An isometric open world action-RPG in a corrupted world falling apart. You are a former officer of army of the Human Republic, forced to flee the death penalty because of the magic powers you have unwillingly developed. Being tracked down by humans and hunted by the monsters of the Wild, you are recruited by a mysterious group of Templars. And thus an epic adventure begins in which you will wander the world to fight inhuman, mutated monsters and discover the terrible secret of the extinguishing mankind.
The game features a unique mechanic called Apocalyptic Form that allows players to shape shift into a highly customized character! You’re free to mold your character thanks to a deep and rich customization system. And thanks to our complex crafting mini-game and our housing module you will be able to make your adventure feel as YOUR adventure!
Umbra aims to deliver many features that will differ from the classic games of the genre:
Open World : Discover the world and enjoy it at your own convenience
Exploration and experimentation is rewarded with new powers, attributed according to your play style!
Free character development - No class limitation. You have three resources: Rage, Stamina and Mana, and they all interact with each other in order to balance gameplay.
Apocalyptic Form: According to your play style, you will develop special powers for your character, changing their abilities and look. Fierce melee warriors may gain a third arm to equip with a new weapon; a fire caster will have their skin turn into lava, healing from fire. Even wings and horns might appear depending on your actions!
Tons of Loot: Weapons, Armor, Potions and randomly generated magic effects for more gameplay diversity!
Semi procedural Weaponry: Blades, pommel and guard details can be randomized for more unique gear in the game!
Advanced Crafting mini-game: Build your own weapons and armors thanks to a complex and challenging module in Umbra
Tons of Destructible environments: From small walls to complete parts of an area. We hope you enjoy it!
Housing: Create your own house and proudly showcase your special gear!
Mature story full of secrets to discover exploring the world
Kythera AI system: The automatic real time navigation adaptation of Kythera adapts to any change in the physics of the world, allowing us to create exciting scenes including large portion of levels collapsing or moving and fighting on the back of giant creature, creating never seen before gameplay situations!
Dungeon challenge (Stretch goal): Transform a special part of your house into a dungeon and challenge other players to survive the onslaught!
- Multiplayer mode (stretch goal): Multiplayer is an ambitious goal we would love to achieve, but it must be done correctly. We plan to have different interesting stretch goals for you that will allow us to build the foundation of the multiplayer. In the best case scenario, we would like to have the following modes: Dungeon Challenge, Co-Op, and Competitive Plaver vs Player vs AI.
A Different Hack & Slash
The scenario is an important part in Umbra, because understanding it will allow you to unlock secret areas with massive rewards. For example, helping an NPC who got lost in a hostile area may grant you with precious information about the game’s story, and this may lead you to a hidden place full of treasure. If you just want to kill monsters you don’t have to worry because you can focus on that. But Umbra will become even more interesting if you embrace the game’s story!
Quality of action, loot and personalization are keys for a good Hack & Slash game. By mixing these three elements, we designed the Apocalyptic Form feature, that will allow you to hand pick “mutations” for your character, such as wings or horns, and create a powerful war form for your character, affecting both your look and play style.
We are mixing the freedom of Skyrim, the action style of Diablo 3, the ambience of Diablo 1, the graphical power of Crysis, and adding our very own features on top of all that to come up with a unique and powerful gameplay!
The corrupted Human Republic is falling apart: Starvation and disease are ravaging mankind, leading to violent riots everywhere.
In order to maintain their grasp on the population, the Republic is using vicious tactics, poisoning the population to weaken it and removing all children from their parents to better mold their minds. Newborn babies are rare, and few are born healthy.
An unknown curse has made men lose their memory, provoking a limbo that has eaten their own history and technological knowledge.
Rumors say that the leaders of the Republic signed pacts with occult entities, and monstrously mutated humans are appearing in the wild, leading raids against cities and villages.
Food became rare, leading to an extreme measure. In the name of survival, the Republic declared that anyone over the age of 50 should be killed. The same rule applies to anyone presenting mutation.
You are a former officer of the Republic who developed magical powers. You tried to hide it, but your hierarchy found out. Instead of directly killing you, they tried to capture you and lead experiment on your body.
You managed to escape and take refuge in the wild. There, you were attacked by a large pack of the monstrous creatures. Outnumbered, you were about to fail when the mysterious order of the Templars saved you.
We want our quests to be memorable. We want you to fight on the back of giant walking creatures. We want you to defeat bosses that will collapse the ground under your feet.
Secondary quest and random bounties will also be available and rewarding. They will usually be quick to execute, to make sure you can have fun if you don’t have a lot of time to play.
If the funding follows, we would love to allow you to build your own dungeon using a system similar to our housing module, and challenge other players to defeat it. We already have the tech to do it... we only lack the budget to create more visual content.
