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An action RPG set in 1920s Massachusetts. Create and manage a team of investigators in a story-driven supernatural mystery. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on June 15, 2014.

An action RPG set in 1920s Massachusetts. Create and manage a team of investigators in a story-driven supernatural mystery.

About this project

It's the Roaring Twenties! Join an unlikely team of detectives as they charge headlong into the darkest corners of rural America. Their mission: find and return twelve missing townsfolk who vanished under mysterious circumstances.

A handsome reward is in store should they succeed, but with the supernatural lurking around every corner, will any of them live long enough to collect it?

Links
Press
 / Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter

Updates
- Update 1: Tier Updates, Bestiary Preview, The Universim
- Update 2: £5 Soundtrack add-on, Bestiary, Alchemist stretch goal
- Update 3: Breakdown of the Rewards and Tiers
- Update 4: AI, Party Control and Abilities
- Update 5: 100% funded, Thank You! Poll results, PayPal pledges
- Update 6: Interlude: Perks
- Update 7: Exploration pt. 1, Travel Map Reveal, 70k!
- Update 8: Exploration pt.2 - Secret Items, Stretch Goals

You can now pledge through PayPal! Be sure to double-check your pledge amount before submitting. If you're bidding a physical tier, don't forget to add the correct postage. After the campaign we'll ask you which rewards you want in a survey. :)
You can now pledge through PayPal! Be sure to double-check your pledge amount before submitting. If you're bidding a physical tier, don't forget to add the correct postage. After the campaign we'll ask you which rewards you want in a survey. :)

We'd like to extend our gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to write about us! There are too many to mention here, but please know that we appreciate it. :)

Thank you!

Scott Benson (Night in the Woods) / Peter Moorhead (Stranded)IndieRetroNews / Games Xtreme / Nivel Oculto / Cliqist and many more!

Update: Witchmarsh is now being published by the wonderful Chucklefish Games! They'll be offering us their business and marketing expertise, so we can focus more time and energy on the game itself.

We'll be talking more about this in a forthcoming update, so stay tuned.

*TARGET REACHED, THANK YOU!* £50k - The Game - The minimum amount needed to bring Witchmarsh to life. All funding before and after this point will be spent on graphics, code, story and any necessary business costs. If we reach our dream target of £160k we'll be able to polish the game until every pixel shines like a magpie's dream-home.  

*UNLOCKED!* £70k - Alternate Character Perk + Hardcore Mode - An interesting variation on a current playable character. Revealed when stretch goal is reached. We'll also add in an optional Hardcore mode for the bravest adventurers to take on.  

Update: Alternate character perks revealed! Woodcutter Trapper and Seaworthy Moose will both be playable in the game.
Update: Alternate character perks revealed! Woodcutter Trapper and Seaworthy Moose will both be playable in the game.

*UNLOCKED!* £90k - New Investigator - The Alchemist will be unlocked as a playable character. We'll also add 10 more player abilities, bringing the total to 60.

£120k - Freelancer Mode - An all new multiplayer challenge and survival mode. Create an investigator and battle waves of enemies in a series of combat challenges.

£130k - Additional Artist - We'll bring in a second pixel artist to help speed up production. In addition to this, we'll also increase the number of player abilities to 70.

£145k - Bonus tracks - Extra background music will be added to the game's soundtrack.

£150k - New Area: The Brackish Abyss - Explore a bleak stretch of the Massachusetts coastline, pocketed with labyrinthine caverns and abandoned huts. Will feature its own story arc, quest hub and a unique set of enemies from the deep. We'll also add a new playable investigator for you to explore it with, too!

£175k - More Content - Funding will be used to create the fully polished game we had in mind when we first embarked on this project. We'll use this extra funding to create more animations, cutscenes, dialogue trees and easter eggs.

Things in this town are definitely out of the ordinary.
Things in this town are definitely out of the ordinary.
                                                                                                                                  

Witchmarsh puts a side-scrolling spin on classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Wizardry, without compromising on depth. The game features online multiplayer, extensive character creation, countless ability and item combinations, and rewarding boss encounters.

Features

  • A mix of modern and classic RPGs, with branching dialogue and responsive, tactical combat.
  • Play singleplayer or with friends in 2-4 player Co-op.
  • Dripping with Jazz Age style, featuring music by Francisco Cerda, composer on Gunpoint and Jamestown.
  • A massive character creation sandbox with over 50 unlockable abilities* across five spellbooks. Mix and match attributes, perks, items and weapons to create a unique team of adventurers. Or simply use one of the many templates to dive straight into the action.
  • A game for seasoned RPG fans as well as players new to the genre. Optional bosses and challenges for those brave enough to seek them out.
  • Over ten* playable characters. Watch your choice in personalities result in conflict, friendships, wisecracks... romance?
  • A dynamic hidden item system ensures no two trips to Witchmarsh are the same.

