About this project
Did you miss the campaign? Fret not! Paypal pledging is open until 28th Feb, Midnight GMT (UTC+5 believe)
Backers have access to the BETA as of the end of the campaign!! Check the updates!
We are supporting the 'Kicking it Forward!' movement!
Linux/MAC Users - Courtesy of Top-Ranger, I can confirm that the game does in fact run with the latest stable version of wine (1.4.1), meaning that users of non-windows OS's need not miss out :) I do however recomend checking for yourself that the demo, and thus future versions, will run on your system.
Me and my Little Company (start small, dream big!)
So, why have I decided to start up my own games company?
Well, I've faced three redundancies in three years. That sucks. Secondly, I'm a great fan of storytelling, and I feel that games are a fantastic interactive medium for telling stories, especially when there are branching storylines.
I do this because I love it. I'm never going to get rich from making 2D RPGs, of that I am certain. However it would be incredible if I could build a big enough fan base to be able to do this full-time. I am humbled by the fact that anyone wants to play my games, in all honesty.
Here's some encouraging feedback from the media:
"a retro RPG that tells a fantastic story", "a very interesting concept" - indiegamemag.com
I was lucky enough to be contacted by the BBC regarding the project. It's nice that they took the time to chat to 'the little guy'.
I've decided to let you guys pick your own rewards. So, pledge whatever you wish, and that will give you C to spend in the rewards section. All 'prices' include shipping and handling regardless of location (this isn't intended as a profit-generating project). Everyone who backs the project will be immortalised in the game's credits, as a massive thank you for helping me bring Initiation to life!
NOTE: Journey rewards will feature all extra digital content for those games. This content includes things like the legendary weapon packs, costume packs and other special content for future games.
**Full soundtrack packs (3 titles) are available for 5C for the digital, and 14C for the boxed copies.
If you would like to receive several physical copies of the game, you can get additional copies of Initiation on its own for a reduced cost of 6C each, or copies of all three titles for a reduced cost of 14C each after the first pack.
Rather than clutter the page up with loads of designs, here's some links to image of the reward designs as and when they are completed!
Boxed Edition of Game Prototype: HERE
Hoodie/T-Shirt Design #2: Front and (back is the same)
(you can also add your name or alias to the back of the design for 3C, image says 4C but I will update this)
Gamepad Mock-up: here
My brainchild; the #data//hacker series is a three-parter, and is based around an online game called 'Online World.' I draw a lot of inspiration from games such as Final Fantasy and the .hack series, but am sure to make this project my own.
Initiation follows Jay as he seeks revenge on the Administrators of Online World, who cruelly banished him from the beloved fantasy realm after a case of mistaken identity. Jay soon becomes entangled in the mess of corruption and deceit led by the infamous corporation.
I expect to be releasing the final version of Initiation in March 2013; the project is coming along steadily.
Corruption continues Jay's story after a big moral decision, which effectively makes this title two complete games in one. Players can also transfer their save file from Initiation to keep their party, inventory and achievements intact! However it can be said that Corruption will be playable without an Initiation save file, and without prior knowledge of the game multiverse or lore.
Reboot - I can't really reveal too much about this title on account of spoiling the first two, however I can tell you that the plan is to develop this title in 3D, perhaps in the Unity engine.
What about The Real World? - 2015 saw the world’s economy crash with an almighty roar. One-by-one, countries and their governments fell into disarray as the people lost faith in politics. Soon, it became anarchy, with every man, woman and child left to fend for themselves. It was not long before destitute countries began invading each other for what little resources were still left in the world, and by 2017 much of the world’s population had declined as a result of these conflicts.
While the game projects cover what happens within Online World, I also hope to be filming a couple of short films to help supplement this post-apocalyptic feel. These films will be directed by a good friend of mine, whom I have known for some years, and will be centred around people living in this desolate cityscape image we have created, as the inhabitants alternate between menial, almost pointless jobs, and playing Online World.
There are also potential plans to produce a supplemental graphic novel or strip, which is one of my stretch goals.
Initiation is the bulk of the project at the moment. Once Initiation is complete, the framework will also be present for Corruption (and perhaps pt1 of Reboot). Core features of Initiation are as follows:
A Branching, Immersive Storyline with a wide range of memorable characters that you can interact with on many levels
Continue your save file from Initiation into Corruption
An estimated 20+ hours of core plot content, with optional content making up many, many more hours.
