About this project
Thanks to everyone who backed us on Kickstarter! We look forward to creating an awesome game with you. If you're finding this page long after the Kickstarter has ended, please feel free to checkout our website for the latest information on the game:
What is OrbusVR?
OrbusVR is the first MMORPG designed from the ground-up for room-scale virtual reality, including the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift + Touch. Explore, socialize, and fight online with thousands of other players from around the world, as we create and conquer a virtual realm together.
Fully Funded in 4 Hours!
Thanks to everyone who backed OrbusVR -- we reached our funding goal in the first 4 hours of the campaign! Wow! On to the stretch goals!
$15,000: Pet Companion System
What MMO would be complete without pets? If we reach this stretch goal, we'll add a basic pet system at launch that will allow you to summon a cute critter to follow you around on your adventures. We'll also provide each In-Game Item pack above with a pet to start you off -- a tiny dragon! The Backer Dragon, Founder Dragon, and Epic Founder Dragon will only be available to backers of this Kickstarter campaign.
$20,000: Additional World Boss
We'll add an additional World Boss into the game at launch that you must work together to find and summon. That will bring the total number of World Bosses in the game at launch to 3!
$30,000: Explorer's League
We'll add an additional faction into the game at launch, the Explorer's League. This group of like-minded adventurers have taken to commissioning brave souls to explore the entire realm. This will be a series of quests all about exploring the high and low parts of OrbusVR, along with rewards to encourage you.
$40,000: Additional Battle Discipline at Launch
At launch in addition to our four planned Battle Disciplines, we'll add one more! We've got several options to choose from, including the Monk (with fast-paced fists of fury), the Shaman (laying down totems to control the battlefield), and more. We'll give several options and let the whole community vote on which one they'd like to see get included.
We've got several more stretch goals planned if we make it that far, including the PvP Grand Tournament and even getting the Raids in at launch so you can go conquer the world's toughest foes right away!
If you’ve played a game using the Vive or Rift, you know that VR is here to stay. Walking around and feeling as if you’re in another world is an amazing experience.
For the last 8 months, I have worked on OrbusVR to achieve the dream of creating an MMO designed to take full advantage of everything VR has to offer. I have not taken a salary to work on the project, and in fact have invested a substantial amount of my own money to get the game to where it is today, assembling a fantastic team along the way that can see this through to completion.
I’m bringing this project to Kickstarter because I have heard from so many members of our growing community that they are as excited about making this happen as I am. Unlike many MMO and VR projects, I’m not coming to you with a game that exists only on paper or in eye candy trailers. Rather, our video is recorded from 3 play tests which we've already held, and more than 1,500 people have participated in. (In fact, you can watch lots of footage from those tests right now.) We have networking and server code that can host 100 players per shard, with hundreds of shards per server. We have four combat classes, more than twenty monsters, loot, inventory, and a dungeon with bosses already completed as a way to test our assumptions. In short, although this game still has a long way to go before it’s ready for “official release,” it's been vetted and battle-tested already by players just like you.
I’ll continue to invest in this game until it’s finished, but if you join me in supporting the game today, we can make it even better. The more artists, sound designers, writers, and programmers I am able to bring onto the team, the more content, polish, and fidelity the final version will have for us all. Your support will help make that happen.
This is also your opportunity to secure some great rewards early on in the development cycle. If you want to join us for closed tests, stake your claim to a market stall, or even become immortalized in the game world -- now’s your chance!
Rather than simply taking existing MMO archetypes and putting them on a VR display, we’ve gone back and re-thought combat from the beginning. In VR, your deadliness with a bow depends on your ability to actually aim. How well you defend others is determined by how well you can block attacks with your shield and keep track of the battlefield. And casting powerful spells requires you to actually memorize dozens of complicated runes.
It’s definitely more challenging to fight in VR. But when you pull off an amazing combination with your allies and take down a major foe, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that you simply can’t get from just pressing buttons on a keyboard.
At launch, OrbusVR will feature four classes:
Ranger: The Ranger’s weapon is the bow, and a variety of special arrows that they can imbue with effects such as poison or a fiery rain of destruction. The most powerful Rangers can hit targets from great distances, fire multiple arrows at once, and possess deadly accuracy. You’ll need to carefully aim each shot to make the most of your abilities.
Runemage: A Runemage’s weapon is their wand, which they use to draw runes. The runes must be memorized and practiced so that they can be cast quickly and accurately during battle; the most powerful mages know an entire litany of spells to use at a moment’s notice, including fireballs, frostbolts, and portals. They always have a trick up their sleeve!
