Students and teacher collaborate to make this humorous, witty, action role playing game in the style of Zelda or Secret of Mana.
24 Hours to go and we now have 2 blogs, 2 newspaper articles (one with our first haterl!!!), one news report and one radio interview to wrap up our final week. I could not have thought of a better way to end this week. Check out our Update #7 to read all about it.
I am a mathematics teacher in Santa Maria, Ca and this all started because a program, RPG Maker went on sale at Steam. I purchased it, started playing around and let some of my students in on the action. Soon we were creating a video game that some of them were pretty proud of. The initial goal was to create a game that was one hour in length that we could show to our principal and district office to pitch as a class to earn English, mathematics and/or elective units. As our team grew so did the project and now the first act is well over an hour long. We are currently working on a donated computer in my classroom that has roughly half the processing power of my cell phone. After several untimely computer freezes and growing frustration with our glorified graphing calculator we do not believe we can finish the expanded game on our current machine.
With a couple of newer laptops, some more copies of RPG Maker and some other choice software we would be able to finish the game by the end of the school year.
The Frozen Sword is a story about an unfortunate girl who is initially being called a wiener by her younger brother and has a day that just spirals out of control. Before long she is dealing out death, immortal and has a life long nemesis. The story is light hearted and amusing at times but can quickly shift to being serious and at times, down right sad. The main story was made by a committee that included myself and three students with frequent input from my classes.
From the beginning we were looking to Zelda for gameplay ideas. Khas scripted an action battle system for RPG Maker: Sapphire Action System IV (SASIV). With his permission we integrated it into our game, allowing for fast paced action combat that fans of old school games like Zelda and Secret of Mana will immediately identify with and embrace.
With our Kickstarter surpassing its first stretch goal I thought it was time to update exactly how we are going to allocate the funds. We will be purchasing 4 Dell laptops and 2 Lenovo Ultrabooks from Costco. We will also purchase 5 copies of RPG Maker VX Ace, 1 copy of Camtasia (we have been using the trial), one Bamboo Capture Pen & Touch as well as some microphones.
All money donated to our campaign past the initial needs will go towards improving our game.
$4,000 - The extra funding will enable us to purchase full licenses for video editing, screen capture and other software (we have been using open source or trial versions) to help make our game even better. At this level we would also be able to afford two additional computers and microphones + software to make voice acting a possibility for the game. We will add voice acting for the main character for the first act with the ultimate goal of having the main character voiced throughout the game.
$8,000 - We will include voice acting for many/all characters in the entire first act plus attempt to have main characters voiced over for acts two and three. We will include 3 extra (hidden) dungeons in the game for players to enjoy.
$14,000 - This will enable us to purchase an entire class set of laptops + software and will be the first step towards Video Game creation as a class. An epilogue act will be created and available to ALL backers, this will be delivered as a stand alone act after the game is completed and does not require the full version to play.
We made two videos for our Kickstarter. One was (hopefully) Seussian and explaining the genesis of the project while the other was focused more on action and wiener jokes. Here is the latter.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The primary concerns I have for this project is our timeline. I am working with students that will be graduating in under 3 months plus I work at a Continuation High School with very low income students whose resources/situations change very quickly (ie. becoming homeless, family violence, etc.).
If the students that are currently collaborating with me have anything unfortunate happen in their lives that they cannot continue to participate in this project I will simply use more of my time to compensate for the loss. This may move our delivery timeline back but we will ship our game no matter what.
The original team consisted of myself, 2 students making maps, 3 students coming up with stories, events and boss ideas plus a handful of students testing the game as it went on. This was complicated but not impossible to keep everyone busy and make sure the computer was always being used by someone. Then the quarter ended, schedules changed and the team efficiency briefly took a dip. Since the Kickstarter went live we have more volunteers and the computer teacher told me about a working computer that was just missing some cables. So we went all black ops (that's when I send students out to find things for me, not anything to do with CoD) and now we have two workstations!
The school I teach at is for students who are credit deficient, whether that be from truancy, drug use, gang or home life ranges. We estimate approximately 75% of our student body come from homes with incomes that are below the poverty line (this is calculated based on living area, free and reduced lunch statistics as well as other values).
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A heart felt thank you email. Access to all project updates and the knowledge that you helped some educators/educatees reach their goals.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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* Receive a full copy of the Game * PLUS - We will create a demi-shrine in your name with a caretaker named by you as well as a sign or grave at your shrine with a message of your choice. The demi-shrine will be on the normal beaten path and not hidden and out of the way.Estimated delivery:
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