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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.

Weekly News Round-Up and Video Update #4!!!

Posted by Nerd Kingdom (Creator)

Hello Kingdom! In this episode: TUG’s news for the week, our final Kickstarter day, a summary of the week's updates, new goodies, reward tier add-ons, our upcoming PayPal campaign, PLUS another Alpha/Beta gift, player death, and stretch goals!!!

TUG News Round-Up 

OVER THE PAST WEEK: We did some... wait... WE MADE OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL!! WOOOOO!!!! And today is the last day of our campaign. Thank you guys, thank you, thank you, thank you!! You have all been and continue to be amazing, we couldn’t have done this without you! It’s been a wonderful campaign, crazy, nerve wracking at times, but wonderful. A quick raise of a glass for a toast and a sprinkle of confetti and we’re back to working on TUG. With your continued support and input, we’ll do our best to keep making it more awesome!

Critters & Monsters

Technical stuff is all well and good but some days it’s just time for the “aww”s and the “RAWR”s. In our Critters & Monsters update we explained the different types of critters, how their behavior will be an important identifier in game and that monsters will be more than just big things to kill.


In Real Rewards for Real Achievements we talked about in-game achievements being more organic and related to actions the player naturally does instead of arbitrary, repeating, out-of-the-way errands and how we also want achievement rewards to be more meaningful and useful than a simple badge on your profile.

New Goodies, Add-ons, Paypal, Plus an Alpha/Beta Gift

Combine our Final Stretch... New Goodies Coming, and More! and We Did It!!!!! updates and what do you get? That’s right, a huge ball of awesome and new goodies! We announced our upcoming Paypal campaign, new available add-on items, and because you guys are awesome, the addition of extra rewards to all tiers $30 and higher: an exclusive ThaumCraft Wisp companion!

Player Death and Stretch Goals, and Another Gift! 

Instead of boring corpse runs we wanted to do something different with our player deaths. In Player Death... and Stretch Goals!!!! update we shared what we have in mind for player as well as companion death mechanics. We announced another bonus gift for all $30 and higher reward tiers: the special Aether II Baby Moa pet! And we revealed our Stretch Goals!! These goals are big ones, but they’re awesome and they’re not going away when our Kickstarter ends. They’ll stay active throughout our Paypal campaign and into our Beta, so keep spreading the word! We’re very excited about these goals, and with your help we would really love to make them happen!!

TODAY’S GIFT: If you are in any tier with alpha or beta access (that is, any tier $30 or higher), we’ve added the following gift to your rewards:

  • Special FTB Beast Mask! - In honor of our collaboration with Feed The Beast, we are pleased to announce the final gift to all Beta backers and above: the Mask of the Beast. This mask represents that primal side of the world, and with proper time or treatment may lead to unique opportunities and uncover mysteries of the world.

REMINDER: ADD-ONS!!! If you add the following amounts to your current pledge at your current rewards tier, we will add on:

  • An Extra Pre-order Copy of TUG (final game deliverable in January 2015): $10
  • KS EXCLUSIVE Baby Sabre Tiger Critter (deliverable by January 2015): $15
  • Rare Beast Pelt (deliverable by January 2015): $20

Our PayPal campaign launches TOMORROW so check back for even more a la carte goodies and special rewards!!!!

Video Update: ART

Today’s video takes a look at our approach for the visual style of TUG, as well as the sound design of the game.


People have posted some amazing art in our forum’s Fan Art section. We love hearing your ideas about TUG, and we also really enjoy seeing them in such a creative way! If you’d like to see what people have created or would like to post your own TUG art, join us here

There’s also been tons of speculation about what “TUG” could stand for besides “The Untitled Game”... some submissions have included “Tenacious Unmannered Gerbils,” “Tasty Unagi Gobblets,” “Thundering Undead Gophers,” and the very apropos “Total Utter Geekdom.” Join the discussion here!

Press coverage

Massively: TUG closes in on its Kickstarter deadline with a new video

Mondes Persistants: Une vidéo pour la dernière ligne droite

VGBetas: Support TUG and Get Into The Beta

Starjet Adventures: TUG – GIVE THEM DOLLARS The Untitled Game: Falta una semana Kickstarter: TUG — ein Sandbox-Game


WarCry: Gender Norms, Learning Curves, and Public Game Development in the Indie MMO TUG on Kickstarter

Massively: TUG hits its Kickstarter goal

Ausgamers: TUG Digs Pass Kickstarter Goal, Offering ThaumCraft Wisp for Beta and Alpha Reward Tiers

Massively: Nerd Kingdom details TUG's death mechanics

Mondes Persistants: TUG: Le KickStarter réussi

JeuxOnline: Le projet TUG se concrétise avec le succès de sa campagne Kickstarter

World-MMO: Sand Box игра TUG собрала необходимую сумму на сервисе KickStarter

WarCry: TUG Gets Funded, Outlines How Death Works

Destructoid: Why we need Science in video games...

