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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.

Features -- and Rewards!

Posted by Nerd Kingdom (Creator)

Hello Kingdom! In this episode:  your tech update suggestions, and our tier/rewards revisions -- because we’ve been listening to you!

Technical Updates and Features
We want to thank everyone for being so interested and excited about TUG and for sharing all your ideas -- it's been a great experience for us, but it's also been really informative too! We've been listening, and so far you’ve been really clear in asking about one very important thing relating to the game itself:

What features will players have during each phase of development -- alpha, beta, and final release -- and HOW will we get there?

That’s a great question, and we've always said we wanted to be transparent with our community on how we do things, so let’s get working on the answer together!

As it happens, that question is trickier than it looks to answer. While we do have some solid concepts relating to what we expect we'll have in our alpha, say, or what we plan to add when we move to beta, the fact is that player feedback plays a huge role in not only what gets built, but the order we build it in as well. Because of that, we can't commit early on to every particular design specification. It's not that we're trying to be secretive about our feature list -- it's that our feature set will be decided jointly -- by us AND by our community.

So although we don't have every single detail worked out to an exact specification yet, that's not a bad thing. By not confining ourselves to any particular rule set now, we can stay flexible to adapt to your input and suggestions. Sure, we could decide these things ahead of time and just build TUG to our internal specification, but then we'd just be another traditional developer, crowding out any opportunities we might have to learn from you!

Now, all of that doesn't mean we're not going to answer the question -- but it does mean we need your help to get there.

  • Over the next week, we'll be revealing a lot more information about what our technology can do. 
  • We'll be listening when you react and comment to our updates, and what we hear from you will help us prioritize our features!

So we have a good idea what you want to see when we start revealing our technology, let us know in the comments below what you’d like to see included in our tech updates. We’ll do our best to make sure you can learn what you want to know!

Tier / Rewards Revisions
There's something else you've all been very open about, and that's our current rewards tier structure. Just like we need your feedback to help build the game, we need it to know the things you really want and care about when it comes to Kickstarter rewards, too. Fortunately, you've had a lot of ideas and opinions about what we should do, so let us tell you what we're planning to do:

  • Cheaper Beta. We're planning to reduce the price of beta access so that more people can get in early.
  • More Digital Stuff. We're planning to add some great virtual rewards to our FORGE tiers ($45 and $65) so early TUG backers can show off their status.

We want to know what you think about these changes before we move forward, so please use this as an opportunity to evaluate our proposal and offer suggestions!

Finally, we want to thank everyone for supporting us -- we promise we'll keep our communication lines open! We've just rallied past $75k and we can use all the help we can get promoting TUG, so please share us with your friends!

Let's make this happen -- for the KINGDOM, and for SCIENCE!



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    1. Missing avatar

      jonathan on

      i got a question about the companion rewards, specifically the golem, meteor golem and asteroid golem. the meteor golem is described as rare and asteroid as super it is, you can only get one of them from kickstarter, ill assume that the regular golem will be acquirable in game, but as far as i can tell, both the meteor and the asteroid are both kickstarter only. if thats so , what makes meteor just regular rare? if all the limited options fill up, there would be more asteroid than there would be meteor golems. anyway what im saying is i would prefer if the "super rare" were indeed kickstarter only and the "rare" just be hard to get in game, that or make it so you can get both exclusives in kickstarter, id just hate to pick one and lose out forever on the other.

    2. Missing avatar

      Brian Stottlemyre on

      Actually, you guys getting real forums might be beneficial, now that im looking at the current structure.

    3. Missing avatar

      Brian Stottlemyre on

      @nerdkingdon. You guys really should contact the youtube channel celebrity angryjoe. He likes to back kickstarters and contacting him personally would probably get him excited on the game enough to do a video on our game. Which would ned tons of views and lots of pledges.

      As for the cheaper beta/ alpha i agree the prices should drop to a reasonable amount so we can get more people into the conversation. Though to counter that i don't think it should be so low that people who arent that serious about the game can get in easy and take up a spot of say.. someone that would contribute more to the discussion.

