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£969 pledged of £25,000 goal
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By Zombie#4
£969 pledged of £25,000 goal
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About this project

The Fight for System Haven is a lovingly crafted homage to the best of 8 and 16-bit era shooters. Gamers will find plenty to get nostalgic over in the low-poly art and arcade feel, as they explore a constricting universe filled with colourful levels, challenging bosses, a range of characters to interact with, and secrets aplenty!

Play a two level demo of The Fight for System Haven now! Follow the link below for download and installation instructions.

Playable Demo


The universe is slowly constricting, eaten away at all sides by an astronomical phenomenon nicknamed 'The Great Silence'. Conflict is rife, as warring alliances carry out bloody and protracted struggles over the remaining habitable planets and galaxies. 

The Fight for System Haven is an action shooter, a space opera that takes the player from mercenary beginnings, into making choices that decide the fate of (what remains of) the galaxy itself!

  • Adventure through a game with multiple routes and endings to discover - influence the fate of System Haven in myriad different ways.  
  • Discover a wide variety of locales; dart through trees in a heavily forested planet, find yourself swallowed up into a wormhole, or explore the surreal expanse of an oceanic nebula.
  • Pilot multiple ships with different abilities and handling, and find your favourite method of traversing the universe.
  • Defeat enemies and bosses in combat and hone your skills to take your place on the time/score based leaderboards for each level. 
  • Encounter distinct factions full of personality, all with their own motivations and demands of you as a mercenary pilot.
  • Take a break from score-chasing and completion to unlock a large amount of collectibles by interacting with the environment - curiosity yields rewards including lore, new ships and secret routes. 
  • Stretch goals planned for additional routes, nightmare mode, co-op campaigns and more.

The Fight for System Haven will initially be available on PC & Mac, with additional platforms (PS4/Vita, XBone, Linux) planned for stretch goals.

System Haven was once an average collection of stars and planets, littered with interesting astronomical phenomena and the occasional sentient lifeform. Major change was slow, occurring over millennia – just as it should be.  

The Great Silence changed all this, without even touching System Haven itself.  

As the darkness of the Great Silence wrapped itself around the universe and began to squeeze, it was discovered that this constriction was perfectly circular in its containment. Space-faring creatures with the capacity to predict this movement understood that they should therefore flee in one direction - to the centre of the universe. This origin point contained a single habitable zone: System Haven.
 
Fast-forward to the present, and System Haven is now a densely populated, heavily contested sector of space. The most habitable planets are constantly being invaded and re-invaded, and even those more inhospitable are often colonised by species who neither have the resolve or technology to obtain more favourable living arrangements. 

Still, despite its popularity, System Haven is not without its intrigue, natural beauty or undiscovered treasure… 

 

Mercy Jelani was born to affluent parents nearly two decades prior to a violent occupation of her home planet of Peripeteia. She was educated to a high standard through her teenage years, before an invading force razed her town and forced her and her family into hiding.  

Ten years later, when the invasion had ended in yet another new government, Mercy had become adept in foraging, trading and skirmishing.  

Putting these skills to good use, she quickly became a talented mercenary pilot under the ‘relaxed’ supervision of the new ruling power. Her apathy to conflict, formed through years of desensitisation, lends itself greatly to her line of work. 

 

 

 

A Council of Highborn Command in special fighter variants; ships only entrusted to the most skilled pilots in the force
A Council of Highborn Command in special fighter variants; ships only entrusted to the most skilled pilots in the force

 

  

Zealot freighters, supported by attack craft, patrol their territory
Zealot freighters, supported by attack craft, patrol their territory

 

Conflict is never far from the player in System Haven. Impressive fleets, formed over thousands of years of interstellar wars, have made this sector their home. As well as having to fight through the flagships, experimental weapons and giant, heavily armed orbital installations of the invading armies, the player will also have to deal with the more…unconventional…threats that can be found in the system.  

Bosses in The Fight for System Haven use a set of attack patterns, chosen at random that can be observed, learned and countered (in the traditional 16-bit style). Underestimating their abilities based on predictability, however, will lead to a swift death!

An unusual foe found deep in a nebula; a ship's hull fused with pieces of asteroid and debris
An unusual foe found deep in a nebula; a ship's hull fused with pieces of asteroid and debris

 

A Zealot experimental walker, built for melee and ranged engagements
A Zealot experimental walker, built for melee and ranged engagements

 

The best videogame soundtracks have often been very forward thinking and challenging for the average listener. Composers that worked in non-traditional genres, instrumentation and composition techniques to create a hugely unique sound – one that defined the game itself, just as much as the gameplay it was created to complement – have always been touchpoints for inspiration and creativity. 

