Vigilantes is a crime themed, turn based tactical RPG for Windows, Mac and Linux. It's the second title by Timeslip Softworks, a startup studio based in Letterkenny, Ireland. The studio's first release was Deadstone, which launched on Steam in late 2014.
Vigilantes is a combat RPG and features tense tactical battles with fists, firearms and explosives, deep character development, surveillance operations, memorable allies, and a wide range of equipment to loot, buy and craft. You play as Sam Contino, an idealist dragged down the rabbit hole of vigilantism, as he works to bring down the three gangs which dominate the declining city of Reiker: the mafia, paramilitary survivalists, and the Church of the Final Exodus.
Who We Are
Timeslip Softworks was founded in mid 2014, by Daithi Mc Hugh, who had just graduated with a degree in computing. Given the choice of working as an industry programmer or taking the uncertain course of pursuing his lifelong dream of game development, he opted for the latter. At present, the studio has one coder (Daithi) and one artist (Olga) and works with a number of outside talents on a freelance basis.
Why a Turn Based Tactical RPG?
You may be wondering why we chose to take on a genre as large in scope as the turn based RPG, given the size of the development team. The answer is as simple as it is irrational: passion. We grew up fighting off alien invasions in X-Com, surviving the apocalypse in Fallout, and liberating Metavira from a ruthless dictator in Jagged Alliance. We want others to experience the same compelling combination of strategic depth and tactical tension that made such a powerful and lasting impression on us. We want to be part of a revival of a beloved genre, which for years had fallen by the wayside.
While we admire classic turn based strategy titles, it was important for us to push the game that would become Vigilantes into fresh territory. The process began with a desire to avoid common turn based settings. After working through half a dozen options, we decided on a declining, modern city in the midst of an unprecedented crime wave. This choice provided a fresh direction, while playing to Olga's strengths in art, and Daithi's inclinations for story telling.
Vigilantes has a distinctive painted art style which is one of the foundations of the game's neo noir aesthetic. Anti-heroes and villains, tough guys bathed in neon, and dark happenings in abandoned alleyways are all brought to life by Olga's distinctive dark style.
Development of Vigilantes started in November 2014. The intent was to implement the most complex components first: AI and inventory. This in turn required the implementation of numerous pre-requisites including the tile system, the item class, UI, path-finding, basic combat and character systems. Given the substantial leap in complexity from the studio's first game, much learning and experimentation was required to get the basic framework in place, but this is part of the fun and challenge of game development! Since we're on the topic of fun, here's the voiced intro video for Ray Case, private eye.
First Public Release
On March 30th, 2016 the first public alpha was released. The response was mostly positive, even though there wasn't much content, and we received a lot of insightful feedback, which has helped us to improve the game. We're now on alpha version 10, which has 3 hours of gameplay over nine missions, with eight enemy types, more than 25 items, crafting, and three voiced companions. Vigilantes is in the region of 65% complete, with most of the remaining work being in content and balancing. The most recent demo can be found here.
Greenlight and Kickstarter
Vigilantes is expected to release in May 2017. Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns have recently launched for Vigilantes. Running one is demanding, running both with a small team... well you mightn't be getting much sleep for a couple of weeks. The response so far has been very positive. Vigilantes is at 92% of the way to the top 100 on Steam, and 56% of our modest goal of €5,000 has been raised on Kickstarter, with 32 days to go. It's both rewarding and very humbling to see so much confidence in our team and our game, and really helps us at a very demanding part of the development process. Thanks for reading and wish us luck!