Hi. My name's Konrad Kiss. I'm an indie game developer - 35, living in Hungary, Europe. I have two mischievous kids, a beautiful wife and a weird dog called Paper.
Bitgap Games is my company - created with the aim to develop Xenocell, a massively multiplayer action-strategy game in a sandbox environment for the PC. [Initially for Windows with plans to port over to Linux as resources permit.]
I've been a programmer for over 16 years - creating games since I was 8. My first game to get noticed was called Droidarena in 2000 - it was a browser based strategy game where you had to use a programming language to manage your robot in team based fights within randomly generated arenas.
For the past over four years I've been working with a small team on Xenocell, a sci-fi themed desktop game for the PC that plays in the not so distant future.
The reason why we're here on IndieGoGo is that although Xenocell is nearly ready to go live, we now see that we don't have the required funds to be able to pay for the launch of the game. So we decided to try asking for outside help through IndieGoGo.
Your contributions will help us secure server resources and launch Xenocell - a huge effort for an independent game company which we are currently not able to undertake.
Please help us, we'd love to show the world how extraordinary Xenocell is!
More details about the gameplay
Read more details about the gameplay in a recent interview about the game by Video Games Interactive.
In the near future, govenrments fight hard to keep their control, but gradually lose to corporations. Before a new world order is born, the United Nations Space Program manages to launch the first interstellar space vessel created by humans - project EDEN.
Upon entering the gravity well of Alpha Centauri's only habitable planet, Ibelis, the ship breaks up in orbit under mysterious circumstances evacuating thousands of life pods towards the planet surface. The game tells the story of the survivors of the U.N.S. EDEN and their search for answers.
If you like the idea, please let others find us!
We'd be extremely grateful if you could spread the word about this campaign to your friends. This helps us more that you'd think. If you believe that Xenocell is interesting, please let others know! It is an excellent way for you to show off your support and for others to find out about Xenocell! Just click on any of the sharing tools at the top of the page! Thank you so much!
What we need
The following is a short description of what we need your help with.
We estimated initial server and operating costs for two months at a player count where the game becomes able to support itself.
If everything goes according to plan, our third month will be funded by the game itself! Of course, to achieve this, we need to present sufficient server resources so players can enjoy a seamless experience. We also need to make sure that all the placeholder art is changed to final versions of 2D graphics and 3D objects.
To be able to quickly respond to bugs and feature request, we'll need to make sure that during those two months we're able to work on the game almost without interruption - so we'll need an additional programmer who can quickly jump in.
Finally, we need to make sure that we get the word out - so we'll get in touch with game magazines (we actually already got started with that!) and contact publishers like Steam (Greenlight), Desura and GoG, so we can get started with working on implementing their APIs.
Since we don't see the launch happen unless we reach our goal, we only take your pledges if we reach the target sum of $20K.
What you get
Here is a list of things we offer you in return for your invaluable help in getting Xenocell off the ground:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I get a downloadable copy of the game?
A: Yes! Actually, everyone does! We are planning to make the game freely available to download for everyone. However, certain parts of the game are only available to VIP members. Things like being able to use higher quality items, or being able to start a clan. Most of our perks include VIP membership plans from a single month to a lifetime membership.
Q: What does it mean to be a VIP member?
A: Being a VIP member means that you can access every feature of the game. You are either a FREE or a VIP member. FREE members can play as well, but they won't be able to ie. start a clan.
Q: How do I become a VIP member?
A: To become a VIP member, you can either pay monthly for a subscription, or you can use an in-game item called a VIP ticket, which will turn the player's account into a VIP account for an entire month. The great thing about tickets is that you can give them to other players or you can trade them for other in-game valuables.
Q: Why do players need to subscribe? Why not charge only once for the game?
A: In contrast to traditional games, most massively multiplayer games like Xenocell need to support a huge number of servers to keep the game world active even while you are not playing. So, in Xenocell, when you close the game, the rest of the world lives on! When you log in again the next day, it is possible that you will have a new neighbor or see signs of an attack against your base.
This requires plenty of computers - resources that we need to pay for every month. We also believe that having to pay a few dollars each month as long as you play the game to its full or for free with minor limitations is fair and allows everyone to try the game without first buying it. If you don't want to play for a few months, you can just suspend your subscription or not use your VIP tickets - you can change back to playing for free at any time!
Q: What is the price of a VIP subscription for a month?
A: It's 400 store Points or $7.95 when you subscribe monthly. 400 Points cost from $4.57 (when you buy more Points) to $9.95 (when you buy exactly 400 Points). A great aspect of points is that you can spend them on several things in-game. Few items have a price both in Credits (in-game fictional currency) and Points (store currency you can buy for real money). We paid attention to being very careful about what items are available for Points in-game to not affect game balance.
Q: What platforms will the client support?
A: It will support all Windows versions since Vista.
Q: If you get a liftime V.I.P membership via donation, does that make the game free but with VIP access, for as long I want?
A: Yes! The lifetime option will make your account VIP - so you can access the game in full without having to either spend your store Points or subscribe for a few dollars a month. Please see the FAQ questions above for details about VIP access and Point values. To give you an even better idea, visit this page: http://www.xenocell.com/store/.
Q: What hardware demands does the game have?
A: We are still working on optimizing the game's performance and we've used older hardware for development and testing to see performance issues right away. We don't have the final specs yet, but the bottleneck will definitely be the graphics card. It currently runs great on an ATI Radeon 5770 card which according to http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/ is a bit weaker than an average card today.
Q: Only online mode?
A: Yes, the entire game is persistent, always online - like MMOs.
Q: What happens if you spend time and “money” on building stuff and needs to go away for some time. Will there be any way of protecting that from simply being blown away when you come back online later?
A: As long as your items are not destroyed you can always deconstruct anything you built back into a convenient inventory item. Deconstruction takes time and resets if you are interrupted.
Q: Is the game balanced for one player or group dynamics?
A: My goal was to allow single person groups to exist. By being able to build NPC defences, turrets and a host of other defensive options, a well-protected one player group will be just as hard to beat as an entire clan. However, attacking another clan will be very hard to do alone. The game helps a lot with defense, but little with offense.
Q: Is this game on a single shard server?
A: Yes, for now. We predict that it is able to host tens of thousands of players, perhaps even hundreds of thousands. We are able to clone a new shard in a day, however.
Q: What happens to avatar and/or equipment when offline?
A: Your avatar and your avatar's inventory disappear from the world just like in any other persistent online game. Your structures that you built and your hired mercenaries however stay where you place them and do their job. Mine minerals, defend your buildings, trade with your allies, etc...
Feel free to drop questions in the comments, we'll add them here and hopefully give you a thorough answer!
Note, that V.I.P tickets can be traded in-game. The amount of V.I.P tickets and store Points received is alway the highest value above a certain pledge level. Only the most significant forum badge will be made visible on the forum profile.
Again, thank you so much for your help! Feel free to ask questions in the comments section, via Twitter (@konradkiss - follow me and I'll return the favor) or through our official forums for the game at xenocellforums.com.
We'll work very hard to make you proud!