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Ancient Savo

This is a new game currently under development, to be released in autumn 2021. Weekly development news will be posted on the project Discord server. Anyone can read, here is an invitation link: discord.gg/CsbDEab3Dt

January 2021 : in exchange to a small donation we are offering an opportunity to become part of the development-phase test team! More info at the bottom of the page.

The game idea

The game takes place in 1200 CE Eastern Finland, in a region called Savo.

A young family has decided to establish their home in remote woodlands. They pack a set of essential tools and row up the local waterways deeper into the wilderness. After a few days of rowing they feel that they are far enough to have a peaceful spot of their own. First build a shelter, then a house. Cut down a patch of forest, burn it, sow and harvest. Go fishing and hunting for additional nutrition. Children! More nutrition is needed to keep the little ones fed. And as they grow, there is more workforce.

The time-scale of the game is weeks, so in-game years flow rather smoothly so you can easily see your building projects advancing and your family growing. Although, it won't always be that easy - harsh weather can ruin your crops, accidents can cause injury. No combat - the cold, hunger and accidents being the only enemies. Sustaining your own family is the main goal, so no empire building, no need to manage an ever-increasing village population. But life in the Savonian woods isn't always that easy, most of the time you'll probably find your family low on resources, having to decide how to allocate time. Work long days to get that house finished - and run the increased risk of accidents due to overworking when tired. Or work at lower pace and run the risk of your family suffering from cold when the autumn sets in.

Point-and-click gameplay, the player decides which patch of forest to cut down, when to fish and when to farm, when to visit a market to trade surplus for new tools. Once the kids grow up you can continue playing as your off-spring - either expanding the established farm house, or finding a spouse and rowing further up the waterways to have a fresh start.

The game will run at least on Windows, Linux and Mac. Most likely also on Android, and hopefully iPhone / iPad too! The only major system requirement is Java, the game runs on it.

Project timeline

Working full-time on the project, the plan is to spend two months building the game engine and simulation. Then another few months to polish the graphics, sounds and the user interface. Then a month or two for testing and fixing bugs. That would be five or six months. But the reality is most likely going to be that I need to do some other odd jobs to sustain myself during the development phase. This will slow down the progress a bit, so let's say we have an official release in the autumn of 2021. Naturally, if things go well, we might consider an early-access release sooner.

The lead developer is Erkka Lehmus from Enormous Elk. The team also has a small bunch of friends working on graphics and musics, and providing technical support.

Crowdfunding now!

The good news is that you can support the development by donating some money! And the project backers will get access to the development-phase playable versions. The campaign will run until 29th of January 2021. You don't only get your hands on the early development version; your feedback will also be listened to. Please note that the development phase test-team releases won't be for mobile devices.

At first I was considering a full-blown IndieGoGo campaign to fund the project. But seems like such a campaign would be good with polished production quality graphics and screenshots. At the moment I don't have any, for the thing is that as a developer I feel that the game logic, the engine, the basic functionality comes first. And only when you have a functional game you allocate more time and resources to fine-tuning the visuals. Also, I'd love to allow my graphic designers a proper time to work without rushing it. So, the early development versions will run on rather simple 2D graphics (although, the finished game is planned to have a 3D representation of the game world).If you can tolerate work-in-progress UI, consider supporting the development!

Become a follower by simply joining the Discord server, following the invitation link : discord.gg/CsbDEab3Dt. Followers can read what is going on in the Discord. Followers can decide to become backers at any time, even after the crowdfunding campaign is over.

Become a backer by donating any sum of money! At Discord send me a direct message mentioning the e-mail address used in your donation, or some other way for me to connect your discord username with your donation. I will then manually grant you elevated rights at the Discord server. With backer rights you can participate in the discussion, and access more content. (I'm sorry there isn't an easy way to automatize this, so be prepared for an occasional lag of 8 - 12 hours, if I'm sleeping or working with my main work. If you feel I missed your donation, simply send me another message!)

If you don't have a PayPal account, here are the alternative ways to support development and to become a backer:

- Good old squirrel hides. Send me a personal message to ask for my mail address. Post some nice, usable, fun or helpful stuff.

- A bank transfer. Send me a message to ask for detailed instructions. I think this is a handy alternative especially in EU.

- A card payment. Send me a message, describing the amount you'd like to donate. I'll then use PayPal to send you an invoice - I think in that case the recipient can simply click "pay now" button on the invoice message, and pay it with a card instead of a paypal account.

- Send me a message suggesting your own alternative. I'm not asking anything, but I promise to consider offers and questions. (Like, are you skilled in 3D modelling, fluent with Blender and such tools, and would like to participate in the developing team? That might be possible, but at the moment I'm not actively looking to expand the team, but as the development goes on at some point I might be more than happy to outsource certain pieces of the workload)

Thanks for being interested in the project!

Great to see that you read it all the way down here! This campaign is mostly and mainly directed to people who already are familiar with the game UnReal World and the works of the Enormous Elk team. But if you know someone who might be interested in this kind of project, feel free to share a link to this page. The contents of this page will be updated as the project goes on.

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An early development phase screenshot:

an early development phase screenshot