Crowd fund: Extinction Event: Nanite Apocalypse

Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 10 months, 2 weeks ago to Business
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To be up front, my reason for sharing this information is twofold. One reason is to share with my friends what I've been up to and why I've neglected my writing as much as I have and two is to hopefully find people willing to invest in this idea in exchange for future compensation over a two year span as the game sells.

Over the course of the last two years I've been leading a team to construct an online multiplayer video game entitled Extinction Event: Nanite Apocalypse. While the primary desire of the game is to make enough money to not worry about money anymore for myself and each of the members of my team, I also have the hope of subtly encouraging the games players into a more self-reliant, rational and reasoned way of looking at the world around them. Hopefully those virtues will highlight aspects of their actual lives where they can consider if what they are doing, how they are looking at life and what they expect from life as it measures up to what they now know. While this may bring an understandable chuckle to some of your lips, the reality is that games like this, because of the camaraderie evoked in multi-player gaming and the hundreds of hours groups of people play them, can and does influence people.

Extinction Event: Nanite Apocalypse is a client-server windows based sandbox survival type game for 50-60 players.

Back Story
On November 18th 2038 a powerful solar storm struck the earth temporarily crippling all electronics. Quickly devising and implementing energy solutions which would guard against future widespread catastrophic outages mankind stood confident that it was well protected from future solar events, and it was. As months passed a new threat began to arise, a subtle threat caused the the solar storm. The revolutionary medicinal nanites constructed to improve the human condition and extend life had mutated. Driven by their primary directive, as the first of the nanite hosts began to die their bodies, driven by the mutation to maintain their human hosts, began to seek out the chemicals needed to keep themselves powered and replicating, they turned on the living. Quickly, exponentially, the nanite plague spread from one infected to several non-infected.
Within two years mankind was facing extinction. Scientists and engineers, seeing the fall of civilization looming early on, constructed technological settlements to house, protect and preserve mankind until such a time that the nanite plague lessened. Hundreds of millions undead now openly roam the earth looking for nourishment while mankind, hunkered down in bunkers of one sort or another, clinging to their technology and scavenging for what they need to survive number in the thousands globally.

A player in spawned into the world at a randomly generated location. The sole purpose of the player is to survive. Survival includes eating, drinking, shelter, avoiding or overcoming the undead and avoiding or overcoming other players or Non-player characters. In the environment players will be able to build their own shelters, craft tools, weapons and devices. To obtain raw material to craft objects and construct shelters player must scavenge what remains of the world.

Players will have three license purchase options; none will leave a player defenseless or entirely unprotected. Each option: Basic, Capable, or Advanced will afford a player with a certain degree of protective gear, a certain amount provisions, a certain amount of skills to use, and a type of weapon. Players, no matter where they are or where they spawn, will always, regardless of license level, have the ability to "craft" crude weapons from items in their surroundings.

Players will possess and develop a wide variety of skills (Carpentry, Metal Working, Electronics, Mechanic, Medic, Marksman, Farming, Hunting, etc.) and bolster attributes (intelligence, Endurance, Stamina, Strength, etc..) to help increase their odds of survival. Mastery of a skill is influenced by the developed attributes. Skills can be improved upon by locating and "consuming" how-to media (CD's, Books, films), being taught a skill by another player or NPC (non-player character), and/or being awarded information for the successful completion of a quest.

Players are strongly encouraged, but not required, to join together into groups as the numbers of skills an individual possesses will not amount to more than 25% of the total number of skills available. In adding to the skill "pool" a group can construct stronger and more technologically advanced base camps, a group can more easily sustain themselves with food and water, and a groups is better able to enhance protection from the undead and other players.

Game Philosophy
The individual is paramount. There is no law outside of a Settlement and little rules if any within a group. Each player does what is in his or her best interests to keep him/her self and those he or she cares about alive.
Group membership is not mandatory, but there are obvious advantages.
Killing other players, non-group members, for gain is permitted at anytime but will eventually have a way of coming back at a player (Consequential Rules and Karma).
Consequential Rules System
The underlying strategy that has a player eventually account for what he or she does. Cause and effect.

Karma System
Each thing a player does has a behind the scenes, not visible to anyone, tally marker. A player who's tally marker is a positive number, as opposed to a negative number or zero, will add to or take away from any probability based decision points throughout the players lifetime.
Example, a player kills someone in the wilderness unprovoked, without witnesses. He gathers food, weapons, and other supplies and moved on. Later he meets a group of people in a a minor settlement. The odds of someone in that settlement recognizing any of the gear the player had taken from the murdered player will be influenced by Karma.

There is much much more to be said about the workings and the setting of the project but I'm hoping what was posted would be enough to whet the appetite of some here who would want to get involved financially to bring this project to live testing and then to market. In 24 months we have not been idle. Many of the foundation systems are constructed (inventory, storage, health(thirst), stamina, damage, restoration, base building, crafting, custom character creation, custom undead creation, and likely more I'm not thing of offhand) and we have models for male and female characters and several variants of our undead characters (with basic AI - recognize, pursue, catch, much and or die). These things need a live on-line server to be combined into making a fully operational and publicly accessible beta platform prior to going to market.

