About this project
A child reaches for the stars, burdened by circumstance. Folks chained by debt, indentured to the powers at large. Follow along through this alternate 1930's where mankind is thrust to the stars in this journey from backwater slums across the void of space and time.
Ira was the only son of a poor farming family, born to a divided society with little to stand on. He was destined to grow up to join his father in the Martian mines, and his ambitions to explore the stars were a distant, lofty dream.
As a child he watched humanity undertake their greatest endeavor, the Holocene project, as it departed from the Solar System to a new star; a place completely unfamiliar and impossibly distant. The feat left him in awe, but the harsh realities of life took priority as he grew up through a space age depression.
But Ira does travel to this star. Years later he wakes from stasis aboard the Holocene II, only to find himself the sole survivor of a catastrophic incident and left alone on a ghost ship floating on the outskirts of the Lithic System. Now in the place of his boyhood fantasies, his dreams quickly spiral out of control.
The system is flooded with a signal, interfering with electronics, playing tricks on the senses, and blurring the barriers of reality. The sound of that signal was something Ira knew as a boy, like a voice calling out to him across the void. He is deeply shaken and his memories are blurred, returning in flashes, shedding light on his murky past. Struggling to survive, Ira is cutoff and unable to return home. He travels through the Lithic System aboard the desolate, damaged Holocene II in search of rescue, answers, and above all, hope.
Where he expected to find hundreds of souls from the first Holocene mission Ira finds the abandoned remnants of once thriving research colonies. Only their ghostly trail remains, leading him through a labyrinth of mysteries, into the unknown toward truth no one was prepared to find. The Holocene’s mission was not what it seemed, its true purpose revealing itself as Ira uncovers the crew’s fate.
Ira will confront the questions that baffled and astounded the best of Earth’s minds, walking the path they mysteriously vanished from, and he will face his own past that lead him to this strange and alien place. Was it the guiding hand of fate that brought him here, his own will, or some other force in the depths of space?
Rocket engines drown out the cries of the downtrodden. Mankind takes wings, and the solar system shrinks at the hands of industrious minds. Fate beckons from across the cosmos, a brave few oblige. The world is fast changing, and every piece of the puzzle has its part to play.
Learn about a rich and deep alternate timeline where knowledge and expansion as a planet took precedent over war and petty differences. Nations realized the potential for technological innovation and rallied to push science and engineering to its limits, thrusting humanity into the space-age in the early 20th century.
The great inventors of the era were the heroes of society, and an excitement for the progress of mankind surged over the Earth. But greed and inequality were only nurtured by these leaps of advancement, ever widening the gap between the rich and the laboring classes.
This is the world Ira knows, but what lies beyond the bounds of Earth and Mars? A star looms just within reach, a place that draws the attention of both corporations and willful adventurers. Its nature unlike anything seen before, calling into question all that is known about our world, and about our very selves. The universe of Ira is a strange and wonderful place, full of complexity and surprising elegance. But don’t wait to experience the Ira universe; new pieces of Lore will be released every few days, allowing you to get a head start in immersing yourself into the world that could have been.
In the early century a little known telecommunications company called Intele Co created a paradigm shift in the technology market. As the world was taking its first unsteady steps into orbit, unprecedented wonders of science rose from their classified research department, and man entered into a space age overnight. Technology was king and the economy boomed, and at the center of it was the tiny town of Pilgrimage.
From a high rise suite a corporate fat cat gazes down over his the grounds of Intele Co’s headquarters, inspecting his domain with a careful eye. From this vantage he can see the lines of laborers set to embark for seasonal martian mining, all clad in tattered gear, unprepared for the harsh conditions of the mines. How many would return? Was it pity that he felt, or only a gluttony for profit margins? He may hold the title of CEO, but he can feel the board of directors breathing down his neck, obsessing over the details of financial reports, never satisfied with any gain. Would his father be proud of this company today? They were a powerhouse of industry, but at what cost? The gloom below was his empire, and nothing remained that could stand against the company. His eyes turned upwards, finding the form of the Holocene suspended in the sky, a sign of hope and a guarantee of prosperity. It was more than an interstellar ship, and few knew its true potential. With it, he could change everything.
Martian mining union
In response to Intele Co’s stranglehold over not only the world’s economy but every venture in the solar system, the Martian Mining Union was formed. Far from Earth, the Martian mines operated with little to no oversight, leading to dangerous conditions, low pay, and slum like accommodations. Miners banded together, standing against Intele Co’s unquestioned authority, but so far from the eyes of the public the struggle was grueling. Still, their message spread, and they became the voice for the common man, fighting against Intele Co on all fronts. Above all they held the Holocene project to be an affront to their very humanity, a rich man’s venture costing millions that could have been spent to ease the suffering of miners and common folk.
Reports of union leaders disappearing were common, suspicions of sabotage leading to deaths of members abound, and many felt the union’s tactics were too soft. Rouge, extreme chapters rose from the effort, using violent schemes to push their agenda, and the lines between victim and perpetrator blurred.
Few remember Pilgrimage as it was. Quiet and inconspicuous, it was a farming town and far from being of any real importance. Fortune would have it, however, that a small communications company named Intele Co also called Pilgrimage home. As they expanded and pushed the world into an early space age, the quiet was replaced by the roar of rocket engines and Pilgrimage became the world's stepping stone to the stars.
The blackness of space is a soup of radiation, radio waves and rouge transmissions. Most of it is meaningless noise, but through that mess of sound and static something bizarre calls for attention. An astute few are able to focus in, isolating it, and in the early century the classified research department of Intele Co did just that, leading them away from Earth to the Martian surface. Little was known about the implications of this secretive discovery, but history shows the event to coincide with Intele Co’s dramatic transformation from small communications company to technology powerhouse. The signal was downplayed as little more than an interesting phenomenon, but the truth was well hidden behind a layer of corporate secrecy and deception.
