About this project
First let me describe the game. It is a survival exploration horror game. The target audience is 12-25 year old males in the "nerd" culture. It plays in 2-d side scroller with the ability to backtrack and explore various rooms. The player finds themselves paying respects at a family member's grave at the worst possible time, Z-Day (the day the zombie apocalypse starts). Quickly noticing a house on the hill at the cemetery, the player makes a break for it and tries to secure the building while looking for a way to escape the craziness as well. Raiding the closet, the player finds supplies to board up windows and doors. The objective is to explore ever part of the house and seal it up from the swarming zombies. Unfortunately, you aren't the only person seeking shelter. The crazy grave digger, Emit, wants the mansion to himself and is willing to kill for it, literally.
Other features in the game are an upgrade store that you can visit when you find a computer in secured rooms, a leveling system to increase you attack damage and defense as well as speed and other stats, and a limited inventory and supply of melee weapons to add to the survival and nervous factor we are aiming to achieve. It's been dubbed the "oh crap I'm about to die" factor.
And now for the story about the project itself:
Despite being a college graduate, I have been finding it difficult to find a career in my field while still enjoying the luxury of staying in my home state of Michigan that I love so dearly. In my exhaustingly large amount of time to let my mind roam, I came up with a concept for a simple mobile game to throw on the markets and see how it does. Unfortunately, I'm a visuals guy and really only have skills in conceptual art and marketing. So like Nick Fury, I set out to find a team to defend against zombies, or at least let you defend against zombies by building this game with me.
This brought about something I am very passionate about, helping my fellow Michiganders. I'm not alone in my struggle to use my degree in Game Development here at home. There are many artists here that would blow my mind with their work, which is why I kept their contact info. This project allows me to help put them to work and develop something really fun that they can be proud of. I see this project as a gateway to more for all of us.
As I started planning out this kickstarter, which is primarily funding the compensation of the workers developing it, started to fall in love with it more and more. While their little zombie faces aren't meant to be anything close to attractive with the missing pieces and rotting flesh, I found everything adorably hilarious right down the crazy old grave digger trying to kill you at every turn. I find myself wanting to expand on the gameplay and interactivity each time I sit down and work on it.
While it may seem like I can develop this on my own in enough time, I just can't do it all. There are animation and programing skills I just don't have and need team members, now dubbed From the Shadows Studios cause I like ninjas. The crew I have assembled are all dedicated and I feel I can trust them to see this project through. But they deserve to be compensated for their work.
Please help me bring this game to life. I know we can make something truly special. I see the talent that's been around me just sitting, and I feel in my core that there is a reason it's waiting here to be used, to make this amazingly fun game.
Risks and challenges
One potential mishap is members of my team finding work elsewhere and becoming unavailable. Most don't have regular employment in their field and if it came would probably choose that over my project. Luckily for me the area is full of talent in need of a purpose. It would sadden me to see someone have to leave the project but at the same time, I'ld be happy for him or her and wish him or her the best. It happens in business every day. It's another challenge Batten Down the Hatches will overcome.
Scope, the biggest project killer is letting it get out of scale and of course. Thank goodness I am very plan happy and enjoy creating detailed outlines and deadlines for everyone to stay on task and on schedule.
This also leads into the worry of people wanting to contribute too many ideas. Brainstorming is great. Constructive criticism is great. But a good manager/director knows when to put an end to hit the brakes and keep the team on the road. It will be my job to make sure we don't start with an zombie survival game and literally end up on Mars.
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