Hill Agency, which started as PURITY&decay (a DMG Feb Fatale game Jam prototype)was first shown at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, and it needs you to get the next level.
The year is 2262 and you're, Meeygun Hill, a tough as nails P.I. working in the slums of one of the last major cities in North America. Life is all missing kids and cheating spouses until a dame from the Risen-City barges in and changes your life. Her sister has been murdered and the cops are useless. It’s up to you to find out who the real murderer is.
Murdered sisters, mind wiping drugs and flying palaces, this case goes way farther than the banks of this one detective's little slum in this indigenous cybernoir. A narrative detective game in the spirit of Oxenfree and The Shiva that lets you solve who did it. Interview witnesses and suspects, collect evidence (and sort what is important from the red herrings), compile a case and make your accusations!
What People are Already Saying About Our Game Jam Demo
In the world of Hill Agency YOU are the thinking machine!
Use evidence boards to sort out your thoughts! Explore locations in real-time to find addresses or people. Use terminals to search the “net” and uncover new layers of history. Fill out paperwork to make an accusation like a real detective!
And remember! Accusations are only rejected if the evidence isn’t strong enough, not if you’re wrong!
Who are We?
Achimostawinan Games is Indigenously owned and operated, but more than that we strive to have a team that is made up of at least 51% Indigenous staff.
Our project Hill Agency is the brainchild of Metis game designer Meagan Byrne and Maliseet animator Tara Miller. It was conceived during 2017 at the Dames Making Games annual game jam Feb Fatale.
Our team is made up of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who all are amazing talents in their field!
As we strive to represent our stories we must also navigate the possibility of cross-nation appropriation and for that reason Achimostawinan Games utilizes an Advisory Council of Indigenous creatives.
Our Advisory Council is made up of Indigenous creatives working in many areas of digital and fine art. Their decisions and advice will be guided by the On Screen Protocols & Pathways Guide. Which is a media production guide to working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, cultures, concepts and stories.
What Will it Cost?
We are asking you to help us fund our polished prototype (titled Hill Agency: BARK&byte) which will cost $60,000 CAD and will take 6 months.
That breaks down like this (note these amounts are approximate):
- Narrative Designer/Game Designer: $20,000
- Programmer/Game Designer: $20,000
- 3D/2D Artist/Animator: $20,000
- Music/Sound Design $10,000
This prototype will help us secure a publisher and further financial support so that our team can begin full production of Hill Agency: PURITY&decay.
Full Production of the game will cost an additional $600,000 CAD and will take 2 Years after development of the game cycle.
That breaks down like this (note these amounts are approximate):
- 1 Narrative Designer/Writer: $40,000/year
- 1 Game Designer: $40,000/year
- 1 Programmer: $45,000/year
- 2 Artists/Animators: $40,000/year = $80,000/year
- Cree Translation/Writing Services: $20,000
- 1 Sound Designer: $40,000
- 1 Composer: $40,000
- Musicians/Singers: $15,000
- Recording Studio Rental: $5,000
- 1 Producer: $40,000
- Admin Staff: $15,000
- Software/Equipment: $10,000
- Testing Expenses: $15,000
- Distribution and Promotion Expenses: $45,000
- Overhead/Contingency Expenses: $70,000
What Can We Do With $10k?
Achimostawinan Games is trying to secure other funding streams and has already secured a $10k grant. Sometimes the worst happens so this is what we can do at different funding amounts:
$10K Kickstarter Successful = $20K: Low Asset Prototype, Hill Animation only
+$10K Over Funded = +$30K: Higher Asset Prototype, Hill Animation, Character Models
+$30k Over Funded = +$50K UNLOCKS $250K Ontario Creates Fund + $30K Ontario Arts Council Grant: Full Asset Prototype and immediate start on full game
I'll be honest it took a lot of convincing for me to get on Kickstarter because I wasn't sure I could handle it and keep working on this game. But finishing Hill Agency is a big dream for me and I'm not alone. I have a whole team that believes in this project and wants to see it come to life. Finishing it the right way would be almost impossible without help from the Kickstarter community.
Ultimately, we need to focus on this game full-time, otherwise, it's going to be stuck in development hell forever. We need funds to pay for the game's production and to allow the Achimostawinan Games team to work on the project full-time.
Our dream is to make a game you love! We want to make a game that shows the world the kind of cool things Indigenous people can make when we have control and with your help we can!
Risks and challenges
A major concern we need to keep in mind as we develop Hill Agency is that we are not committing cultural appropriation across Indigenous nations. To overcome this, our team has made a pledge to only represent our own nations. If we determine that it is crucial to represent another nation/community within the game we will reach out to that community to ensure we do it in a good way. When reaching out we will be following the On-Screen Protocols and Pathways Guide as well as working with our Indigenous professional advisors, who will advise as well as play our game so as to highlight any issues early on when they can be easily fixed.
Overall developing games is hard. Developing games with a remote team is even harder and sometimes it feels like trying to get players to invest in an Indigenous-made game is impossible. Ultimately, it can take a long time to develop a game even with a team of awesome people, and a lot can go wrong from start to finish. But Achimostawinan Games is all about taking those risks...carefully. This is not something that we have decided to jump into and while it will be our first big indie game we have carefully calculated the risks and decided that Hill Agency was worth it!
Another concern is narrative and failure. What makes Hill Agency special is the player's ability to fail in addition to exploring an original Indigenous story surrounded by beautiful visuals and jazz music. It is possible that this may look great in theory, but does not play well which is why Achimostawinan Games utilizes a player-first design strategy that has us constantly testing and reiterating on our gameplay early and quickly. This way we solve problems early when they are still easy to fix.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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