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What is Ensemble Online?
Ensemble Online is an open world, sandbox MMORTS with RPG elements in which you to tactically control territory, harvest resources, and build buildings anywhere on an expansive, real-time, persistent map. No limiting where you build, no text-based battles, no losing your progress when you log off. This is RTS in the MMO-iest sense of the acronym.
Ensemble is a free-to-play, browser-based game, making it accessible to both the casual and hardcore player and allowing it to be played on PC, Mac, Linux, and a large number of smartphones and tablets.
Ensemble has a gigantic 1,600,000,000 tile map. That means you can go find the most sought after resource hotspots and fight for control, or you can quietly build a farm in a remote grove, only seeing the occasional passerby.
Go exploring! You never know what you'll find. We scatter interesting artifacts and outposts throughout the map that you may be the first to discover! Build a town and invite all your friends to come bask in its glory. One endless map offers endless possibilities.
Building and Farming
What RTS would be complete without farms? Create a plantation to start your economic stronghold and defend your turf with powerful guard-towers.
Not much for the strategic elements? The beauty of Ensemble is it can be played any number of different ways. If you want to farm, you can farm. If you want to battle, you can battle. And if you just prefer classic leveling, skill-unlocking, and weapon / armor upgrading, [insert Morgan Freeman voice here] well that's just fine with us too.
Take control of your hero, learn spells, become proficient with different weapons, and defeat stronger and stronger enemies. A powerful enough hero can topple even the most formidable stronghold.
One of Ensemble's most interesting features is diplomacy. Allies can harvest your farms for you, but your towers will only attack enemies. This creates interesting gameplay by allowing friends to use your base as a safe-haven, and letting players create towns together with allies. Their towers will protect your buildings and yours towers will protect theirs.
Some of the most interesting ways we've seen this play out are players paying high-level gatherers to harvest their farms or bribing powerful heroes to guard their base. We've also seen groups of players work together to build awesome superfortresses.
Cidona, the mythical world in which Ensemble takes place has a rich backstory; it's a fantasy world unlike any other. Part sci-fi, part fantasy, part nature/survivalist, and part steam punk, Ensemble's elements range from shotguns and pistols to swords and axes, to spells and crystals, to giant robots and aggressive wolves.
To find out more about Cidona and the Ensemble backstory, check this out:
or take a peak at the first novel in our backstory at:
We also pride Ensemble on being the most sophisticated browser-based game to date. Everything in Ensemble has been built from scratch, from the isometric rendering engine, to the server-side game code, to the communications layer.
Who are we?
We're an indie studio of industry veterans who thought an idea like this should exist. We're gamers like you. We think Ensemble is awesome and If the idea piques your interest, we invite you to help us shape the game into something truly innovative and fun.
If you have the money to help us, please do. It could mean the difference between success and failure. If you don't have the money, help us spread the word! Tell your friends to tell their friends! And last but not least, if you have any ideas for the game, send them our way! We try to respond to all inquiries and we take all your ideas and critiques seriously. Send us an email (email@example.com), post a question here, or visit us on our forums at http://forum.playensemble.com
How will your money help?
We're currently in the last stretches of Alpha, preparing to launch Beta. Up to this point our costs have been negligible, but the seemingly small leap from here to success can be near-impossible without some money.
Help us, Kickstarter, you're our only hope!
Being free-to-play, our primary income will come from our cash shop, but before we can release the cash shop, we need legal work (user agreements, etc.) and in order to get the word out we're going to need a few bucks to do some advertising.
$20,000 will allow us to make the necessary legal arrangements and perform a decent advertising push to get the word out. We believe this is the critical number we need to kickstart us (see what I did there?) from our current state to somewhere where we can see success.
With $50,000 or more,things get interesting. One of the big features we want to see is obviously buildings that produce micro-able units. What kind of RTS would we be if we didn't let you produce and micromanage units?! Trouble is, with the current team, it will take us about a year to see cool features like that. This extra money would allow us to hire on another developer and rush out RTS awesomeness to you. Imagine a game like Starcraft or Age of Empires, with the full excitement of 100s of controllable units, but all in the browser and on one, gigantic, persistent map.
With more than $100,000 we would truly be able to make this the innovative title we want it to be. This would allow us to put a little more towards advertising and hire on even more developers/artists to get out features as quickly as we'd like. Don't get me wrong, we love knowing we got this far and created so much with nothing more than grit and passion, but having two or four more hands on the project means we get to push more cool features out to you like:
- Tech Tree: Build a University to research and unlock various techs (defensive bonuses, economic bonuses, new units, and more!)
- Awesome buildings! Portal gates to send troops between your towns, barracks to train your troops, capitol buildings to let you Sim City it up and tax your citizens, and more!
- Dungeons! We gotta make room for a bit of RPG don't we?
More than that and the game only gets better. The more resources at our disposal, the more we can really perfect the gameplay that makes us so unique. More money would open the doors for us to commission a soundtrack, improve the quality of our graphics, animations, and effects, even upgrade to more sophisticated servers for added performance and stability.
Bonus: If we receive $100,000+ we will implement mounts and ALL Kickstarter supporters will unlock an exclusive golden dragon mount.
It looks like some international supporters have issues with Amazon Payments through Kickstarter. Luckily, Double Fine has a thread up on the matter that should help (http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/5981), I've also read elsewhere that Prepaid Amazon cards work well (though you need to make sure it has at least $1 extra on top of the amount you're pledging).
We think what we've created here is pretty awesome. If you agree, or if you think an MMORTS would be fun, or if you're just all for indie developers and innovation, help us make it past this final stage! It's not often a game developer can take a unique idea and guide it to market with full creative control. Money usually comes from publishers and they usually only give it at the cost of creative license. Together, with the support of awesome people like you, we can make something truly great.
Example of Ensemble Promotional T-Shirt
- (30 days)