There's been a disturbing trend in games of late. Just take a look at this chart:
Notice something? Sure these games are popular and you might even call them "fun" but they harbor a horrible bias in today’s gaming world. Most are blind to it but it's all right there, that's right, none of these games has you playing as a bear.
It's quite clear the fat cats in Washington with their stove top hats and contemporary jazz music don't want us playing as bears, it's about time to fight back against the tyranny.
The title gives you all you need to know as it's pretty much a bear simulator. You play in FPB (First Person Bear) and do bear things which include exploring, eating fish and plants, striking down anything that dare stand before your might, increasing your stats, sleeping and discovering mysteries of your forest home. Watch the alpha trailer above or right here on youtube to give you an idea.
TL;DR - It's like a mini Skyrim but you're a bear
The estimated release date is November(ish) 2014.
Keep up with Bear Simulator news and updates on the official Twitter and Facebook pages:
Trailers and other videos will be uploaded here:
You can discuss things on the subreddit:
If you want to contact me (the person making this bear game) here's my twitter. I'll be using this a lot during production:
All questions here:
Stretch goals are tricky because I can't add a whole lot of things or else it would put things behind schedule. So a lot of the goals are stupid/fun/freelance and popular requests will be added after the games release.
A few games in the past got it right and have been rewarded with universal praise, notably Banjo-Kazooie and EnviroBear, but there hasn't been many solid, somewhat realistic bear simulation games (if at all). That's where this comes in.
Sure it may seem like a “dumb idea” or a “really dumb idea” but you can't honestly tell me you've never secretly wanted to be a bear wandering around the forest. That's just an outright lie.
Larger screens here.
Some of the key features you should expect in this finished bear game:
first person camera, motor and control.
The first person view and bear control will play an extraordinary part in the game as it adds a huge amount of character. This is a number one priority and will be worked on until it's perfect. You'll be mostly crawling around in the fully featured game, standing to examine things and waddle about.
Melee fighting system.
Another important feature which ties into the previous feature but deserves it's own bullet point.
Large multi-environment world with lots to see and discover.
While it will be a realistic setting, the game won't be based on any specific real world place.
A variety of different living things that will populate the land and beyond.
One of the main points of Bear Simulator is to be an exploration game (and being a bear) so it wouldn't make sense if there was nothing to search for.
A catastrophic amount of secrets.
The game will be like 30% secret areas and stuff.
Events will be explained later with a flashy trailer or something since summarizing them in a bullet point lacks that dramatic punch.
An extremely important feature.
"Lots more!" includes: Unlockable bear abilities, animal friends, ways to customize your bear and possible Oculus Rift support.
Even though I have a few awesome ideas for some multiplayer modes, most of the development time and funding will go towards crafting a glorious single player experience. So count multiplayer as being a possible feature that may or may not be added. Also this has nothing to do with me being unable to get multiplayer to friggen work correctly ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)
Bear Simulator is the first project meant to 'kickstart' a new game studio: Farjay Studios. Sure it's just one person so it's kind of odd to call it a studio but I don't know what else to call it. Anywho, this game was chosen since I already have a solid design for it and it's pretty simple at it's core. Plus it will be crazy fun to promote, you have no idea.
Here's the production blog which will eventually be filled with updates on the game's progress.
I'm being lazy with web stuff so the official site for Bear Simulator is a bit lackluster at the moment. I'm not really really a web designer which is a good excuse for the laziness. If the game does get funded some of the funds will go towards making it more fancy and forest-y.
Alright, this sounds a little strange but I'm 80% sure it will turn out fantastic. Since I'm using Kickstarter and needed some interesting, lower tier pledge rewards, why not feature a region dedicated to these things? Boom, right here, Kickstarter Island.
Available for all to explore and existing outside the realm of the somewhat realistic Bear Simulator world, the island will be similar to an amusement park allowing for the creative freedom to host plenty of nonsensical things. This means a bunch of backer submitted stuff can be incorporated in a way that won't break the immersion. Check the reward section for some info on what to expect.
Some of the rewards might be a little confusing so you can ask a question in the comment section or through email.
Also no advertisements for submissions, because that would be lame.
First of all, Bear Simulator is mostly done on a base level meaning that much of the tedious and time consuming parts are complete but a lot of the game is fairly rough and using placeholder art, sound and models.
What remains are the fun parts like buying the needed pieces to replace the placeholder stuff so it looks nice, hence this Kickstarter campaign.
Here's a rundown of how the funding would be spent for a good bear game. Some of it involves commissions and freelance so there's a tiny bit of guesstimating going on here.
Because I can't model organic things AT ALL, a good fraction of the funding will go towards environmental and creature models/textures. See my spherical bee hive for reference of said modeling skills:
Most of the models and textures needed are readily available on sites like TurboSquid and the Asset Store. Others will be commissioned and several of them can be modified and reused to save on cost and give a sense of variety.
An updated Mac for OSX testing and some other hardware like additional storage, software and maybe an Oculus Rift.
