Our galaxy is under assault by hordes of self-aware machines. They emerged from inter-galactic rifts to crash down onto mineral rich celestial bodies. They engineered massive production facilities beneath the surface of planets, before launching an all-out assault on the civilizations of the Milky Way. The first contact between the organic races and the Machine Empire was of the most brutal kinds.
In order to create a coordinated line of defense against this mighty danger, the highly developed races of the Milky Way formed a military alliance, the Interstellar League for Mutual Home-World Defense, of which Earth became a member. Under the authority of the United Nations, an army corps of elite soldiers was created and equipped with ultra-sophisticated alien technology. Their mission: conduct sabotage operations behind enemy lines.
Legions of Steel is a tactical board game first released in 1992. It is one of the many jewels of wargaming, and you can help us transport it from the tabletop onto PC and iOS/Android mobile devices by supporting this Kickstarter.
Turn-based games are a perfect match for mobile devices. Several very good games have been released during the past two years on Android and iOS. We have played them; we have loved them; and we believe Legions of Steel will be a great addition to the platforms, bringing its own set of strong features. As per PC, it is the natural platform for this kind of games. We will go through the process of Steam greenlight-ing the game once we have a playable version.
The game system is a treat for tacticians, but remains accessible and easy to play for beginners.
Video of the briefings mockup:
Legions of Steel is a classical 1 vs 1 tactical game with a different map for each scenario. It plays very much like other typical games of the genre with movement points allotted to each combatant and dice rolls to resolve combat.
However Legions of Steel is armed with unique features that make for a more-intense game experience:
Both sides in Legions of Steel have ranged weapons. The factions play differently, but the two sides are very well balanced. The predictable “rush” of fast-moving, melee-only creatures trying to survive the withering fire as they make their way across the battlefield is replaced by a series of strategic moves. Each side must race to secure the best line of fire before engaging in a tactical mind-duel to outmaneuver the opponent. If you make the right moves, you can carry enough momentum into the final push of the game and come out victorious.
Each combatant has movement points and ONE fire action that can be used at any time during the character-activation phase. Players have to plan in advance, chose their targets very carefully, and optimize movements to coordinate their squad.
Combatants can increase their pool of movement points by “running,” but doing so reduces accuracy. It’s a trade off, but one that can alter the course of the game. A quick redeployment could mean the difference between defeat, and outflanking your enemy for a glorious victory.
In a battle, how and where you place your shots can make all the difference. Once players have chosen when to use the fire action, they then can choose how their weapons will impact the playing field by selecting which Fire Stance they will use. Lay down a line of suppressive fire, cover more of the battlefield by spreading out your bullets, or reduce your opponent’s effectiveness with covering fire and more. The wide range of Fire Stances available enhances both realism and versatility.
For each pair of turns, a roll of the dice (with some modifiers) determines which player will go first. Players can never be sure about the phasing order, leading to tough choices and bold actions.
Our goal is to be faithful to the rules system of the original board game. We will make the fewest possible tweaks to the system, and only when the rules simply do not translate well to the electronic medium. Moreover we will take full advantage of going digital:
We will implement a tutorial for new players to learn the rules seamlessly. That will come with a sleek interface emphasizing readability.
Rules variants will come standard with the game, allowing players to choose variations to the game in a simple toggle menu.
The new format removes the limitations on numbers of rooms and corridors inherent in the board game. We will create new and original scenarios that will play side by side with the classics from the original game.
The game will be updated with new content after release, and the community will be included in the development process.
Players will be able to hone their skills by playing against the AI as a single player—choosing to be either the Humans or the Machines. Single player missions will include a fully realized campaign with an advancing storyline, as well as one-off missions that bring out new types of gameplay and cover every mission type in Legions of Steel.
Here’s the best part: since we live and work in Comicsville, the entire campaign storyline will be told using fully developed comic book pages—no random boxes of text with dry descriptions.
