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Help fund a JRPG-inspired, 16-bit noir detective Role Playing Game! Read more

New York, NY Video Games
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on May 11, 2014.

Help fund a JRPG-inspired, 16-bit noir detective Role Playing Game!

New York, NY Video Games
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About this project

Who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself?

Something happened that night in the hospital - something that cost you your career as a police detective, your sanity and your partner's life. Ten years later, you have the chance to put things right. Are the hallucinations that plague you a key to what happened that fateful night? Muster your detective skills and gather your allies as you take to the streets to prove your innocence!

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Thank you to our amazing backers for your voice and support! Even though our Kickstarter campaign was not funded, Pixel Noir's journey continues!

1) Please join us at our Pixel Noir community forum so that we can continue the discussion!

2) Donate to our cause today. Every little bit gets us a step further in bringing Pixel Noir to you!

3) Listen to & Buy the Super Mysterious Detective EP! Proceeds go to help fund development of Pixel Noir!

4) Help us by spreading the word about Pixel Noir!

 Want to keep up with us?

Update #11: Down to the Wire

Update #10: Guns

Update #9: Exploring Pinnacle City

Update #8: Card Game & Achievement System

Update #7: Lighting, Level Building and T-Shirts!

Update #6: Battle System

Update #5: Story & Pacing

Update #4: Cross Save Special

Update #3: Reward Tiers & What's Coming

Update #2: PAX East & Reward Tier Updates!

Stretch the Bartender will now able to be recruited as a party member at the start of the game as a part of all 25$ and Tiers!

Some Kickstarters give you a pet as a bonus...
Some Kickstarters give you a pet as a bonus...


Update #1: PAX East Update & International Tiers

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You had it all, once: a job, respect, a chance to make a difference in the world. And as an up-and-coming detective in the Pinnacle City Police Department, you were well on your way to doing just that. But you got cocky – following a lead on a cold case that you were convinced you alone could solve. Instead, the only thing it led to was your undoing; taking the lives of innocent people, including your partner, Det. Cold, in the process. 

Ten years later, with detours in the nuthouse and a bottle of scotch, you’ve hung your hat in Pinnacle City. It’s no garden spot anymore, but it’s still home to a colorful population of washouts, dirtbags and big time crooks. Lucky for you, these sad sacks provide your private eye business with plenty of cases: mostly snapping pictures of cheating spouses and telling poor saps what they already know. Every now and again, a Mr. ‘Deuce’ pops up like a bad habit, paying too much for jobs that are too much trouble than they’re worth. No friends to speak of, unless you count the bartender at the local watering hole. And maybe the local wild man Woof, though he’s not so much of a friend as he is a cocker spaniel with fists.

It’s not a great life, but it’s uncomplicated and it’s yours. 

And then someone has to ruin it all by bringing up the past. You thought that cold case was dead and buried, but a new lead’s crossed your desk that may unearth everything. But as new evidence is brought to light, your sanity starts sinking into darkness. Without warning, people contort into gruesome monsters; alleyways melt into visceral mazes. How can you hope to uncover the truth, when your own senses betray you?

Pixel Noir will blend a gorgeous 2D pixelart style with 3D atmospheric effects such as lighting and shadow.
Pixel Noir will blend a gorgeous 2D pixelart style with 3D atmospheric effects such as lighting and shadow.

Pixel Noir’s gameplay is inspired by our favorite games, including investigation sequences where players look for clues & interrogate suspects, JRPG-style wandering & battle sequences, and beautifully hand-drawn, 16-bit, Film Noir graphics.

Gripping Storytelling. Embark on an adventure that will keep you riveted, as if you were reading a hard-boiled detective novel late at night by a fireplace. Pixel Noir is packed with interesting characters and secrets that will keep you hitting buttons and guessing until the very end.

Pixel Noir's cutscenes will consist of motion comics:

#{project_title}'s video poster

Classic Style, Upgraded. Pixel Noir retains a 16-bit era look and feel, while having some considerable upgrades from the SNES and Sega Genesis era games. Some of our favorite upgrades include a streamlined graphical interface, motion comic cutscenes, unlockable achievements, and cross-save functionality,  allowing you to save and play the game across multiple devices.

