About this project
SUPER DWARF MADNESS blends two of your favorite genres - Action-RPG and Twin-Stick Shooter - and focuses on fun multiplayer to enjoy with your friends. You will customize your Dwarf with a wide variety of weapons, armor, and most importantly, facial hair! Train your Dwarf to become a fierce warrior, then, together with your Dwarf buddies, stop the evil Summoner and his zombies.
To succeed, you must amass Gold to craft new, stronger Guns, while defending against the zombies who attacked your clan. Complete all 32 Campaign Quests by yourself, or with up to 4 Players. Get a few more friends and go on 8-Player Raids, in procedurally-generated caverns, for loot, Gold, and a fresh experience every time! We think every shooter should encourage competition, so we're giving you separate Versus modes ranging from 1-on-1 to 16-player Team Battles, and more.
Super Dwarf Madness is a successor to Dwarf Madness on Xbox 360 Indie Games, but is not a direct sequel. The twin-stick RPG formula was well-received, but needed more depth to fully realize it - leading to our first Kickstarter for Super Dwarf Madness. After that campaign was unsuccessful, we released Dwarf Madness: Heroes of Dwyll as a free web game to help articulate our vision.
Those two games built a foundation, but the new SDM Demo will show you our ambitions for the future. Online play, random maps, enemies, and customized Dwarves are all there for you to preview.
A large RPG requires a lot of content for deep customization that provides lasting replay value. We are asking for you to join our cause to fund the artists who will bring this vision to life. Developer / Project Manager Callen Shaw is self-funding the development and testing of Super Dwarf Madness, but he cannot afford all the art assets he needs without your help.
The demo for Dwarf Madness will give you a good idea of the chaotic multiplayer action we want to give you, while the DM: Heroes of Dwyll demo exhibits new environments, objectives, and bosses.
The Super Dwarf Madness Demo is only in a prototype stage, but we're giving you this rough build to show you that two of the biggest new features - online play and random maps - are already in a playable state. However many features remain unimplemented here, so we urge you to try one of the older Demos first!
- Super Dwarf Madness - Free Demo (PC/Mac/Linux) Currently has Co-op and Versus modes on randomly-generated maps, where you and other online players try to collect all the Gold you can. Shoot rocks and Swarmi (or each other in versus!), and collect enough Gold to unlock the Loot Room and end the stage. The full S.D.M. experience will be much more in-depth but needs your support to become reality.
- Dwarf Madness - Xbox 360 ($1) or PC Demo (Free, Windows-Only): Dwarf Madness is as an arcade-style High Score game, with 4P local multiplayer, online High Scoreboards (Xbox-only feature), and a simple form of our "Gold-for-Upgrades" mechanic.
- Dwarf Madness: Heroes of Dwyll - Free Webgame (Desktop and Mobile Browsers): This single-player game features 3 Quests for each of two characters, Blasti and Ballin. Each of the 6 Quests also has a difficult Diamond Challenge to conquer!
Super Dwarf Madness is all about collecting Gold to upgrade your Guns, Armor, and Special Abilities, while fending off the Swarmis, Zombis, and the Summoner's other minions. Completing Campaign Quests will earn you large Gold bonuses, while long Raids in the procedurally-generated caves can bring even larger rewards. Versus matches will also pay out Gold according to each player's skill.
Dwarves love Gold, so in Super Dwarf Madness the Gold is more than just currency. The Gold you collect will strengthen your Dwarf, just like Experience or Ability Points in other RPGs. When you need to buy Potions and other consumables, don't waste your Gold - Dwarves also love to haggle, and shop owners will accept Gemstones, and sometimes even pieces of slain zombies, as payment.
Save your Gold for crafting stronger Guns, buying Sidearms to get their associated Special Abilities, and increasing your Dwarf's basic stats (health, defense, strength, movement speed). Helmets and Armor are also paid for in Gold, but we will try to end the cycle of buying "throwaway gear" until you level up and find more powerful, rare equipment.
We will limit the number of Helmets/Armor in the game, but make each one useful for certain playing styles. For example, "Leather Armor - Level 1" that the game gives you to start will provide little defense, but its light weight will give you the highest movement speed. Rare Armor may even lower your stats, in exchange for a special effect like Health Regeneration or faster recharge for your Special Abilities.
