Mission Hell is a retro-platform game that combines elements of science fiction with World War II. Think Wolfenstein meets Castlevania. Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 1, 2014.
About this project
THE MISSION HELL PITCH - A Continuation of the above video! Game footage and features here!
Mission Hell is a retro-platform game with a unique twist. We hope to take the classic genre in new directions, by incorporating a unique story-driven element, and bringing in newer gaming conventions and trends into the mechanics. This includes more non-linear forms of game play, complex problem solving throughout different levels, and a newer approach to co-op.
In the waning months of World War II, top German scientists build a super weapon that would finally bring a turn-about to the war. The weapon is called Die Glocke, and it allowed the Axis to wield the powers of time, space, and infinite energy. The experiments go wrong and the parallel dimensions interact and conflict to such an extent, that a portal to Hell has been opened up. Allied and Axis troops from all over Europe have now sunk to the depths of the underworld, as Hell slowly creeps its way towards the surface. It is up to you -the player - to escape Hell and save Earth from the demon apocalypse.
What Is The Game Like?
You pick your character to start with. You can select to either be a German Wehrmacht or American GI soldier. Each soldier has different starting abilities and weapons they can use. The Story campaign can be played solo, but we are developing the game with a Co-op focus in mind. We hope to make the interactivity between the two players key to the mechanics and story-line. As you play on differing sides, you can choose to either work together or compete throughout the course of the game.
There are many different pro's and con's to teamwork and competition. As a team, it's a lot easier to get through the levels, beat the puzzles, access secret rooms, and kill the monsters that stand between you and your goal. You can also share ammo and first-aid. Some areas even require two players to be present in order to pass. But when you're competing, you can keep all the ammo, health, and treasures you find, and reap all the benefits it entails. The game will have some RPG elements incorporated, so players can unlock new items, weapons, and upgrade their abilities by gaining experience points. The characters have their own weapons and leveling-up path, so the experience is unique to both.
It's a zero-sum game, and there can only be one winner. Share the prizes and you can never fully cultivate a powerful character. For example, let's say you find 3 out of 4 treasures in a level. You'll be rewarded with 3000 experience points as a result. But if you find 4 out of 4 treasures, you'll be rewarded with 10,000 points. Through the selfish path, it'll be a lot easier to accumulate enough points for that next upgrade, or that special weapon.
It's also a race to the finish. If Player 1 goes his or her own way, and finishes the level first, then Player 2 must get to the end within a certain time limit or risks losing points. Playing as a team, you can expect to beat a level at the same time. Against each other, there are many ways you can slow the other player down! You can set traps or mines. Evade monsters and leave it to the other player to kill. Even destroy ladders or bridges.
Luckily there are generally alternate routes to the end. And there are also skills (through leveling up) that can allow a player to build bridges, ladders, or dismantle traps. Thus another incentive to power-up is to ensure you're always ready to dismantle a mine, or build a new bridge that has been destroyed. Throughout the entire game, you'll constantly be asking yourself "Can I really trust them?"
The level of competition between the two players is measured throughout your journey. This will determine your score (higher points for doing difficult parts alone), your achievements (some areas of the game require two players to get passed), and your rewards (based on completing challenges the developers have given to the gamer). And most of all, it'll determine your ending (one of six) based on two factors: your personal performance, and your level of cooperation.
But remember, you can always just work together the whole way through. Together you can easily take out the hordes of monsters and demons in your way. You can share ammo and health, and you can recover the other place when he goes down. Teamwork and individualism really balance out, and it all depends on personal preference.
This sounds pretty awesome. What will the levels be like?
Well remember, you're in Hell now. It'll be beautiful, but in its own twisted surrealist way. The developers have researched into different mythologies for different perspectives on what Hell would look like. A great example would be the epic poem Inferno written by Dante in the 14th Century which explains the different layers and circles of Hell (based on sin). Binfield's classification of demons, the Five Poisons of Buddhism, Naraka - the Hindu version of Hell, Diyu - the Chinese mysticism version of Hell, and John Milton's Paradise Lost, are some other sources. We're also looking for inspiration in art, such as depictions of The Mouth of Hell, The Last Judgement, The Harrowing of Hell and Memento Mori, as visual cues to how the underworld should look. Add a bit of surrealism and German expressionism and you've got Mission Hell.
