The 7th Guest was released in 1992; it was a game that captured our imaginations. It was poignant, immersive, and captivating. It scared us. It challenged us. It made us think. It was a brilliant mix of haunted house exploration, spellbinding 1930s horror atmosphere, fascinating puzzles, and ghostly full motion videos telling a brilliant story. Its main villain, the sinister toymaker Henry Stauf, has long become an iconic figure in computer gaming history.
For years, we waited for a sequel. Several attempts were made, but alas, none were successful. Ultimately, we decided to take matters into our own hands! From all around the globe, a group of fans have come together to create a fan made game called The 13th Doll, based on The 7th Guest.
Finally, supporters of the groundbreaking original get a chance to return to the place of their childhood fears, while new players will be able to delve into Stauf's twisted world for the very first time.
Update! Robert Hirschboeck, the actor who played Stauf, sends a special message to fans!
The 13th Doll will be released on Steam, Windows, Mac, and Linux!
Full Kickstarter Interview
In the 7th Guest, evil toymaker Henry Stauf built a mansion, and invited 6 guests. A 7th Guest, Tad, snuck in and was trapped there, afflicted by mystifying spirits, dolls and the ghosts of the other guests - until he defeated Stauf.
The 13th Doll ties in with the events of The 7th Guest. A decade after Tad managed to escape the mansion, he is still haunted by the souls, dolls, and Stauf's victims he left behind. So haunted, in fact, that the young man now resides in a mental institution - misunderstood, plagued by guilt and obsessed with one idea: to escape the dreary padded walls of his asylum cell, return to the mansion - the site of his innermost fears - to rescue those he left behind and defeat Stauf once and for all!
Soon, a new doctor by the name of Richmond arrives in the asylum. Naïve to the legacy of Henry Stauf, and equally bewildered and intrigued by the fantastic legend, the staunch rationalist plans to take Tad on a cathartic trip back to the mansion.
This unconventional therapy attempt rapidly turns into a fateful journey, unravelling Tad and Richmond's contrasting worldviews and leading the unlikely duo straight into a horrifying vortex of lies, illusions, lunacy and death. And soon a blood-curdling question arises: Have the two visitors really made their way to Stauf's harrowing home on their own accord or are they mere pawns in a much grander, inescapable scheme?
The 13th Doll features three large, fully navigable environments, each one consisting of numerous rooms, hallways and smaller locations.
Solemn corridors, bleak cells and the infamous torture... err... "therapy" room - this hopeless place is the final destination for those who want to forget and those who have long been forgotten. From here on out only two prospects remain: to merely breathe and vegetate for seemingly endless days and nights until the world ultimately turns black forevermore, or to flee from this forlorn institution as promptly as possible - even if such a frantic escape may lead you right into the clutches of your worst enemy...
WonderWorld - Stauf's now abandoned Toy Store
"A Stauf toy is a toy for life" - many a child laid their shining eyes on WonderWorld's official slogan, as they received their special Stauf-made creation from the showroom counter. If only the poor little things had been able to grasp the true, twisted meaning behind these auspicious words and known that their innocent lives were to be cut short by this very purchase... Long abandoned, decayed and a reminder of an ostensively tranquil era, it is now time to make a slight detour to Stauf's arcane, almost magical former workplace. And in a moody moonlit night, no less...
A place of lost souls and ghostly appearances, of peculiar inhabitants, grueling games and grim secrets, you are hereby invited to pay an extensive visit to Henry Stauf's luxurious and almost confusingly spacious manor. But be warned: Not many have entered this unearthly edifice, and even fewer have been able to leave...
Early in the story, the two protagonists are separated and travel to the mansion on their own. It is here that the player is given an interesting choice: You can pick between two playable characters and either accompany Tad as he faces his primal fears or follow Dr. Richmond's journey as he sinks his teeth into the mind-boggling mystery revolving around Henry Stauf.
