This videogame is about conversations that will never take place.
The core mechanic of Rehearsals and Returns involves saying something explicitly nice, mean, or wise to various people alive and dead such as Mao Tse Tung, Richard Pryor, Margaret Thatcher, The Pope, Hillary Clinton, Nikola Tesla, Leni Reifenstahl, Tiger Woods, and Rosa Parks. These are some of the figures in the game.
The game asks player to imagine conversations with people who are gone or out of reach.
In Rehearsals and Returns, you explore each level in order to literally pick up things to say - these collectables the game's primary resource. At the end of each level you encounter a person. This is when you have an opportunity to quote someone (see Rewards and Rules, below) or, instead, you can choose a kind or hateful statement to say to that figure.
Sam is already working on the music. Listen to "Runthroughs and Renditions":
The core mechanic feels more like that of Apples to Apples than the conversation mechanics of Mass Effect, for example, although strategies definitely manifest over time; players must weight how one conversation affects another.
What if you had a brief moment with Einstein? Or George W. Bush? What would you say to him?
Often these figures are famous people that - in real life - you (probably) have never met, but later your encounters get more personal. This is a crucial point, but I don’t want to elaborate as what we’re going for provides an experience arc for players who, well, don’t know where that arc is going.
How far along are we?
I started developing this game a year ago and plan for it to be done in another year. It began as a paper prototype, and I’ve iterated on the digital version consistently. I’ve recently started collaborating with Jason Ronzani and Sam Marshall. Jason is creating the art and animation and Sam is doing all the music and overall sound design. I have a little bit of money for both of them, but I need more to see Jason’s side of it to the end.
Rewards and Rules
Read the pledge rewards (to the right) carefully as the larger pledges don't necessarily inherit all the smaller pledges' rewards. Many of them include giving pledgers the chance to shape the game design. I will be in touch with you folks - to get your favorite wise quote or the name of your chosen historical figure.
Pledge rules are:
*For the Wisdom Quote Contribution, I won’t accept any quote. First, it has to be a real quote from a real person. Second, it can be cold-blooded but not offensive (i.e. - Stalin probably ok, David Duke probably not). Finally, it has to be less than 140 characters with spaces and the source’s name. I will consider as many quotes as you want to offer, but we will agree to incorporating only one per funder.
Here are four example quotes:
- "I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." -Margaret Thatcher
- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way." -Mark Twain
- "Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." -Truman Capote
- "People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything." -Thomas Sowell
**For the Famous Figure Contribution, I won’t accept any historical figure. I will encourage you to pick a person many people have heard of. Playtests reveal that when many of the figures are less than very famous, the experience breaks down. (I was disappointed to learn that incorporating Kirby Puckett and Ian Curtis worsened the game). We can have a conversation and you should have backup choices. But I will not be strident about this if you give $70+ ;)
With over $6300, I will hire a database programmer (to implement playtesters' favorite part - an aspect that I don't want to reveal publicly).
Also, the more money I have for Jason (art) and Sam (music), the more work they will do. Additional money will go to embellishing the world as even more beautiful and intricate; and the same goes for the music.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Videogames are difficult to make. In fact, game development is ridiculous.
That notwithstanding, for Rehearsals and Returns, the past year's development has been focused on design and programming. It is time to shift efforts towards art and sound. And so the Kickstarter rewards' delivery dates are roughly a year from now, and therefore reasonable, I believe.
Some of you found out about this kickstarter campaign because of The Cat and the Coup, a videogame I made with Kurosh ValaNejad a couple years ago. It exhibited in various festivals; it’s on Steam. And once again, I need support for a game that means a lot to me, a game that isn’t easy to raise money for.
I’m trying to convince you that I’m a finisher, and that this Kickstarter will deliver.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $4 or moreYou selected
The Game ============================= Free download for PC or Mac.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $8 or moreYou selected
Soundtrack ============================= Receive the game and also the soundtrack by Sam Marshall, delivered as mp3 or flac download. The soundtrack is likely to be available before the delivery date.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
20 backers All gone!
Wisdom Quote Contribution (Tier 5%) ============================= Receive the game, the soundtrack, and also by late 2013 I will ask you to submit a "wisdom" quote. Pick your favorite quote from history to be incorporated into the game's core mechanic. (More under "Rewards and Rules", in the main page body, to the left)*. This tier reward means there is about a 5% chance your quote will be available upon any one play-through, and you will get credit for this on the website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or moreYou selected
10 backers Limited (10 left of 20)
Famous Figure Contribution (Tier 5%) ============================= Receive the game, the soundtrack, and also by late 2013 I will ask you to submit the name of a famous dead person. Pick your favorite famous dead figure to be in the released game. (More under "Rewards and Rules", in the main page body, to the left)**. This tier reward means there is about a 5% chance your figure will be in any one play-through, and you will get credit for this on the website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)
Wisdom Quote Contribution (Tier 10%) ============================= Receive the rewards from Pledge $25. But this tier reward means there is about a 10% chance your quote will be available upon any one play-through, and you will get credit for this on the website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $70 or moreYou selected
5 backers All gone!
Famous Figure Contribution (Tier 10%) ============================= Receive the rewards from Pledge $40. But this tier reward means there is about a 10% chance your figure will be in any one play-through, and you will get credit for this on the website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
5 backers Limited (15 left of 20)
Personal Screenshot Print ============================= Receive the rewards from Pledge $25, AND also an 8x10 print of an encounter of your choice - your avatar stating or quoting what you like, to the figure of your choice. And you can pick your favorite setting (level) from the game.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
2 backers All gone!
Famous Figure Contribution (Tier 25%) ============================= Receive the rewards from Pledge $40 and the 8 x 10 in Pledge $80. But this tier reward means there is about a 25% chance your figure will be in any one play-through, and you will get credit for this on the website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
Gift Version of the Game ============================= Receive the rewards from Pledge $25. AND you will be asked to customize a version for a particular person. In this giftable version, you will pick many of the things the avatar can say as well as all the figures that the player encounters. This is intended as a unique gift for one or a few people.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)
Full Dedication ============================= Receive the rewards from Pledge $25. Also a gift version of the game (Pledge $300), AND you can dedicate the game to someone in the closing credits. (Recently born or recently passed people are recommended).Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)