And the brand new voxel terrain engine. See youtube
We've been working on Proven Lands with a super small team for some months now, creating a game in you become an explorer - not just another sandbox item collector. Packed with the real mysteries of physics, biology and chemistry, plus tons of (hopefully) reasonable science-fiction, influenced by Star Trek, Don't Starve and Project Zomboid.
In Proven Lands survival is our strongest concept. It starts with a stranded astronaut -- you. You fight hunger, thirst, strange animals, weather and even the nature itself. Give the pre alpha demo a try, attempt to survive for a few days. Right at this moment you’re able to eat everything with your helmet on (for demonstration reasons) but because we aim to be a hard sci-fi game in the future you’ll have to take off your helmet first before you can eat anything. Your initial spacesuit is weak and old. However you’ll need an armored one to survive against stronger animals and armed aliens later on – oh, and you’ll need better weapons than an axe.
As soon as you’ve mastered the first terrain biome (desert), there will be plenty to discover such as steppes, savannah like environments, forests, big rivers, caves and different planet types such as ice or volcano - each filled with tons of items and characters. The AI game master will watch your influence in a region so after some time more intelligent animals, and perhaps even aliens will start to attack you. First off though we start with simple alien villagers and introduce you to a rather basic storyline. And, because it’s a sci-fi survival game, build devices, smaller machines, factories and before you basically upgrade your “camp” to a small one-man outpost -- similar to an advanced camp in Don't Starve, just deeper, bigger, and more sci-fi.
The story engine of Proven Lands has two sides -- a main story and an AI-driven meta game.
The main story is thrilling but also a little bit philosophical too - about friendship, bravery, responsibility and even a pregnancy. You assume the role not of a scientist or a soldier, but a a working class hero or heroine. You're named after the real-life Teruo Nakamura - a soldier of the Japanese Imperial Army who did not surrender until 1974.
Think of the AI meta game engine as a pen & paper game master who gathers all the randomly generated elements unique to each player's experience and weaves these components into an one-off adventure. You'll be kept busy battling thirst, hunger, oxygen deprivation and dwindling energy supplies .... but as soon you've gathered enough resources, seek out for new civilizations!
Intro music track
Monolith music track
Night Is Scary music track
Key Concepts and Game Mechanics
Modding - We love mods! Proven Lands was designed with mods in mind, from the get-go.
Procedurally generated - Endless and seamless procedurally generated terrain with different biomes on different planets. So far we have desert, forest, river, mountain, hill, swamp and lake biomes.
Alien races and eco system - In Proven Lands aliens participate in a simple eco system. Trade with a tribe or village, if you have something desirable, similar to Don't Starve.
AI meta game - The AI is the director of your unique story based on custom quests, ambitions and events - like a pen & paper game master.
Classes and no super powers - Proven Lands has some RPG elements. Everyone starts as The Forklift Driver with no super powers and a broken heart, and as time goes by new classes unlock: The Medic, The Pilot, The Engineer, The Soldier, The Scientist, and The Android. See stretch goals.
Moods and ambitions - A mood and trait system makes your character less predictable. A wound left unattended might lead to fever, which could in turn lead to mental instability or death. See demo. Ambitions are quests with a deadline, chosen by you or the AI meta engine, similar to Crusader Kings 2.
Building, housing, farming and eco system - Craft automatic ore mines, water drills, energy and oxygen generators to make your life easier. Proven Lands is not a sim, but there is a small eco system, influenced by an older game jam prototype called LOST UTOPIA.
Crafting - Each item, weapon, tool, vehicle, drone and building has 7 modules: a base module (type) plus 6 extra modules. Extra modules for armor, power cells, shielding, special abilities, incredients or decoration. For instance, a knife: tool base + short steel blade; or a bio scanner: tool chassis + biology level 1 scanner; or a M1 Abrams tank with a scanner: car base + kevlar-uranium armor + smoothbore gun + turbine engine + bio lvl 1 scanner. ;) Aliens craft items depending on the planet's resources.
Skills - Basic skills like condition, endurance, willpower, strength. Scientific skills like biology, physics, engineering, ehemistry and xeno sciences. And item skills like blunt weapons, laser weapons or drones (depending on your knowledge). Each skill with an own small skill tree.
