We Made It! THANK YOU!!!!
Dear everyone, we can't thank you enough for making this campaign a success. We're on our way to making an incredible game and we do hope that you stay in touch with us, follow our progress through our website, and playtest in our alphas and betas as we approach launch.
Tiers Still Available Through PayPal!
If you guys missed your opportunity you can still get in on our reward tiers (minus the exclusive Kickstarter rewards of course). We set up an interface on our website, using PayPal, so you can still get any of our rewards there!
Kickstarter Original Intro Video:
Here's our older video -- we haven't removed it; we just put the gameplay video up top since fewer people have seen that one. Enjoy!
Last Kickstarter Livestream on Twitch!
We've been running daily streams all through the past week, demo'ing the game, giving away prizes and chatting with the devs and featured guests. Only two of these to go before the Kickstarter ends, so get in while you can!
Livestream #7: Wednesday 9/18
Time: 10:30 am EST until the end at 1:00 pm.
Trivia question: <Check the stream!>
We'll be giving away lots of promo cards and booster packs, and maybe a little something more too!
Most recent updates:
Don't forget about these extra rewards, not listed on our main page:
We've been blown away by the support for Chromancer as well as the generosity of the members in this community. A couple of weeks ago we decided to reward some of our earliest adopters (our kickstarter backers!) with "more stuff". These Kickstarter exclusive booster packs contain versions of the original card set with different graphics and design that will only be made available now, for our earliest backers. This is our way of saying "thank you!" and we hope you hear us loud and clear!
Chromancer in Brief
Chromancer is a game that's totally different. After years of playing card games ourselves, we designed it to solve all the problems we had with other games. Here are 3 reasons Chromancer is the TCG of the future:
1. Chromancer is not a Magic clone. Lots of games claim to be new. They add a few things like animation, morphing or some other mechanic. But when you're a card player the strategy of these games is identical to Magic, even if these other games are fun and well made. We designed Chromancer to present new strategy that actually makes you think differently about how to play.
In Chromancer, you win by destroying your opponent's draw deck, his discard pile, and his resource pool. When you destroy any one of them, he can't use it for the rest of the game. So if you knock out his Bank, he can't save resources from turn to turn, if you knock out his draw deck (Castle) he can't draw anymore, and if you knock out his discard pile (Graveyard), all the cards he uses like spells leave play forever once they expire.
If any of these should fall, you need to be able to adapt to playing a card game without one or more basic capability. The types of strategy in deckbuilding and gameplay this involves is something you will never have had to think about before as a card player.
2. We deal strictly in persistent virtual goods. We are the first online TCG to do this, as far as we know, and it's about time.
All our cards are part of limited digital print runs with serial numbers, and all cards in our system are treated as singular items that cannot be duplicated.
This approach solves the major struggle between collectibility and playability of TCGs, in which merchants can dominate a marketplace and abusively drive up prices for normal players. In our model, collectors are not marginalized but can instead collect a specific edition of a card set, while we use more current editions (exact same card but with different design and card art) to ensure cards are available for players who only care about game mechanics.
We also support absolutely unrestricted free trade on our game amongst players. In Chromancer you can trade cards, unopened packs, virtual currency, tickets to events and tournaments, avatar accessories, and eventually even player-made goods like a subscription to your newsletter about the state of our economy! The future of gaming will involve this type of emergent gameplay and open economics, and we're not waiting for the future to get here.
3. We are card players. We are an indie company. We need Kickstarter to launch properly. We need the support of our community. And we're not going anywhere either. If we are lucky enough to succeed mark our words that we will be tireless advocates and supporters of other indie projects later on.
We care about card players, and we care about what card players care about. Our resources are colorless and there's no mana burn. We don't have pointless chase cards that are stronger than any normal cards. We hate power creep. We hate, hate, hate pay-to-win. That's not us and it will never be us.
Chromancer is a browser-based, exclusively online, free-to-play trading card game. No download is required to play. It's easy to learn and tough to master. And it's free in the truest sense of the word: you can earn all of the cards by playing the game as a free player.
Chromancer is also the very first adaptive strategy card game, and as such is the first game in a long time to bring truly innovative mechanics to the genre. Unlike the vast majority of new TCGs and CCGs, Chromancer is not just a new flavor of the “attack your opponent until his life points are reduced to 0” mechanic. Instead, the game focuses on strategically disabling one's opponent, while simultaneously and constantly adapting to shifting game rules. The game was conceived by a team of card players at the very top of international competition in multiple games, both offline and online, and it was designed above all to be truly innovative and engaging for players.
