Battle against intelligent monster AI in this procedurally generated dungeon crawler. Featuring gorgeous art from Matthias Andre!
WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would like to say a massive thank you to all of our backers - you have been amazing! Everyone I've spoken to has been incredibly supportive and encouraging, and I've received so much constructive feedback and suggestions it feels very much like we're all in it together.
I think it is time to think about those stretch goals, let's make TinyKeep the best dungeon crawler experience it deserves to be!
Don't Forget the Live Countdown and Ask Me Anything on Webcam!
I'll be doing a 1 hour Live Countdown and Ask me Anything on Friday 31 May 4:44AM UTC at http://bambuser.com/channel/phi6
EDIT: Second stretch goal reached! Let's bring on the monsters!
Now that the initial funding amount has been reached, we can start accepting donations via PayPal. All funds will go towards fulfillment of the stretch goals. Please specify which reward tiers you would like when donating!
Dungeon Generation Demo: http://tinykeep.com/dungen
Interactive AI Tech Demos: http://tinykeep.com/ai
TinyKeep is a 3D dungeon crawler for Windows and Mac, currently under development by programmer Phi Dinh. The game was originally inspired by classic roguelikes and RPGs such as Rogue, NetHack, Ultima IV, and boardgames like Hero Quest. Since it's inception, the game has taken on a life of it's own, dragged kicking and screaming into a new age - where terrifyingly intelligent monsters haunt the beautifully lit corridors of TinyKeep's dungeons.
In essence, TinyKeep is a 3D realtime Action RPG, focusing on exploration and combat. The premise is simple: Your character is a prisoner, a seasoned fighter jailed many years ago and left to perish in the deepest, darkest cells of the keep. The nights pass by and all hope seems lost, you realise that the end is drawing near. But on one fateful day, you wake up and find yourself mysteriously free of your shackles, and in front of you lies a broken, unlocked door. There is only one thing left to do, you must now escape TinyKeep!
At its heart is a sophisticated AI system, designed to produce unique monster intelligence that behaves in exciting and unpredictable ways. We wanted to create a game that feels alive, where the dungeon's inhabitants have their own motivations and needs, and situations are created that have never been seen before in a game of this genre.
In order to construct this Kickstarter campaign, test technical feasibility and properly estimate costs, 2 months (of evenings and weekends) were spent developing the prototype, or "proof-of-concept".
The result is what appears on the video and the screenshots on this page. The prototype has given us a very good indicator of what is and isn't possible, how long it takes to create features and how much funding we need to ask for.
From a technical standpoint, the game engine is complete and we are now ready to dive in and actually begin creating the huge amount of content for the game!
So far, prototype development is funded by Phi Dinh, the creator and programmer of the project and it was all completed during his spare time. We are now ready to begin creating all the content, including art assets, sound, music, game mechanics, AI behaviours and testing. This part of the project requires a huge amount of time and resources, so it can no longer be supported by one person. In addition to this, there are also asset licensing costs, publishing costs and software purchases. This is why we need Kickstarter!
Long story short, we really want to make this game, so please pledge as much as you can, because without enough funding there will be no TinyKeep! And that would make us very sad...
List of planned features for the core game:
- A mix of procedurally generated random dungeons with authored content - no boring generic levels!
- Beautiful dynamically lit 3D graphics for a variety of environments: cold slimy green walls, hot fiery pits and scarily dark corridors.
- Choose your difficulty before starting - harder dungeons generate better loot!
- Persistent characters - collect legendary weapons, learn new skills, improve your character and tackle increasingly harder dungeons.
- A variety of intelligent monsters each with their own unique behaviours and traits.
- Beautiful hand painted 3D monsters featuring art from Matthias Andre of BitGem!
The Pocket Inventory System
The aim of the pocket system is to reduce the amount of grab-and-go and to force the player to make more tactical decisions on gathering items. It is at the player's discretion to take what he or she sees fit and leave behind the less valuable stuff.
Switching gear is intended to be difficult, which puts more pressure on the hardcore player to utilise the inventory and manage it better. Maintaining two sets of gear is difficult, but not impossible, which is why the player is encouraged to build a decent set of all-round armour.
The items themselves have stats and attributes which change the base statistics of the player.The reduced inventory space is intended to make this clearer and easier to manage while still allowing the player to examine how each piece interacts with each other.
All in all, the pocket inventory works to actually make things harder for hardcore players and easier for newcomers to the genre - which is the opposite to what games in this genre have provided thus far.
Read more about the Pocket Inventory System here:
Seeds and Level Difficulty
Monsters and AI
The focus for this game is on AI. We really wanted to get away from simple minded monsters that would blindly chase you around the map, as if your character were the center of the universe. With this in mind, a sophisticated AI engine was developed, based on Behaviour Trees in combination with Steering Algorithms and Pathfinding. The plan is to develop our monsters to have their own motivations and needs, so that they become more reactive to their surroundings. They should also work in teams, take advantage of the player's situation and run away from threats.
