Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 22.

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Welcome to the Drake Institute for the Mentally Ill. Your diagnosis is terminal.

We're now accepting pledges via Paypal! 

Click here and enter your pledge amount. We will accept all pledges for open tiers. Any closed tiers cannot be accepted.

Welcome to the Drake Institute for the Mentally Ill. You won't be checking out if the spirits that reside here have any say. Join psychic Delaware St. John and paranormal investigator Kelly Bradford in this first-person point and click adventure as they explore the rotting remains of an old mental asylum with a deeper, darker secret than either have ever encountered before.

After a heated altercation leads Kelly to investigate the abandoned building on her own, Delaware has a horrifying vision that she's in great danger. He immediately goes to the asylum knowing it's a trap, but he has no choice. He must find Kelly before it's too late.

 Certificate of Diagnosis:

Update 1 - 11/21/13 - Creating a Game on a Small Budget

Update 2 - 11/22/13 - Test Render Environment Footage

Update 3 - 11/23/13 - Reward Tiers Clarified

Update 4 - 11/25/13 - New Reward Tiers!

Update 5 - 11/26/13 - New Reward Tier and Beta Access!

Update 6 - 11/29/13 - Language Translations and another Free Game!

Update 7 - 11/30/13 - Adjusted Reward Tier and New Stretch Goal

Update 8 - 12/1/13 - Certificate of Diagnosis

Update 9 - 12/2/13 - Fan For Life Reward Tier!

Update 10 - 12/4/13 - We're IGDA Approved!

Update 11 - 12/4/13 - Story One Overview

Update 12 - 12/5/13 - AdventureLantern.com Interview

Update 13 - 12/9/13 - Final Two Weeks

Update 14 - 12/10/13 - Project Funded!

Update 15 - 12/11/13 - Other Adventure Games

Update 16 - 12/11/13 - Story Two Overview

Update 17 - 12/16/13 - A Little Setback

Update 18 - 12/17/13 - The Curse of Midnight Manor Trailer

Update 19 - 12/18/13 - Thank You

Update 20 - 12/20/13 - The Town with No Name Trailer/Final 60 Hours

Update 21 - 12/21/13 - Paypal Pledges and TWNN Trailer

All backers pledging $50 or more will also receive a DRM-Free copy of The Curse of Midnight Manor Special Edition! Here are examples of the graphic improvements:

With the Drake Institute, there's much more than meets the eye.  Even the stories of abuse, conspiracy and torture won't prepare you for what Delaware and Kelly will face this night. If the creepy, abandoned building isn't enough, powerful forces shift time to trap Delaware in the past when the hospital was operational by the Drake family. Dig deep and solve the puzzles that will reveal much more than skeletons in this twisted family's closet.

Asylum of The Lost is a first-person point-and-click PC adventure game that takes place in the long-abandoned Drake Institute for the Mentally Ill. While the hospital had a reputation for housing some of the most emotionally damaged people in the upstate NY area, it also floated rumors that innocents could also be arranged to be taken, for a price.

Search the rotting building to collect inventory items to gain access to previously off-limit areas. Solve diabolical puzzles to outsmart the ghoulish residents and put wandering souls to rest. Exploration, navigation and inventory management are done entirely with the mouse.

The first game, The Curse of Midnight Manor was released in 2005. Since then, two more games used the same game engine. We've made improvements this time around to enhance the overall game experience. Here's how:

  • Game resolution upgraded to 1024x768. (from 800x600)
  • New user interface features in-game hints and a map to plan your exploration.
  • New engine upgrade allows for animated, life-like explorable scenes
  • Autosave keeps your game-progress up to date in addition to optional manual saves.
  • Play from two perspectives; Delaware with his psychic abilities to lead him and Kelly, a ghost hunter with a knack for tech.
    The short answer is we've tried that several times to get this project going as an unpaid side project and the result was always the same; we get off to a great start but team members become busy and the project slows to a crawl or stops completely. In order to make a quality game experience, we need to be able to pay people to focus solely on the project at hand. The amount of money we're targeting for this campaign is extremely basic and will cover the cost of the talents needed to make an outstanding game.
Delaware searches for a way into the abandoned asylum
Delaware searches for a way into the abandoned asylum
Ghosts can't harm the living, right?
Ghosts can't harm the living, right?
The past becomes the present for Delaware
The past becomes the present for Delaware
Kelly gets closer than she'd like to the spectral Hunter
Kelly gets closer than she'd like to the spectral Hunter

As a backer, it's your right to know where the funding is going. We're running a tight ship here so the money goes as far as possible. Here is the breakdown:

Art - Mitja Mlakar: $6,000
Voice Acting - Phil and Sonnet Quinn, others: $2,000
Audio Production - Todd Kinsley: $2,000

This budget reflects a game of about 6 hours. The writing and production is planned as an unpaid position. Our past experience is money will be extremely tight so we're planning to get money into the hands of the hard working and talented people who deserve it most!