The attached screenshots are draft images from the game itself.

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  • Posted by  $  Technocracy 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    I'm still interested in volunteering as a tester AJ
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    • Posted by  $  10 months, 2 weeks ago

      I got notification from the US patent and Trademark office that my application is pending because its not entirely up to their specifications. I have to get a working product in place, advertise it for distribution on a public site (my website), and provided downloadable content (access to the alpha demo) within 6 months.

      If I can obtain funding, and I'm actively pursuing several options, we should have something in play within 90 days. We got the core aspect of the game completed and whats remaining is combining it all in one place and building the more unique aspects of the concept.

      Its a lot of work coordinating a global team but it seems to be working out pretty well. A few more skilled developers and we should easily meet the deadline with even more than we planned.

      Thanks for the interest.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    If I remember correctly, I did some "free" consulting for the game. I now know what I would like in "payment". Please set me up as an alchemist shopkeeper for game purposes. In exchange for some of their credits, players will be able to e-mail the nanotechnology professor (me) in real life for consultation and also purchase in-game supplies to help them defeat anything nano. My "payment" becomes the advertising I get to do for my nanotech minor program, which occasionally pops up here in Galt's Gulch.

    If you remember Nethack or Rogue, there was a shopkeeper named Izchak who sold lighting supplies. Killing Izchak made the game unwinnable. I would like any attack on my shopkeeper character to result in an instadeath. Thanks, AJ.

    Items to put in my shop:

    Salt: Replacement of the capping agents on nano items with ions is a long term deactivation mechanism for anything nano. This should be applied in very small quantities to any liquid consumed by players for its antimicrobial properties.

    Wand of fire: Heating nanoparticles (NP's) leads to aggregation, which makes them no longer nano and thereby less effective against you. In effect, it works like a wand of cancellation, except with the additional potential damage from the fire. Wands will not be allowed to be used in my shop. Otherwise, the other chemicals could explode.

    Wand of cancellation: Same principle as wand of fire, without the fire hazard

    Suspensions of TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles (or Turtle Wax for cars) to be applied as coatings on any surface that needs to be either disinfected or permanently protect those surfaces.

    Cloves of garlic: Not only does this ward off undead, but consumption by the player results in temporary healing and defense against airborne attacks, which probably should be the most virulent in the game.

    Consulting services: I will use a range of microscopies, spectroscopies, zeta potential analysis, pore/surface area analyzers, etc. to diagnose "diseases" caused by contact with nanites. Such diseases should cause quick deaths, but not instadeaths, allowing players to come to me as a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

    I know I should have thought of a lot of this before, but I didn't have a clear enough picture at the time of the goals of the project. I'll think of more, but I need to go teach a review session for a final!
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    • Posted by  $  10 months, 2 weeks ago
      Hello Jbrenner,

      Don't for a minute think I'd forgotten your input. In the game the remnants of technological man are contained within Settlements, multi-story structure made of metal constructed specifically protect and preserve whats left og humanity. These Settlements each have a degree of technology and structured society which include a commerce level. I had already planned on naming one of the shops, or perhaps a medical center, in one of the settlements to reflect your contribution. I could place your alchemy shop in one of the minor settlements, not so high tech but far more numerous.

      I'll definitely consider the items you suggest, though I may have to contemporize them a bit to fit properly into the setting.

      Intrigued about the email aspect. I hadn't considered that. Perhaps the game character (would have to make one for any of these things) could be a historian who answers questions while providing game lore?
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    • Posted by  $  jbrenner 10 months, 2 weeks ago
      When people come to my shop, they should be greeted by a bouncer/receptionist who will ask them the following passcode:

      1) Who is John Galt?
      Upon successful answering to 1),
      2) What is John Galt's oath?
      Upon successful answering to 2),
      3) Can you honestly recite Galt's oath?

      Incorrect answers to 1) or 2) should result in the following:
      You may think you know the ways of the force, young Padawan, but true knowledge of the force requires you to have the correct philosophy.

      Also I would like to sell the following light sabers to potential customers:

      Infrared - Most nanoparticles (NPs) used in biomedical imaging are tuned to the infrared, so this light saber does not destroy the opponent, but it does illuminate the opponent's infectious areas. When used, it will act like a stethoscope. The NPs, however, are capable of harvesting infrared light, so using an infrared light saber on nanites will also increase their number of hit points. When applied on nanites, the user should get the message:

      You do not know the ways of the q1q2/r^2 yet! E = hc/lambda. The band gap energy, E, is a function of the size of the nanoparticles!
      This should result in an alignment penalty as well.

      Red - So you are a Sith! It is time for you to feel the power of the Dark Side! Player receives a 3d20 hit point penalty. If the player survives, the only nanite characters that a red light saber will destroy are those glowing in the infrared.

      Blue or Green - Rebel scum! Player receives a 3d20 hit point penalty. If the player survives, the only nanite characters that a blue or green light saber will damage are those at lower energies.

