Just before I go into the game, I'll explain who we are and what we are trying to do!
We are an independent game developer based in Scotland. There are three of us (for now); Douglas Kelly, Hadi Mehrpouya, and Iain J McCallum.
Our aims are ultimately philanthropic. We want to help the world in as many of our own little ways as we can. We also believe that games, being one of the most engaging forms of media, are a really good way for a small group to spread some big ideas. So with each new production we will be working to create something entertaining and fun that is also thoughtful, educational, or is shedding light on an issue, a movement or an idea that we would do well to take more notice of.
Our website: http://www.sophiesgames.com/
There is a page on synergy and, if you're interested, a post on how we came together!
Synergy is an environmental puzzle platformer in which the player attempts to work out the path of least destruction.
You play as 'the spirit of humanity' trying to advance / progress / achieve new goals by reaching the end of the level. As you travel through each puzzle everything you touch becomes corrupt. There are ways to regenerate the environment, which you discover during the game, but to leave the whole level intact takes more thought and becomes increasingly difficult to work out.
With each puzzle the player has a choice; to solve it and leave the entire level green, or to move on without a complete solution. The player can continue their progression without environmental solutions but it will eventually catch up with them and halt their advancement. The game is a very rough and minimal representation of humanities relationship with our environment.
The art was a big part of this game. It had to make the player care enough and to feel a slight sense of anguish when destroying areas. So much so that they would try and find a way to heal it. I think it may be fairly clear that Braid was a big influence, that's the kind of game I aim to one day match in terms of aesthetic and just amazingly lovely visual niceness!
There was a time when the art for Synergy was photos of paper cut outs, that was one of my favourite looks but we felt it was too quirky for a game with a serious undertone. The style you see now was created using Photoshop and animated with After Effects.
What will your money be used for?
We have managed to get this far using the free version of Unity and self-funding a subscription to the Adobe tools. The donations from kick-starter will allow us to add on the iOS and Android features while also continuing the Adobe subscription for fine polishing of any last bits of art.
An extra £300 would allow us to purchase the team licence meaning we could work in unity simultaneously and convert the game even quicker!
An extra £1000 would put Unity pro within our reach! That would be utterly brilliant! We would be able to streamline the game using the profiler, we could dive into the world of post processing effects, the tools that would then be available to us - our games would look epic!
Risks and challenges
Bugs in the conversion, this just means it would take longer to prepare the game. We have already fixed all the bugs that have been found so we're pretty confident about this one.
Overloading mobile processing resources (this would be really easy to deal with in Unity pro!), again it would only add a little time to work through. We did have some small problems with this previously but they have also been sorted out!
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter