This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Ama's Lullaby - A point-and-click game in a cyberpunk world
Ama's Lullaby - A point-and-click game in a cyberpunk world
Ama's Lullaby is an adventure game in the style of Westwood's Blade Runner (1997), featuring a command-line based hacking system.
Ama's Lullaby is an adventure game in the style of Westwood's Blade Runner (1997), featuring a command-line based hacking system. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
About this project
After the announcement of a potential impact between Earth and an asteroid, a space mission lead by an AI brings a young computer-science prodigy called Ama to the 1st colony on another planet. This place was built by machines for human beings. Ama has designed this AI together with her father and is now an ambassador of the human race. She’s being protected by her artificial creature. But when she finds out the actual reason of her presence in this colony, and notices the strange behaviour of its inhabitants, her world suddenly falls apart.
This game is an introduction to the world of Ama’s Lullaby. Why an introduction ? Don’t worry, this prologue does have an ending – actually, even the following part has already been written, but developing a game based on the latter would be too ambitious at the moment. This prologue enables to begin with something more feasible. Depending on the feedback that this 1st part will receive, the rest of the story will be turned into a game later. Yet as we said, this prologue is a complete game, with a beginning and an ending!
Ama's Lullaby is a point-and-click video game taking place in a cyberpunk environment. Playing the role of Ama, a high potential teenager who loves computer sciences, you will explore the colony, meet its human and non-human inhabitants, negociate with the AI and make decisions that will impact directly the course of events. Thanks to Ama’s programming talent, you will be able to hack any network of the city, gather information, steal confidential data to use them for your own purposes, disclose them or even blackmail people. But be careful: every action will have consequences on the story, and Ama will become an easy prey once her identity is unveiled.
The game development will focus mainly on high-quality visual atmospheres and soundscapes, dialogues and interactions between characters, as well as on replayability: every new game session will offer a (truly) different experience.
PC, Mac, Linux
Point-and-click in a pre-computed & realtime 3D environment
For most of your actions (moves, dialogues, inventories, fights...), you’ll be using the mouse, just like in all point-and-click games. You’ll need the keyboard, however, to open menus: the idea is to reduce the user interface to a minimum so that the screen remains free for a movie-like experience.
The use of pre-computed 3D for the game environment enables to shorten massively the time necessary to create the graphics as well as to increase the amount of details without reducing the game performances. This also makes it possible to work more freely with lights and textures in a movie-like style, without depending too much on the game engine. However, the environment will also be lit in realtime and will react appropriately to your actions and to collisions.
Ama's main weapon is her laptop. Created by machines, the colony is ruled by numerous networks, either independant or connected to each other. By logging in to these networks, Ama will have access to almost every ressources. For this purpose, you will have to enter simplified command lines with the help of the visual monitoring. You may launch programs, connect to protected networks by forcing their firewalls, copy or delete files.
But you’ll have to act on a strategy: when they notice that someone is trying to hack them, the opponent networks will react! They’ll attempt to track Ama's position to stop her, or to corrupt her own system by every possible means.
In addition, you’ll have the possibility to personalize Ama's laptop components to improve its performances: for instance, changing the cooling system of the computer enables the use of overclocking to increase program execution speed.
The dialogues are undoubtedly at the core of the game. You will have to choose between different answers by clicking on summaries indicating the intention behind each option.
Your choices are all examined by the system and will have an influence on the NPCs as the story goes on. So asking as many questions as possible won’t lead you any further, you’ll have to pick them carefully and anticipate the consequences. Furthermore, the NPCs will show different reactions from one game session to another, which make their behaviour less predictable.
Fights are not very frequent, for Ama doesn’t like conflicts and weapons, and she’s not really capable of defending herself. Yet she’ll have to use her weapons in some situations, when no solution could be found through dialogue for instance. Shooting sequences are then played in realtime, relying on your reflexes and ability to aim.
In Ama’s shoes
You’ll have to take into account the personality of your character. Because she’s still very young, Ama will quickly feel overwhelmed by the events she’ll be confronted to. If you make bad choices, this may impact strongly her physical or psychological health, or lead her to do things against her will, which she’ll regret afterwards.
As an ambassador of the human race, Ama can also use the help of her AI to have criminals (real or hypothetical) arrested. There will be moral dilemmas: the machines who created the colony decided to tolerate some dark sides of humans as long as they don’t affect its social and political stability.
Replayability and uniqueness of the experience
A lot of parameters will vary from one game session to another, for instance the NPCs’ behaviour. As a result, the game experience will be each time unique and the course of events hardly predictable, with several possible endings.
The idea is to emphasize the quality rather than the quantity. That’s why we’ll avoid confusing you with too many secondary quests, and set reasonable limits to lifespan (approx. 20h of playing) and the area to explore.
The game will be essentially developed by myself. Therefore, I find it important to give you more information about my profile and experience.
