Update #12: 82% funded with 36 hours to go! Plus a brand new screenshot
Update #11: 72 hours to go! 75% funded and secrets of the rose
Update #10: Final week! A sidekick is born plus gaining Steam
Update #9: CORRECTION to add-on pricing for physical rewards
Update #8: 8 days left: early access playable prologue plus add-on rewards
Update #7: New poster design, larger printed poster size, and cool press
Update #6: Midway report: 240 backers, 40% funded, and an in-depth interview
Update #5: New screenshot and what's in a prologue?
Update #4: One week later: 170+ backers, 27% funded, and a pleasant surprise
Update #3: Updated art book preview, currency talk and fellow Kickstarter shoutouts
Update #2: The "deduction board / reenactment mode" explained
Update #1: 48 hours later: 100+ backers, 10% funded, and some Q & A.
Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders is a point-and-click adventure game set in a world filled with mystery and charm and inspired by the classics of the genre--games like Gabriel Knight, Grim Fandango, and The Longest Journey.
You play as Di Renjie (pronounced "Dee Ren Djieh"), ancient China's most famous and gifted investigator, as he embarks on the trail of a serial killer in the heart of Tang Dynasty's capital city.
Amid lingering political turmoil, the first and only female empress of China, Wu Zetian rises to power. Within months of her ascension to the throne, murmurs of discontentment and revolution swell as detractors and enemies begin plotting against her. It is against this backdrop that our protagonist, newly appointed investigating magistrate Di Renjie, must solve a gruesome series of murders--which will lead him on a collision course with the Imperial court and the empress herself.
Will our young detective overcome his own inner demons and his allegiance to the previous emperor? What is the connection between the murdered courtesans and the capital's many political secrets? YOU must uncover the truth...
CLASSIC AND NEW GAMEPLAY
The player will explore this unique setting and unravel its narrative twists and turns using familiar adventure gameplay mechanics such as exploration, dialogue choices, interaction with objects and clues, and puzzle-solving. But our game also takes inspiration from more recent adventure titles such as Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery, the Blackwell series, and fellow Kickstarter project Night in the Woods.
Additionally, we hope to introduce an original gameplay mechanic where you will be able to deduct and reenact the scene of a crime and put your theories to the test. Once you've gathered enough clues, this mechanic will be available to progress your investigation.
The pixel art style of the game is also an homage to old school graphics, but we've added our own visual signature and design sensibilities. Over 45 locations (many spanning multiple screen widths) are in the works, each one pixel-painted with care and attention to detail.
Here are animated sprites of a selection of characters from the game:
REAL LIFE DETECTIVE
Based on a historical figure who became one of the most celebrated court officials of the Tang Dynasty, Di Renjie (狄仁杰) has since been made popular through a series of books by Robert van Gulik (Judge Dee series) and numerous TV and film productions (appearing sometimes as Detective Dee or Judge Ti). And while interpretations of this legendary crime solver may vary, the common thread has always been his intellect, compassion, and incorruptible spirit.
The rich setting of Tang Dynasty China is at once beautiful and mysterious. Considered one of the most prosperous eras in Chinese history, it has been a blast to explore and a privilege to render in pixel art glory. Here are some animated scenes that will hopefully give you a sense of the larger world you will discover in the game:
No game is complete without an amazing soundtrack. In the case of Detective Di, we get to musically explore a place and time that is both rich with texture and dense with history. We're very lucky to have the talented Andrea Giachini working with us to bring this setting to life. Here are a couple of sample tracks to put you in the mood:
Empress Wu Theme (early test)
So why Kickstarter? It's no secret that making a game takes a huge amount of time, effort, expertise, and commitment. As a small indie, we are driven by our passion for the craft, but also by the vision behind a particular idea. In the case of Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders, we think we have a game that is deserving of a full release to a broad audience.
This is where Kickstarter comes in. As a way to build a community and as a supplementary funding source, there is little question that a crowd-sourcing campaign that is honest and well prepared can benefit both the content creators and the gamers.
Practically speaking, we've been bootstrapping it ourselves for a while now, and will continue to do so, matching each dollar contributed by backers with our own savings. This has been a very personal journey for us, and we hope you join us on our adventure!
The great thing about a Kickstarter campaign is the shared enthusiasm that can grow out of it. And what better way to celebrate a common passion than awesome goodies!
UPDATE: A backer (thanks Alfred!) was kind enough to recommend a more cost-effective printing/packaging solution for the printed poster reward. As a result, we're increased the size of the printed poster from 12" x 18" to 18" x 24". While we can't change the rewards descriptions in the sidebar, rest assured this is the size we'll be shipping. No action is required on the part of our backers, new or old.
Here's a breakdown of the reward tiers (see sidebar for full descriptions):
If you can't find the perfect tier, why not build your own? With the addition of the following add-ons, we hope everyone will be able to get exactly what they want. (Remember, these are just add-ons, you'll still need a base level tier to add to.)
ADD-ONS CHECKOUT: During checkout, add the amount corresponding to your desired add-on(s) to your base pledge. If you've already backed us, go to "Manage Pledge" and add the amount to your total. Keep your original pledge tier the same. Once the Kickstarter is over, we will contact you and ask you to specify which add-ons you paid for. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's a look at our line up of physical rewards (final products may vary slightly from these concepts):
We're a small team based in Montreal. But we're skilled and nimble! Our core team, led my creative director Minh Ta, has worked together on three successful web games (collectively reaching over 4 million players): Shadow of the Ninja 1 and 2, and Facility Z.
The game has been in part-time development for 10 months. During this period, a number of contributors have supplied their time to advance various aspects of the game. Our bootstrapped efforts have resulted in a gameplay prototype and many scenes have been written and rendered.
For the next 12 months, we'd like to take that to the next level. If the funding goal for this campaign is met, we intend to complete the game by April 2016. While this release window may change slightly if we reach stretch goals, we are 100% committed to delivering the final product in a timely manner.
Speaking of stretch goals, we'd love for this game to have a broad reach because we think the core themes and ideas behind it can resonate with a global audience. In light of that, our earliest stretch goal will be focused on translating the game into multiple languages voted on by the backers. Here's a look at our early targets:
For updates on all aspects of the game's development, please follow us on:
- Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=394367676
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nupixo
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nupixo
- Our website: http://www.detectivedi.com
Risks and challenges
Creating a video game is a long and laborious endeavor. After all, what other medium requires the precise merging of art and technology? Story and interaction? Craftsmanship and heart? All within one compelling experience?
Luckily, these are the kinds of things that we think about when we wake up in the morning--and sometimes, keeps us up at night. But we wouldn't have it any other way. That is why we believe we can overcome the average risks and challenges of such an undertaking. Whether it's writer's block, a technical hurdle, or the death of a beloved cat (yes, that's unfortunately a true story), we are prepared to soldier on.
And when we have doubts about reaching a milestone on time, we promise to be transparent about it as early as possible so that our backers, those who we believe are with us on this journey, know what's going on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)