About this project
TINY METAL is a turn-based tactics game inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars Series.
TINY METAL is being developed for PLAYSTATION 4, Windows, Mac and Linux. We are planning to have the PLAYSTATION 4 version on the PlayStation Network and the Windows, Mac and Linux version distributed via STEAM.
Languages: English and Japanese.
Scheduled to be released for June 2017.
Words of support from Yoko Taro:
* Please note if you want to have the PLAYSTATION 4 version of the game, it will be a download key for the PlayStation Network
** Concerning backers above the Drill Sergeant, the Alpha and Beta builds of the game will only be available on Windows.
Area 34 has been working diligently these past couple of months to deliver a playable prototype in conjunction with the launch of our KS campaign! Please take some time to download and give it a play-through and then help us meet our goal, leave comments and feedback, and, of course, spread the news!
The prototype includes 3 missions for players to get a feel for the gameplay and get to see some of the mechanics and units in action. The prototype is not feature complete and is missing several things such as mission deployments and unit upgrades.
Before you get into playing the prototype, we'd like to explain how the gameplay mechanics work.
TINY METAL is a turn-based strategy game. The player builds up his force consisting of several units and completes the mission on isometric grids. Each unit has it’s own speed which determines the order of movement. The game ends when the player meets their primary objective criteria like “destroy all opposing forces” or “capture enemy headquarters” or fails when the player has no means to complete his/her objective i.e. All of his/her forces had been destroyed.
Each unit has different movement values. Movement uses action points, so if the unit remains stationary, it will receive a wider view range and hasten the speed in which the unit moves next turn.
The damage to an unit will be dependent on which side the unit is attacked. Generally, the unit takes most damage when attacked form behind.
The use of good defensive terrain is also a solid way to mitigate incoming damage. Ranging from forrest to mountains, these tiles will be able to give defensive bonus to the unit occupying the tile.
There are several buildings a player can utilise in TINY METAL. All buildings give relatively high defensive bonus. Currently we have the City, Factory and the Headquarters tile but with reduced functionality. The most important function these buildings perform now is that once captured, it gives a greater field of view.
Fog of War
In TINY METAL, the mission starts with the Fog of War covering the entire map. The terrain is only revealed when a unit has direct line of sight over its area. Dependent on if you move or where you place your unit, there are some terrains which will or will not reveal itself.
A basic attack command.
The unit will lock on to the specified enemy unit. The unit will not fire until the concentrated fire command was selected on the enemy unit that was locked on. Enemy units can break the lock by moving out of the field and range of attack of the unit that is locking on.
This will trigger all units that has locked onto the selected unit and the unit that used Concentrated Fire to fire simultaneously.
This will attempt an assault on the targeted unit. If successful, the targeted unit will move out of the occupying tile replaced by the assaulting unit. A useful command when going against an enemy that has dug in on a highly defensive tile or an enemy infantry that is attempting to capture a city.
This is a command only available to an infantry, will order the unit to capture a building. The number of times you have to repeat the command to completely capture the building will depend on what kind of facility you want to take over.
This command will order an unit to explore the tile, possibly triggering events and / or finding items.
Bushido damage resistance
This is a game mechanic we put in to allow better survival for units that are under-strength. However, after trialling this on the Prototype and receiving feedback from our community, we have decided to forgo this feature in future builds.
The prototype is not a final representation and will change! But get in there and let us know what you think!
Total development time on the Prototype build
Within Japanese game development story telling is considered the foundation upon which memorable games are developed. This understanding has driven us when it comes to TINY METAL's main quest. This is why we have brought on Mr. Inaba to be our script writer.
Mr. Inaba has been involved in game story telling since the PlayStation 1 era and he is bringing those years of experience to TINY METAL. Our grand hope is to achieve the impossible; a strategy game with memorable story.
Now please enjoy this overview of TINY METAL's first story arc. As usual it is work-in-progress and we promise to change things and make it only ever better.
The tenuous peace between the two nations of Artemisia and Zipang is suddenly brought to a head when the Artemisian king and his escort go missing after his transport mysteriously explodes.
Among the presumed dead is Col. Luja Lindberg, mentor to Lt. Nathan Gries. Nathan, a young but fierce and patriotic officer, is shocked and saddened with the loss of his commander and father-figure and patiently awaits orders for mobilization.
