About this project
"... a new contender arrives, instantly winning over my heart and mind with its blend of fascinating features and striking intelligence."
"Really, though, it’s the incredibly detailed physics that piques my interest. The backer video shows how, instead of killing an enemy directly, you can bomb a building they’re in, causing it fall on them in a shower of voxel debris. The latest update reveals even more expressive tactical options..."
- Explore an open world where characters, items, and environments are an eclectic mashup of many classic games
- Everything is procedurally generated, including the storyline and final boss
- Detailed turn-based combat system, inspired by the 1994 classic, X-Com
- Realistic physics simulation and large, open environments allow for a rich variety of tactical options
- Permanent death ensures that combat is always tense
Stretch Goal 1: $18000: Simultaneous Mac and Linux release
With $18000, I'll bring on a dedicated Linux/Mac programmer who will focus on only that side of the game. Those platforms will get a simultaneous release with the Windows version and all the attention that they deserve.
Stretch Goal 2: $21000: Additional, free post-release content
Though I intend to continue to support the game after its release, with $21000 I will be guaranteed to be able to continue to support the game full-time after its release, regardless of sales or anything else. With this time, I will add more detailed towns, weather, and more.
Every time you start a new game, the game procedurally generates a new world, using decades-old video games as its building blocks. The result is a collision of genres, where haunted graveyards, infested space stations, and peaceful mushroom villages all stand side-by-side. The premise of the game is also procedurally generated, using classic game plots. In one play-through, you might rescue the King of Dreams from the captain of the space pirates. In the next, you might avenge your fallen father by defeating a resurrected Dracula. Crossing the world is handled in much the same way as the original Zelda, where you will lead your team across individual cells that are linked together, and patrolled by enemies from throughout the history of games. You'll find peaceful regions to explore as well, including towns with shops and NPCs.
Enemy is a role playing game, so you will create and gradually level-up your own custom retro game character, with a mix of skills ranging from mental health and reaction time, to the use of blasters and the ability to jump five times your own height. As you explore the world, you'll quickly come across other, randomly-generated, iconic game heroes that can include robots, carpenters, and gorillas. When you recruit them, you'll take over how they level-up and how they behave in and out of combat; so you will soon be coordinating the abilities of your own custom-made squad of game heroes.
Although the world you're in is strange, combat is highly detailed and feels real. Enemy has a turn based combat system inspired by the 1994 classic, X-Com. You'll devise strategies based around the unique set of abilities you've chosen for your team, and then execute them step-by-step, all while responding to counter-moves made by the enemy team. The game handles visibility realistically, ensuring that you see only what your characters see, so that you never know what might be lurking around the next corner. It models the stress of battle on your heroes, who can flee, freeze up, or panic if things start to go too wrong. You'll have to make tough decisions and sometimes sacrifice important teammates.
Everything in the game is destructible. If you damage the supports of a building in the middle of a fight, the whole structure can come crashing down on you. Inadvertently starting a small fire in the wrong place can lead to being caught in the middle of a massive inferno. Combat is dynamic and easily spirals out of control. Finally, Enemy is a roguelike, and therefore features permanent death of characters. There is no reloading: if one of your heroes dies, they are never coming back. Combat always has a lot riding on it, and it is always tense.
Here is a sample of the unique items you will find in your mission:
- $10: Digital copy of the game
- $25: Digital copy of the game, along with digital copies of the soundtrack, strategy guide, design notes, and video footage from throughout development.
- $50: Early, beta access to the game and editor, and your name in the credits.
- $100: Boxed Collector's edition, with a retro-style box, instruction manual, and replica NES cartridge. The cartridge is black, like the old unlicensed Tengen cartridges, and doubles as a custom flash drive. The game comes installed on the flash drive, so you can plug it into your computer and play straight from the cart.
- $500: Boxed Special Collector's edition. Like the $100 tier, but the cartridge is gold, like the rare Nintendo World Championships cartridges, and contains a unique build of the game that only you will have access to.
Enemy combines handmade and procedurally generated content. When the game builds the world at the start of play, it does so by placing a large number of individual cells, each of which was custom built in the game's editor. A cell can be as small as a patch of trees or a single building, or as large as a forest or city block. Adding new content is as simple as making new cells and telling the game where to find them, so it should be easy to support the game with free additional content after it ships.
The editor will ship along with the game, so it should also be easy for users to create their own custom mods. New models can be exported directly from Blender, and the editor has several convenience functions for generating structures out of large numbers of blocks. The game determines how newly created objects should shatter or collapse automatically.
Enemy is largely my own one-man project, with my friend, Samuel Jule Kovacs, composing the score. I've been doing game engine programming professionally for the past five years, and playing games my entire life. I wanted to make this game because, like a lot of people, I feel a pretty strong connection to those old games. Even as adults, everything we experience is colored by the fiction and mythology that's important to us. I think the feeling you get from some of those games, of being confronted by a world that's dangerous and strange, but also of not being powerless in the face of it, is something that's hard to hold on to sometimes, but that never stops being relevant. With your help, I'll be able to devote my whole day to this game instead of just evenings, and I'll be able to make it a reality.
Risks and challenges
The games industry as a whole has a pretty big problem with meeting deadlines and sometimes even finishing projects. However, I've shipped several games in my professional career, and the amount of work that has been completed on the game already is a solid proof of concept. Further, the advantage of a one-man project is that there is little that could go wrong in the way of collaboration. Enemy is a labor of love that I've been working on for quite some time already, and I would never give up on it.
Another potential risk is that making reference to old games could be seen as an invitation to intellectual property issues. However, Enemy avoids making explicit reference to any copyrighted work. Further, if necessary, a slight tweak to the color scheme of a character or area would be enough to turn even implicit references into generic ones.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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