Musketeer: The Musketeer can fire a straight shot, and augment their weapon with runic orbs which provide harmful and beneficial effects to their enemies and allies. The most powerful Musketeers can use the range of their orb explosions to damage or heal many targets at once. They also deploy their floating turret to guard them, or sacrifice it to further increase the range of their effects.
Warrior: Warriors can throw their sword to traverse great distances quickly to come to the aid of an ally in need, and their shield provides a barrier against even the most brutal attacks. They can also project a force barrier that can protect everyone around them from crushing blows. Make no mistake, your skill with your sword and shield will make or break your party’s ability to succeed.
Dungeons and Raids
One of the most exciting parts of OrbusVR will be its challenging group content. You’ll have to assemble a formidable party to set forth and tackle these deadly encounters.
We will launch with several large end-game dungeons, each one containing several bosses and wings that you must complete. They are designed for a party of 5, and they will be very difficult. In addition to that, each dungeon has a central open-world area where a 20-person boss can be summoned.
After launch, we’ll begin working on our first raid, which will require 10 players to tackle and will feature several bosses. It will require precise teamwork and the high level skill to complete.
Finally, there will be world bosses in the game that can only be summoned in very special ways that will require cooperation across all parts of the game. Our hope is that it will actually take several months for the community to collectively figure out how to summon them all.
Crafting will be a key part of the game. It’s not just a sideshow that you can sink a few hours into -- each crafting class will be as detailed as a combat class, with just as much impact on the world. Like the combat classes, we have re-examined what’s possible with crafting in VR, and the experience of brewing a potion will be much more than just dragging two icons into a window and clicking the “Craft” button.
We currently have plans for 3 crafting classes at launch:
Alchemy: Using careful measurement and ample preparation, Alchemists create bottled miracles -- potions which heal the injured, increase the speed of one’s feet, or even raise the dead. The most dedicated Alchemists even age their creations for days or weeks, knowing that something small can grow to something amazing when given time to mature.
Artificing: Adventurers from across the realm will travel great distances to have their weapons and armor enhanced by a talented Artificer. They’re capable of customizing and balancing each piece to its owner’s exact desire. They can also create useful gadgets such as traps for others. The most fabled Artificers often go on adventures of their own to the most dangerous places in the world, seeking the discovery of new runes and ore to further advance their craft.
Fishing: Fishing can be a relaxing way to spend an afternoon in OrbusVR. Casting your line, reeling it in, and hoping for a bite. The true Fisherman, however, understands the challenge of catching the most elusive and valuable fish -- hidden treasures in the lakes and rivers around us. Crafting their own lures and traveling to faraway lands, the most talented among them can wait for the perfect moment to coax their prize from the water.
OrbusVR will launch with more than nine square kilometers of land to explore. We’re taking our time, shaping the world piece by piece, hiding lots of little secrets along the way.
Whether you’re scouting out the best places to hunt for XP, leading an expedition to collect a rare herb, or just trying to figure out what that half-hidden rune on the stone wall could possibly mean, those who know the world the best stand to profit from it the most.
One of the most important parts of a VR experience must always be socialization. To that end, OrbusVR has built-in proximity voice chat, and we plan to include voice chat for groups as well. We’re also placing plenty of natural places for people to congregate, including market squares and inns. The system can support up to 100 players in the same zone, making it the largest social experience you can currently have in VR.
Most importantly, we’re taking out MMO features that lead to isolation and destroy community. There will be no instant-dungeon-teleporting-never-talk-to-these-people-again group finder. The dungeons themselves are a mix of both open-world and instanced content, to encourage cooperation. One of the most effective ways to level up is to join a group and go hunting for high-level monsters, chaining kills together to get XP bonuses. Even something as simple as gathering ingredients for a potion becomes a party affair when there’s the constant threat of bandits in the Wilds.
Every activity in OrbusVR is designed to encourage interaction and socialization; we want you to get to know the people in this world with you, and to make new friends (and enemies). That’s what will make this a new world worth living in.
We want to make special note of the Wilds, our end-game areas. These are max-level zones where you’ll be spending a good chunk of your time when you have finished leveling up your character. Of the nine zones we plan to have at launch, four are max-level Wilds zones.
The Wilds are where you’ll find the most valuable crafting ingredients. They're also where the entrances are to the dungeons. In short, everything about them is designed to entice you to enter. Of course, that means they’re full of danger.