      In other words people that would spend one dollar just to get a chance to troll... so there has to be a fine balance. And also, you dont want the alpha/beta so low that we dont get enough pledges to cover the project anyway :P Again, its really a fine dance.

      More digital stuff? Yes please. Physical stuff really isn't appealing to me. Though i believe it should be an "Addon" to the pledge if you wish to have it.

      Also... i hope you guys plan on tiering off the forums so we can consolidate information gathered and not just have everything on one page :P Oh! And having main posts about these updates for :larger" forms of feedback would be nice too :p as some of use could write novels lol...

      Just my two cents.

    4. Missing avatar

      Burnen_thyme on

      Lowering the alpha/beta or even just the beta price points is a good idea, some people I have spoken to wont back it as they don't wanna wait till jan 2015 to play and can't afford the beta tier.

    5. johnsondanielj on

      I really want to see Tug succeed and am backing as much as I can monetarily. Have you considered other ways for the community to contribute? Maybe it is more effort to manage than it's worth. But I for one am willing to be crowdsourced for more than just ideas - anything from editing a wiki, to hosting a micro AWS for testing components, to writing an odd line of code. Sorry if this is already asked and answered somewhere. Maybe this is where your head is already and it's just a bit early.

    6. Missing avatar

      Milosz on

      We deffinetly need more content, I suggest the following for the next update:

      -Building blocks
      -Digging under ground
      -Building underground
      -Some skills? are we going to get fishing, farming, Hunting?

    7. Missing avatar

      Carakav on

      More in-game stuff at earlier levels would certainly help. I chose the tier I did because the project seems unique, and because I wanted in Alpha... but really, in order to reach your goals, more cool rewards at earlier tiers (in-game stuff at $15-$20, for example) would help a lot... you'll also need more concrete game-play demos, and general media exposure.

      Frankly, all these articles you guys are writing are interesting... but words are pretty hollow in the entertainment industry. Show, don't tell.

    8. Matthew Austin on

      I love backing games at Beta tiers, but $45 is too high for me. $30 would be a great price point, if you guys can make that work!

    9. Glitch2210 on

      i love this idea and already backed the alpha level because i am so excited to get into the game and start testing it out. i think the idea of lowering the price brackets could work out really well and honestly adding more in game stuff would be really cool. if i may put forward a possibility since characters are going to change so you can know intuitively there underlying stats and stuff it could be interesting if the addition for beta or alpha players to "strut there stuff" was something physical rather then something as overdone as cloak or hat or something. that way if you are walking through a crowd in a town you would be able to pick them out as easily as the massive warrior walking around like a gorilla lol it could be anything from a slightly taller build, a different color seed stone, or maybe a glowing ruin on there skin or something as simple as a exclusive hair style or color. without more information about how customizable your char is going to be cant really be more specific. i just think it could be cool.

    10. Missing avatar

      KCL on

      Would be awesome if you could have more in game rewards. I like the statue idea but 5K is way out of my price range! Please make it more affordable, i would LOVE to see a statue of my avatar in the game :D Also, if you could have add-ons like wisps and other companions for $30 or $50, that would probably boost your numbers. Lowering the cost of beta to $30 would also help get some of the people who pledged $10 to up their donations! Can't wait to play this game!!!

    11. Missing avatar

      Alexander Saritas on

      Good mod tools early would be nice, theres few things more frustrating then finding the mods you want, "installing" them through reaplacing files in different directories and what not, only to have a bunch of ID conflicts to solve, and then a small update for the main game breaks everything while providing little new content.

      Besides that, I'd love to make my own content and to share it, if it was reasonably easy to learn and do. Even if it would just be to add a painting as a decorative item, or an 2D graphic for an item in your bag.

      But then, I guess no one would want to mod a game if they didn't like the original content.

    12. Missing avatar

      Michael on

      Cheaper beta!

    13. Manuel on

      I'm really digging the updates ( pun intended :p) ... my opinion, $25-$30 seems like a fair beta entry above that I would include alpha...what you want is for word to spread, without giving away the game for free (unless you monetize another way).

    14. Aneka K. Bean on

      I have a huge love for anything to do with skill advancement, especially if it's intuitive and based on improving things I do for fun naturally in a game. I can say "oh, so that's what I prefer to do the most" or "oh, so I'm good at that" based on how my character is progressing. It's educational! I've been telling my parents for decades that games are better than school.

