Transhaping is a non-binary inclusive transgender awareness platform-puzzle game. You play as a shape who is struggling to accept who they are. The player gets to experience the shape find themselves and go through their journey of transition, and tackle many struggles along the way. The player can choose the characters transition and pronouns from the start of the game. The game itself will feature side-scrolling platforming and puzzle elements along with stealth game elements based around managing stress/dysphoria. As the player goes through the game their journey will unravel with a narrator overseeing the events and with the player character encountering other characters during their story.
While the gameplay is an important element the narrative is crucial to us as a development team and we feel should be experienced regardless of skill level so there will be options for a zero stress mode allowing players to experience the journey without fear of failure. The story will be constructed from the personal experiences of us (the development team) and that of our friends. We hope that by relating it to what we have gone through we will do the subject proud as it is a subject that is very near and dear to all of us and we feel an important experience to share with those curious or going through similar experiences. It's important that no one going through a transition feels alone and we hope that this game will help others feel not alone and to know there are others out there going through the difficult process too.
Watch our regular development/design and Q&A streams over at twitch.tv/UnboundInteractive.
The game is inspired largely by the style of "Thomas was Alone" but don't worry, it's not a copycat of it. Even the guy who made TWA himself loved the concept of Transhaping!
"It's really cool that TWA has been around long enough that it's influencing a new generation of devs. And if all rectangle jumping projects that follow show the compassion, kindness and personal bravery of this one, I'll be very bloody proud" - Mike Bithell
Ryan (He/Him) - Ryan is our graphics designer and community manager. He has a huge passion for games. He is also FtM (Female to Male) transgender and brought many ideas to the table for Transhaping and will shape the narrative of the project.
Jane (She/Her) - Jane is one of the software developers on the team. She also loves games and developing them. She is MtF (Male to Female). She has helped with the mechanics of the game as well as the graphic design and coming up with ideas for the narrative of the game.
Dylan (He/Him) - Dylan is the other software developer of the team. He is also in the LGBT+ community. He loves gaming too and has had experience making games at university as well as having an extensive knowledge of obscure and old video games.
August - September 2018 - Pre-production
September - December 2018 - Development
September 10th 2018 - Kickstarter launch & launch livestream
September 20th 2018 - 12 hour Kickstarter livestream
October - November 2018 - Contacting backers and sending out rewards
October 10th 2018 - End of Kickstarter 12 hour livestream
January 2019 - Full release, soundtracks sent out and game codes sent out.
This is our first game of many, therefore we need as much money and support as possible when it comes to putting this game on the market. The whole team is devoted to pouring their heart and soul into the game, therefore, we need money for living expenses as well as licenses etc. However, the main reason we decided on a Kickstarter was to pay transgender musicians and voice actors to have a part in the creation of the game.
Choose your gender and pronouns - One of the most important features of the game that we want to add is the ability for the player to choose their gender and pronouns in the game. This means you don't need to worry about feeling uncomfortable or feeling like you're being misgendered when you're playing the game.
Co-op mode - The co-op mode we are adding is a second part of the story where you can grab a friend (or hopefully in the future you will be able to match with someone online) and work together to complete some brand new levels. The idea of this mode is to show that not all transgender people go through life alone.
Stealth/stress mechanics - We want to make sure this game isn't just about the story, We want to add a bit more of a challenge, which is why we decided to add stealth and stress mechanics that give you a bot of a challenge to deal with.
Story mode - If you aren't up for the challenge, don't worry! There's also going to be an easier mode which is mainly based around the story. This will still have a few easier challenges but nothing too hard!
Risks and challenges
This is the first official game we have produced as a company (outside of university) although we are skilled in what we do, we still have a lot to learn. We may fall behind deadlines if we get caught up in other things.
However, we have a mentor to help us throughout all of the Kickstarter campaign and game production, therefore, she will be able to point out if we are doing anything wrong and how to improve.
- (30 days)