We're planning to Kickstart Adventure Mode this week for PAX East
. We're telling you guys first because y'all are awesome and play our game already. We think you'll be interested This is what Guns of Icarus Online Adventure Mode will be about:
Major milestones are:
- A persistent online post-apocalyptic dieselpunk world
- Crew or captain your own ship and experience airship combat taken to new levels
- Explore towns and take on missions to help them develop and grow...or bring them to ruin
- Politics and intrigue with six player-run factions, each vying to stake its claim in the world
- Robust and accessible economic and political systems that drive the action
- AI Director (co-op)
- Econo-Political System (mission and economy/politics system)
- World-Building Tools (help us make stuff look pretty, we have tons of routes to build, and developing faction culture in general)
I need to get home soon but I'll post all the details regarding the the tiers and their pricing for now. Please note that this is a LIVE document and is subject to some change from now till we actually launch. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0As7KK0xlixIbdG4zSEdWWDRrRGVJOUlta19Jem1RNXc&output=html
The swag are:
- New Bullet USB
- Cloth Map
- New T-Shirt
- iPhone 5 Case
- New Poster
At any tier, you can add any of these items for $30 USD each. The All Swag in the spreadsheet refers to the 5 items above.
The tomes are:
- New Adventure Mode Artbook
- Black Moleskine Volant Notebook with Guns logo embossed on cover
For Kickstarter Edition stuff... Skirmish will get the old Dustrider again along with the regular CE stuff, the most sought after costume right now. KE Adventure will get you CE Adventure Mode (New soundtrack, 3 costume pack coupons, making-of documentary) and Dustrider 2.0
If you have any comments, we'd like to hear them. We have some wiggle room to change things but we'll do our best to accommodate suggestions as usual.
I'll post more screenshots of our in-progress Kickstarter page as we get closer to the launch...
Some pictures of the KE Adventure Mode stuff, the things that will be included in CE Adventure Mode when it hits Steam.Capitol cities Averna of Chaladon and Kinforth of Anglea are only some of the inspirations for Jon.Filmed by the Gong brothers, edited by Mr. Tim Doolen. All Muse Games. The same quality, more heart. And outtakes of Conrad sassing.
We're running out KS a little differently. Being a small team of 8 full time employees, we can't afford to go big and fail. Our goal will be low so we can at least get some
money. However, this means that this low pledge goal doesn't cover all the features required in Adventure Mode. We'll be stretching to get AM feature complete. We hope we can earn it all so this why we're reaching out to all of of you earlier. We seriously need help spreading the word.
This doesn't mean that AM won't happen if we only get part of the way to feature complete funding. No, it just means we'll have to restructure how we're releasing AM. Probably have to break it up etc... everyone who backs us will get a Season Pass of sorts. Eventually everything we release will lump together to form AM... but it really is a weird way to do things.
This shot is actually NOT in Kickstarter right now. Tim, our art director, might beat the crap out of me for posting it but to be very very clear this a WORK IN PROGRESS. It'll probably change a bunch in the next few days. None of the artist's are here so I Thief'ed this picture right off Shelley's computer. Ninja++. But yeah, this is a concept for Dust Rider 2.0. Hotness.
As I mentioned before, we're doing our KS a little differently. Our goal is $100,000 and that'll get us to finishing the AI Director for co-op functionality. Think games like Left4Dead. That kind of awesome. We'll need to earn quite a bit more to get Adventure Mode feature completely so again, we really need your help getting the word out.
The numbers we estimated aren't just things we're throwing around willy-nilly. This is money that we'll need to get us working. It's a really big undertaking and we're super excited about it and we're hoping we can reach out to you guys again for help. Better getting funded by you ladies and gents, who are extremely passionate about the game and world, rather than going to publishers. We were hurt by a publisher in the past before GoIO was released and we don't want to go through that again.
Some of you wanted clarification on some of the items in the spreadsheet. We're looking to get black Moleskine Volant notebooks embossed with the Guns Of Icarus Online logo. They measure 5x8.25, the perfect size for notes and sketching. The Volant notebooks are softcover with the same silky smooth Moleskine cover we're all familiar with. Blank pages.Merchant Guild, Order of Chaladon, and Anglean Republic Cultural Dress
The most important aspect of Adventure Mode is that this world is alive
. You may have seen these concept sketches before on our FB but without the proper context. Each faction is like a country but their controlled territory is ever shifting based on what the players in each faction are doing. And being like a country, each has its own distinct cultural characteristics. Some of the costumes in Skirmish right now are closely associated with factions.The Yesha are expansionists, their fashion and culture with heavy Asian influences.
