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Story-driven post-apocalyptic video game set in Eastern Europe, 2026. Single-player 2D interactive novel deeply rooted in psychology
Story-driven post-apocalyptic video game set in Eastern Europe, 2026. Single-player 2D interactive novel deeply rooted in psychology
888 backers pledged £20,923 to help bring this project to life.

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Development status

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Backer of The Seed

There’s been a period of unplanned radio silence from our side and it time to include you all in the loop, as backers of our project. This period of silence is mainly due to development obstacles and issue which needed our attention. We’ve chosen to spend our ressources on dealing with them, rather than blogging about them.

It is safe to say that we’ve had our fair share of bad luck these past months.

Not in the form of technical difficulties and programming limitation, but rather in the form of private life mishaps, loss of data (due to break-in), and health issues. The list is long and it includes pretty much everyone in the team to some extend. We are a small team after all.

In result, and due to the significant prolonging of the development plan, our finances are now completely exhausted. However, we are not letting this stop us, as we are tirelessly and passionately engaged in the project and its completion.

What’s remaining for the game to be put on Steam is more or less down to trivial matters from this point. We have about 20% of remaining chapters left to be done, final edition of all chapters and final merging of all assets. And we will get there, undoubtely!

Testing the game optimization on iPad
Testing the game optimization on iPad

Now, we are currently looking into ways of having the remaining chapters done without a budget to assist in the process. This is a difficult process, while not entirely impossible with our background and network of creatives.

This game project has committed itself to portraying the strength of diversity and complex story progression - directed by YOUR choices! In other words, we have dedicated ourselves to making a bunch of content that you will never see in one playthrough.

But we are more concerned with getting it done *right* than we are getting it done *fast*, and we get the sense that most of you feel the same way.

When the time is right we are going to be launching on Steam for Greenlight.

We thank you for your patience and understanding, and for keeping such a positive karma about our project. Until next time, let’s enjoy some of these in-game scenery teasers from The Seed, Act 1.

Upcoming Updates are going to cover the psychology analysis (exclusive for the final release), depth of research and realism, desktop wallpapers, Steam/development achievements, and much more, so stay tuned.

Best regards
Misery Development Ltd.

Inventory system

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Dear backer

It's been a while since you heard from us, but we have our noses dug deep in work on this cool game. See below for more on dev. progression.

Inventory

It seems that there is a standard way of doing inventory GUI these days. A common video game inventory gives you an overview and easily accessible grid interaction. It allows you to get a hold on and activate the items as swiftly as possible. Effective? Yes. Immersive? This is where we decided to do something completely different.

For The Seed, MDT has approached the concept of survival game INVENTORY from a completely new and unique angle! Take a look and tell us what you think.

Click to watch on Youtube
Click to watch on Youtube

We took the standardized item grid and threw it out the window and burned it. We wanted to rebuild the whole concept of immersive video game inventory and came up with something that will go well hand in hand with our visual novel. Without further ado, we will now delve a bit deeper into the entire system and why it exists.

The inventory system of The Seed is designed around a backpack. A backpack that requires you to stick your hand in there and actually touch the items before they become available to you. This a creative mechanic to mimic real life interaction, where your vision is restricted to some extent, particularly since you can only recognize items after you've touched them. The more useless junk you put in there the harder it gets to locate your flashlight or knife when you need it most.

Notice the great variety in the soundscape as different items were pushed around. Did you notice how the rummaging sounds increased with the intensity of item examination? Did you notice how you need to actually grab an item to know what it is you're touching?

This idea actually came to our programmer, Damjan Cvetkov-Dimitrov, in a dream and he sold the idea to the dev crew instantly. Please leave a comment to let us know what you think of this - and most importantly - do note that you saw it here first!

Development progression

We took a serious beating in the form of progression obstacles, loss of data and exhausted funds. This is not a sobbing blog post, the important thing is that none of this is something that we can’t handle. We are going to overcome the difficulties and unforeseen events. The release of the game is somewhat delayed, but we are making progress and there is no stopping us.

In fact some aspect, unaffected by obstacles, have been delicately expanded upon. As an example the psychological analysis of all your choices will be dynamic and available all throughout. What you end up with after a full playthrough is something much more interesting than what we actually presented during the Kickstarter pitch.

Other areas such as visual dynamics and sound are going to be fleshed out and expanded upon as well. Estimated release of Act 1 is still 2015 and we are as motivated as ever to shape up the game.

