Tetropolis is a non-linear Puzzle Platformer set in a world that is a puzzle itself. You play as an imperfect tetromino in a society obsessed with falling block puzzle games, to such a degree that even the world is constructed of tetrominoes. As you progress through the game you will discover “control points” that allow you to alter the level. Rearranging the map is not only necessary to create new pathways and unlock new areas, but to solve puzzles and discover the secrets of Tetropolis.
While Tetropolis may be described as a puzzle platformer there are a number of unique elements that set it apart from other games in the genre.
Tetropolis uses a physics-based platforming system that provides a unique feeling to the controls without making the platforming unfairly difficult or frustrating. In addition, inanimate objects in the rooms react to changes in gravity, allowing us to add physics puzzles to the gameplay.
The world of Tetropolis is built up of tetromino-shaped rooms with doors in strategic places. These doors will remain closed unless connected to the next room through another doorway. Accessing a control point for the given level will grant you the ability rotate and move these rooms around the map, connecting these doors and creating new paths. As you reorient these rooms, you are actually doing so in-game and in real time. Zooming in will allow you to watch objects in the rooms react to their new orientation as well as see if areas that were previously impassable may now be traversed. Room reorientation may be used not only to create paths but to solve large scale puzzles based on the positions and contents of these rooms. You may, at any time, teleport back to a control point, once you discover it, giving you the opportunity to quickly try many combinations without getting stuck.
New shapes can be collected throughout the world that allow the main character to transform. Each shape has its own powers and benefits. For example, the square can slam down on enemies and other destructables while the line shape can perform a spring jump maneuver. There are four tetromino shapes to find and every shape can be dynamically chained together in order to traverse the world and combat enemies.
Augmentations are triggered powers that alter a characteristic of the shape you are in or give you specific properties that allow you to interact with the world in new and unique ways. Ranking up augmentations increases the effectiveness or range or adds additional properties to them. An example of an augmentation is the Electrical Augment; when triggered it electrifies the character giving the slam ability a super charge that can stun enemies and jump-start generators.
Tetropolis is a world obsessed with falling block games. As the shapes used in these are rigidly controlled, tetrominos must be perfect. It is in one of these tetromino factories that an imperfect tetromino is born. Barely escaping the grinder, our protagonist meets up with another imperfect tetromino and they decide to join together, becoming a discolored but otherwise perfect Piece. Together they set out to rejoin the game, but is that the future they will ultimately choose?
The world is comprised of four unique zones, each with their own environments, puzzle elements, and enemies. These zones represent the different sections of Tetropolis that perform vital tasks to keeping the city running. Escape disassembly, explore the world to unlock your potential and take control of Tetropolis!
Tetropolis will feature a custom soundtrack written and composed by our resident musician, Jeffrey DeMelo. Below, we’ve included an early sampler of the music of Tetropolis.
“Yes, it's a free-roaming 2D platformer, but it's no mere Metroid wannabe.” - Jeremy Parish, US Gamer
“Out of the group of fifteen or so games shown at the installation [at GDC], Tetropolis stands out as one with the most potential.” - Game Revolution
“This was the most inspired, crafty title I played [at PAX East], and it still stands out as I type this.” - Front Towards Gamer
$50,000 - 100% Funding
Tetropolis will be fully funded! We’ll be able to deliver on the original promise and make Tetropolis a reality.
$60,000 - 120% Funding - Leaderboards!
We will be adding leaderboards into the game keeping track of how long it takes players to complete the various levels as well as report how much content they discovered.
$70,000 - 140% Funding - Challenge Maps!
A collection of scenarios will be added into the game in a challenge mode. These scenarios will be tailored to specific challenges such as completing the map within a set time limit or set amount of moves.
We will reveal more stretch goals as the Kickstarter progresses!
We’re on Steam Greenlight! You can help us get Tetropolis onto Steam and into the hands of gamers all over the world.
We’ve been working on the game for more than a year now, and having shown it off at GDC and PAX East in 2014 we’ve gotten extensive feedback that has improved Tetropolis. The majority of the game’s puzzles, mechanics and abilities have already been prototyped and all that is left is to finish off the content. We just need that extra little push to give us time, not spent on day jobs, to complete the game within the next year.
Because the team comprises all of the critical roles required to build Tetropolis, we will not be needing to hire any additional labor. The majority of the funds can instead go to paying for food, rent and other living expenses for the team members who have already quit their day jobs or are planning to once the Kickstarter is complete.
Additional funding will give us the additional time to polish the core game and to add new features.
The breakdown for the budget is as follows:
Double our Funds with the Free the Games Fund!
We are participating in OUYA's #FreeTheGames Fund, created by OUYA to support developers making new and creative console games. OUYA will match your pledge dollar-for-dollar up to the goal amount (and a max of $250,000), so help Tetropolis get there and be a great game for everyone! To be eligible for this match, we commit that this game will be an OUYA exclusive for a period of time. To learn more about OUYA, go to www.OUYA.tv.
Developer Updates - $1 Tier:
All tiers will automatically receive access to our developer updates via Kickstarter detailing the progress of the game. We will also be including a set of monthly developer podcasts at the end of the development of Tetropolis. Early access to these podcasts is available at the $60 tier. You can listen to the first episode linked in our Kickstarter Update #2.
