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From an artist behind Myst, C&C, and 25 other games: An adventurous puzzle journey into beautiful and unpredictable dreamworlds.

ZED

From an artist behind Myst, C&C, and 25 other games: An adventurous puzzle journey into beautiful and unpredictable dreamworlds.
From an artist behind Myst, C&C, and 25 other games: An adventurous puzzle journey into beautiful and unpredictable dreamworlds.
1,826 backers pledged $57,180 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Click to Download and Play a Vertical Slice of ZED! [PC/Mac/Linux]
Click to Download and Play a Vertical Slice of ZED! [PC/Mac/Linux]

 

 

 

 

ZED is the creation of Chuck Carter, one of the creative talents behind Myst, the Command & Conquer series, and 25 additional games.

 

ZED is an adventure game where you have to fix things, reconnecting memories to reveal a story about life and death - about love, loss and facing the unthinkable - the absence of ones ability to even remember their name or those they love. 

It's about the things that we leave undone or unsaid.

ZED is about helping someone unlock pathways to things desperately forgotten, where you're helping the Dreamer say farewell to someone he knows he’ll never meet. Yet, there are things standing in your way. 

 

The game itself is a first person adventure that invites you to explore strange and shifting worlds and involves solving odd puzzles as you help an aging and dying Dreamer leave behind a lasting legacy for his granddaughter.

Pathways - mazes - are quite misleading
Pathways - mazes - are quite misleading

 

The Dreamer is aware someone is in his dreams, he's confused by your presence. He can help or hinder your progress by putting challenging obstacles in your path - yet he needs your help but at times doesn’t understand why you are there. 

The world of ZED is filled with exotic places of the Dreamer's imagination - light and dark corners are everywhere in his world and can change in an instant. As you learn his story, the truth about his past and his final masterpiece is revealed in the dreams you explore; A personal creation of one man’s disintegrating mind. 

Help the Dreamer fulfill his final task as you finally uncover the meaning of ZED.  

  

 

The realms of ZED flicker between the edge of reality and that of fiction. You'll explore eccentric coastlines, mechanized landscapes, secretive forests, and the stuff of dreams.

These worlds were built by the creative mind of artist Chuck Carter.  If you've ever read National Geographic, seen a NASA press release in Scientific American or the Washington Post, or watched Babylon5, there's a good chance you've experienced his work. However, his first love is world-building for video games, this is where he's spent most of his life. From the groundbreaking environments of Myst, through the cinematic battlefields of Command and Conquer and Red Alert, to the futuristic terrain of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Chuck has helped produce over 25 games throughout his career.

Carter's illustrations for NASA and National Geographic
Carter's illustrations for NASA and National Geographic

 

Carter's past game work - MYST, Dune, Babylon5
Carter's past game work - MYST, Dune, Babylon5

 

 

 

Puzzles shift the entire world about you.
Puzzles shift the entire world about you.

With deep roots in the adventure-puzzle genre of gameplay, exploration and careful observation are key to unlocking the mysteries of ZED.

Find hints in the most unlikely places, it takes observational skills to solve the many puzzles. Take note of everything - curiously chipped bricks, graffiti, scratched esoteric symbols on the walkways… even the most obscure drawing could change the course of your adventure! But beware - the Dreamer knows you’re there and while he may help at times, he can also stand in your way. 

The puzzles are there because things are broken in the Dreamer's mind. Not only do you have to help him understand you're there to help him, you must help him reconnect the very things that can make him whole again, even if for a short time. 

The mood in ZED changes from sinister to sublime in a matter of heartbeats.
The mood in ZED changes from sinister to sublime in a matter of heartbeats.

 

We have a dedicated team of artists, programmers, musicians, writers, and industry professionals who are devoted to making this remarkable game a reality. 