The game will include a large open world featuring various environments, from swamp to mountains, to ancient ruined cities, forests and villages. If you want to spend a lot of time exploring the world and performing side quests, it is up to you.
Humans populate most of the universe of Umbra. Other races exist, but are hiding because of the savagery of mankind. Most of the human population has actually forgotten about the existence of said races. Tales about dragons exist, but none have ever seen them in the flesh. The fact is that the Human Republic has conquered most of the known world and eradicated all of the potential concurrent living entities...
The CRYENGINE allows us to build a huge and beautiful world, full of dynamic vegetation. The game will feature a time of day mechanic that will influence gameplay as well. For example, some enemies will only appear during the day, others will try ambush you at night, and some secrets may only be revealed at a specific time!
There is a huge world to explore, and some areas of this outdoor environment will be randomized, so you will not see the exact same layout every time you start a new game.
The basic map size is of around 4 square km, and the world can be extended and grown if we reach specific stretch goals. The world will be alive and full of interesting locations to discover. And don’t worry, this is a hostile world and enemies will be everywhere!
In addition to the huge map, players will be able to find several entrances to caves or ruined cities. These entrances will usually lead to a randomly generated dungeon, thus bringing more variety to the world each time you begin a new adventure.
Randomly Generated Dungeons
As mentioned before, cave entrances in the open world or bounty quests will lead you into randomly generated dungeons. These levels not only look different during every game, but the game mechanisms inside these level may also vary during each run.
Randomly generated dungeons are designed based on hand-made presets, with randomized elements thrown into the mix. We chose to do it that way in order to always control the render and the lighting of our scene because we want to exploit the rendering capabilities of the CRYENGINE as best as we can. For those who are interested in a more technical look at our Dungeon Generation technique, you can check some of our documentation about it at our DevBlog!
Freedom of Development
You can build your character as you want, picking any skills, weapons or armors and making the combination of your choice. There is no class restriction. However, there is a price:
Resource Opposition System
The gameplay is balanced by three ressources:
- Rage: Used for powerful melee attacks. You gain Rage by attacking enemies.
- Stamina: Used for escape and assassin type skills. Stamina Regeneration is effective when your character doesn’t take any damage.
- Mana: Used for magic skills.
As stated above, Rage is gained by attacking enemies, but when you gain Rage, your Stamina and Mana will be reduced, and their regeneration rate will decrease. When you use Mana, your Rage bar will deplete faster.
You are responsible for your play style. If you keep attacking enemies with melee attacks, your Stamina will deplete, and you won’t be able to cast an escape skill to avoid the deadly strikes from your enemies. It is up to you to balance your Build.
Of course, there will be many ways to “hack” the Resource Opposition System thanks to Active and Passive Skills or by carrying the right piece of equipment, so you’ll definitely find a way to get things just right for your style.
Fire, Frost, Water and Lightning
You are free to use skills and spells as you want, but just like the Resource Opposition System, element-based spells will react to the environment and to other active elements in the area. For example, Lightning will spread in water and stun targets; Fire will spread unless water or frost gets in the way, ect...
Apocalyptic Form is a unique feature in Umbra making all players unique in their look and powers.
While you are playing at a low level, all important actions of your character are recorded. Based on said data, we will generate specific powers for your character, called Apocalyptic Upgrades. At higher levels, every player’s Apocalyptic Form should differ according to their story and play style!
Here are some example of Apocalyptic Upgrades:
- Demon wings: You can perform huge leaps and crush the enemies around you. You will also be able to access areas unreachable to other characters
- Third Arm: You have a third arm, and you can equip a new weapon for it.
- Horns: Run everywhere and rush into enemies to knock them down, crushing their faces while they are on the ground!
- Body of Fire: You won’t take damage from fire anymore. Actually, fire will heal you. But beware of frost! You’ll also leave a trail of fire on your path.
- Body of Shadows: You get a huge boost to your attack and movement speed and to your critical strike chance bonus while you are in a dark area. You also have a great dodge bonus.
- Aura of Death: Undead raise everywhere you walk.
- Horrifying visage: Enemies have a chance to run away in fear when they see you.
- Increased size: You are bigger. Your strength and Constitution get a huge percentage bonus.
- Tornado: Reaching high speed will turn your body into a tornado, attracting every enemy around.
Of course, there will be more powers to discover by yourself!
An Apocalyptic form is created with three of the available powers, but some items or passive skills may allow you to choose additional ones. Entering your apocalyptic form will grant several bonuses for a certain amount of time, but by combining Skills and Items, maybe some of you will find a way to make them last longer!
Active Skills are regular magic spells, assassin skills or special melee moves your character will use. They are usually paid with Rage, Stamina or Mana, but some can also be paid with Health Points or might simply have a long refresh countdown.
Active Skills are found in the game by looting books. When you read a book, it is destroyed, and you gain a new skill. This skill will level up if you use it effectively against enemies.
