stretch goal was reached, but does switching to OpenGL mean we will see this get released on Linux?

    5. Thomas on

      If plugin/expansion monetisation is where you are headed, that's fine by me as long as we get a good basic game and not a framework.

    6. Rawrkanos on

      "People will be able to play the full game, without gated content, period."

      This is true even in freemium games. Unless your plan is like how Path of Exile does it, where the pay-stuff is solely cosmetic, the thought of having any kind of micropayments/payments worries me

    7. J.L. on

      All right, thanks for clearing it up. (c:

    8. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @J.L. We are not making mods pay to play, specifically. Only that we want to explore some avenues to allow modders to earn some sort of income in some form. Are not quite sure what that looks like, but its supposed to be an ongoing issue. Gonna cover some thoughts in a vlog on Thursday.

    9. J.L. on

      Hey, Ino. Trying to watch the video again to clear it up, but I figured it will be easier to ask here. Not sure if I got it right, but were you planning on making mods pay-to-play? I use mods for games (Minecraft, Fallout, TES and others) but some refuse to accept payment (Free for ever) and others accept donations. If they all asked for money I probably wouldn't have modded any game.

      So, uh, what is the general idea here? I am confused in case it wasn't clear already. (c;

    10. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Dylan, thanks man... that's all we ask. We have lots of time to plan and think about this decision. Just want dialog started now, instead of dropping on everyone like a big surprise.

      @Adrian, its something we have discussed in the past. Still, a "FTP" game that is NOT always only and allows people to mod in whatever they like, is not exactly asking to lock people in or out of content. Ill let our CTO, Corey, talk about goals for tech... should be a fun topic.

    11. Adrian Smith

      I would support free and open source.

    12. Dylan Gareth Steenkamp on

      I appreciate the response and I'll try and stay open minded. Thanks

    13. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Michael, DX11 is working, but its severely limiting of a LOT of peoples hardware who want to play. DX11 is still available, its still playable, and we are not taking that away, but in order to get this done, we have to move what resources we have (team members) to getting the other done. The result will look and play much better as well, since we have had a chance to refine and understand a great deal more of our users needs, from player and modder side.

      And nothing was ever said about freemium. Gimmicks are not our intention in the least. People will be able to play the full game, without gated content, period.

    14. Rawrkanos on

      You have DX11 working but instead want to take a whole year to switch everything over to OpenGL, plus you want switch the game from paid-for to freemium with monitization. So... I'm not a fan of either of these things.

    15. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Dylan, also to be clear, its still just something we are seriously considering. It may turn out that over the course of building in the next year and a lot of back and forth with everyone, that it ends up NOT being the right thing to do. All we ask, is that we are given the opportunity to explore this option, and have some meaningful dialog on the topic.

    16. Chaonic on

      Woah. Alright! Even though, I have spent around 500$ for TUG, and this is not, I mean... really NOOOT a small amount of money for me, as a student. But.. I have faith in what you do, and you always find a way to compensate for things.
      As of mod jams. Hell, count me in! I am not fully aware of the current state of TUG, but since ARK has gone a little... boring lately, the Fallout 4 hype is over and I actually managed to do some stuff... I will go back to modeling!!! And if I manage to learn, how to animate my models... I really want to make the Dogaroo!!! °^°

    17. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Dylan, Not free in the sense of gating content... not "FTP". Ill go into detail of some thinking in a vlog soon. Likely next week. Not building the game to strategically gate content. And even so, it being free wont impact any of you as backers, either way. We just want to get this into as many hands as possible, thats all. The focus on what is being created is not changing.

    18. Dylan Gareth Steenkamp on

      If I knew at the beginning of this campaign, that the game would be free, it is very unlikely I would have backed it.. Not happy.

    19. David Wright on

      Whoa. Big stuff guys. Please don't make me sad.