A realistic isometric survival game for PC on a tropical island. The main goal is not only to survive but to find a way off the island.
About this project
The battle for survival on a desert-island – In “Thousand Miles Out” you take on the task to guide the last four survivors from a ship lost in a storm through their daily struggles to survive.
You have to select the 4 characters that you will guide. Possible choices are for example a biologist, a mechanic and a deck-hand. Each character has different skills that you should make good use of.
Other than in most survival games, the goal is not simply to survive as long as possible, but to find a rescue and leave the island.
Your tasks in the game:
- Ensure their survival. Fullfil the needs of the four characters; they get hungry and thirsty, have to sleep and watch out for overheating. Make sure that they stay healthy and well taken care of or you risk their death.
- Find a rescue. The overall goal of the game is to find a rescue. Throughout the game you will face many different tasks that bring you closer to a possible rescue. It might help to climb to the top of the mountain at the center of the island and build a fire there. But maybe it is better to try to repair the broken radio system?
- Explore the island. Use the islands resources to keep your characters alive. But careful: Not every plant is edible, not every path is save to pass, and not every cute looking animal is harmless…
- Craft items. Produce useful items with the resources that your characters collect. For example you can use a sharpened wood stake and some bamboo to build an animal trap that helps you with your hunting efforts.
- Expand your camp. With natural resources and produced items you can build up your camp and with that make life easier for your characters. With a few palm leaves and sturdy wood posts you can build a shelter that stays dry in the rain.
- Put your characters’ skills to their best use. Use your characters’ skills to achieve your goals. For example: don’t use your doctor to build your camp, let the ship mechanic take on that task…
In “Thousand Miles Out” we want to simulate the fight for survival as realistic as possible without losing the fun in the gameplay. If something would not work in a real survival situation, it will also not work in the game. We call it: true wilderness survival.
A situation that is merely uncomfortable in the safety of civilization, can be life threatening in the wild. Nature does not show pity and does not forgive mistakes. The battle for survival in Thousand Miles Out feels just like that. Example: If one of the characters gets sick, then he really is sick. It will not only be noticeable by a changed status bar, the character will actually have to rest and recover in bed. And if it is a serious disease, he will have to be looked after by someone.
The group of characters you can control is stranded on a deserted island. Other than in most survival games, the goal is not simply to survive as long as possible, but to find a rescue and leave the island. There will be many different ways to this goal in the game. For example: The characters can try to repair the ship’s radio unit, build a raft, or climb a high mountain and light a fire.
J. Todd Coleman, Founder of ArtCraft Entertainment and Creative Director of the most anticipated MMO, Crowfall ( http://www.crowfall.com ), loves our concept and was so kind to say a few words about Thousand Miles Out:
After a long and exhausting journey the research ship was travelling somewhere in the Pacific, on its way back to it’s home harbour. The crew and the scientists on board were very much looking forward to seeing their friends and family again after many months at sea, and to finally have steady ground under their feet again. Home was still a thousand miles out when, without warning, the storm hit. The sky turned black in minutes, heavy rain set in and roaring winds swept over the deck.
A lightning strike destroyed all electrical systems on board, including the rudders and the radio unit. Without navigational control nor any way to call for help, the ship went adrift in the Pacific. When the sky cleared up again, an island became visible on the horizon, a small spark of hope.
A few miles from shore the ship ran aground, but it was possible to use the life boats and bring the crew and enough supplies onto dry land. At this point the worst seemed to be over… until a second storm formed and hit the survivors completely unprepared. Many lives were lost, as were the supplies. The initial believe that survival on a tropical island would be easy was quickly and brutally shattered….
In “Thousand Miles Out” you control your characters with the help of point & click actions over isometric maps. The navigation can be compared to old isometric RPGs like Baldurs Gate. A good, more current example is Wasteland 2. This means that you can select one or more characters, click anywhere on the map on the ground and your characters will automatically move there.
Interactions with usable items work similarly, one click for example on the palm and your character will start chopping it down.
The isometric maps are connected by an overview map and represent different regions of the island. The regions have to be discovered one by one. At the beginning only the beach map is known on which you can find the character’s camp. This camp has been created by the characters at the beginning of the game and you can build it up over time.
When the characters want to leave the beach map, they have to reach the edge of the map. If they reach the eastern edge of the map, they will discover the rain forest that is located east of the beach. If they reach the northern edge, they will find the coastal cliffs. This way you will over time discover the complete island. With each new map your characters might also locate new resources and locations that are needed to complete quests.
Expeditions to other areas are always done with just one or two characters, while the other characters remain at the camp. The characters that you send on their missions are controlled manually, while you can assign automatic tasks to the characters in the camp. Those can be tasks like “Gut all fishes that are caught and cook them” or “Build a large bamboo hut”. You can of course control your characters at camp manually as well if needed.
All characters have a limited inventory, so that the characters have to return from their expeditions with full pockets at some point. In their inventory your characters also have the items that they need to fulfil their needs. This way the characters can, within their means, also take care of their needs automatically. If a character gets thirsty and has water in his inventory, he will drink it automatically. You can disable this automation of your characters at any time.
