Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 14, 2013.

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I have wired an EEG headset that reads your brain into a video game to give you telekinetic super-powers controlled with your thoughts.

"This has been the dream of almost every child at least since the first 'Star Wars' movie in 1977 introduced us to Jedi mind tricks." -- Los Angeles Times

"It’s not easy to understand the true appeal of Throw Trucks’ mind-versus-mind combat until you’ve actually sat down and dropped an automobile on your friend’s head. I felt the kind of power-tripping exhilaration I never got by, say, pushing a button to Force-shove Stormtroopers in a Force Unleashed game or even by using Kinect-based motion controls. I moved that truck through sheer force of will. That’s the very definition of an immersive experience." - VentureBeat

"Please let this exist right now." - SourceFed

"In the world of zany Kickstarter projects, this is one of the zaniest." - Kotaku

"Shut up and take my money!" - Jonathan Nelson, Hackers & Founders

"I've read some of the discussions online about TTWYM elsewhere, and some were concerned about how much fun the gameplay could really be, and let me just say that there shouldn't be any concern." - Mike Masnick

Throw Trucks With Your Mind is a multiplayer-focused game where you … wait for it … throw trucks with your mind! No, seriously! Using your brainwaves, you unleash your psychokinetic powers on other players. No guns. No gimmicks. Just concentration, your brain, and psychic awesomeness. The game uses first-person shooter controls, but it's not a first-person shooter. You'll fight entirely through NeuroSky's MindWave headset peripheral that reads the electrical activity of your brain. Your weapon is the world around you and the various psychic manipulations you can perform on it to clobber others.  There will be single-player training scenarios to teach you everything you need to know about the multiplayer, which is the main focus of the game.

The game works by doing a bunch of crazy math on your brainwaves to determine how calm and focused you are. These two conditions act as the scalars on your psychic powers. Want to throw a truck into that pompous jerk strafing around in front of you? Just focus on it. The more focused you are, the harder you fling the truck and the more smushy he ends up.

In basic terms, games like this are about simple wish fulfillment: remember growing up when you really wanted psychic powers? Maybe you just wished you could make your sister explode after she trashed your Star Wars figurines or maybe you really admired comic book heroes like Professor X or maybe you were way too into Carrie—whatever your reasons, we've all imagined ourselves like this at one time or another. Videogames up until this point have played lip service to these power fantasies with all kinds of psychic mayhem. But there's always been a missing element. After all, holding B isn't really the same thing as thinking really hard about something. Essentially, no game has ever demanded your mind's direct participation to create the psychic powers occurring on screen. Until this.

We want to be clear that at no point will this game take itself too seriously. The game will be silly, but still competitive. The art style of the game will reflect that. Unless someone backs at the REALITY BENDER reward tier and demands it, there will be no angry space marines in power armor. Here is some concept art for playable characters:

Of course, there will be variations on each character.

And here is the promotional poster that the backers voted for:

My name's Lat Ware. I'm a graduate of DigiPen, a veteran of the games industry, and the programmer-mastermind of this crazy idea. I've worked on Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and All Points Bulletin. I've had the best training for making games that one could possibly hope for and I've decided to quit my job and risk everything on building this game.  The brave adventurers that have joined me on this quest are Lynda Miller, Caspian Priebe, Kiyome Provost, and Matt Olch.  All of them are top talent for video game development.

When it comes down to it, ideas this crazy are a little too far off the deep end for typical investors to take a shot at. While a mega-brand like Nintendo can revolutionize the market with the Wii's motion controls or John Carmack can change the way we view games with the Oculus Rift, guys like me don't have the pull in the industry to get the financing we need. Even though I already know a bunch of incredible artists I'm dying to bring on board—even though I've already gotten a prototype up and running in just my spare time—even though I'm desperate to make this project into a reality, I don't have the money or the pomp to make this into a full-fledged game on my own. And that used to be the end of the story for many great ideas in gaming. But Kickstarter has completely upended the traditional model of financing. Now individuals like myself can turn dreams into reality. That's why I'm here, asking for your help.

The truth is, Throw Trucks With Your Mind could be huge. So much bigger than just one guy's interesting idea. If we hit our initial funding goals, we'll raise enough money to make a multiplayer psychic brawler and much fun will be had by all. All the rewards on offer will be delivered as promised and you'll get everything you've seen in the video but done with original artwork, animations, sound effects, and levels—a fully-realized multiplayer psychic combat simulator. More importantly, people will throw trucks at each other over the internet by using the power of their brains. And frankly that's pretty dang awesome for a finish line. 

