WE DID IT!
Sword of the Stars: The Pit is an Indiegogo Success Story.
A small team of dedicated developers. A small group of generous supporters. Our campaign did not raise the complete budget of 60K required to complete a game from start to finish, but between the Flexible Funded Indiegogo campaign and the contributions to the game's dedicated website, we raised enough money to continue our work.
A successful Exclusive Beta test for our supporters ran from December of 2012 to mid-February of 2013, when the game was finally ready for release.
The team had to make some sacrifices, but we have delivered a fun, addictive game which had 30% more content than we had projected, and we've already shipped a variety of quality Perks that our supporters have really enjoyed.
Sword of the Stars: The Pit was released on Gamer's Gate on February 21, 2013.
The game was released initially on Gamer's Gate. It remained steadily in the Top 10 selling games on the site for the first ten days, and remains in the Top 20.
The Pit was released on Steam on March 8, 2013.
It has been in the Top 50 since release, rising to a peak of Number 5 on the Top Seller's list in its opening weekend.
The Players Are Having Fun!
To see what the buyers of The Pit think of their purchase, please scroll down to the bottom of the game's Product Page on Gamer's Gate to see their scores and reviews.
There is also a lively discussion on the Community Hub Page for the game on Steam.
Both Steam and Gamer's Gate have a free demo available.
"I like a good Roguelike and so far I’m liking The Pit an awful lot."
"All in all, the game is great fun if you’re into roguelike games. The layouts are always random. The classes can be leveled up in various ways. No two play-throughs are alike and you’ll find yourself dying many different ways as you progress. The Pit delivers a solid experience and should be a must buy for fans of the genre. And remember, in space, no one can hear you scream as you die for the forty-second time."
"The Pit compares favorably with another modern (and better known) Roguelike, FTL: Faster Than Light. As in FTL, you will die. A lot. Even after playing 40+ hours on the easiest difficulty, I never came close to seeing the bottom of the Pit at level 30. However, I also never felt frustrated. And I am very easily frustrated. Both The Pit and FTL nail their goal of making exploration entertaining. My first thought after dying isn’t my normal “some-variation-of-damn-it!” but instead “one more try!”
And that’s really the highest praise I can give a game."
"Taking us back to the old school era of Rogue with a fresh lick of paint on a 2D canvas, this fast action turn-based RPG initially looks trivial in the first minutes of play but quickly reveals itself as a veritable alternative for gamers looking for quick-burst of RPG play sessions."
"The Pit is a joy to play but at the same time something so brutally difficult it just bends you over and paddles your arse like you’re a freshman in Dazed and Confused."
"Are you a sucker for punishment? If the answer is yes, Sword of the Stars: The Pit is the game you have been longing for!"
...the witty commentary from the voice actors in-game is fantastic. They add a note of sarcasm and lighthearted fun into the otherwise frustrating mix. They always have something to say, even if it’s Travis exclaiming, “Let’s try shootin’ it” when an attempt at Lock-picking fails, or “Travis one; monsters zero” after eradicating a mob of enemies. You’ll find yourself associating with the characters more often, or having a semi love-hate relationship when they comment on how bad you are at the game, or how awesome they are when an attempt at a Security Bypass or Repair succeeds."
"There’s a ton of fun to be had here and it definitely has the addictive “one more go” quality that you want to be there for this kind of thing. But over the course of my games- an awful lot of which were played that first night that I got it- I began to feel that I was in something resembling an abusive relationship. But it keeps telling me that it loves me, and sometimes I love it too."
"Ooo, hello. Yeah, this is getting really really bad. Let's re-load the pistol and then use a med-kit--ow ow ow ow ow, ow ow ow, ow ow!"
"The Pit makes no accommodations for newbies. This is a hardcore roguelike and as such it is sure to please fans. There is such a wealth to do and upgrade that it never feels like you’re [pl]aying the same game twice. Levels only grow larger and tougher the further you descend. This is a game that requires tons of time and dedication to make it to the bottom. Players who enjoy this sort of thing will find themselves spending hours trying to build characters just right so their next mission will succeed. Sword of the Stars: The Pit is just the game for those roguelike fans who enjoy statistics and unfriendly aliens."
"The Pit is a roguelike both relatively accessible and hard as nails. There’s something there for newbies getting into roguelikes, veterans who want an interesting setting plus a solid game, and fans of the Sword of the Stars universe."
