About this project
UPDATE #17: THE END IS NIGH! The Final 24 hours!
UPDATE #16:Oculus Stretch goal ACHIEVED! Sandbox + Dale’s Custom Comic Tier Sneak Peak!
UPDATE #15: SANDBOX MODE! Final Print Artist UNVEILED!
UPDATE #14: SCALE IS FUNDED! $87,000 REACHED!
Remember that can still bring SCALE to PS4 if we hit our final stretch goal! See important scientific chart below:
Scale anything, discover everything.
You wield a device that can make any item any size. A tree, a wall, an enemy, a passing cloud, even the levels themselves are all "SCALEable". Space is relative in the game so progress is as much conceptual as it is physical. The unique mechanic of SCALEing is inspired by games like Portal and The Swapper. Progression through the game is freeform and open like Mario 64 or early Zelda overworlds. It’s all about exploring and discovering secrets!
You play as young physics savant Penny Prince, inventor of a device which can suck the size out of one thing and shoot it into another. SCALE begins as Penny awakes in prison, convicted of 9,322,591 counts of Depraved Heart Murder for accidentally destroying the east coast. Someone has confiscated her cat. Against the express advice of the rehabilitative therapy coordinator now living inside her brain, she hastily reconstructs her device using materials from a nearby cellphone recycling bin and embarks upon escape in an attempt to regain her freedom and her cat.
This is the main deal! If you pledge right now, you’ll get a DRM free copy of SCALE and a Steam key! We’re aiming to make SCALE triple-A quality… no, quintuple-A quality! But when it’s done, we’ll probably charge a quadruple-A price. Pledging or pre-ordering now is the surest way to get the game at its lowest price for the foreseeable future.
Are you the type of gamer who just types WASD over and over to the exclusion of all the other awesome keys? Well no longer! Steve also made a game that uses EVERY KEY! Every key! That's right the fun and the inputting never stop because they are the same thing in Inputting-- the game! You can get it packaged together with SCALE for just $15!
Using the power of friendship, we condensed five tremendous games into a single value pack! For just $20, you'll get a DRM-free copy of SCALE on MAC, PC, and Linux. You'll also recieve four additional amazing games donated by super-group Friends of Scale: OSMOS, Incredipede, Electronic Super Joy, Noitu Love 2, and Inputting! Like friendship itself, this offer is limited!
Do you like tunes? And jamming to them? We want to help! The SCALE OST is going to sound amazing! Did you look at the musicians involved!? Did you see them!?? Did you?!! Scroll down and look at them and then come back down here when you’re calm. Yeah, it’s out of control. This album is going to be like sunshine-- hot, sparkling, and DRM free! Pledge now and you'll also get SCALE's OST as a digital download.
A lot of great musicians have approached us with ideas and work for SCALE, so many that we won’t be able to fit them all in the game. But we love them and want to do anything for them because their music is so good! Thus we have no choice but to release a second ALL AWESOME companion album, so called in the music industry because ALL THE TRACKS WILL BE AWESOME and there may be some risk of you bopping until you drop/can’t stop, etc.
Once we feel SCALE is ready for a limited audience, but not quite ready for prime time, we’ll release it to a limited audience. You can be among that select number and your feedback will help shape the final game! Watch as friends and enemies burn with jealous rage as you shrink and enlarge stuff before anybody else in the (SCALE) universe!
Most concept art for games is buried deep underground with the artist once the game launches to ensure an auspicious reception for the title in heaven. But SCALE is different! We’ve promised all the talented artists involved that they will escape with their lives. And what’s more, we want to pick through the vast pile of amazing art littering the floor of their forbidden temple and put it into a big book! This transcendent volume will feature, among other items, sick sketches, storyboards, mockups, and renders from SCALE’s development, all for your perusal as a high quality PDF download!
Before SCALE is ready for a limited Beta audience, we’ll be doing Alpha testing, so called because it is the leader of the pack of all testing! If you’d like to see the game before anyone else and give us feedback, pledge in a tier with Alpha access, and you’ll get an extra-first look at SCALE as we’re putting it together! This may be the only place in which you will be able to glimpse the creative team’s true forms as they flicker in and out of existence briefly during the strenuous act of creating something from nothing.
