We continue the cycle dedicated to projects that are in search of investments and publishers. Next up is material about a turn—based role-playing game from the German-based GG Studio.

Roman Lovchikov, the team's lead programmer, spoke about the project.

Roman Lovchikov

About the team

Seven people are working on the project full-time.

1. Game Director and founder of GG Studio

Six years of experience in game development (previously served as CEO and lead designer at Tiamat Games). He is engaged in game design, marketing, project management and advertising.

2. Lead Programmer

He has been working at GG Studio since the very beginning. Six years of experience in developing games on Unity and three years in developing commercial projects (Wild Forest — Night is Coming, Maritime Calling and other projects). Responsible for the code and architecture.

3. 3D animator

Six years of experience as a freelancer (Crysmo, Force Of Nature 2 and other projects). Responsible for 3D animation, rigging, skinning, sculpting, modeling, texturing, 2D art, 2D and technical animation.

4. VFX artist

Five years of relevant experience in developing games for PC and mobile devices. He is engaged in technical art and design.

5. 2D artist

Three years of relevant experience in game development as a freelancer (character concept art) and a year of full-time employment in the studio. The project deals with UI/UX, character concept art, VFX, as well as the preparation of illustrations and promotional materials for social networks.

6. 3D artist

Five years of experience in game development as a freelancer on various projects and as an artist at Tiamat Games. Responsible for modeling and texturing the environment and characters.

7. Narrative Designer

A total of nine employees work in the studio.

About the project

​Hidden Pass is a tactical turn—based role-playing game with elements of 4X strategy. Accordingly, we attribute it to three genres at once: RPG, Indie, Strategy (game tags on Steam: Strategy, Turn-Based Tactics, Tactical RPG, Indie).

The gameplay of the game can be described as Fort Triumph with elements of Mutans Zero: Road to Eden.

So far, the project is being created with an eye to a single passage. The game campaign is designed for about 20 hours. But it is also possible to add a cooperative.

The future platform is PC. With third-party support, we are ready to consider the possibility of a game on consoles.

The alpha version of the game is coming out in May this year. The early access release of the game is scheduled for the third or fourth quarter of 2024. By mid-2025, the first DLC will be released for Hidden Pass.

The game is being created on Unity.

About the gameplay/mechanics of the project

The basic gameplay is divided into two parts — a tactical action game (60-70% of the game) and a 4X strategy (20%) with anchor inserts / quests.

The combat system of the game is a tactical turn—based one. One of the closest analogues is Into The Breach. Only it is a little simpler, made in 3D and has its own characteristics.

The key aspects of the combat system are as follows:

  • multi—level battle maps - each battle takes place at three heights at once, between which units can move (being at heights gives a tactical advantage);
  • inverted magic system — using mana reduces health, but increases the strength of a unit;
  • high dynamics of battles due to the fact that the player cannot use more than four units at a time in battle (if they are killed right during the battle, you can call for reinforcements);
  • the presence in the game of both hero units that are pumped from battle to battle, and automaton robots produced at the base in strategic mode.

The strategic gameplay is similar to a simplified and more balanced variation of Endless Space 2. In this mode, the player including:

  • rebuilds the base — the Tower of the Wanderers (it is possible to build seven buildings in which the player studies the abilities of heroes, builds automatons, pumps technologies, and so on);
  • moves the base around the world of the game, which affects the flow of resources, the ability to receive reinforcements for expeditions and defense capabilities.

About the target audience of the project

There are quite a few high-quality and successful games with a combination of turn-based RPG, battles with a deep tactical component based on a combination of abilities and a global economic system like in Hidden Pass on the market:

The data is current as of February 5, 2024 (source: vginsights.com and steamdb.info ).

Among those games that are currently in development, we have not found any similar to Hidden Pass.

As our target audience, we consider active players with an average playing time of more than 60 hours in games such as Heroes of Might and Magic, Songs of Conquest, Eador, Fort Triumph, SpellForce: Conquest of Eo and Age of Wonders 4.

The audience mostly plays such games on PC, that is, on platforms such as Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG. Also, among the turn-based strategy players, there are those who prefer consoles.

We plan to communicate with the audience through the following channels:

  • Twitter (@songsofconquest, @FortTriumph, @BannerSaga, etc.,);
  • Reddit and Reddit ads (/r/TBS, r/Turn Based Tactical, r/mutantyearzero, etc.,);
  • Facebook* and Google ads (targeted);
  • Cross Promo Campaigns (negotiations are already underway).

About the business model of the project

The business model is direct sales (premium).

Although we take a conservative view of our market position, we believe that our game has solid potential for success based on the performance of similar games. By the end of 2024, we plan to sell at least 30 thousand copies.

Our sales forecast extends to the middle of 2025, and the overall goal is 50 thousand copies sold. Given the planned launch of our DLC (end of 2025) and strategic investments in marketing, we are confident that this goal is quite achievable.

According to current data, the average rating of such games among users exceeds 80-85%. This indicates the high popularity of the genre. It also means that the audience is waiting for similar projects.

The main difficulty is to show the Hidden Pass to the target audience and correctly convey the information to the players. Our goal is not to show a lot of innovations, but to give the best gaming experience based on current selling features.

About metrics

We have a signed contract with a pretty strong PR agency that will help us promote our game.

Our KPIs on Steam:

  • impressions > 5 million;
  • CTR (impressions/vishlist) > 20%;
  • CCU > 300 in the first two hours after release; CCU > 1000 in the first five hours after release;
  • Steam reviews > 100 (very positive) in the first 12 hours after release;
  • Steam sales > 1000 copies sold in the first 24 hours;
  • Steamlist conversion rate > 5%.

These indicators (or close to them) will make it possible to realize the planned number of copies (50 thousand in 2024).

Who are we looking for

1. An investor who is ready to become one of the founders and strengthen the current budget, which will mainly go to PR, marketing, QA and localization.

2. A publisher for the Asian region, in particular, someone who has expertise in promoting games to China. Plus, I am ready to provide professional help: QA, localization and take over porting the game to the console.

You can combine these two points, or work only on one of them.

The planned cost of the base game is from $20 per copy. The final cost of the game will depend on the amount of gameplay. With additional funding, $30 is more likely.

The volume of the required investments is up to 10.4 million rubles for the founder investor. And it is discussed for the publisher, depending on the conditions.

Professional help: QA, localization and porting to the console.

The forms and figures for cooperation are discussed.

How do I get in touch?

*Owned by Meta. It is recognized as an extremist organization in the Russian Federation, and its activities are prohibited in the country.