The first campaign will narrate one of the first collaborations between the Human and Alien Alliance as they fight against the Machines, and will follow a group of hard-nosed commandos, led by Sergeant Browning, on a suicide mission behind enemy lines.
And of course, Legions of Steel will include player versus player. At its heart, LOS is a duel between competing commanders. And now, even if you can’t be in the same room as your opponent, you will still be able to enjoy the game because all game scenarios will be available for asynchronous online play.
Pledge level #6 brings you two copies of the game. Upon release of the game, we will deliver the second copy to whomever you desire. Give one to your spouse, your best friend, your boss.
We plan to organize an ongoing series of online competitions—starting with a single-elimination tournament just a few weeks after release. This special event will be reserved to backers pledging at level #8 and above. The winner on each platform will receive a statue of Sergeant Browning specially created for the occasion (only three will be made).
Our musician friend, Yogan Le Fouler-Barthel (see samples of his work here) will do the sound design. We agreed the game’s score should be non-intrusive, atmospheric and intriguing. We want the soundtrack to be a perfect fit for use during pen-&-paper SF role-playing game sessions. Yogan designed the soundtrack you can hear in the Briefing mockup video.
The whole soundtrack will be delivered in mp3 format as a reward for pledge level #5 and above.
Pledge Levels Table
COLLECTOR ORIGINAL BOARD GAME RULEBOOK
Some of our friends do not play video games but wanted to back our project anyway. So we thought it would be a good idea to put in a reward that would still be meaningful to them. The license owner has allowed us to distribute the original Legions of Steel board game rulebook as a reward. We will completely and faithfully recreate the original text—without changing a single line—delivering it to you as it was written in the 90s and visually updating it with our new art style. The book will cover the great rules system, and include all background and short story text detailing the Legions of Steel universe. Digital and physical versions of the book are available as stand alone items at pledge levels #1 and #7 respectively.
3D PRINTED MINIATURE TROOPER STATUE
Legions of Steel comes from the miniatures wargaming hobby, so we wanted to close the circle. We teamed up with FabZat, a 3D printing company located in Bordeaux, to bring this statue to existence. It is printed from a 3D model we built to match our new art style. This 2.7 inch (7 centimeter) miniature represents our basic UNE trooper with standard equipment. The text on the stand can be personalized. At the end of the campaign we will ask each backer to provide their own text to be printed on the miniature base. It is also possible to request a non-textured, white-covered statue if you plan to paint it. The miniature is available as a stand alone reward at pledge level #11.
This is a compilation of all the concept art we created for Legions of Steel: The Video Game. Since our game uses a top-down view, we decided to illustrate and set the tone of the game with high quality 2D artwork in the game’s menu screens, our website, social network pages, promo material, etc. This required a lot of concept art, which is proving to come together to make a beautiful book. We will complete it with comments from the artists and designers who contributed.
KICKSTARTER TOURNAMENT SEAT
A few weeks after release of the game (so that you’ll have some time to practice) we will organize an exclusive Kickstarter backers tournament. The prize will be a 3D printed miniature of Sergeant Browning. You can register for the tournament by pledging at levels #9, #10, #13, #14.
CREATE YOUR SCENARIO AND GET IT IN THE GAME
Legions of Steel is a scenario-centered game. With pledge level #14, we will work with you to get a scenario of your own creation integrated into the game. We know there are some great LOS fans out there who can create cool, original scenarios. Depending on the complexity, the scenario could be launched at estimated date or in subsequent game updates. Each scenario in Legions of Steel comes with special rules, victory conditions, deployment restrictions, etc. all of which you get to create. We will do the necessary gameplay and AI programming to make your scenario playable in the single-player mode as well.
If you are new to the Legions of Steel's system, you will need a bit of practice to be able to come up with your own scenario. We will help you with the scenario balancing and the game will be updated after the initial release.
