An FPS with a neon artstyle, fast-paced and physics-heavy combat, and a lighthearted story.
NOTE: In the video, I mention that my computer can't run screencap software, which is something of a hyperbole. It can, in fact, run the software, and it ran well enough that I was able to record the trailer you see in the video. It just records at a very bad framerate in anything but the most basic of games.
A few years back, I made a top-down shooter called Nurf Nerfus and the Great Dungeon Shootout. It was coded in Gamemaker 8.0 Lite, and focused on a certain kind of frenetic, visceral gunplay, with some snazzy music and a subtly humorous story to boot.
The game was not without its flaws and rough edges, as you can see. The visuals were a little too simple, the music was by default too soft, the balancing was a little off, and the gameplay could get repetitive. As with any game I make, it was a learning experience. But even with its flaws, I still find myself very proud of the basic core of what the game did. Enough so that I'd like to re-make it with more polish, more features, more variety, and best of all, more dimensions. Yes, I want to turn this little top-down shooter into a fully 3d FPS, and make it even better along the way.
There's only one problem: my current computer is an absolute piece of junk. Enough so that I can't even run the SDK for the engine I want to use (jMonkey). So before I can even start work on Nurf Nerfus 3d, I'll need some funds for hardware improvements. This is where you come in. I'm hoping to raise at least $1,000 for this project. Any money that doesn't go to the hardware end of things will to toward other aspects of the project. Perhaps I might be able to hire a "real" artist, who would be able to create better quality character models than I can. Or I might be able to upgrade some of the necessary software for better quality sound, music, etc. Who knows? With enough money, anything is possible.
Here are some of the things I want to include in Nurf Nerfus 3d:
- Graphical style that preserves the "neon" look of the original, but eliminates the bleakness and repetition. I've been toying with several ways I could do this. One interesting possibility is to render the environment with normal textures and designs, but have it be lit only by the neon outlines that are rendered along with every object. Yourself and NPCs would be entirely neon, and would also act as lightsources, illuminating nearby objects. If combined with effects like per-pixel lighting and shadowing, light bloom, physics, etc, it would make the game very visually striking. I'm still not quite sure how to preserve the NPC style of the original, but have it work in a 3d setting. I would need to experiment with different visual effects in jMonkey, and play around with character models to know for sure. At the moment, it seems likely that the models would have to be less "wireframey." If there are any artistic people out there with some cool ideas, let me know!
- Lots of effort and attention put into the combat. I'd like to keep the basic concept of the original, where you are constantly picking up and discarding weapons (I was kinda thinking of the final shootout from 'Wanted' when I did this), but also add in some new features like a Duke3d-like inventory. Slow motion, grenades, the ability to "convert" enemies to your side, and the ability to pick up and throw physics objects are all being considered for inclusion.
- I want this game to rival F.E.A.R in its level of destruction and chaos. I've always been fascinated with things like destructible environments, weapon effects, physics, etc... anything that makes firing a gun feel like it has a tangible brutal effect on the environment. At the very least, Nurf Nerfus 3d will feature lots of physics objects to shoot and destroy, and I'm hoping that I can include lots of other effects as well. Geometry Wars-esque spark effects, holes in walls, bullet penetration, ragdolls (on neon characters, no less!)... stuff like that. It kind of goes along with my focus on making the gunplay feel good.
- A retro design philosophy. Although there have been a handful of modern games that emulated the fast pace of 90s FPSs, there are few (if any) that have preserved the level design and overall philosophy of games like Doom or Duke Nukem 3d. I plan on bringing back open-ended levels, hunting for keys (I will keep the "key collecting" system from the original), and plentiful secrets. I want Nurf Nerfus 3d to feel fresh, but hearken back to the simple beauty of classic FPS design in a way that many other games haven't captured.
- A full musical score. I wrote all the music for the first Nurf Nerfus, and I plan on writing all the music for Nurf Nerfus 3d. If this kickstarter raises enough money, I could invest in a proper setup for composing electronic music. If not, I can still deliver the sort of quirky upbeat tracks that you can find in the original game.
- Evocative and unique sound work. I always try to make my games sound as good as possible. In the past, I've had to work with absolutely minimal resources (Audacity and a few household objects to bang or rub :P). For Nurf Nerfus 3d, I plan to step it up a notch with better software, better equipment, a better sound engine, and more attention to detail. I might even be able to solicit the help of a proper sound engineer.
- A lighthearted and gently satirical storyline. You are the great Nurf Nerfus, on a bullet-heavy quest to rid a vile underground dungeon of its evil occupants!
- More weapons. The original game had only a few guns. For Nurf Nerfus 3d, I want to give you a lot of destructive options to play around with. Weapons being considered include a zooming rifle, a chaingun, "chained guns" (two pistols chained together at the handle for easily portable John Woo action), a double barreled shotgun, and battle axe (which would replace the fairly useless melee attack from the original).
- Fun for adults and kids alike. Nurf Nerfus 3d will include no profanity, sexuality, religious or ethnic slurs, or gore. The tone will be consistently lighthearted and fun. I hope to make this the sort of game that parents would feel ok about letting their children play, or watch being played. And as an added bonus, it will be a good game for anyone to relax with if they're depressed and just want some good clean FPS action.
- Low price. Nurf Nerfus will be sold for a mere $5.99 on release. You can get the game for $5 if you donate now, however. I hope to get it hosted on GOG.com, Desura, and Indievania. If possible, I'd like to shoot (no pun intended) for a Humble Bundle version as well.
I'm not looking to make a AAA million dollar title or get obscene amounts of money. This is a project that's rather close to my heart, and that I think will end up being an absolute blast to play. All I need is a little help from you. And best of all, if this one kickstarter is successful it will give me the chance to work on other projects that up until now I've only been able to dream of.
ANOTHER NOTE: I don't have a good way of telling precisely how long it will take me to actually create Nurf Nerfus 3d once I build the new computer and get everything set up. The date of "Dec. 2013" is merely a safe guess. It's very likely that the game will be finished before then, and thus, you will get your rewards before then.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $1,000 goal
Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 8, 2012.
May 4, 2012 - Jun 3, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $5 or more
Free copy of the game upon release.Estimated delivery: Dec 2013
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Free copy of Nurf Nerfus and the Great Dungeon Shootout 3d Special Edition, which will include wallpapers, bonus levels, and an exclusive in-game weapon.Estimated delivery: Dec 2013
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Free copy of Nurf Nerfus and the Great Dungeon Shootout 3d Special Edition, plus your name in the credits under "Special Thanks"Estimated delivery: Dec 2013
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0 backers Limited (25 of 25 left)
All of the above, plus an in-game grave marker will bear your name (with an appropriately goofy demise).Estimated delivery: Dec 2013
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1 backer Limited (9 of 10 left)
All of the above, plus a secret level will be created in your honor, bearing your name.Estimated delivery: Dec 2013