Soundtracks to Tetrisphere and Jet Set Radio and videogame composers like the Follin brothers and Disasterpeace have all influenced the music being created for this game.  

The soundtrack to The Fight for System Haven is aiming to be a similar mashup of styles and tastes - from juke and jungle, through jazz and prog into ambient and downtempo music.  

Aside the music in the trailer, track examples are below:


Zombie#4 has worked in various roles in the videogames industry, including QA, Production and Public Relations. He’s worked with or for SEGA, Creative Assembly, LunchPR, Team17, Bethesda, Platinum Games, Codemasters, Vanillaware and more. He’s also been a house cleaner, bassist, bartender and underwear repacker, but struggles to transfer those skills into development as easily.

Apart from the obvious, The Fight for System Haven is influenced by the innovation and unexpected pacing of Wario Land 2 (staying asleep in the first stage being one novel way of unlocking an entire new set of levels) and the perfectly pitched controls in Outrun that are twitchily sensitive at one moment and capable of lazy, orbiting drifts at the next. 

Games like Fez and the Souls series that don’t push lore in your face, but leave you to discover it at your own speed – The Fight for System Haven will have a depth of intrigue available that will encourage people who care to theorycraft and discuss elements at length.

 

Art Book 

A softcover, landscape book with a matt finish, featuring artwork, in-development shots and lore aplenty. [Image for reference only; not final design]
A softcover, landscape book with a matt finish, featuring artwork, in-development shots and lore aplenty. [Image for reference only; not final design]

Vinyl OST

This vinyl features a System Haven motif on the disc itself - the system's planets rotate around the spindle hole when in motion, surrounded by the encroaching darkness of The Great Silence itself.
This vinyl features a System Haven motif on the disc itself - the system's planets rotate around the spindle hole when in motion, surrounded by the encroaching darkness of The Great Silence itself.

Art Cards

Each heavyweight, high quality Art Card will have a unique render on it, taken from the in-game creatures, objects and terrain. [Card composition for reference only]
Each heavyweight, high quality Art Card will have a unique render on it, taken from the in-game creatures, objects and terrain. [Card composition for reference only]

T-Shirt 

The 'Bullet Trail' tee is a simple and all-purpose design that features three player and three enemy bullets headed toward eachother's points of origin. A subtle combat scene!
The 'Bullet Trail' tee is a simple and all-purpose design that features three player and three enemy bullets headed toward eachother's points of origin. A subtle combat scene!

Badges 

 

Elite Ship Rewards

Player View
Player View

[Elite Ship #1] S12-Stranraer

The S12-Stranraer is a combat-focused fighter that was captured in small number from an unsuccessful army that attempted to invade Peripeteia. Striking a balance between payload and speed, it also features a unique dual missile system for high burst damage. 

The S12-Stranraer
The S12-Stranraer

[Elite Ship #2] The Foxfire

The Foxfire is a custom-built scout ship, prized by special operations units for its maneuverability and precise laser weaponry. These vessels are hand-constructed by artisans on a remote planet in System Haven, and are often adorned with a striped finish of their national colours.

The Foxfire
The Foxfire

[Elite Ship #3] The Comet 

The Comet is technically a scaffold bolted on to a large chunk of asteroid that is used as its energy-rich source of power. Despite its ungainly construction, this impressive ship features an enhanced payload and longer boost times to compensate for its increased bulk.

The Comet
The Comet

[Mercy's Perfect Ship] The Shooting Star

Originally designed as the personal craft for a Prince of an affluent nation, the Shooting Star is fitted to the highest specification imaginable. Unfortunately for the Prince, he was assassinated before he could take the craft on its maiden voyage. Fortunately for Mercy, the ship was discovered lying unused in a production facility and quickly 'procured' for Peripeteian governmental use.

The Shooting Star is an aerodynamically optimised craft, capable of lightning-fast acceleration
The Shooting Star is an aerodynamically optimised craft, capable of lightning-fast acceleration

 

The ship is equipped with experimental rail-laser technology, with multiple firing points for target tracking and view coverage
The ship is equipped with experimental rail-laser technology, with multiple firing points for target tracking and view coverage

 

Unique scalloped engines paired with a wide wingspan allow for superior airflow and craft control
Unique scalloped engines paired with a wide wingspan allow for superior airflow and craft control

 

 

Risks and challenges

As an industry worker, Zombie#4 has seen hugely successful projects, projects that have their struggles but make it in the end, and projects that fail (or never get off the ground!). This previous experience is being used to ensure that whatever is committed to can be delivered, and months have been spent in the scoping and time calculation of this project.

