About this project
Siboot is a conversation-centric game set on a post-apocalyptic alien world from veteran game designer Chris Crawford.
Fast reflexes and logical calculation won’t help you win this game. You’ll need social reasoning and emotional intuition.
In Siboot, you will work with and against your political rivals to become the leader of this fledgling society. Communicate with other species using a unique pictorial telepathic language. Read the faces of the characters to determine whether they’re telling the truth. You’ll need to gossip, lie, threaten, make deals, and betray in order to ultimately prevail—and so will they.
July 7: Thank you everyone for your support and belief in us! Despite this campaign ending, we're not going to abandon the project or our goals. It will just mean some reorganization and reprioritizing, and it's going to take us longer to complete.
July 5: We have a new video up about the gameplay system in Siboot.
June 19: We've been chosen as a Kickstarter staff pick, and accepted on the IGDA curated Kickstarter page! We've also released the second part of Chris Crawford's video about the technology used in Siboot:
June 15: We've added a new $50 tier for backers interested in trying out the beta and participating in the beta-only discussion area. Remember that beta access is not included in the $55 or $75 tiers!
Also, Chris Crawford and the team have prepared this video to explain the design philosophy and underlying technology of Siboot.
Our unique symbolic language permits rich interaction between characters.
The complex characters in Siboot are built with multiple personality traits, unique relationships with one another, moods, and memories of your past behaviors.
Everything in the game is implemented with shades of gray, not black and white. Characters don't have simple buttons to push to get a reaction. They have feelings and opinions, and they remember how they were treated in the past.
You can never know enough to calculate the best course of action. You must rely on your intuition to guide your choices.
Which of your resources will you wield against your opponent in dream combat? The information you have obtained will help you decide.
The world of Siboot is rich and complex. Read the novel to learn the history of the colony on Kira, the four species, Siboot, and eeyal, the telepathic language used in the game.
The game features a unique emotional model, reflected in our complex facial animation system. Can you read the expressions on your rivals’ faces to figure out what they’re really thinking?
Hundreds of choice-based textual encounters, with thousands of actions and reactions to choose from, allow nuanced interactions with the characters.
The game is divided into day and night phases.
During the day, you meet with the other aspiring leaders, gossiping, making plans and deals, trading information to help in the coming dream combat. This all takes place in the innovative Eeyal language, using pictograms to represent words and concepts:
Every day, you will also interact with other characters in several choice-based textual encounters, drawn from a pool of hundreds. Choose wisely; your actions here will affect your relationship with these characters going forward!
Each night, you enter dream combat with your fellow acolytes. You must use your knowledge of the resources your opponents possess to target the most vulnerable. The winner of each conflict learns what resource their opponent played, and their opponent loses that resource permanently, bringing them one step closer to final elimination from the contest. In the end, the last acolyte standing will become the new Siboot and lead their community.
Siboot is built on top of the revolutionary Storytron technology designed by Chris Crawford. The game’s functional skeleton is already in place. But the old Storytron system dealt purely with text; much of the work in this project involves extending the system with a graphical interface to support expressive animated faces, the symbolic Eeyal language, the choice-based Encounter system, and an engaging soundtrack.
Siboot has a comic book noir art style thanks to our fantastic artists, Alvaro Gonzalez and Luc Toupense.
Siboot will also feature evocative sound design and haunting music by Laia Bee.
And it comes with a free novel written by Chris Crawford himself, telling the history of the marooned colony, establishing the relationships between the main characters, and setting the scene for the start of the game.
Beta Only: For those who only want access to the beta and special beta discussion area. Remember: the $55 and $75 tiers do not include beta access!
Book Lover: The physical copy of the Director's Cut of the novel will be printed in black and white if we have less than 50 orders at the $150 tier or above, or in color if we have 50 or more orders at $150 or above.
Revolutionary: The anagram of your name will only be available to the first 50 backers at the $250 tier and above. We will make sure the number of slots available remains up to date as the campaign progresses.
The Making Of: This is a massive tome, 500-600 pages long, detailing Chris Crawford's entire design process for the original Trust and Betrayal game, with modern annotations, all compiled and nicely bound together.
Piece of History: You truly have a chance to own a piece of history: one of the original 1987 boxed copies of Trust and Betrayal, either still in its original shrink wrap or signed by Chris Crawford. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity!
Team leader Chris Crawford has been designing computer games for 37 years. He sold his first game in 1978, and has created 14 published games and written four books on game design. He founded the Game Developers Conference, has lectured on game design all over the world, and has been the subject of countless press stories.
We need your help to get the word out about Siboot!
Risks and challenges
This project has been extensively planned; there are few unknowns left at this point. The original concept was developed 28 years ago, and our core technology is now highly refined. Work began on the design of the Siboot project over two years ago, and hundreds of tiny details have been settled; see the design diaries at http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/design-diaries/design-diary-siboot/index.html for details.
We have specifications for almost every aspect of the remaining work. We know what has to be done, and we know how to do it. But it’s still going to be a lot of work.
Three uncertainties remain:
First, scripting character behavior is intricate, delicate work. Some of the scripts already function well; some are very rough. The most difficult scripting involves pre-emptive, anticipatory behavior. This is not as straightforward as designing AI to solve a strategy game like Chess; when decisions must account for varying personalities and emotions, the complexity grows exponentially.
Second is the perennial problem of game tuning. Many excellent designs have failed due to insufficient time spent here. Balancing all the gameplay factors on a knife's edge demands a lot of time and testing. We are scheduling a minimum of 4 months for this task.
Third is the shipping of the physical items. We’ve been in contact with suppliers to ensure quality production, and we’ll try to have items made within the US to minimize manufacturing and shipping problems whenever possible. But fluctuations in international shipping costs, manufacturing delays, and problems with product delivery cannot entirely be ruled out.
In the end, your strongest guarantee that this game will turn out well is simply that this is the culmination of Chris Crawford’s life's work. For twenty years now, he has fought this battle, and at last he’s bringing it to a close. It's do or die time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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