About this project
It's the world-building and writing that could make Our Darker Purpose stand out from the crowd-funding crowd... remarkable. - Adam Smith, Rock Paper Shotgun
Sample Let's Play from RockLeeSmile (see updates for more gameplay videos)
When her teacher stepped out of the classroom a month ago, Cordy never imagined he would be gone for good. Now her fellow students have turned on each other as the school descends into chaos. Cordy must battle feral classmates and dangerous creatures as she ascends to the cruel Administrators’ offices atop the Edgewood Home for Lost Children.
Our Darker Purpose is a top-down, rogue-like action RPG that combines the ingenuity of genre-defining classics with the expansiveness and accessibility of modern day action adventure games. The gameplay is steeped in a variety of influences ranging from A Link to the Past to The Binding of Isaac to Diablo. We love games with great mechanics and awesome, bizarre storylines, and that’s what we’re creating with Our Darker Purpose.
Each playthrough features a unique set of procedurally generated levels. Death is permanent, but your accomplishments earn you resources to buy lesson and upgrades in the afterlife... and your education lasts forever. Every game teaches you more about the Edgewood Home for Lost Children, the disappearance of the adults, and the darker purpose of the Administrators.
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Fast-Paced, Combat-Oriented Gameplay: Face unique boss encounters and challenging enemy mechanics! The Edgewood Home is a merciless environment. Dodge between fireballs and flying desks while your former classmates try to pummel you into the walls, and that’s just the lower levels…
Character Variety and Customization: Assemble selections of randomized perks and upgrades to reflect your play-style – tanky bruiser, glass cannon, fleet-footed assassin, or anything else. Assemble your skills into devastating combinations… or pick style perks with no benefit at all, at your peril.
Oh Yeah, and It Takes Place in a Sinister Orphanage: Prepare for a an unflinching look at what happens when an already terrifying boarding school/orphanage goes all Lord of the Flies, and try not to get eaten by any of the possessed furniture. Only the psychologically strongest gamers will be able to withstand the insightful taunts of the Administrators themselves…
Our Darker Purpose will be DRM-free and is currently in development for the PC (but we are looking into options for Mac/Linux as well). We're also looking to get greenlit on Steam! Please support us here!
Allocate precious skills
Uncovering Edgewood’s dark secrets will yield valuable experience for Cordy. Each time she levels up, you’ll be able to select from one of two new abilities that she can acquire, depending on your play style and the situation at hand. You will never be as strong as you need to be, so prepare for some nail-biting choices…
Choose your own ghastly fate
The house is different every game, and every level is uniquely generated. But fear not, there’s more than one way to ascend through a dystopic Victorian manor! Pick your route – would you rather battle a feral horde than risk an encounter with the dangerous Capulets? The choice is yours! Of course, each floor offers unique credit tokens to buy new upgrades, so choose wisely…
Acquire eternal powers
Adorable, creepy, stylized Edgewood Home students don’t give up when they fail --- they go to class. Each time you lead Cordy to a fiery (or chalky, or spikey, or venomy, or monstery) demise, you get some time to strategize with your kindly scarecrow guidance counselor. He is happy to offer his one-of-a-kind insight in many academic disciplines…
A side note on Inspiration: We stand upon the shoulders of giants and wanted to recognize the innovative indie games that have influenced our game mechanics, art style, and story-telling. In fact, we're paying homage (with permission) to the iconic characters from some of our favorite instant classics. Look forward to unlocking these extremely powerful, deity-tier class electives! Can you identify the awesome indie titles that inspired each?"
Cordy’s first memories are of a tottering man carrying her through the twisted gates of the Edgewood Home for Lost Children. She survives there as best she can, enduring the taunts of her classmates and the cruel humor of the administrators who run the school itself. The only solace comes from her instructor Mr. L, who teaches his students kindness and hope.
