Kickstart This! Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale

Business is booming on the Kickstarter block this month. In the last couple of weeks, there has been a plethora of game projects launched which I have wanted to throw money at. That includes Copper Dreams by Whalenought Studios, an isometric cyber-espionage RPG that looks like the Syndicate update we all deserve. There was also the launch of Nadia Was Here from Dutch developer Joep Aben. It is a beautiful top-down RPG with classic 8-bit graphics and sound fused with a brand new battle system.

However, my pick this week falls into a genre I often shy away from: online shooters. Forgive me readers, I am trying to move with the times. I have Destiny and Star Wars Battlefront in my pile, but I’m old-fashioned in the sense that I like to immerse myself in a single-player story campaign. Despite this, I have found something appealing in Define Human Studios’s Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale.

Read on to see what made me get my multiplayer on…

Project: Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale
Genre: Online FPS
Platforms: PC, Oculus, Steam VR, PS4, Xbox One
Funding Target: S40,000

What Is It?
Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale’s subtitle gives away the major appeal of the game to me. This is made for fans of Battle Royale or the recent The Hunger Games phenomenon, where a group of people are dropped into an arena, and fight to be the sole survivor. Other FPS games may feature a “Last Man Standing” mode, but never to this degree or with this much focus on that aspect, as 100 players join every match to see who survives.

It certainly makes 5v1 efforts seem minuscule.

There is, of course, a story as to why you are fighting. An alien race, known as the Nyne, select you and 99 other humans to duke it out on one of their three specially-created floating island arenas. While the whole island is accessible, as the game progresses, a deadly plasma field will begin to encroach on the island, making the safe area smaller, forcing you to confront the others.

Why Fund It?
As in the films mentioned, players must not only hunt the others trapped in the arena, but there are elements of scavenging and co-operation that turn this into much more than an online-only FPS. And just like The Hunger Games, the Nyne are watching, and will implement the plasma field to restrict the game area and make the battle more competitive.

Player progression is through a competitive ranking system. The longer you survive, the higher your pay-out, allowing you access to special tier armour. However, the game’s developers have insisted there is no pay progression system, so you will have to earn those rewards. There is however a betting system, where you can use in-game credits and reap the rewards should your chosen player or team come through.

Speaking of chosen players, the game features three modes – solo, team doubles, and five person. The first sees you battle with 99 other players. You can invite others to play in the same game as you, but you will not drop in the same spot. Team doubles throws a curve ball into the mix, pitting you and a friend against 49 other teams. However, should one of you die, you can be revived by the other player visiting a designated revival point. You must wait here until your partner has been resuscitated, but during this time, your location is broadcast to the other teams. Finally, the five person mode is the same as team doubles, only with 20, five person teams all hunting each other.

Like Nintendo’s recent genre-bender Splatoon, there are only a small number of arenas, three in the current build, but more have been promised should the game progress forward. The current areas have three distinct terrains, from tropical forests to alien landscapes. The drop-points, safe zones, and scavenger items are all randomised, so it will not be a case of memorising where you appear. Players will have to learn the terrain to figure out how to best survive.

Best Rewards?

  • Digital copy of the game, plus a special backer tag in forums – $20 (early bird limited to 300 – S18)
  • Previous rewards, plus alpha access, exclusive Kickstarter weapon skins, digital art book, back badge for use in game along with 1000 credits – $30
  • Previous rewards, plus rare armor set, Kickstarter exclusive taunt animation, and your name in the credits as a founder – $50
  • Previous rewards, plus an extra copy of the game and a kill tracker attachment for use in-game on a specific weapon – $80
  • Previous rewards, three copies of the game in total, 2000 in-game credits, and access to Design Decision forum – $150
  • Previous rewards, four copies of the game in total, 3000 in-game credits, two kill tracker attachments, exclusive Immortal level skins, your name and picture in the game, and immortalized in the game’s credits – $300

Until Next Time…
If Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale can attract me, a non-multiplayer fan, to join the fray, I’m hoping it will appeal to you as well, especially with the level of thought that has gone into the game and its backer rewards.

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In addition to being Warp Zoned's UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you're inclined, visit his personal website.

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