We are a bunch of independent science fiction freaks. PROVEN LANDS is our dream game. Explore a unique, vast and beautiful science-fiction sandbox roguelike, procedurally generated and studded with an AI storyteller. -- KICKSTARTER TRAILER ON SUNDAY!
Where? For Windows, then OSX and iOS, then Linux and Android. PS4 and Xbox One, depending on our Kickstarter.
When? See Kickstarter.
What makes Proven Lands unique?
We've been working on PROVEN LANDS with a super small team for just some months now, creating a game in you become an explorer - not just another sandbox item collector. Packed full with the real mysteries of physics, biology and chemistry, plus tons of (hopefully) reasonable science-fiction, influenced by Star Trek, Jules Verne and Starflight. Starting with a backdrop of endless, procedurally generated terrain, PROVEN LANDS combines 3D, SCIENCE FICTION, SURVIVAL, SANDBOX, ROGUELIKE and RPG elements with an AI-driven META GAME - like a game master - and on top of all that: MODDING! Also, to be honest, yes, we have some problems to define a genre for PROVEN LANDS as it is in 3D and deeply influenced by Starflight, Roguelikes and Minecraft. Perhaps you have an idea.
We focus first on the planet, to be pragmatic. We start with an awesome looking procedurally generated terrain in 3D, on desktop and mobile, with all fine features as survival, a mood, trait and ambition system, crafting, building, farming, combat, an alien eco system, on the planet and between the planets, space travel and a scripted story, an AI game master and its quest system, with most of the game mechanics. Many features are already done or in the making. And, as soon we have more time and a better funding, depending on our Kickstarter, we will probably rewrite the core of the terrain engine based on the marching tetrahedrons algorithm, to improve terraforming, perhaps even after the first release, really depending on our Kickstarter stretch goals. As you probably see it already, we do it one step at the time, we introduce features as a basic implemention, watch how it feels to us and the others, and then add complexity to it -- similar to the crafting, mood and organism systems in the pre alpha demo.
Key Concepts and Game Mechanics
- A unique science fiction game - We think that a lot of science fiction games and movies feel like sailor soaps with pirates and monsters that just happen to be in space. If you know a few things about real black holes or pulsars, you probably get why. Assume the role of an explorer and learn about real science (like about history in Sid Meier's Civilization), within reason for a sci-fi game. Also, in the future drones are far more important than in most sci-fi stories.
- Modding - We love mods! PROVEN LANDS was designed with mods in mind, from the get-go. Every planet consists of chunks, chunks consist of modules, and modules consist of items, quests, creatures, aliens, villages etc. etc. Imagine your own fantasy game realised with this engine!
- Procedurally generated - Endless and seamless procedurally generated terrain with different biomes on different planets. This part truly depends on the stretch goals. So far we have desert, forest, river, mountain, hill, swamp and lake biomes but we hope to add many more. In addition, the stats and names of plants and creatures will be generated each new game.
- Alien races and eco system - In PROVEN LANDS aliens participate in a simple eco system. Trade with a tribe or village, if you have something desirable. Many NPCs have roles to perform in their region. So far, there are 3 intelligent alien races. We don't like to spoil things, but one race is as advanced as humans, the other is at an industrial level and the last is rather mysterious.
- AI meta game - The AI is not only responsible for combat and movement. The AI is the director of your unique story based on custom quests, ambitions and events - like a pen & paper game master. Defend against animal herds, smart alien raiders, slavers and villagers. And do not underestimate the Fungus flora!
- Classes and no super powers - PROVEN LANDS has some RPG elements. Everyone starts as The Forklift Driver with no super powers and a broken heart, and as time goes by new classes unlock: The Medic, The Pilot, The Engineer, The Soldier, The Scientist, and The Android. See stretch goals for new classes.
- Moods and ambitions - A mood and trait system makes your character less predictable. A wound left unattended might lead to fever, which could in turn lead to mental instability or death. An unfulfilled Ambition might drive you to depression. Ambitions are quests with a deadline, chosen by you or randomly assigned by the AI meta engine.
- Combat and noise - Fight wild animals, alien raiders, slavers, or... ? Each item has up to 3 actions. Close and long range weapons. Defense items. Small defense buildings, even vehicles. Some item actions depend on your level of knowledge. Animals engage you on sight, but are also attracted by noise. And then those worms, deep below the surface? ;)
- Building, housing, farming and eco system - Create automatic ore mines, water drills, energy and oxygen generators to make your life easier. Build farms, attract animals and kill them without flinching. PROVEN LANDS is not a sim, but there is a small eco system, influenced by an older game jam prototype named LOST UTOPIA. You know, be a modern guy and not another Robinson Crusoe.
- Crafting - Analyze your environment and craft new items, tools and weapons. Alter old weapons, based on a simple module system (like Alpha Centauri). Each item, weapon, tool, vehicle, drone and building has 7 modules: a base module (type) plus 6 extra modules. Extra modules for armor, power cells, shielding, special abilities, incredients or decoration. For instance, a potion: food base + strawberries + water; or a knife: tool base + short steel blade; or a bio scanner: tool chassis + biology level 1 scanner; or a M1 Abrams tank with a scanner: car base + kevlar-uranium armor + smoothbore gun + turbine engine + bio lvl 1 scanner. ;) Aliens craft items depending on the planet's resources. Dismantle alien items to discover new modules and tech. In this way we might end up with 10k combinations (similar to Skyrim's recipe system)!