      Ultraviolet - Use causes any nanite in the visible or infrared spectra to be damaged, but also inflicts some damage on the user if not wearing clothing on that body part.

      X-Ray - Use causes any nanite in the UV, visible or infrared spectra to be damaged, but it inflicts damage on the user unless the user is wearing an X-ray absorbing smock. I will sell these as well, under the name of dental apron.

      The damage inflicted on the user for UV and X-ray light sabers will be dependent on whether the user has received proper training.

      When the prospective customer comes to my character, I will ask him/her whether he/she truly understands the way of the mv^2/r. If he/she asks to buy a light saber, I will ask him/her whether he/she wants training for that. Like a gun, a light saber is a weapon.

      Perhaps a better response to use of the wand of fire or any use of force against me (the shopkeeper) will result in me surviving, but the entire shop/laboratory is destroyed in the way that Galt's lab was destroyed near the end of AS.

      I wouldn't be opposed to a musical passcode.
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      • Posted by  $  10 months, 2 weeks ago
        I need to be a bit more subtle. The central lure of the game will be exploration, discovery and survival. The messages that are provided throughout the experience (the game never ends unless one never logs back in) will be there, just inferred via action and events.

        What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? :)
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        • Posted by  $  jbrenner 10 months, 2 weeks ago
          How about this?
          You may think you know the ways of the force, young Padawan, but true knowledge of the force requires you to get the proper training.
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          • Posted by  $  10 months, 2 weeks ago
            lol, I can see Disney's copyright infringement already. Having a character, your character, as a sage for wisdom is definitely something that can be done (probably a robot). But an NPC (non-player character) entity would be limited to one location, unless I turn you into a max headroom - like avatar.
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  • Posted by  $  10 months, 2 weeks ago
    A few questions have been asked and I need to apologize for not being more detailed initially. I do appreciate those of you who have asked. Thank you.
    There are a variety of ways to contribute to this project.

    Of immediate need:
    • A dedicated web server to host a testing environment
    • An additional 3D artists who specializes in the creation of objects as conceived by my mind (scary) (we have two)
    • 3D artists specializing in skin texturing, clothing creation, and some world building.
    • While I have two programmers (one C++ the other more blueprint oriented) another would certainly help to speed up the process.

    Why not use a crowd fund service?
    Money. Most crowd funding organizations take 8-10% of whatever is collected as a service fee. While I do not begrudge those services their due, when talking of thousands of dollars that 8-10% fee really could amount to something useful being done to advance the project. I'd prefer to avoid a crowd funding service if at all possible and, hopefully, limit investors to a handful.
    Benefactors are those who can invest financial support to the project in exchange for a percentage of the net sales of the game. Tempest Productions LLC (my company created specifically for this project) is looking to privately raise $30,000+ by offering shares in future profits.

    I can't invest that kind of money but I'd still like to help?
    Outside of the skills and item listed above we are offering advertising spots in the game world. By this I refer to the naming of things in our world. We literally have thousands of objects that would provide 24/7 name exposure to potentially tens of thousands of people worldwide - store chains, military bases, naval yards, airports, maglev rail stations, islands, mountain ranges, lakes, billboards, truck trailer advertisement, town/city names, weapon names, etc.

    Donations of $250+ would offer the patron a choice of what object to name and how. (eg. store chain, trucking chain, a city or town, a specific building, a base camp, an airport, a maglev rail station, a pier, a weapon, a robot class, etc.). Patron donating $250.00 would also receive a 5 player Advanced license to use or give as a gift with access to our first stable beta.

    Donations of $100+ would provide the patron with a single object (a store, a base camp, a billboard, brand name on a scavenged product) Patron would also receive a 3 player Advanced license to use or give as a gift with access to our first stable beta.
    Donations up to $100 would receive a two Advanced licenses with early access to our first stable beta release.

    * Beta access is a testing phase where those invited can offer their feedback and suggestions to improve the game. Those who participate in the Beta will carry the title "Founder" in their player game profile and be given a unique Katana sword of a quality that will never be found (or crafted) in the game. Discussion is ongoing as to addition benefits – an additional skill or perhaps some degree of in- game money for micro purchases.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 10 months, 2 weeks ago
      Sounds fascinating, AJA.
      Are you planning to have your own web server and place it in a facility, or do you plan to rent a web server from a hosting service company?
      If its the former, there is a glut of used servers being sold at what I think are low prices given the hardware being included. Contact me via PM and I will be happy to share the resource if it will be of help. I'd also be happy to alpha/beta test if that helps; I developed end-user custom financial software myself for large companies (but not games.)
      I wish you every success;^)
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      • Posted by  $  10 months, 2 weeks ago
        Thank you.

        I am capable of running and managing my own server (20+ years IT network design and management) but the way things seem to be headed its probably best for accessibility, bandwidth, and fault tolerance to rent out a server with root access from a hosting company (about $150/mo).

        We will certainly be looking for beta testers once we have a functional demo environment and will let you know. (under construction)
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