Chromancer does offer a membership model with a very small monthly fee in exchange for regular free booster packs and access to a few members-only tournaments. However, the game is carefully designed not to be pay-to-win; that is, a paying player does not inherently have any advantage, ever, over a free player.
We are a small, independent game development team that was brought together with the express goal of developing Chromancer and bringing it to market. While we’re technically based in Washington D.C., we are a geographically diverse group with representation in San Francisco, London, and Athens. We also have quite a diverse set of backgrounds and competencies, including game design, tech, art, and writing. What we all have in common though is a passion for games. PC, console, tabletop, we've played them all and continue to do so. We are extremely excited about Chromancer and through it bringing what we believe are truly best-in-class and innovative elements to the TCG genre.
JP+George talk Chromancer with MrSeriousBsns:
Chromancer is a duel-style game, with two players facing each other at a time. Each player is a chromancer, a powerful arcanist who materializes creatures and spells to drive back his opponent’s forces.
The basic goal of the game is to destroy the three strongholds of the opponent, and each of these is tied to a basic functionality. Any time a stronghold is damaged, the controlling player is harmed in a related way, and any time a stronghold is destroyed, that player is permanently disabled for the rest of the game, effectively changing the rules of how play occurs. In this fashion a player can prevent his opponent from drawing cards, from using cards more than once and from keeping resources turn to turn. Different deck and play strategies will thrive on targeting or defending given strongholds, while ignoring others. Above all, the strategy of the game evolves during play, both as players’ tactics become evident and as players begin to lose some of the functional capability of normal play.
Cards fall into several categories, including creatures which generally orchestrate attacks and defense on various targets; fields and structures which dually define the play area and provide per-turn income to players; and spells and equipment which provide a range of effects but generally require a creature to be implemented.
There are 12 different colors, each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses, and its own play style. Structures, spells and equipment are mono-colored and as a rule can be used by any creature of the same color. Creatures themselves are mono- or dual-colored.
Because resources are not colored (all cards have a simple cost in the game currency "chroma"), card synergy is defined largely by creatures' access to various spells and items. Red creatures will usually use red spells and items, and blue creatures blue. There are no card limits within decks either, so it is up to the player to determine how best to balance a deck based on its efficiency and compatibility of cards. More information on the specifics of game mechanics can be found at our official website in an article called The Basics.
Machinima Realm gameplay video by Galucia081:
"Serious Sneak Peek" with MrSeriousBsns:
Beyond Gameplay: In-Game Economics, UI, and More
Economy - Tradeable Cards and in-Game Goods
Chromancer will feature a completely open, unfettered, transparent secondary market for cards. Players will be able to put cards up and determine the terms of any transaction, whether for cards, in-game currency, tournament tickets, or any other good manufactured by a player that we can reasonably support. Our goal is to enable emergent gameplay – that is, players inventing their own rulesets – wherever we can, and that will include our marketplace.
Economy - Persistent Virtual Goods
An important part of this economy is the fact that the supply of cards for a given edition will be set based on a digital print run. Each card will therefore be unique, with a unique serial number. Players will be able to track cards with a few clicks to see past transactions and changes in ownership, as well as the current market value of any card. Further, every player’s total card pool will have a market value, updated continuously to reflect changes in the way cards are trading.
This setup means we won’t simply press a button when we want to generate more cards to sell in our store. Rather, in order to supply additional demand we will print follow-on editions that would not dilute the collectibility of existing editions.
Economy - Transparency
We believe strongly that making as much information as possible available to players improves the game experience for everyone when it comes to managing market tools. In practical terms this means that at any time a player will be able to get information on any card in our system: its current trade volume on the market, its current value according to recent trades, trends thereof, its use in active or popular decks, the win ratio of those decks, etc. etc. As an aside, this level of transparency will also inevitably help combat any attempted scamming or other abuses of the system.
Deckbuilding - The Deck Seal System
Chromancer will work with an innovative deckbuilding system using deck seals. Seals in the world of Chromancer are the equivalent of deck templates: they are magical talismans that can summon forth a specific group of cards from a chromancer's collection (very useful indeed in a suddenly-brought on battle). Players can create these without owning all the cards in the template, and simply activate the seals when all of the card ownership conditions are met. We say card ownership conditions, because it might not necessarily imply outright ownership. We plan to implement functionality such as shared guild card pools, and in some contexts shared friend card pools for example.