Geekosystem: Upcoming Indie Game TUG Looks Like Minecraft Meets The NeverEnding Story

ZAM: TUG Hits Kickstarter Goal

Thank you everyone, for getting us over that Kickstarter bump. It’s been an exciting ride but with such an awesome community surrounding us, we never had any doubts.

Now that we’ve nailed this part, the road ahead certainly won’t be any less exciting. If anything, it’ll be more so! And we’re very much looking forward to thinking, creating, and playing together in the months ahead. With all of you who have been by our side and with many more in the future.

Let’s make TUG amazing!!!

To stay updated, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, subscribe to our Youtube channel, and feel free to share your ideas and join the discussions on our Forum Community as well!

Keep spreading the word and expanding our Kingdom!


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    1. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Hudson, it will look more like a torch once particle effects are in place, and we can have things like fire and smoke. Expect an update on that soon, actually... may even be implemented this week!
      @babyvomit, we're working on one, actually! We want our next video update to have TONS of in-game footage... we've made a lot of progress with the engine that we can't wait to show off!

    2. Missing avatar

      babyvomit on

      Get us a new video update.. =p "No preassure" =)

    3. Missing avatar

      Bruce Wane on

      Salut guys. If I have backed not enough money for beta, can I back the summ which is needed for beta yet to take part in testing? And you have said that beta will be about a year does that mean that I can play it any time during this year or there will be some beta days?

    4. Missing avatar

      Hudson Fernandes on

      The sound is great, good job. So far, I am very happy with the direction the game is going in. However, I have one issue. This may just be me, but when I saw the torch I thought it was some sort of club for a while. So, yeah.

    5. Missing avatar

      IronMcFly on

      Good news in the #4 video on the audio coming from object sounds (ATM) rather than pre-composed tracks. Let the wind, or darkness, or critter sounds mix to form the 'music.'

      Also loving the art style. Cartoonism allows me to imagine, get away, without feeling I've quit my RL. And as seen in Minecraft, modders can take the base mechs and objects towards more real, or more crazy alternatives; some requiring a higher spec PC, some less.

      Seeing more of the many different faces inside Nerd Kingdom is really cool. It goes with what I read about your reaching out to several Minecraft modders and all the talk of being open to community input (which 2-3 wks ago sounded like vaporware hype to me).

      I hope you all can handle prosperity because this could be the start of a really BIG success.
      God Bless - cya in Alpha

      oh - PS re Enric: i Hope to see him in Alpha. Playing, testing and commenting.
      I think, Every drop matters in God's Ocean, especially early in Creation.

    6. Missing avatar

      Nathan Petrelli on

      I think it's funny how there's now a collaboration with Feed the Beast. I always thought that FTB had a lot of cool looking stuff on it, but lately my laptop and Java don't get along very well, so most stuff on FTB was never really an option for me. I'm interested in seeing what Feed the Beast might end up doing around TUG, and I really love the concept for that mask! Keep up the good work, and good luck on the road ahead.

    7. Nick on

      @Enric. I totally sympathise. Things suck right now in Europe. Have you joined the Nerd Kingdom forums yet? Send me a PM if you have :)

    8. Nick on

      @Max. Add-on copies are release copies only. They do not come with the gifts and with alpha or beta access. You need to get a digital gift pack at the higher levels for that ($75+)

    9. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      Enric, I absolutely appreciate where you are coming from, on a very personal level. None of us in this group. None of us in the group are people "of means" and many of us work from our homes with jobs on the side to support our families as well. This is also why we are doing this kickstarter, to help alleviate some of this burden on development of this project and to allow us to focus and get something out faster for everyone to enjoy.

      These perks and incentives, are things that we are doing, to encourage everyone we can to support us for as much as they feel they can. And of course in order to encourage that support, we have to define a very clear value to them. But the result of this, is a better game for you to and the rest of us to enjoy. Because like you, we all struggle to survive and try to make amazing things happen while caring for families and other personal obligations.

      Certainly, it can be viewed in a negative perspective, as most anything can. And while we wish it were as easy as just giving everything to everyone, it would ultimate mean we would have 6 thousand people who would quite possibly only be pledging 10 dollars, because the reality of this platform is, while this is a platform to support neat ideas, or unique indecent projects, it often just becomes this very awkward sales platforms where people try to develop relationships with their community, but are still faced with ethical/moral dilemmas such as the one you pointed out.

      By as much as we have to be a "company" about this, we are capable of making human decisions, because really, that is what we are... Human, and its also why it's important that we be open and transparent about why we are doing things, and how they impact all of you as well as us.

      Why don't you reach out in a private message and we can discuss this a bit and find a way for you to be more involved. I would hate to smash this comment section with a conversation that should clearly be handled a bit more intimately. And really... We/I are genuinely sorry for making you feel that your contribution does not matter.