Archaeology and technology - Explore uncharted regions, unknown items and creatures, lost civilizations and artefacts. Your character progresses not only through skills, but through item and artefact knowledge. You do not develop revolutionary physics after a few nights, instead, you gather knowledge in order to become a specialist. Dismantle alien devices for undiscovered resources! See ASCII roguelikes as Dungeon Crawl or Cataclysm.
Outposts and camps - You're not a camper with a huge bagpack. An outpost is for the long-term, with generators and storage.
Airlock and natural organism - Thirst, hunger, insanity, oxygen deprivation and energy consumption. On some planets you need an airlock to eat, drink and survive.
Power supply - Sci-fi devices depend on energy.
Spaceship artefacts - Sometimes you’ll find useful spaceship parts scattered around the planet.
Items, resources and item modules - From food to wood to stones to water and megalomaniac butterflies. Each item can be analyzed from level 1 to 3.
Tools, devices and weapons - From a shovel to a scanner, from a navigator to generators and small factories! Aliens have their own devices, weapons and tools too.
Spaceship, jump drive and space travel - Travel to other planets as soon you've a jump drive or gate. Your spaceship is not a ship, it is more jump gate in the orbit with a few special modules, dictating where your next journey starts. In order to jump to the next planet, talk to aliens and gather resources.
One more hour - Most survival games are not known for chill time: you are a laboratory mouse, always in a rush, starving or defending. So, we're working hard to give you more time for exploration and archaeology, or for just being cool.
Alien companion - Start with the space cat from your first spaceship.
Games - Dungeon Crawl, Project Zomboid, Don't Starve, Crusader Kings 2, Starflight, Minecraft, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, The Sims, SWTOR, Dead Space 1, Dwarf Fortress, Diablo 3
Movies, TV and comics - Star Trek (TNG, DS9, TOS, VOY, ENT), Alien, Planetes, Enemy Mine, Outland, Gravity, Contact, Nausicaä, Star Wars
A few notes
New Classes: Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Scientist, Android and Robot - You start as a Forklift Driver, but new classes unlock as you play the game. The classes are based on your lost crew members. For instance, the android class focusses on energy, debris and metal.
New Episodes: 6, 7 and 8 - Make new friends and enemies. Discover a completely new side of Minamata, your first planet. There is something shocking below the planet's surface you didn't know before.
New Planet Types: Moon, Low Gravity, Volcano and Ice - Moon, Low Gravity, Volcano and Ice - Discover no- and low-gravity planets; landscapes with limited resources. Discover a heavy industry planet with mining towns and an eruptive nature. Each new planet type adds new flora, fauna, items and resources to the universe.
New Creatures: Yuracats and Guribulls - These are the concept names for quite a number of completely new creatures.
New Creatures: Huge Animals - Do you like dinosaurs? How about a huge animal wandering around in your neighbourhood. This part is a little tricky, due to their size (i.e. animation and combat), but fun.
New Creatures: Insectoids - A whole new family with particular skills and stats, different from planet to planet, with new resources.
New: Drones - Drones are an important part of the civilized life in the future, far more than in most sci-fi novels and movies. Daily life is different now: everybody has a drone.
New: Co-Op Multiplayer - Multiplayer would be amazing! Rafael already started to work on a nodejs/mongodb based server. Let's start simple with a co-op for up to 2-3 players on a planet. We have plenty of ideas here.
New Mini Game: Space Submarines - We've been thinking about a short mini-game for the shill out moments. We start with the idea of a voxel-based cloaked spaceship submarine sim xD
New: Terraforming - Let's add basic terraforming to the game, allowing you to alter the physical landscape. Basic digging is already in the making but the concept has a lot more potential...
New: Randomly Generated Meshes and Models - Do you like Spore? As we already know how to generate models using computer science and math, it could become something special. We start with procedurally generated stones and shrubs, and move on to trees, houses, items and weapons by the time.
New Planet Type: Underwater - Well! This is an amazing new world and something we've had in mind for months. We would recycle a lot of current assets and add new mechanics like flying, diving and piloting a submarine-like vehicle. But it is really special and unique - underwater creatures, cities and sub-stations.