- Skills - As we are huge ASCII roguelike fans, PROVEN LANDS comes with permadeath and item-based skill progress. Basic skills like condition, endurance, willpower, strength. Scientific skills like biology, physics, engineering, ehemistry and xeno sciences. And item skills like blunt weapons, laser weapons or Drones (depending on your knowledge). Each skill with an own small skill tree. Yay!
- Archaeology and technology - Explore uncharted regions, unknown items and creatures, lost civilizations and artefacts. Your character progresses not only through skills, but through item and artefact knowledge. You do not develop revolutionary physics after a few nights, instead, you gather knowledge in order to become a specialist. Dismantle alien devices for undiscovered resources!
- Outposts and camps - You're not a camper with a huge bagpack. An outpost is for the long-term, with generators and storage. This is where your pets, friends and allies are and will meet you. A camp is a camp fire or tent in the desert. This makes it a little different to many survival games. But, you are able to move your outpost any time, just keep in mind that you need a few vehicles to do so, due to your gear, devices, storages and even factories.
- Day and night - Sleep is so overrated! At night some animals see and hear better, which makes the night reasonable dangerous. As always, no monsters, no magic just natural behavior.
- Airlock and natural organism - Thirst, hunger, insanity, oxygen deprivation and energy consumption. On some planets you need an airlock to eat, drink and survive. Check out the pre alpha demo!
- Power supply - Sci-fi devices depend on energy. You'll need a power source if you've an oxygen generator or ore mine.
- Spaceship artefacts - Sometimes you'll find useful spaceship parts scattered around the planet.
- Items, resources and item modules - From food to wood to stones to water and megalomaniac butterflies. Each item can be analyzed from level 1 to 3. Item dependencies will be rearranged each new game, within reason. Activate the scanner in the pre alpha to add items to your knowledge database.
- Tools, devices and weapons - From a shovel to a scanner, from a navigator to generators and small factories! Aliens have their own devices and tools too. Weapons: from an axe to a laser, to shields, to bombs, to ... you'll see! From close to long range, from savage to advanced and deadly alien creations! See crafting.
- Vehicles - From tamed animals to scientific cars, to octocopters, to... submarines? By the way, check out the underwater stretch goal!
- Spaceship and space travel - Travel to other planets as soon you've a space drive and the right resources. Your spaceship is your headquarter with a few special modules, dictating where your next journey starts.
- Flora and fauna - From grass, berries and mushrooms to Firefly and Fungus trees, to big root things with tentacles and teeth! From cute blue strangers to insects, birds and cow-alikes, from flying predators to epic 30 foot tall quadruped friends!
- Weather and biotopes - From rain, dense clouds and sand storms to ion storms and earthquakes, meteorite showers and unique events depending on your current planet type. If you chop down a whole forest the wind might get stronger in that region! If you kill all the animals in a biome, it might have a knock on effect...
- One more hour - Most survival games are not known for chill time: you are a laboratory mouse, always in a rush, starving or defending. So, we're working hard to give you more time for exploration and archaeology, or for just relaxling. The goal here is to make PROVEN LANDS a game you want to play 'one more hour' even after a tough day.
- Faction allegiance - Do you like to be the good or the bad guy?
Alien companion - Intelligent and non-intelligent NPC companions. Start with the space cat from your first spaceship.
- Expand a lore - For each of the 5 episodes there will be a short illustrated novel by us, Rafael and Jeffrey, of course.
- Experimental ideas - Plus, we like experiments, even short-living. Get your hands dirty with the alpha and beta versions.
Story and an AI game master
The scripted main story is thrilling but also a little bit philosophical too - about friendship, bravery, responsibility and even a pregnancy. As PROVEN LANDS is a sandbox game, the scripted story is limited and optional, but as unique as possible. You assume the role not of a scientist or a soldier, but a a working class hero or heroine. You're named after the real-life Teruo Nakamura - a soldier of the Japanese Imperial Army who did not surrender until 1974, for an exciting reason.
Think of the AI meta game engine as a pen & paper game master who gathers all the randomly generated elements unique to each player's experience and weaves these components - features of the landscape, the moods and ambitions of the player and local alien life - into an one-off adventure, different on each planet and playthrough. This means that if you camp near an alien hatchery, you'll have to defend yourself against animal herds; if you make friends with a village you might be asked to help. You'll be kept busy battling thirst, hunger, oxygen deprivation and dwindling energy supplies .... but as soon you've gathered enough resources, seek out for new civilizations!
- Games - Starflight, Dungeon Crawl, Minecraft, Project Zomboid, Don't Starve, Crusader Kings 2, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, The Sims, SWTOR, Dead Space 1, Dwarf Fortress
- Movies, TV and comics - Star Trek (TNG, DS9, TOS, VOY, ENT), Alien, Planetes, Enemy Mine, Dune, Outland, Gravity, Contact, Nausicaä, Star Wars
Kickstarter Stretch Goals -- 9 Mar 2014!
- additional classes as android, engineer or scientist
- additional planet types as moon, low gravity, ice, oceans or volcano
- additional creatures, plants, items and... stuff?
- additional story episodes
- co-op multiplayer
- underwater worlds
- randomly generated meshes and models (let's start simple with stones, plants and trees)
- revamp of the terrain engine (marching tetrahedrons algorithm) for a better terraforming
A few more screenies