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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- 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.
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.
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).
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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