OBEY project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$3,350 pledged of $78,000 goal
backers
By Daniel Dez
$3,350 pledged of $78,000 goal
backers

About this project

We've all commanded team mates or groups of AI units in a game. In OBEY you are instead positioned to command your enemies (human opponents) - and to be commanded by them.  

Players are always free to obey/disobey, it is up to them to deal with the consequences of their actions in the game.

One player, balanced on a precarious throne, has vast advantages in firepower and income. But everyone else has the very things that the overlord player needs to make their dominion last. Any player could take the overlord's place, if they're clever and quick. Who has the real power?

When funded, OBEY will be released for PC/MAC/Linux.

NOTE TO BACKERS!  ALL TIERS $11 AND ABOVE ALL INCLUDE BETA ACCESS: EVERYONE WILL BE ABLE TO PLAY BY SUMMER 2015!  

BETA/ALPHA ACCESS IS ALSO INCLUDED IN ANY EXTRA KEYS IN YOUR TIER! 

Do you want to be able to share the maps you make with other players? Do you want me to bring this to other platforms? Leaderboards and Achievements?  Let's get this thing funded!

To learn more details about how the coercive game mechanics in OBEY function, have a listen to this audio (5 mins) or watch a stream of a play session or scroll down to the "Action! Strategy! Stealth! Coercion!" section.

Why would you give your worst enemy the very tools he will use to destroy you - willingly?
Why would you give your worst enemy the very tools he will use to destroy you - willingly?

Press Reactions:

  • "[the] mechanics help foster multiplayer dynamics that are amazing to watch unfold. In one game players might end up in a Totalitarian-style play style. In another, a bunny uprising, or flat-out anarchy may occur. Really, it’s up to each player and their acceptance/rejection of “obeying” that makes each match unique. Although there may be other games out there that foster such gameplay, I have definitely never played one before."    - Marcus Estrada, Cliqist.com
  • "...this is a tense, fast-paced King of the Hill-type encounter where the balance of power is constantly shifting and is not always in the hands of the only person with actual weaponry. Playing into the overlord’s hand can be more lucrative than attempting to constantly subvert, creating a bizarre and uncomfortably totalitarian-feeling experience, whereas once the dropship is eliminated complete anarchy can erupt with players casting off their tracking collars and bum-rushing the robot for control.."  - Julian Aidanhardcoregamer.com
  • "As games for the most part have clearly defined player interactions, be they competitive or cooperative, a new project on Kickstarter plays with participants’ self-interests like few games do...The game has players interact as helpless bunnies, but it’s much more complex than it looks." 
    - Luke Siutyhttp://indiegamemag.com/
  • "I am really glad we here at GAU caught you early on this because we loved the game",  "OBEY was my favorite game at Boston Festival of Indie Games" - Drew Frayre, gaustudios.com 

Watch a game session recorded by YouTuber FRAGMIX!

Below is the same session as recorded by YouTuber xGD0G - his strategy is to build up a lot of trust before subverting!

Here is another video of the same session, as experienced by the (very subversive!) Twitch user Venraiden.

Features:  

  • Unique asymmetrical gameplay 
  • King-of-the-Hill gameplay for new or casual players and deep gameplay for experienced players 
  • Stealth gameplay mechanics 
  • Play tricks and mind games against your opponents 
  •  Maintain fragile alliances with opponents based on self-interest 
  • Create your own maps 
  • A complex world that allows for almost unlimited forms of deception 
  • Really cool robot to control and explode bunnies with 
  • Bunny customization 
  • Windows, OSX, Linux 
  • Multiplayer action 
  • DRM Free 
  • Local LAN support - no internet required. 
  • Run your own private server. 
  • No micro-transactions, no BS, just a solid game.

All tiers $11 and above get BETA access in Summer 2015. Estimated final release is Fall 2015.

You can get your hands on the OBEY ALPHA as soon as January! 

Let's play OBEY!
Let's play OBEY!

What makes OBEY special? 

Maybe you saw the enormous robot annihilating defenseless little bunnies with its cannon, missile launchers, and then a flamethrower and thought "I've seen this before - this is nothing new."

Consider the following: The robot that kills bunnies is also controlled by a 'defenseless' bunny. When we realize that the creatures in the game are the ones committing ultra-violence against each other, we begin to understand the game.

The robot player can only shoot missiles, flames, and generally abuse the other players when those players have enabled it!

"Oh, that's clever! Horrible, and maybe even a little deranged, but exceptionably clever. I mean, we're all used to ordering around hordes of little peasants or heroes or whatever, but giving and receiving orders to/from actual players? And not just team commands, group action, or quest suggestions, actual coercive micromanagement? The psychological aspects are great. Seriously, I'm in."  -Grey_Moment, Steam user

Action! Strategy! Stealth! Coercion!!