* See stretch goals.

  • Responsive combat. Dodge, jump and roll out of harm's way.
  • Hordes of enemies with a variety of nasty tricks up their sleeves.
  • Piles of loot to acquire! Arm yourself with shovels, hats, guns, haunted antique cow creamers and more. Decide which items to specialise in via Skill Points.
A gang of bootleggers are causing mischief. Put a stop to it!
A gang of bootleggers are causing mischief. Put a stop to it!
The PI and the Illusionist fight it out in a risky two-character run.
The PI and the Illusionist fight it out in a risky two-character run.
Playable characters. From left to right: Gentleman, Technician, Moose, Slugger (Stretch Goal), Trapper, PI, Curator, Guardian, Alchemist (Stretch Goal), Illusionist, Scribe, Innkeeper, Bard.
Playable characters. From left to right: Gentleman, Technician, Moose, Slugger (Stretch Goal), Trapper, PI, Curator, Guardian, Alchemist (Stretch Goal), Illusionist, Scribe, Innkeeper, Bard.

After selecting an investigator you'll proceed to the character creation screen. Utilise a wide range of perks, skills and abilities to sculpt a team of PIs that fits the way you want to play.

All this flexibility clears the way for quirky and surprising character builds. How about turning the Scribe into a capable melee fighter, or embarking on a single-character run? These self-imposed challenges are part of what makes RPGs great, and we can't wait to see what people come up with.

Don't worry if all this seems a bit complicated: character templates are available should you wish to get straight into the action.

Meet the Investigators

Each investigator has their own perks, traits, abilities and personality.

Abilities
There are a total of five ability schools and five attributes in Witchmarsh. How you combine these will determine your characters' playstyle, as well as the secrets and clues they will uncover.

Mix the craft attribute with fire and water and you'll unlock the power of elemental sorcery. Swap spirit for craft and your spellbook will take on ritualistic themes; drawing power from ancient forces and the marsh itself.

A sample of the abilities you can teach your investigators.
A sample of the abilities you can teach your investigators.
                                                                                                                                  

Leads and Clues
During your investigation you'll unearth a number of important leads and clues which you can use to build a case.

Leads allow you to travel to a location where mysteries and events are unfolding. These may prove relevant to the kidnappings, or they could simply be a red herring, yielding only EXP and treasure.

Clues fuel progress in the game's main storyline, and how you choose to interpret them will impact on your team's reputation. Did the embalming fluid come from the crypt, or are the local bootleggers brewing up something nasty? Dig around for information before throwing your weight around.

The team approach a rusty winch, but only characters with the Engineering skill can detect the secret loot below.
The team approach a rusty winch, but only characters with the Engineering skill can detect the secret loot below.

Secrets
Witchmarsh features a dynamic system where player attributes are used to reveal different treasure. The craftiest and best equipped players will be rewarded with bonus EXP, loot and achievements.

Travel Map

Click to view an animated GIF of the travel map (10MB)
Click to view an animated GIF of the travel map (10MB)

For more information on the Travel Map and Leads, check out Update 7.

The Eighteenth Amendment was super effective.
The Eighteenth Amendment was super effective.

Witchmarsh combines the eccentricities of the 1920s with elements of mystery and horror; think equal parts Lovecraft and Wodehouse. You'll come across a host of oddball characters, from flappers and the nouveau riche, to petulant swamp wizards.

"I’ve a feeling we’re not in Massachusetts any more."
"I’ve a feeling we’re not in Massachusetts any more."
                                                                                                                                  

So far we've been developing Witchmarsh in our spare time. Funding would allow us to put aside our other commitments and focus on creating the best game we can. We really can't do this without your support!

Ranged combat uses mouse aiming and takes into account character statistics and skill points.
Ranged combat uses mouse aiming and takes into account character statistics and skill points.

Note: For a complete breakdown of all backer tiers, please check this update.

The Game
A digital copy of Witchmarsh on PC and Mac. Steam key included should we arrive on steam.

All tiers. Estimated Delivery: December 2015.

Original Soundtrack
Francisco Cerda is known for his work on the soundtracks to indie gems Gunpoint and Jamestown. Tier 3+ backers will receive the full Witchmarsh soundtrack as a digital download with the game.

Tier 3 upwards. Estimated Delivery: December 2015.

Digital Bestiary
An animated digital bestiary, charting some of the beasts found in the forests and caves surrounding Witchmarsh. Don't worry, it'll be spoiler sensitive. Available in .exe, .dmg and static as a PDF.