Deckbuilders are truly empowered in Chromancer, as evidence by the public resource we provide called the Arcanum. This archive is accessible to all players and contains a comprehensive list of deck seals, sortable by popularity, win rates, color content and more. Players will be able to post their own decks to the Arcanum and vote on the decks they like best, or browse the existing collection at their leisure.
In general deck seals will be represented on the site with a deck icon and the deck's name. These might appear anywhere -- on a player's profile, in a forum post, on a guild's homepage -- and with a single click any player will be able to copy the seal to his own personal deck archive. Then, a player will be able to see how many cards from the deck he currently owns; he will be able to access the marketplace and see all sales of cards used in that deck; and filter search results to see what the cheapest current price would be for completing the deck through player auctions; etc.
Fantasy - Roleplaying a Chromancer
The Chromancer team includes a fantasy team, led by an in-house professional fantasy writer. We are deliberate in our efforts to flesh out the game fantasy and provide a rich context for the game content.
In our fantasy, chromancers are card-wielders, and are broadly speaking knowledge-seekers. It is the knowledge of worlds and ages beyond their world of Prisme that enables them to craft new cards and add to their power, after all. Similarly, by acquiring new cards, players will also unlock a greater understanding of the game world through flavor text on the cards themselves, short stories and other fiction that we publish.
Our aim, though, is not to make this a one-sided process. As players form their own guilds, corporations and alliances, they will play an active role in driving the top-level fantasy narrative. We will support this where appropriate, by giving degrees of autonomy to guilds, enabling top players to enter the game lore, or allowing merchant companies of players to advertise to others on our website, for example; and because the fantasy will be constantly evolving, the community as a whole will inevitably change the course of our storylines.
Having high quality artwork is a huge part of what makes TCGs such incredible games, and as long-time players we recognize that importance. We’ve made it our mission to develop the most jaw-dropping artwork we can get our hands on, and the samples below are just the beginning! Please, step into...
With a release set of 300 cards, we still have a way to go in order to cover all of the art requirements that will go into the game. And that is where the lion’s share of the money we raise through this campaign will go: towards paying artists and illustrators to make some kick-ass art. We hope you like what you see so far. Don’t forget to check back for some updates on this page … there will be more pieces in the coming days and weeks!
Chromancers inhabit Prisme, a world of shifting energies and aethers that has seen civilizations rise and fall a hundred times over.
It is a world that was sundered centuries ago in a great cataclysm of unknown origin. Prisme is now comprised of large city-states isolated by vast regions of Void where volatile energies defy the laws of physics and time. This cosmic wilderness poses a mortal threat for those who venture forth unprepared, but it also houses the promise of wealth and knowledge. For nestled in the loopholes of time and space are fonts of pure energy which spring in and out of existence. This energy is known as chroma and it is the material of existence; the eitr; the essence that binds all together. Chroma mined from the Void powers all magical technology in Prisme, and as such, it is an invaluable and highly contested resource.
Chromancers are wizards that use their minds and magical powers to shape chroma itself. This source of arcane energy is focused and multiplied a hundredfold through the use of magical cards that can be used to bend the Void to the will of the caster. Being able to shape the Void around them and hence defend against its destructive energies, chromancers are uniquely suited as chroma collectors. Therefore they are highly sought after to ensure the safety and success of chroma mining operations. As chroma nodes are hotly contested by competing mining outfits, chromancers engage in arcane duels, drawing on the fonts of chroma to summon forth creatures and magics from alternate realities, with the victor laying claim to that particular node.
Our aim is to have the cards that you play with exist in a broader world context. This means that we will be fleshing out the world of Chromancer in detail, through both works of fiction and the art itself. Central characters of the world will be introduced, their adventures and travails recorded in short stories which we will share on a regular basis with the community. These evolving story lines will manifest in new artwork and ultimately new cards as well. Heroes, villains, weapons, artifacts, spells, mysterious locales, dark dungeons – all will be explored in an evolving multi-faceted story that you can eventually get your hands on and play with in-game.
Over the course of this Kickstarter campaign we will be posting updates to introduce the Lore of Prisme! This will involve releasing some of our great short stories so you can start learning about the world of the chromancers -- stay tuned!
So far, this project has been completely self-funded. We all either have full-time jobs and are doing this on the side, or are living off savings in order to devote our time to making it a reality. We've gone quite a ways with this approach, but we need some help to complete the journey!
