Alpha Abyss Crew : a multiplayer coop videogame in a steampunk submarine

Pollux568

Member
Hi guys !

I would like to present you the game I am developing since March 2016, named "Abyss Crew".

It is a cooperative game, multiplayer only, with a similar concept as Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator for those who know it. For the others, Artemis is a spaceship crew simulator in a Star-Trek like universe, which is played only in multiplayer, often locally (rather than by internet). Each player has a role in the spaceship: helm (pilot), captain, weapon, etc., and each has access to different controls: the pilot moves the ship, the comm sends messages to other spaceships, etc. I really like this game, because although some bad sides (space is in 2D and is only 100 km long, some roles are uninteresting, graphics are rather poor), you need to cooperate with your friends, to communicate cleverly, you have relax and tense moments: we really feel to participate to a common adventure, and that's really great :)
This game is almost the only one with this concept. Rare clones have been developed, always in the same universe. Since March, Ubisoft has announced a big project with this concept (Star Trek Bridge Crew)... But it is still a Star Trek spaceship... (Using VR. I have doubts on their marketing strategy but nevermind).

So, I wanted to make another "crew simulation game", but it will be held in a submarine in a steampunk victorian universe. There are 5 roles, with 2 optionals, so we can play at 3, 4 or 5 in a submarine. I plan to allow several submarines, so that we can play with even more friends :)
The idea is to invite his friends an evening, as for a boardgame, so to facilitate that, the game will be playable on computer and tablets.
The 5 planned roles are: pilot, radio, gunner, captain and engineer. The pilot maneuvers the submarine, the radio manages the radar and the sonar to identify what's around the submarine, the gunner shoots torpedos, engineer manages energy and repairs the submarine, and the captain tries to coordinate everything as he can... If a player fails his job, the whole crew can die !

Among my inspiration, there is Sunless Sea (for the game design), Faster Than Light (for the ship handling), and naturally Artemis as mentioned above.

Here are some pictures:
Pilot view:


Radio view:


Gunner view:


One artwork of the game:


And at last, a trailer:

The game has been presented in the Montreal Independent Game Festival last month, where it has been warmly welcomed, and will be presented in the Montreal International Game Summit from the 13th to the 15th November. For those who are in Montreal, you are welcome to visit us!
The team is mainly made of a lead developer (myself) and a graphic designer (named burgzaza).
The game is under development - only 3 of the 5 roles are playable right now, and there is only one small map as a level. We don't release demo yet, because we want first a stable game (notably for the network), with all major mechanics included.
If you are interested to participate to the project, or to know more about it, feel free!
We have also finished a website which is available here: www.abysscrew.com
 
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HighlandCoo

Member
this looks really great, will you be including AI crewmates? Nothing more frustrating than being unable to play without a full 4 man team (who even has 4 friends? :p)
 

Pollux568

Member
I know... But in our opinion, main interest of this game is to be played with your friends, like a board games.
Instead of coding AI crewmates, we plan to make the game as flexible as possible by creating different types of submarines, ones which can be handled by 3, 4 or 5 players (in the version 1.0 of the game) and simpler ones which can be handled by 1 or 2 players (version 2.0 of the game).
 

Pollux568

Member
Hi !
Important news: the game has a new name. We shouldn't call it "The S.Crew: Under the Sea", but "Abyss Crew".
I updated the topic above. We also have a website now: www.abysscrew.com

The development is going well. Here are the last screenshots:
The pilot:

The radio :

The gunner :

What do you think on the new appearance? Still monochrome, but with a view of the heightmap, and a lighting system, but it might be a little dark.
 

Pollux568

Member
Hi fellow gamemaker developers,

After 1 year of development (already!) since my last post, here are some news. We are preparing tons of very exciting stuff for Abyss Crew!

First, here are some animated GIF!

The eye of the kraken


Element selection


Submarine modules view


Trailer
We have also made a trailer during a chalet with some friends:
After viewing our creation we decided to stop now our acting career and return to the game development...

Playtest
Also, we are organizing a playtest in Montreal, QC, Canada at the end of the month. It will take place on Thursday, 25. January from 6:30pm, at the Gameplay Space location,1435 Rue St-Alexandre, Montreal H3A 2G4. Entrance is free, and there are some drinks on site. More info on the Facebook event page.

If you'd like to test the game but cannot come to Montreal, send me a small email, we'll be delighted to invite you to an online playtest. We want to have feedback on the stuff we prepared!

