By Josh Speer / May 10th, 2013
The past few months have been something of a revelation for me in terms of gaming, as I was made more and more aware of the advent of crowdfunded games. Starting with Shovel Knight, my gateway drug if you will, I started to become much more aware of the pros and cons of such games, and I have quickly become a true believer. Not only do the fans finally have a voice in the creation of their games, but now big publishers don’t wield all the power when it comes to what gets made!
With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to a nifty looking Kickstarter called TinyKeep. Envisioned and created primarily by Phi Dinh, this game is a 3D randomly generated dungeon crawler in the vein of such classics as Baldur’s Gate and Hero Quest. What’s instantly impressive about it is the fact that the proof of concept demo was created for the game in just about 2 months, all in Phi’s free time. You read that right. One guy did the whole demo, which you can see on the Kickstarter page. This demo illustrated the core concepts of the game, such as the randomly spawned dungeons and the incredible sounding enemy AI.
A key goal Phi Dinh had when making this game was to create a sophisticated AI. From the Kickstarter page:
The focus for this game is on AI. We really wanted to get away from simple minded monsters that would blindly chase you around the map, as if your character were the center of the universe. With this in mind, a sophisticated AI engine was developed, based on Behaviour Trees in combination with Steering Algorithms and Pathfinding. The plan is to develop our monsters to have their own motivations and needs, so that they become more reactive to their surroundings. They should also work in teams, take advantage of the player’s situation and run away from threats.
If that doesn’t impress you, then take a gander at some screenshots showing off the algorithm used to randomly create a dungeon, as well as one showing off how the environments are rendered by it.
So now you’re probably wondering how much needs to be spent to make this game a reality, right? It’s a lot less than you might think. To become a reality, the TinyKeep Kickstarter only needs to get to £22,162 by the end of May. It also provides some very nice reward tiers.
By pledging £10 you get the Standard edition of the game and a DRM-free copy for Windows and Mac; for £15 you get an extra DRM-copy for a friend, early Alpha and Beta builds of the game plus access to the TinyKeep testing forum AND digital soundtrack of the game if that stretch goal is reached; for £30 you get all the previous rewards PLUS free content updates and expansions, a selection of TinyKeep wallpapers by Matthias Andre, a digital copy of the dev diary and your name in the credits; for £40 you get all that plus legendary weapons unavailable anywhere else, exclusive skills unavailable anywhere else and your name in the Special Credits; for £50 you get all that plus a TinyKeep mug and A3 poster; for £100 you get all that plus a personalized weapon you get to name and decide its attributes, personalized skills AND an exclusive Gold copy of the game; for £250 you get all that goodness plus get to participate in a focus group to help playtest builds of the game, as well as provide valuable feedback that goes into the final build; for £500 you get all the above plus your name in the credits as official sponsor, a unique monster named after you, your name immortalized in various aspects of the game; and finally, for £1,000 or more you get everything PLUS an invitation to face-to-face testing sessions, dinner with the team at the launch party, and the ability to play as a demi god in the game if the multiplayer stretch goal is reached!
Beyond these nice rewards, the game also has a bunch of cool stretch goals. If the game gets to £22.4K, TinyKeep will support all USB game controllers; £23.4K a digital soundtrack will be produced by James Cobb, styled for each area and monster type; £24.9K will result in 5 new monsters being designed for the game, namely Orc Warriors, Orc Archers, Skeleton Mage, Skeleton Archer and Skeleton King; £28.2K will allow 3 more character classes to be created, the Wizard, Ranger and Thief; £33.2K will unlock online multiplayer; £36.4 will result in a dynamic music engine being created based on LucasArts’ iMUSE; £41.4K will allow for better, more complex dungeons to be created and finally, for every £600 pledged after the last goal is reached, a new monster will be created for the game.
That’s a lot of info to swallow, but there is more to be seen. If you are interested in reading more, or just want to pledge to this promising sounding Kickstarter, check out their official page!
Dungeon CrawlerKickstarterMacPCPhi Dinhrandomly generated levelsrealtimeTinyKeep