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AU$ 32,569 pledged of AU$ 50,000 goal
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By Johnny Galvatron
AU$ 32,569 pledged of AU$ 50,000 goal
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About this project

On the eve of his first performance Francis Vendetti battles with the legacy of a dead folk legend and the cosmic wanderings of his own imagination.

Francis’s uncle, Johnson Vendetti, is a cultural megalith. His best album, Pines, hovers in the realm of untouchables. But while his uncle’s music rests in the green (very real) acreage of Calypso, Colorado, Francis’s music is born behind closed eyes, in a tempest of starlight and fantasy.

With his hometown expecting to see Johnson reborn on stage, Francis realizes he must rid himself of the name and persona of Francis Vendetti. Violetta, a laser artist returning home from California, suggests he become someone else entirely.

With the help of Violetta and Lightman, proprietor of Lightman’s Reptile and Telescope Emporium, Francis embarks on an adventure down an abandoned multidimensional roadway - a place of alchemists, wanderers, naked Space Gods, hallucinogens, horizonless wonder and incredible danger. There, Francis Vendetti searches for his new persona, and from the shadows of towering monsters, he plots his return.

 Check out the trailer in HD.

WHAT KIND OF GAME IS THE ARTFUL ESCAPE?

The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti is narrative-driven action/adventure, music-sampling, platforming, rhythm laser-light guitar solo kind of game for PC and MAC. Your dialogue choices shape the backstory, image, charisma and the name of Francis's new stage persona. There’s a plethora of extra-dimensional-animalia to interact with and sample with your field recorder. Play your samples back to gain access to new areas, hypnotize beasts, and create your own alien arrangements. Make landscapes sing with your movement. Play operatic guitar solos through your holographic amplifier. Climb mountains. Ford the planes of space and oblivion. Become an awe-inspiring entertainer from beyond the stars.

The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti is about the worlds of wonder and intrigue artists can create around their core medium - not David Bowie’s music, but the androgynous science-fiction character he envisioned to perform it - not Andy Warhol’s art, but the cultural hub he created within his Factories - not Daft Punk’s vocoded electronica, but their faceless robotic personas struggling to understand humanity. It’s about looking at image, story and marketing as something more than necessary additions, but something that can be as creative and thoughtful as the art it elevates. On his travels across the multiverse Francis Vendetti happens upon a Space God who puts it like this: “Earth, on its own, is quite splendid... but place it in the middle of a solar system... in a swirling galaxy... in a universe of unfathomable magnitude raked in starlight... seemingly alone... and it becomes wondrous beyond imagination.”


Francis converses with all manners of beings: disenchanted publicans, nostalgic villagers, lumbering alien wildlife and reality defying behemoths. He voices his terror of the upcoming concert to the peoples of Calypso and, as he strides across the vistas of the Trans-Dimensional Roadway, describes his wonderment at the far off sights of impossible lands. Your interactions with the villagers of Calypso and the beasts of the wild grant you insight, wisdom and inspiration.

Concepts for additional Luminous Flux Suits
Concepts for additional Luminous Flux Suits

Walk, run, jump, double jump, and climb across the multiverse. Ford streams, climb mountains, evade stampeding beasts, kick up dust on moonscapes. We also want to show you landscapes made of sound, triggered by your movement throughout the environment - as if the game itself were an instrument.

Francis is fitted out with a Luminous Flux Suit, designed and built by Violetta, a multidimensionally renowned laser artist. Francis calls it his "Loud Jacket." The suit can project instruments and wailing amplifiers - but it can also field-record the sounds and vision of alien animalia. Each portion of the multidimensional roadway is populated with a new set of sounds to record and arrange. You can use these samples to gain access to new areas, hypnotize creatures, obtain more samples, or just create your own music. When approaching the giant monsters that guard the stations of the Trans-Dimensional Roadway, Francis can fill the stage with the holographic images and music he's encountered in his flights of adventure, creating blinding, visceral performances.

You can check out some of Francis's samples here...

