The 31st is a humorous, Halloween-themed first-person shooter that takes place in a strange world filled with endless hordes of blood-thirsty monsters and wacky situations. The game consists of six large levels containing wide-open outdoor spaces, spooky dungeon corridors, and everything in between. The game is not just about mindlessly killing all the creatures of the night. It also offers a sizable element of treasure hunting and exploration as you learn more about the mysteries left behind by people who visited before you.
- The single player game is long. When we say our levels are big and there are lots of things to be done, we mean it!
- There are plenty of secrets to discover, haunted areas to explore, and valuable items to find.
- There is a lot of humor!
- The game includes an internet multiplayer mode and several dedicated deathmatch levels.
- There are many conventional weapons and several crazy fun guns.
- The game has a phenomenal soundtrack! Listen on SoundCloud
Your name is Gus Graves, and you’re a firefighter in the small town of Timber Valley, where the largest employer is the mysterious research division of the MGL Corporation, a powerful and notoriously secretive player in the military-industrial complex. It’s sunset on Halloween, and just as you’re getting ready for a stream of trick-or-treaters at home, your chief calls you into the station. There’s a massive blaze at the MGL building on the edge of town. You jump off the fire engine as it rolls up to the inferno and gasp not only at the incredible size of the fire but at the strange beams of light brilliantly flashing through holes in the building’s crumbling walls. As you approach the structure for a closer look, the wall and floor of the building collapse to expose a vast underground chamber where all kinds of debris are being pulled into a blinding light at the center of a giant metallic ring. The ground begins to fall beneath your feet, and you try to scurry up the steepening slope to escape, but it’s too late. You’re pulled into the device alongside some mangled equipment and the bodies of lab technicians who didn't survive the accident. You see your fire engine gravitating toward you as you accelerate into a tunnel of light.
After a few seconds, you slam to the ground in a grassy field. It’s raining debris and corpses through a portal not far above you. You see the fire engine falling toward you and roll out of the way just in time to avoid being crushed. You pull yourself up off the ground and take a look around. You’re not in Timber Valley any more, but you can see some old shack-like structures. The portal soon closes, leaving only a bunch of smoldering junk, your wrecked fire engine, and the remains of some unfortunate MGL workers behind. You’re on your own.
What’s a Halloween game without monsters? Most of the baddies are described below, but we’re saving a few surprises for the final game.
Spider. These hairy crawlers aren’t very dangerous when found alone, but in large quantities, they can be a serious threat. These things are big and fast, and they like to bite. And some shoot venom! You’ll need a gun capable of wide-area damage to fend off a mass attack. Also, watch out for the big hairy momma spider.
Barracuda. Maybe you should think twice before going for a swim. This guy and his friends might be waiting to sink their teeth into some fresh meat.
Giant Bat. Talk about flying rodents with a thirst for blood! And they can find you in the dark with their sonar. Bats rip chunks of flesh from your body with their fangs.
Skeleton. This is your typical haunted pile of bones. Skeletons are easy to damage, but their light weight makes them very agile. A skeleton will use anything he can get his hands on as a weapon. Tougher skeletons wield flaming swords.
Goblin. Diminutive and green, these little bastards hold a deep grudge against humanity. There really isn’t anything supernatural about these guys, so they aren’t very hard to kill. Goblins come leaping at you with their large claws.
Zombie. These walking undead have only one thought on their rotting brains: destroy. The decaying remains of the deceased rise from graves under the moonlight and hide in the shadows until their unsuspecting prey walks by.
Witch. This old hag wants nothing more than to slice up your freshly disemboweled corpse, boil your guts in eyeball stew, and feed it to her forty cats. As if looking at her didn’t hurt enough, this crazy bitch will come at you with potions, knives, axes, and even her damn broom.
Pumpkinhead. This is a 19th century cape-wearing stud with a fiery jack-o-lantern where his head used to be. He’ll throw fireballs at you from a distance, and he’ll tear your freakin’ head off if you let him get close enough. If you blow his head off, he’ll replace it with whatever he can find nearby and keep coming at you.
Tar/Lava/Swamp Golem. This demonic pile of goo rises from boiling tar pits, lava pools, and toxic swamps found throughout the land. He can hurl deadly balls of tar, lava, or toxic sludge over great distances.
Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper is pretty high up on the evil food chain, and he’s hungry for your soul. This dude has some serious power and is very hard to bring down. Seriously, run away.