Tier 4 upwards. Estimated Delivery: September 2014.

Gold Beta Access
Play the first chapter of the game before it's released. Give us your feedback and help shape the future of Witchmarsh.

Tier 5 upwards. Estimated Delivery: To be announced. Please note: In earlier tiers a Bronze Beta Key is available, allowing access to a second-run beta test some time after the Gold.

The Poster
Oliver Sin is a UK-based designer and a friend of the project. He'll be creating a physical poster for reward tiers 8 and beyond. The design will be revealed once the campaign has ended.

Some of Ollie's work, visit his website for more!
Some of Ollie's work, visit his website for more!

Tier 8 upwards. Estimated Delivery: To be announced.

Town Council Seat
Your own comfortable seat on the Witchmarsh town council. Before the game's released you'll be invited to vote on, and discuss key issues regarding development.

Tier 6 and 6S upwards. Estimated Delivery: To be announced.

Luciano Sgarbi
LEAD DESIGN AND STORY

Emelie Isacsson
DESIGN AND STORY

Joe Conway
PIXEL ART AND CODE

Matthew "Leth" Griffin
CODE /
Wanderlust / Risk of Rain

We'd also like to thank our team of testers and helpers who have aided us along the way. Not least of which lead tester Hannah, who will be working with us to root out any potential bugs and exploits.

Francisco Cerda
MUSIC /
Jamestown / Gunpoint

Risks and challenges

We've invested a lot of time into planning, researching and building the game's core systems. We've factored in the cost of fulfilling rewards, and our stretch goals are all achievable within the allotted time.

The greatest risk we face, besides not reaching our funding goal, is a slight delay in order to ensure that we're shipping a top quality product.

If we greatly exceed our funding goals we may have to slightly push back the release date as well. As every penny pledged will be put back into the game, adding new features will take extra time to code, animate and properly test.

Witchmarsh would be our first release; however, Lou and Joe hold a combined total of 7 years in the CGI industry. They're used to delivering lengthy projects on time and to specifications. Matt (Leth) will also be working with us closely to ensure development is on track and to handle the trickier aspects of the code.

Witchmarsh can't become a reality without your support, so we're eternally grateful for every pledge we receive. Thank you!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Game Maker studio exports to Linux so we're very hopeful for a Linux version. However, due to the complicated nature of the game's multiplayer and Steam integration, it's currently a bit risky to promise a fully working Linux version.

    We'll let you know as soon as we find out anything.

    Last updated:
  • In the future we'd love to release Witchmarsh on other platforms. Currently we're not sure how much extra work that could add, so we're playing it safe and sticking to PC and Mac.

    It's something we'll definitely keep looking into, either in the near future or post-release. Keep an eye out for updates. :)

    Last updated:
  • Absolutely!

    Just add multiples of £8 to any pledge above Tier 1 and we'll confirm this in a backer survey if we're funded. As per Kickstarter rules, the maximum number of copies you're allowed to add per account is 8.

    We've also added a new tier for double-purchases.

    Last updated:
  • Future backers will be able to pledge via PayPal once we reach our goal of £50,000.

    We're also looking into a Humble Widget for pre-orders. Stand by for confirmation on this.

    Last updated:
  • The OST is available as an add-on. Just add £5 to any pledges under Tier 3, or pledge in Tier 3 and upwards.

    We've also added a new Soundtrack to Tier 1C - Music Drifter, which consists of the Base Game (£10) + The OST Add-on (£5).

    The soundtrack will be sent to you digitally when the game is released.

    Last updated:
  • Of course not! We'll be sending out a backer survey after the campaign ends. You will have to choice to opt out of having a credit mention altogether, or you can give a nickname or pseudonym.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge £10 or more

    2,633 backers

    ● Rank 1 - Drifter

    A DRM-free digital copy of the game. Available on PC/Mac. ✚ A Steam key, if we arrive on steam. ✚ Our deepest thanks for making this a possibility.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £15 or more

    490 backers

    ● Rank 2 - Navigator

    All previous rewards included. ✚ A spoiler free PDF map of Witchmarsh to help you find your way back to civilisation ✚ Backer exclusive HD wallpapers and a PDF instruction book!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £15 or more

    774 backers

    ● Rank 2S - Gatekeeper

    UPDATE: All pledges in Tiers 2 and beyond, including Navigator, now come with a Bronze Beta Key. This grants you access to a secondary beta test, date TBA. ● All previous rewards included. ✚ A spoiler free PDF map of Witchmarsh to help you find your way back to civilisation ✚ Backer exclusive HD wallpapers and a PDF instruction book!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £15 or more

