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By Overon Station
£3,584 pledged of $114,044 goal
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About

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What would you do if you were stuck in an abandoned dome city on Mars?

You’ll need to face even more difficult questions than this as the protagonist of the game. Imagine that you wander off unsuspecting with your fellow teammates to explore but suddenly someone steals your spaceship. You get stuck in an abandoned and hostile city where you can sense danger everywhere. The only thing you can count on to survive is your own resourcefulness and the skills of your team.
Would you be able to escape?
Would you dare to find out the secret of the abandoned Martian Dome City?

The first trial is already on: you too have a say in how our story unfolds. Be part of the birth of Dome City, so you can be among the first players to experience the adventure.

  • Immersive, story-telling single player adventure in first person perspective
  • Story-based online and local cooperative multiplayer campaign
  • Continuous communication among the protagonists
  • Detailed background story by award winning sci-fi writers
  • Non-linear choice oriented storytelling in a mystical hard sci-fi setting
  • Multiple endings available, excellent replay value
  • VR support
  • Expected release: autumn of 2017 (single player mode) and winter of 2017 (multiplayer mode)
  • Developed in Unreal Engine 4 for PC(DRM-free and STEAM)/MAC/LINUX  first, and expected to be released on PS4 and XboxOne later, too.

Hungarians are well known for their creativity and colorful ideas even on international grounds. But due to the language barrier only a few novels may reach an international audience as the costs of localizing a book are too high and writers or publishers are not willing to take the risk. We, the founders of Overon Station were searching for alternatives that would enable us to reach a worldwide audience – and that’s how we ended up with game development. It’s a great opportunity for us. Choosing the adventure genre was an easy choice to begin with as fortunately we have plenty of exceptional stories therein.

From left to right: Tibor Fonyódi, Sándor Szélesi, István Nemere and Csaba Királyházi
From left to right: Tibor Fonyódi, Sándor Szélesi, István Nemere and Csaba Királyházi

We’re Hungarian writers, and science fiction stories are close to our hearts. We’ve published over 100 stories together in this genre and some of us have even won awards including Best Author titles at Eurocon and Zsoldos Péter awards. Our first game, Dome City is inspired by István Nemere’s young adult novel, The Secret of the Dome City, which follows three youngster's mystical Martian adventure.

The mission of Overon Station is to develop unusual and exciting adventure games based on exceptional Hungarian novels so the world can get to know the great stories and ideas of this small country.

István Nemere is one of the most prolific writers in the world with over 700 published books. One of his young adult sci-fi novels was The Secret of Dome City, which is the inspirational basis for the game. He received numerous literary awards including the European Science Fiction Society’s Best Author award in 1983.
Sándor Szélesi has been awarded with the Zsoldos Péter award multiple times and also won the Best Author award by ESFS in 2007 at the Eurocon in Copenhagen.
Tibor Fonyódi also possesses the Zsoldos Péter award. Besides writing books writes for the screen as well; multiple film scripts and the story for the series Cathedral were created by him.
Csaba Királyházi is the youngest of the lot. Apart from his hundreds of minimalist comics he published quite a few short stories, directed stage plays and wrote a musical, too. As out of the four gentlemen he was the one familiar with IT project management and company management, Csaba took the responsibility of establishing and leading the development studio.

One of our main objectives is to provide an opportunity for you to get fully immersed in the universe we create.
Thanks to the first person perspective you will be the one wearing the spacesuit. Looking down you’ll see your own body and anything you’ll interact with will be animated appropriately.
Our protagonists are not superheroes, they’re like the boy next door, only they get in trouble in the far future. They are no more skilled than you are.
We’re aiming for a fresh UI look therefore you’ll only see what the characters see themselves. You won’t see clues to press buttons or separate inventory tabs with hundreds of slots. Your belongings will be shown attached to your spacesuit when you look down. The challenges you’ll meet on your adventure will require real problem solving skills. Forget about doors that can be ‘hacked’ with Tetris-like minigames. If you haven’t got the keys or you’re not sure about the code that opens it, you’ll need to find another way in or use tools/pure force to break in. And if you mess up something – well, you’d better try to fix it or you’ll need to find another solution. Anything you come across, any situation you face will be available for you to discuss with the others, you can listen to their feedback and as a good commander you can find the best solution in order to survive and escape.

Like every game developer we’re big gamers, too, and the only thing we prefer to adventure stories is when we can play together with our friends, either far from each other through the internet or sitting on the same couch, playing on the TV set.
We feel that the market needs a multiplayer adventure game where we could immerse in the story together, solve problems side by side, crack mysteries or polish our minds.
Deep into the development of Dome City we realized that the circumstances are ideal for creating a multiplayer experience that’s not about action and dexterity but about sharing the experiences of an adventure, solving problems, thinking and brainstorming together. The story around the events would intensify the experience and make it even more memorable and fun! The multiplayer mode of Dome City will not be part of the single player game – it will take place on the same location but independently, on a different storyline. To make this happen we’ll need extra resources and time so if all goes well it will be available 5 to 6 months after the release of Dome City as a FREE DLC.

Stay tuned for our update video in which we’ll say more about the multiplayer mode.

We can say that VR keeps the gaming world moving nowadays – and the whole world is excited seeing its possibilities. Using the Oculus Rift devkit we’ve already walked the streets of the Dome City and it is definitely amazing. Therefore, we were always going to include VR-support in the game as the full immersion we are aiming for provides perfect basis for this.
One room, three players, three VR headsets, and the buzz of exploring the mysteries of Dome City? That’s something everyone should try!

