Explore brave new stars. Probe deeply into the darkest holes of the universe. Meet Alien Races that are simultaneously Weird & Incredible.
Icarus Proudbottom: Starship Captain is an adventure game that takes place entirely on the bridge of a starship, the IBS Sea Pickle. It features combat, exploration, puzzle-solving, dialogue trees, and more!
To control the IBS Sea Pickle, you need to issue commands to your crew. Talk to Digby to set a course or warp to distant planets. Talk to Mark 22 to manage your weapons systems and shields. Talk to Jerry to scan objects and manage your ship's power levels. Talk to Kelso to communicate with other ships or objects!
In this GIF, you can see that the IBS Sea Pickle is under attack by a Doghu'nut Cruiser. What do you do? Order Digby to change course? Order Mark 22 to adjust your laser frequencies so you deal more damage? Attempt to hail the ship and ask them to surrender? Increase power to your lasers? Increase power to your shields? As Captain, the decision is yours to make - but you must act quickly!
Icarus Proudbottom: Starship Captain is not an action game, a strategy game, a build-a-ship simulator, or a 4X Space Epic - there are already hundreds of those! It's a character-driven adventure game & bridge simulator whose goal is to make you feel the pressure and joys of being a captain and communicating with your crew.
Holy Wow Studios is a two-person team. Currently, we have full time jobs and develop games in our spare time - on nights and weekends. This works for smaller games like Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing. However, Starship Captain has a significantly larger scope and developing it in our spare time will be almost impossible. If this Kickstarter is successful, we will make developing Starship Captain our full-time jobs. The Kickstarter funds will ensure that we don't starve to death during this time, or go into financial ruin for life if our appendixes burst.
We want this Kickstarter to be about more than just funding the game - we want it to be a celebration of the Icarus Proudbottom universe! And so, check out the fun stuff we've been putting together!
Please note: the Jerry statuette is a 3-inch-tall "Full Color Sandstone 3D Print" from Shapeways. It is not glossy and rough to the touch. Check out this Shapeways page for more photos that show what these kind of models look like.
"Why No Gameplay Stretch Goals?"
We've been making games long enough to know that the biggest enemy of game development is bloat. We know exactly the game we want to make, and that's what we intend to make. We also believe that it's impossible to precisely predict how difficult it will be to develop certain parts of a game. We could say "we'll add multiplayer for $80,000," but that would be dishonest and risk derailing other parts of the project. And so, we plan on spending all additional money on voices, sound, music, and art.
This game has been ratting around in our heads for a long time. In fact, we started developing it way before we made Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing!
First, we started developing it using Flash and Actionscript 2, in an 8-bit style. Here's a screenshot of what the game looked like back then:
Not bad, but different. However, within a short amount of time we became frustrated with the limitations of 8-bit graphics. Also, the style didn't fit the theme of Starship Captain - there's nothing "retro" about the game and it doesn't reference old-school games, so why use retro graphics? And so, we decided to redo the art in a cartoonish HD style.
Shortly afterwards, we realized that Actionscript 2 wasn't powerful enough for a game of this scope, so we learned Actionscript 3 and began to build it out again. Things were going well, but we ended up taking almost a year off to make Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing and its sequel, Icarus Proudbottom's World of Typing Weekly.
After releasing the two typing games, we realized that limiting ourselves to Flash wasn't a smart idea for Starship Captain. It would be hard to release the game for multiple platforms, certain visual effects were near impossible, there are big input limitations, and the framerate wasn't optimal.
And so, we've decided to build the game in Unity, which will allow us to put it together quickly, enhance the graphics, and release on multiple platforms more easily.
Reading this, It may seem like we've wasted a lot of time, but we disagree. Although we're no longer building the game in Flash, we still have lots of high-quality vector artwork already done - a great start! We've also fleshed out the concept and have a crystal-clear idea of what the game should be. And, most importantly, we're much, much better at coding and development than we were when we first started. We can confidently say that we now have the the skills and foundation to build out this game as we've always imagined it.
Risks and challenges
Making a video game is a lot of work, and sometimes you never know which aspects of a game will be most challenging. If we had to take a guess, we'd say that voice acting will pose the biggest challenge for us - especially if we just barely squeeze past our funding goal and don't have much money to spend on quality voice talent. An absolute worst case scenario would be abandoning voice acting and using subtitles.
We live in New York City, which is an extremely expensive place to live, so our funds will be tight even if we meet our funding goal. However, we are confident that we can finish the game with these funds - we have lots of experience finishing big projects within short timelines!
NO!! We wanted to get a real voice actor for Icarus but money + time constraints forced us to improvise for the pitch video. One of the main reasons for the Kickstarter is to help us afford real voice talent.