Right now, without the art, the sound effects, the animations, all you can see is the rugged skeleton of something cool and a little weird. You can't fully appreciate the effect of actually playing it, which is totally unlike anything you've experienced. But go ahead and watch that video again and this time look at their facial expressions as they interact with the prototype. See what I mean? I want to make the games that show how devices like these are more than just gimmicks, more than just cute ideas that never amount to meaningful experiences. I've already done the hard work of coding that skeleton. But I need money to get rid of the placeholder art, start building levels, work on the physics, and come up with net code that can work with this wacky premise. The truth is I'm staying humble and aiming small. Even though I've seen the crazy amount of potential this thing has firsthand, I know Kickstarter projects typically rely on famous talent and flashy graphics to get funding. So my goals are very prudent at this point.

$60,000 - I will make Builder Mode, where you will be able to spawn objects in a level, not unlike Garry's Mod, move them around with your mind, and weld them together with your willpower. This will work in multiplayer. 

$80,000 - Official Throw Trucks With Your Mind servers. 

$100,000 - Online matchmaking and Oculus Rift integration!

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO RUN THIS?

Throw Trucks With Your Mind will run on both Windows XP and up as well as Mac OS X 10.6.x and up.  While I would love to get this on consoles, that is an engineering hurdle that I just don't have the resources to deal with.

WHAT GAME MODES WILL BE INCLUDED?

The game will have Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Fridge, King Of The Hill, and Hunt The Hunters.

WHAT ON EARTH IS CAPTURE THE FRIDGE?

Capture The Fridge is an adaption of the classic game mode, Capture The Flag.  In this mode, dying only takes you out of the action for a very short period of time and two teams will compete over trying to get a refrigerator in the middle of the level back to their base.  It's the only large object in the game, so throwing the refrigerator at your enemies can be extremely effective, or put it closer to their base.  You have to work out what is the best choice.

AND HUNT THE HUNTERS?

In that mode, you and as many friends as you like will do battle with computer controlled AIs.  These "bots" will have no telekinetic powers and instead be armed with guns.  It is incredibly hard to maintain your focus and calm when they are shooting at you, making this mode the best possible training.  If you are brave enough, you can play this mode by yourself.  This is why you saw weapons firing in the trailer.  The player will never have access to guns, though.

HOW MANY PLAYERS WILL BE ABLE TO PLAY AT ONCE?

32 people will be able to play together in one online game.

I HAVE A PHYSICAL DISABILITY.  CAN I PLAY THE GAME?

Throw Trucks With Your Mind will work with any USB controller, so if there is a controller that accommodates your needs, it will work for this game.

WAIT, THE REWARDS LET ME DESIGN THINGS FOR THE GAME?  CAN IT BE ANYTHING?

Mostly.  The game will be rated T For Teen, so we can't have anything that would change the game's rating.  We also can't have anything in the game that would violate copyright.  Character designs can't fly and must fit into the collision cylinder of a normal biped.  Designing a level is for general appearance only.  There are a lot of traditional level types, like close-quarters hallways, that just don't work for this sort of game.  Lastly, the work has to fit within the art budget, so don't expect anything out of Square's cutscenes.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I have actually spent the last year playtesting this and hammering out all the usability issues and making it fun. NeuroSky has already taken care of the manufacturing, distributing, and quality assurance problems with making EEG headsets. The hardest challenge really is conveying to you just how much fun this game really is. The game is so utterly unlike anything you have ever played before that I don't even have a point of comparison. It really is exactly what it says on the tin.

FAQ

  • You can throw things with your focus.

    You can lift things with your calm.

    You can pull things towards you with your calm. I made that powered by calm because I thought it would be hilarious if there was a power-up that was out of reach and the more you needed it, the harder it was to pull towards you. But because of your own mental state, not arbitrary coded rules. This way, you could master that reflex and overcome it.

    You can stop things in place with your focus.

    You can super-jump with your focus.

    You can slow-fall with your calm. So, that fall will kill you, unless you keep your cool. Slow-fall can give let you experience negative gravity, but it will never give you lift. If your calm is completely maxed out, you can walk off a cliff, turn around, and walk right back.

    The current state of the game does not have invisibility powered by your focus and force field powered by your calm, but the final game will have those powers.

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  • No. The hardware to do that is prohibitively expensive and takes too long to learn for a fun game to play with friends. You will use a keyboard to move around and select your powers. You will look around and aim your powers with the mouse. The game will only use how focused and calm you are for controlling how strong your powers are.