Each 'Act' of the game will take the player into a new region or world of Hell. This world will have an underlining theme, where we can connect different sins and depictions of sin from different cultures and mesh them together. For example, one of the world's will deal with what is generally called the sin of "Gluttony". This was famously depicted in the movie Se7en with an overweight man who "eats himself to death". But we want to expand the definition of "Gluttony" to include all sorts of excess of human behaviour. Alcoholism, drugs, superficial materialism, etc. A sort of journey through humanity's decadence throughout the ages.
So levels and monsters will be based around this theme of "excess" and "filth". One level that we intend on including is called "Hell's Kitchen." And it'll be a dark and twisted restaurant that serves its customers vile filth and grub as meals. The "customers" are demons and fellow sinners, whose decadent lifestyle has led them here to be punished. So the player(s) travel through this restaurant, fighting off fat demons, and going through this labyrinth of a fancy Gothic-restaurant that force feeds sinners puke and gunk as meals.
And if you're competing with the other player, that adds another dimension to it. It'll certainly be something different from most platform games! Another world might be one based off of "Sexual" crimes or sins. So coming up with levels for this, we thought of doing a Red Light district with a visual connection to what we find in the streets of Victorian Britain or the Kowloon Walled City of Hong Kong. Then we figured a different level would be a Brothel or BDSM dungeon, but of course a far more darker and sinister take on it.
This is the sort of thing people can expect from the game. Taking themes from human morality tales, adding twists to them, and then connecting them to visual art forms. Levels in Mission Hell will certainly stray very far from the typical worlds or levels you see in most Platform games. But that does not mean there won't be any homage's to some of the things we all used to enjoy in the Sega/SNES games of the early 1990's. If you enjoyed Donkey Kong Country, Sonic the Hedgehog, Earthworm Jim, Ristar, and other classics of the era, then we're pretty sure you'll love this! We've been obsessively playing some of these old games lately to study some of the more fascinating elements to them.
What RPG elements will be in the game?
Most Platform games do not have any RPG elements. But we needed a more compelling case for competition vs teamwork in our Co-op focused platform game. There needs to be an incentive to steal kills, slow the other player down, and collect more treasures. There also needs to be more key differences between the two sides (German vs American) that would warrant or compel them to work together at certain parts of the game. So throughout your adventure, you collect experience points from killing monsters, collecting treasures, finding secret rooms, solving puzzles, and for your time completion. At certain moments, you can get points for working together. But laying traps, destroying bridges, and inconveniencing the other player will also grant you experience points.
Rather than simply collecting a Top score, you can spend those experience points on upgrades. There are statistical things to upgrade - such as health or ammo capacity. But you can also spend your points on buying new weapons, grenades, and items. You can also buy traps or tricks that can help you delay the other player. And on the other hand, also spend points on defensive measures to help you counter the other player's tricks. If he destroys a bridge, you can build another one. It'll still delay you, but it's better than trying to find another route! Some of the items you can buy are gas masks, trench shovels, bayonets, explosives, field packs (that allow you to heal yourself on the field), and lanterns to see in dark places.
Will there be bosses?
While many recent Indie platform games have strayed away from this almost gimmick-like quality of video games, we've decided to keep bosses and sub-bosses in. I mean, think about it: how many "ultra-demons" or "ultra-sinners" would you want to fight? We figure that bosses and sub-bosses will be a mixture of twisted demonic depictions of our "world's theme" and real historical figures. A serial killer such as Jack the Ripper might make a good sub-boss (no spoiler intended). Or we might simply have some giant mythological creature from Hell. Bosses are going to be a real fun thing to create, and we're willing to listen to suggestions on a per-Act basis! But who are we kidding? You already know who the Final Boss is.
