Today, German-based developer Laughing Machines and publisher Square Enix Collective announced that roguelike, action RPG UnDungeon has launched on Kickstarter, seeking $52, 751 USD.
Laughing Machines writes:
We love fast-paced gameplay. We’re mad about old school games that are a challenge to play. We’re passionate about pixel art. We really love Roguelikes and classic RPGs. And we sincerely believe that every good game should be a piece of art, not just business. As a result, we’re creating UnDungeon to reflect all of our principles.
Every gamer probably has their own perspective on what the ideal game is, but as developers we’re in the special position of being able to bring our ideals to life. So, UnDungeon introduces a mix of Action, Roguelike, and old-school RPG styles and wraps them in a gorgeous pixel skin. And now, we’d like to share it with you!
UnDungeon is currently slated to release on PC, Mac, and Linux. However, the developer has said it would like to launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PS Vita as well, but these console and handheld ports will only be possible after achieving the corresponding stretch goals. Said stretch goals haven’t been divulged, but Laughing Machines said they will be during a time in the campaign that is “appropriate.”
So what is UnDungeon? Good question, here’s a rundown:
Since our childhood, we’ve always been told that the universe is endless; that there are billions of worlds and that it’s impossible to reach any of them. They’ve been telling us we are billions of light years away. But what if they haven’t told us the whole truth?
What if we live in a multiverse of parallel worlds which are separated by nothing but a thin membrane. And what if this membrane is not impenetrable?
The moment in history, known as The Shift, not only made the Earth absolutely insecure, but destroyed it as a shelter for mankind. The reasons for the cataclysm are still far beyond human understanding, but its consequences have essentially changed scientific dogma related to the structure of the Universe and the position of the human race within it.
A small failure in the Multiversal mechanism combined seven parallel words together. Inhabitants of these very different civilizations suddenly became neighbors… against their will.
The game’s world is based on the Multiversal principles, meaning that all dimensions which exist in the Multiverse are parallel. Therefore, multiple variations of the same place — like Earth — are possible.
According to Laughing Machine, the affected worlds are not alien to one another, but rather are just different variations of the same planet; variations where something went amiss in the past, and caused unusual scenarios to develop.
Laughing Machines continues:
What if one variation of our Earth was inhabited by aliens long before the appearance of homosapiens? What if, in another dimension, the evolution went a completely different way? And somewhere else again, common physical laws don’t work as you’d expect?
No matter how dissimilar they are, The Shift brought them all together into a single melting pot.
Right after The Shift took place, seven “Heralds” appeared in different parts of the world, with each one being a keeper of the artifact called “The Core.”
According to the developer, The Core allows for the carrier not to die, but rather for said carrier to be reborn again and again. However, each time he is reborn the surrounding world is changed. As for the artifact itself, it is said to be a clue to the nature of the shift, and each Herald that carries it is said to feel a craving “for certain location of the newly-created world, where the power of the Core can be revealed.”
But okay, what about the gameplay? Well, here’s an overview from the Kickstarter page:
The Herald moves across a procedurally-generated map which is divided into regions relating to the different worlds. He or she visits various locations communicating, fighting, and trading with other inhabitants.
The Herald desperately explores the environment trying to obey the call of the Core. Mistakes are not allowed because the score is ruled by permadeath.
Although the Core will resurrect the Herald, the old world will be lost forever, and you will have to start the exploration of a completely new planet – the equivalent of a new game beginning.
All combat takes place in real time. A character uses artifacts and amplifiers that can be combined, enabling the Herald to adapt to all possible threats.
Traditionally for top-down games, UnDungeon provides fast-paced combat with dodging, reflectors, frequent change of positions, etc. We rely on realistic physics to create more spectacular projectile trajectories, debris scattering, bouncing, grenade throwing, etc.
Each action performed in a battle, except movements, consumes a certain amount of energy points (EP).
The energy is an alternative to the traditional weapon-recharge mechanic, which makes combat more comprehensive and helps avoid mindless ability-spamming.
Exploring the world, the characters will find various supernatural objects and artifacts. There are two types of objects: passive and active. The passive ones alter various characteristics, add small additional properties, and can be stored and used in an unlimited quantity. As for active objects, they provide new features or essentially change the existing ones.
Since such objects are placed in special slots, it is possible to mix all the available character’s abilities, forming a huge variety of combinations.
Each Herald has a unique pool of objects which is not available to the other characters. Consequently, each one has an exclusive playstyle and development path. What’s more, each artifact provides an impact on characters’ appearance.
And since the order and number of objects are totally random, each new trial is characterized by a unique character’s look. Plus, each equipped artifact provides the influence on the character’s appearance (sometimes these changes are vital). See the examples below:
Currently, UnDungeon is in its pre-alpha stage of development, and is slated to release sometime in 2018. For more information about the game, be sure to check out the Kickstarter link above. You can also check out the game’s new trailer below: