Medusa's Labyrinth (Canceled)
Medusa's Labyrinth (Canceled)
Ancient horror awaits! A mythological FPS horror game for the Oculus Rift, set in ancient Greece. KS Goal: 350.000 USD / 2.500.000 SEK
Ancient horror awaits! A mythological FPS horror game for the Oculus Rift, set in ancient Greece. KS Goal: 350.000 USD / 2.500.000 SEK Read more
Medusa’s Labyrinth is a first person horror game set in ancient Greece. The game combines the horror of Amnesia with the sneaking and archery of Thief. The player will have to carefully pick their path through the dark hallways on Temple Island, through catacombs and amphitheatres to solve the mysteries that lurk within the labyrinthine garden at the peak: Hesperides.
A unique blend of setting and mechanics. Getting chased through the labyrinth by a minotaur is scary enough, but our game is filled with architecture, art and mythos from ancient Greece. No other major horror title has used the setting for a long time, and we believe that it offers the perfect background for a horror game.
A manifested inventory. Horror needs to be immersive in order to be successful. That’s why we make sure that everything the player can pick up is manifested in the gameworld, and not on a separate screen. Arrows, for example, are placed in the quiver and the player has to look at it to see how many arrows he/she has left.
The inclusion of Oculus Rift is something that has not yet become a thing on the market, and Medusa’s Labyrinth is ideal for the technology. Horror games are amongst the most requested projects for Oculus users and we have already worked with the technology in previous projects. Oculus is also a great way to market the game, and will surely be featured on YouTube by popular personalities such as PewDiePie.
Guru Games is a new company, we have only existed for about a year and we are currently in the finishing phase of our first game Magnetic: Cage Closed. We are currently eleven people, consisting of 3 designers, 3 programmers and 5 artists. At Guru we strive to create awesome and immersive gaming experiences that respect the players time and commitment to the game. We specialize in single player first person games, and have been fans of the Oculus Rift since it was first announced right here, on Kickstarter.
As mentioned before, we are already finishing up a game called Magnetic: Cage Closed. Now, you might ask "if you are almost releasing a game, shouldn't you guys have money, why are you Kickstarting Medusa's Labyrinth?". The truth is that we developed Magnetic out of our own pocket while studying and living on bread crumbs. Now we have all graduated and we are bleeding money each month with no secure income. Magnetic has as of yet just cost us alot of money and time and we don't know if the game will be successful upon launch. That is one of the scary things being a developer, especially an yet-unknown indie developer. We don't know if releasing this game will keep us employed or if we have to disband the company!
That is why we are coming to Kickstarter. To seek funding for our next project, to bypass a need for publisher funding, so we can continue to exist as a company and to develop cool games for you guys and gals, the fans.
For Medusa's Labyrinth we want to start out with a healthy time for pre-production. Pre-production will allow us to flesh out the narrative and story, work deeper on how the mechanics interact with the overall gameplay and theme of the game and also set the mood and tone of the game and its several areas. We want to put the game in pre-production from November 2014 to February 2015. We will use no money from the Kickstarter during this time. This is because we can't dedicate the whole team to Medusa's Labyrinth since we are finishing up Magnetic: Cage Closed during that time. However, half of our team can still work on pre-production! We feel that it wouldn't be fair to you guys and gals to use the money from the Kickstarter when our whole team isn't working for the project you pledged for.
The money we get from Kickstarter will be spent on salaries while stuff such as licenses will come out of our own pockets (which is the salaries). So, if we meet our Kickstarter goal of 350.000 USD / 2.500.000 SEK that means a monthly salary, after taxes, will be roughly 1100 USD / 8000 SEK. That's not a big salary so while the overall goal might seem like alot of money (in fact, it is alot of money!), running a studio consisting of eleven people for a year is expensive. But that salary is enough for us to keep paying our rent and enables us to buy food and clothes. With a bed to sleep in and food on our table, we can focus all our energy on just making the best game possible for you, the fans!
Anyway, onward to the four phases our development will go through, starting with pre-production!
Here is a short summary of what we will work on in pre-production:
- Concept art
- First playable prototype
- World building
- Building a modular level system
- Oculus Rift
- Level handling, loading and transitions between levels
- Dummy monsters
- Player functionality (Torch mechanics. Basic archery functions, players will be able to hit monsters but not kill them (yet). Hiding from the monsters.)