There are four base classes of Gun in Super Dwarf Madness - Automatic, Sniper, Shotgun, Rocket. Guns are only usable by players in the same class. Every Dwarf levels up their proficiency in whatever weapon class their current weapon belongs to, but the Guns level up too, unlocking more power and new firing styles as each is mastered.
As you progress, you will have the opportunity to level up more than one class, but the wide variety of Gun upgrades in each of the 4 weapon classes means you'll have to work hard to see them all!
In addition to your currently-equipped Gun you will choose a Sidearm, with many fun possibilities - from Pistols to a Battle Axe. Spending Gold to upgrade these Sidearms unlocks various Special Abilities. Some abilities are passive, others are activated to provide a temporary stat boost, and the strongest ones can unleash powerful direct and area attacks.
We want each Quest, Raid, and Versus match to feel fresh every time, and a key piece of our solution is in our map-generation algorithms.
Our Room Generator can create a limitless number of large and small Rooms, teeming with enemies, destructible walls, lava streams, and secret loot-filled chambers. Each of the lands of Dwyll will use different tuning parameters to create a unique look and feel for that region. For our Quests to progress the story forward, we will build handcrafted Rooms that are blended into the random maps.
Rooms are connected to with the Layout Generator, based on the classic "Rogue Algorithm" for map layout. This creates fun linear paths through long and winding caves, and by extending the algorithm, we will also be able to make non-linear Versus arenas and branching Raid layouts that grow in size (and potential rewards) the larger your party is.
In a Stretch Goal, we will add map customization allowing you to play with the different handles, buttons, and knobs that create the maps. You'll also be able to save your favorite ones to play in Versus matches.
The Lands of Dwyll
The Dwarves of Dwyll lost most of their sprawling, underground kingdom when the Summoner attacked. You will journey across four different regions of Dwyll to reach your foe. The Gold Mines are where Dwarves filled their coffers, while the Lava Forge provided natural energy for smelting and crafting. Next is the Depths (not pictured), a dark and deep cavern, filled with crystal pool and unique life, and is both beautiful and terrifying. Finally, you will fight your way through the mountaintop Royal Palace. Here, you will find the Throne Room, and your final battle with the Summoner (or is it?).
Each environment will have default map-generation parameters for that area, such as larger rooms in the Gold Mines, or the inclusion of lava in the Forge.
To properly convey the story, however, the Campaign Quests will be made partially through procedural-generation, and partially from pre-built areas. Integrating these areas will also help us make more fun and varied versus maps.
The story of Super Dwarf Madness is presented through the Quests you are given. By completing the 32 Quests across the four lands, you will learn the secrets to saving the kingdom of Dwyll. There are two types of Quests:
- Present-Day Quests will send your Dwarf into the ransacked areas of Dwyll, to rout the enemies infesting the caves and eventually find - and defeat - the Summoner who created them.
- Historic Quests will send you back in time, where you and your teammates must play as one of the four Heroes of Dwyll - Blasti, Ballin, Boomhildi, and Lamp. These Historic Quests are unlocked by finding Golden Tablets hidden in the present-day Quests, and help you solve the mystery of how they defeated the Summoner 300 years ago.
Whether you need a break from Quests, already completed them all, or need more of a challenge for a larger reward, our co-operative 8-Player Raids will provide endless exploration and fun. The Raid missions will feature longer, more difficult expeditions through procedurally-generated caves, often ending with the defeat of a fearsome boss guarding a stash of treasure.
The Versus mode of Super Dwarf Madness will really set it apart from other online RPG combat. We will be focused on providing low-latency, high-speed action for up to 16 players (possibly more). We know from experience that online indie games can struggle without a dedicated online community, so we'll also build A.I.-controlled Bots for when no one is online.
We are excited to allow our Alpha and Beta testers guide the development of a fair and exciting competitive experience. First we will build core modes like Team and Free-for-All (FFA) Deathmatch, Team and FFA Objective games like Capture the Flag, and even competitive-cooperative games like our "Coin Rush" mode in the SDM Demo. These early matches will guide our development of new combat scenarios that only Super Dwarf Madness can create.
