I want to make Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning into a full game! There will be tons of new features like randomly generated levels, new characters, field trips, and more while maintaining (and improving upon!) the original version’s themes, visual style, and mechanics. I plan on bringing this project to PC, Mac, and Linux through platforms like Steam, GOG, and Itch.io as well as consoles. First of all...
This game is a 90's edutainment parody horror-type game with a flair of weirdness! The original was solely created by me in two weeks for the 2018 Meta Game Jam, which, overall, placed second in the competition. About a month after release, the game quickly caught on as a viral phenomenon and has since been downloaded over one million times.
The game’s goal is to collect seven notebooks in a school and escape, but as you run down the hallways collecting notebooks, a teacher named Baldi watches and listens for you in pursuit. You have to be wary of other characters at the same time, who can impede your progress or inadvertently help if you use their abilities in your favor! On top of that, there are multiple items that can ward off characters, increase your odds of not being heard, and more. Altogether, these elements result in addictive, strategic gameplay that have had players never wanting this school to end! You can try it out for yourself by downloading it here!
You might be thinking "So, you want to create a 'full' version of the game. How will that compare with the original"? Well, I've had the idea for Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning for a long time, and the version I created for the Meta Game Jam only scratches the surface of that idea. I want to dig deeper. This doesn’t mean I’d like a bunch of sequels or to release the “full” game in random parts. My philosophy as a game designer is to create one great game that fully realizes the concept in its entirety. This means the core gameplay, art style, and educational guise will remain, but be improved with brand new content!
New features include:
Multiple, randomly generated levels! As you beat them in order, the levels will become bigger, weirder, and tougher. Since they will be randomly generated, every playthrough will be a unique experience.
- New characters! All the original cast won’t be swept away. They return along with new faces! Each time you play, a random selection of the expanded cast will be chosen. There will be more characters present without them flooding the school, and the randomization means you'll get to see different combinations of them each time you play.
- New items! Along with all the original items will come a host of new ones. Having so many items will open up tons of new strategies for players.
- Advanced level design! Along with randomly generated levels comes special structures to mix up gameplay. These can vary from simple, one-way doors to entire rooms with special properties (like a library where no sound can be made or heard). New special structures will help ensure each map feels unique.
- Random events! These will be special- timed, unpredictable situations. Like the special structures, these can be simple or complicated. Some examples include all the lights going out or Baldi breaking his ruler so he can't be heard. There’s even a party event where an awesome item will spawn in a room. The catch is that all the characters think they’re invited, too, so watch out! Will you risk getting the item or use the party as a chance to sneak a notebook while everyone's distracted? Random events will keep you on your toes, and change how you play while they're active!
- Field trips! These side quests of sorts will be like bonus rounds where great items and permanent buffs can be won. Every few levels, you'll have a chance to go on a field trip with Baldi, where you'll find entirely new challenges. You might have to keep a fire burning while camping, escape a corn maze while visiting a farm, or keep digester domes from collapsing while visiting a waste water treatment plant! The better you do, the more you win! If you lose, well, game over! You can actually try out the camping field trip right now by clicking here!
Along with those major new features, I would build the game from scratch, allowing me to improve everything, including things like AI, player movement, and the game's optimization. I would also incorporate features like subtitles, support for multiple languages, and control adjustments. Starting from scratch will also allow me to design the game to run on all platforms from the earliest stages of development, making console ports of the game much easier for me to make. More changes would extend to making the game more balanced and fair than the original along with polishing the overall presentation, going bigger on the edutainment aspects, and making the game creepier and - of course - much weirder!
Alright, now on to the most important stuff: rewards!
At $1, you'll get your name in the credits. Everything counts, and I want to credit everybody who contributes!
At $10, you'll receive a digital copy of the game on a platform of your choice.
$15 will add a pack of digital goodies to the prior rewards!
$20 will include all prior rewards, including a second digital copy of the game.
The $30 tier is the same as the $20 tier, but you'll get access to a special demo that will release sometime before launching the full game. This demo will allow you to explore the first few levels of the school freely and check out some new features.