After the pre-production, by the end of February, we will be in full production speed. At this time we enter our first milestone production and that lasts from February 2015 to June 2015.
Here is a short summary of what we will go through during that time:
- Game flow for the whole game experience. This will be built with basic placeholder assets. Focus will be on "scary levels" but not "finished levels". We will also work on puzzle design and functionality.
- Story flow
- Decide which areas will be in the game
- Resource management
- Plan for Oculus Rift unique game elements (Weeping Angels etc)
- Core mechanics such as:
- Functional AI for the monster
- Torch, brazier and fire functionality
- Archery functionality
- Stealth mechanics
- Inventory functionality
- Character functionality
- Save system
- Oculus Rift support
- Character avatar
- Updated model
- Modular level system with basic meshes
- Basic visual effects
- Basic atmospheric lighting
Sound & Music
- Basic atmospheric sounds
- Character sounds
- Monster sound concept
- Basic background music
- Triggered tension music
Milestone 2 will see the start of some real playtesting but also work on the tutorial and the intro sequence of the game as well as the ending will begin here. It will run from June 2015 to October 2015.
Here is a short summary of Milestone 2!
- Resource placement (such as arrows, torches, etc)
- Triggered events
- Notes and story implementation
- Iterate based on playtesting
- Finalize the structure of the levels
- Tutorial/Intro and ending sequences
- Implement Oculus Rift unique game elements
- Weeping Angels
- Main menu
- GUI (reading notes, journals, etc)
- Iterate on core mechanics
- Expand AI
- Visual feedback on in-game tools
- Post processing effects
- Iterate on Oculus Rift integration
- Integrate Oculus Rift game elements
- Weeping Angels
- Work on the visual feedback for the amount of torch light left before it burns out
- Monster animations
- Update basic models
- Make levels unique
- Update visual effects
- Update lighting
- Work with post processing filters
- Weeping Angels
Sound & Music
- Finalize sounds for the monster
- Finalize atmospheric sounds
- Feedback sounds (hitting an arrow in a target, missing, etc)
- Voice acting
- Post process sounds
- Menu sounds
- Update background music
- Update tension music
For the final step, milestone 3, we will have our content stop. What this means is that no new features will be implemented and the ones in the game will be locked down. Then we will just polish what we have until it shines like gold! Scary gold!
Here is a short summary of what we will do in milestone 3!
- Content stop!
- Finalize game and complete the final post processing effects
- Work with the AI to make encounters that are not foreseeable
- Work with the atmosphere and where the encounters should take place
- Finalize intro/tutorial and ending scenes
- Balancing archery and stealth
- Populating the environments
- Connecting the pieces into a finalized game structure
- Design is also responsible for causing optimzation problems at this stage (don't worry, we are pros at this stuff)
- Prelaunch preparations such as launch platform integration and achievements
- Post processing effects
- Polish all the assets of the game and finalize the game environments
- Populating the environments, making stuff look good
- Tweaking post processing filters
Sound & Music
- Finalize monster sounds
- Finalize atmospheric sounds
- Finalize post processing sounds
- Finalize feedback sounds
- Finalize voice acting
- Finalize the main music theme of the game
- Finalize tension music
The baths are not a place where you would want to take a swim. If we reach this stretch goal, we will add an additional environment inside the temple area: An ancient Bath House, where the once beautiful and warm pools are now cold and filled with murky water and the halls are filled with an eerie song that dares you to take another step towards the water. This area will add additional puzzles and obstacles, enriching the game as a whole.
No labyrinth is complete without its Minotaur. If we reach this stretch goal, we will add an additional monster to the game, and one that we ourselves are very excited about. This Minotaur will have a unique behaviour and will add additional depth to the gameplay, as well as serve as the role of protector for the once holy temple.
We will give the Minotaur his own home and a new area for the player to explore: The Temple Gardens. This level will be an outside area, a Temple Garden and a labyrinth in its own right, housing the huge beast. This area will add additional puzzles, more environments to explore and more game time.