HD Tetropolis Desktop Wallpapers - $5 Tier:
A package of select high definition desktop wallpapers digitally delivered. These will include the in-game “inspirational” posters seen in the footage and demo.
Backer Forum Access - $5 Tier:
Gain access to the backer’s only forums and join in discussions covering the game’s development and feedback.
Digital Copy of Tetropolis - $15 Tier:
A digitally distributed, DRM-Free, copy of the game delivered on the day of release. You will receive a copy for PC/Mac/Linux and OUYA.
Tetropolis Soundtrack - $20 Tier:
Along with a copy of the game, you will receive the full original soundtrack written and orchestrated by Jeffrey DeMelo for Tetropolis.
Beta Access - $40 Tier:
You will receive a copy of the beta build delivered halfway through development including a substantial portion of the game. We are aiming for approximately 50% of the content.
Developer Audio Podcast - $60 Tier:
Every month, you will receive early access to a new podcast from the developers providing exclusive additional updates and insight into the development process. We’ll be talking about design decisions, mistakes, lessons and game design in general. You can listen to the first episode linked in our Kickstarter Update #2.
Initials on a High Score Board - $100 Tier:
You will be immortalized on a high score board inside one of Tetropolis’ levels. Your initials will appear next to your high score which is based on the amount you contributed to the Kickstarter multiplied by 100. You may choose to have this amount normalized to 10,000 points if you wish for your total donations to remain unknown.
Design a Misfit NPC - $150 Tier:
Using a minimum of 1 block up to a maximum of 6, you can create your very own misfit tetromino NPC to appear in the game. We’ll provide a color palette for you to choose from as well as a template to help you construct your character. The blocks should be connected to each other in the standard domino/tetromino fashion (blocks must be adjacent). Please no inappropriate shapes (you know what we’re talking about).
Tetromino Plush - $200 Tier:
We will be producing limited edition plushies of the main character having the approximate size of 6 x 6 x 3 inches. They will be mailed to you once they have been produced and we ask that non-US residents include a $20 shipping fee.
Design a Story NPC - $250 Tier:
We will take your design for a misfit tetromino NPC and integrate it into the core story of the game. You will be able to interact with the character in-game and they will be a part of the progression of the campaign.
Backer Picture in the Hall of Fame - $500 Tier:
A stylized portrait of you will appear in-game in the Tetropolis Hall of Fame alongside your initials and “top score” based on the amount contributed (times 100). You may choose to have this amount normalized to 500,000 points if you wish for your total donations to remain unknown.
3D Printed Personalized Figurine - $1,000 Tier:
Not only will you have an interactable NPC you design in-game, we will also mail you a 3D printed and hand painted version of your character. This limited edition 3D printed figurine with base will be mailed to you alongside the other physical rewards. We ask that non-US residents include a $20 shipping fee.
Bob Webb: CEO, Lead Programmer. Bob has been making video games since he first learned how to program almost 20 years ago. He spent the last 8+ years as a professional software developer at a startup in San Francisco, while continuing to make games as a hobby. After working for 2 years as a games journalist with 4PlayerNetwork he has finally jumped the fence and has used his professional experience to start NextGen Pants.
Jeffrey DeMelo: Musician. Jeff is writing the music for Tetropolis in addition to helping with the game design (mechanics and levels). Jeff has studied music and music production since a very young age. He currently works as a freelance journalist and entertainer for 4PlayerNetwork.
Joseph “Christ” Petrick: 2D & 3D Artist. Joseph has spent the past 15 years as an artist and performer, providing art and design for various musical projects in New York City and Seattle. In addition, he has worked for the last 5 years as a games journalist and podcaster with 4PlayerNetwork before joining Bob Webb as the main artist for NextGen Pants.
Matthew Uragami: Sound Design and Effects. Matt provides rich sound effects for Tetropolis that help to bring the world to life. He studied game development at Columbia College Chicago with a specialization in sound design.
Risks and challenges
We predict the following potential obstacles that may impede the creation of the game. These obstacles are followed by our explanations of how we will handle the problem should it arise.
1. Inadequate funding.
We have very carefully created a detailed budget that outlines what funds will be required to finish the game by our proposed release date. We have extensive contacts within the indie community (thank you everyone!) who have been giving us vital information about any additional costs we can expect to see. We also have the much appreciated support from the people at OUYA and the Free the Games Fund that can help our game become a reality. Additionally there are other options we may pursue after Kickstarter that may give us the final push we need to get the game out the door.
The team lead, Bob Webb, has 8 years of experience in professional software development and project management and has experience in completing projects on time and on budget. We’ve spent the last year scoping the game, going to trade shows and getting feedback from experienced indie developers. While games can be tricky projects to accurately estimate deliveries on (innumerable examples), we believe we’re in a good position to complete the game within a 2015 release date.
3. Intellectual Property
Many people have expressed concern that the resemblance of elements of Tetropolis with the classic falling block game Tetris will cause a legal dispute. Tetrominos are a mathematical geometric concept and thus free for use. Tetropolis is *not* a falling block puzzle game and will have very few, if any, common gameplay elements. We are confident in our legal standing, but regardless, we have retained a lawyer experienced in intellectual property law to help us mitigate any legal risk.
- (37 days)