Sampling Animalia
Sampling Animalia

Francis is a prodigal guitarist. His Luminous Flux Suit allows him conjure enormous amplitude and furious light displays where ever he goes. He can use his guitar to mimic animals, warn off attacks, or play along with the fantastic creatures of the multiverse. He can also use the power of his charisma to detonate pyrotechnics as they arc across the stage.

Calypso, Colorado
Calypso, Colorado

Francis Vendetti is a teenage musician and the nephew of a dead folk legend. On the eve of his first concert, Francis feels the weight of monumental expectation. His hometown yearns for another discography of folk masterpieces... but Francis is a horse of a different color. He's a boy who sees fantasy in everything and imagines, with stunning ambition, a world just beyond the veil of the everyday. Francis must decide if he's going to give the people of Calypso what they want... or something they could never have imagined.

Violetta's parents think she attends a prestigious Californian university, but in truth she's the most ferocious laser artist in the galaxy. She tours the Multiverse with her contemporary, Lightman, looking for inspiration, hardware and adventure. Although Violetta is well known across the Multiverse she has yet to make her debut on her home planet, and her procrastination and excuses and becoming more outlandish. She stands at a nexus: will she ever reveal her true identity to the people she loves? Has the line blurred between her stage persona and her true self? And is Lightman still the right musician to accompany her?

To find Lightman's Reptile and Telescope Emporium you must first break into an abandoned diner, play Victor Young's "the High and Mighty" on the jukebox, and return the way you came. People see Lightman passing through Calypso occasionally but no one could say they really know him. In town, he's an enigmatic gentleman of few words, but in the Multiverse, he's a battle hardened musician and a glorious entertainer. Lately, Lightman has begun to realize his tastes have changed, his spirit is reconsidering where it lies, and the Multiverse seems to be losing its appeal.

Mock ups of rewards from iam8bit
Mock ups of rewards from iam8bit

All our physical rewards are produced by iam8bit, who make incredible merch for games like Journey, Monument Valley and Uncharted.

Music is a huge part of any game, but in the Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti, music bleeds into gameplay, into story, into movement. And we're bringing you an incredible team. Johnny Galvatron has toured the world, had commercial hits, worked with world class producers, and one time he sang Toto on live television, which is undoubtedly his highlight. Josh Abrahams worked closely with Baz Luhrmann on Moulin Rouge, and has composed and produced for both Hollywood and local film soundtracks. Along the way Josh has amassed silver, gold and platinum albums, three ARIA awards, an Independent Film award, and an AWARD award.

There are two distinctive sounds in the Artful Escape. The sound of the Multiverse, and the sounds of Calypso, Colorado. Johnny and Josh will be the synth jockies taking you into the multiversal wilderness. 

https://soundcloud.com/jonathan-mole/vendettis-theme

Playing the musical part of Francis's famous uncle, Johnson Vendetti, is Australian artist, Luke Legs. The much-buzzed Geelong based folk singer has acquired a cult following for his relatable storytelling of life and love set against the unique backdrop of country and metropolitan Australia, echoing the legendary Paul Kelly.

His live performances feature folk instrumentation, storytelling, and highly acclaimed depth of lyricism, to which singer Luke Legs was awarded Artist of the Year in the 2012 Unpaved Reader awards. He's the perfect choice for Johnson Vendetti.

Luke Legs plays Johnson Vendetti
Luke Legs plays Johnson Vendetti

JOHNNY GALVATRON

Johnny was an oddly perceptive child who troubled his parents greatly. He studied 3D Animation and Game Development at uni in Melbourne. A week after graduating Johnny signed a record deal with Warner Brothers Music and dream-punched his way across the globe. He had commercial hits in Australia, toured the world, played shows with the Police, Kiss, Tame Impala, supported Def Leppard and Cheap Trick on their Pacific tour, appeared on tv gameshows, got his mug in Rolling Stone. Generally caused lots of trouble. His first short film was short listed for Tropfest, the world's largest short film festival. He wrote a novel. Draws a lot. Writes gaming reviews and editorials. Sings about video games. Plays video games. Makes video games. Wants to marry video games.