In order to optimize our game and our developmental process we have chosen to use Unreal Engine 4. This powerful development tool allows us to quickly iterate and create the game worlds of ZED. This enables us to bring new team members on seamlessly and integrate new game elements with little hassle while keeping our design and development costs at a minimum. This will allow us to make ZED an affordable game for fans while not compromising visual or design integrity.

   

 

 

Character Animation: We want to add even more life to ZED with additional character and puzzle animations and life to the worlds and for that we need to hire a dedicated character animator. We have chosen veteran industry animator Pete Paquette (Bioshock: Infinite, Ice Age series, Rio, Horton Hears a Who) for help with this. Please help us with this goal to make ZED even more immersive!

Physical Copies: We are thrilled to announce that we will also be making available a Physical Copy of ZED!

Virtual Reality: ZED is a dream best experienced as fully as possible. This hyper-stylised yet realistic place begs to be explored in multiple dimensions. With this goal achieved, we can develop for a VR release. However, implementing virtual reality properly is expensive. We need to fully dedicate staff and purchase hardware to make sure the VR experience is flawless.

Localization: Spanish, French, German, Polish, Japanese, and Russian captioning. 

Bonus Dreamworlds: Our vision for ZED is infinite, but our resources are finite. With our help we can build these worlds into the game.

Xbox One: ZED will be released on Xbox One!

Playstation 4: ZED will be released for Playstation!

 

 

For the past year we have been building ZED during the quiet hours of the night (and not-so-quiet hours of the day). We are a small self-financed team fueled by our ambition and copious amounts of coffee, and are looking to bring on a few more dedicated souls to help make this dream a shared reality. We need your help to make a great game even better, and release our game in a reasonable timeframe.

      

In order to cover the most basic costs of future production, we will need to raise at least $48,000.00. This may seem like a very low price for a game - it is!  Being a small Central Maine studio allows us to keep studio costs low and ensures that all money we receive from this campaign will be spent wisely. We will be focused primarily on optimizing our rich and fantastic realms for all to enjoy.

 

Eagre Games is a small Central Maine-based game company developing nonviolent, beautifully immersive, story-driven games.

Chuck Carter | Joe Fielder | Seth Mantie
Chuck Carter | Joe Fielder | Seth Mantie

Chuck Carter - Creative Director, Founder - @ChuckCarterART
One of the creative forces behind Myst and 25+ other video games, including the Command and Conquer and Red Alert franchises, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and more. He has also worked on TV shows like Babylon5, as well as having contributed work on Star Trek: The Experience and Disney’s Mission to Mars motion rides. His illustration and animation work has been seen on the BBC, National Geographic, and NASA, as well dozens of additional publications and organizations.

Joe Fielder - Lead Writer -  @JoeFielderIII
A writer and game designer, Joe Fielder has contributed to such games as: BioShock Infinite, BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 1 & 2, The Flame in the Flood, Lost Within, BOOM BLOX, and more. During the daytime, he acts as Design Director of OtherSide Entertainment's Underworld Ascendant, the modern follow-up to LookingGlass' classic Ultima Underworld RPG series.

Seth Mantye - Vice President - @smantz0rZ
Seth is a game development guru, strategist, and lover of all things Maine who has been involved in a plethora of games. As an Unreal Engine aficionado, he has helped coordinate the independent developer community in Boston, MA and brings a breadth of talent, expertise, and experiences.

Stephanie Frankiewicz | Calvin Moisan | Josh Eckert
Stephanie Frankiewicz | Calvin Moisan | Josh Eckert

Stephanie Frankiewicz - Artist, Designer, Marketing, & Social - @abitfrank
Stephanie is an animator, illustrator, and game developer who tries to turn the intangible into an experience. Much of the time this means technical accessible animations and UI design, but it also means illustrating the abstract and designing games around bizarre concepts.

Calvin Moisan - Unreal Developer, Programmer, and IT Wizard
Calvin is our go-to guy for all things tech and development. Some would like to think that if Einstein were a computer programmer his name would be Calvin, despite Calvin's numerous assertions to the contrary. When Calvin isn't putting up with Seth's horrible jokes and he likes living life to the fullest, and believes everyone should follow their dream (even if that means keeping a day job!)