Active Skills can have their effects modified by special items in the game, usually with what we call Soul Gems. Soul Gems are socketable items with unique powers.
The effects of Skill Modifiers are different according to the targeted skill, but their effects are always powerful. A fireball will burn everything on its path, projectiles will bounce on enemies, and electricity-based skills may strike lightning everywhere in a large radius.
These Soul Gems will be numerous but will have a corresponding rarity, and they will be dropped by enemies according to your play style, so you will not find useless Modifiers for your build.
Passive skills are a very important side of your character’s development because each point you invest will drastically change you character’s abilities. You will gain one passive Skill Point from each level up.
Powers you may gain from the Passive Skill Trees can be very helpful and powerful. Some examples of the powers granted by Passive Skills are:
Ability to have one Two-Handed weapon in each of your hands (because, why not?)
- Additional Skill Slots on the Skill Bar
- Increase the number of mercenaries following you
- Stats increase
- Armor bonus from Health points (ideal for tanks)
- Bonus damage against enemies in Fear
Each level, you will gain 5 points to invest in four different stats:
- Strength will increase your damage with melee weapons, how often your strike can stun enemies without using any special skills, and is also an important requirement to use the heaviest weapon and armors.
- Dexterity will increase your chance to passively dodge enemy attacks or projectiles, how often you can perform critical hits, and increases your attack rate and movement speed.
- Constitution defines your resilience, increases your Health Points and Health Regeneration, passive Stamina recovery and resistance to various types of attacks.
- Power defines your ability to harness magic energy and it will increase the power of your magic spells and your Mana Points and Regeneration.
Combining the effects of Stats, Passive Skills and Mutations will be a key element for your character’s evolution. Combinations can be created to transform your character into a brutal force of destruction or to make him a vicious and elusive assassin!
Mercenaries can follow you in your quest. By default, only one can follow you, but Passive Skills may increase that amount. You will be able to customize the armor and weaponry of mercenaries to complement your own powers!
You can also have an animal companion that will automatically sell your items in town, attack enemies and even immobilize some of them. If you feed them, they may start to dig for items, and they could even bring you great loot!
Creating Your Gear
Crafting in Umbra is a unique mini-game designed to put you in the role of a smith. In order to forge a weapon or an armor, you will first need to gather all the requested ingredient. Once this is done, you will use them in the Forge Crafting module.
This mini-game is designed as a rhythm game simulating the hammer of a smith hitting the metal. Crafting can be frustrating because failing a recipe will destroy the ingredient, but it can also be very rewarding thanks to the customization and the possibility to hand-pick magical effects if your skill is good enough!
A Stretch Goal we would love to achieve would be the ability to play the crafting module on your smartphone or tablet, and be able to bring your creations into the game!
Umbra allows you to really personalize every detail of your weapons. Weapons are built from several elements. For example, a sword is usually built with a pommel, a blade and two guard elements. Each component of a sword has its own attribute, allowing a huge amount of different possibilities and optimizations.
Weapons in Umbra have a lot of different parameters. If you are a casual gamer, you may just care for damage and attack speed of your weapon, but the most hardcore one will love to check every stat our weapon system provides.
Each of these stats will vary according to the weapon type and the crafted quality!
Asymetric Armor System
We love asymmetric armor, and we want you to be able to customize your gear down to the finest details! You will be able to equip different shoulders and arm protection on the left and right side of your character, bringing a great number of personalization options!
Socketable items are precious stones or gems you can socket into your gear, upgrading each piece with new magical effects. There are three types of socketable items in Umbra:
- Precious Stones: These items have predefined magical bonus.
- Rare Jewels: These items have randomly generated bonus effects.
- Soul Gems: These are the most powerful gems, carrying unique and powerful powers, described in the “Unique Items” section below.
Potions are not items you can throw in Umbra. They are an important part of your build, just like a piece of armor or a weapon. Each potion can have various effects in addition to the classic Health / Resource recovery, such as a temporary attack or movement speed boost, invulnerability to elements, a search bonus, and so on. Potions can also be upgraded with Ingredients and special Recipes, granting them even more powers!
The key idea behind the look design of our enemies is to make most of them look appear as tortured, mutated and dreadful humanoids. Terrible things have happened in the world of Umbra, turning normal people into inhuman and monstrous creature.
We try to give every enemy its own set of powers. Each of one is supposed to challenge a side of your play style. Each one has advantages and weaknesses, and groups of enemies always feature a combination of various powers to make sure you face a a decent difficulty level.
Bosses are impressive, powerful, hard to kill entities, and they will always use the environment to challenge you.
You will be able to create your own house, build its walls and floor, add various kind of furniture, and showcase your best weapons and armor all over the place!
Some achievements in the game will also allow you to unlock new furniture for your house to present your success to the world! Trophies and statues of your past victims can also be built if you have enough resources for it!