What Platforms Will The Game Be Released On?
We hope to release across multiple platforms. This includes: PC, Apple, iOS, Android, and Windows 8 platforms. Please note: Our intention is to release the game for PC first. Other platforms will come with more funding (please see stretch goals).
Ideally the game will be released in one go. However if we only make the minimal amount of funding, we might be forced to release the game in stages (as acts) in hopes that micro transactions and DLC can help fund expansions and rest of the game. This is NOT what we want to do.
What Micro-transactions or DLC?
For example, while the default game makes the American and German soldier as the available choices for a playable character, we hope to also add British, Canadian, Polish, Russian, etc as possible future options for players.
We also hope to add in weapon packs, different gaming modes (fighting hordes, survival mode) and maybe other multiplayer modes as future DLC releases. The prices of each will vary depending on the depth of the content. New weapons might be a few cents, while new levels and gaming modes will be a few dollars. The more funding we get, the more of this content will be added in the main release (as opposed to at a later date as DLC).
When Can We Expect A Demo?
The developers hope to get a demo out by May 2014, and they've been focusing their programming efforts on designing the mechanics and animation, so that the demo is a good representation of what to expect from the final product. However multiplayer will not be available for the demo.
The demo will consist only a level that incorporates different worlds and themes into one. This is to show our backers some different concepts and art styles. The purpose of the demo is to show the potential in the product. The demo itself will be available through the company website for free. More information on this will be available in coming months.
Who Is Composing The Soundtrack?
The developers are currently looking for potential artists to create a soundtrack for Mission Hell. We have looked into some local artists, but we hope to find someone who's vision aligns with our own. We've been influenced by some great soundtracks from the 1980's and early 1990's, and so we hope to hit some nostalgic keys.
Most of the music will be atmospheric in nature, with a bit of a creepy twist. We all enjoy the synth and ambient soundtracks of great composers such as Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre. But occasionally we also want something more in line with conventional orchestral arrangements. We definitely want a soundtrack that will be memorable and iconic in nature. Music is one of the most important parts in creating emotional responses from a player or audience. It is how people can attach memories to their gaming experience. It is how even 20 years later, I can still fondly remember some of my experiences playing Donkey Kong Country or Monkey Island. All I need to do is think of the music, and the rest is in my imagination.
For the game's demo, we have been using music from Greek composer Zero-project. You can see his work here: http://www.zero-project.gr/
Who Are The People Behind The Game? What experience do they have?
Three young Canadians from the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada have been in the designing process since February, 2013. They are James O'Brien (28) , Matt O'Brien (24) , and Dylan Hernandez (22). Combined they have about 20 years video-game development experience in a hobbyist context. Mission Hell marks the first game they've designed as a team, and for commercial purposes, and will become the maiden product of their newly founded company Enclave North Inc.
Risks and challenges
As with any indie video game, there are risks of delays due to under-funding or lack of support. Missing timelines are always a possibility with any creative project that relies on numerous unpredictable variables. The three developers hope to avoid shortfalls with these strategies:
A) Asking for more than what we estimated to be the minimum. In order to avoid a funding shortfall, we decided to make our budget higher than what we thought would be needed, in order to make up for miscellaneous expenses that may come up.
B) Using contract work with trusted individuals. Enclave North has already established a relationship with some local artists and programmers who will aid in the development of the game, but may not necessarily wish to stay with the company. If we ever feel overworked or understaffed, these individuals will aid in the completion of the project. We've already set aside a chunk of our funding towards contract work.
C) Keeping in communication with our backers and giving you frequent updates. We want to show you our progress and get your feedback. We want to make sure the product we make is what you expect it to be.
D) Using other services, such as Desura (Alpha funding) to get an army of testers who will provide feedback on the game, while simultaneously providing us an additional stream of revenue.
E) Getting in contact with groups such as the Canadian Youth Business Foundation to provide mentoring on the business side of things, as well as providing a small additional stream of funding.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (40 days)