    373 backers

    ● Rank 1C - Musical Drifter

    A DRM-free digital copy of the game. Available on PC/Mac. ✚ A Steam key, if we arrive on steam. ✚ The full Soundtrack to the game by Francisco Cerda ● The OST can be added to other tiers as an add-on, simply increase your pledge amount by £5 and we'll send you a survey when the campaign's done.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £18 or more

    432 backers

    ● Rank 1B - Double Drifter

    ● DOUBLE PACK - Receive an additional copy of Witchmarsh to play with a friend. Alternatively, just add multiples of £8 to any pledge and we'll send you a survey once we're done. There's a maximum of 8 additional copies allowed. ● 2x DRM-free digital copies of the game. Available on PC/Mac. ✚ 2x Steam keys, if we arrive on steam. ✚ Our deepest thanks for making this a possibility.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £30 or more

    178 backers

    ● Rank 3 - Bard

    All previous rewards included. ✚ A digital copy of the soundtrack by Francisco Cerda.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £35 or more

    230 backers

    ● Rank 4 - Twitcher

    All previous rewards included. ✚ An animated digital monster book. This bestiary will be available as a digital download close to release.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £50 or more

    35 backers

    ● Rank 5 - Time Bandit

    Help us test a beta version of the game's opening chapter before it's released. ● All previous rewards included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £65 or more

    162 backers Limited (138 left of 300)

    ● Rank 6 S - The Council

    EARLY BIRD EDITION

    Special price for being an early supporter! ● All previous rewards included. ✚ 3 extra copies of the game to play with friends ✚ Invites to a special Town Council forum where you can vote on issues relevant to the game's development. ✚ A thanks in the end credits for putting extra faith in the project, it's the least we can do.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £80 or more

    10 backers

    ● Rank 6 - The Council

    All previous rewards included. ✚ MULTI BUY - 3 extra copies of the game to play with friends. ✚ Invites to a special Town Council forum where you can vote on issues relevant to the game's development. ✚ A heartfelt thanks in the end credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £90 or more

    5 backers Limited (45 left of 50)

    ● Rank 7 - Traveling Salesperson ---- All previous rewards included. ✚ Set of 3 printed postcards, sent from scenic Witchmarsh and featuring some of the areas within the game.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £110 or more

    17 backers Limited (133 left of 150)

    ● Rank 8 - Scroll Keeper

    Includes everything from reward tiers 1-6. ✚ A limited edition 22" x 42" Witchmarsh poster.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £140 or more

    18 backers Limited (2 left of 20)

    ● Rank 9 - Local Hero

    All previous rewards included. ● Submit a photo of yourself to be immortalised in a pixel art portrait, hanging somewhere in the game.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £140 or more

    4 backers Limited (3 left of 7)

    Rank 11S (SPECIAL OFFER) - Mighty Rascal

    Includes everything from reward tiers 1-6. ✚ Help us design a powerful mini-boss which terrorises the hills and caverns of Witchmarsh. Decide its look, behaviour and give it one unique ability. ✚ A very special place in the credits.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £400 or more

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    ● Rank 10 - Nemesis

    Includes everything from reward tiers 1-6 as well as the poster and postcards. ✚ Design a fitting monster for the Investigators to do battle with. You'll work with us to ensure the enemy fits snugly into the game. ✚ A special place in the credits with your own Witchmarsh style sprite.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £500 or more

    3 backers Limited (4 left of 7)

    ● Rank 11 - Grand Explorer

    Includes everything from reward tiers 1-6. ✚ Place yourself, a friend or a character of your own design into the game as a 20th century explorer. ✚ Poster and postcards. ✚ A very special place in the credits.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £1,300 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    ● Rank 12 - Hellraiser

    Design a boss encounter appropriate for the game. ● Includes everything from reward tiers 1-6. ● Ever have a really neat idea for a videogame boss? You'll work with us to bring your vision to life. Decide its theme, lair, special attacks and more! ✚ A place in the credits (Additional Boss Design by --) ✚ Poster and postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £5,000

    1 backer All gone!

    ● Rank 13 - Rufus T. Firefly

    The ultimate backer tier. ● Includes ALL previous rewards. Includes boss, monster and portrait tiers. ● Near the end of the game's development cycle we'll send you a total of six top secret Witchmarsh gifts. These will include official merchandise, exclusive toys and models as well as the posters and postcards. ✚ Design a boss encounter appropriate for the game. Ever have a really neat idea for a videogame boss? You'll work with us to bring your vision to life. Decide its theme, lair, special attacks and more! ✚ A place in the credits (Additional Design by --)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)