Ortus is a massive story-focused RPG, based in a world where every choice you make results in your own unique path in the game!
"It's like the best parts of all the classic RPGs in the last twenty years, put together into one game." - Commentary on the Ortus Exhibit at Avcon 2011
For all you RPG fanatics out there; ever feel like you're being railroaded into a storyline? Sick of video games that claim are 'all about choice' then end up giving you two decisions - both exactly the same? Or when you do find a game that gives you freedom, but the plot is about as deep as a puddle?
We share your pain! So instead of waiting for a multinational gaming giant to live up to their promises, we went about creating Ortus - a medieval fantasy RPG where you get to have your cake and eat it too. And we're almost done with it - we just need your help!
Everything in the world of Ortus is affected by your choices - your choices are your Reputation, Alignment, even Sanity, as well as the alliances you make, and eventually, the various combinations of endings you can get! And there's a lot of them.. players will be able to finish the game, go back to the start with a different approach, and experience the game in a completely new way.
Want to customize your character's abilities without being tied down to classes? You can do that too. Pick up new NPC companions; establish new friendships, romances and alliances or betray them! Our team like to think we're not just creating a game - we're creating a world for you to play in - full of as much backstory as there is good old hack-n-slash.We are essentially in the home stretch now, we are able to play-test through the vast story and put things together, but because of how ambitious the project is, funds dried up months ago, creating a difficult stress at times for the creators.
We've decided to open the floor to the large amount of people who have shown interest in the games' development by letting any of you participate in its creation, making your mark on what is already shaping up to be the biggest ever indie RPG to hit the gaming scene!
=== ORTUS MECHANICS IN DETAIL ===
Ortus utilizes a unique cross-shaped alignment/reputation system that keeps track of your choices throughout the game. Ever wanted to steal from a house in a game or kill an annoying NPC, but the guards somehow always find out no matter how you did it? In Ortus, you can do as many evil deeds as you want; as long as you cover it up, the people will still worship you as their hero!
Likewise, doing the 'right thing' may not always be popular - saving that starving bandit may lower people's opinion of you. Ortus also keeps track of your quirky or logical answers to different predicaments, changing people's opinion of your character. In Ortus, you need to use your gut to choose what decisions might pay off or you might end up paying for.
A four-tiered leveling system (Strength, Speed, Skill and Spirit/Magic) allows you to choose whatever abilities you want as you meet the requirements - allowing you to mix-and-match your character's abilities to make your perfect build. Like talking, sneaking - then throwing fireballs when you get caught out? Unlock skill and spirit skills with your level points! More of a fighter who likes to be fast and strong? Unlock abilities under strength and speed. Ortus's leveling system is designed to be as simple as it is expansive.
Collect non-magical and magical components for your weapons called Scions! Scions add special effects and bonuses to your character and item. Swap them around between your weapons and collect them from stores and enemies - slay more powerful foes for more powerful components! Collect unique clothing with inherent bonuses, stylize your character and make them your own.
You can also avoid battles through your skill in words; persuade, lie and intimidate your way through the world of Ortus with a silver tongue! Though be wary, not all your foes can be persuaded lay down their arms!
=== ORTUS PLOT IN DETAIL ===
The game begins in the land of Candor, a fledgeling nation founded by refugees fleeing from the oppressive Therion Empire 150 years ago. Constantly at war with their former oppressors, Candor's struggles are multiplied as its leader - the Triarch Argus - passes away leaving nothing but political turmoil and backstabbing in his wake. But the Empire is the least of Candor's troubles; as strange creatures are suddenly appearing across the land from the Wailing Wastes to the Greypeak Mountains.
You, the player, have no knowledge of this - or anything - except a world of pain from which you narrowly escaped. Waking up in an old cottage in Southern Candor with no knowing how you got there, all you remember is the sneering face of your tormentor - and an eerie feeling that he is coming to get his escaped prisoner. With no clue where you are, you set out both looking for answers - and to evade your past. Stranger still, you are gifted with magic - a power unheard of in the history of Candor - save in the one man who helped shape it.
