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Death Road to Canada - Permadeath Road Trip Simulator's video poster

Keep your randomly generated survivors alive as you flee cross-country from unstoppable hordes. PC, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android. Read more

pledged of $25,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on September 27, 2013.

Keep your randomly generated survivors alive as you flee cross-country from unstoppable hordes. PC, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android.

About this project

Death Road to Canada combines post-apocalyptic decision making events with action-adventure segments where you explore randomized cities. Scavenge for supplies, find survivors, and deal with massive hordes of classic-style zombies. Recruit up to five survivors with their own random names, appearances, personalities, and quirks that can both help and hinder your journey to safety. This unique blend is wrapped in a colorful game world that doesn't take itself dark-and-gritty seriously.

  • Tons of replay value. Every game is different. Randomized cities, different survivors to recruit, different events. We will have a big focus on rare events and Easter Eggs.
  • Varied and robust Interactive Fiction style decision making. The traits, personalities, and status of your group members influence the choices you can make and their results.
  • Survivors keep track of how they feel about other members of the group. It's up to you to keep your everyone together or at least mostly alive in the middle of bickering, personality conflicts, despair, rage, and/or insanity.
  • We have the rarely seen classic "death metaphor" style of zombie. They're slow, they're stupid, there's up to 200 onscreen at once, and they'll never stop chasing you. They form a shambling wall of inevitable death that will drag you down.
  • Rarer survivors called Uniques, that have their own special events, appearance, and dialogue.
  • Find a dog, teach it to drive. Have all the humans in your party die. Make the dog recruit other dogs until your band of survivors consists of 5 dogs driving a muscle car.

Death Road to Canada is coming out around the end of Fall 2013. We want it have as much content as possible, and we want it our PC/Mac/Linux launch to go smoothly. Your support means we can put extra resources into accomplishing these goals, especially the "more content" part.

Funds are specifically going to:

  • MORE ART: We throw more money at our artist and he magically converts it to new graphics. Even more survivor and zombie variety! More city variety! New special locations! More dog types!
  • MORE RARE EVENTS: Paul, our programmer, has four kids to feed. Some extra money to feed his five kids would give him the peace of mind he needs to work on extra fun stuff. Rare events! Rare weapons! Rare characters! Easter Eggs!
  • MORE PROMOTION: I want to show the game off at festivals, as doing so really helps getting the word out. Travel costs, much less booth costs, are really expensive. A small portion of your support will go towards this, but not much because I don't want to be responsible for taking food from Paul's six kids.
  • MORE FLEXIBILITY: Funding would give us the option of hiring a part-time programmer to help out. Or a part-time writer/designer to help make more Interactive Fiction scenarios and decisions. Your support would help us hire any extra help we end up needing.
  • (IF WE GO OVER) MORE FREE UPDATES: If we exceed $25,000, we want to avoid Stretch Goals that will increase the complexity of the project and the time it takes to make the game. This is known to game developers as Kickstarter's Folly. Instead, we will put extra money into providing post-release content. This will be a mixture of extra content and feature requests from the community!

Here's some details on what you can get for backing Death Road to Canada. All rewards are cumulative, you get all the lower tier rewards if you pledge to a higher tier.

The Game ($10) - A copy of the game when it releases, on PC, Linux, and Mac! Mobile versions aren't included, as the Android port will take longer and iOS codes are generally limited to 50 or so. You'll also get access to news updates exclusive to Kickstarter, including exclusive polls about game content!

Soundtrack and Manual PDF ($25) - We'll be making a cool instruction manual in PDF format. It'll have tips, art, a strategy section, and various fun stuff. You'll also get all the music used in the game.

Early Access ($30) - Play the PC, Mac, or Linux version of the game about a month before it's out to the public! You'll be given access to a forum where you can send feedback directly to the developers of the game. Help us make the game even better.

Starter Pet Option ($50) - Only available to Kickstarter backers of this tier or higher, you get the option to start the game with a kitten or puppy. They take extra food, but provide a morale boost and grow into a full sized cat or dog.

