A beautiful 2D sci-fi metroidvania about love, hope, and redemption. Gameplay influenced by Super Metroid and Dark Souls. Read more
This project was successfully funded on September 4, 2013.
About this project
New! Gameplay Walkthrough Video!
Paypal your only option? We set up a little storefront so you can support the game and have access to most of the same rewards.
Kicking It Forward: 5% of the eventual proceeds generated by this game will be pledged to other Kickstarter projects.
Keep in mind that additional funding unequivocally will go towards the general polish of the game. That said, we've bonked ours heads together and come up with some additional things we could do that are not only reasonable and doable, but noteworthy and substantive.
A Journey of Hope
My name is Matt. I'm an artist and designer, and I'm a huge fan of all things metroidvania. For the past year I've been planning and working on a game that combines everything I love about video games: Eye catching art, challenging action gameplay, oodles of atmosphere, and emotionally resonant themes.
Ghost Song is a 2D "metroidvania" style game that not only gives players that feeling of isolation and minimalism Super Metroid fans long for, but also delivers an emotionally powerful story. This story is told not through pages of exposition or long cut scenes, but through being in the game, being in the moment, and observing events as they unfold. It's a highly ambient, atmospheric approach to story that falls somewhere between Super Metroid and Dark Souls in its tenor.
- Large, open ended world to explore
- Challenging and rewarding gameplay
- Precise, responsive controls
- Obtain a range of new abilities to unlock progress to new areas
- Optional hidden weapons and abilities that that are not required to proceed, incentivizing exploration
- Large and challenging bosses and mini bosses
- A slinky, resourceful foe who stalks you throughout the game
- Atmospheric and lonely tone
- Initially for Windows PC, Mac, and Linux, with other platforms possible in the future
Lorian V is a place of myth and legend that many have attempted to explore and from which few have returned. There are numerous theories about what this moon actually is, but the most important thing to know about it is that when people end up there the result always seems to be the same. Death. The moon is haunted by the souls of its victims; ghosts who linger on while their twisted bodies roam, no more than empty vessels of chaos and aggression.
A ghost can only be freed from this existence if his or her physical remains are destroyed, and this is central to the game's story. Freeing those you care about, freeing the innocent. Maybe even freeing yourself.
This is a world with a long and troubled history. By exploring we will finds artifacts from past exploration and colonization attempts, slowly piecing together centuries of history and myth.
We will also encounter the living. In our journeys we will occasionally run afoul of NPCs with stories and struggles of their own.
The Super Metroid influence is instantly apparent by observing the game. What's less immediately apparent is the Dark Souls influence. Playing that game was an extremely formative experience for me as a game designer, and has caused me to rethink everything. I've learned some things that aren't supposed to be okay really are okay. For example: Putting a large, stunning, noteworthy portion of the map behind the most unlikely illusionary wall.
I also have my own "Siegmeyer of Catarina" inspired character, the robust and eternally curious Saymund of Ayon 9; a scientist on a mission of discovery. I don't mind including subtle (or occasionally not subtle) homages to the games I love.
Despite what my frequent Dark Souls name dropping may lead you to believe, the game is not intended to be punishingly difficult or overly merciless. I'm subscribing to a "tough but fair" philosophy for most areas of the game, with optional areas that may be a bit harder. The purpose of this is intrigue.
This game started out relatively small. Humble in scope, I merely wanted to make a basic metroidvania and publish it as a Flash game on popular portals. Over time, the project became more detailed, more ambitious, and more fleshed out. It evolved to the point where it no longer seemed very practical to continue it as a Flash game.
When you make a game destined for browser play you find yourself very concerned about file size and memory constraints, and making constant compromises because of those things. I have now set my sights higher. I want to make the game bigger, better, with high resolution graphics, more graphics, more sound, more everything. No limits.
To do this I need a little help. Not only is it going to take more and more time, but I need to bring on a partner. My friend Roger Hicks, also known as Rekcahdam. He's an amazing programmer and an audio wizard. We worked together on Pulseboy, and previously he created Celestial Mechanica. He will program the game in Unity and I'll be able to focus all of my energy on matters of design and artwork. With him locked in, I will no longer have to worry about how to make something work or whether I can get it to work -- I can just design. Roger's on top of it.
The main purpose of the funding is just to live and spend our time working on the game, since between us we have art, programming and music covered. Both of us, Roger in particular, take various jobs to keep ourselves going financially. There's no way we can both commit most of our time to this project for 6 months or perhaps even longer without some financial assistance. And if we're so fortunate as to surpass our goal, there are things we can do to further add to and improve the game for our backers and future customers (this will be detailed if and when we approach our funding goal).
I have the idea completely fleshed out. Every detail is burned into my mind. I live it every day. We have the skills necessary to make all of it real. We just need a little help from you guys to make this happen. It will be something special.
Unity is a wonderful game engine that runs on just about any platform imaginable. Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, and all current and upcoming video game consoles. As an indie developer, building your game in Unity is a great way to go, because it means there is the potential to release your game on any platform.
As mentioned, Roger Hicks is on music duty. He has scored many projects in the past and has worked in every style and genre. Check out the selections below.
For more, check out his Band Camp.