The music theme for the game is inspired by classic NES and SNES-era games:

 There will be tons of battle and epic boss themes. This is the theme for the first boss battle: 

Explore Pinnacle City! Search the city in your quest for answers. There’s plenty to do and see here if you look hard enough. Occasionally new characters will drop by your office with new cases to solve and new mysteries to uncover. There’s even rumored to be underground black markets that sell rare weapons, armor, and items. No RPG is complete without a wealth of sidequests, unlockable achievements, and a fun card game!

CRDTech
CRDTech

A Battle System that Feels Great. Finally, a battle system that’s simple and fast paced, yet strategic. Timed attacks, timed blocks, skill trees, even team combo attacks—Pixel Noir’s battles will feel great. And if you were wondering, Pixel Noir will be updated and customized for each platform, meaning you’ll never have to sacrifice gameplay for platform.

Sometimes the best offense is an unbelievably weak defense.
Sometimes the best offense is an unbelievably weak defense.

Battle System: Pixel Noir’s turn-based battle system is both fast-paced and strategic. Timed attacks and blocks will make sure that you are always in the thick of a fight. Environments will yield opportunities at every turn to take advantage of. Shoot a chandelier to drop it on an enemy, or have it create cover for you. Found a bottle on the ground? Throw it at an enemy! WHY NOT!?

What dialogue in Pixel Noir will look like
What dialogue in Pixel Noir will look like
Attacking in the heat of a battle
Attacking in the heat of a battle
Skills will utilize timed button & touchscreen mechanics
Skills will utilize timed button & touchscreen mechanics
Who said too much coffee is bad for you?
Who said too much coffee is bad for you?

Investigation Mode: Use the Detective’s Investigation Mode skill to not only solve the mysteries in Pinnacle City, but to also find secrets over the course of your journey. No matter where you go, your investigation skill can yield new information on a case, find rare items that will help you in battle, and even uncover hidden items that you can use in the thick of a fight to change your strategy!

Investigation Mode
Investigation Mode

It took us about a year to establish the gameplay and story concept behind Pixel Noir. Once we had established the concept and vision, we began to look for investment from any one of a dozen major publishers to fund a smartphone version of our game. Although there was a lot of interest around Pixel Noir and SWDTech, at the end of the day publishers wanted Pixel Noir to become a less serious, free-to-play or puzzle game. Somehow each and every publisher had come to the same conclusion: RPG’s don’t sell.

After months of negotiating back and forth considering potential changes to the game’s core mechanics, we finally made the decision to stick to our guns, raise the funds ourselves, and develop Pixel Noir the way it was always intended to be developed: as a classic JRPG reimagined for today’s platforms. While we seeded early development of the game with our hard-earned dollars, we simply can't cover the cost of building out a full game with this seed funding alone.

That brings us here today! With your help, we hope to bring this full scope RPG to your favorite device or platform. Let's create a role playing adventure that blends classic gameplay and a deep story with modern design mechanics. Together, we can bring Pixel Noir to life.

We are developing Pixel Noir out of our desire to see games like the ones we loved in the past come back into the mainstream. While publishers claim that no one wants to see the ‘classic RPG’ anymore, we know that games like Chrono Trigger and Earthbound continue to be highly played and loved by the gamer community because of their compelling stories and great game design. Your pledge will be used to pay for:

Cost Breakdown
Cost Breakdown

Programmers. Coding takes hard work and long hours. For some reason, our programmers don't take “unlimited ramen” as payment.

Writers. They're in deep with the yakuza and bodyguards are not cheap. Playing the odds on Pokemon evolutions is a dangerous game.

Artists. Our art team claims that pixel art is harder than it looks and that they’re “losing time with their families” working on Pixel Noir. I know, we’re not buying it either. But I guess we SHOULD pay for those art commissions eventually.

Audio. Our audio lead charges by the bleep. Bloops are free of charge though thankfully.

Management. We heard you like things managed, bro. So we managed your managers so your management is managed.

Rewards. Rewards aren't cheap. But they are fun. Take a look at the reward tiers to see how much you'd like to pledge!

