Update 3: New reward tiers unveiled, SLICKPAK, Linux support, and new reward tier perk unlocked!
Update 4: One million and beyond!
Update 5: SEERPAK unveiled + $1.25 million!
Update 6: $1.5 million!? New reward perk!
Update 7: $1.75 million + about a week to go!
Upd8 8 ::::) 2 million + 2 days!
Homestuck is an illustrated, semi-animated story on the internet. It is not a comic that just happens to be hosted on the internet - it was specifically designed to exist there, to explore the potential of the medium, and evolve through reader participation. I began working on it about three years ago. The end of the story is now on the horizon. When it's complete, I'll work with an independent game developer to create a game involving a new story based within the Homestuck universe--assuming this project is funded, of course. The readers, through their participation, have helped make Homestuck what it has become. They may continue to participate in Homestuck's evolution by helping to fund this project!
If you are unfamiliar with Homestuck (or the site it lives on, MS Paint Adventures), it will help to know a little about the nature of the story and how it was made. Read below to find out more, or if you're already familiar with it, feel free to skip to the next section where I talk about the project.
Please tell me about Homestuck.
I have been told about Homestuck. Please tell me about this game.
Homestuck, like all other stories on MS Paint Adventures, was built on extensive parody of video games, most notably classic adventure games. The "mock adventure game" format has driven the creation of every page in the story, often with readers supplying commands for what the characters should do next. So for the project after Homestuck, I think it would not only be fitting, but quite exciting to present the story in the form of an actual adventure game.
I've worked with others to make small playable games as single pages of Homestuck before, creating them very quickly on small-to-nonexistent budgets. (Like this, or this, with RPG-like gameplay.) And some games I worked on alone. (Like this, and this, with Myst-like gameplay.) These were pretty casual projects, each made in a week or two, and slotted into a much larger, regularly updated story. But a more serious independent game project, with higher production values, many puzzles and challenges, and a fully developed, self-contained story, that is something that requires BIG BUCKS! The $700,000 goal will be enough to fund this project, but is really just about the bare minimum needed to make the game I have in mind. Games are expensive!
They also take a lot of time. The plan is this. I'll finish Homestuck some time in 2013. In the meantime, there will be a high-level planning phase for the game project. The decisions reached will largely depend on the budget we have to work with: how much money is raised here. When Homestuck is done, that's when our full attention will be on actual development. The game will be scheduled for release in 2014. I'm often asked what I will work on once Homestuck is done. If the project is funded, then this is it! As for what will happen with MSPA after that, I haven't really decided yet. I might continue making some sort of content for it, but I'll have to see what sort of time investment the game will require first.
We've talked to some independent game developers about this project already, companies that have already released great games. One in particular we have spoken with quite extensively about this project, and likely will be a good fit. Until things are finalized, that’s all the information we’ll release! Announcements like this will most likely follow after the Kickstarter is over.
So, what will the game be like?
It'll be based on Homestuck, of course. But this doesn't mean it'll be anything close to a direct adaptation. That would be impossible! Homestuck is a pretty huge story.
It'll be a little more like a spinoff than an adaptation. Something that draws from the elements already established in the vast Homestuck universe, applied more selectively to a shorter, self-contained story. Homestuck's structure is very open, which suits a highly exploratory piece of freeform media with a huge cast and many silly tangents. This game would be a more formal exercise in interactive storytelling. I'll use elements from Homestuck that I think will be interesting to expand upon in something new, likely with minimal relevance to Homestuck comic canon. Beyond that, things are pretty up in the air as far as plot and characters go. I have some ideas, but the concept will be a work in progress for a good while.
And when I say it will be a “formal exercise,” I don't mean I won't try to do anything creative or novel with the medium. I'll definitely be looking for ways to have some fun with the adventure game format, maybe do a few things that haven't been done before with the genre. But I mainly mean that my primary goal will be to make a well-produced and highly-accessible game by any standard, something that everyone can enjoy even if they've never heard of Homestuck before.
What's all this money being spent on? What happens if the goal is exceeded?
We've talked pretty extensively with the developers about how much money will be needed to reach certain milestones on the development cycle. If we just barely clear the funding goal for this project, that'll be enough to produce a game for Windows as a digital download (through Steam, for instance), as well as physical copies of the game. With a higher budget, other platforms become an option.
If the goal is exceeded, then every extra dollar only helps make the game that much better and more widely accessible. More platforms would be available, such as Mac OSX or mobile systems. There are certain increments in funding (stretch goals we'll reveal later) which allow for different platforms to be added, usually in the ballpark of $100K each. To simplify the situation, look at it this way. Every dollar raised up to a million would be covering the basics of development on a wider range of platforms beyond just Windows. Every dollar after that would be going toward increasing the production values of the game. Reaching such figures may be a lofty goal, but you never know! It doesn't hurt to keep in mind that all pledges beyond $700K will be going toward making a better end product. Every single pledge will have a real impact on making a great game.
But those are just a few things to consider if we happen to surpass the mark. I am not taking it for granted that this project will be funded at all. Quite the contrary! I truly do not know what kind of response to expect from this. But to give the project at least a fighting chance, we've set up a lot of great rewards that will hopefully get you thinking about making a contribution if you weren't already.
Every reward tier gets you a digital download of the game, to be sent to you when the game is done. $15 is the minimum pledge that gets you the game, and if this is all you can spare to help the project out, it is highly appreciated! But if you wish to be even more generous, there are a lot of great rewards which higher pledges get you. And unlike the game itself, which will of course take some time to make, all of the other products will ship not too long after the Kickstarter ends. If you live in the continental U.S. it is likely the rewards will arrive in time for the holiday season.
Obviously some of these reward bundles are not quite "priced to move," but the margin has to be fairly high to help us reach the goal for a very expensive project (not to mention pay for those products we're sending you!) Even so, the reward bundles here are so nice, that they actually still represent a pretty good value for the pledge. I think the scalemate plushes came out especially great. They are of almost impossibly high quality for something produced in bulk. This item is in very limited supply--note the finite number available for that tier. There are a couple more hidden bundles to be revealed later, but once they're gone, that's it! That's all we have. But if the response to the scalemates turns out to be strong, we're going to look into making more sometime next year.
*GAMEPAK2 tiers now include 2 randomly selected embroidered patches. "This pairing is your officially designated OTP." - signed, officially, Andrew Hussie.
Reward Tier Perks Unlocked:
At $10,000, you become a God Tier backer. Since Kickstarter only allows pledges up to $10,000, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in these special tiers.
((Super Flashy Images Below!))