One day before Cordy’s ninth birthday, however, Mr. L steps out of the room and doesn’t come back. As days go by, the students discover that all the teachers have vanished, and one by one descend into their darker instincts. The strongest arm themselves and prey upon the weak. Things that should not be allowed into the school crawl down through the chimneys and up from the cellars. As Cordy waits at her desk, following Mr. L’s final instructions, various factions battle for control of the Edgewood Home. And when Cordy rises to seek answers from the mysterious administrators who live atop the building, she discovers she has gained powers of her own…
We’ll reveal more factions as the Kickstarter campaign progresses. Check back often!
The Woundworts were the sort of bullies who locked their smaller classmates in closets. They’ve revealed a dangerous creativity in their new laissez-faire environment. Well, to the extent that hurling a 50-pound globe at your enemies can be considered creative.
Pretty, popular, and meaner than mean, the Capulets used psychology to control their classmates and punish their enemies. Left to their own devices, their interests have grown more devious. Please disregard the green flames that follow them from room to room.
The meeker students hid themselves after the adults vanished, settling into the secret places around the manor while their stronger peers battled in the halls. Over time they grew feral, navigating the school through scent and instinct. The others call them the Broggs. Rumors of fangs and claws are mere hearsay, but we still recommend that you avoid their territory.
Our Darker Purpose was originally envisioned as a graduate school project, but it has since taken on a life of its own -- by which we mean it has gradually displaced school, friends, lives, eating, and sleeping.
Will Wu and David Roth are two lifelong gamers with broad work experience in gaming, media, and technology. Will gained valuable production experience with an internship at Riot Games, and David gained extensive media experience from internships with HBO, Intel, and Disney. We have also been lucky enough to work with a team of some of the coolest and most talented artists and animators in the world.
Caitlyn Kurilich is our extraordinary lead artist and has designed the majority of our cast of characters, and also helped shape the cohesive art style across environment, splash, and UI elements.
We are also indebted to the following artists and animators who have helped us so far across this journey: Sarah Campbell, Konstantin Boyko, Viktor Jung, Rebecca Lemker, Zina Koziner, Betty Liao, Gergely Gizella, Patricia Dishmon-Caraballo, Jay Bramhall, Josh Hano, and Sami Lee Woolhiser. Their efforts, thoughts, and feedback breathed life into this game.
We also want to thank Lorc and Pow Studios for their free icons and art, as well as Alex G. for the song "Sad Piano" in the trailer. Finally we owe thanks to our most dedicated advisors, Mariah Robbins and James Wu.
We want to make a game that people love to play. This campaign allows us to vet our ideas with a vibrant community of indie gamers. We’ll rely on you to tell us what works, what doesn’t, and what new monsters should burst through the floors of the Edgewood Home.
We also need funding to realize this vision. So far we have been relying on personal savings and the kindness of family and friends. However, bringing this game to the polish it deserves will require additional funds. Kickstarter will allow us to add the following:
- An exciting set of illustrated and animated factions, each with its own rogue's gallery of minions and bosses
- Sound effects that will chill your soul and leave even your pets with a sense of foreboding
- The marketing and technology resources to get this off Will's hard drive and into the broader community
Note: Due to the randomization of our game, not every digital perk -- be it item or enemy or piece of lore -- will appear in every game. Unlocked class-upgrades perks will always be available, but will have to be bought from the guidance counselor. Also, note that these may get tweaked on launch for balance purposes -- we don't want any single upgrade to inadvertently break the game!
Risks and challenges
This is our first game, and building a video game about a haunted orphanage appears to be only marginally less difficult than building an actual haunted orphanage. We still get X-Men style surprises from our prototypes – (the odd spider desk that walks through walls, the Capulet becoming corporeal in David’s kitchen, etc.). Getting from here to an actual game will not be easy, and there is a lot that can go wrong along the way. We will do our utmost to remain communicative throughout this process, sharing the good and the bad. We cannot wait to continue on this journey.
So donate today, and all of Edgewood's students will be consumed... with gratitude!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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