And finally Software. Thankfully we already have most of the software we need to make Pixel Noir, but that dang DLC. Gets you every time.

The full monty.
The full monty.

We are SWDTech, a boutique indie game company dedicated to reimagining the classic RPG experience for modern-day platforms such as iPhone, Android, and Steam. We grew up playing games like Final Fantasy, Earthbound, and Chrono Trigger. Games that hold up as well today as they did in our childhood memories, but that haven’t transitioned well to newer platforms. We decided that the world needs a better quality of RPG’s for a new generation of devices. A game that’s focused on gameplay, that feels intuitive, as well as transportive. We’re out to flip all the tables, change the game, and walk out of the room with a jacket flung over our shoulders.

We were formed in 2012 and spent a year finding and hiring the perfect team. In 2013, we began concept development of Pixel Noir—our first title.

Our development team is locked, loaded, and ready to fire on all cylinders. Most of us are experienced professionals that have been on multiple projects with both AAA companies like Capcom, Marvel, DC Comics, Cartoon Network, Sony; and smaller Indie companies like WadjetEye Games, Indestructible Cannon, Hotslug, and more! We’ve come together create the RPG we’ve wanted for over a decade now.

 

Risks and challenges

We have a smaller development team for a game this size. It's possible that we may have delays on the timeline due to resourcing limits.

We have to work with Sony on the cross-save functionality with them. This may take time to work through the details and in the end, it's possible that it won't happen. We feel this is unlikely because of the existing cross-platform functionality between PS4 and Vita.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Right now, the planned systems are:

    --PC (Windows & OSX)
    --iPhone/Ipad
    --Android
    --Playstation 4
    --Playstation Vita

    Other possibilities, such as Xbox One, Wii U, and Linux are being looked into, and we hope to have a clearer answer ready for everyone near the end of the Kickstarter!

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    $10 reward

    100 backers All gone!

    [EARLY BIRD SPECIAL TIER]

    • One copy of Pixel Noir for either PC, Mac, or PS4!
    • One copy of Pixel Noir for either iOS, Android, or Vita!
    • Any/All DLC or extras that are made available to purchase post launch!
    • Special in game equipment for The Detective!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $15 reward

    623 backers

    [REGULAR GUY TIER]

    • One copy of Pixel Noir for either PC, Mac, or PS4!
    • One copy of Pixel Noir for either iOS, Android, or Vita!
    • Any/All DLC or extras that are made available to purchase post launch!
    • Special in game equipment for The Detective!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $25 reward

    139 backers

    [DIGITAL DELUXE TIER]

    • Everything in the previous tier!
    • A digital soundtrack!
    • A digital art book!
    • A digital strategy guide!
    • A digital version of the Pixel Noir comic book, The Mrs. And the Mark!
    omic book, The Mrs. And the Mark!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $25 reward

    169 backers

    [DIGITAL DELUXE INTERNATIONAL TIER]
    • Everything in the previous tier! • A digital soundtrack! • A digital art book! • A digital strategy guide! • A digital version of the Pixel Noir comic book, The Mrs. and the Mark!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    48 backers

    [GUMSHOE EDITION TIER]• Everything in the previous tier!
    • A Pixel Noir t-shirt! (Designs will be voted on by the Backers!)
    • 3 Ultra Rare cards for the card game! (only to ever be available on the Kickstarter!)
    • A Set of in game equipment for each unlockable party member!
    • Access to the Pixel Noir beta, presented as a prequel episode with an exclusive story!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    28 backers

    [GUMSHOE EDITION INTERNATIONAL TIER]
    • Everything in the previous tier! • A Pixel Noir t-shirt! (Designs will be voted on by the Backers!) • 3 Ultra Rare cards for the card game! (only to ever be available on the Kickstarter!) • A Set of in game equipment for each unlockable party member! • Access to the Pixel Noir beta, presented as a prequel episode with an exclusive story!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $100 reward

    31 backers

    [COLLECTOR'S EDITION TIER] • Everything in the previous tier!
    • A complete physical set of the card game!
    • Special armor set AND weapon for each unlockable party member!
    • A physical art/guide/comic book!
    • A physical soundtrack!
    • A physical retro style box so Pixel Noir can sit alongside with the rest of your 16-bit RPG collection!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $100 reward

    36 backers

    [COLLECTOR'S EDITION INTERNATIONAL TIER] • Everything in the previous tier! • A complete physical set of the card game! • Special armor set AND weapon for each unlockable party member! • A physical art/guide/comic book! • A physical soundtrack! • A physical retro style box so Pixel Noir can sit alongside with the rest of your 16-bit RPG collection!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $150 reward

    5 backers All gone!