Thanks again for all the support and encouragement. The karma surrounding our project really makes it worth the effort!

Cheers to all
Misery Development Ltd.

Black Market Playing Cards

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Nicolai (founder of MDT) JUST launched a deck project here on Kickstarter that took delicate inspiration from his love for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro 2033 universe.
Here's your chance to jump in and show him your support!

Click HERE or any of the images to visit the project.

 

Best regards
The Seed team

Author interview #2

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What goes on behind the curtains?

As we are progressing with the Act 1 plotlines we thought you might enjoy a mini interview of one of our main authors. At the same time, this is a great way for us be very outspoken and share some light on the persona of our development team. We are continuing this mini interview series with John Harper, who is a science fiction novelist from Wellington New Zealand and the author of the Elite:Dangerous novel 'Elite:And Here The Wheel', published in May 2014 by Fantastic Books Publishing. 

John has written endless pieces of original and fan fiction, most of the action revolving around his first original hero 'Jack Hamilton', Awesome Ass Kicking Extraordinaire and Pontiac driver.

What got you interested in The Seed Project?

John: I often look Kickstarter over for interesting projects and his is how I found The Seed. The visceral nature of the pictures on the kickstarter page were an immediate hook and I thought 'man I really want to write about those scenes'. As I read I learned that this was project was a combination of visceral pictures and a novel, pretty much a perfect match for me.

What is so appealing about the post-apocolypse theme and setting?

John: I've always loved the post apocalyptic genre, my favourite movie of it probably Quiet Earth, a New Zealand film. I think its strength lies in the juxtaposition of the familiar (the world we know) in an unfamiliar condition (post-armageddon). This juxtaposition really drives a thirst to answer the questions that arise from this. How did it get this way? How do other areas look? Who lives in this world? How do they survive? Alongside this is a loneliness. Even in PA's that have a group (like The Walking Dead) there is still a sense of being alone, having no one to depend on. Its you against the world, everything stripped back and trying to kill you.

What would you say defines the core audience of The Seed?

John: Anyone who already has a love for the PA genre will love The Seed, but it has a very novel game mechanic, and those of my age who read 'choose your own adventure' books will see the similarities and be drawn in.

Could you mention a tough moral choice that you've faced in your own life?

John: I had a mate who was writing an English assignment on my computer. I was vaguely aware he was using my own assignment as an example. He was found out and I was pulled aside and asked if I knew about it. I said no so I wouldn't lose any points. #FriendFail.

Any quirky writing habits?

John: Not really. I used to always listen to electronic music. Now I'm normally on the bedroom couch, writing with one side of my mind while talking to my wife with the other. We brought a desk specifically for me to write on but I've never really used it.

Is humor an obligatory aspect to be featured in any good novel?

John: I think light hearted moments are an absolute must. Regardless of how dark a piece of fiction may be it needs to have ups and downs, light moment and dark moments to give readers that 'emotional break' if it stays too dark for too long, then like a stereo on full volume your brain adjusts and it loses its effectiveness. A dark moment immediately after a lighter moment is VERY effective. Do you remember near the end of Jaws. The three guys are on the boat, having a bit of a laugh. Everything is peachy then the shark appears and bits an arm off. Tell me that didn't get you out of your seat! But to bring this back to the question, humour isn't obligatory, but its the easiest and most effective way of getting that obligatory 'light hearted' moment.

In no particular order, name three of your favorite movies

John: Empire Strikes Back, because Han Solo is awesome. Raiders of the Lost Ark, because Indiana Jones. That truck chase scene. Wow. Back to the Future, I had the whole script memorised, and drove my parents bonkers proving it.

Do you believe in fate or coincidence?

John: Not really. I believe in 'Luck' but I define luck as 'Being in the right place at the right time and having done the work previously to be able to take advantage of being in the right place at the right time'. A good example is my official tie-in novel for Elite:Dangerous. I was in the right place and the right time but If I hadn't been training as a writer previously then that opportunity would have been lost.

Are you a spiritual man?

John: Yes, I'm a Christian, but I'm a pretty piss-poor one. I'm on the right side of the ledger though. I hope.

The Seed has multiple possible endings. What sort of impact does this have on your normal approach to writing?

