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College-Ruled Universe's video poster

Side scrolling space-shooter action on a mobile device! Customize your ship and explore the sketch universe. Read more

pledged of $6,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on April 7, 2012.

Side scrolling space-shooter action on a mobile device! Customize your ship and explore the sketch universe.

About this project

UPDATE:  Added new package which includes the Rage USB!  See details in the 'updates' section above!

UPDATE#2: Album cover now up-- scroll down to see 

UPDATE#3:  Playable demo up!  Check out the 'updates' section.

Side scrolling, arcade shooter action!

Hey everyone, my name is Leo (developing as Arachnid), and I'm a student earning my BFA in Illustration. A fair portion of college life is sitting through long lectures, so what better to do than doodle?  One day, after filling up all the margins in my notes, I said, "Hey, I could make a game out of these!"  

And so it was.  College-Ruled Universe is a side-scrolling space-ship shooter, an homage to the old days of arcade gaming.  The game's graphics are entirely hand drawn with ballpoint pen on college-ruled notebook paper, thus the name.  With your help, we can turn this from just a concept to a mobile game phenomenon!  

The Project

The idea sprouted in November 2011, and ever since, I've been using every ounce of spare time to sketch up new ships, locations, and enemies.  Fast forward to mid January 2012.  I've got most of the artwork needed for the game drawn, scanned, and prepped.  But it's still missing some important factors: Programming and sound design.  

That's where you come in.  There's no way we could get premium sound design, a killer soundtrack, and flawless programming without you.  Your contribution turns this project from a dream to a reality.


This game is held together visually by a style derived from ink on paper.   Everyone doodles on something, right?  

The player can customize their ship, choosing from an array of weapons/armor...

...To end up with something that looks like this:

Gameplay Mechanics

The bulk of the game is fashioned in the classic, shooter genre.  However, when the player gets to a new planet, they can get out of their ship and explore!  Players search for parts on these desolate worlds, and use them to upgrade and customize their ships.  You will need to upgrade to survive.

The boss battles will be designed in a cinematic fashion, mixing scripted events with gameplay, and requiring the player have full focus on the boss.  

Sound Design

The music (as you've heard in the video) is done by Doc Prop (Proper Productions), a local artist and friend of mine.  If you want to check out more of his work, just head over to  his soundcloud page!  Doc is doing some experimenting with sounds for the game, and coming up with a really slick sounding, spacey ambience.


I've been working with Flash for over 8 years, so I figured this was a good platform to build the game in.  Especially since the latest version allows for direct export from AS 3.0 into files that can run on a number of devices, including android, iPhone, and iPad.  The demo you see above is animated in flash, and all the assets are directly usable for the game build.  

A programmer will be hired with KS funding to create an AS 3.0 build of the game that is specialized for Android devices.  Later on, if we want to move to other devices, the switch-over should be pretty minimal, since the original build is in Flash.


Curious about the rewards?  Can't blame you!

Prints:  The prints are all done on a high quality cardstock paper, with professional quality industrial printing at 300dpi.  They are various scenes utilizing artwork from the game, designed specifically to look totally badass hanging on your wall.   Example:

USB: Print stuff is great, but so is electronic.  The USB stick will contain the full resolution PDF containing all 28 pages of the artbook, the soundtrack of the game with cover art, AND the Flash build of the game, completely playable right on your computer.  Seems too good to be true?  WELL IT'S TRUE SO DEAL WITH IT.

Artbook The College-Ruled Universe Artbook will be 28 semigloss pages of artwork from the game, all immaculately laid out for your viewing pleasure.  8.5"x11" landscape bound.  Color cover, b/w interior. Interior examples below:

Custom Drawings:  For the heavy hitters out there.  The custom drawing is just what it sounds like:  an original sketch, ballpoint on acid-free sketchbook paper, just for you. 

Original Artwork:   This is the original piece of artwork that got scanned in and used for the game.  You get THE original.  Framed.    If the game becomes famous, you'll have a piece of mobile game history!  (and I'll probably see it on eBay)

Poster:  Five feet of beautiful layout, printed on vinyl. preview: 

Your Designs in the game: It's just what it sounds like.  You draw something up on lined paper, and we'll place it into the game in a fitting way.  (If you have a really goofy / dark / eccentric style, we'll emphasize that)  I really don't want you to worry about 'what if I can't draw' because I think anyone's doodles are fun to look at!  So have at it.

That about covers it.   Thanks for reading!  And I really hope you like what you see, and to those of you who contributed, a special thanks.  I  couldn't do it without you.  

tl;dr:  video games, prizes, fun, profit



  • You selected
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    5 backers

    An e-card with game artwork, personally thanking you for your contribution! Even the greatest cathedrals are built one brick at a time...

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    102 backers

    A download of College-Ruled Universe (beta Flash version) free to play on your computer, weeks before it's released! You opportunist, you.

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    Pledge $6 or more

    79 backers

    A 5"x7" high-quality print of game artwork, and a download of the game weeks prior to release.

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    Pledge $20 or more

    66 backers Limited (184 left of 250)

    You ready for this? You'll get a USB stick containing a high-resolution PDF of the CRU artbook, the game's soundtrack in mp3(with cover art), and a copy of the game!
    Also includes a 10"x14" signed, high-quality print of game artwork.

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    Pledge $30 or more

    46 backers Limited (154 left of 200)

    Now you're getting into some premium loot! The College-Ruled Artbook: 28-pages of indie game art bliss, elegantly laid out, right at your fingertips. I'll sign it on the front inside cover! Also receive USB stick with artbook/soundtrack/game.

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    Pledge $45 or more

    15 backers Limited (85 left of 100)

    The spicy package. You receive the USB with artbook/soundtrack/game, but $45 and up unlocks the option of RAGE MODE! For those of you wanting more of a challenge, Rage Mode pushes the difficulty as high as it can go, but we give you some EXCLUSIVE content to get through it! (see UPDATE #2 for details) Package also includes the printed artbook and a 10"x14" special rage print, both signed. (add $5 for international shipping)

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    Pledge $55 or more

    7 backers Limited (68 left of 75)

    The Rook's package. (because you need fancy names at this point) You will receive a random sketch, ballpoint on paper, framed and signed (5"x7"), the artbook, the USB, AND 10"x14" print. (add $5 for international shipping)

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    Pledge $81 or more

    13 backers Limited (2 left of 15)

    The Bishop's package. Receive a signed piece of ORIGINAL artwork from the game, held in a sleek wall-frame. Also Includes the artbook, the USB, and 10"x14" print, all signed.
    (add $5 for international shipping)

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    Pledge $169 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    The Knight's package. Your name will appear in the credits as a sponsor. You receive a signed 2'x5' vinyl poster and framed, signed orginal artwork from the game. Also includes the artbook, the USB, and a 10"x14" print.
    (add $5 for international shipping)

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    Pledge $185 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    The Queen's package. You will be listed in the opening credits as a sponsor, and you will receive an original, framed brush-pen ink illustration. Also includes 2x5 poster, framed original art, artbook, 10x14 print (all signed!), and the USB. That's a lot of stuff!
    (add $5 for international shipping)

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  • You selected
    Pledge $729 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    You are the king.
    Design your own ship or creature on notebook-paper, and we will put it as a boss in the game!! Brag to your friends that you're a game designer now. Your original artwork will be scanned in, animated, and coded. We literally bring it to life.
    You also receive a 2'x5' vinyl poster, framed original artwork, artbook,(all signed!) and USB.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)