The monsters that roam the wilds are some of the toughest in the game. They will require an entire party to take on. But it’s worth the risk because the rewards can be great. Once you have your reward, though, you must face the other danger: bandits. Other players can choose to go against the law and attack you, attempting to take what you just earned before you get it safely out of the area. However, if you’ve got a party of friends watching your back, it might be the bandits who run away into the safety of the woods. And if you die while a bandit, let’s just say that you may not like the consequences…
So Much More!
We’ve got so much more planned for the game, we could write a whole book rather than just a Kickstarter campaign description. In-game lore books. A tavern game that you can play with your friends while taking a well-deserved break. The player-versus-player Grand Tournament. Casino mini-games. And we haven’t even discussed the quests, the story, or the lore of the world itself.
Some of these topics have already been covered in detail on our Dev Blog (while many have not, but will be in the future). If you haven’t been reading it, you’ve got eight months worth of content to catch up on. So check it out.
What we’re able to do during launch, and after, is completely dependent on your support. So without further ado, let’s talk about how you can help us continue the work we’ve already started.
Getting the Game
From the “Backer” tier and up, you’ll be receiving the game when it launches into Early Access. We anticipate that this will be by the end of 2017. From this point forward the game will be "live" and characters will not be wiped.
This is the best price point you will be able to buy the game at -- when it launches into Early Access it will be at a higher price, and we’ll raise the price again when we leave Early Access and officially release. You’ll also get 48 hours to get on the server and start playing before people who wait to buy the game until it's released.
The Pricing Model
The game will be buy once, play forever. Once you have purchased the game, there is no ongoing subscription fee. We think that is the best balance between creating a sustainable game, while building the largest community possible. Note that if we release expansions in the future, they may require an additional purchase.
In-Game Item Packs
The Backer Pack is a selection of fun in-game items that you will receive when the game launches into Early Access. It includes:
- A special Backer Hat that you can wear right when the game starts. This hat does not have any combat advantage but it looks great!
- An exclusive in-game toy that allows you to shoot confetti to celebrate the launch of the game. Only works a limited number of times.
- Stretch Goal! Backer Dragon pet
The Founder Pack includes everything in the Backer Pack above, plus:
- One house deed, which will allow you to move your personal, instanced house entrance to a different location. We'll provide you with a selection of locations prior to launch so you can choose the one you like the best.
- A special Founder hat that you can wear right when the game starts.
- Stretch Goal! Founder Dragon pet
Epic Founder Pack
The Epic Founder Pack includes everything in the Founder pack above, plus:
- A Fellowship Certificate which will allow you to establish your own Fellowship in the game. This is a permanent group of players (like a guild in other games).
- A special Epic Founder hat that you can wear right when the game starts.
- Stretch Goal! Epic Founder Dragon pet
We will continue to expand these packs throughout the Kickstarter Campaign via Stretch Goals if the base goal is met.
The Testing Schedule
If you want to do more than just buy the game and wait for Early Release, you have the opportunity to pledge at higher levels and join us during the development of the game. Our testing schedule will feature frequent Closed tests which are smaller in scope, paired with a couple of Open tests designed to stress the server by getting many more people online.
- Closed Alpha Begins: April 2017
- Closed Beta Begins: July 2017
- Early Access Release: December 2017
Alpha and Beta Testing
Alpha means, “large parts of the game are incomplete or downright missing, and it may be totally unbalanced.” If you’ve participated in our previous Stress Tests, you know what to expect.
Beta means, “most everything that the game is going to launch with is done in at least prototype form, now we just have to polish it and fix the bugs!”
The Open tests will be large-scale events where we invite lots of people to play the game at once so we can stress the server. They will be limited-duration (probably only 24 hours) and we will only hold a few of them. If your reward tier includes Alpha or Beta access, you will be invited to these. Some non-Kickstarter backers may have a chance to participate as well, but supporting the game is the only way to guarantee your access.
We’ll also hold an ongoing Closed Alpha and Closed Beta test. These will be much more frequent and the Dev Team interaction will be much higher. While the server won't be up all the time, for example during the Closed Alpha the tests will last 48+ hours at a time.There will be a special forum where we can discuss the game with those who have access to the closed tests as well. We’ll start with a closed Alpha shortly after the Kickstarter ends, then move into Closed Beta (hopefully) around 3-6 months later. Only those who have purchased access will be allowed to participate.