The game contains many conventional weapons like the rocket launcher, and it also has a bunch of wacky guns like the chicken blaster. They’re all described below except for a couple secret weapons, which you’ll have to discover on your own.
Fireman’s Axe. You start the game with your trusty axe. In addition to splitting monsters in half, the axe helps you bust down doors and open crates.
9mm Pistol. A few shots might be effective against smaller enemies, but you’ll be emptying clips pretty fast against most of the baddies out there.
Shotgun. This is your standard double-barrel boom-stick, but modified to give you fast access to a lot more ammo.
Crossbow. There’s nothing like planting an arrow right between the eyes of an approaching monster. Ordinary arrows are pretty effective against those who aren’t already dead. Explosive-tipped arrows pack a greater punch for those enemies that require a little more damage to be done.
Spike Shooter. If you’ve ever wanted to jam a big rusty railroad spike into somebody’s eye, then this weapon is for you. This baby fires several spikes per second, and you can stand back far enough to avoid that irritating blood splatter.
Grenade Launcher. The grenade launcher lobs a package of deadly shrapnel towards your opponent. Grenades can be bounced around corners or tossed down dark stairways to clear out any monsters that might be waiting for a fresh meal.
Quantum Charger. This toy from the MGL Corporation generates ball lightning and fires it at high velocity. Anything near the path of these charged spheres of death will get a few gigawatts of electricity right in the gut. The secondary trigger lets you build up a larger lightning ball for greater effectiveness, but holding onto it for too long can be hazardous to your health.
Rocket Launcher. The always-reliable rocket launcher fires highly explosive projectiles and is very effective at barbecuing large numbers of enemies. I hope you’re not a vegetarian because tonight you’re eating steak, extra well-done of course.
Plasma Gun. Another experimental weapon designed for the military by MGL, the plasma gun rapidly fires searing balls of ionized gas. Nothing is more satisfying than watching your enemy melt into a pile of goo. The stench left behind, however, takes a little getting used to.
Proton Cannon. The proton cannon delivers maximum penetration by radiating your opponents with a heavy beam of protons moving at nearly the speed of light. This weapon can slice through just about anything, but the laws of physics prevent its prolonged use.
Cat Flinger. Turn all of those cats that the witches have into something useful with Uncle Bob’s Cat Flinger! Launch a few of the miserable fur balls into your enemy’s face and then blow him away while he’s busy trying to stop his eyes from being clawed out.
Hornet Gun. You guessed it, this gun shoots bees. Uncle Bob’s Multi-Purpose Hornet Gun will keep a group of lower-ranking monsters occupied while you handle some tougher foes. Uncle Bob’s Premium Can O’ Bees sold separately.
Chicken Blaster. Uncle Bob’s Jet-Powered Chicken Blaster turns harmless poultry into sizzling hot deadly projectiles and fires them into your enemy’s gut. It also cooks a yummy dinner.
Beer Cannon. What better way to lower your enemy’s faculties than to get him drunk with Uncle Bob’s Deluxe Beer Cannon! A couple of gallons of the pale ale down his gullet and he’s likely to just stagger off a cliff. Ammo is surprisingly plentiful, and a special additive makes it super fast-acting.
The single player game contains six levels. They are very large, and they all contain a ton of secrets. There are secret treasures, secret weapons, secret rooms, secret passageways, and maybe even an entire secret level! Some secrets are going to be easy to find, some are going to be a bit more difficult, and others are going to be downright challenging.
Level 1 — Rugged Hills. In the first level, you discover some old industrial installations left behind by workers from MGL Labs. What happened to these people is a mystery, but you’ll have to deal with a few of their reanimated corpses as well as some mutants living in a toxic waste dump.
Level 2 — Spider Nest. The second level takes place in a network of caves inhabited by some nasty eight-legged creatures. It looks like the MGL folks were getting ready to blow these things to smithereens, but they didn't quite finish the job before the spiders made meals out of them. After climbing out of the spider nest, you reach an MGL outpost that is now abandoned and filled with unfriendlies.
Level 3 — Underground Ruins. The MGL personnel dug into the mountainside and found a vast maze of ancient ruins buried beneath the earth. You’ll have to battle many of the forgotten souls left to rot in the dungeons of the deep.
Level 4 — Haunted Forest. You emerge from the ruins in a misty redwood forest inhabited by hundreds of crazy witches. Some of the wackiest enemies in the game and some of the best music in the game are found in this level.