“Thousand Miles Out” is being developed by northworks Software GmbH, a small studio in wonderful Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city. We have over ten years experience in the development of games on different platforms, from browser to mobile. In 2010 we became a daughter of the Travian Games GmbH.
Currently there are only three people consistently working on the conception and the development of “Thousand Miles Out”. Given the kickstarter campaign is successful, the team size will be increased significantly.
Ray; Vision and Concept
Ray had the basic idea for “Thousand Miles Out” and pushes it forward. This starts with the game design and includes all project and business topics as well as the planning of the kickstarter campaign. Ray has been working in the game industry for over 10 years and started as back-end developer (PHP, MySQL …). Outside of work he loves TV-shows and has made it his goal to spoil them as best possible for the rest of the team.
Denis; Technical and Programming
Denis is our Unity expert and with incredible speed he has transformed the concept ideas into prototype code. He has been a professional developer for 6 years and can code not only Unity, but also Flash in his sleep. He is an avid gamer and is continually expanding his steam library.
Martin; Graphics and Visual design
Martin is responsible for the look of “Thousand Miles Out”, where he currently performs all aspects from concept design to the 3D assets autonomously. He has been a professional graphic artist for 8 years. He likes oldschool rap and provides entertainment to the whole office.
northworks and Travian have been developing games successfully for more than 10 years. Until now we have mostly developed multi player games for browser and mobile devices. With “Thousand Miles Out” we now want to try something new; A single player game with an extensive 3D world for PC and Mac.
We could start right now to develop the game behind closed doors, publish it in a year and hope that you like it. We have decided against this kind of development however because we believe that “Thousand Miles Out” can only turn out really great, if it comes into contact with the players that will ultimately play it as early as possible (that means you!). For us, kickstarter is the perfect platform to make it possible. Our reasons to choose kickstarter were the following:
1. We want to find out if you like the concept of “Thousand Miles Out” as much as we do.
2. We want to build a community around the game, so we can influence the direction the game is going together.
If we reach our target amount, we know that what we are doing is going in the right direction. Of course Travian and northworks are taking on a big part of the financing of the game as well. If the kickstarter is successful, we will invest at least the same amount of money in the game ourself.
This means you can be sure that with a successful financing on kickstarter the game will be developed all the way until it is done.
In preparation for the kickstarter campaign we have built a prototype in Unity that has helped us find technical problems as well as problems with the game design early on. This prototype makes a great impression already. The characters are already walking around the island (even if only on one map for now) and all rudimentary systems have been implemented. We have established a workflow that allows us to produce and implement assets quickly and efficiently. We are using a range of pre-existing systems from the Unity asset store (Speedtree, Gaia, Unistorm, …) that greatly simplify the development. This means that this prototype already shows us that we have the technical capabilities to build the game and we already have a basic idea how long we will need for the development..
If we are successful with our financing though kickstarter, we will use the target amount together with our own investment to build a team of about 10 people that will put all their effort over the next year into the development of “Thousand Miles Out”. Once we feel that the game is ready, we will publish it using the Steam Early Access program, so that you get into it as quickly as possible to give us your feedback. Those of you that have chosen the reward tiers Alpha Access or Closed Beta Access will of course get to try out the game much earlier.
If everything goes according to plan, “Thousand Miles Out” should be completed by January 2018, so that we can leave the early access phase then.
Backers that already play one of our games receive a special bonus for their loyalty:
If you back us with 20 Euros or more you receive a bonus for a game of your choice (goalunited LEGENDS, goalunited PRO, Travian Legends or Rail Nation).
Please note that the campaign has to be sucessful before you can get your bonus!
The bonuses are as follows:
You receive the “Thousand Miles Out” decoration building
This unique building does not only enhance the look of your stadium complex, it also gives you seven points reputation. It is only available to kickstarter backers, and will not be available to other managers. The jealousy is a given!
We will give you a voucher valued at 100 gold.
With gold you have many options to give your account a special extra. Get more resources, build your village faster or use the advantages of Travian Plus.
We will give you a Rail Nation starter package and 200 gold .
The Rail Nation starter package gives you a big advantage from the start. Benefit of extra waggons and enlarged buildings. Use your free gold to get a super realistic engine, fast research and many more.
Condition for all bonuses:
- Your pledge has to be 20 Euros or more
- The kickstarter campaign has to be successful
- You receive the bonus in one of our games (not in all :))
- The bonuses will be distributed the earliest on November 10th
Risks and challenges
In the past we have already brought a few titles from the first idea to release and know that the development process of any game includes a number of small and big road bumps.
This can for example include technical problems like systems that don’t function as expected, or design elements that are particularly hard to implement. There are also general project risks like an employee leaving the company or processes that take longer than planned.
Particularly for “Thousand Miles Out” it can of course also happen that we are not able to realize the “true wilderness survival”-part as well as we want.
All those risks lead to those two effects:
1. it takes longer to develop the project,
2. the development of the project costs more than expected
As already mentioned in the “why kickstarter” chapter, Northworks and Travian will, within their means, cover additional costs, shall they arise.
In regards a delay in the project development we can only say that we have added a relatively large buffer in our planning and hope that we don’t have to use it up.
We are confident that we have gathered enough experience in the 10 years that we have been working on the development of games to be able to solve all arising problems and are excited to see the challenges that this project will provide.