Hyphen is a single player action/puzzle game currently in development for the PC and XBox 360, and if this KickStarter succeeds; other platforms too.
The game mechanics are very simple in that you guide a spinning stick through mazes whilst avoiding the walls and any obstacles, hazards, projectiles and puzzles within the confines of the maze. This makes the game very easy to learn but believe us mastery is not quite so easy...
Despite the challenge, Hyphen is a very fun game to play and it's highly addictive if you're the kind of person that hates to fail. It will appeal to hardcore and casual gamers alike due to its challenging nature combined with the fact that the game can literally just be picked up and played with little to no learning curve. In the play tests we have conducted with various people we have found it difficult to prise them away from the computer once they have got going!
We are aiming to have the game released (submitted for release in the case of the XBox, release date is out of our hands there but tends not to take too long if the game is good) on the PC and XBox by the end of February, even sooner possibly. Other platforms will follow afterwards but we are looking at April before we see any releases, the way we have written Hyphen makes for a pretty easy time when converting the game.
Naturally we love every aspect of our game, but we are particularly proud of the graphics as this is where Hyphen truly stands out. There's no denying that it's a stunning looking game. The pulsating real-time glow combined with beautifully designed but equally challenging levels makes for a pretty awesome gaming experience.
**Current Status and what we're up to**
Update 26/01/13 (or 01/26/13 for our American friends)
We have added a video of mines and cannons in action - see the above video. It doesn't look like we are going to hit the target for this project, however rest assured this isn't the last you will hear of Hyphen, by hook or by crook we will get it released - it will just take a lot longer than we had hoped.
Update 14/01/13 (or 01/14/13 for our American friends)
We have added Raspberry Pi as an absolute priority in our stretch targets list. £2500 will result in a port. Any Rasperry Pi lovers out there - you know what to do!
Magnets - these will attract or repel you as you try to pass them.
Gates/Keys - you need to explore every nook and cranny of the level now to find keys, failure to do so will result in denied progression by our new gates.
Update 07/01/13 (or 01/07/13 for our American friends)
We are working on adding a couple of new features to the game:-
Adjustable stick rotation speed - this makes a huge difference to waiting time when waiting for the stick to rotate to the correct position before entering a puzzle. We had this idea in mind to begin with but feedback from people viewing the videos has convinced us this is something we have to do. You don't have to use this feature if you don't want to, its just to satisfy the less patient player.
Cannons - just try and stay in the same place when you're being tracked and fired at!
Update 05/01/13 (or 01/05/13 for our American friends)
Hyphen is coming along nicely, we're about 75% of the way there with the PC and XBox 360 version and have already started trialling running the game on Android. We're limited to testing on an emulator or one of our developer friends devices at the moment though until we can buy the necessary licenses. Current progress can be gauged from the picture below...
Most of the work we are doing at the moment is finishing up odds and sods such as menu graphics and utility code (mainly the bits that the end user will never see but the game wouldn't work without) and adding/refining our levels.
**Who are we & why should you back Hyphen?**
Great question, hopefully our answer will convince you why...
We are a very small company founded in December 2012 called FarSpace Studios, owned by Marc McCann and Robert Blackburn in our spare time outside of our main day jobs. Due to being a startup, We don't have ANY money for getting this game onto all the major platforms where it would most certainly shine. This is where we're hoping you can help us.
Although we are a small and young company, we have a lot of development experience. Almost 25 years between us. We know what we're doing and our work shows it.
We are very passionate about seeing Hyphen through to release. The 2 of us that make up FarSpace Studios have created literally EVERYTHING for this game; coding, graphics, audio - you name it. No outsourcing here. After enduring many a headache and drinking coffee by the gallon just to stay awake, it would be amazing to see this hard work pay off when the game is released. We feel that porting the game across as broad a range of devices as feasible is our best shot.
Hyphen has lots of potential and feedback from other developers and people who have tested the game for us so far has been great. We have even had other people trying to encourage others to back this campaign - An example of which can be seen Here
Funding from this KickStarter will contribute to buying development licenses and necessary game libraries/equipment for porting the game to:-
iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
Windows RT (Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone 8 etc)
Windows 8 Store
This would mean the game is released on every current major platform - how cool would that be!?
