About this project
[Update 3/14] Thanks to everyone for helping us reach our second stretch goal! Mori and Juro greatly appreciate it,and can't wait to join the story! Further support will help with our ongoing development and unlock the next stretch goal:
Shardbound is a Tactical CCG for PC that combines board-based tactical gameplay with the depth of content found in collectible card games.
The core of the game is a competitive 1v1 PvP experience which we've wrapped in an innovative social metagame that not only allows players to have fun with their friends, but also provides streamers and their viewers exciting new ways to interact and play together on Twitch.
We have been hard at work on Shardbound for over 2 years now, and the game is currently in private pre-alpha testing. We've built an awesome community of players and streamers who are passionate about the game, and are helping us make it better with every new weekly release.
We're here on Kickstarter asking for your help to push the game into a true public alpha phase on Steam Early Access!
The survivors of an ancient catastrophe have rebuilt their civilizations upon large islands floating above a gaseous planet core. Far above these islands, at the edge of the sky, stretches a ring of small shards of the ancient world.
Recently, these shards have begun to fall. As a Ranger, you will take to the sky and stake your claim, establishing yourself as a noble of the world's great new frontier.
We set out to build a game that took the strategic positioning mechanics of games like Final Fantasy Tactics, and combined it with the breadth of content that you find in a collectible card game like Hearthstone. Shardbound takes the best of both genres to create something entirely new.
The core rules of play are simple. Armed with a deck of minions and spells, your goal is to defeat your opponent's hero. Like in other card games, you'll take turns with your opponent figuring out how to best utilize your hand. However, in Shardbound, playing a card summons a 3D character onto the map.
Once your units are deployed to the battlefield, they have the ability to move, attack, and use their abilities each turn. Tactical considerations like line of sight, cover, high ground, and map layout all contribute to a layer of depth you won't find in other games.
Here at Spiritwalk we're all members of the Twitch community. We knew from day one that we wanted to make a game specifically designed for the unique social landscape of streaming. We wanted to give streamers and viewers a new way to experience a game together.
We also knew that we wanted Shardbound to be a competitive game, and that streamer-viewer interactions couldn't compromise the integrity of the PvP experience. Instead of having the Twitch integration impact the match itself, we designed a social metagame around it that would support everything we wanted to accomplish. We call it the Shardfall System.
In the Overworld view of Shardbound, you’ll find floating islands falling out of the upper atmosphere. These Shardfalls contain objectives for you to complete while you’re playing your PvP matches. You will form a Noble House with your friends, and venture out to Shardfalls to earn loot and rewards.
If you’re watching somebody streaming Shardbound on Twitch, we literally drop their Shardfall directly into your overworld. The streamer’s Shardfall has special Twitch objectives and content generated specifically for their viewers to complete.
In addition to seeing the Shardfalls of people you might already be watching on Twitch, we also populate the overworld with the Shardfalls of other streamers you may have never seen before! This provides you opportunities to discover new personalities on Twitch, while delivering a steady stream of new objectives to keep you challenged and earning rewards.
The Shardfall system is incredibly versatile, and we're just beginning to explore the potential of the viewer/streamer interactions we can support. Some of the type of objectives you might encounter on a streamer's shard include:
- Play a match with one of the streamer's armies, allowing you to use units or spells you may not have unlocked.
- Queue up for the chance at a showmatch with your favorite streamer.
- Submit a deck for the streamer to review and take into battle.
- Enter a tournament hosted by the streamer for their community.
- Help your favorite streamer conquer other streamers' Shardfalls.
The possibilities are endless and we've just begun to scratch the surface.
In Shardbound there are 6 unique factions, each with their own distinct units and strategies. To go into battle, you'll select a hero and build an army utilizing their faction's units and spells, along with a vast selection of neutral minions that can join any army.
Director Petra leads the Steelsingers who can create the world’s most powerful technology and control it with their magic. Their versatile mechs and supporting exosuits units allow them to win in a straight up battle of minions.
General Vardan commands the Landshapers, who can sculpt the natural world around them to crush their enemies with overwhelming strength. They transform the terrain, control the map with deadly seedlings, and awaken stone tempests from the earth.
