In the year 2109, we discovered an abandoned alien structure floating in deep space on the edge of the solar system. The first attempts to explore inside it ended in disaster.
Guide the remaining survivors through the sprawling passageways of the Nullpoint. Explore, scavenge, and survive long enough, and you may uncover the story of the ill-fated expeditions, and the dark secrets of the Nullpoint itself.
For anyone to escape the Nullpoint, sacrifices will have to be made. New survivors can always be found to replace the fallen. But beware: there are no reloads, and backup isn’t coming. If your survivors all die, you’ll have to start again from the beginning.
- Platforms: PC / MAC
- Real-Time Tactics - Control up to 5 survivors with a scheme familiar to any RTS player.
- Survival Horror Elements - Scavenge for limited supplies, but keep a lookout for things that lurk in the darkness. Gauge carefully whether to fight, run, or hide based off of your team's resources.
- Ship-based & On-foot Exploration - Guide your ship between docks in the Nullpoint, then disembark and take your survivors on loot runs.
- Ship Upgrade Meta - Use scavenged resources to upgrade & repair your ship's internal systems.
- Roguelike Gameplay Loop - Getting through the Nullpoint will be difficult, and the stakes are high. If all survivors in the party die, the game will reset and the dungeons will re-randomize.
Procedural, Real-time Tactics Dungeon Crawling:
Command up to 5 survivors using RTS-style controls through the vast, procedurally-generated levels of the Nullpoint. No two runs will be the same unless you choose to share your world seed with a friend.
Scavenge for Resources:
Resources are scarce. Your band of survivors will rely on scavenging what supplies remain from the ruined expedition outposts scattered throughout the Nullpoint.
Exploring beyond the base camps could yield even better rewards, if you’re willing to risk venturing into the deepest, darkest parts of the facility.
Upgrade Your Ship:
Your survivors have only one shelter - a transport shuttle left behind by one of the prior expeditions. This will be your teams’ only refuge from the Nullpoint’s punishing, hostile environment. Treat it with care. You only get one.
On board the ship, you’ll navigate through the Nullpoint, re-equip, and heal your crew. However, the benefits your ship offers are limited based on where you invest resources.
Mourn The Dead, Protect the Living:
The Nullpoint is a cold, brutal place. Survivors will die, but as long as at least one stays alive, the story continues.
That sole survivor might go on to rebuild the team and keep the hope of escaping the Nullpoint alive.
Explore at Your Own Pace:
The Nullpoint’s interior is broken up into two biomes: Superstructure and Substrates. The Superstructure is comprised of cavernous interior passageways big enough that humanity’s capital ships were able to easily fly inside them.
Dotting the Superstructure are numerous access points to the Substrates: a maze of corridors and passageways that can only be explored on foot.
You will guide your survivors and their ship through the Superstructure in search of docking points where your survivors can then disembark to search for supplies.
Some Substrates contain valuable forward base camps that can be looted, while others will contain the alien control consoles needed to unlock the next Superstructure layer and advance the game. It’s up to you to which of these Substrates you’d like to risk exploring, and how deep you venture into them before turning back to the ship.
Fight, Outsmart, or Sneak Past the Horrors of the Nullpoint:
Resources are scarce, and even the most basic monsters can be deadly. You will have to develop strategies for carefully managing your limited supplies. Your team's lives depend on conserving ammunition, and rationing your first aid kits.
Strategic Monster Design:
Every being in the Nullpoint has a story, and a unique set of abilities and behaviors. Some monsters are deaf and blind. Others can hear a gunshot from a mile away. Some won’t attack you at all…until, for some reason, they do. Some monsters will even fight each other, given the opportunity.
It’s up to you to study their behavior, and discover how to best avoid, fight or exploit them.
Currently we're targeting a PC and MAC release.
We're planning to release on Steam, but definitely want to provide a DRM-free option as well.
We are a group of veteran game developers working at Schell Games in Pittsburgh, PA.
Nullpoint is a project we’ve been working on in our spare time for nearly a year. We’re ready to share what we’ve been working on with the world, and ultimately Kickstart a fully-realized version.
The Nullpoint team is bolstered by the circle of support here at Schell Games, including developers like Marc Tattersall (Diablo II), Michael Giam (Twisted Metal), Tim Sweeney (City of Heroes), Harley Baldwin White-Wiedow (Tomb Raider: Underworld), Matt Mahon (Dungeon Siege II), and Jesse Schell (Art of Game Design).
As a team, we’ve been heavily influenced by games like Darkest Dungeon, Faster Than Light, The Binding of Isaac, and Dark Souls. We love hard games – games that force you to evaluate your choices carefully, and give your choices meaning by raising the stakes on what you stand to lose.
Schell Games has agreed to cover two thirds of our development costs. That’s enough for us to cover basic functionality like saving and loading, survivor persistence, AI, menus, and all the other things few people initially think about when imagining game development. After further discussion, we determined we’d need more than that to really make a game worth playing.
All of the funds from Kickstarter (apart from Kickstarter’s 8% cut, and the costs of our rewards) will go directly toward adding features and content to the game.
Risks and challenges
- The Risk of Making Something Weird.
There’s always risk involved when building something completely new and different. Part of why we so badly want to make this game is because we’ve never played something quite like it before. It’s sitting in between a few genres, but doesn’t quite follow any existing game formula.
Because of our game’s uniqueness, we have already faced and will continue to face unique technical and design challenges. Things that sound fun at first might turn out to be annoying or repetitive. We’ve been planning our features conservatively to make sure we have enough iteration time to pivot and adjust to feedback on these features as they become a reality.
- Feature Risk.
We’re building a systems-heavy game, and we know games like this thrive on having a robust feature set. That said, we’re also committed to making a solid and compelling experience. Because of that, we’re more willing to cut features than we are to cut the overall quality of the game.
This means if something goes wrong in development, some features might slip in the interest of making sure that what we do ship is fun to play.
- Risk of Challenge vs. Frustration.
We’re intentionally making a challenging game. Nullpoint is not a game that’s meant to be beaten on the first try, and that challenge is what makes getting to the next level of (or beating) the game rewarding.
Of course, the risk with challenging games is that they can end up being more frustrating than rewarding to play. We are reserving time to iterate and react to feedback from the early-access community for exactly this issue, to make sure Nullpoint doesn’t become that kind of game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)