Ask any schoolteacher about fractions, and they'll explain that although civilization has conquered fractions thanks to our hit game "Frog Fractions," the children of today face a much graver challenge: Fractions 2. Discovered by 16th-century Portuguese mathematician Pedro Nunes, these "extra-fractional" fractions are twice as powerful and twice as confusing. Without Fractions 2, your children will never master recipes requiring 1/16/4rds of a cup of sodium demicarbonate, nor will they be able to buy the Frog Fractions 2 soundtrack for only a quarter hapenny!
Play Frog Fractions online for free!
The limited edition "big box" will include the Frog Fractals lithograph series. From the Julia Set to the Twindragon Curve, your child will spend hours enthralled, staring at their intricate designs, unless you carelessly place two of them on walls opposite from one another, in which case your junior chaotician will sublimate into nega-reality, never to be seen again.
We've also made a deal with the Los Angeles Unified school district. In exchange for teaching art classes once a week, they send us all of the used frog parts from their biology departments. Once funded, we will select an artist every month and commission a work using these parts to add to the touring "Frog Fractions" exhibition, currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA.
Who am I?
... Is this the part where I break character?
Hi, this is Jim Crawford, project lead behind Frog Fractions. I made Frog Fractions in a little over a year, while I had a day job, on no budget, but with a lot of volunteer help. In designing it, I made the decision to trust you, the player, to figure out how to unlock the game's secrets without being guided every step of the way. In this Kickstarter, I'm asking you to, in turn, trust me. What do you think I could do with a budget?
Most Kickstarters are very detailed about what you're paying for, but the nature of this one is that you're paying for a surprise. I created Frog Fractions explicitly to evoke the air of mystery that all video games held in the 1980s, before the era of endless preview coverage and official strategy guides took that feeling away from us, seemingly permanently. (Have you played Frog Fractions? If not, why would you trust me? Go check it out! Ask that friend of yours who liked it to keep pestering you about it.)
Frog Fractions 2 will evoke that same feeling even more strongly. I can't describe what I'm going to make in detail, but I can tell you that I've been thinking about how to properly follow up Frog Fractions for the past year, and I believe I can make something genuinely awesome.
It will not be called "Frog Fractions 2." It will probably be called something like "Lost Kingdom: Reckoning," by Fork Bomb LLC or "Turbo Finance 2015" by Vespenta Holdings. Does that Russian flight sim on Desura look suspicious to you? Better play it just to make sure! Or maybe it'll be a plugin for Bonzi Buddy and you'll discover it when your grandpa asks you to make his email go faster. Wait, are you playing Frog Fractions 2 right now?
Additional spoiler-free details: it will be considerably larger in scope than Frog Fractions, containing multiple levels of secrets that will take you many play sessions to discover. As such, it will be a downloadable title and will cost money. It will initially be available for PC, with Mac and Linux ports to come soon after.
* The Jig
In the pledge rewards, you'll note that you get certain things "once The Jig is Up." Since I am not going to announce the release of the game, getting a download code at release would be a spoiler. However, once the story is out there (e.g. once you start to see articles in the enthusiast press about it) then the download codes will go out. If you figure out Frog Fractions 2's secret identity before The Jig is Up, send me an email and I'll give you a code immediately.
Because I can't be too specific about the sequel, most of the pledge rewards relate to the original game. The highlight, in my opinion, is definitely the two soundtrack albums you get at the $20 and $25 pledge levels. Check out the list of people who've agreed to be part of it, because it's pretty amazing.
Okay, okay, I'll paste the list here, because it's worth repeating: the Frog Fractions 2 soundtrack will include tracks by: DannyB, Disasterpeace, Ben Prunty, A_Rival, Francisco Cerda, Ryan Ike, Ella Guro, Crashfaster, Chris Hampton, Louis Gorenfeld, and Danny Aley.
Then there's this guy:
Did you think I was joking in the final pledge reward tier? I'm pretty sure that would be fraud, actually. No, truly, one of the legendary "twin beards" can be yours! Of course I kept them. Wouldn't you have?
Where does the money go?
The base funding level of $60k, after Kickstarter, Amazon and the IRS all take their cut, and after shipping out physical rewards, will basically pay my rent for 18 months, which is about how long I expect this project to take. If funding goes above the baseline, I can spend more on art and music, and rely less on unpredictable revenue share. Also at some point in there getting health insurance would be pretty cool. #indie4lyfe!
Risks and challenges
The first question everyone asks me when I say I want to do a sequel to Frog Fractions is: "How can you surprise people when they're expecting to be surprised?" What I say to them is: "The first step in surprising somebody is to not tell them what you're going to do." But yes, I have a plan.
The risk here is, of course, that the game itself might not turn out as awesome as the plan is. This is a genuine risk, that I cannot in good conscience deny. Frog Fractions was lightning in a bottle and I will not be able to be anyone's first time the second time around. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.
Other than that, the big danger with any fixed-budget game development project is scope management. E.g.: it's always best to cut a feature in the design phase rather than wasting time on a feature that you don't have the resources to finish. I've shipped several Flash games and one console game so this is a skill I've got a lot of practice with.
I've got a superpower here, in that a Frog Fractions-style game is uniquely suited to on-the-fly scope control. Developing the first game, I had it playable within days, and at any point during development, I could've locked it down, cut all the future planned features and had it polished enough to ship in a couple of months. I will definitely ship a thing before running out of money.
Inevitably, some of you will be disappointed, just like some people came away from Frog Fractions feeling like I wasted their time. All I can do is promise you that I will do my damnedest to take you on a ride that is more entertaining, more mysterious, and more fundamentally surprising, than Frog Fractions was.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)