About this project
Keep up with Grave:
PLATFORMS: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Xbox One!
RELEASE: Early 2015
WE ARE OFFICIALLY FUNDED! NOW LETS GET THOSE STRETCH GOALS!
Check out our New Official Trailer!
Markiplier Playing Grave!
We Did this promo to encourage you to support Grave with your Tax Return!
WE ARE NOW OFFERING ADD-ONS!
You can select an add-on by upping your pledge!
- Custom Postcard - $5
- Upgrade to full game w/Survive the Night Mode - $10
- Digital Soundtrack - $10
- Poster - $15
- T-Shirt - $20
- Extra Full version of Grave with Survive the Night (any platform) - $20 ($25 if it's your first copy)
- Beta Access - $20 ($30 if your tier doesn't include a Full Version with Survive The Night)
- Signed Art Book - $35
- Alpha Access - $40 ($20 if your tier already includes the beta; $50 if your tier doesn't include a Full Version with Survive The Night)
How do I indicate what Add-Ons I want?
Don't worry! We'll send out a survey at the end asking you ton confirm your selections. Just add the necessary amount and you should be in good shape!
What if I want more than one Add-On?
No problem. Just makes sure your total (reward tier + desired Add-Ons) is correct. The survey will allow you to identify multiple Add-Ons, so just make sure the numbers are correct or we might not be able to provide all of the add-ons.
Shipping on International Orders
If you are international and do not already have physical items in your pledge, please add $20 to your pledge for shipping Add-Ons. If you are already receiving Physical items for an international order, the shipping is included!
We've just announced that you can earn free Add-Ons by referring your friends to back Grave. We are very close to the end of the Kickstarter and need your support!
For every 3 friends you refer, we'll give you an Add-On of your choice, totally free! Not only that, but your friends can be eligible for free rewards as well. Check out the details here.
What is Grave? In case you haven't heard anything about it before, I wanted to give you a quick explanation of what the experience is.
Grave is an open-world, surrealist-inspired, procedural survival horror experience. Our goal is to provide a much needed update to the survival horror formula, injecting it with the tension and fear of modern horror games while still retaining the strategy and survival elements of classic genre staples. The game is being Developed in the Unity game engine, and we are hoping to push the graphical fidelity to its limit.
- Reinventing survival horror - The player can take action when frightening moments occur, but has to use strategy to find the right tool for the right job. This isn't just about stockpiling or storing inventory items.
- Light fights the darkness - Instead of guns or knives, your weapons are entirely light-based. Many of the creatures in Grave react to light, each in unique ways. Whether tossing a flashbang or igniting a puddle of gasoline, Grave presents many options for dealing with encounters.
- Ever-changing world inspired by surrealist art - Not just a visual, the world changes and rearranges itself during play. Each passing night offers a change to the experience.
- Full story progression - Not just a rogue-like or survival experience, Grave features a full story with multiple acts, strange characters and many unique elements taking advantage of the surreal setting
- Developed for Windows, Mac and Linux, with Oculus Rift support where available.
In Grave, like in a many horror experiences, the player is vulnerable. Frightening creatures mount persistent attacks with each passing night, and many dynamic and procedural elements are employed to keep the experience from being predictable. The game features many unique creature types and items to employ, with effective strategy being crucial for survival.
Day and Night
Because Grave has a day and night progression, the game takes on a different feel for each time of day. During daytime, Grave is primarily an exploration and fortification experience.
Players can explore new regions that have cropped up during the night, gather resources and prepare for the dangers that await them in the darkness. The emotions connected to the rise and fall of the sun each day are crucial to the experience of Grave.
Grave is a game about choice and divergence. Almost every item, creature or location in Grave has at least two ways of interacting with it, to suit the gamer's play-style and desired experience.
Those who are interested in tense action can arm themselves with defensive weapons and trek out into the night. The more cautious player might fortify themselves in a safe place and attempt to wait out the night. Some may like exploring the many strange landscapes of Grave, while others will be very goal oriented and only stop when their supplies run short. It is important for the experience of Grave to be dynamic and fluctuating, so that the game presents unique opportunities at ever turn.
In Grave, our goal is to do everything we can to keep the player reactive and the experience fresh. If you think waiting out the night is always the best idea, you run the risk of not finding useful items that appear in the fleeting locations that exist each day. Every enemy and situation requires new reactions, and we are using procedural/random systems to keep the experience exciting.
Check out a few recent YouTube videos for Grave:
Two Best Friends:
Grave has been featured and demonstrated in a number of events. It began as a Global Game Jam Submission called Cimmerian Shade, where we experimented with the initial open-world horror idea. We just finished being featured at The Mix during GDC 2014.