OBEY is really two games in one.  

Some players play OBEY like an action game and like to shoot anything that moves in the face with a chain cannon the size of a small apartment building. This is FINE.

However, OBEY is a deeper game, and playing it for a bit reveals its true nature as a  strategy and psychological game.  Even in its current state, it rewards trickery and creativity much more than twitch skills.  OBEY is the first video game designed from the ground up with player vs. player coercion at its core. Because of this, there is no other game that plays like OBEY. 

Mastery of OBEY means understanding its coercion mechanics. If you want to know details about how the game mechanics work, have a listen to the audio below (5 mins), or watch a play session, or have a read of my gameplay blog post or some articles about OBEY.

VOTE for OBEY on Steam Greenlight!   

Vote! Vote! Vote!
Vote! Vote! Vote!

Approach and Inspiration

OBEY was inspired by authoritarian systems of influence and the way they function.  OBEY is not about bunnies or robots at all:  the meaning of OBEY becomes evident when you realize that the situation spontaneously arising in your game with your fellow players mirrors a recurring human pattern.  

These are the ideas that have, and will continue to inform my decisions on OBEY. 

Budget 

Backers on Kickstarter often see games being funded for $10k or $30k, and you may wonder why I have not done the same.  To the uninitiated, let me disabuse you of the illusion that any but the most primitive web games can be funded for those amounts. (Do you really think a team of devs can work for a year on $50k alone? No).  

In my case, I have personally invested everything into getting the game where it is today.  Backers are funding the completion of OBEY to 100%.  In order to keep your risk as backer as low as possible, I developed the game as far as I could BEFORE asking you to fund it.

Here is what I have already completed:

  • Gameplay implementation and proof of concept
  • Networking systems & matchmaking
  • Modular environment systems and art pipeline
  • Level editing pipeline
  • Art and effect pipelines

Here is how the funds will be distributed:

The minimum goal is designed to buy enough time to complete the list below (in the following section).

Why Kickstarter?

OBEY is a game I have wanted to see made for over a decade. Realizing no one was going to make it but me, I decided to make it myself.  I know there are tons of other players that want to get their hands on this. (In fact, someone sent me an email the other day with the subject line "GIVE ME YOUR GAME"). NOW it is time to get this project in front of YOU! Kickstarter is the perfect way to bring us together to not only complete this game but make OBEY as awesome and fun to play as possible!  

Things I will do with the funds if we meet the minimum goal:

  • Sound effects (the game does not have any sound at the moment)
  • Music
  • The game is begging for an alliance system so players can team up against each other. This is one of the first things I will add.
  • An AI system so that the game can be played with fewer players. (right now, OBEY needs at least 4 players to have the most enjoyable session possible) The AI doesn't have to be smart, just complex enough so human players can hide among them (like in Spy Party).  I know this will work because I have already seen skilled human players try to hide among less skilled players!
  • Destructible environments (the map has to get utterly trashed as a round progresses)
  • The game will require in-game VoIP. 
  • Game Modes
  • A Linux build
  • Bunny customization/accessory system (bunnies will still all look the same to the robo player, though)
  • Tons of UI work to be done
  • Art passes. Do you like the way OBEY looks? I will make it even better!
  • The game has only been playable for about 2 months, and it's already fun and doing what it is supposed to do. I need to refine the gameplay based on YOUR feedback!

But there is so much more! 

"Let's get OBEY funded so we can talk about stretch goals!"
"Let's get OBEY funded so we can talk about stretch goals!"

Do you want to be able to share the maps you make with other players? Do you want me to bring this to other platforms? Leaderboards and Achievements?  Let's get this thing funded, and tell me what you want!

Do you like what you see? Tell your friends - I can't do this without you!

The more we can raise, the better I can make this game! 

The Team

It's just me!
It's just me!

I have been making games for 12 years professionally full time (plus also usually late into the night). Mainly as an environment and technical artist and also as an indie programmer. I am also a self-taught coder (14 years, but forever learning). In 2008, I left my last studio position as environment art supervisor at Kaos Studios to become indie. I have been indie ever since.

If you would like to know more about my professional past,  have a look at my linkedIn,  my personal website, or my old art portfolio.

OBEY is my personal Mt. Everest. Join the adventure!!! :D

NOTE: I will be hiring out the sound/music - so that will be the one area that I will not be doing alone.

Media

If you would like press materials, please do check out the press kit, or visit obeygame.com. You can also download a big zip with the latest screenshots here.

If you are a YouTuber and want to give OBEY a trycontact me through my YouTube account

Why do you hate bunnies?