The game thereby offers two unique story experiences, each one containing a unique set of locations to explore and puzzles to crack!
To fully uncover the enigmatic happenings of The 13th Doll, it is advised to complete both plot lines. They can be tackled in any given order, with each one complementing and enhancing the overall story. At times, Tad and Dr. Richmond's paths cross; these moments provide memorable confrontations and arresting shifts in perspective.
This unconventional storytelling approach not only adds a great amount of replayability and rewarding character interaction to the game, it also ensures that The 13th Doll is immediately accessible to both fans of The 7th Guest as well as players without any prior experience with all things Stauf. Whether you want to put yourself in Tad's shoes and join him on his nostalgic and frightening voyage to confront the past or prefer to delve into a wholly unknown, bizarre and spooky world along with the unsuspecting doctor - it's all up to you!
Our game also includes multiple endings! Based on significant decisions made by the player throughout the story, there will be up to 5 different endings. Consequently, there is plenty to discover and more than enough reason to go back to Stauf's nightmarish manor time and again - if you dare...
While playing The 13th Doll, a lot of time will be spent navigating through gloomy sites, concealed rooms and maze areas from an immersive first person perspective. Thanks to the game being developed in Unity3d, this becomes an advanced and engaging experience, as the engine allows free movement and a fully accessible environment in detailed high-definition visuals. For the first time, players will be able to explore every inch of Stauf's residence and face all its eerie inhabitants up close and personal. A plethora of interactive, delightfully animated objects will bring even the most desolate locations to life.
Logic puzzles were an integral part of The 7th Guest's gameplay, and The 13th Doll follows suit. We've designed 26 original brain-teasers, all varying in style and offering a wide array of intellectual challenges. These diabolical creations are found throughout the game - whether it be card tricks, pathfinding and chess challenges, or even artificial intelligence puzzles versus Henry Stauf himself!.
There will be plenty of opportunity to test your wits as the challenges gradually increase in difficulty! And if you ever happen to unearth a nut that's seemingly too tough to crack, don't despair: A hint system will be implemented to help you overcome the trickiest obstacles. Solving each puzzle will unlock new locations, uncover significant secrets and trigger great rewards that drive the story forward - either in the form of wondrous animations or live action cutscenes.
Full motion video sequences have been another quintessential ingredient of The 7th Guest series. What might not seem like a big deal today was quite a groundbreaking concept in the early 1990s - especially for the gaming industry - and remains an important, effective trademark of the series to this day.
Consequently, The 13th Doll will make use of this remarkable technique, which will bestow a likewise authentic and theatrical vibe on the game and its period setting.
Real actors and props will be filmed in HD quality on a green screened stage and be composited into 3D modeled backgrounds. A big portion of the Kickstarter proceeds will go toward securing the best actors, equipment, and props to create the best experience possible for the player.
As with the rest of the game, we've set an ambitious goal for the music: The 13th Doll will feature a unique composition for each single room and for each of the 26 puzzles! Locations that are visited by both Tad and Dr. Richmond will have two different tracks, depending on which storyline you are currently playing.
Library (work in progress)
The 13th Doll soundtrack draws influence from The Fat Man's iconic "The 7th Guest" score as well as the works of distinguished film composers such as Ennio Morricone, Danny Elfman and David & Thomas Newman. With the game being set in 1930s America, the unmistakable jazz music of that illustrious era has also made a striking impact on some of the game's compositions.
The project started back in 2004, where Ryan HoltKamp, a programmer, and Paul Van Der Meer, a 3d Modeler, began collaborating to make a fan game based on The Seventh Guest! As time went by, more and more developers joined the team from around the world. They collaborated through Skype and the forum on the project website, and the game made solid progress. But... the project had proven too ambitious, and the one to two year project that was planned hit it's fifth year in development, and began to lose steam. Ultimately, the team moved to other projects, and the project was dormant for several years.