Contrary to what the internet advises, you can’t go naked all the time. You just can’t. These tees, intended to cover and accentuate the chest and the top of the arms, are designed by Mr. Swink himself, with designs printed on tasteful grey, red, green, or blue cloth. Once this shirt arrives, place it on any part of your body and move about through the world to collect “mad props”, “instant respect”, and fistbumps ad libitum. Transformation into a marmalade tabby is rare. After several weeks of wear, you will probably turn into some other sort of cat.
Part of what we love about SCALE is it’s potential for wild and abstract visuals made from the distorted hash of everyday objects like flowers, houses, cars, trees and even the landscape itself. It’s already made for some fantastic and unique art. So we’re really excited about putting together a series of slick posters! We don’t have a final designs to show you yet, but we’re planning on at least 5 of them. (One of our cat interns whipped up the prototype above). But rest assured, we will not feed our cats until they forge the finest print ever seen in their secret workshop underneath the stairs
For those of you who left a part of their heart in the 90s, we have just the thing: the SCALE OST in CD form. Glimmering sides caparisoned in delicately wrapped custom-designed packaging, this item will provide great comfort to those whom, when they listen to music, want to know that somewhere, somehow, there is a disk silently spinning.
If you are someone who enjoys existing in physical space and possessing objects likewise endowed with tangible properties, this is the reward for you! The Scale Meatspace Masterpiece Possession Form of SCALE includes a custom designed physical box for the game (artist and final design TBA), the game on disc, an instruction manual full of unique content/dubious advice, and a CD copy of the OST. All items possessed of mass and composed entirely of matter!
We’re gonna’ cut the SCALE OST and the ALL AWESOME COMPANION Albums to a pair of Vinyl discs housed in beautifully designed dust jackets. Why? Because we like vinyl’s charm and warm sound. Those who obtain such an item should be prepared to instantly become cool(er?) and stay that way for the rest of their life.
When the apocalypse comes and all your buds are vainly thumbing the blank screens of their uncharged mobile devices, won’t you be glad you opted for the SCALE Masterpiece Meatspace Artbook with analog-style pages? In this volume, we will collect all the goodness of the digital artbook, wrapped up in retro physical form, amazing cover design, and custom packaging. Once it arrives, place it on a coffee table or bookshelf to seduce anyone instantly!
Steve is a game design instructor who has experience helping game designers refine and scope their ideas into manageable, fulfilling projects. If you select this reward, he’ll work with you to hone your idea into the best possible game it can be, and playtest, and offer feedback. Includes a trip to get ice cream. Not valid at participating locations offer void if coupons vouchers.
As Penny progresses through a universe she has skewed seemingly beyond all repair, her inherent curiosity compels her to collect all the subatomic particles that now drift as big as life through the detritus such as tachyons, fermions, muons, quarks, inflatons,and even those that have yet to be discovered like the benbernankion, the orgon, and the emoticon. If you pledge at a tier that includes a particle, tell us what you’d like to see, and we’ll craft it for you into a classy model.
Penny is confined in a miniprison, carefully SCALEd and crafted by the Poetic Justice System so that her punishment fits her crime. Just like PJS, we will uniquely craft a miniprison of your very own, complete with advertisements for popular near-future prison contractors such as Nev-R eScape Therapy Cell and EZ Kwik & Accurate Memory Trappers, LLC. This item sits nicely on any desk, table, or secret shrine behind the bookcase.
Certain recently resurrected species of the Silurian period have been genetically enhanced to provide the ultimate in prisoner rehabilitation. These brain parasites work with their host to overcome and correct a wide array of antisocial tendencies and mental difficulties. But to those on the straight and narrow, they just make great hats. If you feel you are virtuous enough, consider sporting a lovingly crafted Silurian Brain Parasite Hat.
The SCALE device streams the “SCALE-ness” or “Size Juice” out of one thing and into another allowing the user to really mess up the universe big time. We are planning five different versions of THE DEVICE for usage in game, each more refined and magnificent than the last, especially because the first one is basically whatever Penny could build out of the garbage on hand in her mini-prison. They get cooler though. If this is your chosen reward, you will receive one (1) Hollywood prop quality version of the in-game SCALE device, for you to use on your very own quest to discover the ultimate nature of matter.
