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Distress is a futuristic horror thriller where each decision you make could be your last.
Distress is a futuristic horror thriller where each decision you make could be your last.
Distress is a futuristic horror thriller where each decision you make could be your last.
284 backers pledged $4,788 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Distress, a sci-fi adventure game

$4,788

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A fading distress signal from a space station that’s gone silent. A metropolis filled with dark secrets, death lurking in every alleyway. Welcome to Nova 8. Step into the boots of Demetria Barton, one of the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunters, and lead her team to a mysterious city in search of answers and riches.

Distress is a branching visual novel for PC/Mac/Linux inspired by the likes of Silent Hill, Snatcher, and Mass Effect. Trapped in a city filled with deadly creatures and a ruthless militarized task force controlled by a shadowy administrator, you’ll have to use your wits and make tough decisions in order to survive. You’re responsible not just for your own life, but the lives of your crew as well. Make your choices. Live with the consequences. Good luck.

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Press

A piece by Offworld featuring Distress.

An Interview with Gameskinny about Distress.

A podcast interview with Indiehaven about Distress.

Features

  •  A 3 hour adventure with branching paths and 30 endings. Distress will be designed so that each playthrough will be radically different from any other.
  •  Difficult decisions that will alter the game’s path. Will you augment yourself in order to enhance your cybernetic abilities at the cost of shortening your lifespan? Sacrifice your medic to save your pilot? Prepare to be held accountable for your choices.
  •  Gorgeously illustrated artwork and cutscenes. 
  • An eerie, electric soundtrack. 

Meet The Crew

Demetria Barton (AKA You) is a war veteran and the captain of the Swiftsure.   Demetria and her crew take on only the strangest, most unusual cases: haywire androids, artifacts of mysterious origins, and everyone’s favorite failed science experiments. Nova 8 will be the most dangerous and challenging adventure she's undertaken yet, but her physical ferocity and keen survivor's instinct just might keep her and the rest of her crew alive. 

Barkley Pearce isn’t your usual big lug. Sure, he can beat a man to death with his pinky, but he’s more likely to crush you in a game of chess. His tactical mind has made him a worthy second-in-command for The Swiftsure.

Nyles Guerra is a tech genius with a penchant for mystery novels (unless you want an hour long lecture on genre conventions don’t ask him what he thinks of P.T. Bartworth's The Squids of Saturn). When he isn’t fixing up the crew’s weaponry or reading a novel, he can be found listening to the People’s Federation Radio in his bunk.

Sara Voxley makes a mean stir fry. Oh, and she can stick your lungs back into you when they fall out. A sassy multilinguist foodie who’s as capable of a gunslinger as she is a surgeon, Sara isn’t someone you want to be on the bad side of.

Jim Finn is a hick and proud of it, darn it. The pilot of the Swiftsure, Jim has gotten Demetria and her crew out of many a tight spot. Not much use with a weapon, but man, he sure can strum a sitar with the best of them. Whatever you do just don’t touch his craft beer without his permission.

Try The Game Out!

We've developed a playable prologue called Excavation that follows Demetria and her crew on the last job they take right before the events of Distress. This is a short 10 minute demo that showcases a rough version of what the game will play like and it contains no spoilers for Distress itself. The main game will feature more character portraits, animations, movies, and an updated user interface. Check the prologue out here for free (Safari and Chrome work best; Firefox has issues with the prototype). Content Warning: images of violence and some minor language are present in the prologue.

screen from prologue
screen from prologue
screen #2 from prologue
screen #2 from prologue
screen #3 from prologue
screen #3 from prologue

 About Us

Light Machine is comprised of three people:

Javy Gwaltney has written and designed several interactive fiction games including The Terror Aboard The Speedwell, which received high praise from Polygon and The New York Times. He also helped create You Were Made For Loneliness and The Right Side of Town. When he isn't playing games with the cat napping in his lap, he's writing about them for Playboy, Paste, Vice, Unwinnable, and other publications.

Ian Laser Higginbotham is an illustrator, animator, and comic maker. His past works include illustrations for companies like Vimeo, animations for companies like College Humor and comics for himself! In 2011 he won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. He loves dogs and video games. You can find his work here.

Erandi Huipe is a musician who has composed for various game projects such as Cavern, Arial Society and The Right Side of Town. He is fond of synths, drum breaks, and air conditioning.

The prototype for Distress was developed with Tyranobuilder. The full game will be developed with Ren'Py.

Budget

We need to replace faulty, aging equipment with reliable machines. This is where the majority of our funds will go. Anything left over afterward will be dedicated to paying bills during development or, in the happy case that the game hits its stretch goals, paying talented collaborators to help expand the game with downloadable content (DLC).

Stretch Goals

We’d love to develop some DLC for the game with extra funds and even do a whole new game if this Kickstarter is successful enough.

  • $8,000: We’ll create a single piece of DLC free to anyone who receives a copy from the Kickstarter campaign! 
  •  $12,000: We’ll create another piece of DLC free to anyone who receives a copy from the Kickstarter campaign! 
  •  $16,000: We’ll remake The Terror Aboard The Speedwell as a visual novel with original artwork and soundtrack for this version of the game. If we reach this goal, anyone who has received a copy of Distress will also receive a copy of the visual novel version of The Terror Aboard The Speedwell for free. Release window: Fall 2016.

Risks and challenges

The three of us are talented people who know their crafts and are dedicated to making this game a reality. We don't anticipate any obstacles we can't overcome but at the first sign of trouble, big or small, we will be open with our backers about any difficulty we encounter. Transparency and open lines of communication are two concepts we find to be invaluable and will be embracing through the creation of this game and after it has been released into the world.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    You’ll be subscribed to exclusive email updates from our team about the development of the game.

    You’ll also get a thank you email!

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    You'll receive a downloadable copy of the the prototype's soundtrack as well as previous rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 9 or more About US$ 9

    You'll receive a digital copy of Distress plus all previous tier rewards.

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    You'll receive an exclusive wallpaper in addition to previous tier rewards.

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    You'll receive the soundtrack for the full game as well as previous tier rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Pledge this much and you'll receive all previous rewards plus access to an archive of bimonthly developer podcasts where one of the team members talks about the progress they’re making in developing Distress.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    A digital artbook featuring sketches, illustrations, and commentary from the team.

    You'll receive all previous tier rewards as well.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Pledge this much and Javy will write a short story about you. You'll also receive previous tier rewards as well.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Pledge this much and Ian will draw a sketch of you. You'll also receive previous tier rewards as well.

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    We’ll work with you to design a monster to be featured into the game. You will be co-credited with its creation.
    You'll also receive all previous tier rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    We will use your likeness in the game for a character! You’ll be in our game!

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Funding period

- (30 days)