I'd like to talk about one of our major milestones, the World Building Tools. As you can see from the map above, each of those lines connecting the dots are routes you can travel on. We hope we can reach this level of complexity with that number of towns (dots). However, this will rely heavily on if we can get the proper tools in place to speed up our asset generation, terrain generation, and set-dressing efforts.
Each tileset, like Anglea (the snow stuff, Raiders and Fjords), takes 1 month of 1-2 artist' time to create all the assets. A few more days to find the proper terrain we can to use (gathered from actual terrain in Utah), and then given back to artists to set-dress. So we have 1 month for the tileset and 2-3 weeks for each map for set-dressing (not including playtesting). This means Raiders and Fjords took about 2 months to complete. If we keep reusing tilesets then we just need to setdressing.
We'll eventually run out of interesting Utah terrain though. It'll probably be easier to create a tool to generate terrain and dynamically set-dress it with assets from a certain tileset. This is the aim. While we can't cut too much time out of tileset creation, we don't have too many biomes (snow, forest, greenland, desert, etc...)... but we have many routes (maps that use a specific tileset). Let's say we have 6 biomes = 6 months and all those routes on the map to generate.... adds up quickly!
We want to take that 2-3 weeks for each map setdressing down to a few days at most.
It's a really important step for us to put the time into this R&D.
====================================================The grand marketplace in Chang-ning, the capital of the Yesha Empire, and its shoppers.
A couple of you have started talking about how the world works, its towns, economy, and traveling between place to place. I'd like to talk about that now but preface everything again with the story of Muse Games: we're a small studio and with our limited resources we need to be smart and provide the most meaningful interactions with the least amount of work because there's always a ton of work for the people we have. I know, I've been personally hammering this message into everyone's heads and it must be annoying but it's a very important reality that we're operating in.
So what does this mean? Someone mentioned a seamless world and economy like EVE Online. We can't feasibly do seamless for a bunch of reasons, a lot of them have to do with server and your computer performance. Our ships are very heavy assets, already 8 ships on Flayed Hills can get very problematic. We're actually pushing a lot of performance boundaries with that the reason being you actually walk around these ships in first/third person. They need to be very high detail. So that's one thing. Taking missions to travel between towns means instanced routes. For example, if I'm in Chang-ning and I take a trade mission to deliver some goods to Anvala then an opposing mission will pop up in Anvala to raid my ship. We're thinking if a human player accepts the raid mission in Anvala, you'll be basically playing Skirmish otherwise we'll populate it with AI. That's the idea for now. We'll have to gauge how we can due this since we don't know what our player numbers are going to be like (you can help us with that
). Again, traveling between towns means taking on a specific mission (trade, raid, defend town, attack town, escort, resource hunt, lots of options are floating around nothing set in stone) and it's possible for an opposing mission to appear in the town you're traveling to. PvP or PvE depending on if anyone accepts the opposing mission. All travel will affect the economy.
Now, we want a very robust economy. Something that is easily accessible and understandable where when you interact and poke at it you can predict and see the effects of your actions. This means we're trying to avoid EVE Online at all costs. That economy is extremely complex with thousands of different agent actors working in tandem. It's a real life economy just like the one we live in. That's not the particular kind of fun we want. We still want things to be a little quicker so we're simplifying things down. At first, we will limit the economy to trade goods locked to towns. Players will not have owned goods other than their costumes, and maybe ships and its accompanying equipment. Player economies are vastly complex. Again, simplicity and accessibility first.
We don't think this will be boring though because town actors will require a wide variety of resources that are only available in certain regions or towns in the world. Each town will require different things based on its current needs to survive and faction influence. Each town will also serve as a platform for crafting resources into more valuable ones that may turn into equipment that the player can equip on a ship.
One sticking point is that ship ownership and how that all works is still being worked through. Maybe it's loaned to you by a faction... maybe you need to perform some special missions in order to maintain your Captain's license. Again, we're aiming for building an economy where you can easily understand why a town is failing and do something about it with a handful of missions.
This update is about us, Muse Games
Not everyone who has worked at Muse Games is in the picture but for the most part, those are the people who are in the office. Some of us are fulltime, some of us contractors, some of us interns. I won't go into specifics but I would like to let everyone know what all of us do here and what we will be doing in Adventure Mode.