RAFAEL @btxsqdr (FOUNDER, ENGINEER, GAME DESIGNER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR) -- A Saber Rider for 13 years now with pro XP in over one hundred web, desktop, mobile, and VFX projects as an pro engineer. Made his first board game aged 8, learned to code on a C64. Did math and computer science. A degree and a scholarship. A huge sci-fi, games, knowledge and diy fan. Likes board games, Star Trek and Terry Gilliam. Working on a book about game design of procedural generated games. Quite a number of game prototypes.
MORITZ (FOUNDER, BUSINESS) -- Invented by Silver Surfer, he did some impressive stuff before. As soon as Rafael and Moritz became friends they started to work on a few overambitious ideas. They have secured a few situations to make sure that a game like Proven Lands can be done. Moritz is our business, legal and Kickstarter guy.
JEFFREY @couchmonaut (2D ARTIST, CONCEPT ARTIST) -- In his early childhood days Jeffrey pursued a figure skating career, but was eventually sifted out due to the high standards of a sport program. Fortunately for us his interest shifted to digital art and games on his grandfather's Amstrad CPC instead. A graduated artist. For some reason Jeffrey and Rafael became a super exciting sci-fi and board game combo.
Contributors and Friends
DEK @dekdev (3D ARTIST) -- Rumor has it that Dek is an axe wielding, crazed viking slaying dragons on his motorcycle and raiding dungeons all day. Scientists however have proven that he is actually a young guy currently living in Berlin who really likes to create art and video games and to attend to game jams. He once found a treasure chest.
TOM @nebulousflynn (SOUND DESIGNER, TRAILER EDITOR) -- Tom is a sound recordist and audio designer from the UK who grew up by the sea and now lives in London working as a multimedia designer. When he's not mixing and editing (or attending game jams), he likes to get out into the world and record audio.
WRENCH @wrenchse (MUSIC COMPOSER) -- Contemporary composer gone rogue, Jonas is an audio engineering and electroacoustic composition student. While you might know him for his critically acclaimed soundtrack for Unmechanical, Jonas has great plans for game music, working on a few projects. Listen to his other music here.
Special thanks to Andy (graphic and logo design), Oliver (ambient tracks) and Ioannis (story intro and second trailer).
The history of Proven Lands goes back to an IGM game jam, 7-8 months ago. Back then there was nothing, except for Rafael, early concepts and a few voxel-based prototypes. If you remember those first hours in Minecraft, your curiosity, your first shelter, you probably know how rare such game moments are. This is what Proven Lands is -- it is about the survival in the unknown.
Why Kickstarter? We have considered taking a private investor on board. We had a few interesting offers regarding publishers and investors. However, in the end, we came to the conclusion that Kickstarter is still the best choice for us. We also learned that a 3D procedurally generated science-fiction survival-roguelike-RPG-whatever such as Proven Lands is hard to evaluate, to say the least. A successful Kickstarter campaign is not only cool but proves that you guys believe in such a game as much as we do!
Why 299k? We've been thinking about the goal for a long time now. We'd like to be honest and keep our word. 299k sounds a lot for a single person, but not for a team, for 12 months. If you subtract 5-10% for Kickstarter, 20% for taxes, as well as social security and other costs, then you have approx. 150k for 12 months, which breaks down to 12.5k per month, for a whole project. That high goal is for a dream team of 8-9 friends for a time period of 12 months.
A few notes
Become an astronaut - Thank you so much, mate. Warm hugs from us. You are now part of our journey. Tell a few friends about us.
Choose a copy - First up, we launch on Windows in Spring 2015. After that, iOS and OSX, and then Linux and Android. Additional release dates will be announced after the Windows release. PS4 or XBOX ONE are interesting, of course, but we'll see about it.
Game credits - Impress your family! Your name in our game credits.
Original Game Soundtrack - Wrench is composing our awesome music soundtrack. See above for a few music samples. If you know the Unmechanical soundtrack, you know that this one will be awesome as well. This soundtrack comes as digital release only at the moment.
Companion Book - Another piece of wowsomeness. It contains tons of illustrations, sketches, notes on the universe, the story, the characters, the vehicles and items, even upcoming ideas and extensions. It gives you a unique look behind the scenes. Digital only, as a high-resolution PDF.