A good question with a couple of answers. The first is our budget for the game from the sponsorship dried up in April 2011 simply because of how large the game and development team has become. We are essentially a full indie game development team, on a flash game development budget.
As for that number itself, we are estimating the rest of the game (if we can work full time on it) to be ready for beta around March. As we are not paid for creating the rest of this game, we have to resort to paying bills in other ways, like making other smaller games at the same time. The problem is this effects our level of creative energy and time we have. WITH the funding we will be able to focus full time with MUCH less stress to produce the last parts of the game, much faster too. Also keep in mind that the 4 lead developers who will be getting the main divisions of the kickstarter funding, would still, from that amount, be earning less then someone working a full time job for minimum wage for the same amount of time. We're just trying to survive!
We as a team are highly experienced flash game developers. We know the platform. Games created by people on the team when combined, have entertained literally over 100 million people. It's got a large potential audience. The other thing to keep in mind is the Flash platform itself has been evolving lately to utilize wider varieties of audiences: like rendering games with a computers graphics card now, opening up the door to massive high quality games (like Ortus!), and other things like making porting simpler over time to other platforms (iOS, android, etc).
RPG games are essentially worlds of their own, often populated with various towns, cities, cultures and people. Those people are what we refer to as Non-Player Characters, or 'NPC's.
Those rewards simply allow backers to be a part of the game permanently in a way we both work out together. An example: My brother is a builder, his name is Callan, and he is NOT a gamer (much more of a sports guy). But in the first town in the game I told him I made a character (NPC) named "Callan the Carpenter" who the players of the game can talk to (and it looks like him). His eyes lit up a rather surprising amount for someone who never plays computer games! People love the idea of being a part of something so large around the world in a small way! We're opening up the floor to certain backers to have the same thing, and for those on higher reward marks, you get more and more! quests, properties, etc.
SO FAR we have:
- Finished the writing and dialogue of the main storyline. this is a BIG accomplishment alone seeing as the amount of story paths and dialogue (in tree form, so it's not all read depending on how you act in the game) culminate to over a large novels worth of quality writing.
- Finished the main environment props for the game, housing, dungeon and interior props, nature props, everything we need to create large maps and terrains for players to explore (we've already created around 100 maps, some of which have upwards of 20-30 interior locations)
-Finished a bulk of the game editors (map editors, character editors, item editors, prop editors) which means with these we can very quickly produce LARGE amounts of content.
- Finished most in game creature and character art as well as portraits and backgrounds.
- Finished the soundtrack, featuring around 8 exciting and incredible songs
What is yet to be finished?
- The Combat engine. It has been in the works for several months so far, it's the largest most comprehensive mechanic in the game (comprehensive/complicated to make, but simple for players to use) because it involves so many things, like companion NPC fighting styles, enemy AI, prepping all creature types for rigging and alterations, damage and statistic implementation and balancing... the list goes on.
- Companion NPC dialogue and side quests (these will be extremely enriching and comprehensive).
- Castle props. they have to be modeled in 3D and rendered but will add a LOT to the impressive visual aesthetics of the game.
- Map rigging (last step) which will bring these pieces all together, be tested and ironed out, then released to those ready to Beta test!
We are TOO legit. TOO LEGIT to QUIT. Seriously though, google ANY of the four leaders of this project and you'll see: Jazza/Josiah Brooks (artistic director), moonkey/matthew stradwick (code/engine design), Zeedox/greg bartlett (3D environments), and Adam Ipsen (writer). We have all been experienced in our respective fields for several years, and have a respected reputation among flash sponsors like armor games, kongregate and newgrounds. We have never begun a project that got sponsored and not fulfilled that commitment. On top of that, we have already put all of out hearts and souls into this game and already overcome vast obstacles and trials. We're not going anywhere, we're staying right here and seeing this thing to it's conclusion, which we all strive to be a grand occasion.