The Continuum introduces gamers to the Crossworld, a plane of reality formed when four others collapsed into each other during a Disruption in the space/time continuum. Landforms and creatures have come spilling in from other worlds, and the confused inhabitants of this new land find themselves caught up in battles for power, resources and protection. The cobbled-together world of the Crossworld contains ruins from the great Legion city, which finds itself near the inhabited forest of the shape-shifting Ursa, which in turn lies near the great mountains or ruined villages of the Vampires. No ones knows why they’re here, and as strange as the land has become, the other beings they meet are stranger still. Conflicts both global and personal arise out of this new existence and central to every character’s journey are questions. What caused these worlds to collide? Who is responsible for this Disruption? What else is coming? Comics, web fiction, animation and hidden narratives will answer these and other questions as players uncover the secrets of The Continuum.
1. BLEND OF BEST GAMING FEATURES
The Continuum blends the best elements from gamers’ favorite genres like turn-based strategy gaming, collectible gaming, RPGs and virtual economies into an all-new yet familiar gaming experience. In addition, the gameplay and community elements are constantly changing to alter the gaming experience as well as to satisfy players’ desire for competition and recognition.
2. A CONSTANT STREAM OF NEW CONTENT
Seven Lights has created a system where they can introduce characters, abilities, equipment, events, tournaments and narrative in an ongoing, real-time basis. The game will respond to the needs and wants of the players, and the opportunities to gain exclusive content for the players’ collections will continue from launch until sequel. Also, as items and behaviors become popular and people start to show proclivity for specific battle maps and characters, the company will change the way content is created for players based on their tastes.
3. COST-EFFECTIVE GAMING
The Continuum game is free to play. With registration, you have access to the game and start with a number of starter characters. Additional character packs can be purchased at nominal fees of $2 -$10 for randomly generated sets. Players will also have the choice to buy subscriptions for the in-game collectibles, which on a per-unit cost will cost them less than buying all the assets individually.
However, paying for more characters will not give a player any advantage in gameplay. Players that practice and hone their characters, strategies and knowledge of the game will be the ones who have any advantage. The game is designed so that someone who only has 5 characters can find people with similar armies to battle against. A dynamic point-value system is setup so that players are matched by the relative strength of the armies they wish to field in battle.
4. EVEN PLAYING FIELD
The Continuum’s gameplay provides an even playing field for all gamers, no matter how much money or time a player has invested. Since The Continuum is a free-to-play, pay-for-items model, Seven Lights has gone out of its way to ensure that it’s not about “the more you pay, the better you are.” Rather, this system allows a player to spend $5 on the game and develop a smaller group of characters into an elite fighting force if that’s the way they’d like to experience the game. Spending more to collect the whole series of characters can be done, but that doesn’t mean all of them will be fielded in each battle.
There are a number of play-balancing systems in the game to keep things fair:
1) The point-value system allocates a certain number to each character based on innate power, characteristics, and level.
2) Players have a Rank, telling players where they stand in terms of experience/skill. Other players can examine their record and scout their play history as well. These elements are visible to potential opponents prior to playing.
3) The Game Setup screen is a double-opt-in term negotiation that doesn’t progress without consent by both players.
5. DEEP AND INVOLVING NARRATIVE
Seven Lights will progress the narrative for The Continuum by releasing new web experiences, as well as comic books that expand the storyline. In the comic books, Seven Lights will introduce the game’s characters and histories, but players will also find secrets about the game, puzzles that, upon solving, open up game content, and previews of things to come. In addition, the narrative will change depending on the way players behave.
6. PLAYER ACTIVITY AND PLAY DIRECTS THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE GAME AND NARRATIVE
Actions by the players will direct the course of the game development and narrative as the most popular characters emerge, the course of battles is recorded and the nature of abilities is revealed.
Seven Lights will be able to monitor the way players behave and will be able to see the rate at which people use abilities, what the most popular maps are, etc… Seven Lights will then incorporate some of these game findings into the ongoing storylines, both online in the game and offline in The Continuum comic books. For example, if a particular battle map tends to turn out a certain way, with certain characters/combinations becoming dominant, the next comic book scene that happens in that environment will play out a similar result. In addition, Seven Lights will be holding “story” events, where the winners of a particular tournament or promotion will appear in the storyline as characters that figure prominently in the plotline.
7. PERSISTENT COLLECTION OF CHARACTERS
In The Continuum, the players’ characters stay in their account throughout their experience with the game (versions 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc.). As the player gets deeper into the game, they can develop the units in their collection in ‘classic’ RPG fashion— gaining power from abilities, characteristics and equipment. The value of individual characters can increase in very interesting and different ways due to the fact that players have multiple paths for developing not just one character as in an RPG, but developing each unit in their collection. Players will have a higher sense of ownership over their character collection, as they will be able to cultivate it through new expansions and sequels.
8 . TURN-BASED SQUAD-LEVEL STRATEGY
Squads explore and jockey for position on one of four opening battlefields to gain the strategic advantage in classic turn-based gameplay. When squads engage, a “combat instance” opens up to reveal the individual characters in each squad. The Combat instances offer players a host of choices for utilizing weapons, abilities and combat actions geared at decimating the opposing forces.
9 . BATTLEFIELD EXPLORATION RESULTS IN EXTRA EQUIPMENT FOR PLAYERS
Scattered throughout The Continuum’s Crossworld is an infinite amount of useful objects – stashes from broken civilizations, forgotten weapons and powerful artifacts. Finding these caches puts persistent loot into the inventories of each player, who can then equip and use the newfound treasure and equipment in current and subsequent battles.
10 . ROBUST PERSONALIZATION FEATURES
At the account level, every player receives a home page within The Continuum, including statistics from gameplay, accomplishments in the game, personalized information on the player, community features and social networking tools.
At the character level, the player determines every step of each character’s development, i.e. character names, abilities, characteristics and development. In addition, those characters can be placed into distinct armies that are ready for battle with named squads that stay with the player throughout their experience.
11 . ACCOMPLISHMENT-BASED REWARD SYSTEM
The Continuum will feature an extensive player and character award system based on everything from winning percentage to number of wins to specific accomplishments on individual battlefields. Players will be rewarded with in-game currency, new characters, exclusive content and more.
12 . SCALEABLE GAMEPLAY – FROM SKIRMISHES TO EPIC BATTLES
If players are looking for a small, quick battle, or they want to put their few most powerful characters into a gladiatorial battle, the game will match them with someone who wants the same style of play. Conversely, the player who wants to spend hours out-maneuvering massive armies on the battlefield in epic battles can find that type of match quickly and easily.
The Continuum will launch in the Spring of 2007.
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