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  • No. You will need the headset, which you can buy here: http://store.neurosky.com/products/mindwave-1

    The headset costs $80 and shipping usually runs at a little less than $20. This is why if you back at the PSYCHIC reward tier ($125) or higher, you will receive a headset when payments are finished processing. If you do not want to wait until the game is released to get your headset, you can buy it from NeuroSky's online store right now.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    SENSITIVE: Because this kind of game could not exist without backers like you, your name will appear in the Special Thanks section of the credits..

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    LATENT: Would you like to hang Throw Trucks With Your Mind on your wall? Back at this level and you will receive one limited-edition 11"X17" poster of two of the playable characters (the cat in a robot exoskeleton and the lady with a bird's nest in her hair). You will also receive recognition in the Special Thanks section of the game credits. This reward will be included in all higher donations.

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    ADEPT: In addition to the SENSITIVE reward tier, you will receive a copy of the game via digital distribution when it is completed.

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    GIFTED: In addition to the ADEPT reward tier, you will be part of the closed beta for Throw Trucks With Your Mind. This means that you will get to be part of the final pass of playtesting and user feedback to make the game as good as possible. You will receive a copy of the game when it is completed.

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    CLAIRVOYANT: A patron of the video gaming arts! You will receive .zip file of all concept art that went into making Throw Trucks With Your MInd. This includes the GIFTED reward tier

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    PSYCHIC: Do you want to play Throw Trucks With Your Mind, but are too lazy to buy the headset right now and get a leg up on the competition? Never fear! At this reward tier, Neurosky's Mindwave Headset will be shipped to you along with all the rewards of the CLAIRVOYANT tier.

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    TELEPATH: In addition to the PSYCHIC reward tier, your image will be forever honored in the Hall Of Fame level! You send in your picture and you will appear in the Hall of Fame level, labeled with your name.

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    TELEKINETIC: You will get to design one of the small objects in the game. If you have the peculiar desire to hit someone with a giant clownfish taped to a brick, this is the reward level for you! Small objects don't deal much damage, but are very easy to get moving and are good for distracting and disrupting enemies. You will tell one of the artists the high concept of the object and get to give feedback on what they produce. This includes the PSYCHIC reward tier.

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    CHANNELER: You will get to design one of the medium-sized objects in the game. If you feel the need to bludgeon someone with a giant ball of yarn, this is the reward level that you want. Medium objects actually take effort to get moving and can do good damage, but are unlikely to kill someone in one hit. You will tell one of the artists the high concept of the object and get to give feedback on what they produce. This includes the PSYCHIC reward tier.

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    MEMETOMANCER: You will get to design one of the large objects in the game. If you have always wanted to crush someone with a truck-sized rubber duck, donate at this level. Large objects are very hard to get moving, requiring most of one person's willpower to get them to budge. But once these objects get moving, they will kill anything they connect with. You will tell one of the artists the high concept of the object and get to give feedback on what they produce. This includes the PSYCHIC reward tier.

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    TRANSCENDENT: You will get to design a massive object. Massive objects are centerpieces to levels. They take a concerted effort of at least two people to move. Unlike large objects, these objects are extremely difficult to stop once they get moving and will often take out large swaths of enemies. You will tell one of the artists the high concept of the object and get to give feedback on what they produce. This includes the PSYCHIC reward tier.

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    AVATAR OF WILL: Would you like to have lunch with the mad scientist behind Throw Trucks With Your Mind and play the game before anyone else? At this reward level, you will! Bring a friend! There will be multiplayer! You'll have to provide your own transportation to Mountain View, CA. This includes the PSYCHIC reward tier.

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    REALITY BENDER: At this reward level, you will get to design one of the playable characters in the game. If you want to be a psychic lobster or even your cat in a robotic exoskeleton, this reward is for you. You will tell one of the artists the high concept of what you want the character to be and you will give feedback on what they produce. This includes the PSYCHIC reward tier.

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    Q: If you could design your own arena that you would crush your enemies with your mind in, what would it look like? Would it be an ice cavern? A foundry? Inside a living starship? On top a giant kitchen counter so you could crush your enemies with giant salt shakers? Would it be a scale 3D map of a city so you can throw buildings at your enemies? At this reward level, you get to design the theme of a level. You will submit the high concept to one of the artists and give feedback on what they produce. This includes the PSYCHIC reward tier.

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