Before going on...
... it is recommended that you watch the video.
AFRAID Project is a simulator of non-profits that work in Africa. The more you advance in the game, the more money you paid for it is given to non-profits that do the same actions in the real world.
Join us on this trip. Become part of the AFRICAN AID (AFR-AID) team. With your help, we'll create a game that will let gamers have fun and, at the same time, will let them make the world a better place.
Although playing the game will help other people and players will learn a few things about Africa, the main purpose is to have fun, just like with other games. It's not going to be a boring application-like interactive thing that shows us how much other people suffer. I can assure you that it will keep the essence of a videogame.
As I'd like missions to be taken from real life, I've been visiting and talking to non profits over the past two years. Some of them have kindly been teaching me how they work, and telling me interesting and funny anecdotes that I could insert in the game. Yet, "African Aid" will be a 100% independent videogame, not ordered by any particular non-profit.
Oh, some non-profits tend to show shocking images or tell heartwrenching stories in order to make us react. Well my dear backer, there is no need to worry, as you won't find this in African Aid. Instead, I will show a positive vision of Africa, with humor, hope, work, good will and friendship. Of course there will be some drama, I can't help it, but it will be delivered in the common dosage you may find in other games, like Ghost 1.0.
African Aid will include two game modes, each one focused on a particular genre. Both are independent, so you play the one you like the most, and you are never forced to play both.
In this mode you take the role of the chief of operations. Each level will have one main mission to accomplish (and probably side ones). You will have a set of resources at your disposal: vehicles, people and items. Your staff will have its own properties, being able to upgrade them as they progress in the game.
For a quick reference, similar games are "This is the police" or "911 Operator".
Here you will take the role of Jesse Fox, an awesome driver and mechanic that has to reach a goal by driving an ATV vehicle in a limited amount of time without spoiling the load. There will be a RPG component: the car can be upgraded and repaired, and sometimes there will be multiple paths to reach the same goal. There will also be different styles of driving: "Tour mode" for normal paths with standard loads, "Emergency mode" will be more aggressive, with faster accelerations, but consuming much more gasoline, "Saving mode" for when you are low on gasoline, and other modes I could invent.
Controls will be quite arcade: turn left, turn right, accelerate, foot brake, hand brake, change gears (optional) and change driving style.
For a quick reference, a similar game is "F1 Spirit".
- What you do in the game becomes real: Your actions in the game have a direct impact on the real world.
- 2 games in 1: Two genres so you can play the one you like the most... or both!
- Based on real actions: You will learn about how some real non-profits work, by carrying out the same actions and experiencing the same problems.
- Have fun and help: Playing the game will provide fun and knowledge for you, and help for those who need it.
Some of the rewards you can find on the right list need some extra information and images:
Access to Beta Versions
As the creation of the game progress, we will upload versions so you can try them and give us your opinion and feedback. Suggestions will be very welcome. The more we are, the better the final experience will be.
In Sarah Mode, you will manage and control 10 operations. The game will generate a team of staff for each one (doctors, drivers, logistics, nurses, etc), so the player can use them at will. Those characters can be upgraded, and each one will have different abilities (some sort of RPG part here). We can make one of them look like you and have your name.
A group of African men and women with Poliomyelitis at Oussouye found a way to make some money: to manufacture purses and bags. They use looms and coloured threads to create them.
A group of African women with Poliomyelitis at Mlonp also found a way to make some money: to manufacture baskets. They're perfect to leave the keys in at home.
African schools are full of future artists! Lovely little children that love to draw. You can have one of these drawings hanging on your wall.
During the game, Jesse, Sarah and Sam will talk to other people from the African Aid staff, or from somewhere else, like other non profits, doctors, or even local people. There will be dialogs and interactions with them, and we can make them be you, looking like you and having your name.
Once the game is built, there will be a free demo on Steam. Any player will be able to download it and try it for free. If they like it, they will have the chance to upgrade the demo to full game within the demo itself by paying 10$.
From those 10$, Steam will keep 3$ and 2$ will be paid as government fees.
The rest (5$) will be split into 10 equal parts called "donation credits". Each donation credit (0,50$) will be assigned to each level/mission of the game.
So, when a player finishes a mission, the game will communicate it to a server, and its assigned donation credit will be donated. The game will have 10 missions so, in order to donate the whole amount, the player has to finish the game.
These "donation credits" will have a maximum duration of one year. The countdown will start the moment the player buys the "donation credits". Once the time expires, any remaining "donation credit" will disappear. The player will still be able to play the game normally, but no donations will be done.
What happens to those lost credits? These are the possibilities:
- Give them to backers of this campaign.
- Create "megacredits" (1 credit = 100$) and give them to popular youtubers to be used in special missions to play live.
- Accumulate them to be used by other players in special multiplayer levels (if multiplayer stretchgoal is reached).
- Pay the remaining cost of the developement of this project (in case the money raised is not enough to pay it, and I have to fund it myself).
The player will be able to play the game as many times as he wants.
When the player cleares level 1 for the first time, the donation credit of level 1 will be donated. When the player clears level 1 for a second time, as the donation credit from level 1 was previously donated (when he cleared it for the first time), no donation will be done. Unfortunately, money to be donated is not unlimited!
