Note: We've met our funding goal - thank you so much, backers! Any funds we raise here on Kickstarter beyond the funding goal will go to hiring local artists to help generate more content (3D models and textures) for the game. With extra cash to pay freelancers we'll be able to make the environments even richer and the characters more detailed and various.
"Kentucky Route Zero" is a magic realist adventure game about a secret highway in Kentucky and the mysterious folks who travel it. The player controls Conway, an antique furniture deliveryman, as he attempts to complete the final delivery for his financially troubled employer. Along the way he'll meet dozens of strange characters and make a few new friends to help him overcome the obstacles in his path. We're raising money to fund development of this game, and planning to release it around the Fall of 2011 (on PC, Mac and possibly other platforms).
Gameplay in Kentucky Route Zero is slow-paced, focusing on exploring new environments and talking with new people. In one section, Conway meets a robotic country singer named Junebug who is trapped in the abandoned restaurant that once employed her, and has to explore the cavernous depths below the restaurant in order to shut down a security system and free her. In another, Conway and his companions explore a Civil War era battleship that ran ashore in an underground river hundreds of years ago and is now populated entirely by cats.
This game is being created by two people: Jake Elliott (design, programming & writing) and Tamas Kemenczy (design & art). We are long-time collaborators who have developed many projects together over the past several years. Jake has developed several games including "A House in California" which is a finalist for the Nuovo Award in the 2011 Independent Games Festival. Tamas is drawing from a background in fine arts and design to art direct the game. The music for the game will be performed and recorded by a local (Chicago) experimental folk group, and will consist of slow, spacey arrangements of bluegrass songs.
Our development costs are pretty slim relative to a typical video game budget, but still substantial relative to our assets. We need to pay for the license for the game engine we'll be using (Unity Pro). We also need to pay the musicians and the audio engineer who will be recording the game's soundtrack. Finally we need to offset living expenses enough to be able to focus on the game full time and complete it in the next nine months.
Tamas has been developing some great artwork for the game: actual in-game characters, props and locations. We've also started to develop background texture for the world in which the game takes place: communications between characters and advertisements for local businesses. We used these to create the game's trailer, and we'll also use them to create unique and high quality postcards and posters for Kickstarter supporters. We're also offering an early, limited pre-release of the soundtrack on CD. At the highest level of support, we'll work with you to create a personalized object in the game: an antique that becomes part of Conway's special delivery. It could be a family heirloom or something else that has some meaning for you.
We don't exactly know how the final game will be distributed yet, but if you pledge $40 or more we promise we'll find a way to get the game to you for free once it's released, on your (supported) platform of choice.