To get an idea of the kind of emergent behaviour we are trying to create, imagine the following gameplay situations:
- You are being chased by a horde of Skeletons, your health is low and they are coming at you thick and fast. You know that facing them head on means certain death, so you must quickly escape. As you flee, you recall that Orcs and Skeletons are rivals, so you lead your pursuers to the Orc den on the other side of the dungeon. When the two opposing forces clash, all hell breaks loose and you sneak away unscathed. The ensuing battle does all the hard work for you, and you return minutes later to the battlefield and recover the loot.
- In a long winding corridor you come across a lone Orc on patrol. The Orc spots you from a distance, but decides to flee as it knows it will probably lose a 1-on-1 battle. You give chase and eventually follow the Orc into a darkened room. Suddenly the doors slam shut, the torches are lit and a firing squad of Orc Archers appear in front of you. It is a trap!
- You are in the middle of a heated battle between yourself and 3 other Skeletons. Surrounding you are several other Skeletons waiting their turn, and a Skeleton Mage giving support from afar. The Skeletons appear to be on the losing side, so the Mage decides to cast a summoning spell. Out of nowhere appears a giant Rock Monster, but fortunately for you he is unhappy with his new life and runs around in a blind panic, trampling down Skeletons in his path. The Skeleton Mage is flattened, but the Rock Monster is heading your way. What will you do?
The best thing about the scenarios above is that none of these are scripted, they arise naturally as emergent behaviour from the very simple rules and traits defined for each monster type. With this engine the result is greater than the sum of its parts, and it will be interesting to see what kind of situations are created that even we can't foresee.
Read more about our plans for the AI here:
Read more about our plans for the Pet System here:
Here are a few monsters included in the game:
The funding goal shown will allow us to create the most basic core version of TinyKeep. While this is a complete game in its own right, we believe that the following stretch goals will take the game to a whole new level.
Thank you for taking the time to read our Kickstarter! If you want to find out more about the development of TinyKeep, please follow our progress at:
TinyKeep on Facebook:
If you have any questions about the game, you can contact me directly at:
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Phi Dinh has been in the software development industry for over 6 years and is well aware of the risks involved in an ambitious project such as TinyKeep. This is why a prototype or "proof-of-concept" was developed prior to the Kickstarter.
The prototype has allowed us to evaluate the technology required, make sure all the proposed features are feasible and it has helped us estimate time and costs much more accurately. Also included in our funding goal are the costs of creating and shipping the rewards. We are very confident that the game will be built as stated!
However, as with any large project there will be risks that we cannot foresee. To overcome this, we will be using an iterative approach to development, this will allow us to have a bug free, working version of the game at the end of every month.
While Amazon and PayPal payments are accepted for US Kickstarter projects, Kickstarter states that payments to UK projects are done directly through the site instead.
Here's a relevant article:
We would love to support Linux, but unfortunately as of 2011 Adobe has ceased support for the Linux version of their AIR platform. However, a browser-based version is possible (running on Flash) for those that really want to play the game on Linux.
The game will play exactly the same, and will have the same level of graphics (hardware accelerated with all the bells and whistles) but there won't be fullscreen support.
Not at this moment in time as the performance optimization and controls are completely out of scope for the amount of funding we need.
However, the engine does support targeting mobile (both Android and iOS) so once the game is released and it does well we will definitely consider it!
Yes! That is our every intention - but only until we get a more playable version of the game so that a better trailer can be made. We're not a fan of just putting concepts onto Steam Greenlight, instead we would rather show fully functional games to make sure we get every possible vote.
If we manage get on Steam, all customers who receive the lowest tier (£10) DRM free version of the game will ALSO get a Steam Key from us.
Save files are technically transferable, but we are planning on using a login system so you can access your profile and characters between computers. No files will be required if this is the case.
The game is built in AS3 (yes, Flash!) using the Flare3D commercial engine. The game will be compiled using Adobe AIR Captive to native executables for Windows and Mac, so it will function just like any desktop application. The engine is powerful, supporting fullscreen hardware acceleration, dynamic lighting and shaders and we hope to release this on Steam. Currently there are quite a few games on Steam using the Adobe AIR tecnology, such as Binding of Issac.
If the multiplayer stretch goal is reached - the backend will be built on the .NET platform.
TinyKeep will be developed from the ground up to support internationalization. This means that no text will be hardcoded into the game, instead all copy will be separated out into easily modifiable text files. This means that any modder can quickly translate the content as needed.
We can't guarantee that Version 1 of TinyKeep will come pre-translated into German or Polish, but it is in our todo list for a future update.