"Donation credits" will be shared in both modes ( Sarah Mode & Jesse Mode). So when the player clears level 1 on "Jesse Mode" and a donation is made, there will be no donation when he clears level 1 on "Sarah Mode" because the "donation-credit" of level 1 was already donated and considered clear.
Another example: when you clear levels 1 to 3 in "Sarah Mode", 3 "donation credits" will be donated. After this, if you decide to play "Jesse Mode" and you clear levels 1 to 5, then 2 Donation Credits will be donated (those from levels 4 and 5).
My original idea was that 10$ from the total amount backed by any backer in this campaign became 10 "Donation Credits". For instance, if you backed the project with 30$, I used 20$ to pay the development and kept 10$ for "Donation Credits" so you had them later in the game.
However, Kickstarter's policy forbids donating anything raised from the crowdfunding campaign. All money raised is to be used exclusively to create the videogame. Therefore, as it can be read in the image bellow, they don't let me promise you that I will donate part of your money. As a result, I had to discard my original idea :-/
So, How will donations work for backers?
All the money obtained through this campaign will be used exclusively to create the game (pay graphics, sounds, music, ...). Once the game is published and you download the demo on Steam, it will automatically detect that you're a wonderful backer and the demo will turn into the Full Special Extended Edition of the game, but with zero donation credits by default.
Optionally you will be able to buy them through an in-app purchase, using the same system a normal player would. No matter if you spend those extra 10$ or not, you will always be able to play the whole game. If you decide to buy the donation credits, they will be donated as you progress in the game, as a normal player would. No matter if you buy these extra 10$ or not, because thanks to your contribution, the project will become true. Thanks to you, thousands of players will see their games become real, and non-profits will have more money to help other people.
The Special Extended Version (that all backers will receive) includes extra content like extra game modes, extra options, extra resources to complete the game more easily, and exclusive StretchGoals only for backers. And, of course I'm opened to suggestions from backers!
I'm not allowed to promise you Donation Credits by default, but instead I can offer you a cool special edition. ;-)
- Donation credits: They are real money, taken from the money the player paid for the game, that are given to Non-Profits so they carry out the same (or similar if the same is no longer possible) action as you did in the game.
- Anecdotes: Funny and/or interesting anecdotes will be real, extracted from true facts and common life of Africans and people who work in Africa.
- Background facts: Some events that really happens or happened will also be used in the game.
- Characters: The characters of the game (Jesse Fox, Sam, Sarah, ...) and their personalities are invented.
- Story: The main story of the game, the interaction between their characters and dialogs are also invented.
- Missions: They will be based on real actions that real non-profits do in Africa. For instance, a real non-profit managed to vaccinate 350,000 children in 8 days spread out in a wide zone. In the game, I will reduce the number of children and the time.
- Maps: I will use real maps as long as I can. However, they will not be exactly the same: some towns and cities will be smaller than the real ones. They are going to be an approximate. Also roads will be much shorter (it's not funny to drive 2 hours in a game).
- Secondary characters: Some secondary characters may be real people, but I may change their names. Others could be stereotypes based on real people.
- "African Aid" non profit: The non-profit "African Aid", where the main characters work for, is an invented one, taken from a mixture of several real non-profits. There are many types and they work differently, so ours will be an approach to all of them.
A big thank you to all those non-profits, large and small, that have helped me with information and resources.
Thanks to Andrew Miller, Rama Rodriguez and Mirisha for giving their voices to Jesse Fox, Sam and Sarah.
Thanks to my best friend Ramon Codina for coming and helping me out recording in Africa.
And, above all, thanks to the Kassumay Foundation, and especially to Pere Jorba for letting me witness how they work in Africa, for being so kind and hospitable, and for teaching me so many things.
Last, but not least, as a personal comment: a few years ago I was listening to a song from Michael Jackson, "the man in the mirror", and it was then when I realized that, as the song says, if I wanted to make the world a better place, I had to look at my self and make a change. I had to do something... and this crazy idea came up. I really hope this works! :-)
Risks and challenges
My dear backer, I am a game developer with a background of games already released: Unepic, Ghost 1.0 and MiniGhost, All of them have always received above 90% positive comments on Steam, and more than half a million people own at least one of them.
I consider myself a responsible person and I have an excellent reputation as a developer and giving feedback to my community. I depend on my reputation. Without it, players wouldn't trust me anymore and would no longer buy my games. I would not take the risk if I weren't 100% sure that I can do this game.
Moreover, there are no third parties involved. Nobody who can disturb or make bad use of the funds raised.
I myself will program the game and create the storyline and dialogs, as I did in my other games.
For me challenges are:
- To create fun while keeping a real background. Which for a Trekkie should be "to win the war against the Klingons without undoing the dream of the Federation".
- To find good non-profits and nice projects to give the money to.
I've been reading and learning about non-profits and their actions for 2 years. I have interviewed them, I have learned from them, and I even have been in Africa witnessing some actions. Yet, I still have more stuff to investigate, and the success of this campaign will boost it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)