Tumblr item DLC, Day item DLC, Night item DLC, Plant DLC, Creature DLC, Space suit DLC, Tool DLC, Weapon DLC, Vehicle DLC, Epic item DLC - All extra DLC items will be revealed within the next few months, but we'll make sure that it's worthy of your pledge. A "day item" is useful by day. A "night item", well, it's useful by night. A plant, creature, space suit, tool, weapon or vehicle item will make your life easier. Also, an additional tumblr item for tumblr users. Why tumblr? Uh, to be honest, thanks to the support of our tumblr fans some situations went... more smoothly. It's a gift. So, if you pledge as a tumblr user, show us your blog and you'll get an extra item.
Name a plate, a statue or get your name carved on a wall - A name of your choice on a plate, a wall, a house, a statue in the game. All names will be added to the random name list. Bear in mind that we'll want to make sure that the name you propose is reasonable, which means it will need our approval.
Name a plant, a tree, a creature, an item, a village or a planet - Propose a name for these things, even a village or planet. All names will be added to the random name list. Bear in mind that we'll want to make sure that the name you propose is reasonable.
Design a plant, a creature, an NPC or an alien race - Send us a photo, a concept, a model or just an idea. You have the chance to influence the process a few times. Show off your skills, impress your grandparents and become part of the game world.
Design a story or novel character - Did you ever wanted to be a character in a story? Describe in a few words the character. You'll have the chance to influence the process a few times. In-game NPCs, fellow gamers and perhaps journalists will talk about you for the rest of your life.
Alpha and Beta access - Join the alpha and beta squad and help us with bugs, ideas and issues.
Godlike - Geez, you must be the god of backers. Thank you! If you go this far, we can talk about many things. Name a planet after you. Help us design a novel character. And if you really as excited as we are, we could talk about your reward in general. We'd like to be fair.
Posters and 3D prints - Grab a poster. Or, grab a 3D print (physical scultpure) of Teruo, our main character; additional 3D print model blueprints will be revealed in a few months. What posters do we offer? Most of the 2D art, and additional posters as seen below. More soon.
Proven Lands Con - Well, just a silly idea. We thought about a release party for backers only or something. Depending on the campaign.
Risks and challenges
We hope you like the pre alpha demo. It is just an early version after some months dev, polished and limited for Kickstarter.
Game development and creative-IT-rocket-science projects in general are often more complex than planned, therefore it is important to focus one's efforts, especially for procedural games with a story and an AI meta game like Proven Lands. You never know. But with a combined 30+ years (!) of experience between Rafael and Moritz alone, plus a bunch of great talents, we believe we are up to this task.
Many challenging parts of Proven Lands are done -- like basic modding, endless procedurally generated terrain with a desert biome, water, canyons and hills, basic AI, an item and inventory engine, an organism, mood and trait system, even basic combat, crafting and collecting. There's still a lot of work to do. But, we are confident that we can and will make it within 1 year. Now we just need you and your help. ;)
Oh, those are good questions. As mentioned in the project description, we’ve been thinking about the goal for months now. We choose an honest budget. It was not an easy decision to make. You know how it feels — compared to campaigns with a small budget that get funded with 1000%. Or compared to projects which get funded with £1.8m (approx. $3m) and then still are greedy, boom! 2D games in particular, for some reason.
According to Kickstarter the average successful campaign funding is £10,547.48 (approx. $17,549.88). Games as Kingdom Come Deliverance cost £1.2-1.8m (approx. $2-3m) and more, and then they ask for £300k (approx. $499) which turns out to be £1m (approx. $1.7m) in the end. We are backers too, with our private accounts. We think, Kickstarter did changed a bit within the last year, didn’t it?
Our goal, £299k (approx. $460k), minus Kickstarter fees, taxes, social security and other business costs, equals to approx. £150k (approx. $231k), which breaks down to just £12.5k (approx. $19.2k) per month for 12 months and a whole team. Yes, with a 3D procedural game such as Proven Lands we have some advantages compared to non-procedural games, but this comes for a price: the technical side is far more complex. Lighting, texturing, AI and generation in particular. This is perhaps the reason why AAA companies prefer static level design and tech. Well, take a look at our early demo.
We do not expect to get rich here – no fancy cars, no super computers. The majority of our team has worked for very little money, some did not get paid at all and have lived from their savings, tbh. Is our goal too low? Well, it is ok and we are confident that we can make it! But, the opera ain't over until the fat lady sings, right? :D You never know. We will see soon.