This would be the perfect opportunity to make a joke about how the quality of the game will SCALE up to match your contribution (huh? get it? get it?) but that’s really not the case. We don’t believe in holding mechanics, levels, or key features ransom behind ludicrous stretch goals. We’ll be able to make a great game if we hit our initial funding target, and if we make it, you won’t have to settle for ½ the systems you got excited about when reading about our project.
But there are some things we’d like extra money to do, and we do think that they’ll make the process of making the game swifter and easier.
100K - Oculus Rift support
Due to how we’re making the game, it should be pretty easy for us to add support for the Oculus Rift, which is why Oculus support is our first and lowest Stretch Goal.
125K - Unlock Dale’s SCALE custom companion comic
Dale’s writing the game by using up the last jot of love and passion in an otherwise cold and robotic heart. But with some extra money we could activate his for-profit subroutine and tap into a rich dark vein of wild SCALE-themed comics undreamt of in this modern age. Dale experts tell us it’s dark magic would create a special companion comic for the game that would go with you wherever you went.
150K - Hire Additional 3D Artist
An additional 3D artist means we’ll not only be able to have more art in the game, but we’ll be able to have better art, as there will be more time refine for the artists to refine their work.
175K - Level Editor
With a level editor, you’ll be able to build the worlds you’ve always dreamed of, and then make them really, really big or really, really tiny and watch your friends play them. However, you’ll need to supply your own Zoolander style “what is this, a _____ for ANTS?!?!” jokes.
Officially, we call our company CubeHeart, a Voltron-like flesh monstrosity of game development talent, lead by Steve "I'll form the head" Swink for the purpose of making SCALE a good video game that humans will enjoy. Steve is SCALE’s designer and principal developer, and he has made a bunch of other great games, taught game development course, and even written a book. You can learn more about that by checking out the biography section in the sidebar.
CubeHeart's other robo-parts include:
Dale Beran, Writer (A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible, The Nerds of Paradise):
Dale forms CubeHeart's writing core located in a jaunty robotic hat and is responsible for SCALE's excellent story, dialog, and world building.
Eddy Boxerman, Physics Ninja (Osmos): Eddy is our physics guru extraordinaire, and forms CubeHeart's adamantium skeleton, upon which bugs are righteously shattered. A true warrior poet.
Andrew Coggeshall, Polygon Wizard (RedFrame): Andrew's abilities in the eldritch world of 3D art are not to be underestimated. Andrew is CubeHeart’s raw brawn, beefy arms, and rakish good looks all in one package.
Max Geiger, Producifier (Unfinished Swan, Deadliest Warrior): Max forms CubeHeart’s robo-codpiece. What that conceals, no one knows, but it is responsible for the potency and chutzpah of CubeHeart’s planning and project management.
Mike Wright, Soundsmith and Composer (Miscrits): Mike is SCALE’s audio designer, and CubeHeart’s shining ears. His shimmering platinum lobes make lesser golden ears seem crude and unrefined in comparison.
With Voiceover work by:
Ashly Burch (Hey Ash, Watcha Playin’?, Borderlands 2)
Sarah Elmaleh (Gone Home, Skulls of the Shogun)
Forming CubeHeart’s sonorous vocal cords, Ash and Sarah have agreed to lend their considerable talents to SCALE as the voice of Penny and Penny’s Silurian brain parasite therapist, respectively. Their euphonious stylings will carry you to new emotional highs and lows over the course of the game.
Featuring tracks by:
Ben Prunty (FTL, Gravity Ghost)
danny B (Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Issac, Drifter)
The sweet grooves of these two maestros need no further introduction, but we’ll try anyway. Like the golden fingers of CubeHeart’s left and right hand caressing the smoothest saxaphone you’ve ever heard, Ben Prunty and DannyB are laying down the finest tracks we’ve ever heard to accompany what we hope will be the finest game you’ve ever played.
Together we are CubeHeart. THE CUBEHEART IS BEATING!!
Why are you Kickstarting this project?