Dungeon-based exploration, with each and every dungeon feeling unique and different from the last (no copy-paste dungeons like in .hack)
Dynamic world that changes based on your actions whilst playing
Recruitment system that allows you to make significant tactical choices
300+ Items of equipment, with over 30 classes to wear them, each with their own unique skillset.
Generic classes mature depending on your actions into unique classes such as the Noireknight, Dracokin, Bladedancer or Astromancer (and many more)
Lots of optional content including locales, bosses, dungeons, real estate, DodoBaird racing and a featured Card game named Trioarch!
I've already put my own money into the project, but my resources are limited (I have children to think about). That's why I'm here: to connect with gamers that can be as excited about this series as I am!
The main bulk of the budget will be spent on the Original Soundtrack. Here's a couple of samples of work that have been composed specifically for this project:
If there is anything left over after all rewards have been satisfied, I'll put that into adding additional polish in the areas of programming and graphics. I want this project to grow to its potential!
I am hoping to build brand awareness, not make any money. Some things are more important than money, like legacy and simply doing something you enjoy. Ideally I would like to tell stories in the form of enjoyable games and other media on a full-time basis.
I'll be incredibly grateful if we hit our target of £300, because this will allow the project to grow and prosper into the vision I intended. If we hit higher targets however...just wow! I'll implement the following:
£500 - MET - As an additional thank-you to everyone who has pledged to this project, you will all receive an exclusive weapon and armour set in your edition of the game. I will also be able to hire a programmer to complete the Trioarch code!
£650 - MET - We can now hire an artist to create the cards for Trioarch, rather than using in-game assets!
£750 - MET - We can commission a short graphic story which will supplement the game. It will ship in digital format alongside whichever version of the game you'd like (digital/physical). As backers, you will have EXCLUSIVE access to it.
£900 - MET - We'll be able to fund 'Desolation Pt.1', the short film detailing what is going on in the real world.
£1,100 - MET - I'll add a 'saveplus' feature that allows players to convert their completed storyline, import all their items and skills, and replay the game with additional characters, dungeons and questlines.
£1,500 - MET - I will add a secondary main character with his/her own storyline, adding a number of additional hours to the core gameplay. This secondary main character will be playable some time through the story, and will be one of the antagonists of the story. It will give a great secondary perspective on the core story.
£2100 - MET - Backer's Support Skill - This skill will be available from a short Questline in the City of Strife. Once unlocked, the skill will be available from Jay's techniques panel for use in battle, and will boost the entire party's effectiveness in battle for two turns. This skill will require 60 TP to utilise.
£2250 - MET - Pet Dragon - If we hit this stretch goal, I will implement the 'Dragon Familiar' recruit, which will be available in a one-off Questline only, which can be picked up from one of DHI's dungeons. Of course, you can name him as you see fit!
£2500 - Even more Retro! - If we hit this stretch goal, one of the dungeons in DHI will transform your character into an 8-bit style character, and you will have to jump crevices, platforms and avoid monsters in order to complete the level. A true throwback to the platformers of yesteryear!
£3,000 - Multi-Level Dungeon - Everybody gets even more CREDIT to spend in the rewards shop! Wahoo! Spend spend spend! Oh, and I'll add a multiple-level dungeon with unique monsters that will test your party choices and skill in battle!
£4000 - Town and Dungeon Pack - If we hit this stretch goal, not only will I award everyone an additional percentage of CREDIT to spend in the shop, but I will resolve to work day and night to add in a whole additional town and dungeon pack for the save+ feature, to help expand your knowledge and experiences within Online World without compromising the core storyline.
£7,000 - Let's go mobile! - I will develop a Data Hacker game for android AND iOS, and everyone who has backed will be able to download the game for free!
These goals are flexible; it is possible I can siphon some of my own money towards any stretch shortfalls.
Here's some screenshots from my developer's diary (newest is last):
Risks and challenges
The only risk here is the scope of the project affecting the release date. It's pretty big! But there's always help on hand, and I remain confident that I can hit my March 2013 launch. I would never release an unfinished game, because I would personally hate to receive one myself, so if I do have to push back the release, rest assured that it is simply because I refuse to release a sub-standard product.
On the other hand, you all have access to the BETAs upon release, so you can see for yourselves how the project is coming along.
The main challenge I have to overcome is fitting the project around my family life. I'm only working part-time at the moment so that gives me plenty of free time to work on the project; every free minute I get.
I have a large network of graduates and friends are are willing to help me should I stumble at any point. I have a fantastic wife who spurs me on at every moment and ensures that I keep to the work schedule. I also have massive self-motivation to make this dream a reality! I want this finished as much as you guys!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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