The amazing up and coming turn-based tactical RPG has finally hit the crowdfunding stage. Having been developed for over a year already, it is a pleasure to see Sinister Design at this point. As it means progress and that final push needed to finish the Telepath Tactics in the way it was intended.
So a huge kudos to Craig Stern from Linux Game Consortium for all his hard work and dedication. We are really keen to see further builds as well as the overall progress of Telepath Tactic coming to life.
On a personal note, I have played a build already and it looks great. The functionality and flanking capabilities, let alone the destructible buildings are impressive. You can also throw people into lava, although not aptly tested on my end. 🙂
So we have posted a great deal of the campaign here for your review. As it is our esteemed pleasure to be able to bring this Kickstarter campaign to you.
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Telepath Tactics is a turn-based tactical RPG in the tradition of Fire Emblem and Disgaea. It features a single player campaign with well-written characters embroiled in a tale of war and political intrigue, as well as 2-to-6 player multiplayer with support for hotseat play (i.e. you and your friends playing together in the same room, Super Smash Brothers style).
Telepath Tactics takes place in a fantasy-steampunk universe that averts most of the tropes you’re used to from these sorts of games. Magic doesn’t exist: instead, there is psionics and steam-powered technology reliant on a volatile, crystalline substance called vibra. Cavaliers don’t ride horses: they ride giant, armored praying mantises. There are no elves, no dwarves, no goblins, no dragons: it’s just humans and a few other, entirely original sentient races (such as the shadowlings, disembodied floating heads that quite literally feed on human suffering).
Telepath Tactics takes a highly deterministic approach to combat mechanics. Attack damage is 100% predictable, and attacks always hit unless there is some intervening factor (such as the attacker having been blinded, or the target having some special defensive status effect). In this regard, it is very much a game of skill akin to chess—chance will seldom determine the outcome of a battle.
Telepath Tactics borrows liberally from the best tactics games around to provide a wide variety of available strategies. Throw enemies off of cliffs; push enemies into water or lava; fling friends across gaps; set your enemies on fire; freeze them; blind them; cripple them; stun them; use hit-and-run tactics with cavalry and bowmen; teleport; grab item drops; stick your ranged units on the high ground to boost their effectiveness; the list goes on and on.
Telepath Tactics also brings fresh new environmental manipulation mechanics to the table. Push boulders, barrels and tables in the way to block off certain routes; build bridges to create new routes across water or lava; build barricades to brunt an incoming attack; destroy walls, doors and bridges to open up or close off routes of attack; shoot through open windows; place down explosive charges to create a trap for an unwary opponent. Telepath Tactics supports all of this and more.
The enemy AI in Telepath Tactics is aggressive and reactive. The enemy will not just sit around the battlefield waiting for your characters to wander into aggro range or trigger a script—instead, the AI will actively maneuver and seek out ways to get at your most vulnerable characters.
Telepath Tactics multiplayer comes with 22 unique character classes, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and battlefield roles. The single player campaign features unique, named characters based off of these classes, each with its own custom stats and leveling schemes.
You don’t have to be content with the selection the game ships with, however. Telepath Tactics features extensive mod support that allows you to create custom multiplayer maps, custom tilesets, custom destructible objects, custom items, custom attacks, custom character classes, and even whole single player campaigns filled with unique characters, enemies, dialog and cut scenes. Everything is stored in easy-to-edit .xml files, so modding is a cinch.
The game also comes with a full-featured map editor to make creating new battles fast and simple. Create your own, or download someone else’s: Telepath Tactics supports all of the above.
There is a lot more I could say about the game. Rather than talk your ear off, however, I will direct you to the latest draft of the Telepath Tactics manual with more (and more detailed) information on how the game works.
WHERE IS TELEPATH TACTICS AT IN ITS DEVELOPMENT?
Every single thing you read in the section above is currently in-game and working. There is no question about whether this project is too ambitious to complete: it isn’t. The lion’s share of the really tough stuff is already done. I just need more resources to give the game all the content and polish it needs.
SO, WHAT DO YOU NEED $25,500 FOR?
I’ve crunched some numbers, and $25,500 is the bare minimum amount of money it will take to finish Telepath Tactics to my satisfaction. (Please note that I am not counting wages for myself in this figure. I don’t want a salary; I just want the money to get this thing done right.)
Here are the things your contribution will fund:
- Hiring a sound designer to create all of the sound effects for every last button click, movement, attack, character death, item usage, and action in the game. Estimated cost: $12,000
- Hiring a composer to flesh out the game’s soundtrack with more music. Estimated cost: $4,000
- Hiring artists to create more art: tilesets, destructible objects, character portraits, NPC sprites, and a second gender for each character class. Estimated cost: $4,000.00
- Promoting Telepath Tactics* at PAX East. Estimated cost: $2,000.00
- Hiring a web designer to build a proper website* for Telepath Tactics. Estimated cost: $1,000.00
Now, if you’re good at math, you might be scratching your head right now. “Craig,” you might say, “that’s only $23,000. What is the last $2,500 for?” Good eye. The last $2,500 is to cover the estimated 10% cut that Amazon and Kickstarter take from whatever we raise. (For instance: if we raise $25,500.00, I estimate that these guys will take a $2,550 cut; that leaves just about $23,000, the amount I need to cover the expenses listed above.)
* Publicity is important to the game: it means more people for you to play against in multiplayer, and more people creating single player campaigns for you to play. Trust me, you want this!
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE RAISE MORE THAN $25,500?
In the event that this happens, I have a wish list a mile long for extra goodies I could pack into the game! If it starts looking like we’re going to break past $25,500, I’ll update this section with stretch goals for ways in which we can make Telepath Tactics even more awesome.
WHO IS THIS MYSTERIOUS AND HANDSOME DEVELOPER, ANYWAY?
I’m Craig Stern, the guy behind the company Sinister Design. (You also might know me as the creator of IndieRPGs.com, but I consider myself a game developer first and foremost.)
I’ve been designing board games and card games since I was a child, and I’ve been creating video games for more than half a decade. Over that time, I’ve put out a whole slew of turn-based strategy RPGs. Those games were pretty good, but I consider them all a dry run: Telepath Tactics is the real deal. Telepath Tactics is the culmination of years of careful thought and design work. I am not messing around with this game: I am gunning to create the most elegant, comprehensive, tactically deep strategy role-playing game in existence, and to then give it over to you, the community, to extend as you see fit.
Please contribute to make Telepath Tactics happen; you’ll have my sincere gratitude, and one excellent turn-based tactics game to show for it.