JOSH ABRAHAMS

When it comes to music, Josh Abrahams has done it all. He’s created world renowned underground dance-floor fillers, written and produced international chart-topping hits (The Sunscreen Song, Addicted To Bass, Lovesong), composed and produced for both Hollywood and local film soundtracks (Moulin Rouge, One Perfect Day, Woody, One Last ride), and composed and produced for television (More Than A Game, Food For Life, twentysomething). He has worked alongside such artists as Carl Cox, Vanessa Amorosi, Kylie Minogue, Holly Valance and Russell Morris, and remixed hits for Guy Sebastian, John Farnham, Icehouse, Baz Luhrmann and TISM. Along the way Josh has amassed silver, gold and platinum albums, three ARIA awards, an Independent Film award, and an AWARD award. www.samplify.com.au

JUSTIN BLACKWELL & SEAN SLEVIN

Justin and Sean are not sold separately. They're a double act, and they're our ones and zeros. They grew up making RPGs and shooters in their bedrooms and eventually graduated into the world of professional programming. They've worked on everything from apps to pharmaceutical programming to educational games and software. Justin and Sean are integral contributors and the original two mentors for "the Lab" project, a not-for-profit educational organization that teaches 3D animation, programming and game development to kids and teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome and high-functioning autism. The Lab, which began as one small office in Melbourne, has grown to over 15 locations across Australia.

Risks and challenges

You know the risks of Kickstarter. We know them, too. The foreseen and the unforeseen. I think the important thing here is to note we love ramen noodles. We can live off ramen noodles. We've done it before. We're making this game whether we've got an abundance of funding or only enough to live for a year and a half on nothing but ramen noodles. We're not doing this to maintain our income. We're doing this because we want express our art and our ideas. We know we've got something special in the Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti. Give to us, and we'll give you our time, our talent and our souls.

This is an ambitious game. We're using Unreal Engine in unique ways, we're using music in unique ways, we're using narrative and sidescrolling in unique ways. We've got a lot of work to do, touching up animations, perfecting gameplay dynamics and feel, a huge amount of content creation. We're striving for something memorable and grandiose. Something that will melt your mind tank. Over the course of our development we've created streamlined techniques for art integration, 2d rigging and animation as well as the platforms for our dialogue systems and musical systems. We're cautious but we're confident.

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    A TELEPATHIC THANK YOU!

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    You get the Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti. Then you get the DIGITAL SOUNDTRACK produced by Johnny Galvatron and Josh Abrahams, DIGITAL ARTBOOK woven from the images and concept art of the Multiverse, and Kickstarter exclusive WALLPAPERS. A tier for those who step swiftly in shadows but grandly in spotlights.

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    WEAR THE SKIN OF A BEAST MANY ARGUE NEVER EXISTED AT ALL...

    Digital download of the game, digital soundtrack, digital artbook, Kickstarter exclusive wallpapers, a PAGE OF ARTFUL ESCAPE STICKERS and a set of 2 alternative Francis SKINS never available to anyone else ever, for the rest of time. A tier for those who have laughed beneath the shadows of carnivorous birds.

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    SPECTACULAR AWARDS - ALSO WITH A POSTER EDITION

    The game, digital soundtrack, digital artbook, Kickstarter exclusive wallpapers, STICKER SHEET, T-SHIRT, VINYL SOUNDTRACK, and a limited edition MUSEUM QUALITY PRINT, manufactured with archival ink on acid-free paper, with original artwork from the Artful Escape, each signed and numbered. A tier for people whose effigies stare darkly from the backgrounds of renaissance paintings.

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    BECOME AN NPC IN CALYPSO!

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    AN INDIVIDUAL FRANCIS COSTUME, DESIGNED JUST FOR YOU

    First off, have everything. The game. The digital soundtrack. Digital artbook. Wallpapers. Soundtrack VINYL. Exclusive T-SHIRT. STICKER SHEETS. ARCHIVAL PRINT. Then, in the moss dampened caves of our imaginarium, we'll design you a CUSTOM IN-GAME COSTUME for Francis. No one else in the world will have it. Just you. It's yours. Cherish it. A tier for people who have stood before the Pillars of Creation, dressed in evening wear, sipping a Singapore Sling.

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Funding period

- (31 days)