Level 5 — Forgotten Cemetery. After a short walk through a spooky swamp, you find yourself at the entrance of an expansive cemetery. The unremembered dead don’t take kindly to intruders, so you won’t exactly be greeted by a welcoming committee with smiles on their faces. A giant mausoleum at the end leads to an ancient battle arena.
Level 6 — Temple Canyon. In the final level of the game, you reach the goal for episode one: the entrance to the MGL Labs industrial complex. But first, you have to battle your way through hordes of little green bastards in dark forests, ancient monuments, and rocky canyons. And the evil spirits guarding the path to your final destination are not going to make things easy.
We’ve put together a list of interesting rewards for your support. Here are some of the highlights.
At the Soldier level and higher, you’ll have early access to the multiplayer version of the game. You’ll be able to play on the internet against us and other backers as the game is developed, and you’ll be helping us create the smoothest online experience possible.
At the Witch level, you’ll receive a couple novelty items matching some things in the game. One is a bottle of Uncle Bob’s Mountain Cold Beer, and the other a Uncle Bob’s Premium Can O’ Bees, which is the ammo for the hornet gun.
At the Zombie level, your name will be etched into a gravestone somewhere in the game. That’s right, somewhere in one of the levels of the single player game, there will be a gravestone with your name on it. We’ll put a little picture of it in the credits to help you find it as you play through.
At the Grim Reaper level, in addition to getting all the goodies from the other rewards, you will get to choose a unique multiplayer name that no one else can use, and you’ll have access to special character customizations that only backers at this level can use.
There are three principal developers behind The 31st.
- The engineering is handled by Eric Lengyel, doctor of computer science, creator of the C4 Game Engine, author of the bestselling textbook Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics, and editor of the Game Engine Gems series. Eric Lengyel’s website
- The art director is Javier Moya, a very technically-oriented creative mind who has worked tirelessly to construct all of our levels and most of our characters as well as all the weapons, power-ups, buildings, and a huge number of other objects for the game. (The reward at the Pumpkinhead level includes a design book that showcases the creative process from concept to final production.) Javier Moya’s website
- The composer is Sean Beeson, a prolific creative professional who has brilliantly written a full score of original music for the game. (The reward at the Ghost level includes the complete soundtrack for The 31st.) Sean Beeson’s website
The funds we raise will primarily be used to cover the modest living expenses of our team members so that our kids don’t starve and we don’t have home foreclosures while we’re finishing this game.
We already have all of the hardware and software that we need (including PlayStation 4 devkits), but some funds could be used to upgrade to later versions or purchase new software that will make our jobs easier.
Some funds will be used to hire additional artists and sound specialists near the end of development to add polish. They’ll do things like improve texture maps, add details to the levels, and create acoustic ambiance.
Finally, we’ll bring in professional play testers to make sure the game is bug free, well balanced, and enjoyable for everyone!
Risks and challenges
When it comes to completing this project, the risks are minimal, and here’s why:
• The team is composed of professionals who have shipped games before, and we have already been working together for years. Each of us is invested in the project, and each of us is committed to finishing it. You’re not going to see important developers suddenly quitting and throwing the project into chaos like you see with a lot of other crowd-funded games.
• We’re using our own technology, the C4 Game Engine, which is extremely stable and thoroughly battle tested. We have no dependencies on third-party software that could cause unforeseen problems, and we don’t owe anyone licensing fees or royalties.
• The bulk of the work is already finished. The artwork is done, and the levels have all been built. The game already runs on Windows, Mac, and PlayStation 4. The game runs well today, and we’re not hiding any unsolved technical problems that commonly cause unpredictable delays on projects that are not as far along as ours.
• The multiplayer game has been part of our development efforts from the beginning, and it already works today. This is not something that we’ll be hastily bolting on to the single player game at the end. Multiplayer was planned all along, the game code was designed for it, and it was implemented properly at every stage.
• We don’t have any other obligations to do any other work. Finishing this game is our full-time job, and there’s nothing else to get in our way.
So what’s left to do? The big challenge for this project is to finish adding details to our levels, to program interesting A.I. for the characters in the game, and to make sure everything runs smoothly across a wide array of graphics chips. And, of course, it has to be done in time for Halloween! This really isn’t a lot, and we’re confident that the game will be ready on time if we get the funding we’re asking for.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)