At £2500 we will do a port to Raspberry Pi (Thanks to a suggestion from David Honess)
Hyphen would be a great thing to bring to the Raspberry Pi. Its a nice, fun, addictive game. It's also great for the kids. If they see games like Hyphen on their Raspberry Pi's it could very well be the thing that gets them to open up the development environment. It also has the benefit of being a challenging, cerebral game, which is also a great match for this platform.
Beyond £2500 we will (dependant on actual funds beyond £2500) port to:-
If we (and this would be awesome) get over £5000 we will be looking to write a level editor for public release for this game so people can make their own levels.
Any other excess funding (if any) will be used towards creating better game assets, funding creation of extra levels in updates and also will be a massive help towards making our company more established so we can create more top quality titles.
Please note that all screenshots and videos you see are videos of the game in development. They are extremely accurate representations of the game but it may look slightly different when it's released. If you keep up to date with this KickStarter or like us on FaceBook you can monitor the progress.
FarSpace Studios LLP is registered in England and Wales company No. OC380888. Registered office: FarSpace Studios, 83 Ducie Street, Manchester, England, M1 2JQ
Risks and challenges
To state the obvious, all projects carry risk whether it be building a garden shed or as in our case developing a game. We have worked so hard on this game we will be glad to see it out in the wild. Risk of non delivery is as slim as slim can get, we may be a small company but we aren't willing to lose whatever reputation we do currently have for anything!
As you can see from the video the game engine and mechanics are almost complete, we're not pitching you some hypothetical entity here. We've worked very hard on Hyphen and we are very confident that we will hit our release date and give our backers their moneys worth. However if the release date is not hit (for whatever reason, nothing forseen) rest assured we will be talking to our backers about it from day+1 and making sure the game is out ASAP after the delay.
The real risk (and this is why this KickStarter campaign has come to fruition) is having our project idea copied and ported to the other platforms before we get the funding to do so. Proper funding of this KickStarter will hopefully alleviate that risk as we can release on all platforms at once!
Although this game looks similar to <insert other game with spinning stick here> (its bound to, its essentially a spinning stick going through a maze, it isn't easy to paper over that detail and nor do we intend to) it actually has it's own unique gameplay mechanic, and as you can see even at this stage of development, it doesn't have an intrusive storyline to go along with it (it honestly doesn't need a storyline, its an action/puzzle game designed to be a challenge for the player) and no cutesy style graphics. The graphics for Hyphen are real-time-glowed 3D viewed from above to look 2D and they look awesome!
Hyphen is tricky and unforgiving and is based around an insta-death concept. Basically if you touch anything you shouldn't, the stick explodes into a million pieces and you have to start the level again, that is unless you have strategically placed one of a very limited number of restart markers available to you in each level. However use of these reduces your overall ranking for each level.
Ranking is done based on time taken to complete a level vs its par time, number of deaths, number of checkpoints used and some other factors.
Although they aren't depicted in the videos at this time, there are numerous obstacles you come across such as cannons that track you down and instantly kill you if you hang around too long, gates/keys where you have explore every nook and cranny of the levels to collect keys to progress further into the level, magnetic walls/obstacles that attract and repel you to your death if you don't time things correctly and various others that we are working on. Parts of the maze move around so sitting around waiting isn't an option, its all about timing and skill.
Hyphen is a hardcore gaming experience designed to test your patience, skill and timing and it's squarely aimed at an audience that likes to challenge themselves and beat previous attempts.
Just as a side note, <insert other game with spinning stick here> is by no means an original game, it is based on an old Japanese carnival game called kururin. The game idea for Hyphen is in no way original and nor are we claiming it to be, we are putting our own slant on the game type and we believe we have done a pretty good job of it! To say Hyphen is a copy of <insert other game with spinning stick here> is to say Sonic is a copy of Mario, they may be similar but they don't play the same!
Any support is appreciated! For a reward you get a nice warm fuzzy feeling that you have helped us to bring Hyphen to the masses + a pack of awesome desktop wallpapers showcasing this gorgeous game's graphics! Thankyou!
Everything in the £25 reward + You can design a level to be added to the game in a later update and we will work with you to implement it. You will also be credited in the credits as the designer of that level! Thankyou!