We have a working prototype of the game and will be demoing and perhaps offering some betas during this Kickstarter, but of course the game remains incomplete without the majority of needed art, as well as some user interface design for various game tools. All of those things we are capable and ready to manage but we don’t have the funds to pay for the artists – and that’s why we’ve come to Kickstarter.
So sourcing artists and contracting card art will be the main use of the funds, with the remainder being expenses for PR and marketing. We are going with a grassroots approach through indie gaming sites, YouTube reviewers and word of mouth, but we will also be attending conventions such as Gen Con and PAX where we plan to get the word out to as many people as possible, and this has a cost associated with it. We believe it's worth it though. It's great exposure for us and will ensure we gather a strong community of early adopters to make the game a success at launch.
We’ve put together some graphics to show you what you get in each reward tier below. If you are unclear about anything offered, note that there are summaries written at the very bottom of the Kickstarter page
By all means leave us a comment if you have questions … heck, if you decide you want something not listed here, ask us for it and we might add a tier just for you!
Note: We have decided to improve the 5-year membership rewards in some of our top tiers to include $1/year membership renewal for every year thereafter!
- Starter Deck - 48 cards. Starter Decks are designed for beginners, with cards working well together. There are fewer rarer cards per unit in a Starter Deck than there are in normal Booster Packs. Depending on supply, we will let players choose the colors in the Starter Deck they want (first come first serve).
- Booster Pack - 7 cards. Booster Packs contain a completely random assortment of cards from our standard launch set called The Primeval™ and may contain any rarity of card including Heroes.
- Field Pack - 7 cards. Field Packs are cheap and contain only fields, but they are extremely useful for anyone who wants to do some serious deckbuilding.
- Ultra-Rare Hero Card - 1 card. Every account on Chromancer will have access to free-to-use heroes, but there are also some hero cards that normally can only be found in Booster Packs. This reward includes one of those hard-to-find heroes. Note that while we call them "Ultra Rare" they are nowhere near as hard to find as similarly-named cards in other games. We have no intention of creating "chase cards" that are nearly impossible to get.
- Forum Badge - All supporters as of the $15 level will be given a special badge that will appear next to their names whenever posting to our game forums.
- Kickstarter Cards - Several cards. This set of exclusive cards is available to our Kickstarter backers as of the $25 level. These will be normal, functioning game cards and tradeable just like any other cards (and at higher rewards levels we will give you extra sets to trade). We will make announcements giving more info on these cards during the campaign. If we are lucky enough to start hitting stretch goals later on, the number of these cards available to everyone will increase.
- Avatar Accessories - In addition to forum badges, supporters at $25 or more will receive a small set of exclusive accessories with which to adorn their game avatars. Avatars are visible in all public areas of the game, including chat, trading centers and when battling other chromancers. Avatar accessories, like most things, are tradeable.
- Membership - For a small monthly fee, players can unlock "membership" status at Chromancer. This will imply a constant stream of free booster packs and other perks like access to members-only tournaments. Some of our reward tiers offer free membership for a given amount of time.
- Chroma for use in our store - The Chromancer store and everything in it will be accessible to both free and paying players. Chroma is the in-game currency used to buy things like booster packs, card singles, and an array of other game items like avatar accessories and tournament tickets. Chroma is also tradeable amongst players, free and paying alike.
- Card Set Box - 288 cards. The Card Set box from our first standard set, The Primeval™, contains one copy of every non-hero card in the entire set.
- Total Set Box - 300 cards. The Total Set box from our first standard set, The Primeval™, contains one copy of every card in the entire set, including all 12 ultra-rare heroes.
- Digital Artbook - Designed by our brilliant art director and filled with sketches, concept art, and behind-the-scenes art in addition to some of the beautiful original pieces, our stunning Digital Artbook features many of our top artists.
- Free Entry to Daily Tournaments - There will be free tournaments held every day once Chromancer launches; but there will be many standard buy-in tournaments with tempting prize pools as well. This award confers a free pass to any standard tournament and can be used once per day, for the given duration.
- Free Entry to Drafts - Chromancer is a game that also works beautifully in a fan-favorite tournament structure known as "drafting." Drafts are so popular because players must create their own decks to play with on the spot, and stand to win lots of cards if they are skilled (and sometimes lucky). Entering a draft usually requires staking several booster packs. Some of our upper-end rewards will give the player some or all of the boosters required for any draft tournament of his or her choice, for free, once a day. In the hands of a skilled card player, this reward could pay incredible dividends.
- Autographed Art Print - At our top tiers, we are giving away some of the absolutely beautiful original prints of our game art, signed by both the artist and game design team. We will accommodate any special request for art that we can.