John: It does make it very interesting, with a good and bad side. The part I love about is it that a choice leads the player down Path A or Path B, but the 'scene' these decisions play out in can be similar, so I really enjoy giving the player tidbits here and there so if they play both decisions they can see the similarities and (hopefully) get a wry smile from it, but still play a completely different experience. 

The bad side is trying to keep my mind straight. I'm writing about similar locations, but am I writing about when he did THIS or when he did THAT? Have I already done THIS or should I change it so he does THAT? Fun and games.

What other projects are you currently working on?

John: My Elite:Dangerous novel 'And Here The Wheel' is due out in a few months as an Audiobook (pre-ordering available at my Publisher's website. Besides from helping my publisher with that I am working on a space real time strategy called 'Shallow Space', designing the worlds and backstory from the ground up. I'm also writing various bits of tie-in short fiction. We are currently crowdfunding to finish this game at indiegogo and we'd love to see you over there. I also have a completed draft of a novel and when I get a free moment I'll be running this past my publisher.

What are the pros and cons of writing for a video game vs a standard novel?

John: A novel is a massive investment of time and energy. I put a year of my life into 'And Here The Wheel' (with breaks) and then once you are done the Publisher has their turn, and then you wait for the royalty check. I received my first royalty payments in January 2015 and I started writing in January 2013. Although there are side tasks, like marketing,covers, etc, the bulk of the work is in the writing. A video game has the same investment but its different. The writing makes up only one aspect of the project rather than the WHOLE project. 

For The Seed in particular the work is broken up into easy chunks. I can complete a chapter, hand it in, tick it off and move onto the next and get a sense of accomplishing something, which spurs you on to the next chapter. In a video game I'm working in someone else's world and I have to work within those structures. A tie-in novel is the same to a degree.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Vincent Cenni (backer): Hi Team Seed, It is always interesting to hear from those creating source material to get a perspective on what influences their writing style and how their in-story world view is developed. A question I would have liked to ask is, and of course taking into account that this was just a small sample, was Glen or any of the other primary writers surprised by the average choices made and the reaction to them? Also, will the Beta tester reaction affect the types of survival choices they envision going forward? I like the fact that they have given no easy moral feel good choice, but instead have created scenarios that require tough options in which you may not always feel good even if you believe you made the correct choice for your individual survival. Thanks, Vince

The Seed team:
Thank you for the interest. To answer your question directly we can say that our main authors are writing the choices and coming up with interesting ideas for their consequences. We give our authors this freedom because they have the talent to design the story and plotlines in unique ways. Even in Act 1 you are going to see the result of great authors sparring with the project lead and management (MDT).

BETA testers and your reactions/feedback is very valuable to us. We digest everything that is sent to us and valuate our options on how to improve not only the player choices ingame, but the game in general.

Author interview

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What goes on behind the curtains?
How do the authors feel about the game and the writing process?

As we are progressing with the Act 1 plotlines we thought you might enjoy a mini interview of one of our main authors. At the same time, this is a great way for us be very outspoken and share some light on the persona of our development team.

We are starting this mini interview series with Glen Johnson, who is a forty-one year old English author. His bestselling apocalyptic series, The Sixth Extinction has reached #1 in America and England on Amazon, and reached the top ten in another eleven countries, as well as on iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

You are a productive post-apocalyptic author. How do you keep yourself inspired?

Glen: Honestly, I like to be able to eat! Just joking, although, in a sense, it’s the truth. I only have two sources of income. Firstly, from my own writing; I have self-published thirty-three of my books through an on-line publisher I own called Sinuous Mind Books. Secondly, through another on-line publisher I own called Red Skull Publishing, I have published another forty-two modern-classic books. Both are on Facebook if you want to check them out.

Any quirky writing habits?

Glen: None whatsoever. I hear people like to listen to a particular kind of music, or have certain scented candles, or sit by running water. To be honest I can write anywhere. For the last seven months, I have been backpacking around Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, and I am about to head to Cambodia, and in that time, regardless of where I am – in a hut on an island, or a guesthouse above a noisy bar, or a hotel in China Town – I have managed to write and publish ten books of my own, and edit, format, create the covers for, and publish another eleven modern classics.

What is so appealing about the post-apocalyptic theme and setting?

Glen: I like the fact that the human race is so resilient. That given a world ending situation, we can pick up the pieces and continue surviving. It brings out the best and the worst in people, and I like creating a mixture of both in my writing style. I also like the fact it is a completely unknown area; it has never happened, so it’s all speculations on our part, and the fact that in every scenario, regardless of how bad the world gets, there are always humans around to perpetuate the race. Forget cockroaches, humans just never die off.
 

What got you interested in The Seed project?

Glen: It is unique – a new format – a novel based computer game. As a child, I like the paperbacks where you determined where the story led. Kind of, turn to page 121 to fight the dragon, or page 56 to scuttle into the woods. I have fond memories of roll-playing books, and The Seed is the evolutionary equivalent for the next generation of roll-players, and I am excited to be part of it.

Which writers inspire you?

Glen: Cormac McCarthy and Alden Bell. The Road by Cormac McCarthy was an inspiration. Then a few weeks later I read The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell and within a few days, I sat down and started my own mixture of the two: The Sixth Extinction Series, which is now on its seventeenth book. Up until that Eureka moment, I was writing mainly horror, with some fantasy and Sci-Fi (even some erotica). Even though I enjoyed my style, I was ready for a change, and I liked the idea of a post-apocalyptic world, and the suffering and struggle that came along with it, but also the extra fact of tossing in another problem – zombies! However, unlike the slow lumbering, brain eating undead of most in the genre; I went for a completely new twist and delivery system, and gave it an ancient historical background. You’ll just have to read them to find out what I’m talking about.

What motivates you to write dark and gritty fiction? Doesn't it influence your mood in a negative way?

Glen: It just seems my best style of writing. I like the way it affects the reader. I like to provoke a reader into feeling something. If you read a book and simply put it down and carry on, it hasn’t done the job of making you react. When I get 5 star reviews about The Sixth Extinction on Amazon like: “One of the best of its genre.” Or, for Lamb Chops & Chainsaws: “Curiously written, leaving the reader to ponder on the horror for hours to come. Phenomenal!” Then it’s all worth while. However, writing such disturbing things doesn’t affect me on a personal level. I don’t wear all black, and dye my hair raven, or paint my nails and sulk in dark corners, afraid of the sun, my writing is just an expression – an art form – and everyone who meets me has no idea what I do for a living – I’m quiet a happy fella.

Is humor an obligatory aspect to be featured in any good novel?

Glen: Of course, everything needs a lighter side, depending on the storyline, sometimes it has to be very subtle. Everything can’t be all doom and gloom; you want the readers to come back, not hang themselves. I have three books out, called, Lamb Chops & Chainsaws, Lobsters & Landmine, and French Fries & Flamethrowers, and each book has nine short horror stories, but each story has a subtly funny, ironic – tongue-in-cheek – twist.

Do you believe in fate or coincidence?

Glen: I’m a strong believer in Karma – you get back (in one sense or another) what you put into this world. One of my favourite sayings is: Everything Happens for a Reason. Mainly because of all the things that have ever happened to me, along the way I can always look back and think, ah, so that’s why that happened.
 

Are you a spiritual man?

Glen: I have dabbled with a few religions in my life; none have worked out. I believe we all need something to look up to, so we don’t feel alone in the universe, whether that’s a God or a cause, it’s up to the individual to choose what works best for them. I’d like to think that when we die, a switch isn’t flicked off, that there’s more to this existence than a few years meandering around on this spinning ball or dirt, but I suppose I will have to wait until I snuff it to find out what that is.

The Seed has multiple possible endings. What sort of impact does this have on your normal approach to writing?

Glen: I like it. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing for the game. It changes the whole approach when I set out to write a chapter. Of course, it also makes it more difficult, because there are more variables to consider. I always have to juggle ten things at once – nothings linear – everything has multiple outcomes. Of course, also remembering everything can give me a bit of a headache.
 

How do you feel about working in a team as opposed to writing as a solo author?

Glen: I have to consider everyone else’s style – we have to make a coherent story, which simply wouldn’t work if you could tell two, three, or four different writers contributed, so everything has to gel. There are certain ticks, references, and subtleties that need to stay fixed throughout. It would be no good, say, if we couldn’t even agree on what colour hair the main character has!

Do you feel there is a certain symbolism or something a bit more in the title of the game "The Seed"?

Glen: It brings to mind something that can spread, continue to grow – forever changing. Something deep down, an unconscious part of us, reacts to particular words. The word 'seed' is something, when mixed with a dark subtext, provokes a primordial stirring.