Poll
We currently have different logos for the game, but we don't know yet which one is the best (see above)

Right now most users prefer the 3d or the 2nd, but let us know which one do you prefer, and maybe why.

Thanks a lot for your support!

Captain Pollux568
 
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Kobold

Member
I can't help but the idea of logo 3 gets me.
Your game project looks very well done. You guys love what you're doing.
Do you actually have missions with cut-scenes in them... like the ones in your trailer?
It reminds me of the earlier Command&Conquer mission briefings .

Cool stuff!
 
G

Guest User

Guest
looks great, i feel like #3 is the only that really fits the current aesthetic of the game tbh. but it's entirely possible to redo at least #2 in the same theme and perhaps that'd look nicer, as the only thing i really don't like about #3 is how large it is.
 

Pollux568

Member
Glad you like the 3d logo!
I tried to improve it by adding some rust and better lighting, here is the result:

Do you prefer this version?
@hipstercapitalist you mean, the image is too big?
@Kobold No, sadly we don't have planned for cutscenes like in Command and Conquer. It could be cool, and we had fun doing it, but it takes way too much time :/

Also, here is a new GIF showing the gunner tube direction:
 
T

Thunder Lion

Guest
Hi fellow gamemaker developers,

After 1 year of development (already!) since my last post, here are some news. We are preparing tons of very exciting stuff for Abyss Crew!

First, here are some animated GIF!

The eye of the kraken


Element selection


Submarine modules view


Trailer
We have also made a trailer during a chalet with some friends:
After viewing our creation we decided to stop now our acting career and return to the game development...

Playtest
Also, we are organizing a playtest in Montreal, QC, Canada at the end of the month. It will take place on Thursday, 25. January from 6:30pm, at the Gameplay Space location,1435 Rue St-Alexandre, Montreal H3A 2G4. Entrance is free, and there are some drinks on site. More info on the Facebook event page.

If you'd like to test the game but cannot come to Montreal, send me a small email, we'll be delighted to invite you to an online playtest. We want to have feedback on the stuff we prepared!

Poll
We currently have different logos for the game, but we don't know yet which one is the best (see above)

Right now most users prefer the 3d or the 2nd, but let us know which one do you prefer, and maybe why.

Thanks a lot for your support!

Captain Pollux568
I like the 1st the most but after looking at the game the 3rd fits best, although , I feel the second could be reworked for the style to match the 3rd for banner use
 

CMAllen

Member
Glad you like the 3d logo!
I tried to improve it by adding some rust and better lighting, here is the result:

Do you prefer this version?
It's an improvement (and closer to the vision of the final product I'm imagining for it), though a bit rough in places, so I assume further iterations are coming?
 

HayManMarc

Member
Fantastic looking game! Agreed with logo 3. Perhaps those gears could use a bit more depth? They look like paper cutouts.
 

Pollux568

Member
@milch Let's say it's one of our intention...
Engineer: "Hey, what should we improve next?"
Radio: "Sonar is the most important, we need to see incoming enemies!"
Gunner: "No, torpedo launcher! The one we have is too slow!"
Pilot: "Hey guys, we only have one working engine left..."

Such heated debates could be fun ^^

@HayManMarc Now you say it, I see it. I'll try something.
As said a French poet (Boileau):
"Slowly hurry, and without losing courage,
Twenty times go back to your work
Polish it ceaselessly, and re-polish it,
Sometimes add, and often remove"

@CMAllen Just replied to your MP. Deeply sorry for the delay, I didn't see it :/
 

Pollux568

Member
Hi fellow Game Maker developers!
So, it is time for the official announcement:
Abyss Crew is coming on Kickstarter!
This is it... Two years after starting the project, the game has evolved a lot, and is still evolving.
For those who are not familiar with Kickstarter, it's a crowdfunding platform, where you can support a project you like. If the project doesn't reach its funding goal before the end of the campaign, no money is spent. If the project exceeds its funding goal, the game may include new stuff (stretch goals).

Funding goal for Abyss Crew is 4000 CAD$, i.e, about 3100 US$ or 2600 EUR. It will help me to fund artists/audio designers/coders. The campaign will last from next Friday (Friday, 23. February) to Sunday 18. March.

