Alpha Playthough Revealed, PayPal & How I Met Double Fine
I’ve been meaning to show you all a real playthrough of our early prototype as soon as I caught my breath. Well, I’ve given up on breathing while running a Kickstarter, so here you go:
This scene is ripped right out of the middle of the game. It was originally created to test the adventure game systems such as dialogue, camera movement, and character animations. In it, you are looking for Misty, who has the money you need to extend your life on MarsTopia.
DEV NOTE: While there is a timer in this prototype, we didn't like the Time Crisis-esque stress this was causing our playtesters, so we're planning to turn the countdown into a narrative device that appears between scenes, like in the TV show 24.
Any minute now! Please tell your friends who prefer PayPal to just click our happy little link. We’re trying hard to reach our stretch goals, so any and all help here is awesome.
HOW ROCKET SCIENCE MET DOUBLE FINE
Like a smack from out of the blue, LAST LIFE was kissed by fate. My personal hero, Tim Schafer, and his incredible team at Double Fine said they wanted to help me get my game out in the world. Seriously, I’m not sure I have really gotten over the shock, nor my sheer gratitude that they believe in LAST LIFE.
So here’s the whole story. I returned to L.A. from San Francisco with a lot of hope in my heart about LAST LIFE. I had brought my post cards to the Game Developer's Conference and handed them out. I’d even brought some nifty Rocket Science patches and gave those out too.
Everyone I spoke with was incredibly kind and enthusiastic. That’s our cool indie game dev community. So I was jazzed, and a little over-caffeinated, and not sleeping much as we prepared to launch our Kickstarter in one short week.
A day after getting back from GDC, while getting ready to meet a friend and simultaneously reading twitter (shout out to multitasking!), I was stopped in my tracks. The tweet simply said:
It was the magic tweet.
This, you’ll all agree, was crazy timing. I had to respond. I had been on my way out of my apartment but I turned around, sat down and quickly tweeted/emailed back (like throwing a tiny stone into the vast Pacific Ocean) that I have a new game I’d been lovingly crafting for months. A short message from a fan they’d never heard of. I wanted to giggle at the audacity and the cheekiness and the fateful pull I was feeling. It was absurd, right? Double Fine.
So a couple of emails quickly flew my way. The first, kindly explaining how many games had already been submitted to DF. Of course there were. Insane, right? But then—amazing stroke of coolness—they liked this art sample I’d included:
They clicked through to the trailer, and suddenly--
I was back in San Francisco and actually entering Double Fine’s office. For real. If it all ended there, I would have been grateful. I would have had stories to tell. All I can remember of that great trip was 1) Tim, Greg, and Justin were awesome in every way, 2) bowling was involved, and we were all scoring massive amounts of strikes (well, maybe not...my memory of the night is, admittedly, cloudy), and 3) they asked me to launch LAST LIFE’s KS from their booth at PAX East. What??
DF’s belief in the indie game community is only equalled by their awesomeness as game creators themselves. I said I am humbled and I am. DF’s enthusiasm for LAST LIFE and noir adventure games has interested the press, gaining our Kickstarter attention beyond anything I might have been able to generate on my own. Three weeks ago, I was just an avid reader of Polygon and Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and The Verge and, man, I grew up reading PC Gamer. Now, I’m so grateful to these journalists for adding their support to LAST LIFE.
If not for Double Fine and great games journalists, many of you would not have found us on Kickstarter. And you are a special group, my friends. Our backers are just amazing people. So in the spirit of wishing I could share all this love, I want to introduce you to several really cool Kickstarters that can use our help, too. If any of these projects look like your sort of thing, please click through and see if you might be interested in lending them a hand as well. You’ll find them just below.
Meantime, you have my deepest thanks. Let’s kick our KS into a higher gear to get to that first stretch goal: VOICE OVER for our characters!
All the best,