This is the old version of the campaign. We will be re-launching in July 2012! Look for the newly launched version by searching for "The Hostage Trials" in the search box.
Check out other articles on "The Hostage Trials."
When you get the opportunity to work on something as creatively
groundbreaking, and technologically cutting edge, as "The Hostage
Trials" what can you say but "Hell
- David Hayter -
Don't think of it as a mobile game. It's more like a game you play while mobile.
"The Hostage Trials" is a narrative game with a story. It's also a social game that you play with a friend. It's a real-time game that keeps you on your toes. It's like an ARG (alternate reality game) but not quite. We've come up with our own term for it that just seems easier.
It's called an RTMA. A Real-Time Mobile Adventure.
We've developed this game from the ground up. Trust us. There is nothing quite like it! Because of the unique game play, it can only be played on mobile devices. Let us explain.
Most mobile games are pretty casual affairs allowing the player to pick up their phone and play a few rounds until they lose interest. And while these are fun for a while, we were looking for something that required a little more from the player, something that gave you a real sense of accomplishment. And last but not least, we wanted something that just felt...well...more real.
That's what spawned the idea for "The Hostage Trials." Imagine that one day you're minding your own business taking out those annoying green pigs when you get a strange call on your phone from an unknown number. The mysterious voice on the other end then informs you that one of your
family members or friends (that you choose) has been kidnapped, and you need to follow
very specific instructions in order to save them! That's the basic
premise of "The Hostage Trials."
As a player, most of your interaction with the game will come through
phone calls with different characters. The most important of which is
"the villain." But unlike a traditional "pick up and play" game, the player is at the mercy of "the villain." He could call at any time and when he calls...you'd better be ready!
Playing a game in Real Time also means that any references to times of day or periods of time are literal. If the villain says you need to do something before 9pm, you'd better do it!
how often does he call? On average you will get one call a day from the
villain at a random time where he will give you a challenge in order to
keep your friend alive. He may give you a window of time to expect his
call, or he may not. Depends on what kind of mood he's in. What happens
when you miss a call? Well you'll just have to live with the
consequences whatever they are. Remember, we're going for realism. You can also expect to get a random text or e-mail every so often.
Now because you'll be communicating with the villain so often, it goes
without saying that the better the voice, the better the game.
Have you ever wanted to hear what Snake would sound like as a villian? Now's your chance!
David Hayter made Solid Snake's voice legendary and has now committed
to play the role of the villain in "The Hostage Trials!" You can't
believe how much we're geeking out about this. It's gonna be epic! Just think. Everyday you'll be expecting a disturbing call from David Hayter! YEAH!
We'll also be casting other great voice actors for the other roles in the game and we'll be sure to keep the backers updated on this front. Suggestions are welcome so use that comment board!
First of all, this is very much an audio based game and many if not most of the game's challenges will force the player to depend heavily on their ears. Our backgrounds are in sound design and we are working hard to craft a unique auditory experience.
That being said, the visuals for the game will be quite simple. We're going for realism with this game so the user interface will be made to look like that of a standard smart phone. Think of it as a virtual game phone complete with all of the necessary apps. It's your portal into the world of "The Hostage Trials." You'll have a contact list, a dial pad, email and texting apps, a banking app, and more, all contained within the game. The villain will also have the ability to send you specialty apps for specific purposes throughout the game. We don't want to spoil too much of this beforehand since it will be way cooler to find out as you play.
The game will be divided into four different difficulties. There will be:
- A 3 day real-time trial.
- A 7 day real-time trial.
- A 14 day real-time trial.
- A 30 day real-time trial.
So it's pretty self explanatory right? Attempting the three day trial means that you have to last three whole days following the villain's instructions in order to successfully retrieve your friend. The seven day trial takes seven days and so on.
The game is a complete story. We can't stress this enough.
We want to emphasize that this game is a complete experience. Each trial (3-day, 7-day, 14-day, 30-day) is a new part of the "Hostage Trials" story, and the story continues all the way until the very end of the 30 day trial. The only way to experience it all is to successfully save a hostage in each of the four difficulties.
Initially this may sound like it would consume your life, but it will only take a few short minutes of your day to do what "the villain" asks you to do. But that doesn't mean it will be easy!