Here are a few articles posted about Grave from our showing at The Mix:
- IndieStatik - Preview: Survive The Night – And Day – In Surreal Open-World Horror Grave
- Gamespot - Xbox One Getting Open-World "Surrealist Survival horror" Game Grae
- Joystiq - Grave's Dynamic Horror Landscape Shifting on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One
- Polygon - Indie Survival Horror Game Grave Is Coming to Xbox One
- Destructoid - Grave is an ever-changing surrealist nightmare with Oculus Rift
- Bloody Disgusting - 'Grave' Dev On Crafting The Ideal Open World Horror Game
The game has also been shown at the Phoenix Art Meseum and the University of Advancing Technology, and even was part of a month-long exhibit at Arizona State University.
The game began as a small experiment into open-world exploration and nonlinear chills. We are excited by how far it has come and want to move it forward even more.
In Grave, the creatures come out at night. You won't find a stockpile of guns and ammo to fight them off; your only option is to use light as a way of keeping the creatures at bay. These are more "tools" than they are weapons, and most have multiple possible uses.
Some of the light weapons you'll be able to use in Grave:
- Matches - For lighting your way in a pinch or for starting fires
- Flashlights - Powerful focused beams can ward off creatures, but be careful. Some will be attracted to the light instead of hurt. Different types of flashlights will have varying effects.
- Gasoline - Use to power generators and create temporary fortresses, or pour on the ground and ignite the pools.
- Flashbangs/flares - Throw these for a quick reaction, either to lure enemies toward them or cause heavy damage.
Creatures in Grave each react differently to light. Some can be killed by it, others distracted or temporarily warded off. Be careful though; not all creatures can be harmed by light alone and some creatures may even be attracted to it. Most creatures have specific weak spots that must be determined by observing their behavior.
The choice of light-based weapons serves a few purposes. First, it fits very naturally with a game about fighting creatures in the darkness. Second, they don't quite empower you as much as guns do. Difficult enemies don't just have large amounts of health; they may be completely immune to certain types of attack. If a creature is invulnerable to light, they might have really sensitive hearing and still be stunned by the sound of a flashbang. If a creature doesn't react to these effects directly it may still be harmed by fire. This is is a big part of how we allow the use of tools while still keeping the game scary; you have to keep experimenting to stay alive and there is no "sliver bullet."
Every creature requires a different approach, and what can harm one may not be able to affect another. Unlike survival horror staples that use strength and speed as the main differences between enemy types, the creatures in Grave all interact uniquely with the items in your inventory, some having totally opposite or extremely unpredictable behavior.
The AI has complex design unique to each creature type that causes them to exhibit extremely unique behavior, beyond simple movement and attack types.
Here are a few descriptions of some of the creatures we have now, with more to be revealed in the future.
CREATURE TYPE: STRANGERS
The "standard" enemies of Grave, Strangers are hurt by light and are vulnerable to most types of attack. However, they stalk you unpredictably and can seemingly materialize out of the shadows. Listening for their scream is the best way to avoid deadly encounters.
CREATURE TYPE: PROGENITOR
The Progenitor is invulnerable to most attacks, and emits a psychic pulse that damages your weapons and anyone who comes in contact. It only has one weak point but is fortunately a bit slower than the Strangers.
CREATURE TYPE: STATUES
These statues appear during the day and at night, but take on a sinister tone when it gets dark. They will rarely be seen moving, and will instead shift towards the player when they aren't looking. If the player is really careful to remain unnoticed, they might be able to catch a glimpse of the creatures coming to life.
CREATURE TYPE: LURKERS
Lurkers are physically pained creatures who are extremely sensitive to light and sound. Unfortunately, while it hurts them, it doesn't really stop them. They will attack aggressively anything they hear making noise or see emitting light to ease their pain. The only way to defeat them is to overload their senses entirely or try to misdirect them.
We have more creatures to reveal soon, but for now we are going to keep them mysterious. It's up to you to find the combinations of tools and creatures to survive and reach daylight.
The world of Grave is a surrealist dreamscape inspired by the work of Salvador Dali. The world features an expansive wasteland with pockets of strange regions, artifacts and misplaced objects.
The landscape is defined by a desert, but many types of locations can materialize within it as the game progresses and as the days pass. Oasis-like pockets contain pieces from distant lands; chunks of cities, forests or wild west towns. These locations are like ripples in time, defying logic and placement.
Even the atmosphere can change in these pockets. It might be sweltering heat in the surrounding landscape, with a heavy rain falling on a chunk of city in the distance. Each pocket obeys its own laws, and the become more insane as the game progresses.