    [NPC TIER]
    • Everything in the 100.00 Collector's Edition!
    • Get to work with our team to design a NPC sprite for the game!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $150 reward

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    [ARMOR TIER]
    • Everything in the 100.00 Collector's Edition!
    • Work with our team to design an Armor set for the game! Create the look, attribures, and perks that your armor set will provide! Even discuss with us where we should hide it in Pinnacle City and what other players must do to find it!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $150 reward

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    [WEAPON TIER]
    • Everything in the 100.00 Collector's Edition!
    • Get to work with our team to design a weapon for the game!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $200 reward

    3 backers All gone!

    [BOSS TIER]
    • Everything in the 100.00 Collector's Edition!
    • Get to work with our team to design a BOSS for the game! :O!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    1 backer All gone!

    [CRD TECH TIER]
    • Everything in the 100.00 Collector’s Edition!
    • Get a card created for you to be part of the Kickstarter Expansion of the card game! You'll get the original sketch, final card, and digital version upon its release! Each card can act as a summon in game using the [Call for Backup] special ability!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    2 backers All gone!

    [DETECTIVE EDITION TIER]
    • Limited to 100, this numbered hard cased version of the Collector’s Edition will include every non limited physical item listed in the previous tiers.
    • Included with the box is a physical case file that has haunted The Detective over the course of his entire career. Only the clues provided in the case file are capable of solving this terrifying mystery and earn the rewards that come with the feat.
    • The hard box’s size and materials will be voted on before completion of the Kickstarter!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    1 backer All gone!

    [BE THE CLIENT TIER]
    • We'll make a sprite of you and have you help us create an entire case where you are the client!
    • The case will be included with the release of the game!
    • Includes everything in the 99$ Collectors Edition!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    0 backers Limited (9 left of 9)

    [CRD TECH INTERNATIONAL TIER] • Everything in the 100.00 Collector’s Edition! • Get a card created for you to be part of the Kickstarter Expansion of the card game! You'll get the original sketch, final card, and digital version upon its release! Each card can act as a summon in game using the [Call for Backup] special ability!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    2 backers Limited (96 left of 98)

    [DETECTIVE EDITION INTERNATIONAL TIER] • Limited to 100, this numbered hard cased version of the Collector’s Edition will include every non limited physical item listed in the previous tiers. • Included with the box is a physical case file that has haunted The Detective over the course of his entire career. Only the clues provided in the case file are capable of solving this terrifying mystery and earn the rewards that come with the feat. • The hard box’s size and materials will be voted on before completion of the Kickstarter!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $500 reward

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    [AREA TIER] • Everything in the 100.00 Collector's Edition! • Get to work with our team to design an area of your choice! This would include a building, inside and out (within reason of course, we can't make a skyscraper in there), with up to three custom NPC's you design! We could even set it up as a shop! :O!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $1,000 reward

    1 backer All gone!

    [YOUR NAME HERE TIER]
    • Receive everything below! Have YOUR NAME show up as the Default name for the Detective!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    [PAPER CROWN TIER]

    Oh wow. We will probably fold a really amazing paper crown* for you when we see you, gently resting it upon your head with a grace in our movements that only your presence can inspire.

    Seriously though, pledge this much and we will welcome you to come see the inner workings of Pixel Noir, chat future ideas, and be sure to invite you to any official event we throw for Pixel Noir as a highly esteemed guest of honor.

    *The paper crown may be made of napkins hastily and potentially poorly upon the excitement of having you in our lives all of a sudden.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)