Bring your fully-customized Dwarf into the battle for Dwyll, and help recover its stolen Gold. Travel back in time to fight as the Four Heroes of Dwyll, and unearth centuries-old secrets to help you defeat the evil Summoner!
Super Dwarf Madness takes places 300 years after the Four Heroes - Blasti, Ballin, Boomhildi, and Lamp - saved the kingdom from the Summoner and his desire for the Dwarves' Gold.
The Four Heroes of Dwyll
In Dwarf Madness, we met the Dwarves of Dwyll who had been chased away from their land and Gold by the Summoner's forces, leading to widespread poverty in a dwindling Dwarf population. This only ended when the Four Heroes (aided by one enterprising blacksmith) brought a new power to the fight - Guns!
The Four Heroes won Gold from their fights in Dwyll - enough to strengthen the Dwarves and end their poverty. In particular, they could afford to buy new Guns, funding a war for their homeland that would continue for years.
The game Dwarf Madness: Heroes of Dwyll focuses on the Four Heroes' fight to expel the Summoner and take back Dwyll. Unfortunately, much of that history was lost, another casualty in the ravages of war. All that is known today, is that the Heroes used powerful magic, and even more powerful Guns, to seal the Summoner in the bedrock, ensuring the safety of Dwyll.
Now the Summoner has escaped, stronger than ever, and his lust for Dwyll's Gold forced the Dwarves to once again flee their kingdom. A new generation must pull out their Guns and fight, but they will need to find lost clues from the past to put the Summoner away once and for all.
With such a focus on multiplayer, we will build a robust community and support it. With online forums, monthly quests, raids, and versus matches, theres plenty to keep you coming back for more after the final boss. With unique armor sets, weapons, and skills no one dwarf is the same!
In Super Dwarf Madness we are adding 4 player Guilds. In the monthly quest each Guild plays for a chance to win unique item sets, and riches. It’s not just about how well you do as a player but how well your team does. Developing a strong online relationship with your guild and practicing on Raids will help improve your chances of winning the monthly bounty.
Customization is a big part of what creates your online persona. Dwarves are very well known for there awesome beards, hair styles, and stout figures. With plenty of beards, hair, and accessories to choose from, your dwarf will be the talk of the town!
It’s important with online gaming to a have a system that not only plays well, but also lets people freely play with each other. In Super Dwarf Madness people will be able to easily invite players to matches as well as use built-in text and voice chat to communicate in-game.
Super Dwarf Madness is a project that brings together everything I love about video games - Guns, RPG systems, online multiplayer, pixel graphics - but such a large game is something I've never been able to do until now.
See, I'm a terrible artist, so if I am forced to make all of the characters, enemies, helmets, armor, and environments by myself, the game will never be finished. With the help of an artist (or two!), I can focus on what I'm good at - mechanics, balance, level design, story progression, and all the invisible code that makes an online game work well.
Would you rather I spend 6 hours play-testing to make the game better, or spend 6-hours making a simple - yet somehow still unattractive - enemy spider (eg, the one in the trailer / demo)?
Unfortunately, I don't have that brother / college buddy / friend's cousin who is willing to work for free until the game releases.
This is why I Kickstarter. I want over-the-top rocket explosions! I want to fight in brooding underground vistas. I want expressive animated zombies, who die with flourish as they are filled with lead.
I have been honing my game development skills for a decade, and I have dedicated nearly a year to the Dwarf Madness games. However, anything I have to draw myself will simply not live up to my standards - which is why most of the funds go toward the variety of art we need to build such a large game:
- 10% - Kickstarter Fees
- 10% - Hardware / Software Budget
- 5-10% - Backer Reward Fulfillment
- 70-75% - Art Budget
We can't make this game without your pledges! To thank you so much for supporting our vision, we have tried to come up with fun, unique, and valuable rewards.
Reward Tier: $2
- You name will be in our website's Backer Credits section.
- You will be able to access the Backers-Only forum on dwarfmadness.com (to be set up once funding is successful).
Reward Tier: $5
- Your name will be part of the in-game Credits.
- You also get the previous rewards.