Even with the funding goal met, I'll be spending a lot of my own time on this thing. I want to focus on making the game itself as much as I possibly can. As such, the rewards are digital in nature. When a tiny team is taking on an ambitious project, it's difficult to spend a lot of time and money manufacturing and shipping physical goods.
I think these things are cool, and their use has helped me get the word out about the game. Just be careful about the size! Some of them are pretty big. Check it out!
- Lurkers (7.8 mb)
- This door is lookin' back at me! (7.5 mb)
- Blasting Mutants (6.9 mb)
- The Ghost Tree (5.6 mb)
- The Witch Mountains (5.0 mb)
- Exploring a junk pit (4.7 mb)
- Angry Slug (2.4 mb)
Check out a few pieces of concept art of characters in the game.
Risks and challenges
I have to get this game off my chest. I've worked on my own time and dime on this thing for quite a while already, and it's a high goal of mine to see it through. If funded, it would require an unforeseeable disaster of epic proportions to stop the game from being finished.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This is traced back to the game's origins. Ghost Song started out, roughly a year ago, as a flash game. I wanted to make a Metroid-like because Nintendo wasn't doing it (The last 2D Metroid game was Zero Mission, in 2003).
Since that time, the game has grown tremendously in scope and I've come up with a lot of ideas and mechanics that were never in any Metroid game. The purpose of this Kickstarter is to move the game to the next level. This means we'll have higher res art, tons of new graphics, and everything will generally look better. We'll also be making some small changes to some details around the margins to give it a bit of its own character and feel, and tuning up the gameplay mechanics a little.
If you like how the game looks now, have no fear, the final product will be similar. Just bigger and better and decidedly "its own animal".
Yes! This is essential to this type of game, and one of the many reasons I no longer wanted it to be a flash game (where gamepad support is limited, to say the least).
Yes, this was an early priority to establish the mood and atmosphere of the game. I've determined that at minimum I have capable people I can fall back on to get the job done in line with my vision, and I could consider courting experienced professionals for some of the roles depending on how things go.
Nothing is impossible, given that the game will be on the Unity engine. A Wii U stretch goal is now implemented, and other consoles are certainly possible in the future but are a bit higher of a hurdle due primarily to the Unity licensing fees.
I love this game -- I want to make it. I set a low, reasonable goal to help me bring Roger on to port this thing to unity and finish it out. With $15,000 funding, I'll still be working on my own time to some extent, as I've already been doing. I accept this. We aren't going to live like kings, the purpose of $15,000 is a catalyst rather than an all encompassing, stand alone meal ticket. We aren't going to be working this as a full salaried job via the funding, but we'll be working on it out of love -- And the money will help make it *physically possible*.
Pledge $1 or more
Thank You Tier! You have our sincerest thanks. Every dollar counts.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5 or more
Immortal Tier! Become immortalized forever by having your name emblazoned in the credits reel at the end of the game. This goes for this tier and all tiers after it.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
1,000 backers All gone!
EARLY BIRD PRICING TIER! Get a DRM free, Windows PC & Mac digital copy of the game when it is released, including Steam code if available! (We are trying very hard to get this thing on Steam)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or more
Game Tier! Get a DRM free, Windows PC & Mac digital copy of the game when it is released, including Steam code if available! (We are trying very hard to get this thing on Steam)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
Music Tier! Get the full digital soundtrack to the game, composed by Roger Hicks AKA Rekcahdam, famous for his work in games such as Celestial Mechanica and Seedling. Also all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $33 or more
Bundle Tier! Have friends, or plan on having them? Perfect! Get three copies of the game, including three keys for services the game eventually arrives on (Steam/other), at a bargain price! Also get the digital soundtrack and your name in the credits!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
Beta Tier! Once the game is in a fully playable state but not totally done, you'll have the opportunity to check it out and offer feedback to us, if you so desire. Also all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
Love Tier! When the game starts up, we'll randomly display one Love Tier backer's name and express our love for them. Also all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or more
Dizzy Tier! Receive a code to unlock one of five alternate skins for your floating droid companion, Dizzy. Also all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or more
4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)
Corpse Tier. Be a dead body! it seems your poor old corpse has been preserved in the lab of an insane machine, experimented upon for many, many years. We will design the body based upon your description. Also all previous rewards. (Note: All "be in the game" style tiers are mutually exclusive -- Meaning, you only get to be a corpse if you specifically pledge this tier).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
Ghost Tier! This is a spooky game, with g-g-g-ghosts in it! We'll design a ghost based upon your description and it will appear somewhere in the game. Also 5 copies of the game (and 5 keys for services such as Steam if/when available) in addition to all other previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
NPC Tier! Your generosity is noted, and in return we'll work with you to design an NPC based on your description, who will wander the depths of Lorian V. Also 10 copies of the game (and 10 keys for services such as Steam if/when available) in addition to all other previous rewards, except for Ghost Tier reward. You only get to be in our game once, pal.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,000 or more
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
Dream Tier! Has it always been your dream to be realized in a beautiful video game as a hideously deformed mutant? We will render your mutated carcass in video game form, where you will appear as a powerful mini boss for our protagonist to overcome. Experience the joy of being reviled and destroyed. Also 10 copies of the game (and 10 keys for services such as Steam, if/when available) in addition to all other previous rewards, except for Ghost Tier and NPC Tier.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)