Given their long history of conflict, Artemisia wastes no time in deploying Nathan and his small strike force to launch a counter-offensive against Zipang.
En route to his objective, Nathan receives orders to coordinate efforts with the mercurial White Fangs, led by the infamously cold hearted yet beautiful, Wolfram.
As Nathan and Wolfram's forces make their way deeper into enemy territory, Zipang's defenses fall easily under the combined assault of Artemisian forces and the White Fangs.
Lord Commander Tsukumo of the Zipang forces contemplates courses of action knowing that while his forces vastly outnumber the Artemisian strike-force he must be wary of their skill and not hastily expose any weaknesses. His experience has taught him that not everything is as it first seems... He also must navigate the politics of the other Zipang warlords.
Artemisia is a small monarchy with beautiful landscapes, nice food, and historically violent borders. The Artemisian line of kings have successfully kept escalation low over generations but there have been several periods marked with all-out wars.
Colonel Luja Lindberg, the Hero of Seltser, is a war hero of recent years who led the kingdom's forces through the most recent war with Zipang. He makes every diligence to have a small but well trained standing force in high readiness.
The White Fangs are a stateless nation of refugees, deserters, and disenfranchised who banded together as mercenaries. Out of the ashes of other's wars they were born and out of their ashes they would succeed. They value independence, disregard politics, and protect their own.
They base their operations from the many fleets of ships that travel international waters where they are best poised to offer their services and deploy almost anywhere at a moment's notice. They employ small, well trained forces that utilize precision strikes and stealth.
The Zipang shogunate is a feudal country with a strong code of honor. The nation is led by the many competing warlords who protect and provide for their people. The Zipang warlords do not typically like to meddle in foreign diplomacy but sometimes they are not entirely in alignment.
Zipang's military might comes from its numbers and can be made all the more effective with an experienced warlord to guide them.
Lieutenant Nathan Gries hails from a family of military lineage. His father died in last war when Nathan was still young. Col. Lindberg was a friend of Nathan's father and came to offer guidance to Nathan. Nathan is well regarded by his superiors and peers alike with a promising future and noble intentions... Although Nathan is a model officer, his lack of experience may lead to situations where he could be exploited.
Commander Wolfram, a fierce, strategic, independent, business minded soldier, and leader of the White Fangs. She lost her brother in the previous Artemisia/Zipang war. He fought, foolishly, for a nation that cared little for him. Which is irrelevant. He died believing he was fighting for a greater cause. She vowed never to make the same mistake.
Wolfram will take any job that is profitable but one never knows what she might have up her sleeve...
Lord Isoroku Tsukumo ("of 3 million stones"), the leading vassal of the Zipang shogunate. His title is a measure of his greatness, how much he owns, and how many people he supports with his rule. Tsukumo has an extreme obligation to duty and honor. He takes care of his people first and foremost but is always strict and lawful, especially to himself.
Colonel Luja Lindberg, the hero Zeltzer and top military adviser to the king of Artemisia. Lindberg earned his stripes in the field of battle with quick thinking and a tenacity before unseen in Artemisian soldiers. Zipang was unprepared. After losing his commanding officer to a shelling shortly after their landing in Zeltzer in the Border Wars of '52, Lindberg hardened himself and sought out the last remaining mobile radio operator, reported his commander's death, and ordered an airstrike half of a klick from his unit's location. Lindberg timed his advance to coordinate with the incoming aircraft and he miraculously took the enemy objective and weakened their front-line thereby allowing a nearby friendly battalion to sweep in and clear the area. As soon as the brass rolled onto the scene, Lindberg was lauded a hero and promoted to Colonel on the spot. He led the rest of the offensive and was home by Christmas.
Infantry are the least expensive unit in the game but also the most versatile. They can capture buildings and vehicles and make good scouts. They come standard with a rifle which can be upgraded with a multi-purpose missile.
Scout Vehicles are lightly armored, fast and versatile, and come standard with a 50 cal manned turret. Scout Vehicles have several weapon loadouts such as ground to air missiles.
Tanks are expensive, heavily armored, and have limited movement but long range. They come standard with large caliber cannons and ablative armor. Upgraded loadouts include an anti-personnel gun, upgraded cannon, and armor.
Gunships are fast, heavily armed but lightly armored, and have several weapon loadouts. Flight also offers avoidance of movement limitations from terrain as well as a greater field of view.
And More Units to Come!