In reality, the time you spend actually playing this game will probably be less than the time you spend on a more casual game that you play at your leisure.
There is a reason behind every challenge the villain gives you. Every challenge advances the storyline.
put, it will feel like someone is really calling your phone. He'll give
you tasks and assignments, ask you questions, and get information from
you. Some things you'll be able to do right on your phone, others will
require a little interaction with the real world.
It will soon become apparent that this is more than a simple ransom situation and that the villain is using you for a much grander scheme. The challenges are super varied and will always keep you on your toes.
Here are some examples of what you might have to do.
- Place a call to a specific number and see where it leads you.
- Travel a certain distance in a certain amount of time. (not in WiFi version)
- Help the villain launder money.
- Remotely control an alarm system.
- Change your elevation. (not in WiFi version)
- Piece together clues from electronic documents.
- Answer questions about your hostage.
- Remotely activate an audio bug at a certain time to hear an important conversation. Do it at the wrong time and you won't hear anything.
- Match voice prints to help the villain find specific people.
- And way more!
Click HERE to see what a typical day might be like in the game.
Another element that we are very excited about is how you'll interact with your real-life friends. Link with your friends through Facebook or e-mail so they can take
on the role of the hostage. Every so often, they'll be given "Hostage Homework" and using their input, your game
will become a completely unique and personal experience. It's their chance to put their own spin on the game. Rest assured that the game will be fun for the hostage too!
As the hostage a player will be contributing to the game in a multitude of ways including:
- voice recordings
- answering questions
- picking challenges
- and more!
On the flip side, you'll be able to act as the hostage for someone else's game. Will they have what it takes to save you?
This won't be like your typical social game where you're playing 30 games at a time with countless other friends. We want the focus to be on one hostage. That's the realism factor again. At any given time, you'll be able to have two games going. One where you're trying to rescue a hostage and one where your acting as the hostage for someone else. This makes it much more fun and personal.
We are developing the game simultaneously for both iOS and Android platforms. At times the game uses GPS technology and cellular data so the ideal platform to play it on is a phone. But it will also be available for iPad and users will be able to play on one or both devices. We are also planning a version specific for WiFi only devices such as iPod Touch that won't make use of GPS or challenges that require cellular data connections. There will be something for everyone. Rest assured, if you have an iOS device or an Android (version 2.2+) device, you'll be able to play this game.
What's even better, is that it will be cross-platform so iOS and Android users can play with each other.
We're determined to keep the cost of this game low when it is released, somewhere in the $5 range so the initial pledge to get the game is super low. But we would need a lot of peeps if everyone became backers at this level. So we've worked really hard to come up with some creative rewards that should be worth your while. Take a good look at the different tiers. We're sure you'll be excited about a lot of the stuff we're offering.
We miss the days of secret codes, and we're working really hard to offer certain game content that will be exclusive to our backers so don't miss out on some really cool hidden stuff within the game.
There are three different tiers that offer access to exclusive game content ($20, $40, and $75). We vow to never release the information to these secret sections to anyone but the backers that pledge at these levels. Trust us. These are easter eggs that you won't to miss out on.
As for our awesome t-shirts and hoodies, we'll be coming up with some other designs as well so they'll be more to choose from.
The hoodies will be exclusive to backers.
We've got an awesome team of programmers and visual designers behind us.
We have experienced sound effects designers who have worked on some of Hollywood's biggest movies. Now we just need the dough. We aren't looking for Kickstarter funds to
"show investor's that there is a market." We aren't trying to drum up
interest from a big studio. Our plan from the beginning has been to have
this game be entirely funded by Kickstarter fans taking it clear from early visual design to a final deliverable product all with your input. It's our only option.
Here's the breakdown of funds.
- 45-50% of funds will go toward the actual programming, gameplay design and visual design.
- 40-45% will go towards the actors, recording studio fees and sound design.
- 10% for the standard fees and taxes.
Thanks for taking the time to check out this project. We hope you'll consider backing us. Our goal is to truly bring a new type of gaming experience to mobile games. And with your input, we hope that we'll be able to make this game even better. We can only do it with your help.
Joel and Jared Erickson and the Gnarly Tooth team.