198X is an arcade epic. A coming-of-age story told through multiple games and genres, worlds and characters. Experience the thrill of shooting, driving, jumping, fighting and role-playing – combined with emotional, cinematic storytelling. Welcome to the world of 198X – where a new life is just 1 credit away.
The game is set in Suburbia, just outside the City, sometime in 198X. It follows the journey of Kid, a teenager stuck between the limitations of innocent youth and the obligations of inevitable adulthood. The story unfolds when Kid discovers the local arcade – finding new worlds, and new meaning, in video games. For every visit to the arcade – every game uncovered, every move mastered, every demon defeated – Kid grows stronger. And the lines between game and reality starts to blur…
198X is built around five distinct arcade games, each inspired by classic themes and genres. These fully playable games feature several full-blown stages with familiar settings and unmistakable core mechanics, as well as unique twists and unexpected turns.
HARD-HITTING NO-NONSENSE STREET FIGHTING
Feel the rush of hardcore vigilantism as you rid the back alleys of hoodlum filth and punk gangsters. Expect bruised knuckles as danger lurks around every corner. This is inner city peacekeeping-by-force so lethal you’ll feel the pain yourself.
LASER-POWERED OUTER SPACE MECHA MAYHEM
In the cold of the cosmos, a lone fighter dares defy the mechanical armada of automated death. Warp into the vast unknown and power up those plasma cannons, as the odds are stacked against you – big time.
PEDAL-TO-THE METAL MIDNIGHT CRUISING
Take your deluxe sports car for the ride of your life. Race the setting sun to reach the metropolis of your dreams, brilliant as a gemstone in the dark. Cruise with attitude as you overtake nobodies and become one with the rhythm of the open road.
SHARP-AS-A-KNIFE’S-EDGE ACROBATIC ACTION
Put on your mask and sharpen that blade, warrior! Mythological monster slaying is on the agenda. Enter zen as you face fierce demons from ancient folklore, dodging and dashing, dislodging and slashing until no one draws breath but you. This is the literal bleeding edge.
VIRTUALLY VIRTUAL GLITCHED-OUT DUNGEON CRAWLING
Explore the labyrinthine circuits of a rogue AI and cut the code to its digital dominion. Battle cyber abominations stuck between reality and glitch, as you navigate the artificial but all-to-real grid in your desperate search for a way out – or a way in…
Hi-Bit Studios is based in Stockholm, Sweden, but our creative team is spread out all over the world – from Bordeaux, France to Nagoya, Japan. The inspiration for 198X come from our collective love for and deep knowledge of pixel art and the golden age of arcade games. Everyone in our team of 11 people have their own unique experiences from working in or near the games industry – as artists, programmers, writers, editors, managers – for many years. Individually we have been involved in both indie and bigger budget game development, created critically acclaimed books and magazines, and founded Stockholm Museum of Video Games in order to preserve and celebrate the very art form we are now united and determined to contribute to.
Writer & director: Tobias Bjarneby // Game Designers: Daniel Eyre & Victor Sjöström // Graphic Artists: Alexis ”Mr HK” Morille, Catherine ”Einzbern” Menabde, Paul ”Doomcube” Conway, Tim Jonsson & Motocross Saito // Programmer: Johan Högfeldt, Odd Raven Studios // Music: U.F.L, Yuzo Koshiro // Music Advisor: Thomas Böcker // Graphic Designer: Markus Karlsson Frost //Producer: Daniel Grigorov
Work on 198X started in Spring 2017, and the game is scheduled for release in March 2019, across current-gen consoles (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch) and PC. We have already built several Unity based engines, and started designing stages and game mechanics to make sure we can deliver on our goals.
600 000 SEK ($68 600): 10 ADDITIONAL CUTSCENES
The overall narrative of 198X is mostly (but not exclusively...) centred around highly detailed, hand-pixeled cutscenes. If this stretch goal is met, we will add 10 additional full cutscenes to the game, further enriching the game's plot and letting players resonate with Kid's journey even more.
700 000 SEK ($80 000) : GALLERY MODE
Enjoy the intricate backgrounds and elaborate sprite work of 198X at your own leisure, along with a sound test featuring every music track in the game. Hang out in Kid's room or stay in the arcade for as long as you like, while listening to your favorite tracks from the game.
900 000 SEK ($102 900): ”THE STRANGER”
198X is a focused, story-driven experience. But there just might be room for sidetracks as well. "The Stranger" is a road trip tale taking place within our racing game, a separate short story providing additional details about the world of 198X.
You can always come back here for the latest updates on this project. You can also follow us on social media or visit the homepage.
Risks and challenges
We are creating a unique experience, which of course comes with its fair share of challenges. But we also draw upon a well-documented era of video game history. We utilize established genres and game mechanics as templates and inspiration. For us as a studio, 198X is our first game. But as individuals we have been working in and near the industry for ages, producing not only video games but also books, magazines and digital media. Every person in our team has many years of experience meeting deadlines and working in complex creative environments. We are very confident in our collective ability to make 198X the game of our dreams.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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