$50 will grant you everything from the rewards above, but also include a physical copy on disc in a jewel case.
$70 will throw in all the above with a big box version of the game! You still get the disc and jewel case as well, along with a full color printed manual and other goodies.
$99 will get you a limited edition version of the big box copy featuring the original Baldi's Basics artwork. You'll have to act fast if you want it though! Only 99 will be produced! If you've backed this tier and also want the normal box, you can add $10 to the normal pledge amount (Including the shipping costs) to get it!
Lastly, $500 will have all prior rewards (Now including the limited edition box due to demand! The tier cannot be updated to mention this change, but rest assured all $500 backers will get both boxes!) and give you the chance to submit a photo to be used as a poster in-game! Some restrictions will apply in relation to the subject matter and themes of the image, and of course it can't be something you don't have the copyrights to, but overall, it can generally be anything! A photo of you or your pet, a piece of artwork, or even a photo of a piece of artwork of a photo of you holding a photo of your pet! Gotta make it count, right?
About 50 percent will go toward supporting myself so I can quit my current job and go into full-time development on Baldi's Basics. Another 10 percent will be put toward making the boxed editions of the game. 15 percent will go toward equipment (such as console dev kits) and the remaining 25% percent will cover for taxes and Kickstarter fees.
I will also be paying for a few things out of pocket, mainly for a PC suited for game development with most of the funds that players have already donated when downloading the original Baldi's Basics. I want to put that money to good use!
Any extra money raised will simply go toward making the game bigger and better in miscellaneous ways! I don't have any specific stretch goals in mind, but with extra money I might be able to have translations made, hire artists, and more. In other words, extra cash will only be spent in ways that will benefit the game beyond the bare necessities, which I will disclose as the game develops!
If this game is going to be made, I need to work full-time on it. I will be able to quit my current job if the project is funded (I have made sure the goal adequately covers everything I need). If not, I'll still be busy with my job, and probably end up going to college in the fall. Between work and school, I'll barely have any time to work on Baldi's Basics as much as I would like to. The future of all my goals for the game would be uncertain.
Another reason I'm using Kickstarter is because I want to see if this is a game people truly want. The original went viral, yes, but it was free and short, making it a great game for let's players and streamers. Part of me wonders if it's just a passing fad. So, if the Kickstarter is successful, I'll know for sure that this is something people still want! Personally, I know I want this game to reach its full potential, and I hope you do, too!
The fact that I even have this opportunity is something I’m immensely thankful for. Being able to become an indie game developer is something I've dreamed of for years, and this Kickstarter could actually make that a reality. If you back me, you are not only helping me create Baldi's Basics at its best, but also helping me to go in and create games beyond that. I have many unfinished game projects and ideas that I'd love to go back to after finishing Baldi's Basics, and I really think they would be games people would love to play.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you'll help me make Baldi's Basics into something great!
Huge thanks to Joey Thurmond for editing this!
Risks and challenges
While I'm confident I can create a great game, I'll be honest. There's going to be a lot of learning and challenges along the way! I've never been a full-time developer or made a game for consoles. I'm also relatively new to Unity! The main challenge is that, since I'm so new to commercial game development, there will be unforeseen hurdles. However, if the Meta Game Jam taught me anything, it's that I can solve any problem coming my way! And don't worry, it's not like I'm going into this completely clueless. I've already taken preparatory steps for this. I've set up an LLC, talked with lawyers and an accountant, figured out the costs of manufacturing and shipping rewards, and I have a game plan for how I'm going to develop Baldi's Basics!
Another challenge is time. I know I made the original game in two weeks, but it also had notable problems because of how rushed it was. With this version, I want to take my time and guarantee the game is up to snuff. I'm shooting for 18 months, but it could take a little longer. Maybe shorter! No matter how long it takes, I guarantee I will finish the game and provide updates on my progress all the while!
Nothing shown here is necessarily final, and everything is subject to change.
Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning is a copyright of Basically Games, LLC.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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