About this project
*** AFTER THE KICKSTARTER ENDS GET ALL THE LATEST NEWS DIRECTLY FROM OUR WEBSITE ***
An ultra-modern tactical UI, an 80’s arcade shooter theme, a sprinkle of physics and gravity bending, some classic shooter inspiration, a dark plot, some mild RPG-like progression, and you’ve got a tactical 2D shooter like no other. It’s about tactics, not reflex. Your move.
Initially for Windows, Mac and Linux, followed by Tablet (iOS and Android).
"I never knew I wanted to micro manage Gradius until now" - A comment from EGX Rezzed
Now that we've reached 100% it's time to work towards some stretch goals...
The demo is just a small taste of the game featuring two sample levels. That means the gameplay isn't finished, polished or balanced (or even fair). But it will give you a feel for the sort of gameplay you can expect. But we love feedback, so let us know what you think!
DEMO UPDATED: 24th July. See this update for details.
While you wait for that to download, consider voting for us on Steam Greenlight. It'll make it much easier for us to publish if we're accepted on to Steam.
"I love shmups. I am terrible at shmups. I also love turn based games. I am moderatly good at them. I think I am going to love this game." - A Steam Greenlight comment
- 80’s arcade style side scrolling shoot ‘em up graphics combined with an ultra modern high resolution free flowing turn-based tactical planning interface.
Visual prediction paths of enemy movements allow you to precisely target your shots and moves. If you think that makes it easy - think again!
Gravity weapons allow you to bend the path of bullets and enemies. Why tire your trigger finger when you can make them shoot each other and themselves?
Draw missile paths to precisely target enemies and destructible terrain.
End of level bosses have a more tactical twist.
Dealing with bullet hell is about brains, not reflexes.
Switches, logic traps and bosses that just wouldn’t be possible in a reflex shooter.
Interact with the three AI buddies (left hand side of the screen) that combine to run your ships systems: Repair Buddy (middle), Gun Buddy (bottom) and Shield Buddy (top). Tinker with their settings until they work the way you want... ...just don’t expect them to get along.
Balance gun power, shield power and repairs during turn planning to reinforce your tactics. Want to bash something? Send more power to Shield Buddy! Need some overkill? Power up Gun Buddy! Need to repair? Stay out of trouble for a while and let Repair Buddy work.
Manage damage and repairs using a simple and innovative system. Tweak the ship’s inventory and fabrication priorities to suit your style of combat.
Multiple environments, levels and chapters.
A darkly twisted plot with a harrowing ending. You’ve got some tough choices to make along the way.
Achievements based on myriad stats, for both brute force and style.
Follow drones! Reflecting lasers! Particle beams! Limpet mines!
"None of the summaries I’ve read quite do justice to how much fun the moment-to-moment gameplay of plotting routes, playing with the toybox of weapons, reacting to threats and puzzling your way out of difficult situations really is." - A commenter on the RockPaperShotgun.com article
A ship severely damaged and broken on the surface of a strange and hostile planet. Laying in the fallen wreckage of the orbital facility that built it. A stolen, injured and untrained pilot. Limited means of repair. We’re well out of warranty here.
Tenacious class fighters were never intended to fly solo. But this particular ship was never supposed to fly at all. It was the last pre-production test unit before the facility was due to start churning out thousands of fully specified ships. Things go... somewhat awry. They’re not getting better any time soon.
It’s time to get fixed, get flying, get shooting, and get even. Adopt new skills and tactics as the ship repairs, enemies diversify and the plot unfolds. Face a battle of wills within your own ship as you try to please and appease the ship's three personality AI systems. Make choices no-one should have to make on your brutal journey across the universe to... well, that would be telling, wouldn't it?
Don’t just make your mark on the universe - blow a hole in it!
How complete is it? It’s around 50% complete. The main focus so far has been on the design and implementation of the core mechanics and the general look and feel of the game. We’re very happy with progress so far.
Why turn based? The shmup scene is already well served by some great reflex shmups. We wanted something intentionally (possibly irrationally and stubbornly) different. This game is for those who love the theme of shmups but prefer time to plan their actions.
Why physics and not just classic shooter non-physics? Slight differences in positioning and timing can lead to subtly (and not so subtly) different outcomes.
RPG-like progression? Over time and as resources become available you’ll be able to repair the various damaged subsystems of the ship. It’ll be your choice to spend your valuable repairs on your tactical interface, weapons, shield and repair systems. The AI Buddies can even have their AI parameters altered.
Why the 80’s arcade theme, isn’t retro a bit of a fad? We know it's not to everyone's taste, but our first experiences of games were in the 80’s and we have a strong nostalgic fondness for pixels big enough to hug.
The music doesn’t sound 80’s, how come? Make no mistake, 80’s chip music is awesome! That said... it can be a little harsh on modern ears. For that reason we went for something that’s a lot more contemporary, but still had the feel of old skool arcade games.
We’re confident it is. Development thus far has been part-time and self-funded. We want to raise enough to be able to work on it full-time for the 4 to 5 months it'll take to finish it.
The game is about 50% complete. The money raised will be for filling out the content. More levels. More baddies and bosses. More refined gameplay. More polish. All the things needed to make a fully rounded game.
"Where do I insert my wallet?!" - Another RockPaperShotgun.com commenter
£12,000 - Recording a video of the gameplay in real time, so that you get a continuous video of just the action parts. Direct YouTube upload so other people can look on in slack jawed amazement at the incredible/unwise thing you just did.
£14,000 - Normal map sprite lighting. Lighting in this way adds an additional sense of depth and atmosphere.