You can still support The Pit for a few more days, until February 28, 2013, if you pick up one of our two upcoming Lore books for the Sword of the Stars universe. You can continue to follow the game's development and get notice of Updates and upcoming Expansions by visiting the game's dedicated website.
We will try to keep you posted on how The Pit is doing, now that the game has been released.
Thank you once again to all of the wonderful folks who stepped up to support this game and our team.
Per Ardua Ad Astra!
"BUY THIS GAME. Hey guys; I don't think I've ever done a celebrity-endorsement of an Indiegogo project until now, but I'm going to do it today."
"Sword of the Stars: The Pit - A perfect mix of old school retro art combined with new school game mechanics in this action/RPG. Swords of Stars takes me back to the games of yore that I loved so much and I cannot wait to play this game."
"I had a blast with my time in The Pit, and highly encourage everyone to give it a shot."
"I immediately lost myself to inward-looking concerns about getting my lockpicking skill up, finding enough food to stay alive (in addition to replenishing health) and frantically switching to melee attacks to conserve ammo."
"We're very excited to be a part of The Pit, both during this campaign period and throughout development. We’re life-long gamers at Power Up. We strive for the modern ‘standard of awesome’ in all our work, but we’ve got a soft spot for the retro vibe. We jumped at the chance to be involved with a game like The Pit.”
--Kevin Regamey, Power Up Audio
Sword of the Stars: The Pit is a fun, fast, light-hearted action RPG, in the tradition of Rogue and other old school dungeon-diving games.
We've been working on it for a few months, and the game is presently at the Alpha phase. The goal of this campaign is to push the game forward to its Beta state.
With your support, we'd like to make this game our first self-published title.
What Is The Pit?
The Pit is short for The Pit of the Bloodweaver. In this game, you play a brave Human soldier exploring a multi-level underground lab facility. The place was built and abandoned years ago by the Bloodweaver, an alien super-genius with delusions of godhood. He was the ultimate mad scientist, and The Pit was his favorite box of tinker toys.
As you break through locked doors, open storage containers, dodge traps and evade security systems, you'll also have to contend with a variety of crazy foes. The Pit is full of the mutants, monsters and minions that the enemy left behind.
They're hungry, and you look like lunch.
TIME TO SADDLE UP, SPACE MONKEYS!
You can download a Six Level Playable Demo from GAMER'S GATE.
This demo of The Pit provides you with an introductory tutorial and a chance to fight your way down into the first 6 levels of the game! But there’s still a lot more of the game that will only be found in the full version;
- 2 More Characters to choose from… the Marine and the Scout, each with their own unique advantages!
- Level your character up as you dive down into 24 more levels, each one bigger than the last!
- Dozens more enemies drawn from the SotSverse!
- Dozens and dozens of additional weapons and armors with a variety of special effects, including flamethrowers, rocket launchers, plasma cannons and powered Brawler armor!
- 50 more items to discover, ranging from the familiar to the ancient exotic tech.
- Dozens of room types containing a host of exotic devices to help and hinder the player
- And while the demo will try and kill you in many fiendish ways, the final game will always have more poisons, traps, diseases and monsters.
Why Make This Game?
The Pit came out of our love of dungeon-diving and retro-style games. Roguelikes are the low hanging fruit of the “small game” market at the moment, but any genre can be made new and fun if you give it the right spin.
The Pit takes the usual Kerberos approach to the classics: we pay tribute to the great games of the past, without actually cloning them. Instead, we wanted to reimagine the Good Old Days through the lens of modern gameplay.
With The Pit, we deliver retro graphics, but give you the levelling, ammo, crafting and skills of a true dungeon dive. And of course, we set the action in our favourite playground, the SotSVerse!
And so The Pit was born.
Why You Will Love This Game
The Pit is a game is for everyone who wants to smile, snarl, chuckle and swear their way through play sessions ranging from 10 minutes to 3 hours.
The game sticks with the traditional Rogue model. It's all about how long you can live and how deep into The Pit you can go, but it is combined with gameplay and a backdrop you can seriously sink your teeth into.
From the action RPG perspective, your character will gain in levels and skill as you defeat more opponents and complete more tasks.
Despite being quick and fun, you'll have to sweat to keep your Character alive and you'll be identifying with the Li'l Dude just enough that it stings when he gets eaten by a Rabid Moon Bear.
The Pit was released on February 21, 2013. The finished game is now available for download.
Here's the Feature List we promised on release in October 2012:
- 3 Characters to choose from…Marine, Scout and Engineer!
- Go up levels and improve your skills as you try and find a way to survive the depths.
- 30 Levels of ancient evil science between you and the cure!
- Dozens of enemies drawn from the SotSverse!
- Over 30 weapons and armors with a variety of special effects including flamethrowers, rocket launchers, plasma cannons and powered Brawler armor!
- Randomized augmentation effects to make each game unique.
- Crafting lets you make special items from bits and pieces of your enemies.
- Over 60 items to discover, ranging from the familiar to the ancient exotic tech.
- Dozens of room types containing a host of exotic devices to help and hinder the player.
- Many fiendish ways to die including poisoning, disease, traps, radiation, starvation and of course…MONSTERS.
We did our best to cook up a lot of cool swag for The Pit. Most of these items are Special Edition, One-Time-Only goodies for this particular campaign. Even if we launch another campaign in the future for some other game, most of the Perks will be very different.
Supporters at the $10 level were able to download the full game on release day, and are listed in the credits of the game. All supporters of the game will receive updates and have access to Wallpapers, Avatars and other digital goodies for Sword of the Stars: The Pit.
The Repensum Bumper Sticker
Supporters at the $15 received the finished game on release day and a Repensum Bumper Sticker as a thank-you for their support.
The Repensum Bumper Sticker is printed on durable vinyl, suitable for display on your car, truck or dreadnaught. It features the unofficial motto of Sol Force: REPENSUM EST CANICULA, "Payback is a Bitch."
Final size is 279mm x 76mm, or approximately 11 inches x 3 inches. You can add the Repensum Bumper Sticker to any other Perk for an additional $5.
The Official Sol Force Service Mug
Our Service Mug is a 16 oz double walled stainless steel mug with a plastic liner, foam insulated, and has a push-on lid to prevent your beverage from spilling when you lose artificial gravity or take a pounding from kinetic weapons. It is printed with the Sol Force logo and the official motto: PER ARDUA AD ASTRA, "Through Hardship, the Stars".
The Perk Price covers the cost of delivery anywhere in the USA or Canada. For International Postage outside the USA or Canada, please add $10.
Cool Campaign T-Shirts
Supporters at $50 or more could choose from one of two t-shirts. The Kerberos Logo t-shirt is an old stand-by, and at least one or two are owned by every developer in the studio. The Pit t-shirt is a Special Edition item for supporters of this campaign only.
Both t-shirts are screen-printed on black 100% cotton shirts, available in sizes S-4XL. You could order more than one t-shirt, and the Perk price covered delivery in the USA and Canada. For International Shipping outside the USA and Canada, it was an additional $10.
Sword of the Stars 2 Ship Schematics
Supporters at the $60 level receive Early Beta Access, plus choose one of six beautiful 18 x 24 inch ship schematic posters.
Designs available at this level include Human, Hiver, Tarka, Liir, Zuul and Morrigi ships from Sword of the Stars 2: Lords of Winter. Please add $30 for each additional poster at this level, and please add $10 for International Shipping outside of the USA and Canada.
Kerberos Concept Calendar 2013
Supporters at the $75 level receive Early Beta access to the game, plus a full-color Kerberos Concept Art Calendar for 2013 as a thank-you for their support.
The Kerberos Calendar features 13 months of concept art, including sneak previews of unannounced projects. Exclusive swag for supporters of this campaign. Kerberos Insiders Only!
BONUS BOOK: Thanks to Supporter Feedback (and lack of space in the main Lore Book!), we decided to add a bonus book to this Perk!
Black Section: The Complete Files is an over-sized softcover art-and-lore book, focused exclusively on the Random Encounters, Grand Menaces and Mysteries of the Sword of the Stars universe. The book will have full-color plates, fiction tidbits and hazard data on many of the classic encounters of Sword of the Stars and Sword of the Stars 2: Lords of Winter. A must for fans of the SotSverse! It is slated for delivery in April of 2013.
Please add $10 for International Shipping outside the USA and Canada.
The Pit Premium Lore Book
One of the special items created for this campaign is a premium Sword of the Stars Lore Book. Collected for the first time in print are over a hundred full-color illustrations, tidbits of background fiction, interviews with artists and designers on the Sword of the Stars series, and never-before-seen internal concept art related not only to The Pit, but to all the games in the Sword of the Stars franchise.
The first hundred of these special edition hardbacks will be personally signed by the Lead Writer of the Sword of the Stars series, Arinn Dembo, and the in-house concept artists for the series, Chris Gerspacher, Ken Lee and John Yakimow.