Reward Tier: $10, $15, $20
- You will receive a copy of Super Dwarf Madness when it is released.
- You will be able to download our digital art book as a bonus.
- You also get all previous rewards.
- The different prices correspond to different Early-Bird tiers (while supplies last).
- NEW!!! In the in-game Credits, your name will have a custom Dwarf next to it that you design.
Reward Tier: $30
- You will be granted access to play Super Dwarf Madness during the Beta testing phase
- You get 3 Hi-Res Wallpapers to adorn your screens.
- You get a download of the Official Soundtrack when released.
- You also get all previous rewards.
- NEW!!! You can design a custom Dwarf, who will appear as a A.I. Bot in Super Dwarf Madness versus multiplayer.
- NEW!!! You will be able to play the Cameo Quests for one of the 4 characters (see below)
Reward Tier: $50
- You get exclusive access to our special Cameo Quests (see below).
- You get all previous rewards.
- NEW!!! You will get a downloadable Game Guide (pdf) with Bestiary, Gun Stats, Special Abilities, Maps, Tips, and Secrets of Dwyll.
FEATURED REWARD: CAMEO QUESTS
Anyone who pledges $50+ will get the Cameo Quests - EIGHT exclusive Quests starring characters from other Kickstarter-backed studios: Bob from Pwnee Studios' Cloudberry Kingdom, Compy from Fire Hose Games' Go Home Dinosaurs, Kitschy Kitty, the mascot of High Class Kitsch, creators of Pandora: Purge of Pride, and Rick, the star of 24 Caret Games' Retro/Grade. Each character's two Quests allow you to earn a themed Helmet and Armor set for that cameo character. These items and quests will be Backers-Only exclusives!
Reward Tier: $55 (NEW!!!)
- You can name and design a custom Dwarf, who will be a Non-Player Character (NPC) in the hub-town of Central Dwyll. He or she can take personality traits from your requests, and will meet all of Super Dwarf Madness' players!
- You will get a downloadable Game Guide (pdf) with Bestiary, Gun Stats, Special Abilities, Maps, Tips, and Secrets of Dwyll.
- You also get all previous rewards except only one Cameo Quest. (Same as the $30 Tier) All four can be obtained as an "add-on" by adding $20 to your pledge.
- Higher Reward Tiers cannot include this Reward, but you can add-on those for the normal price of the Reward, minus $50. (Please message us if you have questions about this.)
Reward Tier: $70
- You will be able to play Super Dwarf Madness during the Alpha testing phase, very shortly after the campaign ends.
- By visiting the Backers-Only forum, you and others pledging at this level or higher will collectively design a Quest - its difficulty, objectives, obtainable items and more - which will be included in Super Dwarf Madness when it is released.
- You get all previous rewards (Excludes the $55 Reward Tier)
- NEW!!! You will receive one ultra-rare item from the game when Super Dwarf Madness is released. (Saving you a lot of time!)
Reward Tier: $90
- You will be able to grant 1 other person access to play Super Dwarf Madness during the Alpha testing phase.
- You will be able to grant 3 other people access to play Super Dwarf Madness during the Beta testing phase.
- You can send 3 other people free download tokens for Super Dwarf Madness when it is released.
- You also get all previous rewards. (Excludes the $55 Reward Tier)
- NEW!!! Show your love of Dwarves with an exclusive Super Dwarf Madness button pin. They will be printed only once, so don't miss out. (We should be able to ship these to any country, but please message us if you're unsure.)
Reward Tier: $120
- We will send you a box when Super Dwarf Madness is released, containing the following:
- A physical copy of Super Dwarf Madness, that you can hold in your hands.
- A physical CD of the game's Soundtrack in a jewel case with exclusive Super Dwarf Madness album art.
- A Hi-Res Poster to hang over that hole in your wall.
- You also get all previous rewards. (Excludes the $55 Reward Tier)
Reward Tier: $200
- You get a Hardcover art book that includes extra images not found in the digital art book.
- You get an exclusive Backers-Only T-Shirt with Super Dwarf Madness imagery. Like the buttons, this will be your only chance to get one.
- You will get 1 more Hi-Res Poster, to keep the first one company, or to give as a gift.