      I'd love to hear more about what you have planned for things like that. I imagine some of the other things might need to be in place first, such as building, or combat or any of what I blindly assume are the basics, so I won't be disappointed if it's not first on the list.

      By the way, I absolutely love the paint splorts on this update, very illustrative! I like the second one. Looks kind of like a robo-armored fist shooting water?

      I really hope you can work out some superbly appealing pledge tiers so many many people can't resist throwing more money at you. (I'd like to but I am a poor creative artist/crafter/mad scientist sort, I am sure you know the drill) I really want to see this project megafunded max max 300x 300%

      For SCIENCE Kingdoms Galore!

    15. michael slesinski on

      as someone who beta tests ALOT of games (in the hundreds now) all i can say is be careful. with the shifty definition of a "beta test' these days and the mentality of gamers in general it may do alot more harm than good. alot of people consider themselves "entitled" to certain things for paying to be in a beta and as such make awful testers, and then theres those who just test so they can brag to people about being in the test to begin with. bug reports like "fail game is fail. sux" do nothing but waste time and thats IF they even bother to submit a single bug report, alot of people anymore seem to like to get into a beta test and sit there comparing the game to WOW all day.. again not productive. word of mouth is a powerful thing as we all know, making it easier to get into the beta may very well be cutting off your nose despite your face.

      im looking forward to the finished product personally, not so much the testing.

    16. Pete Berthet on

      HAH, fair enough :) maybe we need a new kickstarter for an NK coffee fund ?

    17. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      Sir... I have 3 kids and a wife, and operate between science/tech/art and design... sleep... is not an option ;)

    18. Pete Berthet on

      Ino does not need sleep to function :)

    19. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      You will totally be able to explore the world with different biomes, caves, tunnels, hills etc... LOTS of variety. In addition to this, we do have dynamic shadow maps, so you actually will see shadows cascading and changing direction based on the direction of the sun/moon (btw, it looks gorgeous, just sayin). We will show all of that off in next weeks tech demo/update.

      Also important to note.. this part of the engine, was the hard part. The gameplay stuff, the actual systems... fairly simple by comparison. It comes down to art, and lots of mathy stuffs. The kickstarter is to help with that art support and to make some more tools for you guys to start modding fairly early on. And of course, when we announce stretch goals, we will be able to add more people on to do more things!


    20. Missing avatar

      Doug Bedwell on

      It's hard to know what's reasonable for us to expect from Alpha at the start, as we've seen so little of what you have in place right now. We know you can generate topography and trees and caves, and there's at least some basic block stacking to create buildings, platforms and walls. We've also seen a workbench and what seems to be a forge.
      Based on that, I agree with Matt C, that something along the lines of the Minecraft surface world, with some digging, building and basic stone-tool crafting. I think it was said that Alpha will be single-player? That's fine for a start, though since interaction is big part of the point of the whole game, I wouldn't think YOU would be happy with a single-player Alpha for very long. But for the start of Alpha, as long as we have a few things to explore and do, that will give us an opportunity to test the engine a little, I can happily build, dig, and wander for hours or days.
      By the end of Alpha, transitioning to Beta, I'd hope you'd have multiplayer in place, a variety of things to fight and/or hunt, and much more robust crafting possibilities.
      But of course, I may be setting the bar way too high or too low with that.

    21. Pete Berthet on

      I want a giant statue .... but i cant have one :P

    22. Oh Zhi Wei

      on that note i'd like to ask if its possible to have a tier where i get digital stuff, foregoing all the physical stuff thus(no need to pay shipping for us both)
      maybe beta access + some goodies? ((i'm sorta greedy heh hoping for custom items actually))

      anyways i felt that would booster pledges especially for those overseas.
      let me know what you guys think ^.-

    23. Matt Cacioppo on

      Obviously I'm not sure what you currently have decided for the alpha but you should definitely have at the very least the building block system used to build basic structures in the world such as one would in a game like Minecraft.

    24. Pete Berthet on

      A sound plan :) Thanks for the update!
      Love the new artwork too.