Project image
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$3,950
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
66
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, May 10 2019 8:47 PM UTC +00:00
$3,950
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
66
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, May 10 2019 8:47 PM UTC +00:00

About

The free demo is available here!

The Perfect Jury is a visual novel in which you take facts from sources and use them to build narratives. Sources, from print media and scientific journals to social media and leaked documents, are divided into pieces of information, called facts, which can be highlighted, ignored, and reorganized according to your personal beliefs. In The Perfect Jury, narratives don't just convey opinions, they convey truth - as well as lies.

  • You control the narrative. In The Perfect Jury, narrative-building isn't a simple matter of taking sides, it's about identifying the points that matter, bringing nuance and understanding to chaotic, divisive situations.
  • You control the conversation. Games which stress the importance of player choice often reduce meaningful decisions down to simple and infrequent multiple-choice questions, while other actions are ultimately more or less irrelevant. By letting you speak at any time by default, The Perfect Jury lets you decide what decisions are or are not important.
  • Defend your views. This is a game which doesn't value opinions for their own sake. Good opinions reflect a general understanding of a given subject matter. You, along with the other characters, will challenge each other to demonstrate the quality of your opinions.
  • Deep sources. To develop your opinions, you'll work through a variety of multi-faceted source materials, which can analyzed to complete your understanding of the subject, or picked apart to spin a narrative.
  • Real characters. Entertainment media which focuses on politics has a tendency to invent characters to personify viewpoints and ideologies. The Perfect Jury isn't just about politics, it's about the people who have those politics.
  • Intermissions. To flesh out the game's characters, I wanted to add episodes outside the game's jury sessions where you would talk to the other characters in a casual setting and find out what makes them tick. Jurors you befriend or antagonize outside the jury will remember what you said inside the jury.
  • Story. The demo is the first in a series of "episodes" that will make up the final release of the game. Far from being standalone stories, each fits into a larger narrative encompassing the professor's plans, the jury program, and the jurors' lives.
  • Deeper questions. The demo so far raises questions of how we establish truth in political discourse and how we clash and resolve conflicting viewpoints. While these will remain core themes of the game, I'd like to go further and explore the philosophy of democracy, and what it really means for something to be true.
  • Richer conversations. While I programmed the game's dialogue system to be non-linear, the game still doesn't have enough content to show this feature off. More immediately, I'd like to increase potential for controlling the conversation by letting players ask certain questions at multiple points which right now can only be asked at very certain times, which can be easily missed.
  • More possibilities. Earlier builds of The Perfect Jury were more complex, and I decided to cut some features to avoid a bloated, front-loaded tutorial. I'd like to add these features back in, as well as new ones, which include censoring out potential facts, a "shared" narrative which reflects the consensus of the jury, and a research ability to access additional sources before jury sessions.

My name is Grant Kuning. In 2015, I launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for my first game, Sethian, and I released it the following year. In order to keep this project as a manageable size, I'm going to be the only person working full time on this game. However, Ingrid Skare will be designing art assets for the game, and my composer from Sethian, Blissbox, will be doing a few tracks for The Perfect Jury as well.

Originally, I intended to develop four more episodes - five total in the final game - with intermissions in between. However, I decided the project was too ambitious, and scaled it back to something I thought I would be able to do with an amount I could realistically raise on Kickstarter.

If funding for this project goes beyond the goal, I'd like to restore some of my original plans for the game. At double the funding goal, I will complete the entire game I originally envisioned. If funding goes even further beyond that, I can certainly use that to improve and polish the final product, but I don't intend to tack on additional episodes to the story I want to tell.

Risks and challenges

First and foremost, I'm a writer, but game development also includes programming, art and sound design, managerial tasks, and on and on and on. Writing is where I feel most in my element, while the other aspects of game development are where pitfalls tend to crop up for me. For that reason, one of my highest priorities before launching this campaign was to get the game in such a state that I could add new content simply by writing new dialogue and sources without having to write additional code. And while the game clearly lacks polish, from a programming perspective, it is already mostly feature complete, so that adding new content is just a matter of writing in plain English. The other big part of new content is art, which will be handled by Ingrid Skare, who has handled art for the project so far.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Digital Download

    At this tier, you'll get a DRM-free digital copy of the game on release, as well as a thank you in the game's credits.

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    Early Access

    The game's demo is the first of several episodes I'm developing for the final release. At this reward tier, you'll have access to each new episode as it's completed, in addition to the rewards of the first tier.

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    Leaked Documents

    This project involves a lot of research. During my writing process, I reference dozens of primary sources, which directly and indirectly influence the game's sources. At this reward tier, you'll get my commentary on the real-world sources I referenced, exploring conspiracy theories, radical politics, and weird internet culture, as well as sources and dialogue I cut from the final game, in addition to the rewards of lower tiers.

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    Panorama

    At this tier, you'll receive a 24"(60cm) panoramic poster of the whole cast as seen in-game. You'll also receive the rewards of previous tiers.

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    Research Assistant

    At this tier, you'll be able to actively contribute to my research process. You can submit articles, blogs - anything, really - which I'll use as reference for a future source. Alternatively, you can submit something more abstract like a talking point, a political perspective, or other topic for me to explore in a future episode. You'll also get the rewards of lower tiers. If you have an idea but aren't sure how it'll work, feel free to message me and ask. I'll work with you on whatever idea you have.

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    Source Advisor

    At this tier, I will write a source according to your specifications. Let's go crazy with it. If you have books you want me to read, websites you want me to comb through, we can use that as a basis for a source in-game. We can do something elaborate and I'll work with you on whatever idea you have. This includes the rewards of lower tiers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)