Finally, in January of 2015, we decided to pick it back up again, but time had taken it's toll! The resolution we had initially planned was too small for modern machines, and many of our source files were lost, corrupted, or in a format that required significant changes. So, ultimately, we basically had to start from scratch, recreating rooms, and rewriting code.
We posted a message to our facebook group after all this time, and the response was overwhelming. We knew we had to finish the game, and put everything we had into it.
Then a strange thing happened - we were contacted by the owners of The 7th Guest, and offered a licensing deal! If we can fund this kickstarter, thus proving we can market the game and build a community around The 13th Doll, they will allow us to sell the game commercially. It's an unprecedented deal - historically, we're not aware of a fan made project that was ever allowed to sell their game. We've worked on this game so hard, and we really need your help to make the kickstarter successful, and make the game a reality!
We created Attic Door Productions, as a parent company to The 13th Doll. Our core base is in Iowa, and includes an international team of developers from Germany, the UK, and all over the United States. We may be geographically distant, but through email, skype and facebook, we’ve found a way to structure and organize game development.
First and foremost, the license deal we have requires that we find funding in order to make a high quality game that represents the franchise well. Of course, that was always our goal, but funding also allows us to secure better actors, use better equipment, and create a more immersive experience. Much of the challenge of making this game is that we depend on volunteers, who work on the game in their spare time. Thus development progress is often uneven. Life, jobs, families, illnesses, newborns, etc. often delay development. Funding the Kickstarter will allow us to work on this game full time so we can focus on creating content, and assure a release date within the year.
Our goals have always been pure - we want to make games and tell stories, and we want to establish a studio that's capable of creating subsequent projects. The 13th Doll is a huge stepping stone along that path. Finishing this game establishes our new startup company, Attic Door Productions, as a competent studio, and gives us a portfolio that proves we're capable of making quality products.
We plan to release the game late 2015 to first quarter 2016. Initially, we'll release on Windows, Mac, and Linux. We're Greenlit on Steam, and we'll hope to be on GOG as well. Depending on how far we get with funding, we'll aim for other platforms like Oculus Rift, PS4, and Xbox One later in 2016.
To be able to turn this dream into reality, and our passion into a career, we need everyone's help! Please be a part of this project! Back the game, and help us fund it well enough to put the game on as many platforms as possible!
Check out our rewards section on the right! With your support, you can earn a copy of the game, the soundtrack, a copy of the exclusive game art book, opportunities to meet the cast, crew, and game developers, and maybe even appear in the game yourself!
We've added new goals! If we reach these funding levels, we'll add more to the game, and release it on other platforms!
$50K Open House Mode
We'll create a game mode where all rooms are open, and puzzles are readily available for play (once the game has been defeated, of course!)
$55K Classic Navigation Mode!
The game is planned to be a free roaming, open exploration game. For fans of classic point and click, we'll add an option for a classic point and click gameplay method.
$60K No Debt For Developers
Truth be told, the 40K gets us far enough into development that we can comfortably complete the game. But... we expect the game to cost $60K in reality. We currently plan to go into debt just a bit to be able to finish the game. If our goal is met at 60K, we won't have to do so!
$65K Oculus Rift Version
Want to experience the mansion in virtual reality? Help us get to $65K!
$80K Audio Localization
We'll create audio dubbed version of the game in Spanish, German, French, and Italian if we can make it to $80K! Note that either way, we'll have subtitled versions of the game in any language that we can get a translation for. If you have suggestions here, please send us a message and we can update it also!
XBox One, PS4, and Wii U
We'll try to get the game on more platforms if we reach these goals!
$180K Release Party in Chicago Illinois!
Please help us get to this tier - we'll host a release party in Chicago, and all backers get a free invite!
Risks and challenges
The days are only so long, and other commitments can sidetrack us if given the opportunity. If we reach our funding goal, we'll be able to make the game our full time jobs, and development will go very quickly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)