So if you want to be able to play the game before it’s released, and to help give your input and shape the development process, consider pledging at a level that grants Beta or Alpha access.
Of special note is the Inner Circle. This is a select group of testers that will basically be our on-demand focus group. If, for example, we want to test a new dungeon we’ve been working on, but it’s not ready for wide testing yet, we’ll assemble this group and give them an opportunity to run the dungeon with the Dev Team. These tests will be scattershot, and not on any specific schedule. They will be held whenever we have something that needs to be tested, and while we’ll do our best to accommodate schedules, we won't be able to run them multiple times in a make-up fashion. We guarantee that we’ll do at least 3 of these tests, but our plan at this point is to do many more than that. You will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to participate.
In addition to getting the game early and helping with testing, there are a few more unique offerings.
This is your chance to work with our Dev Team to shape a piece of the game world. Whether it’s an NPC, a piece of lore, or a legendary item...we’ll do our best to work with you to allow you to leave your mark on the world. Of course, we have final say on anything that makes it into the game, so please don’t plan on anything inappropriate for the setting. Also, this strictly relates to the description or name of the item/person, not the 3D modeling or likeness.
There will not be a traditional “global” auction house in OrbusVR. Rather, there will be market stalls available for rent in each major location. Players can get a permit to occupy these stalls and set up a shop to sell their wares (even when they’re not around). It will be up to you to acquire tradable items worth selling.
By backing at this level, we’ll issue you a permit to have a stall for the first 3 months after the game goes into Early Access. Note that normally these permits would be purchased with in-game currency; this is a one-time deal. If you don’t earn enough to keep renting the stall after your 3 months are up, it will go to a different merchant. The order of choosing which stall you get will be drawn randomly.
At this level, we will work with you to put your likeness into the game (or that of a fictional character you describe). There are large ancient statues atop a plateau in the Plains zone, and we will re-model one of them to match your specifications. You will be in the game forever -- or at least a stone carving of you will be.
If you’re willing to back at this level, we’re willing to make it worth your while. After every major test of the game, you can write us an email with your thoughts about the test, what you liked, what you hated, what you’d do differently. We don’t guarantee that we’ll do everything you suggest, but we do guarantee that we will thoughtfully consider your words with ample weight, and we will write back a well-reasoned response (no guarantee it will be as long as your initial email, though.) This is the ultimate “insider access.” We’ll also include your name in the credits of the game as Mythic Founder.
Our scrappy game studio is known as Ad Alternum, which means “toward another”. We’re working to build another world, and OrbusVR is our flagship product.
Riley Dutton, Founder of Ad Alternum, is a software developer with more than a decade of experience creating new, innovative platforms on the web. He previously Co-Founded Roll20 in 2012, an online tabletop gaming platform that began on Kickstarter and grew to more than 2 million users and 10,000 years of time played while he served as the Lead Developer. His experience nurturing a niche group of passionate users into a powerful, sustainable online community is the perfect fit for the mission of Ad Alternum.
Robert Dutton joined the team in 2017 to assist with level design and the Unity client. Prior to joining Ad Alternum he ran his own construction company, where he learned tools such as AutoCAD; his experience building in the real world has translated well to his role in helping to construct in VR. He has also served in the National Guard as an Engineer for more than 10 years, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Elijah C. Williams contributes his expertise in 3D modeling and animation, helping to create the unique look of OrbusVR. His love of fantasy and all things gaming allow him to quickly create fun, colorful creatures, gear, and characters that you’ll encounter throughout your journey. You can follow him on Instagram.
Risks and challenges
The largest risk that typically comes from an MMO project is simple: will it ever come to fruition? By waiting until we have completed the foundation of the game, we have hopefully demonstrated that this project isn't just a dream, but instead is already a reality.
However, running an MMO requires a significant amount of time and money to maintain it. In addition, MMOs are really only fun if you have a good, solid community of players to enjoy it with. The largest risk to OrbusVR is simply that after we make the game and release it, not enough people will continue to play it to allow us to maintain the servers and continue development and support of the game. We don't think that's likely to happen, but it is a risk that any backer should consider. We've also actively made design decisions (such as our networking code and art style) to allow us to continue working on the game with a small team for as long as possible.
That said, my previous experience co-founding Roll20 has shown that I can work with a team of dedicated colleagues to create something that starts off small, and grows into something large. And most importantly, becomes something that can sustain itself long-term along with the support of the community. I'll take every lesson that I learned from that experience and apply it here as well -- you deserve nothing less.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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