Josh Eckert - Marketing, Designer
Joshua brings to Eagre Games his experience in environmental design and emerging technologies. He used to design retail interiors for New York's fashion brands. He's also worked with the Singaporean government and twice with Techstars startups.

Brad Burke | Doug Goldsmith | James Cowin
Brad Burke | Doug Goldsmith | James Cowin

Brad Burke  - Contributing Artist | Video Genie @Swanky_Box
Brad is an Ohio-based YouTuber who runs a gaming-focused channel called SwankyBox. By trade he is an animator, videographer, writer, and web designer, but nerdy online video is what he’s most passionate about. He also has a huge knack for crowdfunding, and is contributing his video expertise for the development of ZED.

Doug Goldsmith - Conceptual Illustrator 
Doug is an accomplished illustrator and a painter. His illustration work includes character design for numerous video games and business clients, concept design, editorial illustration, book and advertising illustration.

James Cowin - Contributing Artist | Intern
Currently James is going to school at Southern New Hampshire University studying Game Art and Design with a minor in graphic design. He’s spending every chance he gets to hone his craft as a 3D artist and gain experience with tools such as 3DsMax, Substance Painter, Unreal Engine 4, Unity, Marmoset and ZBrush. James is currently helping Eagre Games with ZED over the summer building 3D model assets and helping with UE4 level building.

Alex Parrish | Terri L. Williams | Ian Faleer
Alex Parrish | Terri L. Williams | Ian Faleer

Alex Parrish - Contributing Artist | Musician @pearlpixel 

Beyond trying and failing to be a “normal” human being, Alex Parish is an audio ninja hailing from Berklee College of Music where she studies Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games. She goes by Pearl Pixel on the Internet and likes to listen to way too much music. As of now, one of her main goals is to become an established composer by the time she’s 90. Hopefully that works out for her.

Terry L Williams - Contributing Artist | Musician
Terry is a freelance Composer and Sound Designer. After growing up leading a life full of fist pumping and tanning on the Jersey Shore, Terry reformed his life and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston to study both Film and Video Game Composing. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for video game audio. Terry has worked on several AAA and indie games on Xbox Live and PC. He’s proud to add ZED to his resume!

Ian Faleer - Contributing Artist | Musician - @Ian_Faleer

Ian is a composer/sound designer/music educator based in Northeast Ohio. A graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory with degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting, Ian began composing music for games in 2011 alongside his work in K-12 education. Over the past several years, Ian has worked on mobile and PC games for both commercial release and for game design challenges such as Ludum Dare and the Global Game Jam. Outside of music composition, Ian works as a full-time music teacher and choral conductor. You can hear and download most of Ian's music at ianfaleer.bandcamp.com.

 

Eagre Games is based in Maine, where we find much of our inspiration for ZED
Eagre Games is based in Maine, where we find much of our inspiration for ZED

 

We thank you for supporting us. Here is a look at some of the awesome rewards!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                             

 

                                                       

Risks and challenges

Like in the dreamworld, many unexpected things can happen in the game development world. However, we’ve set our timelines up to accommodate tweaks, changes, and re-arrangements of even the most fantastic variety. We are most concerned with crafting an unforgettable experience that you will want to revisit again and again. Sometimes that means placing a tree “just right” in-game, and sometimes it means carving out a secluded shelter that only a few intrepid souls will stumble across. The point is, we’ve laid the groundwork to focus exclusively on detailing the world of ZED. Lead by video-game industry veteran Chuck Carter, we are approaching ZED with the production expertise of many past titles. Like the Dreamer within ZED... this game is one task we must complete.

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    Dreamer

    Our heartfelt "thanks" for helping us continue the dream, as well as Backer Updates along the way!

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    Synaptic Surfer

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    REM Runner

    Your name in the credits of ZED as a backer.
    The soundtrack of ZED, and digital copy of the game.

