After just 24 hours, Origin is 7% Funded! That means in the first 24 hours alone we've raised almost as much as we did the entire month on the first attempt! Thanks to everyone so far! But let's try to keep up the momentum, because we still have a long way to go. We're off to a great start, we just have to keep it going! In order to raise the minimum 20k, we have to average 667 dollars a day, we raised more than double that today, so let's keep it up! Also, as an added bonus, any kickstarter backer who pledges 20 dollars or higher will be invited to beta test, and if we hit 50k in funding, the collectors edition box sets will also include a paperback copy of the official Origin Codex, filled with everything you could possibly want to know about the different worlds, races, stories, and characters of Origin!
Origin is a first person role playing videogame that focuses heavily on story, and puts control of the story in your hands. Similar to games such as Mass Effect where your choices make an impact on the game, only taken to a larger scale. Even the slightest, most inconspicuous choice, will open up different levels, and close other levels, and have an impact on the ending. One example I will disclose is at one point in the game, a character named Alyra (The blue alien girl in the trailer) will offer you flight lessons on flying the fighter crafts. If you accept, it opens up a "bonus level" of learning to fly with alot of good bonding moments, and when the ship is attacked near the planet Tartarus, you survive and explore the moon Olympus. However, if you decline, you miss the lessons and thus get shot down when the ship is attacked, and crash land on Tartarus's other moon, Asteria, instead of landing on Olympus. Which moon you end up on will determine which characters you recruit for your final line up, and thus will change the ending as well. Such a small choice, but with such big consequences either way. That is the kind of impact your choices will have in Origin. The story itself focuses on a science fiction twist of Noah's Ark, and then adds story elements from other religions, including Norse, Greek Mythology, Mayan, and more, and twists them together into one big ancient astronaut theory type tale. Most of the many alien races you meet in Origin will have a story that comes from a different religion or historic event, each twisted into a tale that becomes physically possible. As for the plot itself, you assume the role of Jack Williams, a formal corporal in the US Marine Corps. One day your home town of Pineville, along with the rest of the world, is attacked by a race of alien machines. Your struggle for your own survival pushes you further and further into the action until you are rescued by a group of friendly alien races. You then learn that mankind came to Earth from a different world on a huge ship called the Archturus (Ark for short), seeking refuge from the machines. Now you must travel the stars, searching for remnants of what used to be a thriving galactic community, and try to make allies to help stop the machines, known as the flood.
Another Key element of Origin is the artificial intelligence. With AI being my specialty, I feel this would make a profound impact in the gaming world. The AI I plan to use in Origin was originally conceived for military use, and is a true self evolving neural network. The AI learns by grading itself on its efficiency, constantly evolving towards being as efficient as it can be. It controls every enemy in the game, and it learns, it adapts, and it remembers, so that every enemy you face has the cummulative knowledge of every enemy you already have faced.
As every other videogame project talks about, making a videogame is not free, not even cheap. To make a videogame of this magnitude, there are software licensing and rights, assets to acquire, and leasing time in motion capture studios and graphics-based supercomputers really helps for cinematics. Also, I need to be able to outsource low end assets so that I have time to focus on the big assets, like the story, graphics, and especially the AI.
Risks and challenges
The risks on this project are fairly low. Creating content for a game of this magnitude is a challenge, but most of it is already complete. The 3D assets are around 60 to 70 percent complete, the storyline and trees are all mapped out, all that is left is the remaining assets, then creating this virtual galaxy full of content, and then porting the AI into the game.
Porting the AI into the game is probably the key challenge, because although it has already been developed, it has not been integrated into a videogame. Doing so I will have to re-write it into the game and "wire" it in so that the game can simulate the AI's senses.
To overcome this challenge, I plan to outsource some assets and acquire prefabbed assets when possible without detracting from the quality of the game, leaving me more time to focus on the AI. Hence the reason I am posting this on Kickstarter, because these things require more money than I have to put into the project, and the more funding I receive, the better the game will be for this reason.
That's a long story. The short version; planning ahead. The long version; virtual reality is making a comeback and will change trends very soon. As a gamer myself, I think we can all agree that one of the main things that makes us gamers is the fact that life just gets boring, and we want to live in a different world where anything is possible, so we escape to videogames. This is what made me a developer, is that I wanted to make whole new worlds full of imagination, then to be able to walk arouound in these worlds and interact with them. So naturally, the prospect of virtual reality is very welcome to me, and I fully plan to develop videogames as welcoming as they can be, so that when VR becomes commonplace, fans can really get inside the game.
I was, but upon nearing completion of it, I realized that it would only take away from the game because it wouldn't be as good as the game itself. The game still requires alot of work and assets before it is complete, which is why I am asking for help. A demo right now would be sub standard quality, with generic AI, poor quality assets, and it would need a very powerful computer to run in its present state, thus it was decided that a demo right now was a bad idea.
The game runs on the Unity engine which can port to Mac with no problems or additional costs or anything, I just have no way to test it on Mac and am unfamiliar with what kind of hardware requirements there would be. So releasing it for Mac would be no problem I just have no way of testing it or supporting it, but if somebody wanted a copy of it for Mac I can certainly do so as long as they understand that. If the project gets funded well enough then I could hire a few mac techs to test the software and offer support for it.
LOL I was hesitant to call it the flood for that exact reason. Originally I was going to call them the SAND (it was a rediculous acronym). As it turns out, though, you can't copyright the phrase "The Flood." Also, the flood in Origin is totally different than the flood in Halo. Now if I called them the flood and made them look like mutant budding potatoes, I might get in trouble. But no, I just thought rather than beating around the bush, just come out and call them the flood to make the analogy more apparent, especially since the ship mankind came to Earth in is called the Ark (Short for the Archturus of course). Anyhow, hope that answers your question, thanks for the feedback! Let me know if you have any more questions or comments!
Simple, one is physical rewards and the other is digital. Some people would rather have an electronic copy of everything instead of physical. The reason one has the T-Shirt and the other has the soundtrack is to maintain a comparable value between the two since I can't email a T-shirt.
Backer's Collectors Box Set:
Physical copy of Origin, your name in the credits as a thank you, Art Book, Coalition T-Shirt, Physical Copy of the Origin Soundtrack, Robotic Ink Pen, Combination Lock USB Drive (Pre Loaded with personalized in game bonus material), and a Personal Thank You letter.
All wrapped up in a collector's edition box, autogtaphed by the cast and crew, and serialized with a certificate of authenticity.