In around the year 2400 people are living easy lives in the Solar System. There has been no war for over 200 years. Mankind has already colonized planets other than Earth and the sky is not the limit anymore; anyone can choose to live an exciting life in space and move to one of the dome cities on the Moon or Mars, or to an isolated research outpost.

Astrea is one of the big space stations in the Solar System’s asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It operates as the capital of the area, acting as a mining, research and law enforcement center. It’s a crowded and vivid place with a hundred thousand inhabitants. The three young space cadets lived there with their families until they started on their life changing journey on board a spaceship named TESSA.

Introducing the crew

They’re young, idealistic and naive; coming from a carefree and modern background. Knowing famine, war and diseases only from e-books, they believe they’ll never have to face hard times and trials.

The Journey
The three youngsters got the opportunity to apply for the Moon based Academy of the Office of Space Exploration at the same time. The commander of Astrea provided a spaceship for their journey and although the first half of the voyage is quite uneventful, after approaching the orbit of Mars they get a strange radio message urging them to land. Soon they find themselves on the surface of the Red Planet near a Dome City.

An abandoned city: Lanita
An early settlement on Mars, Lanita is one of the few Dome Cities that are not in use anymore. At the time of our protagonists’ arrival it has already been empty for about 100 years. It only functions as a temporary spaceport - but it’s rarely ever needed.

As an astronaut trapped in the city you’ll need to secure the basics for your survival, figure out ways to escape and investigate the curious events behind the theft of your spaceship and in the Dome City. The game’s main focus is on the decisions. From the very first moment you’ll need to choose from a number options. Your decisions will affect not just the ending of the game but also your relationships with your crewmates and even your character development. The others will try to add their opinions and ideas but you’ll have the final say.

Apart from the constant dialogues and decision points we plan to incorporate easier interaction based gameplay elements (switches, doors, usage of tools) in the early stage of the game. That’s because we’d like to emphasize storytelling and the communication between the characters. Later on other elements will be introduced like puzzles to solve and obstacles to overcome. In some cases you might need to use your knowledge in mathematics, physics, chemistry or astronomy. Multiplayer mode will be based on the same rudiments, though a more complex system will be used.

We know that a great adventure game is based on a gripping, unique story but to be able to provide a complex, memorable experience it’s important to offer a balanced, yet challenging gameplay as well.
The team’s core consists of great writers who’ll put together what they have to create an engaging story. As for the gameplay we already have our concepts but we’d like to invite you to participate in some brainstorming, too. Visit our devblog and join in the discussion!

The game presents two time periods of the future: the city has been abandoned for a hundred years so its buildings and objects must appear as from an earlier age than the spaceship and the spacesuits. Our aim was to create a contrast between the two time periods. The spacecraft is based on today’s vision of the future. It resembles Apple’s clear, elegant design with rounded shapes, lightweight plastic like materials. The city itself is inspired by the 60’s “retro-futuristic” concept – huge, robust buildings, angular shapes, concrete and heavy materials everywhere. It’s a journey to the past for the protagonists as they’re too young to remember the golden age of the Dome City.

Click to the image for more concept designs
Click to the image for more concept designs

The young, yet really enthusiastic development team consists of committed members eager to bring fresh blood to the traditional PC industry with their professional background and innovative spirit. Although we come from various backgrounds and some of us are working as freelancers on the project, our dream is to build a development studio with great potential. All of us work hard on bringing international success to our first game as there are many great Hungarian stories that could be the inspiration for further videogames. Based on the concept and the presentations of our game renowned artists joined forces with us to bring an unforgettable experience to you!

It’s a real honor for Overon Station to be able to work with an amazing composer. Recognized for his wonderful music for Alan Wake and Trials Fusion, Petri Alanko happily agreed to compose the soundtrack for Dome City. He is also excited to support us on this journey and we can’t wait to share the exceptional pieces he created for the game! Till then you can watch our atmospheric test video with Petri’s music here. (The video contains footage from a very early stage of game development; it was mainly created to showcase the atmosphere, the engine and the MOCAP. It’s not showing the final appearance of the game.)
  

Risks and challenges

Game development is not an easy profession. We’ve seen an abundance of promising ideas and semi-finished games that never made it to a release date as different problems occurred or the developers could not cope with the complications.
That’s the exact reason why we first of all aim for feasibility – although we also have grand dreams and ambitious ideas. We’re creating a game that can hold its own in the market both in content and quality while we never lose track of our capabilities and possibilities.
We’ve invested a lot of time and money in bringing Dome City to life. All our friends and well-wishers gladly support us on our way as they see our determination and faith. This is crucial for accomplishing our plan and it gives us power to continue.
We were able to raise part of our budget by ourselves but there’s still a lot of work left to be done. There are more than one options to cover the costs of the next stages and Kickstarter is one of them. It’s a great way to find out what you, players think about it and also it’s a good opportunity to show the potential investors that this project is interesting not only for the developers but for the players as well.
We believe in crystal clear, two-way communication and full transparency so we aim to inform our supporters on the project’s status on our developer forum. Feedback is also very important for us so we encourage all our supporters and everyone who’s interested in the project to join the discussion and help us with suggestions and opinions.
To be able to provide the full experience we’ve dreamed of we need your help! You have plenty of options to contribute to our success. Even if you can’t donate, each and every comment, share or like counts – and you have our eternal thanks & gratitude ;). Thank you very much for your attention!

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Funding period

- (32 days)