Licensing and Various Fees 4,500$
Engine licensing, premium site templates, Amazon and Kickstarter fees.
You don't want cheap, artificial sound in your bear game, if you want quality sound effects you gotta lay down the cold hard cash.
Art/Graphic Design: 3,500$
Illustrations, better menu and hud design, premium stock photos, etc.
Additional Programming: 3,500$
Advanced scripts from freelancers, mainly camera control and movement and a more intuitive menu and loading system.
Producing all the physical items and shipping. It's difficult to give an estimate on this since the price is based on if all the physical rewards are claimed or not.
Covers all the small things that might pop up like refunds, guesstimation underfunding and unforeseen shipping expenses.
Big book of the Berenstain Bears: 10$
For the powerful life lessons that can only be taught by bears.
Something will be set up to update backers where funds would be going, either through twitter, on the main site, or some other way.
Forums! Bears are a coveted animal on the internet, right up there with cats and that dog with the constant inner monologue. So a forum will be vastly important to this whole production. Aimed to be the grandest animal simulator in all the land, this message board will be used extensively for feedback, polls, updates, and soul crushing criticisms.
Will be using Reddit.
Contrary to the screenshots and trailer, your bear in Bear Simulator won't be walking around on two legs all the time. In the fully featured game you'll spend most of your time crawling around and leaping about like an actual bear.
The constant “bipedal/two-leg mode” was used for a few reasons, for one it makes it easy to test things, second, it gives a good idea on how your bear would interact with stuff and lastly, I didn't want to animate and program everything with a placeholder bear model.
Your environment is divided up into large “Regions”. Each region is a different theme and contain different “Areas”. The harder to reach places tend to be dangerous but contain the rarest food and creatures... Not the mention the occasional “Mysterious Being”:
These are the planned regions, they don't have names yet:
This is the “Hub” region. There aren't many aggressive enemies here and only the basic foods. It's also where your den is located.
A snowy, rocky region. There are definitely going to be mountain goats here, EVEN IF IT COSTS ALL THE FUNDING.
The ocean coast. The huge body of water probably bewilders most bears. Err, forest bears, not polar.
The way this region is planned easily earns the name Spooky Woods, in fact it's probably going to stay named Spooky Woods.
A system of connected caves without much to eat. It also contains an ancient evil.
A flat, wide open land.
Read about it above. ^
Welp, that's all of them. Definitely not keeping any more regions secret.
Plenty of animals other than bears will populate your world which come in all sorts of different flavors depending on where you are.
A scientist can correct me but I'm fairly sure real bears have a mental menu where they track their stats. Here's a few of them which might change so they aren't final:
High strength means more powerful swipes and the ability to get through any area blocking barricades.
Pretentious word for Health Points.
Increases your chance of successfully picking some berries, stealing honey, etc. Because as we all know, plucking grapes from a vine takes some serious skill in the bear world.
Displays important info for what you're about to eat before diving right in.
How long/fast you can swim before getting bear cramps and drowning.
Allows you to dunk other bears that talk smack bout you on the court. (How high you can jump)
I have absolutely no idea what this stat will do. WHY DID I EVEN ADD IT.
While fumbling about on your crazy bear adventure you may come upon curious things that stand out from the generic tree or frog. This all has to do with the grand Bear Simulator quest that will explore the mysterious heritage of bears with a storyline so compelling it will win several Oscars including Best Lead Actor.
Sure it's optional so you can ignore it but why would you want to do that.
March 19th Edit:
- Several rewards lowered in price. Added an in-game credit to the 40$ Mystic Bear tier to increase value.
March 21th Edit:
- Updated social media links and stuff.
March 26th Edit:
- Updated stretch goals.
March 31st Edit:
- Updated stretch goals again and took out some old information.
incompetech.com - Wallpaper, Suvaco do Cristo - Kevin MacLeod
Risks and challenges
Getting physical rewards all shipped out correctly.
If the rewards prove popular, they're capped so things can't get out of hand.
Having the game able to run on a variety of systems.
Beta testing should help a bunch and the graphics/performance of the game will be given an in-depth menu with presets and custom options so you can manually or automatically adjust settings.
Need to make sure the game appeases bear fans lest I incur their wrath.
Being active on message boards/twitter and getting feedback on major design choices should alleviate this risk.
Not making the planned release date on time.
A pretty solid production schedule is set up, plus a lot of the tedious and time consuming parts of the game are complete. If it does get funded then I'll have a bunch of internet people breathing down my neck to finish the game. That's some awesome motivation to get it out on time.
Not getting the game on Steam and/or other distribution services.
The plan is to get it on Steam so keys can be sent out to backers. I'll put it up on Steam Greenlight when I'm further along and happier with the way the game looks. If that doesn't work out there's always the Humble Store, GoG, or some kind of makeshift way to distribute by just sending the game installer to backers but that wouldn't be very exciting now would it.
- (30 days)