The story begins in a dark Washington D.C. lab in the early 1970's. Leroy Johnson, an astrophysicist and former NASA researcher, has predicted that the UFO phenomenon is a result of intelligent life coming from another dimension. NASA rejects his theory and Leroy sets off to his own lab to prepare for what he believes to be the inevitable invasion of what he calls the Portal Dwellers.
You know what...I think it would be better hearing the story directly from Leroy.
Leroy Johnson in the Greatest Game Ever Made (our moms are convinced the game is pretty much the best thing ever) is a unique action/RPG for the PC, Mac, and Linux that uses science, technology, engineering and math concepts to advance the gameplay. We believe we can use STEM concepts to provide a unique and exciting gameplay experience. The game's non-linear run and shoot gameplay will be familiar to fans of the Mega Man genre. We think we are taking it a step further by introducing puzzles and unique items that helps to create an experience similar to those you would find in the Legend of Zelda Series. We take the game a step further by introducing a class subclass system that introduces unique skills and abilities, passive traits, and access to unique "devices" (There are no traditional "weapons" in this game).
The game's setting takes place across a variety of dimensions portraying different versions of earth. We are striving for each stage to be a unique experience presenting unique challenges, enemies, and opportunities to interact with the environment.
When we believe the combination of all of the aforementioned elements along with a unique integration of STEM concepts into the gameplay creates an exciting new experience that can still invoke the nostalgia of old school platformers like Megaman and adventure/rpg games like Zelda. We are really stepping out and trying to break new ground so please check back often as we will provide updates with more information about the gameplay.
Challenging Fast Paced Action Spanning Across Exotic Settings!
Nontraditional Skill Tree and Class System!
Over 25 Unconventional Devices!
Exotic Levels Representing Different Dimensions!
Unique Boss Fights!
Key Gameplay Mechanics
The Red Ruby (Main Device) The Red Ruby is a device that Leroy created capable of manipulating exotic matter. Exotic matter violates the laws of physics as we understand it. The Red Ruby manipulates exotic matter to create very small wormholes that can banish interdimensional travelers back to their home dimension. Unfortunately this weapon is of little use against enemies and environmental objects that remain in their home dimension.
Red Deviations (Secondary Weapons) The Red Ruby also has the ability to form exotic matter into other devices that could be used to help Leroy as he pursues the Dark Raider. The formation of these devices consumes a great deal of energy so their use is limited.
Professions (Class System) Leroy's arsenal is laughable when compared to the Dark Raider's army. Leroy must rely on his knowledge of science and technology if he is going to have a chance. Leroy will have the opportunity to graduate into professions that open up new active and passive abilities, allow different items to be equipped, and grants access to locations that Leroy could not otherwise reach. Think long and hard because Leroy can only hold one class at a time!
We are really excited about the game's unique art style. Early on in the concept phase we decided we want to go with a look not typically seen in platformers. However we also wanted the art style to be familiar enough to communicate unique settings and a robust story. We decided on a somewhat dark 1970s style that tries to combine blaxploitation cinema and an old school science fiction inspired by movies and TV shows like Star Trek: The Original Series.
After tons of long discussions and sketch work with our artists we created a vision for Leroy. Below are the first fleshed out concepts for Leroy and the other primary characters that started everything. We look forward to sharing more later in the campaign!
We try really hard to ensure the theme and feel of the concept art carries over into the actual game. Below are some character frames that are used in the actual game.
We are really fortunate to have a Darryl Pearson, a Grammy winning artist, composing all of our music and sound effects and directing the voice over production process. Darryl has worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Quincy Jones, Usher, Timbaland, Jodeci, Missy Elliot, Mya and Dru Hill.
Darryl's composed the music of the game with the goal of bridging the gap between popular soul and funk music from the 1970's with a more modern techno and hip-hop feel. We really aim to create the 1970's science fiction setting while at the same time using the music to facilitate fast and hectic gameplay.
We have attached the game theme and a level track (one of Christian's favorites!) from one of the game levels. We will be releasing new music throughout the campaign so visit frequently!
Leroy Johnson Theme!
Futuristic Level Track!
One of the unique elements of this game is our integration of Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts. Integration of STEM concepts does two things. The first thing STEM integration does is create a unique gameplay experience atypical is seen in the platfomer genre. The second thing STEM integration does is help teach fundamental STEM concepts and apply them in a fun setting.
One of the ways we integrate STEM concepts is through the use of a variety of non traditional weapons grounded in STEM. Besides Leroy's exotic matter blaster. Leroy's weapons include boomboxes, electromagnets, and the graviton device!
Leroy will have to rely on STEM knowledge to survive with viral outbreaks, dying planets, VERY exotic climates, solve complex puzzles and defeat unique and exotic bosses. There is more-but we don't want to spoil anything! Without revealing too much we communicate STEM concepts to the player and the player has to recognize when those concepts are applicable and use the concept to advance in the game.
Ok...we are going to reveal one more thing (We are so excited about this game!) As previously mentioned we wanted to reveal one of the classes Leroy can graduate into (drumroll) THE PATHOLOGIST!