- Design and Hold an Artifact - One exciting innovation of Chromancer is the existence of artifacts. These cards are singular entities in the entire community, and their current owner at any given time is public information. Immensely powerful pieces of equipment, they can drive a victory all by themselves in a battle, but any player who possesses one will be forced to stake it in several matches daily, meaning they will be changing hands regularly. At the Void Conqueror tier, we are offering up to 6 players the chance to design their own artifacts alongside the development team, as well as to be the first player to hold that artifact when it is released into the community. A unique forum badge and avatar accessories will also be included to show off the fantastic support level of these players.
- A Hero in Your Likeness - At the top tier, we will welcome you as a paragon of Prisme. The design team will fashion a hero after your likeness and with your input, you will be given an exclusive avatar and forum title, and ten free copies of your hero card.
- Producer Credit - For top-tier supporters we will also recognize your contribution officially in our game credits, and permit you, with approval, to list yourself as a producer of our game anywhere else you'd like to (personal website, resumé, etc).
Thank you for all your support and please remember that you can help us immensely just by spreading the word far and wide! We can’t do this without a community effort, so let’s get on our rooftops and let the whole world know …
Chromancer is coming !!
Now that we've hit the goal, we have some great ideas for what we can offer our backers at higher levels! Let's see what we can achieve with our last days!
Risks and challenges
By definition the biggest challenge for us is producing the art we need to launch the game fully. As such, the vast majority of the funds we raise will go towards paying contracted artists to produce artwork.
There is always inherent risk for any contractor who brings in external talent. Luckily, our art director is a graphic designer who has run his own independent studio for 13+ years and is experienced in managing these type of projects and in handling large teams of artists. We have invested time and effort into building a crew of reliable, top artists, but in addition to that, we have both a large network of backup artists and ample experience in finding solutions to related logistical problems. To-date we’ve not had any single major problem on this front, and we’ve had some outstanding art produced already.
Another challenge that might arise would be if we tried to include extra features paid for by stretch goals as early as in our initial product release. Our launch date of Winter 2013 is projected with the game in its basic state. Stretch goals that are achieved that require additional functionality might create delays in delivering the "expanded" product. If this is the case, we will not hesitate to release our "base" game on time and add on expanded functionality based on stretch goals met down the road. But most importantly, we will always be transparent regarding delivery dates for these add-on functions to the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, we plan to use a system of "persistent virtual goods" which will feature completely unrestricted free trade between all players. This will even include promotional cards, unopened packs, game currency (chroma), tournament tickets, avatar accessories, and more. Basically our concept is: if you could trade it in real life, you can trade it on Chromancer.
We will provide more detail on our trading system and marketplace in general in a future update. For now you can find quite a bit of information on these topics by browsing our website forums at www.chromancer.com.
Chromancer is free to play and free players can earn every card that paid players can. That said, our membership subscription unlocks some bonuses including access to members-only tournaments and areas, AND 4 free booster packs per month. Because our membership is priced at $7/month, this actually means members will receive more back in boosters alone than the membership price (4 booster packs have an $8 value).
We have made an effort to design a color system with each color being extremely distinct on an array of monitor and tech setups. That said, we also have a system whereby each color is represented by a given rune, and we will use those ubiquitously where we use colors. You can see which runes correspond to each color on our logo! We believe that this will enhance the experience for anyone with partial or full colorblindness.
We may also have an update later on specifically dedicated to the 12 game colors, what they represent, and so forth. Stay tuned!
Yes and no.
The Kickstarter Exclusive rewards are only available in booster packs which are only awarded for being a project backer. However, because everything in Chromancer is tradable in a truly open economy, you can always trade for these cards once the game goes live (assuming you can find someone willing to trade!)
You can read all about the KS Exclusive card set in our update here: http://kck.st/153YvAM
Let us be clear that the exclusive cards are an exclusive *edition* of cards. This does not mean that the cards themselves and their mechanics will no longer be obtainable later on. We will definitely have further editions of the same cards so that players who care about game mechanics are not hindered by merchants.
At the same time, it is important for us to continue to maintain the collectibility aspect of our cards so that collectors and merchants are not marginalized either. It's terrible ethics to have someone spend time and/or money in the game acquiring something precious and then to turn around and immediately invalidate that investment by flooding the market with copies of that same precious good -- or even worse by drastically reducing its price artificially (e.g. charging real money for a product and then giving it away for free a bit later after people have paid for it).
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