Stretch Goal 1: £30,000
Solo Campaign #1 (and subsequent) will be an animated comic instead of a static page. Remember Max Payne? Have you tried Undead Rising: Tactical Soldier? Those games used animated comics to deliver their stories. We want to go the same way. This will require the development of an animation framework as well as an altered design of the narration and additional sound design to support the animations.
We are committed to releasing the game in English, German, Chinese and French. We have a lot of experience in game localization, and we can perform more translation and QA if the demand is strong. Do not hesitate to request adaptation in your native language or your friends’ via the page comments, our website, or social network pages.
We’ve worked for video game companies big and small, and prestigious publishers. Those have been priceless professional and human experiences, but we now want to work independently and make the game we (and hopefully you) want. Click here to know more about our studio.
Romain Soulié: Commando Sergeant. Former project manager at Ubisoft and Polm Studio. Completely sold on the board- and war-games cause. Latest game shipped: Hell Yeah Pocket Inferno with Sega.
Nassouh Darwiche: Commando Heavy Assault Trooper. Former programmer at Polm Studio. Specialized in development on Android and iOS devices. Latest game shipped: Hell Yeah Pocket Inferno.
Fernando Torres: Commando Recce Corporal. Former intern at Ubisoft, Rovio Entertainment and Polm Studio. Computer engineer.
Yogan Lefouler: Commando Recce Trooper. Multi-instrumentalist and sound designer. Songwriter and singer in Diva Faune pop-rock band. Follow him on Facebook.
Andy Lobjois: Commando Recce Trooper. User Interface and animation artist. Former UI artist at Ouat Production. Portfolio link.
Nalinrat Keardsungchat: Commando Recce Trooper. 2D, 3D and analog world artist. Concept designer.
Etienne Ballent: Commando Assault Trooper. 3D artist, character modeler. Former EMCA student. Portfolio link.
And the priceless help of Lionel Lalande, Rob Street, Jess Lebow, Jean-Denis Birabent, Nicolas Torres, Daniel Horia, Wang Di, Sandrine Phimmanao, Pierre-Guy Auger, Cédric Lenhardt, Vivek Shinde, Laurent Box, Isabelle Testagrossa, Christophe Carbou.
We have participated as backers in many crowdfunding campaigns, so we knew from the beginning we would go this way for our own project. We have invested our own time and money because we believe in this game, but this alone will not be enough to get us to the finish line, especially at the quality level we are aiming at. We also do not want to compromise on gameplay, artistic choices, or on our business model, and because of this we think teaming up with players and fans is a far smarter, healthier choice than trying to partner with a publisher.
Risks and challenges
With a game of such depth and tactical possibilities the main challenge in terms of development will be the creation of a solid artificial intelligence for single player mode. We will have a programmer entirely dedicated to the development of the AI.
We have been very careful with production planning, and do not want to over-promise. The £25,000 are necessary to complete the game we pitch. Stretch goals will be added over the course of the campaign, but we will not promise features that we are not 100% sure we will deliver or may put the whole project at risk.
We cannot promise anything right now. Theoretically Unity will allow us to easily deploy on Mac and Linux. However we do not know for those platforms which multiplayer service provider we would work with, which requires pre-production research. We prefer to focus on the aforementioned platforms for now and do it right. However you are more than welcome to contact us to request Linux and Mac. If the demand is strong we will go for it.
Pledge #11 - STATUE - You will receive the 3D printed miniature of the crouching trooper. Possibility to customize the stand text. Possibility to receive a non-textured statue (for miniature painters). Shipping included.
Pledge #13 - EVERYTHING - You will get everything listed in previous pledge levels.
2 copies of the game + all digital content + physical edition of the Rulebook + 2 seats for the tournament + 3D printed statue. Shipping included.
Pledge #14 - SCENARIO BUILDER - You get everything listed in previous pledge levels. On top of that you will get to design your own scenario, and we will include it in the game. Depending on scenario's complexity, we will include it in-game for day 1, or in a subsequent game update.