Here's a brief video about Grave and how we're approaching the concept of Survival Horror:
Horror games have made fantastic strides in the last few years, leaving traditional survival horror experiences in the dust. The reason for this is simple; it's not scary if you're too powerful. The more guns and explosives you have at your disposal, the less likely it is for you to feel nervous when encountering a creature.
We feel that survival horror is in need of a serious reboot. We want to bring the kind of scares that gamers expect from modern horror titles back into an environment where the player still takes an active role in combating the creatures they face, instead of simply running or hiding. There are a few ways we are doing this:
- Choice over inventory - We want the player to find the right tool for the right job, rather than simply hording ammo or saving it for powerful enemies.
- Each enemy reacts differently to your arsenal - Seemingly powerful tools won't be useful against all enemies, keeping things tense and unpredicable
- Dynamic Elements keep the game unpredictable - Many elements are constantly changing or randomized, from enemy locations to items to the locations themselves.
- Retaining Challenge - Grave isn't going to hold your hand or guide you through the experience. Your wits and decisions will play a strong role in your success, as well as your ability to remain cool under pressure.
We are committed to making Grave the best survival horror experience it can be, and to re-imagine that experience so it fits into modern gaming.
Grave is currently being developed with the Oculus Rift, as well as a traditional monitor setup. We have fully integrated Oculus already, and are committed to moving forward with it during every aspect of production. This is not a stretch goal; the game will play with Oculus Rift regardless of the funding we receive.
Why Oculus Rift
We see the experience of the Oculus Rift as the fullest realization of what first person games can offer. Grave is an experience about immersion and exploration, and we want players to feel like they are actually inside the game.
Oculus Rift Not Required
If you don't have an Oculus Rift, that's not a problem. We don't see the Oculus as a platform, but as a peripheral. The game is being built to be fully functional with both the Oculus Rift and a traditional monitor. Our goal is to give players the most options to experience the game, and you won't lose anything that the game offers you if you can't play with an Oculus Rift headset. That being said, we definitely recommend it.
We are offering a wide range of reward tiers. Here is a quick rundown of the tiers:
Everyone who backs the Kickstarter at least $5 will receive a demo previously not playable by anyone in the public, shortly after the completion of the Kickstarter. This demo will be a taste of things to come, and will feature much of the content shown in the previews and screenshots. This demo will be improved over the one we provided at The Mix and will be provided specifically to our backers, for their support.
Getting the Game
We wanted to provide multiple ways to get the game for a reasonable price. The full game contains two modes: Story and Survive the Night, which is basically a rogue-like version of the main game where the goal is to survive for as long as possible. We have offered a simplified version of the game which only contains the Story, in addition to the full version, so you have options based on your interest.
If you back in the $25 tier or above, we'll also be able to provide your copy as an Xbox One edition, instead of just PC. Should the game be Greenlit for Steam, this is also true for earning a Steam key.
We have several T-shirt designs to choose from, for those in the swag-heavy tiers. If you're up at the VERY top tiers, we'll give you one of each:
Everyone who gets a t-shirt also gets a poster, so you don't have to choose! Select one of these styles, or more if you are in the top tiers:
For those who want the game early and want to help out with the dev process, it's hard to beat Betas. At this stage the game will be basically done, but we will still be playtesting to make sure it communicates well and is as fun to play as possible. Not only do you get to have it early, but we can actually use your feedback to improve the game.
Get the game even sooner than the other guys. In alpha stage, you will be playing the game while we are still finalizing some of the game's features. This is for the play who really wants to get in on the ground floor of playtesting; you'll be part of our initial group experimenting with the game and testing its boundaries.
Your Image or Voice In Grave
Electronic Voice Phenomena and strange photographs are common in the world of Grave, as are moans or echos in the night. For this tier, you can fill the world with your own chilling sounds or imagery. In fact, why not do both? It's included in the tier. The next time a Let's player get's scared from a strange noise, it might be you.
Tristan Parrish Moore - Designer/Creative Director
Abigail Bagulay-Moore - Lead Artist
Daniel Strayer - Programming
After graduating high school in 2003, Daniel joined the US Army where he served for 5 years as a Scout Reconnaissance Sniper and an Armorer. After being honorably discharged in 2009, he went back home to Idaho where he spent a year with his family. In January 2010, Daniel moved to Arizona to attend school once again at The University of Advancing Technology; where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Programming with emphasis is Game Programming.
Daniel has always had a passion for game development. He began developing his skills in 3D modeling, animation, and rendering as a hobby starting in middle school. He also began programming shaders and developing games in visual basic with DirectX. Today, Daniel's real passion is in graphics programming and shader development. He has built a sparse voxel octree rending system with C++, Cuda, and DirectX from scratch and is always looking for ways to push the boundaries of what we experience in games today.