If we reach this goal we will add a whole new area to the game: High Priests’ Refuge, where the Elder Priests and Scholars lived in luxurious halls and immense riches. This former gem of the island has now fallen into an eerie darkness. This area will add more puzzles, more levels and grant the player additional game time. This will also give the player a more rich game world and a broader experience of what has happened on the Island before the player arrived, fleshing out the story and the ending parts of the game.
Below are the different reward tiers. This Kickstarter is measured in swedish crowns (SEK) but we have listed the equivalent in US Dollars (USD) for your convinience! The conversion was made as of 17th October, 2014, so the prices may be slightly off depending on state of the current currency exchange.
(2~ USD / 15 SEK) - Pure donator: You are just the nicest person and want support us in making this game. Thank you!
(10~ USD / 75 SEK) Patron: Our heartfelt thanks go out to you and for this reward you recieve two backer-exclusive desktop wallpapers for your desktop!
(15~ USD / 110 SEK) Early Bird (Only 2500!): Limited edition! First come first served hot backer deal! Get a digital copy of the game and a digital games manual on release as well as the two backer exclusive desktop wallpapers!
(18~ USD / 130 SEK) Wizened Crone: At this level you will not only get the game and a digital edition games manual but also the two backer exclusive desktop wallpapers.!
(25~ USD / 180 SEK) Elder: You will get all previous rewards (except Early Bird) as well as a digital short story set in the same universe as Medusa's Labyrinth. You will also be featured in the games credits!
(70~ USD / 500 SEK) Muse: "Sing to me, O Muse, of the tragedy that has befallen on the Island of the Gods". For this tier you gain all previous rewards (except Early Bird) plus a digital art book from Medusa's Labyrinth. You also receive the digital version of the full Medusa's Labyrinth Official Sound Track Album!
(90~ USD / 650 SEK) Oracle: Your divination abilities has granted you access to all previous rewards (except Early Bird) plus an early Backer Access to the Magnetic: Cage Closed demo! You will recieve this demo before it hits the general public.
(110~ USD / 800 SEK) Temple Servant: For your faithful service to the temples around the island you are granted all previous rewards (except Early Bird). Plus, you are immortalized in the game as a name of your choosing (we have the right to reject anything offensive or inappropriate) will be written into the stone walls in a specific area of the game!
(140~ USD / 1000 SEK) Philosopher: As a thank you for your services and enlightened spirit you will recieve all previous rewards (except Early Bird) plus you will be able to participate in the development process by writing an in-game note to the player (nothing offensive or inappropriate).
(208~ USD / 1500 SEK) Maenad: The spirit of festivities are one with you! By backing this tier you are officially invited to the Medusa's Labyrinth launch party! (You, the backer, must be able to provide for travel and accomodation expenses yourself.) Includes all previous rewards (except Early Bird) aswell!
(347~ USD / 2500 SEK) The Lost Acolytes: Although the lost acolytes are not part of this world anymore, their remains have been buried along with a tombstone to immortalize their existence. Pledging this level grants you all previous rewards (except Early Bird) plus your very own tombstone in the game! This replaces the name on the wall from the previous levels. You will be able to have a name of your choosing along with a small text beneath it (nothing offensive or inappropriate) on a unique tombstone!
(1.387~ USD / 10.000 SEK) Archon: Your service is of the highest order. You will also get a one of a kind statue in your likeness: a monument to your glory. (This replaces the tombstone from The Lost Acolytes). This reward tier includes all previous rewards (except Early Bird and The Lost Acolytes). You also get a special thanks in the credits and at the launch party! We really appreciate your donation!
Unique backer level! Purely a donation!
(694~ USD / 5.000 SEK) Patron Saint: This level is just a pure and humble donation. It includes no special rewards. Pledging this level grants you the rewards from the Muse+Elder+Crone-tiers. This tier is meant for those of you who simply wish to donate and support what we do, without asking for anything in return, for whatever reason you might have. We thank you kindly for your donation!
Risks and challenges
Audio and music: We do not have anyone on the team that has the competence to handle audio design and music. This will mean that we will have to outsource that part of the production, which is allways a risk and especially with a horror game, since sound is a crucial part of what makes a game scary. We do know a lot of talented people that can do this for us, but not having the competence on the team is a riskfactor.
Monster AI: AI is always a complex area, and if a player figures out "the pattern" or how the AI behaves a lot of the terror-factor dissapears.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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