This is a fair question. Firstly, I chose baby bunnies to counter the robot because I wanted the contrast and asymmetry between players inside vs outside the robot to be as large as possible.  I wanted the player's avatar to reflect their (apparent) impotence against the robot's (apparent) invincibility.  Secondly, because baby bunnies seem to me to be among the most defenseless and innocent of creatures, it makes it all the more shocking when it becomes evident that it is they perpetrating horrific acts against each other (for money). Sound familiar? Finally, baby bunnies are a fitting animal to live in a magical forest, which I also wanted to have as an environment to counter the hard lines and aesthetic of the robot (NOTE: the forest is going to get a few art passes before OBEY is done).

Also, I do not actually hate bunnies. Behold:

Me not hating a baby bunny I found in my yard.
Me not hating a baby bunny I found in my yard.

Also note that baby bunnies do not care for: carrots, kale, or blueberries. In fact, shortly after this picture was taken I learned that baby bunnies only care about one thing, and one thing only: GOLD. Just kidding. I learned they only care for: milk from mommy bunny teats.

---

Risks and challenges

The funding goal is the minimum amount needed to guarantee to put out OBEY as a professional but bare bones product. Barring any catastrophic personal situation or health issue, OBEY will be delivered as a finished game to you sometime in 2015.

I have worked really hard before running this campaign to leave as little risk for backers.

You will note most of the riskiest and most difficult questions and systems are already in place and tested:
- Gameplay implementation and proof of concept
- Networking systems
- Modular environment systems and art pipeline
- Level editing pipeline
- Art and effect pipelines

Here are the systems that are NOT in place and do pose some potential risk:
- AI system
- Environmental destruction system
- bunny customization system
- VoIP
- Sounds and audio system integration
- game recording and playback systems (if stretch goal is met)

Developing games for 12 years has given me insight into what are the risky elements and I purposefully took care of all the stuff I thought was scary before coming to Kickstarter (the 'done' list above).

The main advantage to working alone (and it is the reason I chose to work alone) is that the buck stops with me. There are zero interpersonal dependencies, or hierarchies, or special knowledge among team members. If something needs changing or fixing, I can fix it because I made it. I am responsible only to you, the backers!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You will receive an email from me, expressing my eternal gratitude for helping a brotha out!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    1 x DRM-free digital copy and game key for OBEY (PC/Mac/Linux)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 33 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    1 x DRM-free digital copy and game key for OBEY (PC/Mac/Linux)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    EARLY BIRD BACKER! you get the $25 dollar tier for $18 - simply for backing OBEY early!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 48 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    2 x DRM-free digital copies and game keys of OBEY (PC/Mac/Linux)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BACKER: 2 x DRM-free digital copies and game keys of OBEY (PC/Mac/Linux) + exclusive bunny accessories only available to kickstarter backers + your name in the credits as a backer!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    FOUR PACK: 4 x DRM-free digital copies and game keys of OBEY (PC/Mac/Linux)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    ALPHA ACCESS: play as soon as possible!
    3 x DRM-free digital copies and game keys of OBEY (PC/Mac/Linux) + your name in the credits as Alpha Backer! + ALPHA ACCESS - you will receive a copy and updates of the game as soon as it's possible for me to disseminate publicly! + Access to private development forums: tell me directly what you want to see in the game. (Note: alpha access is for 1 person only) + exclusive cyborg enhancement accessories set for your bunny + bunny accessories only available to kickstarter backers.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    ALPHA ACCESS PLUS: all ALPHA ACCESS rewards + You will be given a set of exclusive bunny accessories that will never be available again. I will run a vote with you and the others in your tier to decide what the customization theme will be. Zombie set? Pirate set? I'll make whatever you guys decide :)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    PATRON: Immortalize yourself with your picture or a picture of your choosing next to your name in the credits (60 x 100 family friendly) + all ALPHA ACCESS PLUS rewards.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PATRON rewards + a large 3'x4' high quality OBEY poster print, signed with my thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    PATRON rewards + take part in a development play & feedback session with Daniel. Ask or tell him directly whatever you want to see in OBEY.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    PATRON rewards + Daniel will consult on your game / idea for 1 hour including a videoconferenced playtest and feedback session.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    SPECIAL PATRON: Your name and image immortalized on a special funding credit right after me in the game (350 x 350) + ALPHA ACCESS rewards + 3 extra keys for the game (for 6 total)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $900 or more About $900

    SPECIAL PATRON rewards + Design your own unique custom bunny accessory! Yes, I will make and implement ONE just for you! (note: you can choose to make it unique to you or available to all players).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    SPECIAL PATRON rewards + Receive the original framed single page design document for OBEY (drawn in pen in 2002, the game has evolved quite a lot!).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)