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Double Fine launches Massive Chalice on Kickstarter

Thursday, 30th May 2013 18:07 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Double Fine has announced Massive Chalice and has taken it to Kickstarter.

The project is described by the firm as if “turn-based tactics and feudal fantasy had a lovechild, and that offspring founded a mighty century-spanning dynasty.”

Using the Buddha Engine, the title is slated for PC, Mac, and Linux.

The firm needs $725,000 to make it a reality, and the counter is moving so fast I can’t keep up, but as I type this $9,791 has been pledged by 253 backers.

“We’re inspired by classic tactical strategy games like X-COM, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Fire Emblem, as well as Game of Thrones’ array of noble families,” reads the description on Kickstarter. “With these influences in mind we’re creating an epic, replayable turn-based tactics game where you train generations of heroes to repel a demonic invasion.”

A concept as well as a team stands at ready, and Double Fine says it will work “closely with our community to control the future, free from outside interference.”

Gameplay consists of single player turn-based tactics within a “multi-generational strategy campaign built for replayability.”

Players will play as an immortal King or Queen who must unite the kingdom under a powerful dynasty, “eliminate the demonic threat, and reforge the Massive Chalice.”

In the strategy layer, players will oversee their kingdom, “arrange royal marriages, conduct research, and make the far-reaching decisions that will determine the fate of their legacy.”

“Brutal turn-based battles” are the tactical part, and players will need to defend the kingdom using small squads of customizable heroes.

Permadeath is inevitable, according to the post, as the character will “grow, age, and eventually die.” Choose to keep your monarch on the battlefield, or have them at home propagating their lineage.

Drawing from roguelikes we love, content is modular and randomized. Each playthrough begins with a random assortment of male and female heroes from various bloodlines, guaranteeing that each game is unique. Your knowledge and skill will increase over multiple playthroughs, but the details of every game will change based on your decisions and the whims of fate.

Core Game Features

  • Your story emerges as you defend against attacks, complete quests, and respond to randomized events in your attempt to preserve the kingdom.
  • Line of sight and fog of war mechanics come into play as your squad explores beautiful dynamic 3D battlefields where danger may lurk behind any corner.
  • Distinct, customizable heroes learn new melee, ranged, and arcane abilities as they age and gain combat experience.
  • Arrange marriage alliances to ensure your heroic bloodlines can handle any future combat situation.
  • Battle alongside your ancestors by equipping your heroes with uniquely powerful Bloodline Relics.
  • Invest your resources in forging new weapons and armor—and gamble on polluting a bloodline by researching dangerous demonic artifacts.

If you head through the Kickstarter link you can glean more information on the title as well as look over reward tiers.

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20 Comments

  1. Joe Anderson

    Wasn’t it Schafer that kicked off this whole game funding on Kickstarter trend? What happened to the first game?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    Hahahaha… Hahaha… Haha… Hah.

    Oh man, that was fun. You may have my dollars.

    @1 That would be The Broken Age. It’s referenced at the beginning of the video. Still in development and what not.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. CyberMarco

    Doesn’t Tim Schafer already have enough capital to invest by himself? I find it a bit hypocritical for a studio as big as Double Fine to seek for kickstarter founding…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. YoungZer0

    “Very creative”

    I laughed so hard at this! :D

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DSB

    @3 Where would that capital come from? They’ve been producing smaller games that they didn’t own themselves, and that was purely an act of survival because their previous games were commercial failures.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. CyberMarco

    @DBS – Like a 65 employee studio doesn’t have enough resources. And getting up to 8 times the goal from the previous kickstarter wasn’t enough too.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. jedieagle

    @CyberMarco

    Being famous != being rich ;) And the money from the previous kickstarter is for Broken Age and not other projects

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    @6

    Uh they only had 15 or so people before the kickstarter last year and he was going to have to get rid of them. He meets his goal and then some which allows him to employ extra people.