The Premium Lore Book is slated for delivery in April of 2013.
The Sword of the Stars 2 Poster Pack!
We created seven special edition schematic posters for this campaign, representing the ships for all seven of the playable Factions which presently exist for Sword of the Stars 2: Lords of Winter. Each poster is 18 x 24 inches, printed with a lovely matte finish on high quality poster paper.
The Schematics for the Human, Hiver, Tarka, Liir, Zuul and Morrigi ships could be picked up one or two at a time at the $60 level, but 7th Poster was a Special Surprise only available to supporters at the $200 level.
The Ultimate Collector's Pack
This Perk was a package which included Early Beta Access and all the swag for this campaign, including:
- the Repensum bumper sticker
- 2 Sol Force Service Mugs
- 2 Campaign T-shirts
- the Kerberos Concept Art Calendar
- the Premium Lore Book, signed by the Lead Writer and Concept Artists for Sword of the Stars
- and the Complete Poster Pack, complete with all 7 ship schematics.
True Believer: Become a V.I.P.
Supporters at the $1000 level will receive a copy of every Kerberos Productions release for the next ten years! Every game and its expansions will be yours. In addition, we will send 2 Campaign t-shirts of your choice, and make a special VIP card for you, printed with your name.
Holders of the Kerberos VIP card will be granted free entry to any Kerberos public event, including those that would normally be Press Only. They will also have the right to cast a vote when choosing the company's next project.
Come to Vancouver and Visit Kerberos!
This package included all the benefits of the True Believer Perk, but you can also come on down for two days this December and party with Kerberos!
The X-Mas Perk package will cover two hotel nights in Vancouver, dinner with the Kerberos Team, a tour of our Mount Pleasant studio, and a day of board-gaming and sci-fi movies with Mecron and the Pit Crew.
Airfare and other expenses were not included in this package.
Do we have Stretch Goals? Yes, we do!
Although we did not reach our initial funding goal during this campaign, we have never given up on our three preliminary Stretch Goals for The Pit. The first is the Mind Games Expansion.
The Mind Games Expansion will be a nice bundle of new DLC content for The Pit, complete with new levels, a new Character to play, new monsters, items, and other cool mechanics. If we reach this Stretch Goal, all Supporters of this campaign--including those who picked up Just the Game at the $10 Level--will receive the Mind Games Expansion for free.
People who buy the game later will have to pay extra for expansions.
Stretch Goal two is pretty simple: more platforms! If we reach our $90,000 Stretch Goal, we will convert The Pit for Android and iPad, which will make it playable on your data pad of choice!
We Have a Plan to Become Fully Independent
The Plan has both Short term and Long Term Goals.
The Short Term Goal is simple. We wanted to make The Pit. It is a fun little game, and we hope that you will enjoy it.
The Long Term Goal is more complicated. We need to find a new way of making games in general. Our player base has been actively trying to support our studio for years, by buying our games and expansions.
Sadly, in the eight years that we have been making games, not a penny of that support has EVER reached us directly. The old system just isn't working well for us, for a variety of reasons, and we aren't alone in this: there are a lot of developers feeling the crunch.
Needless to say, in order to keep doing what we love to do and still survive, we have to start doing things in new ways.
We Want More Control
It is time to move forward on our own.
We want more control over the complete life cycle of our games, from funding and early development to release. We want to be able to keep up product support long after our games hit the market.
In order to achieve this, we need your help.
We Want to Connect
We have always been one of the most accessible game dev teams in the business. Now, thanks to sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, our connection to our players can have a lot more impact on the health of our studio and the direction of our games.
A committed group of supporters can make amazing things happen. The Pit is living proof of that.
You can decide what games are made, and how much content those games will have.
The Pit Is Part of the Plan
Join the Expedition
Every supporter of this campaign will be listed in the credits for The Pit if they wish, and will have access to some special wallpapers, forum avatars and regular updates on the progress of the game.
If you can't chip in right now, you can still help!
Get the word out and help make some noise about The Pit! We have a nice selection of banners that you can put into your signature file on your forum of choice, and we’re happy to answer questions about the game or our future on your site of choice for gaming news and reviews.
Get the word out about the Big Switch to fully independent development for Kerberos. Spread the word about any games that you liked from us in the past, and the games you'd like to see from us in the future.
Share this campaign with your friends, family, and followers!
Many thanks for visiting our campaign page.