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    Neuromancer

    A digital download of "the Art of ZED" - the concept art, in-game renders, and exclusive HD Wallpapers. Also includes REM Runner tier rewards!

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    Threaded

    Exclusive T-Shirt + Neuromancer tier rewards!
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    Backer's Ledge

    Become part of the Lore of ZED with this coveted in-game monument featuring Backers' names carved for all to see. Honor and praise for eternity + Neuromancer tier rewards

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    Dream Catcher

    It’s dangerous to go alone - take this! A ZED-themed journal for note-taking, lest something be forgotten on your quest. Hardcover Bound Journal + Threaded tier rewards.
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    Kickstarter Special!
    Backer's Ledge and Threaded rewards. Our exclusive 'ZED' T-shirt, your name on our Backer's Ledge, art, soundtrack, and digital copy of the game!

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of the game
    • Backer's Ledge
    • Original Soundtrack
    • The Art of ZED
    • Exclusive T-shirt
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    Mind Mapper

    One of four printed partial maps of the Dreamer's mind that can be framed or combined with other sections to provide the location to hidden alcoves and cherished memories in ZED. Cloth Map section + Dream Catcher tier rewards. Excellent value!
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    Mental Maverick

    A signed print of in-game art by Chuck Carter, with a personal note from Chuck about the specific inspiration for the place. High-quality Art Print + Threaded tier rewards.
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    Enigma

    Receive a limited edition crafted model of an iconic ZED game object. Choose from four styles. + Dream Catcher tier rewards. Great for collectors!
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    Graffitti Artist

    Submit a drawing if you are artistically inclined, and have it appear in the world of ZED! If drawing is not your strong suit, we'll make your name look awesome. Your graffiti art/name in-game + Neuromancer tier rewards. Drawings subject to approval.
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    Oneirologist

    Dedicate a digital Park Bench. In-game dedication + Threaded tier rewards.
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    Esoteric Cartographer

    Want to venture alone into the deepest secrets of ZED, without waiting for the other’s maps to appear? Receive Signed versions of all 4 Cloth Map sections + Dream Catcher tier rewards. A great value!
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    Dream Self

    A signed Caricature by our creator and lead artist Chuck. Frame it! Let it be the jewel of your work or home. Hand-drawn custom caricature + Mental Maverick tier rewards.
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    Sandman

    Have a 1:1 hangout with ZED Creator and video game veteran Chuck Carter! Digital Hangout + Neuromancer tier rewards + Signed Exclusive T-shirt. Meeting times TBD.
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    Synaptic Samurai

    Your dream becomes reality - elements from your own dream find their way into ours + Dream Catcher tier rewards. Small restrictions apply.
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    Puppetmaster

    Your ideas become part of our game - Collaborate with our team on creating a puzzle for ZED. Small restrictions apply. Includes Sandman tier rewards.

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    Mind Bender

    Become an Important Statue in ZED City! In-game likeness + signed exclusive shirt + Neuromancer tier rewards.
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    Forefounder

    Your face will be carved in a stone mountain side to watch over the world of ZED! In-game likeness, signed shirt + Dream Catcher tier rewards.
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    Lucid Dreamer

    Meet with the team in Boston, MA for dinner and tour! In-person hangout + Mental Maverick tier rewards.
    Limit: Continental US + Canada, $750 torwards flight

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    Traumwelt

    Visit with the team in Bangor, ME for a day and visit Bar Harbor, ME. We'll show you some of the places that inspired parts of ZED! Stay in one of Maine's most luxurious and beautiful lodgings + Mental Maverick tier rewards. Expected delivery based on scheduling availability. Limit: Continental US and Canada.

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    Kezaôzowôgan

    Receive access to every applicable reward tier. Visit our studio, travel to Bar Harbor, and receive all physical and digital rewards. Expected delivery based on scheduling availability.

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Funding period

- (31 days)