Multiplayer is a very important aspect of Hack and Slash games, but also a complicated feature to setup because of the testing and balancing required.
We would love to develop a Multiplayer mode for Umbra, but we want to do it right, and that means additional development costs. For that reason, Multiplayer implementation is divided into different Stretch Goals:
- Creating a global leaderboard: All players will have to register on a server to be displayed in the leaderboard. It will allow us to develop ladders and cheat protection.
- Housing visit: Players will be able to visit each other’s house. The most popular houses will be featured on our website!
- Dungeon challenge: Things become serious here. You will be able to build a dungeon and challenge other players to defeat your setup. Tease them with precious items as reward for winners. And in order to participate, players need to pay in gold… and if they’re defeated they will end up losing even more gold!
- Co-op: The classic Multiplayer mode!
- Players vs Players vs AI: A competitive multiplayer mode in which a group of players will have to complete a mission before an opposing team. And each team will have the ability to create traps or to use the roaming enemies to slow down the opposite team!
We want to self-publish the game, and we are asking for your help. In return, we want to build the game with the community.
In the following months after the Kickstarter campaign, we will release the prototype or Umbra (basic moves, spells, and gameplay will be implemented). It will be a glimpse into the future game. Most features are not implemented in this version, but you will be able to destroy enemies with powerful weapons and amazing magic effects. This will be available for those at the Wizard tier or higher. The prototype of the game will be limited to PC.
The Early Access will start with the Alpha release for backers at the Sorcerer Tier and at higher tiers. It will start with new content that will be the basis for the final game, including the beginning of the open world. This will be released to backers around November 2015!
Once that most features are implemented, and we consider we have a stable build, the Beta version will be launched for backers at the Apprentice Tier and at higher tiers.
All key members of the team have years of experience working professionally with this engine.
CRYENGINE offers us a great system for rendering, lighting, animation, particles effects and more. It allows us to forget about creation the technology for the game so that we focus on MAKING the game.
The amazing real-time environment we can create will allow us to present a beautiful world full of life and wonderful magic effects.
In real time, Kythera AI System adapts to every change in the world without any additional setup, allowing level designers to quickly test and reshape their work.
The amazing part of Kythera is that this system also works in the final game! So when a bridge explodes, AI will still find a way to come and beat you! It also means that scenes including moving platforms or walking on the back of giant creature without QTE is possible!
We are using the most cutting edge scan data available to create rich and high fidelity environments, with the help of early access to the Quixel Megascans library. It helps us as a small indie team to create really high quality graphics in a short amount of time, on par with AAA projects
Exocortex Species is a great tools for our character creation pipepline, allowing us to quiclky model and integrate new enemies in Umbra!
SolarFall Games is a new indie studio born from the passion for creating the type of games we ourselves would love to play. All key members of the team have several years of experience working professionally with the CryEngine. That’s how we met, and soon after we started to design Umbra during our free time. About a year ago, we left our jobs to focus our entire time on Umbra.
We are full indie. There are no publishers or private investors behind us. We had several possibilities to fund the game that way, but it would have meant losing control over our project and we decided we would prefer to remain 100% independent. So far, the game has been funded from our savings.
Ready to meet the team?
Part-time staff members also works on the game: Alexandre Le Corre and Romain Pommier as Concept Artists, Jonathan Colin and Aurore Fiorini as Animators and Nathanael Fis as 3D Modeler
Umbra’s development started more than 4 years ago and hasn’t stopped. It was originally supposed to be an open source RPG development platform for Crysis Modders, but was quickly oriented towards the Hack and Slash variety.
For Umbra on KS we joined forces with PR Hound, indie gaming gurus who have worked on several projects like MyDream, InSomia, Planets³, Animal Gods and Dungeons of Aledorn, to name a few. They know how to make the most out of what a Kickstarter campaign can offer and they definitely helped us us to get a ton of media coverage!
Risks and challenges
Hack and Slash releases require a large amount of content and a high replayability value. We’ve spent years on the game focusing on creating the right pipeline tools we could use to maximize our working time. All the team has great and valuable experience with the technology we are using, and we think it will minimize the risk involved in the development of our game.
The biggest risk we face is not being able to deliver the game on time. For that reason, we try to not make any crazy promises. Our Kickstarter is designed to build a solid game, and all stretch goals will contribute to making it better. We carefully picked the amount of money we need for a minimal team, and planned the potential extension of the team with the funds from stretch goals.
We do not have other financial backing, but this is a choice made in order to remain in full control of the game. We are confident in our game and are working hard to expand it and to make it even better.
As for Umbra itself, performance will be a very important focus for us. We have a good relationship with Crytek, and they love the fact that we are small indie team achieving great result with their engine. We know we can count on them for help for the optimization of our game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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