    There are 3d software licenses to buy, middleware, and each employee earns up to 30-60k not to mention the overhead for the studio in California, one of the most expensive places to have a studio. Do the flipping math. WHy he is doing this kickstarter is probably because the previous game is finished and he wants to keep others employed.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. OnionPowder

    @8 https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/tVBZ_Xok5iJwad88LC_Up9-6-Hfm9uIlBqJyDWOdpDQbG2LPOytFGynOIUB4C91Fse7wLbYc5DPTlT8AukvzPx-Ea-GANeuGw6Ijhtz3QFHGQHgw7aY

    That’s the staff photo before they launched the Broken Age kickstarter. I don’t think anybody at Double Fine is making $30k either unless it’s the receptionist. The average pay for a game developer is $84k (1). Double Fine has been a multi-team studio with different project leads for 3+ years now. At one point they had Costume Quest, Stacking, Once Upon a Monster and Iron Brigade in development at once. They recently released The Cave and announced a new game Dropchord.

    If you want a better view of how Double Fine operates then you should watch the 2 Player Productions documentary on Broken Age. Because they’re using the $3 million for that appropriately.

    (1) http://gamasutra.com/view/news/189893/Industry_in_flux_What_we_learned_from_Game_Developers_2012_Salary_Survey.php

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    @6 I don’t see how that means they have any sort of capital though. Where would it come from?

    Costume Quest, Stacking and Iron Brigade were decent enough games, but I don’t recall any one being a blockbuster. We know Brutal Legend wasn’t, and Psychonauts is notorious as a commercial failure.

    If they were sitting on a pile of dough, then I see no reason why they’d ever need publishers to make those games.

    I think it’s pretty likely that they went that way simply because they had no other way of financing those games in the first place.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    @9

    Lrn2read

    “Despite the fact that indie devs are receiving more attention than ever before, the average indie still isn’t very well-compensated; individual indie developers averaged $23,130 (down $420 from 2011), and members of indie teams averaged $19,487.”

    ” At one point they had Costume Quest, Stacking, Once Upon a Monster and Iron Brigade in development at once. They recently released The Cave”

    C’mon man try harder. All of those games had a publisher behind them giving the money to fund their projects. Which publishers give them enough money to fund the project, rarely ever do indie devs see any royalties after the game is launched and has been shown in THQ going bankrupt they still owe money to Double fine that of which Double fine will never see.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. CyberMarco

    @9 – 47 people and 2 dogs. Also 6 bystanders in the background… :p

    #12 2 years ago
  13. grizzlycake

    I love games like Fire Emblem and X-Com. Bring it on!

    #13 2 years ago
  14. The_Red

    I love Schafer and co at Double Fine but really REALLY wish they would release their first Kickstarter product before doing another (Feel the same about InXile’s Wasteland and Torment combo).

    #14 2 years ago
  15. OnionPowder

    @12 47 > 15 by a large margin.

    @11 Read yourself

    “Despite the fact that indie devs are receiving more attention than ever before, the average indie still isn’t very well-compensated; individual indie developers averaged $23,130 (down $420 from 2011), and members of indie teams averaged $19,487.”

    Double Fine is a much larger studio that’s worked on big budget releases, they aren’t some dude making iOS games in his spare time.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Phoenixblight

    @15

    “Despite the fact that indie devs are receiving more attention than ever before, the average indie still isn’t very well-compensated; individual indie developers averaged $23,130 (down $420 from 2011), and members of indie teams averaged $19,487.”

    We can play this game all day.

    “Double Fine is a much larger studio that’s worked on big budget releases, they aren’t some dude making iOS games in his spare time.”

    The games after Brutal Legend would cost at max 1-2 million. Granted they aren’t an unknown and probably they are probably more well paid then the numbers listed for indies. I am not sure why we are arguing. We are just splitting hairs.

    http://www.salarylist.com/company/Double-Fine-Productions-Salary.htm?page=1&order=4

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OnionPowder

    @16

    Well that puts an end to that. Also nice guess on the budgets for the downloadable games.

    “At the time, our budgets for [games like] Stacking and Costume Quest were like $2 million”

    Source: http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/16-million-and-counting/1100-3981/

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Phoenixblight

    @17

    I would like to think I am good at figuring this stuff out but I think I read that article and it just laid there in my memory’s archive. :P

    #18 2 years ago
  19. TheWulf

    Hrmn, not all that creative and not a genre I like. I’ll save my funds for more innovative endeavours. I hope it’s funded though for those who like it.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. nerrrd

    PLEASE someone tell me I’m not THAT high:
    Check out 05:26-05:32 on their video… On that guys’s neck. look closely! looks like a vampire bite is suddenly appearing and then disappearing.

    What’s up with that?!?!

    #20 2 years ago

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