About this project
Down, down, down. Deeper and deeper. Below the mountain lies Namaset, a cavernous metropolis, built for Kraal, a great and eternal being. Yet Kraal's throne is grim. Namaset is a shunned and long banished civilization; banished for a grudge born out of malevolence and love. It falls to you, Mogal, powerful in your own right, to unwind the mistakes of eons past.
'Mark of the Old Ones' (MotOO) is a 2.5D Metroidvania physics platformer. Inspired by some of our favorite games such as Metroid and Zelda, as well as by the mythos of HP Lovecraft. We modernize the classics by adding dynamic inverse kinematic animation to the mix; giving you the ability to explore and interact with the game world in ways that you never have before, in ways that will quickly become natural to your fingers, brain, and gamer soul.
- Metroidvania gameplay with truly satisfying ability-hardlocks.
- Careful attention to the difficulty curve, giving you time to master your abilities, yet constantly pushing you to new heights.
- Gameplay focused on a few core game mechanics, many of them revealed here:
We didn't want MotOO to be just another "rope" game. So we created our own inverse kinematics system to give our character "real" tendrils driven directly by your analog sticks. What does that mean exactly? Well, if you don't know what inverse kinematics is, go look it up :) If you do know what IK is, please know the following: Mogal was never touched by an artist. An artist never gave Mogal a model or a rig. An artist never animated Mogal. As a gamer, that sounds so good to me...I think I'll say it again: Mogal has zero pre-baked animations. 100% of Mogal's animation is done in real-time, based off of the input that YOU give to the analogue sticks. That means that you aren't limited to walking, running, ducking, jumping, shooting (the typical animations/actions a character would be able to perform in a typical game). With no pre-baked animations, and everything under your control in real-time...you can do basically anything you could do with a pair of arms in real life. In the main video, when the elevator crashes and there is a pile of wood on top of you, you don't "Push X button to dig yourself out"...you use your arms to dig yourself out! When you grab the lamp and hold it with one arm while swinging down the hallway with the other arm...you don't "Push Y button to pick up lamp"...you just pick up the lamp! In the video below, when you want to do a windmill dunk...there is no button for that...you just do it!!
Drive control of your tendrils from their tips, allowing you to push off the floor like a jellyfish, manipulate objects, and really do just about anything...
Picture a trampoline that does not fully compress under your mass. As you are coming down on the trampoline, you increase your mass, allowing you to fully compress the trampoline, you then decrease your mass, giving you maximum bounce.
An object is being held in place by a magnet, you aren't strong enough to pull it free, you increase your mass giving you the additional force that you need to rip the object from the magnet's hold.
Attract, repulse, bend the world to your will. Oh yes.
The boost ability gives you a sharp vertical thrust. Upgrade the capacity of your boost reservoir, recharge rate, and cool down time. Swing higher and farther than ever before.
Chronition slows time, lets you see further, and shines a bright light on the darkness of Namaset.
Kraal Under the Mountain
The Adoration of Kraal
What will you do with my pledge?
MotOO has been a passion project for a year. It will remain a passion project for me forever. But, there are skills that I do not possess and I shouldn't try to do everything by myself. I need the continued help from the great artists, musicians, and engineers that have helped me bring the game to this point. They are also passionate about the game, but, they do need to get paid for their work, and that is where the money will go. At this point of MotOO's development, I think that Kickstarter is a better place to get funding than from a private investor, because you, the Kickstarter backer, are an early adopter, and that means that you are more likely to be interested in being part of the MotOO community from the early days, through the beta, straight up till launch.
Note: You will notice that taxes are not included in the above pie chart. $46,000 in revenue would not make our company profitable. Our expenses are greater than $46,000, so our tax liability would be $0 for 2014. We can revisit the pie chart if/when it looks as if our revenues will exceed our expenses.
How far along is the game?