To support the project, you can:
-give 1 CAD$/0.80 US$. It may not be a big amount of money, but for us, it is worth a lot!
-buy the game at 15 CAD$/12 US$, which is a bit of a discount compared to the retail price (20 CAD$/16 US$)
-like the Facebook page, suscribe to the Youtube channel, suscribe to the newsletter. If we reach 500 likes on Facebook, 500 Youtube subscriptiona and 500 newsletter subscriptions, the next stretch goal is automatically unlocked!

And right now, you can discover the Kickstarter campaign trailer:

I count on your help to support this 100% Game Maker project :)
Especially next Friday, as the beginning of a crowdfunding campaign is particularly critical!
 
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The game looks interesting, but the trailer feels *really* slow for Kickstarter. I think you might have some problems with the campaign if you launch with this trailer. I don't know how to fix that, though, since it seems like a very slow paced game.

Best of luck to you, but I don't think your trailer is selling your game. Most of the trailer is text instead of gameplay. The gameplay you show goes by so quickly that we don't even get an idea of what makes it fun. I'd really reconsider doing another trailer before launching the campaign. If you don't, I think you might run into some rough seas ahead! (heh)

I actually think your original trailer is better...it wasn't as fancy, but it was to the point, had more exciting music, and explained what the game was better.
 

JackTurbo

Member
As you're making a co-op party play game I think you should be really pushing that aspect of the game. Maybe try and get some footage of people playing the game. Shouting at each other across the room and laughing etc?

Try and sell the experience as much as the game its self! Selling a party play game like this is very different to selling a normal single player/online multiplayer game.
 
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Yeah, this. ^
If you want to have a serious trailer, show players yelling commands at each other, scrambling to keep everything together, maybe laughing a bit in surprise/face palming when they're wiped out or whatever. Sell the tension and excitement of the experience.

Or maybe go a more light hearted route. Show the party/social/comedic appeal of the game. Give the players a few drinks to get them rowdy. Give them some goofy hats and props (captain's hat, cobb pipe, generic fisherman's sweater, etc). Show them laughing and ribbing each other when the **** hits the fan and everything goes sideways. You've got to sell the experience somehow, though.

Again, good luck.
 

Pollux568

Member
Hey I really like your art work. Did you do it yourselves or did you hire someone?
Depends on the graphics. To make it simple, what looks bad is mine and what looks cool have been made by 2 friends of mine :D
But I'd like to hire some professionals to be honest - that's the purpose of this Kickstarter in fact.

I actually think your original trailer is better...
I heard various opinions about this, some people found the original trailer too confusing (not enough gameplay, didn't feel "realistic" given our acting skills). But I agree with you, that's why I created the original trailer at the first place.
So, having seen your feedback, I decided to update the original trailer with new graphics. I'll post it here as soon as I finish it to get your opinion.

As you're making a co-op party play game I think you should be really pushing that aspect of the game. Maybe try and get some footage of people playing the game. Shouting at each other across the room and laughing etc?
Or maybe go a more light hearted route. Show the party/social/comedic appeal of the game. Give the players a few drinks to get them rowdy. Give them some goofy hats and props (captain's hat, cobb pipe, generic fisherman's sweater, etc). Show them laughing and ribbing each other when the **** hits the fan and everything goes sideways. You've got to sell the experience somehow, though.
Yeah, it seems a good advice. It will be hard to do that in the next days, but it's definitely the next trailer I should do.
Too bad I didn't think to record videos during festivals - especially kids, they seem to love the game, they really are in the mood!
 

Pollux568

Member
And...
The Kickstarter campaign has just started!
Here is a link towards the page that we have prepared during the 2 last months: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/98046098/abyss-crew-a-coop-submarine-game

You can discover a new video, the last game graphics, some great drawings...
For now it goes well, and the game has been selected in the "projects we love" on Kickstarter

Here is the first stretch goal:


To support the project, you can share the page with your friends and on Facebook, and make a pledge naturally :)

Thank you very much!
 

Pollux568

Member
Hi!

Some news about the game:
* An important update, the "Orichalcum" update, has been released: it finalizes the mechanisms of the 4 main roles, especially the Engineer one:


* The game won the "Pitch Your Game" contest in the Lyon Geek Touch. Some interviews, in French, here:
https://t.co/5u7EYI4oKU
and here:


* Interested to playtest the game? Come on our Discord to get the latest demo, we'll be glad to get some feedback! We're also doing some public playtests from time to time, if you wish to play the game with the devs.

* Some various GIF:
The new sonar:


Moving the screen with the mouse:


Game Maker is able to make great stuff, I am really glad to have chosen this software at the beginning of the project :)
 
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