As Leroy travels from dimension to dimension he will potentially be exposed to a variety of pathogens that could harm or help him. If Leroy graduates to the pathologist class he can expect to have a greater resistance to harmful pathogens and can manipulate them to gain new abilities or use them as a weapon against threats. Stay tuned for our next class reveal!
SpriteSoHard Studios is made up of a team of people with a variety of talents who have a burning interest in entertainment media and gaming.
Christian Pearson, Chief Executive Officer
Christian’s primary responsibilities at SpriteSoHard include game design, programming, and legal and business operations. Christian is committed to developing high quality games that have a positive social impact.
Christian was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area and has been interested in game development since struggling through Castlevania as a kid. Christian’s ninefavorite games (you need at least five to really know someone!) of all time are Megaman 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Final Fantasy VII, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario RPG, Ultimate Marvel v. Capcom 3, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Chrono Trigger. Christian hopes that SpriteSoHard Studios will develop games that invoke the same excitement he experienced playing these games as a child.
Prior to becoming CEO of SpriteSoHard Christian was an associate at a large Washington law firm where he specialized in commercial litigation. Christian also served as an executive of a Washington based healthcare start-up focusing on leveraging telemedicine to care for uninsured populations. Christian has also served in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan. Christian received his B.S. in Economics from Campbell University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Christian is currently a first-year student at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Darryl Pearson, Chief Creative Officer
Darryl Pearson is the Chief Creative Officer focusing on overall theme and music development. Darryl's favorite video games are Super Mario Bros (the original), DJ Hero, Castlevania, and Street Fighter 4.
Darryl Pearson was initially a member of DeVante Swing’s production crew named Swing Mob. This collective was also associated with renowned artists such as Timbaland, Missy Elliot and Ginuwine, just to name a few.
After Swing Mob folded in 1995, Darryl Pearson moved on to become one of the most sought-after producers in the US, meanwhile producing for Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Mya, Chris Cornell and many more. Darryl is based out of Baltimore, Maryland.
John Zhang, Chief Operating Officer
John is the Chief Operating Officer of SpriteSoHard Studios. John's primary responsibilities at SpriteSoHard include project management, research and business development, marketing, and project management. His favorite games are Tekken, Grand Turismo, and Megaman.
John is a lifelong gamer and has been developing games since he was in high school. John has an encyclopedic knowledge of games across many different platforms. If he hasn't played it himself he still knows the reviews and key features. Prior to becoming COO of SpriteSoHard John has been involved in many different startups in several industries.
John is also a first year MBA at the University of Michigan. He also has corporate experience in marketing and a degree in economics from Harvard.
We are really excited to get to know Leroy Johnson's backers! We view each and every one of our backers as members of our development team. We believe Kickstarter provides a wonderful opportunity to get a community of backers really dedicated to seeing Leroy Johnson be a great success!
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about the project. We have information about our stretch goals and backer rewards below!
We couldn't let you guys go without sharing what our team believes and how it motivates our development process
1) We believe there is a need for super fun games that rely on education and positivity instead of sex and violence.
2) We believe that the educational concepts and positive nature are mechanisms that can dramatically improve gameplay.
3) We believe that you can integrate STEM into a game without turning it into an "education game".
If learning about our game and seeing the trailer has convinced to believe what we believe we hope you will donate. Thank you in advance for all of your support!
Christian, Darryl, John, and the SpriteSoHard Team
Kicking It Forward
We're also a member of Kicking It Forward - for a but more information on it, visit their page. It's a pretty cool idea!
Risks and challenges
A lot of games don't get finished? How can we be sure you guys will complete this project?
We are completely dedicated to providing the game community with a polished product around March of 2015. The team consists of a developer who has worked on several gaming projects, two MBAs (one who is a barred attorney) and a Grammy winning artist who has consistently delivered high quality work on a timely basis. We spent several months planning and developing prior to kickstarter to ensure that our goals our feasible and we don't over commit.
Isn't $8,500 too low to get this project done?
Because we are not asking Kickstarter backers to cover our compensation we can accomplish our goal of completing the game with substantially less money. Our game has also obtained some grant funding which has been invested in game assets. Funds from Kickstarter will mostly go to paying contractors to help us create more art and the funds for the stretch goals will go to implementing more features (see stretch goals section above. We will also use a portion to consult with scientists and engineers to ensure the game is conceptually sound.
Also as you can probably tell from the gameplay trailer we have already put a lot of time and resources into developing the assets for this game. We have spent about $13,000 plus A LOT of sweat equity getting this far along in the project. $8500 is enough to bridge the cap and get us to a commercially viable project that we would be proud to release. We are using stretch goals as a way of identifying what additional features backers would really like to see in the game. If there is an additional feature you guys think should be in the game please let us know!
What if my head explodes because the game is too awesome?
Unfortunately there is not too much we can do about that :-)
All aforementioned non limited rewards plus HD playthrough with developers commentary, great for people who want to learn the processes behind developing a video game. Plus all of the previous reward tiers. Also get the opportunity to help as an alpha tester for the game and provide feedback on our exclusive forum!