DIGITAL COPY + GAME CREDITS + TUMBLR DLC. Grab one copy of PROVEN LANDS for a platform of your choice, when it is ready for release. PROVEN LANDS will ship initially for Windows (see platforms description). A special thanks in the game's credits. Impress your friends! And, because we're so happy about our tumblr fans: If you've a tumblr blog, grab a tumblr-only item DLC. All previous rewards included. (est. £9, $15 or €11)
ORIGINAL GAME SOUNDTRACK + COMPANION PDF BOOK + PLANT NAME + NIGHT ITEM DLC. A download of Wrench's soundtrack and a PDF art book from Jeffrey and others. Help us with the game content and propose a name to the pool of random plant names, which is subject to our approval. Plus a suprise item DLC at the release, which will help you in the dark. All previous rewards included. (est. £19, $31 or €23)
BETA ACCESS + TREE NAME + PLANT DLC + DAY ITEM DLC. Get access to our beta release. Help us with the game content and propose a name to the pool of random tree names, which is subject to our approval. Plus a fancy item DLC which will help you during the day. All previous rewards included. (est. £29, $47 or €35)
ALPHA ACCESS + POSTER + CREATURE DLC + SUIT DLC + SURVIVOR PLATE. Be part of the earlybird alpha access squad. Grab a poster. In addition, propose a name for a randomly generated long-lost survivor plate in-game, within reason. Plus, grab a special space suit and creature DLC. All previous rewards included. (est. £39, $63 or €47)
CARVED NAME + PLANT/CREATURE DESIGN + ITEM NAME + TOOL DLC + PROVEN LANDS CON. Impress your friends and get a name of your choice carved into a tree, a stone or painted on a wall, which is subject of our approval. Help us with the game content and design a plant or creature model with us, or propose a name to the random item names pool, which is subject to our approval as well. Plus a useful tool DLC and a free VIP ticket to all PROVEN LANDS cons; the first pre-release con will be for con backers only. All previous rewards included. (est. £79, $129 or €95)
FOOD/CRAFT ITEM DESIGN OR SECOND POSTER + WEAPON DLC + VILLAGE NAME. We really appreciate your help, mate. Grab a second poster or help us with the content, send us a picture and design a food or craft item with us, and in addition propose a name for a village or creature, which is subject to our approval. Plus a hot weapon DLC. All previous rewards included. (est. £149, $242 or €180)
NPC DESIGN OR 3D PRINT + STORY CHARACTER + VEHICLE DLC + STATUE. Grab a 3D print of Teruo, our main character, or become part of the game story: Join the artists, send us a picture and let's talk about a randomly generated NPC you designed, which is subject to our approval. He, she or it will have things to say. Plus, live forever and help us with a story character or just name him/her after you, within reason. Plus, get your own statue in the game, named after you, if you like. Finally, an additional vehicles DLC, for backers only. All previous rewards included. (est. £399, $649 or €481)
ALIEN RACE DESIGN OR SECOND 3D PRINT + EPIC ITEM DLC + BIGGER STATUE. Join the ranks and help us with an alien race design, which is subject of our approval, or grab a second 3D print of a game model, which will be revealed in a few months. And an epic item DLC awaits you. Plus, get even a bigger statue in the game, named after you. All previous rewards included. (est. £799, $1,300 or €963)
NOVEL CHARACTER + THIRD 3D PRINT + PLANET NAME. Wowsome, mate! Help us with a character in the upcoming illustrated novel, even name him or her after you, within reason. We name a planet after you or a name you like, within reason as well. In addition, a 3D print of something alien-like, which will be revealed in a few months. All previous rewards included. (est. £1,999, $3,252 or €2,409)
GODLIKE + CONTENT WIZARD + PHAENOMENA NAME + SPECIAL 3D PRINT. This is absolutely incredible! Become a game content wizard with special Google Hangouts, and help us with the game in general. Feel free to talk to us about your ideas. If you really like the game that much, perhaps we should talk about your reward. We name a phaenomena like an ion storm after you or a name you like, within reason. In addition, a special 3D print which will be revealed in a few months. All previous rewards included. (est. £4,999, $8,133 or €6,024)