(Before you read this, keep in mind, Driftwood has no relevance to the recent events in Boston. We've been working on this project for nearly a year.)
Driftwood is a (free) fictional Bishoujo Visual Novel - in short, a text-based dating simulation (dating sim) game which follows the life of adolescent protagonists Marcus Feick, who lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
In Marcus’s junior year of high school, after asking the girl of his dreams out on a date, he finds himself caught in a catastrophic event which leaves him physically and emotionally scarred and wounded.
Because of the incident, as well as complications with his newly formed relationship, his overprotective parents decide to transfer him to a boarding school south of Boston and nearly a hundred miles away on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. This act relegates his old life to nothing but sour memories and broken promises.
At the new boarding school on Martha’s Vineyard, Marcus is introduced to a variety of cultures and personalities. The story and game focus primarily on four main female characters that can affect Marcus’s life positively or negatively based on the player’s choices when prompted.
Each character is designed to teach Marcus a profound life lesson, helping him better understand his world and assist him in the difficult process of becoming an adult.
The actual game, and how it works.
The player follows Marcus from a first person point of view (POV) during his senior year at the new school, making crucial and sometimes not so crucial decisions to set Marcus back on the right path to a better future.
There are four main paths corresponding to the four main female characters, each path following the storyline pertaining to that character and their personalities and struggles. This allows for branching story lines and a multitude of options to help the reader experience the story from Marcus's shoes.
Driftwood will contain adult material (+18) that can be disabled if the player so wishes or the reader is under the age of feeling comfortable with that form of content.
Driftwood is being created with The Ren'py Visual Novel Engine. http://www.renpy.org/
Because driftwood is the work of an international team of amateur and professional musicians, visual artists, and developers, it will be available -free- of charge under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License.
Why Kickstarter? What's the Budget?
So far, I've been paying all my artists from my own pocket. (Unfortunately, being a full time student + working on this game, I don't exactly have time to get a job...or two to fund it...) but, the ever flowing stocks of my money have run dry and I need your help...
$ 1250 - Sprite Art
Sprite art is a dubious task, requiring artists to create the same character in different poses, with different expressions, and in some cases even different sets of clothing. Because of the mass of characters in Driftwood (a total of 18...), reasonably paying artists such as Malta for their time and effort is only fair.
$ 1500 - CG Event Art
Cg Event Art is the basis of taking a section of the game and creating it into a picture to help portray the image. This can range anywhere from something drastically important to push the plot forward, or a small little sprinkle of added effort to make the game more enjoyable.
$ 500 - Animation by Rtil
Animation is a tedious art form and requires a lot of talent, patience, and skill, in most cases. Rtil's work should not be overlooked or under appreciated by any means...
$ 750 - Programming and Rewards
Programming, Posters and mail fee's all have something in common. They certainly aren't ridiculously cheap.
Most of the money of this category will be going towards the rewards and making sure people have something personal to have aside from a copy of the game.
Alec and Turel are doing all of what they're doing out of pure enjoyment of the arts and in the hopes they can help create something beautiful.
I've spent countless hours writing, developing plot, proof reading, recruiting, talking amongst my artists, and anything else you can possibly think a team leader would do for absolutely...
I'm doing all of this because I love the craft, and because I hope that it will give me an entryway into the world of game development and design.
Overview of contents
THE GAME IS GOING TO BE FREE.
4 Romance-based routes
1 Non-romance-based route
A fully original soundtrack
Amazing and cute Art~
Updated Stretch goals after being fully funded:
Included from the 4000 : Extra Cloths
#1 - $5,000 - All below the listed amount + a Matt route. - Matt is possibly one of the most favorable characters in the game based on our proofreaders/beta testers opinions, so why not make a route for him? (If you're uncomfortable with the concept of a romance with Matt, you can make the choice for just a bromace *A non-sexual romance between bro's* with just shenanigans and over-all craziness from Matt's part.)
#2 - $6000 - All below the listed amount + Animations for the start of each character's route. - Rtil has agreed to make an animation for each of the main characters if we are able to get the funding.
#3 - $8000 - All below the listed amount + A 5th girl to join the ranks of the feel-train.
