In a Nutshell
- A rich world to explore, gather from and build in
- Create steam-powered automatons to help and hinder
- Multiplayer against your friends and enemies
- Single player against NPCs guided by your computer
- Free to play solo, paid game account to play multiplayer
- No pay to win
Take up the role of prospector, hunting for the rare and mysterious substance called Amberfell. Amberfell is a golden fluid rising from deep within the Earth's crust. It is beautiful and desired, but its true value is only available to the clever and patient. Given the right treatment, it can be refined into highly valuable crystals. You start with nothing, and will test your skill and wit against beasts, friends and enemies to become wealthy and unlock the secret powers within Amberfell.
In the remote wilderness, resources may seem scarce but everything is useful to the clever prospector, and you will need your wit to overcome natural hazards, beasts and enemies. Your first priority is to construct a base, offering protection from the wolves and bears that hunt the area. A simple campfire will ward off wild animals at night and a secure stockade and weapons will bring safety during the day.
Once the base is established, the prospector can seek out sources of Amberfell and the raw materials needed to build a pump to extract the fluid and a condenser to convert it into crystals.
That's when the real fun starts.
*Cue dramatic music!*
Crystals of Amberfell unlock the power of automation: bring life to machines! Through intricate circuitry, Amberfell can be used to create the artificial brains of automatons, and its raw, fluid state can be the construct’s life-blood that powers movement and accessories. Prospectors can sacrifice some of their Amberfell supply, creating steam-powered mechanical assistants in their quest for ever more Amberfell.
Combining the Amberfell-fuelled brain with an engine, wheels or legs, sensors and a few manipulators, empowers the creation of all kinds of machine assistant.
Automaton minions can also be programmed with basic instructions to seek out other prospectors and steal their crystals, drain their pumps, and wreak havoc.
How can you help?
Although I have developed many of the core ideas, I need to raise funds to complete this game. It's an ambitious project and has huge scope for expansion. This Kickstarter fund is just that: enough to kick-start development to get it over the version 1.0 line. The money raised will allow me to:
- Commission some awesome art: I can program but I can't draw, paint or even match two colours. I present the screenshots on this page as evidence! I need great textures, player and creature skins and an awesome steampunk user interface, intro and credits
- Complete development: The core of the game is pretty functional but it still needs a lot of work to finish. The main areas are the multiplayer system, creation and operation of automatons and the AI for the NPCs.
- Promote and market the game: No matter how good an online game is, it can only be great when it attracts a lot of players to compete against. I want to use a portion of the kickstarter funds to promote the game in magazines and on gaming sites.
Release and Pricing
I started development of Amberfell in March but it has been on hold since July. I'm aiming to get version 1.0 ready in March 2013. It will run on Windows, Mac and Linux and will include online multiplayer gameplay. There will be no DRM on the game and you will be free to share it with other people or mod it.
The game will be free to play solo against NPC characters. To play online against other players requires the player to purchase an online account. Players with a paid online account will be able to set custom skins, access and feature on leaderboards and find games to play with other players.
After version 1.0 there will be regular updates and improvements to the game, which will always be freely available to registered users.
Resource gathering gameplay
An important part of the game is gathering the resources needed to collect and refine Amberfell. This isn't a trivial process, and there are lots of opportunities for a player's plans to be disrupted by other players or natural hazards. Players can also locate and camp on the locations of critical resources or mine and hoard them.
These are the basic steps for producing an Amberfell crystal:
- Find an Amberfell source
- Mine stone, craft the rubble into stone bricks and use them to construct a furnace and a forge
- Mine some coal
- Mine copper ore and use it with some coal in the furnace to make copper ingots
- Mine zinc ore and use it with some coal in the furnace to make zinc ingots
- Use the copper and zinc ingots in the forge to make brass ingots
- Use the brass ingots in the forge to make brass plates
- Cut some trees and make a carpenter’s bench
- Use the carpenter’s bench to make some planks from tree trunks
- Find and kill some wolves to obtain leather
- Find and open some bees nests to gather beeswax
- Use the brass plates, leather, beeswax and planks to make an Amberfell pump, and place this at the Amberfell source
- Locate and quarry some quartz and use the furnace to convert it into glass
- Use the glass and some planks to make an Amberfell condenser
- Cut some trees to make firewood
- Take the Amberfell from the pump and place it in the condenser with some firewood.
- Wait a bit and - hey presto - out pops the first Amberfell crystal!
Amberfell pumps are very slow. They can be speeded up by building a Steam Generator and placing it next to the pump. To create the steam generator a player needs to:
- Mine some coal
- Mine iron ore and use it with the coal in a furnace to smelt iron ingots
- Use the iron ingots in the forge to make iron plates
- Mine some copper and use it with the coal in a furnace to make copper ingots
- Use the copper ingots in the forge to make copper plates
- Mine some stone, and craft the rubble into stone bricks
- Construct a steam generator from the iron plates, copper plates and stone bricks
All of these can be built in the current version of the game, but I have a few ideas for the future. Furnaces are quite slow but you’ll be able to speed them up by adding a steam generator to turn them into blast furnaces. Also, checking the Amberfell pump and taking the Amberfell to the condenser every few minutes is tedious. You’ll be able to construct piping that will carry the Amberfell automatically from a pump to a condenser.
Keeping up to date
Risks and challenges
The main risk you'll be taking is putting your faith in me as a game developer. I have no track record to point to, just enthusiasm, a deep background in programming and a long varied history of game playing (both video and board games). I like to think I know what makes a game playable and enduring entertainment.
Another risk is that I can't find a good artist or I find one that doesn't produce what's needed. That would be a real shame but the game would still be playable just not the complete experience that I am hoping for.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)