    10. Enric Jofre on

      It's great to see a company upgrading rewards to their bakers, but I see here a problem. You see, I'm broke, jobless for the past 2 years, supporting a family mortgage with the few I can earn repairing computers and doing some translations. The thing is that, time to time, to make all that shit bearable I buy myself a present. It is always a game. I worked as QA tester in the industry for some years, so being involved somehow on it its meaningful to me. That's why I bake KisckStarter projects. The only rule I must follow is that I only can buy the lowest pledge that guaranties you access to the game. And here it comes the problem. You're re-rewarding those who can spend more than the minimum and that makes feel my contribution diminished. I'm not worthy of a mask which will upgrade my play-game, I cannot have a pet, I cannot have companions.... If money wasn't the problem I'll be pledging for full Beta/Alpha access and the whole companion list, indulging this way my affection for complements and my passion for betatesting, But alas, my situation doesn't allow me to do so.
      Forgive my ranting,I know it's nothing personal, but sometimes you have to express aloud what you think, otherwise you may perish under its unspoken weight.

    11. Sauli Merta on

      i love the sound system :D i find it annoying that in some games there r theese wierd sounds and u cant find the source of it

    12. Missing avatar

      Max Uhrig on

      If I´m a 30$ beta-backer and buy add-on copies, will they have the same gifts? and will they have beta-access?

    13. Dermott

      thx upgraded!

    14. Missing avatar

      Bruce Wane on

      Will you make another posts later? To show players, creauters models ?

    15. Missing avatar

      Bruce Wane on

      Salut guys. If I have backed not enough money for beta, can I back the summ which is needed for beta yet to take part in testing? And you have said that beta will be about a year does that mean that I can play it any time during this year or there will be some beta days?

    16. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Dermott, yes, you sure do get all those goodies, so long as you are at the tier before the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

      Alpha starts in July, and Beta starts January 2014, with official release in January of 2015. So its about a year of Beta testing and refining systems before we officially launch.

    17. Dermott

      Hey Tug'er,
      just to get it right (cause i couldnt find anything exactly about it):
      If i change my pledge from 10 to 30 do i get all the extras you mentioned in the last updates? Or is this just for the guys that were in it at the first announcement?

      Ah and do alpha and beta take place (not exactly just a quarter :-) Because for example i dont need a beta that starts in December14 and you release in January15. If Beta is at least 3+ months before the release it is more appealing to me.

    18. Gearsoul Dragon

      (also, OMG I love the Moa~ =D The collaborations idea was really cool!)

    19. Gearsoul Dragon

      n__n *nods, nods* Cool~ What about the Affinity? I mean, I guess it would be, wouldn't it? It would really suck if you paid $15 for a pet/companion and then they ran off because they died once.

      Hmm, maybe I should have stopped to think about that :P

      Um, anyways! Thanks for the answer! :D

      n___n Oh, I have another question! o/

      As I was looking through all the art scattered about here, it seems like all the Seeds have their stone in their right hand...? But... I'm a left-hander! Will it be possible in any mode of the game to choose which hand the stone goes on? D:

    20. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Orson, its all attached to your email, so you will be ok :D

    21. Gearsoul Dragon

      =DD Man, this has got to be the most incredible game ever thought of :B Just sayin' 10 years from now it will probably be a hunt to find someone NOT playing this game ;D At least, that would be pretty awesome.

      QUESTION! o/ .... If I can't afford to slap down $15 for the baby Sabre Tiger right now, but can before the PayPal campaign is over(um, how long does it run for again? :0c), how does it work? I'm sent a code to enter in game in order to attach it to my account? Or I have to use the same email as is on my KS account?

      And if I buy it through the PayPal path and not right now in KS, will it still have high affinity with me? .O.

      @Nicole ~ D= THEY FORGOT TO ADD AN EXCITEMENT CAP IN!! (we'realldoomed)

    22. Nicole Crenshaw on

      "...mixing of culture and blending of time and space."

      I think that's one thing I really like about TUG so far: there's no overarching, identifiable cultural or era in what we've been shown so far. It seems like there's going to be elements of mythology, technology, industrialization, and exploration, which just sort of skews any possible pegging of TUG history to real-world history.

      I don't understand how it's possible I get more excited for this as additional updates come out. WHERE IS THE EXCITEMENT CAP? [also: double post because I hadn't watched the video yet. TT_TT]

    23. Nicole Crenshaw on

      @Lars @Sharky had similar thoughts to Sharky. Looks like the one on the left is more wolf-like while the one on the right is more fox-like? The end game model might not even look like either of those!

    24. Leelyn Pritchett on

      Last time I was this excited to really dig in and help a game develop was back when I got in the first batch of closed beta testers of World of Warcraft. Its amazing after all these years seeing the impact of little choices the testers had in directing the game. Mind you end product.. wasnt what we expected. That being said, super excited to see this game evolve.

    25. Missing avatar

      Sharky on

      @Lars Pretty sure those are just two variants/ideas of how the final mask is going to look, not gender-specific variations.

    26. Sean Mcgaha on


    27. Joshua Cantrell on

      Wow the masks are sick!

      And OMG the sounds!

      I can honestly say that is one of the coolest things I've heard in a long time! Excellent work NK!

    28. Lars on

      Woo! um the masks looks gender spesific, are they? (please let them both be unisex!)