Because we think Kickstarter is the best avenue for raising the funding we need while putting SCALE in front of an audience of people who will have a vested interest in the success of the project. We also like that with Kickstarter, there’s the expectation that we’ll keep our backers updated. We think building SCALE is going to be a fun ride, and we’d love to bring you along with us, rather than toiling in secret.
Why is your goal $87,000?
Because we’ve run the numbers, and the advice we’ve gotten from everyone has been “ask for the money you need, and don’t try to lowball it.” We think 87K will be enough to cover development expenses for the time it will take to make SCALE, as well as pay the talented people who are contributing to the project. We’re also keenly aware that a lot of project underestimates fulfillment costs and Kickstarter/Amazon Payment’s 5% and 3-5% shares, respectively, and so we’ve tried to build this in to our estimate.
How are you making SCALE?
SCALE is being developed in Unity, which is a familiar and comfortable development environment for us. Steve has been using Unity since version 1.6.
Which platforms are you targeting?
Currently, PC, Mac, and Linux are all viable platforms we’d like to see SCALE on. Targeting Linux means we’ll be on SteamOS/Steam Machines as well. We are also considering next-gen consoles, and are in talks with a few different publishers about the viability of bringing SCALE to a those platforms, but a getting the game out on personal computers is our first priority.
Here's an interview Steve did with Adam Sessler at the INDIE MEGABOOTH this year at PAX.
John Walker, Rock Paper Shotgun: "This was undoubtedly the star of the afternoon. Receiving gasps of delight, along with multiple bursts of spontaneous applause, it was a concept that just kept delighting."
Taylor Cocke, GameCenterBlog: "Steve Swink's first-person puzzler might be my most-anticipated game of this year."
Jared Rosen, Indiestatik: "What instantly struck me about Scale was how it seized on such a pure, childlike focus on exploration."
NorthernLion did a "Let's Look At" preview video of the PAX build of SCALE.
A Carl Sagan Quote because Carl Sagan:
“If the cosmos is closed...there's a strange, haunting, evocative possibility...one of the most exquisite conjectures in science and religion. It's entirely undemonstrated...it may never be proved, but it's stirring. Our entire universe, to the farthest galaxy, we are told...is no more than a closed electron...in a far grander universe we can never see. That universe is only an elementry particle...in another still greater universe and so on forever. Also, every electron in our universe, it is claimed...is an entire miniature cosmos...containing galaxies and stars and life, and electrons. Everyone of those electrons contains a still smaller universe...an infinite regression up and down.” - Carl Sagan
Risks and challenges
RISK 1: SCALE's project schedule is not final yet.
SCALE is a videogame, and frankly, video games take a long time to finish and get right. There's a morbid joke in game development that building the features and levels of the game is the first 90% of the work that a development team does, and the second 90% is fixing all the bugs in that work and polishing it up. The official answer for when SCALE will be complete is "when it's good," but we anticipate that we'll be done way before the heat death of the universe. For some perspective, Steve has been working on SCALE in bits and pieces since 2012, but retooled the art and started serious work on the game in early 2013, and as of now we estimate that the game is currently 25-30% done.
We know a lot of people have been mislead on Kickstarter, or feel like backing a videogame on Kickstarter is a risky proposition, and that's not without good reason. But we're a team of veterans who have a solid track record of shipping quality games and projects, and we're confident that given enough time, we'll be able to ship the best possible version of SCALE.
Risk 2: Hey, aren't you the guy behind Shadow Physics? That game turned out to be vaporware, won't this one too?
Cutting right to the hard questions, eh? The story of why Shadow Physics was canned is simple: you gotta know when to fold 'em. It just wasn't working. We worked our butts off and the game just wasn't fun. Lessons were learned and have been applied. The past 9 months of development on SCALE have resulted in more enjoyable gameplay than the entire two and half years of work on Shadow Physics.
RISK 3: Will you guys be able to fulfill all these physical rewards in a timely fashion?
Yes. We are currently planning on working with Fangamer, the folks who are doing the fulfillment for LA GameSpace, and we have the advice of friends and mentors who have successfully Kickstarted their projects and fulfilled them before.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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