After funding, there will be regular, twice-monthly updates into the state of the game, with videos and images where appropriate. There is also a large web of industry contacts available who can be contacted for advice as the project progresses.

When key stretch goals are met, additional staff will be recruited in order to make sure these goals do not delay launch. Updates will be given on this if and when it is required.

There might come a time when feedback testing may need to be carried out, to make sure the game is balanced and enjoyable: a call will be put out for any backers who wish to assist in this matter.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £8 or more About $11

    [LIMITED] Early Backer Copy

    A digital copy of the game for the first backers of the project.

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    Backer Copy/Backer Ship/Art Book PDF

    A digital copy of the game, access to Mercy's first Alternative Ship (exclusive to Kickstarter) and a digital PDF download of the Art Book.

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    Digital OST and Rank Badges

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as a digital copy of the soundtrack and two random Zealot of the True Word / Highborn Command rank badges, for use on the military regalia of your choice (or a backpack or similar). Will probably not get you accepted into any military bases (and please don't try!).

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    [LIMITED] Art Card Bundle

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as a limited run A5 Art Card featuring in-game assets, hand designed, signed and numbered by Zombie#4.

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    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as the rewards listed in tiers 5 and 6 (Art Card and T-Shirt).

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    Pledge £100 or more About $133

    [LIMITED] Lore Credit

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as being credited as the fictional author of a piece of lore or schematic in the game (the lore would be pre-written, mind!).

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    Pledge £150 or more About $200

    [LIMITED] Elite Ship #1

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as a super-limited ship for Mercy in one of three designs (depending on tier chosen). Check the main Kickstarter page for reference images when making your choice! There are only 50 of each ship available.

    Your name will also be added to an 'owners list' in the collectibles screen of the game.Ownership of the ship won't affect completion achievements for other players.

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    Pledge £150 or more About $200

    [LIMITED] Elite Ship #2

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as a super-limited ship for Mercy in one of three designs (depending on tier chosen). Check the main Kickstarter page for reference images when making your choice! There are only 50 of each ship available.

    Your name will also be added to an 'owners list' in the collectibles screen of the game.Ownership of the ship won't affect completion achievements for other players.

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    Pledge £150 or more About $200

    [LIMITED] Elite Ship #3

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as a super-limited ship for Mercy in one of three designs (depending on tier chosen). Check the main Kickstarter page for reference images when making your choice! There are only 50 of each ship available.

    Your name will also be added to an 'owners list' in the collectibles screen of the game.Ownership of the ship won't affect completion achievements for other players.

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    [SUPER-LIMITED] Help Design a Planet!

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as working with Zombie#4 to define the layout and population of a planet in System Haven.

    Meetings via Skype or similar will be used to discuss ideas; following this a 3-stage back and forth feedback process will be used to bring these thoughts into reality.

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    Pledge £400 or more About $533

    [SUPER-LIMITED] Help Design the Bandits!

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as working with Zombie#4 to create the look and lore for the bandit race that assault Mercy at multiple points in the game.

    Meetings via Skype or similar will be used to discuss ideas; following this a 3-stage back and forth feedback process will be used to bring these thoughts into reality.

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    [SUPER-LIMITED] Mercy's Perfect Ship

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as a one-of-a-kind ship for Mercy, representing her dream craft.

    This will never be reproduced or seen again, and will come with unique effects for lasers, sound and more. This is strictly limited to one backer only.

    Your name will be listed as the owner of the ship in the collectible screen of The Fight from System Haven (which will be greyed out to others). Ownership of the ship won't affect completion achievements for other players, but it will make you look great.

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    [MEET AND EAT] Wrap Dinner & First Look

    Receive all previous non-limited rewards, attend the wrap dinner and play the finished game. Zombie#4 will also show you around his studio (house), lose to you at a videogame of your choice and let you have a quick look-in at future content for The Fight For System Haven. A special test build for future content will be yours to take away and feedback on, helping to define the progress of the game.

    Travel is not covered, but you'll get a sweet hotel room for one night (but not more than one if you fancy a bit of tourism, sadly), cover your meals and treat you like Honoured Guests

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Funding period

- (30 days)