William Tate - Creature Creator
Will is an experienced 3D Artist, both in Character and Environment art. He’s worked professionally on iOS and Console game development as an artist and is the creator of the main ‘Stranger’ creature concept for Grave. Although Will has contributed the main recognizable creature, he is not a full time member of the team; Part of the Kickstarter pledge is to have the capacity to change that and utilize Will’s talents fully.
Richard Partridge - Concept Art
Richard Partridge is a British Illustrator and Concept Artist who has been working in the the games and media industry for over two years now. Not only has he worked on a range of games from browser to mobile, he also has experience working for film preproduction.
His favourite horror game series to tuck into on a dark and gloomy night is Project Zero (Fatal Frame).
- Wages - The bulk of the budget goes to wages to pay our key people enough to focus on and complete the game. If we move beyond our goal, we will be able to bring more people on at full time capacity
- Licenses - Our goal is to license our software on a subscription basis, and that includes copies of Unity, Photoshop and 3D modeling software. We are all big fans of open-source software, so we have pushed hard to keep this cost down.
- Hardware - We already have a development Kit for the Oculus Rift, so this will go to purchase of hard drives, some monitors, game controllers and the like. We already have our own desktop machines, so this is a fairly modest chunk of the budget.
- Fulfillment - Providing T-shirts, posters and physical copies of the game to our higher-tier backers is expected to take a certain percentage of the cost. We are anticipating that 13% of our budget will go to providing Kickstarter rewards for our backers.
- Unity Assets - The Unity Asset Store has been vital for us reducing costs, so we have set aside a small portion of the budget for additional Unity Asset Store purchases.
- Kickstarter/Amazon Percentage - Kickstarter and Amazon both take a percentage of the money earned from Kickstarter projects.
Risks and challenges
We've been working on Grave as a prototype since January of 2013, completely unpaid and without any support beyond our own commitment to make the game work. The current version has been in development since December of last year. Whether the Kickstarter succeeds or fails, we are going to make Grave the experience we want it to be. The biggest risks are personal ones at this point; we've decided to go all-in for Grave, and are forgoing comfortable wages, support staff and sleep to make sure the game comes to fruition. If the game is unsuccessful, we will have poured a lot of time and energy into the game that may go unrewarded. That's a risk that we are more than happy to take.
Whenever development is done this lean, there are inherent risks. We may tackle problems that are difficult for our team to solve. Technical issues may be more intense than we have anticipated, particularly when it comes to pushing the game to additional platforms. Since our team is small, we may not have the manpower to dedicate to every obstacle that we encounter; this could potentially lead to slower development time and might, if taken in aggregate, force release dates to get pushed back.
We don't want that to happen, but as experienced developers we all know it is a possibility; even far larger teams with much bigger budgets have to push back dates. It is not always possible to know what issues might cause a development schedule to be affected, and although we are working hard to ensure that the game is properly scoped, it is not always possible to fully rule out these sorts of setbacks.
What we do know is that we can overcome these issues, based on our experience working in Unity and game development in general. We are extremely dedicated to this game, and have a community of friends and developers who are standing by to pick us up if we fall. Our numbers may be few, but we have what it takes to make this game a reality; inspite of any potential setbacks, we are going bring this game to its audience, as it was intended to be.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No, not at all. We see it as an extension of first person gameplay, so we're building the whole game around an immersive experience, whether you play with the Oculus Rift or not. We want as many people as possible to be able to play, so we don't want to limit the players to only people with an Oculus. The game is still really intense without it!
The game isn't about firearm combat, or even melee combat. We wanted to make sure we gave the player choices, but you're going to using some non-standard weapons. The reason for doing this is we wanted to make sure the game stayed intense and that you never felt too powerful. A lot of the enemies won't react to your tools in the same ways, and this is a lot easier to do if the tools aren't about shooting or stabbing. It will also hopefully make more sense, as well, as you'll be able to see cues about how effective a weapon is.
No, it's not! Alan Wake was a great game but the only similarity between the two is the use of light to harm creatures of the night. We picked light because we didn't want to use guns or traditional "weapons", and it seemed logical when facing creatures that only come out at night. We've seen a lot of stories that use light as a form of weapon, including Don't Be Afraid of The Dark, Wes Craven's They, I Am Legend, and a bunch of others. We hadn't realized that so many people would think the game looked like Alan Wake, as we feel the two experiences are extremely different. There's a link, but it's more conceptual than anything else.
We've contacted the big three and are finding out what is needed to bring Grave to their consoles.
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