The Lithic System
Just as Intele Co once set its sights on Mars, the signal that led them there now draws them away once more, this time out of the Solar System, across interstellar space, and towards the far off Lithic System. It was touted as a discovery that could save mankind from global depression, a place of vast resources and potential, but it was also a place surround in mystery. Strange readings and imagery astounded scientists, but Intele Co ignored descent and pushed forward with their plans to claim the Lithic System. The Holocene was the vessel to take them there.
The pinnacle of human achievement, the Holocene project is a global effort with the lofty aim of making mankind an interstellar race. It is the largest vessel ever constructed, on Earth or in space, and its purpose is bold; to leave our star and claim another. Carrying hundreds of researchers and scientists alike along with decades worth of supplies, the Holocene was built to conquer the Lithic System, to unravel its mysteries, and exploit its wealth. Though all the world watches, the Holocene is shrouded in secrecy, Intele Co keeping a tight lid on the technologies aboard the ship. This evasiveness leaves many questioning whether Intele Co alone could have devised such a craft, and some doubt even their motivation, questioning whether they could have been driven to such ends for the sake of exploration alone. While the depression rages on, the Holocene embarks, racing across the cosmos to the Lithic System, and slowly fading from contact, and the world waits.
The Holocene II
A great vessel floats lifelessly on the outskirts of the Lithic System. Cold, forgotten and unmanned, it is the ghost of a ship called the Holocene II. Hundreds of destroyed stasis pods line its halls, filled with death, but one begins to stir. Its timer reaches zero and revival begins, releasing a man named Ira to a strange and desolate place, though he is shaken and without memory of how he got there. Memories return, beggining with his childhood, recalling a first Holocene that left when he was a boy, but he has no knowledge of this ship or it’s mission. At the helm is an unusually intelligent AI system, the Z-120. Stranded in the Lithic System, the ship is Ira’s only hope at survival, and on it he travels the system, searching for answers and for hope. The first Holocene was Ira’s dream, but the Holocene II is proving itself to be his tomb.
Turn your ear to the music of the working man; cry with him as he laments the loss of this year's crops, a hard winter, the yearning for a better life. But rejoice with him as he sings of an adventurous spirit, the will that won the wild, and the desire to find what lies beyond...
Music will act as a guide as you navigate Ira’s world. Within Ira’s alternative history arises the folk music of those far from home in Martian mines, and the plight of a people left behind by the space faring few. This music will play the interludes of the story, carrying you across the various timelines in surreal transitions across time and space. Inspired by Appalachian mountain music and the blues of the Mississippi delta region, the soundtrack of early rural America is turned on its head when given a surreal treatment. Deep, airy ambiance fills the space between pensive banjo notes, mandolin chords echo into oblivion. The result is a feeling that connects the farms of Earth and the vast expanse of space, a feeling that is alien, yet familiar.
Use point-and-click mechanics to navigate through a world of intimate 3D spaces as well as serene, minimalist landscapes. Allow a creeping tension to build in an immersive world as you explore alien landscapes, relive past events, and watch as the nature of reality becomes porous and untrustworthy.
Choosing a path
Playing through multiple timelines, your choices can have far reaching effects as you interact with and play as a colorful cast of characters, guiding their way through a fateful set of circumstances.
Choices you make determine your relationship with other characters, who will be present for certain events in the story, and can even determine the fate of certain individuals. Combining our choice system with our multiple timelines will yield interesting outcomes, as making choices in retrospect can change what Ira will find in the Lithic System. This retrospective change is what really makes Ira different than other games that allow for player choice. It’s less about cursing yourself for a choice that was made and more about looking for avenues in which to influence the future (it won’t be easy though).
Because we love the the ability of crowdfunding to connect the consumer with the developers. Kickstarter allows the consumer to get in on the ground floor of projects that they love and be a part of that development, and that’s where you come in. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go and we need you to make Ira the best that it can be. Above all our most valuable resource is time. Having the ability to devote our full attention and time to the development of Ira is absolutely essential to creating a finished product in a timely manner and deliver a unique and meaningful experience. Instead of making the entire game, we want to fund Act 1 of 3, and we want to get it to you in the spring. Kickstarter has done amazing things for developers, and we ourselves have enjoyed the games and products to come out of it. The future of indie game development and crowdfunding go hand in hand, so for us Kickstarter was an easy choice.
We've run the numbers and have the experience to know what goes into bringing the first act of Ira to life. We've invested a lot of time and resources into the project thus far, and have determined that our goal is the ideal amount to push this project over the edge into completion.
Why $12,000? By spacing Ira out into 3 acts, contributing our own monetary resources, and doing the work in house, we are able to dramatically lower the cost of making Ira. That being said we can't do it alone. $12,000 may not seem like a lot of money to some but for us its the difference between Ira taking off and Ira never coming to fruition.
Risks and challenges
Creating an experience like Ira takes a lot of work. We're a small team, but we're driven and united by a shared passion to see this project through and create something beautiful to share with the world. The task is huge, but we come to the table with a diverse set of skills. We are as much game developers as we are artists, musicians and writers. This paired with our single-mindedness about the direction of the game allows us to do everything in-house, and see every aspect through, from inception to implementation.
We understand our collective and individual strengths. We have created and tested all mechanics, production methods, and platform implementation. The only way this project will not be completed is if an act of God occurs, such as death, traumatic brain injuries, and other such unsavory events we hope will never come to pass.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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