- Howard—Howard is the bossman of Muse Games whether he likes it or not But in reality, he's our customer service rep. Out of anyone in the office, you've come across the infamous Bubbles. He usually posts and responds to FB as well.
- Alex—The master of graphics programming and a ton of other things. He's been working at Muse for a very long time and has had a hand in all of our projects. He'll be working on getting the AI Director and World Building Tools together for Adventure Mode.
- Conrad—Steam build slave by night, day, maybe forever. But really, he's done a ton for server optimization and a lot of the match join stuff. Conrad also keeps the office in good humor with his banter, sass, and unwavering wit.
- Jay—This is the guy who put together our physics for ship movement. He also deals with harpoons and I've given him some new ideas for it, stay tuned. For Adventure, Jay will be implementing and also designing a good portion of the Econo-Political System
- Jess—One or our game designers, Jess specializes in world-building and overall player experience. She spearheads the CA program as well as manages the achievement system. It's no doubt that she will continue building the world for Adventure Mode.
- Eric—Our other game designer (yours truly, I'm going to switch to first-person here FYI). I designed most the systems from the engineer game to gun damage stuff. Therefore, I am the hand of balance and am subject to your forever hatred I'll definitely be expanding on our current systems for more gameplay possibilities and perhaps customization, designing all the new systems like AI Director. Balancing forever.
- Meg—Meg is the one who feeds our database with our achievements. She also manages the community and sees what everyone is flagging (oftentimes to hilarious effect, oh you players.)
- Tim—He's in charge of art. Tim's got a keen eye and impeccable taste. However, he's mostly playing Tekken and kicking our asses.
- Em—Em pretty much owns the game UI and user experience flow for the game. She's also done her fair share of modeling and concepting in the early phases.
- Derek—Animator extraordinaire. We have so many cool animations that we're just waiting to put in... like taunts and dances Eventually... for Adventure Mode!
- Eugene—With Chris, the two make an unstoppable duo when it comes to making maps look pretty.
- Chris—Like Eugene, Chris is a master at modeling and set dressing. The two of them are the main reason why our maps look cool and have neat stuff to stare at while you get shot down
- Shelley—Our talented concept artist who does a lot of the costume designs. She's getting everyone fat by coercing us to order bubble tea. 3 order minimum for delivery.
- Jack—He's the sculptor. Jack takes those fancy sketches of costumes and turns them into 3D assets and preps them so we can put them in the game. A Michelangelo.
Guess what this is? Game Packages
Remember, you MUST have Skirmish Mode to play Adventure ModeKS Edition Skirmish Mode (KE Skirmish)
This is Collector's Edition Skirmish Mode that is available on Steam (Skirmish Mode, Captain's Costume Pack, and Skirmish Mode Soundtrack) as well as the original Dust Rider costume for Kickstarter backers only.
First Flight (EB)
Captain & Crew (EB)
Captain & Crew
And above...Adventure Mode
Just Adventure mode.
First Flight (EB)
Captain & Crew (EB)
Captain & CrewKS Edition Adventure Mode (KE Adventure)
This is Adventure Mode and a Kickstarter exclusive costume, Dust RIder 2.0 for your character in Adventure Mode.
Back to the Skies
Crew UnitedKS Collector's Edition Adventure Mode (KCE Adventure)
This is the Collector's Edition content of Adventure mode—high-res poster/wallpaper pack, three Costume Sets (Costume + Hat + Goggle of your choice in our in-game store), Adventure Mode Soundtrack, Making-Of Documentary—and the Kickstarter exclusive costume Dust Rider 2.0
Adventure KCE (EB)
Bells & Baubles
We finally arrived at PAX East 2013 as a part of the Indie MEGABOOTH. Conrad, Howard, Emily, Jess, and myself are all here representing the Muse Team. Come drop by booth #782 and say hi! If you have a laptop, we'll hook you right into our router and we can have an impromptu LAN party!http://instagram.com/p/XIps3jQSzb/
For the most up to date information, follow
Now for the most important piece of information. WE WILL BE LAUNCHING OUR KICKSTARTER SOME TIME AROUND 8-10AM EST TIME... that's if we wrangle the Kickstarter rep here and get approval. Things should go smoothly but we'll see. That's our target so get ready to steal those Early Bird discounts!
Furthermore, if you back us while we're here at PAX East, show us your receipt or tell us your email and we'll give you a free original Guns Online t-shirt!!!