Kenshi - A free-roaming squad based RPG

X-Com meets Oblivion, with a dash of Stronghold.
20120425053855-stringio
Chris Hunt
Gaming
Bristol
United Kingdom
1 Team Member

The Game

Kenshi is a free-roaming squad based RPG.  Focusing on open-ended gameplay features rather than a linear story.  Be a trader, a thief, a rebel, a mercenary, a business owner, a doctor, a bandit... the list goes on. 

  • Original take on the RTS-RPG hybrid genre. No "hero" characters with artificially stronger stats than everybody else-  Every character and NPC you meet is potentially an equal, and has a name, a life. 
  • You are not the chosen one.  You're not great and powerful. You don't have more 'hitpoints' than everyone else. You are not the center of the universe, and you are not special. Unless you work for it.
  • Freeform gameplay in a seamless game world stretching over 400 square kilometers.  The game will never seek to limit you or restrict your personal play style.
  • Purchase and upgrade your own buildings to use as safe fortified havens when things go bad, or use them to start up a business.
  • Start with a mining business and build up your own fortress or outpost
  • Research new technology and craft better fortifications and equipment for your teams.  They need to be ready when an enemy horde is at the gates.
  • Carry your wounded squad mates to safety and get them all home alive.
  • Variation and possibilities of gameplay. Be good, be evil, be a business man, be a thief, live in a town, live in the desert, join the army, fight the army, travel alone, travel in hordes, build a fortress, raze a city.
  • Dynamic, ever changing world. Support or hinder whoever you wish, or keep to yourself, the world won't stop moving. This is not just a "game", you are living and surviving in a simulated world.
  • Absolutely no Level-scaling.  The world does not level up along with you, and the shops don't change their inventory to only items matching your level. At the start of the game almost everyone will be stronger than you, and survival will always be a struggle.
  • Realistic medical system that affects gameplay.  A character with a wounded leg will limp or crawl and slow the party down, wounded arms means you must use your sword one-handed or not at all.  Lose an eye and it will affect your field of vision.  Blood loss means you can pass out, and the blood will attract predators.  Exhaustion affects performance and is increased by equipment weight, weather, blood loss and thirst.  Severed limbs will need expensive robotic replacements.
  • Intelligent AI that allows for characters to reason and work towards long-term goals and desires. Squads work together and carry their wounded to safety. Characters can be setup to take care of micromanagement for you.
  • Aid or oppose the various factions in the world while striving for the strength and wealth necessary to simply survive in the harsh desert. 
  • Independently developed with no design influences, or alterations dictated by men in gray suits who have never played a game before in their lives.
  • Original game world. There are no fantasy-knock-off cliches. No magic.

 

You can play the demo here: www.lofigames.com

 

The Current State Of The Game

The game is actually already alpha-funded.  That means its being sold online in its unfinished state for a reduced price so that the income can be used to fund development. 
The sales are doing well, in a relative sense, but the game doesn't get a lot of exposure so traffic is low.  Thats partially why I'm here, and why I also signed up for Brian Fargo's Kicking it forward campaign. 
Anyway the sales are making enough for me to work on the game full-time, which is good, but I don't make enough to hire any extra team-members.  To get a small team together I need an extra programmer, an artist, and a sound guy.
 
None of the money will go to me personally, it will 100% be used to add to the game and I will keep a public budget report that shows exactly what it is being used for.
 
 

WHAT YOUR MONEY WILL BE USED FOR (in order of priority):

  • Licencing an audio engine ($5600)
  • Hire a freelance sound guy to do all the sound effects.
  • Hire a 3d artist, most likely an on-and-off freelancer or two.  This will mean more varied clothing and equipment in the game, female characters, more races, creatures, more varied buildings, more foliage and different environments.  
  • Hire a temp programmer, to fix up the graphics side a bit.  This will add shadows, deferred lighting and a proper night-day cycle.
  • Hire a permanent programmer.  I'd need a lot for this, because a programmer would have to be a full-time employee rather than a freelancer, but it would double production speed.

 

How can you make a whole game for only $40,000?  You're a fool!  A handsome fool!

I'm setting the bar low just to be cautious.  There is no fixed amount of money that I need because I do not expect to get the full budget needed to make the whole game.  Its simply a matter of more money = faster progress and more features. 

I will still finish this game even if I don't get a penny from this.  It will just take me a lot longer and the final quality won't be as good without the help from professional artists.

I can't guarantee that the game will be finished quickly, or by a certain deadline, but I guarantee that it will be finished, and it will be done well.

About Me

So who am I to be making this grandiose claim to your money?  I'm not a big name like Brian Fargo and I don't have any worthy commercial titles under my belt.  I only have one thing, and that is the game itself.  Its not just proof that I know how to make a game, but that I have the devotion to see it through to completion.  I'm not some clueless "ideas person" who intends to make a MMORPG with nothing but 3 concept drawings to show for it. 

I spent a few years working as a game programmer in my early 20's but I hated it, working on stupid little cash-cow games felt like a waste of time.  So I left, and spent the last 6 years working on the game full-time, while I worked 2 12-hour shifts per week as a security guard to make just enough money to scrape by.  During that time I turned down several jobs in the game industry, and more recently, a couple of small publishers too.  I'm not for sale and neither is Kenshi, I will never allow it to be controlled or rushed out the door to meet a deadline.