The foundation is poured, the heavy lifting is done. We have all the tools we need, they are in place, the workflow is flowing. We have a solid base set of art assets and a base coat of sound design. But, more art assets, sounds and music need creating. We have the designs for a sprawling world. We have hundreds of puzzles and obstacles already built, some in need of more testing, some ready for prime time. But, they are not pretty, they have no art on them. We need time to apply art to the hours of gameplay that we want you to experience.
What platforms can I play on?
MotOO builds on Windows 64 bit, OSX (10.7 or later) and Linux 64 bit (Ubuntu is officially supported). You will be able to play the game on any of the above platforms DRM free. We do not plan on supporting 32 bit versions of the game on any platform. With our Linux support, we are poised to jump onto Valve's Steam Box (or whatever they are calling it). However, we are not yet on Steam, but I think that getting on Steam is definitely within reason. We also have aspirations of getting on PS4 (we are in Sony's developer program), but we are far from being able to promise PS4 support.
Risks and challenges
The elephant in the room is that this is our second attempt at a Kickstarter for MotOO, and we are now asking for less money. Our previously unsuccessful attempt to kickstart MotOO might make you ask the following questions: "What were you thinking on that first Kickstarter? How is it possible that you need less money this time around?"
The pitch for the first Kickstarter was made up of concept art and a demo comprised almost entirely of debug lines. We had almost zero in-game art, with only a wisp of 3D art. We had spent considerable time dreaming up the level designs, story, and mythology of the game, and not so much time creating tangible art assets. However, fully developed was the core of MotOO: the IK animation system and Mogal's tendrils. We had no funding to continue the project, no money to get the art assets made, so, armed with our tangible core game mechanics, and our concept art, we took to Kickstarter.
We thought that if enough people saw the project, they would see the potential in the core game mechanics, and the project would be successful. Although the first Kickstarter did not reach its funding goal, we did not give up, we persevered, because we knew that if several hundred backers were willing to pledge $28,242 to a concept from an unknown indie team, that it meant that people did see the potential in our ideas.
A few private investors also believed in us, and have funded us for the past six months. Their private funding is a big reason that we can ask for less money on this second Kickstarter campaign. We simply need six months less operating capital than we did on the first campaign, because the game is six months closer to being done.
When we started the first Kickstarter, we thought that we were one year away from completing the game, it is now six months later, so we should be six months away from completing the game. However, we are trying to finish the game in four months. So, the second reason we can ask for less money, is that we have shaved two additional months off of the game's development timeline.
Getting the first Kickstarter out there in MotOO's early stage of development was beneficial because we got a lot of feedback that helped us redesign and rework parts of the game. The new designs are tighter, more fun, and reduce the scope of the game.
For example, the original main character of the game was a man named Thomas. Thomas was replaced with Mogal. As Mogal, the way you play the game (the core movement mechanics) remain exactly the same. The mythology and lore of the game remains exactly the same. To accommodate this new character, the story was changed a bit, and the story is actually better now. Changing the character from Thomas to Mogal saved us months of work. Reducing scope means we have a shorter timeline, which saves money.
On the first campaign we were asking for a year's worth of funding ($225,000). Now we are asking for four months of funding, which some quick math says should be $75,000. Yet we are only asking for $46,000. Which takes us to the final big reason that we can ask for less money on this campaign. Our chief engineer came off the company payroll, and joined me in the ranks of working on MotOO as a passion project.
I hope that you will see the first Kickstarter not as a failure, but as a demonstration of how we can overcome obstacles, tackle challenges, and how we will keep pushing forward no matter what to bring our vision for MotOO into being.
Kraal Fhtagn!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Six months ago, the concept for the main character of MotOO was a rugged fellow named Thomas. We had a good story for Thomas, and some 2D concept art for Thomas. But, there were several issues with Thomas, so we replaced him with Mogal.
Here are some of the issues:
1. We had to reduce the scope of MotOO. Switching from Thomas to Mogal was the single biggest time/money saving change that we made.
2. Thomas was gruesome. Thomas' was mangled in a plane crash, and he subsequently had a parasite latched onto his back. Mogal is not gruesome, just odd.
3. We were still refining the story of MotOO. It turns out that the story is better with Mogal as the main character.
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