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What we are doing are two things: we maintain Heroes V (ToE) with the goal to make it a superior strategy game; beyond that we are working on a truly ambitious TBS game, called the Eternal Essence, to be released in 2013.

At present we are a very small indie developer with a minimal budget. As of February 18th, 2012, we have received donations to fund our work of €273.00. While this does not sound much, this has already helped us to rent a server and run our own community board, which helps us to document what we do and build a community driven team. Thank you very much for everyone who donated to our cause!

The next step we will need to undertake is to raise a proper budget for the development of our Eternal Essence. We will pitch the project to publishers of whom I know that they fund indie developers like Mojang. With Double Fine's recent success, most people these days have heard about Kickstarter, and we will use a similar approach to raise the necessary funds by appealing to the fans of the genre to support us and place a preorder in good faith. What I think is important, and a key to the success of Double Fine, is to be absolutely transparent about the funds being raised and how these will be used.

Eternal Essence is much more than just another Heroes game. It is a project to bring the TBS genre back to the forefront, with an intriguing mix of gameplay elements from Heroes, Civilization and Dragon Age. While the big publishers shy away from investing big into TBS, we have many unique and mission critical assets to break new ground. This includes top talent for the AI, which is a key for the game, and outstanding design talent that can transform the way stories are told in video games. Here is an excerpt from our community board that introduces what we call the emotional interface: Eternal Essence – tools for storytelling. Non-linear storytelling and a non-linear campaign design with a groundbreaking strategic world map mode are features that have a top priority for us.

Once the next round of major upgrades for our Heroes V project is implemented — we think it is critical to have an excellent showcase for our work on the AI in order to pitch the project — we will present what we have and ask for funds. Most likely we will set up a webshop, in many ways similar to what Kickstarter does, to give fans the opportunity to support us and contribute in exchange for extras and favourable discounts on our game. In addition we will offer a limited investment opportunity of shares of €600 that will each attract a return on investment of roughly €9,000 if sales of our game will go reasonably well. We have decided there will be no more than 500 of these investment shares, because an amount between €25,000 and €300,000 will enable us to see this project through, but on a larger scale this financing instrument becomes prohibitively expensive.

If you are interested in taking up one of our Eternal Essence investment shares, please feel free to contact me (Quantomas) with a PM at our community board. You need to register to use our board's messaging system. While we have not yet published the terms, we have already sorted out the details and it would be a huge relief to us to secure the initial funds necessary for the project.

In general we have a number of scalable options how to produce Eternal Essence, so that we can do with a minimum of funds but better funding will lead to a game that realizes its potential more fully. In any case we will be able to create an outstanding strategy game with an excellent AI and a groundbreaking non-linear campaign mode. With more funds we will be able to bring additional talent on board, writers, artists and designers to flesh out the game. This includes music, original artwork, in-depth writing, dialogs with voice acting and such. I am confident that we can blend together an intriguing mix of strategic campaigning and empire building mechanics that give the player multiple options to play the game, whether it is a focus on military campaigns (think Heroes) or creating a thriving kingdom (think Civilization). The Eternal Essence, the universal magic in the game world, will allow us to create unique gameplay mechanics.

The third layer, in addition to campaigning and civilization building, focuses on quests fulfilled personally by the king and key characters. It is possible to do that with a small budget and text adventures, similar to what Space Rangers 2 did with quests on planets, but with a bigger budget the world can be fleshed out fully like Neverwinter Nights or Dragon Age and incorporate an immersive environment, a world in full 3D, that will let the player experience the Eternal Essence directly. The core idea is to have a game that revolves around the Eternal Essence, and the emotional interface explained above, and ties the different gameplay elements together for an exceptional experience that is much more than the sum of its parts.

It is also a viable option, with our involvement with Heroes V, to release incremental builds and campaigns that are meant to be played with features partially from Heroes V on the one hand and from Eternal Essence on the other. It would make sense to release such campaigns or expansions as digital download and as a part of a larger attractor that helps to build the community, and get more people on board of our project and convince them to take up our preorder offer. The additional funds could be used to upgrade the game and achieve more.

If you decide to support us before our webshop is up and running, this is possible. If you send me a PM at our community board as explained above, I will make sure that you receive all the benefits that we offer later on.

The PayPal account below belongs to Simulation Systems Research Corporation Ltd, a small research think tank based in the UK who hosts our website currently. All donations towards Eternal Essence will go completely and directly to fund our work. Once we have secured our initial funding we will set up our studio proper in Ireland, most likely in Dublin or Galway.

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