After obtaining a Master-level degree in 3D computer graphics, I have been working as a freelancer for almost 10 years. I started by making CGI short films for various companies (Thales Alenia Space, Nespresso, Hotwheels, France Television, EDF). I learned a lot technically, yet I soon felt some kind of weariness due to the lack of interactivity and the « dehumanized » dimension of the subjects (satellites, coffee machines and prototypes are not exactly a good food for thought...). In all these projects, my main strength has been my versatility and adaptability: I have a good global vision and great technical know-how. After some time, I started teaching 3D computer graphics in a Parisian art school and it has currently become my main occupation. This enables me to have enough freetime to work on my own projects (which are essentially related to games and music). Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to develop my abilities and know-how in different fields: from short-movie making (writing scenario, editing...), to 3D (modeling, texturing & lighting, animating, rendering, compositing), to film and music video editing, team management, music production (composing, recording, mixing), and programming.
Do I have enough experience to develop a whole game on my own? Maybe not. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that I can make it for several reasons.
I’ve already been through the typical failure caused by a too ambitious project. In 2014, I launched a game project based on the same world, but with a completely different gameplay. I set up a small team and we began to work on a prototype. Things started quite well and the project got some real attention from players and press. Unfortunately, it was far too complex for a first game and for a project on which the team members could only work in their freetime, as volunteers. After several months of work, we decided to quit. That’s why I rethought everything for the current project, which is a more modest version, far more adequate for a first game development. To check out what we did previously, click here.
On the other hand, I have experienced a successful crowdfunding in 2014. I know the special bond that it creates between the project creator and the backers, and I’m aware of the amount of work that it takes to manage the campaign and the perks. The campaign back then was meant to fund the professional studio recording of the first full-lenght album of my band UNSEELIE, for which I composed most of the tracks and played all the instruments. This was a real success: not only did we reach our goal, but we raised much more, which enabled us to relase the album in due time and improve it, so that we received very positive feedback about it. I have also made most of the graphics and artworks for the campaign (videos, CD-artwork and booklet, other artworks...). You can see the campaign here, and some reviews of the album here.
The main features of the game are already operational:
- pre-computed environment system offering realtime features
- point-and-click system for character movement and interactions
- dialogue and quest system
- hacking: basic functionalities (command lines, open files, run programs, connect to networks)
- inventory system
As a result, the next steps of the development will focus on:
- contents (scenario, dialogues, concept arts, networks to hack, characters and environment creation, precomputed cut-scenes)
- saving/loading system
- shooting system
- interactions between characters and non-predictable behaviors
- music, sound design, full-voice dubbing
Here’s a graph showing the budget needed and the distribution of the funds to be collected:
The amount can actually seem low to develop a game like this, but a higher goal would be difficult to reach relying only on crowdfunding (the campaign management would be far too complex and time-consuming in that case). This is also the reason why almost all perks are immaterial: I want to reinvest the collected funds essentially in the game development, rather than paying other companies or third parties so that they can manufacture goods for the perks.
I intend to keep my job as a 3D computer graphics teacher (I won’t be working more than 2 days a week, however), so I’ll be able to invest in the project throughout its progression. This will also make it possible to react in case something unexpected happens.
I will save on all aspects related to audio production, since I have all the necessary gear for recording and sound editing: I won’t need to rent an expensive studio to record the actors, for instance.
In case of delay or specific needs for the further project development, I will have the help of external persons. Cooperations are already planned, especially for the game soundtrack. Moreover, thanks to the previous works on Ama's Lullaby and to my job as a teacher, I have lots of contacts of other qualified freelancers and studios.
All in all, it is very unlikely that this project can not be achieved. In the worst case, if the development takes too long, the game lifespan might be reduced, but quality won’t be sacrified.
ALL SHIPPING COSTS ARE INCLUDED
- name credit: your name will be credited at the end of the game.
- the game: you get the full game (PC, Mac & Linux), downloadable on Steam if it's accepted or by another way (your choice). See the FAQ for more info about DRM.
- soundtrack: a full digital album with the original music of the game.
- artbook: discover the art behind Ama's Lullaby (PDF).
- artbook (limited print): the printed version of the artbook (A5 format) with a cardboard cover, signed and limited to 300 copies.
- badges: a set of 3 pin badges.
- printed card: a nice printed card with a secret code to use in the game...
- name in the artbook: in addition to the name credit, your name is credited in the digital & printed artbook as a "special thanks".
- exclusive content access: you will be the first one to try out the demo of the game, three months before the official release. I'll answer your questions during the development process, and will send you exclusive information about the game.
- special guest in the game: a character or place in the game (your choice) mentions your name/pseudonym and your generosity!
- hand-drawn sketch: a hand-drawn original sketch made for the game (signed).
- the artbook is for you: the artbook is especially dedicated to you, and you get all the main perks. You deserve all our gratitude!
Some special rewards will be added as the campaign progresses:
This project was born out of a very personal vision. That’s why I wish to stay as independant as I can in all the creative process, from visual aspects to sounds, music and gameplay. All these elements are related and must fit in the same overall vision. This method has proven effective for many indie game creators, and offers a real originality in terms of content. I have a strong determination, I have all the competences required to achieve this first game, yet it cannot come true without the financial and moral support of a community behind me. So I hope that you are now eager to embark on this adventure with me and follow its progression until the end!
Risks and challenges
For risks & challenges, please see the description above.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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