- You also get all previous rewards. (Excludes the $55 Reward Tier)
Game Delivery Options
Super Dwarf Madness is being developed for OUYA, Windows, Mac, and Linux. With Free The Games Fund we will be releasing the game first on OUYA as a one month exclusive. OUYA is an exciting platform, and if you choose to get your game this way you will have it first. Once our time on OUYA is over we will be using a distribution service (not yet selected) to give you downloadable PC, Mac, and Linux versions (and console versions, if the stretch goal is reached).
Alpha version will be available for computer only (PC/Mac/Linux), Beta version will have PC, Mac, Linux, and OUYA support.
We are laser-focused on making the base funding of $10,000 - without your pledges I cannot develop this game to completion! Our stretch goals are things we will probably add/do to the game anyway, but the extra funding allows us to dedicate resources to make it happen.
- $12,000 - We will add a 5th environment to explore, and some new enemies that live only there!
- $15,000 - The Map Generator will be accessible in some Raid and Versus modes! You can flip switches and turn dials to make interesting or crazy maps we didn't include in the game.
- $20,000 - Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One ports! (contingent upon approval by each platform's owner)
CALLEN SHAW is president of The Unallied. He has been making Xbox Live Indie Games since 2008, before it was cool. He is best known for favorites like Drinkards, Drinkards Beer Pong, 3D-Struction, Snowball Showdown, Dwarf Madness, and more! A majority of his games focus on multiplayer, since it's his favorite way to play games.
JACOB CLARK is community manager, outreach, and marketer for The Unallied. When not tied down to his emails he runs Gaming in Public, the DC gaming group that mixes booze and indie games. Since 2011 he has worked with studios including Owlchemy Labs, Dejobaan Games, Smudged Cat Games, 24 Caret Games, Pwnee Studios, Vlambeer, Klei Entertainment, Crankshaft Games, Subatomic Studios, and Spiky Snail Games.
FRANCIS ACUPAN is a freelance illustrator based in Northern Virginia. He’s been creating art for games since 2008. When he’s not making game art he also works on the web comics “Sammie and Friends” and volunteers at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in downtown DC. He studied animation and game design at Bloomfield College, NJ and interned at the NY office for Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go at Nickelodeon.
DEVI EVER is a pixel artist and video game developer from no where in particular. In October of 2013 she sold her successful guitar pedal business to pursue pixel art and video game development full time and has since worked with over a dozen indie developers and video game enthusiasts including Johnathan Holmes of Destructoid. Her favorite colors are black, white, magenta, and cyan.
CHAZ SHUCK has been a musician for nine years. The last couple of years, as a student at North Carolina School of the Arts, he has begun to explore composition instead of performance. His favorite games include Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, Kingdom Hearts, Monster Hunter series, Mario series, Animal Crossing, and many others. The composers he admires the most are Eric Whitacre, Jeremy Soule, Kenji Kondo, Yoko Kanno, and Mozart. Music has always been a great love of his and video games come second to that. It’s only natural for him to like composing for video games.
Here are a couple of tracks Chaz is working on for the game, let us know what you think!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support. Please pledge today and help us spread the word on Super Dwarf Madness. With your help we can create an online universe for us all to enjoy. Above all we would like to say THANK YOU!
We are participating in OUYA's #FreeTheGames Fund, created by OUYA to support developers making new and creative console games. OUYA will match your pledge dollar-for-dollar up to the goal amount (and a max of $250,000), so help [SUPER DWARF MADNESS] get there and be a great game for everyone! To be eligible for this match, we commit that this game will be an OUYA exclusive for a period of time. To learn more about OUYA, go to www.OUYA.tv.
Risks and challenges
The biggest unknown for any video game project is the time table. The dates we have provided for the Alpha, Beta, and final release of Super Dwarf Madness represent our best-guess estimates. Backers can track our progress through our Updates and the Backers Forum, and Alpha players will get to see how far along we are as early as May 2014!
There are many other challenges in game development, but we will persevere through any technical issues and engage our community for feedback if we hit a design impasse. Barring death, imprisonment, or a massive solar flare which renders all technology useless, we are committed to using every dollar you pledge to build a game that looks great and plays even better.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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