It takes a dedicated team to make great things happen. I've been fortunate to have a great team of people on the Delaware St. John games for years. These are the people who will make "Asylum of The Lost" amazing:

Mitja Mlakar - A phenomenal 3d artist and animator, Mitja and I have worked together since 2004 on a variety of games, including all Delaware games. With each game he has increased the quality and Asylum of The Lost will be the most amazing yet!

Todd Kinsley - A very talented and accomplished musician, Todd has been working with me since the first Delaware game almost 10 years ago. He is an amazing composer and has great plans for the dark score behind the asylum.

Sonnet and Phil Quinn - An amazingly talented duo who have been providing the voices for Delaware and Kelly all these years. They've also overseen the casting and performances of other actors for the previous games. 

$15,000 - Game length extended by two hours with two additional locations; the "violent patients wing" and "observation/therapy" to explore!
$20,000 - Game length extended by two hours with two additional locations; the "the chapel" and "secret basement room" to explore!
$25,000 - Everyone who pledged $30 or more will also receive a physical DVD copy as well!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As with any game development project, the challenge is getting all of the pieces together and assembled into a great final product. To our advantage, we've successfully completed the development of three previous Delaware games and eagerly look forward to the fourth to be the best yet. With the budget provided, we're confident we'll deliver a quality end product in a timely fashion.

We have a previous project, The Red Queen of Oz graphic novel. The writing and rewards are ready to go but the novel is not yet complete. Simon Rosati is in the process of completing the art for the graphic novel which he will maintain doing separately from the work needed for this campaign. The team working on the game are not shared resources with the graphic novel.

FAQ

  • Unfortunately with the tight budget we've put together, we cannot afford to port the games to Mac just yet. Should we be fortunate to exceed our stretch goals we could realistically spend the money converting the engine which would make all games run under Mac simultaneously.

    Last updated:
  • Our first campaign's goal was to take the series into real-time 3D and be available on all systems. Our goal was high because of the combination of new tech and scope of the game. It would have been a 14 hour+ game.

    The feedback we got after the first campaign is people did not want it to change formats. Our second campaign reflected that. We scaled the scope of the game back and we rebudgeted for going with our previous tech.

    The current campaign has scaled the game scope back to 6 hours at $10,000 and removed pay for the writing, game scripting and overall production of the game. The figure reflects pay only for the artists creating the assets. This is how we're able to put together a high quality project for such little money.

    Last updated:
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    Your name will appear in the Special Thanks section of the end-game credits and any printed manual. (Note: All rewards are "stacking" which means each higher tier includes the rewards listed in the previous tier. This does not include double copies of games, however. Any "Exclusive" tier only includes the rewards listed and not be a part of the stacking rewards.)

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    Receive a DRM-Free digital copy of "Asylum of The Lost".

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    Receive a DRM-Free digital copy of "Asylum of The Lost" as well as digital copies of all three previous Delaware St. John games: The Curse of Midnight Manor, The Town with No Name and The Seacliff tragedy. (Copies of previous three games are available to download the day the campaign ends successfully!)

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    Receive a DRM-Free copy of the "Asylum of The Lost" original soundtrack by Todd Kinsley!

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    33 backers

    Receive a signed piece of concept artwork from "Asylum of The Lost" as well as a "Certificate of Diagnosis" from the Drake Institute of Mental Illness with your name on it along with a unique diagnosis. (If $25,000 stretch goal is met, everyone at this tier and higher receive a special DVD edition of the game.)

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    Your name will appear in-game on a plaque in various settings such as "This wing made possible by the generous contributions of Your Name."

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    9 backers Limited (11 left of 20)

    Immortalize yourself and/or your family into a painting or photograph found in background scenes of the game!

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    Have an in-game character created after your likeness!

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    *Exclusive* You get to contribute to the game! You pick an item and/or side storyline to put into the game! (Working with us and fitting the context of the game) This could be direct or indirect, a side task of the main character or a short story, poem, etc found in a book somewhere. Your name will also be featured in the game credits under "Additional Game Design"! You also receive the Certificate of Diagnosis, artwork, soundtrack and three previous games!

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    *Exclusive* Fan For Life. For all future Delaware St. John games you will get a free digital copy and, if physical copies are produced, a physical copy as well of every game. This includes future "Special Edition" versions as well. We anticipate 10 games in total so this is your chance to lock in the next 6 games! Additionally you receive the Certificate of Diagnosis, signed concept art, DRM-free copies of the three original games, DRM-Free copy of Asylum of The Lost, the soundtrack from Asylum of The Lost, and the 10th Anniversary Special Edition of Curse of Midnight Manor! Your name will also appear in all future games under "Special Thanks"!

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    *Exclusive* You will have a large portrait of yourself (or a family member) featured in a prominent display with credit for being the founder of the institute. You also receive the Certificate of Diagnosis, artwork, soundtrack and three previous games!

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    *Exclusive* Be a featured character. You not only get a character created to your likeness, the character will be featured on the game cover and in marketing promotions!

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Funding period

- (32 days)