MULTIROLE COMBAT FIGHTER ($65,000 stretch goal)
FUTURE GENERATION HEAVY TANK (Name TBD)
SPECIAL FORCES UNIT
The single player campaign will follow Nathan as he strives for revenge against the Zipang forces. The playtime is estimated at 8-10 hours of gameplay with branching missions for players to discover unit upgrades. Mission branches will be replayable so players do not miss out on all unlockables.
Special events will trigger at the beginning and end of some missions as well as when certain objectives are captured.
The Campaign Map will track Nathan's progress as well as allow the players to select their next mission. This is where players will choose objectives between branching missions.
The Mission Briefing appears before missions and will provide details on terrain composition, objectives, and any special instructions.
Before most missions players will be offered the choice to select their starting units as well as their weapons and armor loadouts.
Each non-standard loadout is unlocked through successful missions and objectives.
Battle is turn-based and will cycle through the available units in the order they are ready. Most units will have the option to Move, Attack with varying abilities, Capture, or Wait. Once the unit is done acting then the next unit will be selected. Once all units have acted the round will be over and the next round will begin.
Each of your unit you acquire for your army in TINY METAL will rank up. Ranking up will mean attributes will increase as they experience from combat. Here are some of the rank insignias you can achieve during your campaign!
We would really love to include multiplayer so as a stretch goal we will include 1v1 online play!
Another stretch goal is the Map Editor which we hope to make available to players with a streamlined UI so they can make and edit maps and share and play them with friends!
Here are some samples by our highly acclaimed Tomoki Miyoshi! Not only he debuted at the early age of 16 in SOULCALIBUR V (youngest ever professional to date!) but he recently completed the JRPG "I am Setsuna" by Square Enix.
Strategy games are not something the mainstream Japanese games industry has been interested in pursuing. We have no complaints about the epic scale JRPGs, adventure games, and fighting games we have developed and continue to work on.
Most developers would be content with our situation. But we're not. We are the developers hungry to make world class strategy games. We know the big game companies are not going to put us on strategy game projects if we wait. We know this is something we must do ourselves.
We are the developers who will make TINY METAL. We have been in this industry for a long time. We have worked on games you grew up with, and we are even now working on games you hope to pre-order. A few of us are allowed to publicly show our names. Others may never be able to talk about their involvement. For them this is a passion project, a chance to bring Japan's skills to a neglected genre.
Those who are allowed to show their name have been listed below.
All physical reward tiers will be shipped via EMS outside of Japan. EMS will not only ensure your package arrives very quickly, but also tracks and insures so if there is any problem with your shipping, it will be quickly resolved one way or another.
We started with the hard parts first!BattleCore, the logic system we used for TINY METAL and the time consuming basic building blocks are done. We have mainly the matter of balancing the game and putting smaller additional content into the existing system.
In terms of funding, we've already gathered enough funds to finish the game, however, we are doing this Kickstarter to add more contents. Please look below
Also, the team, as we mentioned are truly grizzled developers. Not only have we shipped many small to blockbuster titles, but many of us have worked together as a team previously.
We've also estimated our delivery date with some hiccups in mind, so that we can bring this to you on time. This will also provide us some time to really polish the game before ship.
Marketing is always a challenge for smaller indie studios and we are no exception. If you like what you see here and have already supported then get out there and make sure your friends and family know about this project and petition your favorite media and news outlets to give us some love! Thank you!
We have made every effort to mitigate and minimize risk by limiting scope to getting the core assets into the game, any extra money is to add to that scope within defined limits. We've already invested quite a lot into this project and have enough money to finish the game, but not quite enough to bring all the extra assets and features to make our dream game come true... all we need is a little push!
Help us reach beyond our initial vision and make this a really great tactical experience!
Risks and challenges
We have minimized the risks and challenges as much as we can by doing the following
1) Using BattleCore, our home grown turn based strategy game engine, with rendering provided by Unreal Engine 4
2) Kept the visuals simple but clean enough to enable new assets to be created with speed without costing too much or too complicated to cause problems later
3) Tools which enables quick and easy way to balance the game and change textual data within the game
4) Kept the stretch goals simple
5) Gave ourselves ample time to complete and deliver the game
The problems we can foresee are the following
1) Unpredictable bugs
2) Game balancing
If we do come across problems that may delay our project, we will communicate with transparency in advance and work diligently until the problem is rectified.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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