We have characters already-pre designed/layed out, but lack the funding to really do anything with them. If the game gets enough funding, we will be able to enhance the experience of the player/reader by giving even more content to play through!
(If we get remotely close to the goal, we'll show a few sketches and possibly a hint about their personality ^.~)
#4 - $8000 + - Possibly more characters, and definite increase of CG art.
Meet the team
(Just incase you're not convinced you should donate yet)
Wakagana (Erin Sullivan)
Wakagana is an 18-year-old in his senior year at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. For his senior portfolio project, he has become the team leader (producer, developer, programmer, recruiter, and writer) of Driftwood.
Wakagana is an aspiring writer and game developer who has a wide range of influences from playing games, ranging from real time strategy (RTS) games to massive multiplayer online (MMO) games. He watched and learned firsthand from professional sources about what makes games popular from his experiences as an intern in the marketing department of the successful software company Gearbox during the summer of 2012.
Visual Arts Team
Malta (Angela Hu)
Malta is a sophomore in highschool and has been working on the project since the very beginning, when the characters were only slightly fleshed out and were still mere concepts.
Her style of art has advanced in skill and personality over the past months, and as a result, her sprite and character art has become both cute and well-defined with its own personality.
http://arrenia.deviantart.com/ - Malta's Deviantart page
Izu (Faiz Alban)
Izu is a junior in college from Indonesia (Now studying abroad in South Korea) who is working on the visual art aspects of the game.
Rtil (Ryan Miller)
Rtil, also known as Ryan Miller, is an experienced Artist, and animator.
Rtil is most commonly known for his work on the game 'Skull Girls'.
I strongly advise you take a look at his stuff on deviant art, and on youtube.
100puro (Sarah Yoo)
100puro is one of our talented artists who will be working mostly on line art for CG's throughout the story.
Alec is a senior in college currently living in Florida. He has a unique ear for music, and he combines a wide range of instruments with modern technology to create an eclectic style.
Turel, also known as Jamie, is a dear friend of mine from England who I met via World of Warcraft.
Turel has worked independently on many projects, ranging from creating soundtracks for WoW Machinimas, and diffrent audio tracks from classical dubstep, trance, hiphop and hybrid types of music
http://www.youtube.com/user/turelmusic (Turel's youtube page, check him and some of his music out!)
GUI design and programming
D is quite mysterious. oooOoOoooooOoo....2spooky4u
(All we truly know about her is that she's awesome and is from south africa. ZEF STYLEEEEE)
I'd also like to thank Saso for her help sketching a few of the characters, and Lemmasoft forums. Without them I wouldn't have been able to find most of these talented people, as well as for being able to help me out with any silly programming errors.*
Try the demo!
If you'd like a taste of what a visual novel is, you're welcome to download and try the demo we've made in the past few weeks!
Step 1. Download! (You will need a computer/program that can un-zip files.)
Mac Version :
Step 2. Unzip and open the folder titled (Driftwood GUI) - If you're using a Windows computer, you may have to unzip both the original download, and then the folder that appears after unzipping the first download.
Step 3. Click on the application that has this icon. (It's usually an .exe or .app file.)
Step 4. Enjoy!
(This of course is not to the standards we would like to have with a finished product. Much of what you see in the demo will be replaced with higher quality content in the finished version.)
Step 5. If the program does not work, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on our facebook page with a private message with details and we'll try our best to get back to you with a fix.
All in all, the money generously donated by you, will be used to help fund the creation of the visual art, music, and programing aspects of the game.
Investing in the motivated is to invest in a brighter future!
Thank you kindly for taking your time to view our project, and if you're interested in the project, you're welcome to like our facebook page, where we regularly showcase character art, and update the general public on our progress.
Driftwood's Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Driftwood/578697462149963
Risks and challenges
Release Date: We're looking for a full-release in early 2014, possibly in January or February. But it mostly depends on how quickly our artists can produce their work, and of course, this estimation might change when real life comes in between our artists and the project.
However, if we manage to make some of the stretch goals, (Like adding on the 5th character) We will have to push the game's release back to correctly implement her into the game with the rest of the characters.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)