About this project
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IF WE REACH $30k, we will add a whole new narrative storyline to a time travel destination of your choice!!
UPDATE: WE DID IT! But can we keep this momentum?? If we can raise an additional $1000 over the goal, we'll add a new sidequest to the game at launch! And you get to vote on what it will be!
UPDATE: NEW REWARDS! We're adding some new benefits to existing rewards, increasing subscription lengths, and adding rewards!
Just $10 and we'll throw in 1 trial month of free basic subscription.
The $25 level will get you 3 months subscription.
Make the jump to $35 and we'll now give you both soundtrack and comic.
Go up to $50 andwe'll give you 1 year of basic subscription.
At the $100 level you can now choose to get a lifetime basic subscription instead of the 3 months of premium.
A new $200 level will get you a lifetime subscription for up to three people.
And pledge $2500 to our cause--get us to the finish line!--and a school or institution of your choice will get lifetime subscriptions for all of their students in perpetuity!
UPDATE: Referral Bonuses! If you're a backer and you get two of your friends to also back The Time Tribe, and they email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us you referred them, we will bump up your reward level to the next major one, up to the $1000 level, at no cost to you! Refer the most people, and we'll put your likeness in the game!
The Time Tribe will be a browser-based flash game, and so will work on any OS and browser that supports flash. There will also be an iOS version for iPad.
The Time Tribe is an episodic game for kids aged 8-13, the perfect melding of point-and-click adventure game and virtual world. It's a time travel adventure with an epic story rooted in real history and archaeology, and designed to foster cross-cultural understanding, historical knowledge, empathy, and global citizenship.
We've put a lot of personal investment into making this game with the highest production values we possibly can as an indie game developer -- the immersive, historically accurate virtual world environment is depicted with gorgeous art and music, and extensions to the game cross the digital/real world divide with beautifully-crafted physical objects, comic books, multimedia fiction, letters from the characters, and plans for much more.
But we're an indie developer and we can’t do it alone. We’re making the game as we speak, and it’s going to be awesome, but without community support, we won't have enough funds to do the marketing needed to get it on people’s radar, unless we cut corners on the final product – and we really don’t want to do that. We’re passionate about this project and committed to creating the best possible game we can, and then getting it out in front of as many people as we can. And that’s where you come in.
What Makes This Game Different
Most games made for kids are pretty mindless, designed to occupy players but not much else. And then there are games claiming to be “educational” (the majority of which actually are not), or feel like classroom drills—and who wants to play that kind of game?
Research shows that real learning is achieved not when kids are given facts to memorize and be tested on, but when they're excited about the subject matter, when they engage with it on their own terms, when they participate and care and are given the power to make choices about it that matter. Too many schools aren’t providing this kind of learning environment.
We're not suggesting we can fix education with this game. But we do think we offer a unique game experience based on how kids already love to play, but enriched by insights into human history and culture, with immersive gaming and storytelling techniques that make learning a natural byproduct of having fun.
So we propose an epic game series set in a world as rich as Harry Potter’s, but spun from the magic of real human history. Following a quest through accurate, detailed reconstructions of past times and places, interacting with the everyday people who lived in them, players will consider unfamiliar viewpoints, weigh both sides of a conflict, and ultimately make choices which may have no right answer. They will learn about other cultures and how problems of past and present relate, and develop unique relationships with the characters, as they shape the story with them. The whole experience is designed to stretch the mind and promote critical thinking—all while keeping kids excited as the story unfolds over weekly updates and major monthly episode releases.
With production values far above the gaudy, cartoony feel that pervades kids' gaming—from gorgeous artwork and orchestral soundtracks to high-quality metal timekeys, richly developed characters, and scenarios that will make them really think—we don't undervalue what kids want, and we don't underestimate what they can handle.
We don't want to spill all the beans just yet, but the story revolves around four kids brought together in a rambling old house museum known as the Keep, where they learn they are members of a mysterious group called the Time Tribe. When they discover the ability to time travel, using mysterious devices called timekeys, they begin a sweeping quest into the past to search for clues to their true purpose, long lost amidst the sands of time.
After the “Prologue” launch episode set in the Keep, the game takes players to human history's most exciting times and places, leading with Roman Britain, Inca Peru, the world's first city at Mohenjo-Daro, First Empire China, and the fabled city of Troy! Each episode provides new opportunities to meet interesting people, solve puzzles, resolve conflicts, and discover the secrets of human history.
The Full Monty
But wait, there's more! The Time Tribe was always meant to be even more than an engaging adventure and story with integral educational value. And it's always been our intent to meet kids where they already are, doing what they like to do best.
Catering to what tweens spend much of their online time doing already, The Time Tribe also offers the best in casual gameplay, in a uniquely high quality virtual world setting. Players will use customization and collection activities to create distinctive coats of arms on their game profile page, and form galleries of artifacts to personalize a home base in the Keep. Players can showcase their own creations and view those of friends within the integrated game community.
Physical, real-world objects will bridge the digital/analogue divide. Chief among these are “timekeys,” wearable key rings modelled after the rings ancient Romans wore (because togas didn't have pockets), and which are the magical items enabling time travel in the story. These beautifully-crafted, 100% awesome pewter finish rings (which are non-toxic, lead-free, and pass all US-mandated material, metal, and safety tests) will be collectible—one for each time travel location—and will look beautiful on your hand, around your neck, adorning a backpack, or just sitting on a shelf.
As the game goes on, real-world versions of virtual artifacts players collect in the game will become available, too.
We're also building integrated charitable giving right into the game. Acknowledging that the lessons of the past are inextricably linked to the problems of the present, we will empower kids to make a real-world, present-day difference to causes that matter to them. We are partnering in this effort with the Harry Potter Alliance and World Leadership Foundation and plan to expand our charity partnerships to address as many of the causes players will encounter in the game as possible.
Finally, serial comic books will help flesh out the story of the Time Tribe, with the added fun of having their course determined by choices made by players in the game.
Down the road, we even have plans for a mobile location-based app that gives players real-world quests to take them away from their screens and into museums, libraries, and historic sites around the world!
And that's where you come in.
It's really hard to get a game made without established studio support, a luxury we unfortunately do not have. We've pulled together an amazing network of generous and incredibly talented artists and developers, but we're bootstrapping everything from scratch and need your help to reach the finish line.
We're well on our way towards creating the game in the full range of experiences we’ve described, but all of these pieces of the puzzle add up.
Help us raise $25,000, and we'll bring you into the process. You can get your very own real-world timekey, and be invited to join us for beta testing of The Time Tribe, with a chance to have your say about what it should be like, and how we can make it even better!
Check out the rewards at the side, and we hope you like what you see.
And thanks so much for your support!
-- Karen Wehner and Lucas J.W. Johnson
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