Special Thanks ($75) - Everyone who pledges at this tier or above will have their names put in a Special Thanks section of the game's credits. Your first name will also be added to the big list of names that randomly generated survivors may use.

Official Death Road to Canada T-Shirt ($100) - Designed by the game's artist. May or may not unlock hidden secrets if you play the game while wearing the shirt.

Graffiti Message ($250) - Write a short message and we'll put it in the game for other players to find at random. We'll work with you so it fits within the game. Size would be about 200 characters big, maximum. $150 if you get it through the limited Early Bird tier.

Put Your Pet in the Game ($500) - Take a picture or video of your pet, write a description of it along with its name. We'll make it so that other players can randomly find and recruit your pet into their party. Unusual pets are ok, put your ferret in the game. We'll work with you so it fits within the game design.

Abandoned Journal ($1000) - Players can find small, abandoned journals to read that tells the story about the person that wrote them. Write a story, write poetry, write crazy top 10 lists. We'll work with you on having it fit the tone of the game. Size would be about 1200 characters big, maximum.

Design a Recruitable Character ($2000) - The big one! Put a version of yourself in the game, or dream up an all new character. Other players may rarely find and recruit your character into their groups. You specify your character's appearance and possible special traits. We'll work with you on having it be a good fit in the game world, and also include your character in some of the dialogue and events.

Kepa Auwae is the lead designer of Rocketcat Games, makers of Mage Gauntlet, Hook Champ, Punch Quest (a collaboration with Madgarden), and more. Before releasing his first game, he was a registered nurse.

Paul Pridham makes solo games under the name Madgarden. He's been the only or primary developer on games like Saucelifter, Chillaxian, and the recent Sword of Fargoal. He has seven kids to feed.

G. P. Lackey is a mysterious artist type who wears a cape at all times. Nothing is known about him but rumors and whispers. He's made art for Skipping Stones, Fez, and many other games. You can see some of his work at

Joey Grady also wore a cape until a PSA advised against it. Now he spends his cape-less days standing heroically on rooftops, and writing music for video games, but it just isn't the same anymore. For more of his sound, visit

Risks and challenges

Videogame development can be fickle and complex, and delays can happen. However, we're already pretty far along in the process of making Death Road to Canada. The basic game exists, we just need to fill it with more content. Already having a build we can show in videos puts us in good shape for getting the game out on schedule.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter



  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    1,398 backers

    Download the full game as soon as it's released, for PC, Mac, and Linux. Also get exclusive news updates and backer-only polls through Kickstarter, throughout the development of the game.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    133 backers

    The full game, plus the game's full soundtrack and a PDF instruction manual full of hints and tips.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    184 backers

    All of the lower tier rewards, plus EARLY ACCESS to the game. Play the closed beta on PC, Mac, or Linux, and give us direct feedback that will be used to improve the game.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    60 backers

    All of the previous rewards, plus the special option to start each game with a puppy or kitten. Either will provide an adorable boost to morale as it eats your precious supply of canned meat and grows into a dog or cat.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    36 backers

    All the previous rewards, and your name will be put in a Special Thanks section of the game's credits. We'll also add your first name to the list of possible names for randomly generated survivors!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    19 backers

    A Death Road to Canada T-Shirt, designed by our artist G.P. Lackey. You also get all previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    9 backers Limited (21 left of 30)

    Limited EARLY BIRD tier. Same as the $250 tier, work with us to write graffiti that other players may find in the game world.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    0 backers Limited (60 left of 60)

    Previous rewards + Work with us to write a short message that anyone in the game can randomly encounter as graffiti!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    All previous + Work with us to put your pet in the game! Players can randomly find your named pet and recruit them to their party. Strange pets ok!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)

    All previous + Write an abandoned journal that players may randomly find! Fill it with whatever you'd like (such as your secret poetry). We'll work with you to keep within our size limit, and so that the content works well in the game setting.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    3 backers Limited (4 left of 7)

    All previous + Design a unique, rare character that other players may find and recruit into their groups. Work with us to design your character's appearance, their special traits, and events based around the character. The works!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)