I spend my life playing games, and anyone my age can relate to the feeling that "games just aren't what they used to be".  You no longer get games made with the same love and ambition as you used to, as the industry has grown heavy-duty publishers have taken over and its all become about making money.  Game design decisions are manipulated and controlled by investors, not by designers.  Why risk all that money on a unique idea or a hardcore niche market when we can just make another sequel to a plain old shooter and make millions?  Innovation is discouraged in favour of crowd-pleasing graphics and casual shooters with quicktime events.  If we're lucky and get a sequel to an old classic, it'll probably get remade into a 1st person shooter.

 

REWARDS

You can play the game for yourself right now.  Its not finished by a long shot and most of the gameplay features I talk about aren't in yet, but the foundation is there and its playable.

Things to note:

1-All perks from $10 upwards come with a key code for the full game.  HOWEVER, Indiegogo can't fulfill these individually, so I will need to wait until the campaign ends, then write a program to gather up all the emails, generate keys and do a mass email.  This means you won't get your game key until the end of the 60-day funding period.

Alternatively you can buy the game for $10 on the main website, which is still a donation in itself.  There is also a free demo.  If you still think it deserves more help then you can donate here on Indiegogo.

http://www.lofigames.com

2- I'm not offering any physical rewards like posters and T-shirts.  I'm taking the advice from the Star Command developers who made $40,000 on kickstarter but ended up spending $10,000 of it on printing and postage costs.  I'm sure you guys would rather the money went towards the game development.

3- This means all the rewards involve something in-game, like the opportunity to put yourself in the game as an NPC.  Of course I can't let anything get out of hand or ruin the game, so please bear in mind that your addition will be subject to my control to make sure that it fits in with the game world.  I will try my best to come to a happy agreement with you, but if you adamantly insist on being Spiderman, thats just tough, you can't.

4- IF YOU GO FOR THE $50 perk "YOUR NAME IN THE GAME", please make sure to include your chosen name in your postal information.  (I don't need your address or real name, just whatever name you want to have in the game)

5- All perks from $25 up get their name in the credits.

If You Make Your Own NPC For The Game:

  • Remember its a large open game world, so if you put your own NPC in the game, it is not guaranteed that the player will meet them.
  • The longer you wait to add your NPC to the game, the more features and options will be available to you (eg more clothes, factions to choose from).
  • I will send an email to everyone at the end of the funding period with all the details and instructions.  You will need to use the games construction set yourself to create the character.

 

 

Kicking It Forward

As part of the Kicking it Forward campaign, We solemnly pledge 5% of the profits after the funding target is reached, back to the Kickstarter community to help fund other people's dreams

Find This Campaign On
$2,315USD
raised by 86 people in 2 months
6% funded
0 time left
$40,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 1, 2012
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Feeling of awesomeness

    After making your donation you will be struck with a sudden feeling that you are awesome.

    5 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $10USD
    First funder

    The first 10 people to get this perk will get their name in the game credits, and a special user status on the Lo-Fi Games forum.

    10 out of 10 claimed

  • $10USD
    A copy of the game

    You will get a thankyou email and a key to unlock the full version of the game. Please note I can't send out the keys until the 60 days is over, so if you want the game now, I recommend you purchase at www.lofigames.com instead.

    31 claimed

  • $15USD
    Forum status

    Get a special "contributor" title on the forums at lofigames.com

    4 out of 50 claimed

  • $25USD
    Credits

    Your name will appear in the credits as a contributor on the in-game credit screen. You also get a copy of the game.

    14 claimed

  • $50USD
    Your name in the game

    NPC names will be generated from a list in a file. Get your name (or a name you choose) in that list. (Subject to developer approval/modifications)

    11 out of 1000 claimed

  • $100USD
    Be an NPC!

    You can create your own minor NPC character to inhabit the game world, you can choose the name, appearance, and write your own dialogue. (Only expressions and conversations, no quest giving) (You will need to use the games content editor for this). (Subject to developer approval/modifications)

    7 out of 100 claimed

  • $250USD
    Get your face in the game

    You will need to take hi-res photos of your face from the front, side and 3/4 view. Your face will be added to the game as a character skin for NPCs and players. You also get to make your own NPC.

    0 out of 40 claimed

  • $500USD
    Name a town

    You can name one of the in-game towns. You can also decide on things like its history, factions, industry, general location etc. (Subject to developer approval/modifications)

    0 out of 3 claimed

  • $1,000USD
    Create a super NPC!

    Not only can you appear in the game as an NPC, but that NPC will be a powerful warrior who is famous across the land. You could be a general, a bandit king, a swordmaster, whatever you like. (Subject to developer approval/modifications)

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $2,000USD
    Create your own Faction

    You can work with the developer to design and create your own faction that will be a part of the game world. Choose their characteristics, political goals, behaviour, background, what they do and who they are. (Subject to developer approval/modifications)

    0 out of 2 claimed

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