In case you don’t know me I’m Bill Tiller, illustrator and
game designer. And I love making classic, Lucas Arts style graphic adventures.
Back when I was in college I trained as a character
animator in the classic Disney style, which turned out to be a perfect fit for developing
graphic adventures, due to their story driven narrative, cartoon animation style, and
vibrant art direction. They were very reminiscent
of classic Disney movies I loved as a kid.
Now you, the gaming patrons of the world, get to play the
role of publisher and help fund A Vampyre
Story: Year One, a prequel to A Vampyre
Story. This project was designed to
be a short, episodic length game.
A lot of people ask, “Bill? Uh,Tiller? Earth to Tiller. Hello?!
Why do you look so tired all the time, and why are you making a prequel instead
of a sequel?” Well
I have kids is the answer to the first one, and the second answer is it’s about
math. Funding smaller game projects is easier and would
allow us to improve the game engine in preparation for future games. On top of that, I have always wanted to do a
short prequel to A Vampyre Story so
players could see what Mona’s life was like during the years before she finally
escaped from her captor. The first game hinted at what happened in that time to
Mona De Laffite and Froderick, and now I want the opportunity to show it.
So about the game, our story begins when Mona, a captive at
Castle Warg for a few months, sees a little bat desperately trying to escape
from three nasty looking bat ‘thugs’. Mona,
not being a big fan of bullies nor things ‘nasty looking,’ decides to help the poor
Froderick, the cute little bat, is trapped, surrounded by the
bat thugs. And it is up to Mona and the player controlling her to save him by
exploring the castle to find a way to help.
While exploring, Mona will meet several denizens of the
castle including Arachnea Rose, a rather large and intimidating spider; Poe
Possum, a vile and tick-ridden vermin; and the three Belfry Boyz - Slim, Brat,
and Rocco, their pugnacious leader. Inky,
the local lake monster, and Shrowdy Von Keifer, Mona’s vampire captor and
master, both make an appearance, too. Mona also has to deal with a pair of man
eating plants and makes a new female friend …or is she a friend?
A Vampyre Story: Year
One we hope will appeal to fans of A
Vampyre Story, fans of Disney style animation and fans of “old school” Lucas
Arts graphic adventures. It will even have the same puzzle driven
game play and the same Graphical User Interface (or as we say in the biz, GUI) as
The Curse of Monkey Island. The art
style will use hand painted 2D backgrounds, and have 3D animation, real time
lighting, and 3D characters models.
This episode should be about one third the size of A Vampyre Story, and have about five total
hours of game play. Our reach goals will include converting the game to other
platforms, making the game bigger and increasing the quality of the game art
and tech. We will announce the final reach goals at a later date.
In the spirit of the Kickstarter reward suggestion page we
tried to come up with rewards that adventure games patrons expect and some that
are unique to us. So a lot of the rewards are art based like sketches and art
by me and my art team and even some video tutorials form our professional team. I think you will like them.
Thank you for considering backing this project! I am so excited to get back to graphic adventures
and work with my old team again. And I am really looking forward to making you
all happy by giving you a great game.
And remember, graphic adventures aren't dead. They are
Risks and challenges
We are just going to upgrade the existing engine so it works with Win 7 and 8, and add all the new features that comes with it. We have done this twice before so all in all, I am confident about the development of "A Vampyre Story: Year One
Yes, if we raise enough money. We estimate it will cost $40,000 to $50,000 to convert the PC version to Mac and Linux based on past experience. but we are upgrading our PC game engine and that may (hopefully) lower the cost of conversion substantially.
Yes. She is now - and in the game will be - played by Mary Nitschke, a wonderful actress and the wife of Jeremy Koerner, who plays Froderick. We did this for a few reasons. Mary and Jeremy have great chemistry when performing together, Mary is very easy to work with, and gives a great performance.They are very easy to direct and easy to coordinate with. Rebecca Schwartz is great and did a great job on A Vampyre Story and I like her a lot. But many, many players and critics felt the pitch of her voice was too high and was tough to enjoy. It didn't bother me but it did bother quite a few members of the team. So we felt it best to make the change and Mary was the logical choice, and we have been very happy with her. But I'd love to work with Rebecca again on the game.
GARGOYLE - All previous rewards plus: • Game's digital soundtrack by renowned composer Pedro Macedo Camacho • Digital headshot of Mona from the Paris Opera.• MP3 of the First Episode of A Vampyre Story Radio Show • Video lesson on How to Sculpt Models for Video Games the Autumn Moon Way • Your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the game credits.
FULL MOON - All previous reward tiers, plus • Digital download PDF of A Vampyre Story: Year One storyboards and script • ten (copyright free) pirate themed background PSD files illustrated by Bill Tiller for use as desktop backgrounds or fan created graphic adventure locations
GHOUL - All previous rewards plus: • A digital PDF version of the book "Art of a Vampyre Story: Year One", featuring concept art, story boards, 3D character renders, pin-up gallery by guest artists, and sheet music from the game • MP3 of the Second Episode of A Vampyre Story Radio Drama • Video lesson on How to Rig Models the Autumn Moon Way • Digital photocopy of Froderick's butt (or AVS themed computer desktop images if that isn't your kind of thing)
LAKE MONSTER - All previous rewards plus: • A physical Poster Map of Draxsylvania • Digital PDF Book: Atlas of Draxsylvania, with color maps, art and descriptions of the history and geography of Draxsylvania, and its macabre denizens • Video lesson on How to Design Animated Characters the Autumn Moon Way • A physical Sheet of A Vampyre Story Stickers.
NOSFERATU - All previous reward tiers, plus • Special 'throw back' collector's game box (circa 1997) including a disc of the game, color game manual (and other added goodies) signed by Bill Tiller and the team! • MP3 of the Third Episode of A Vampyre Story Radio Drama • Video lesson on How to Illustrate The Bill Tiller Way • Small original 4.25" x 5.5" sketch card by Bill Tiller
EVIL WITCH - All previous rewards, plus • Special 'throw back' collector's game box of the Original A Vampyre Story including a disc of the game, color game manual, signed by Bill Tiller and the team! • Backer T-Shirt with A Vampyre Story: Year One poster graphic on the front • A deck of seventy-eight custom A Vampyre Story themed tarot cards.
OPERA STAR - All previous reward tiers, plus • Limited hardcover edition of "The Art of A Vampyre Story: Year One" signed by Bill Tiller • A 7.5" x 10" pencil drawing by Bill Tiller • Mona and Froderick's voice on your answering machine or voice mail
VAMPYRE HUNTER - All previous reward tiers, plus • High-quality 3D figurine of Mona with Froderick. • Your likeness in the game! • Song sung for you by Froderick the Bat, about the subject of your choice
VAMPYRE LORD - All previous rewards, plus • Mona stops Froderick singing for and or about you (if you want). • A 3D cartoon model of you created in Maya or Max, textured and rigged by Autumn Moon Artists
PHANTOM LOVER - All previous rewards, plus • Unique digital A Vampyre Story themed illustration and print by Bill Tiller • Live phone call with Mona, Bill, and, unfortunately, Froderick • Your model animated by Autumn Moon animators based on your direction.