Professor Mori and the Fatekeepers have mastered the ability to manipulate time and space. They can control the flow of battle with tricks and debuffs, and are able to look into the future to secure the tools they need for victory.
Oathkeeper Juro is a Packrunner, one with the ability to resonate with intelligent magical beasts known as Primals. They can summon an army of them to their side in battle, and can buff them with bonus stats and abilities.
Baroness Sabine and the Bloodbinders are able to transmute flesh into energy and vice versa, allowing them to sap others to heal themselves, sacrifice themselves to enhance their allies, or summon mindless thrall to overwhelm their enemies.
Venerator Wynn and the Wayfinders can fabricate the energy of the Lifeweave into searing beams of energy, shields, and radiant golden wings. Their aggressive spells and minions can make it hard for opponents to keep pace.
By raiding Shardfalls, you’ll collect the resources you need to recruit units for your armies. Players who'd like to unlock cards more quickly will be able to purchases Boxes which contain a random Unit or Spell. Each of our factions have been designed to be played in a variety of ways, such that every new unit might bring you back to the deckbuilder to make different armies and employ new strategies.
Every unit in Shardbound has unique gameplay, lore, and a beautiful 3D model. Whether you’re more interested in their use on the battlefield or their unique look and personality, we want our players to love collecting each and every unit with the pride you might feel getting a new tabletop miniature.
Spiritwalk is a team of 16 industry veterans from the San Francisco Bay area. Together we've worked on some of the biggest franchises in gaming. Before starting Spiritwalk, the core of the team created the MOBA Dawngate at Electronic Arts.
We’ve been hard at work on Shardbound for over two years now. We left our lives at big game studios so we could make something a bit different, and go into uncharted territory with Twitch integration like only a small studio can.
We chose to build Shardbound using Epic's Unreal 4 technology because it allows us to rapidly iterate, deliver stunning visuals, and maintain an optimized game across different system capabilities.
We’re here on Kickstarter to connect with people who want to go on this journey with us, and support a game that’s trying to do something outside of the box.
For the past 6 months we’ve been testing and iterating on the core gameplay with a small community of players. Now, we're building features that require a larger group of players to test and validate. It takes developers and players truly working together to make a great game.
The money we’re raising will fund development of the features required to get Shardbound onto Steam Early Access, which we believe is the perfect platform on which to build and expand the community.
There’s a lot of Shardbound left to build! Any money that we raise beyond our target will help us to continue to develop the game towards an open beta. Items on our roadmap for future development currently include:
Completing the visual development of units and spells.
Competitive features, including Ranked Play and a polished spectator mode.
Other ways to play Shardbound, including Draft Formats.
Vanity Loot to collect from Shardfalls.
An episodic PvE campaign framework.
We can't make a game like Shardbound on our own! Please support us, and join our awesome community in making Shardbound the best game it can be.
Risks and challenges
We’ve built these kinds of games before. Online games offer a host of design and service challenges. We know how to run this uniquely complicated business.
Drawing from our many years of experience, we’re confident in our path to success. Over the course of the development of Shardbound, we’ve kept some of the following risks in mind and have been working hard to keep them in check:
RISK: Shardbound can’t find a large enough audience.
-- Get it into players’ hands early.
-- Engage in transparent and reactive development with the community.
-- Design for a large market by focusing on usability and early player experience.
-- Be generous with our monetization model. Provide great value to players.
RISK: Studio funding is incomplete, risking getting to market slowly or hurting momentum.
-- Show demand for the game quickly through early playable alphas & Early Access.
-- Remain open to multiple avenues of funding Shardbound.
-- Use a well proven engine (UE4) instead of building our own.
-- Self-fund the studio when necessary.
RISK: The innovative stream-integrated features may not realize their full potential.
-- Meet with Streamers early and often, getting their validation of our design.
-- Buffer time in development for sufficient iteration of the Shardfall system.
-- Allow the game to be streamed earlier than we’d normally feel comfortable with.
-- Hire a community manager that deeply understands the streamer’s perspective.
Your trust means everything to us. We strive to be transparent and honest with our players and investors, and are always happy to answer your questions about Spiritwalk and Shardbound.
Thank you so much for your support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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