£15,000 - Unity Pro and other tool licenses. Currently we’re using the free versions of a lot of tools. The paid versions have features that would speed us up and offer some useful functions we'd otherwise not be able to use.
£18,000 - EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity). It’s something we’ve been wanting to put in from the start. There are sections of the story that would benefit from it instead of just being cut scenes. However, we always knew it wasn’t necessarily a core part of the game and could be left out to keep the cost down. But if we raise this much… it’s back in!
- Over £18,000 - Any extra will be split across all aspects equally (more mechanics, more content, more graphics, more sound, more plot, more polish).
"Finally something original." - A Steam Greenlight comment
To add an add-on to your pledge simply increase the pledge by the amount needed to cover any of the add-ons below. At the end of the Kickstarter we'll be in touch to double check which add-ons you want.
Wallpapers : add £2
By adding £2 for this add-on you'll be able decorate all your digital desktops and backgrounds to make them all turn-based shoot 'em uppy while waiting for release day.
A selection of digital wallpapers in various resolutions that aren't just screen shots. Here are a few examples...
CD quality OST (Official Sound Track). Digital only : add £3
By adding £3 for this add-on you'll be able to download the full OST at the games release.
Games don't always use the fully worked versions of music, perhaps missing out the intro or outro, or sometimes only using a small looping part of a larger track. The Official Sound Track puts the music front and centre and presents each track in full glory.
You can preview some of them here (the ones prefixed with MTS): http://noyj.bandcamp.com/music
Extra game key for a friend : add £8
By adding £8 for this add-on you'll be able to download an extra copy of the game on release (either in key form or as a download link, it depends on where we're able to distribute the game).
All of the above add-ons! : add £10
By adding £10 for this add-on you'll be able to download the full OST on release, an extra game key/download on release, and lovely digital wallpapers before release.
All that for an extra £10? I know! Amazing.
Johnny Marshall (aka @TheMightyGit) - Game design and programming. Games are why Johnny learned to program on his C64. They are why he studied AI at Uni. They are why he became a gameplay programmer in the games industry. Despite all that passion for games he still managed a 24 year detour called ‘a sensible career path’. Which is why he also happens to be a Software Scalability Engineer and knows how to run a business successfully. Now he’s returned to games as an indie games developer, somewhat older, definitely wiser, but just as full of passion.
Liz Henwood (aka @Pipsissiwa) - Artist and designer. Passionate about pixel art since her school bought a mouse for their BBC Micro, she moved on to the Archimedes and then to her own Amiga 500. Using Deluxe Paint II she drew baddies and tilesets for the (mostly RPG and rogue-like) games she wrote using Amos. Her interest in Biology and the natural world led to a successful career as a Science Teacher, but she has now happily returned to the Arts full time as a yarn-wrangling crafter, painter, wildlife photographer and eager pixel herder. A keen gamer and sci-fi fan, she is also completely obsessed with mice (the furry kind that is).
Nigel Barrett (aka @MrNOYJ) - A lifelong composer, I am also (if these things matter to anyone), a Master of Music (it’s official!). I’ve written (chronologically) for school ‘rock’ bands, sixth form drama productions, solo classical guitar (I pluck strings as much as click mice), chamber ensembles, church organ, ‘adult’ rock bands, independent animations, the ether (I’ve done a lot of that), and, of course now I’m very pleased to add computer gaming to my portfolio. Especially as this stuff is for Sock Thuggery: they’re lovely people, and Mighty Tactical Shooter represents an intriguing and very beguiling concept in gaming: here’s to originality!
"Want so bad, I am in serious need of a game like no other! This fills the slot so much I might buy 2 copies just because." - A comment from Steam Greenlight
Here's a picture of the special top tier reward:
A special hello to anyone that met us at either EGX Rezzed’s Leftfield Collection or The Gadget Show Live Indie Game Zone. You gave us invaluable feedback and encouragement. Thank you.
"Worst. R-Type. Ever." - Johnny's personal favourite anonymous feedback from Rezzed. You can't please everyone... ...nor should you try.
Risks and challenges
This project has the advantage of being 8 months into development and 50% complete. The key technical and design challenges have already been overcome, leaving content, balance and polish as the main things left to work on. We estimate this work will take a further 4 to 5 months full-time.
As with any estimate there is no guarantee. Should it seem like it’s going to overrun then we’ll have to cut back on some of the content in order to finish within the available time. In the worst case scenario the game may not end up as long as we’d wanted, but at least it will be a complete game and on time. As and when the game starts to make a profit we’ll seek to add back in the cut content.
Our background means that we’re very conversant with software project management techniques both generally and for the games industry. This may be our first commercial game but it’s not the first time we’ve managed and shipped complex software projects.
A risk we’ve seen poorly handled is how to cope with excess money. Stretch goals are great, but when faced with truly excessive pledges the temptation to overreach will be strong. Should we raise money far beyond the stretch goals we’ll explore the option of hiring people. That way we can add to the game without affecting the overall time-scale too much. Alternatively we’ll put the money towards extra content to be released post-launch. Either way, we plan to give you more without pushing the deadline back.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Hopefully! There's no technical reason why not as Unity can build for PS Vita, WiiU, PS3/4 and XB1/360. The only obstacle is approval, which is why we cannot make them part of this Kickstarter. We'll start on the console versions after the desktop and tablet versions are released, subject to approval from the console manufacturer. Likely we'll start with the PS Vita version, but as yet we haven't had any official talks with any of the console manufacturers (a successful Kickstarter should help those talks a lot).
Simple - contact us! The pre-alpha demo has been tried on a very limited set of hardware. We'd love to find out about any issues you are having so we can fix them.
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