The game centers around Rena, a heroic young girl whose magic bracelets allow her to create special grapple beams that let her swing across the landscape and toss bad guys around!
Unlike many other games you play in your browser, Grapple Force Rena isn't designed to be played in one sitting - the game will consist of at least 25 distinct "courses", each one its own page on the website. At least once every two weeks, a new course will go up, and you'll be able to freely jump between courses with "next" and "previous" buttons on the website - it's like a webcomic you can play!
Best of all, the game will be completely free! You'll be able to share Grapple Force Rena with your friends, who can play it right in their browser on nearly any device (even iOS and Android tablets and phones) thanks to the magic of Construct 2, powered by HTML5!
Pledge your support, and you can join the Grapple Force Club and gain access to the downloadable version! Play in full screen, save your rankings and high scores, and play the newest course early - and best of all, give Grapple Force Rena the support to become even better! If you only have $5 to give, though, that's all right - you'll still get credited as a backer, and get the downloadable game once it's finished.
But you don't have to wait to try the game yourself - you can play the first three courses on the website now!
As of July 31st, 2014, Rena reached its $7000 funding goal! Thanks to a wealth of generous backers (including one David James Turton, who funded over a third of the project singlehandedly), Rena has guaranteed its creation from start to finish, free for everyone to enjoy!
Having exceeded the goal by over $1000, and with the promise of a future donation by a lapsed high-level backer, Grapple Force Rena met three stretch goals, guaranteeing an Android version, 5 more courses for the complete game, and monthly wallpapers for Grapple Force Club members! Thank you all so much for your support!
With your support, I'll be able to devote the time and resources to promise that Grapple Force Rena updates frequently and reliably until it reaches its end. I've already spent months living off savings to develop the game full time, and your support will allow me to recoup the money spent on software licensing, keep up with web hosting costs, pay my collaborators, support myself while I make the game, and perhaps even bring the game to more platforms or bring in more talent.
Just because the game is going to be free to play in your browser doesn't mean that there's nothing to offer those willing to show their support! If you pledge $20 or more, not only will you get the backer credit, finished game, and soundtrack, you'll get lifetime enrollment in the exclusive Grapple Force Club!
The primary benefit of the Grapple Force Club is that you get access to the continually updated downloadable version of the game. While free users can only play the game in their browser on the Grapple Force Rena website, club members will be able to play the game full screen, run the game more smoothly on older hardware, save their high scores and rankings, and best of all, get early access to new courses when they're released. Other things may be given to Grapple Force Club members in the future as well, like exclusive wallpapers or other members-only material. But it doesn't stop there!
Pledge $30 or more and you'll also get the game's official soundtrack, courtesy of Nonplayable Records! The soundtrack will include all of the music in the game, as well as remixes and arrangements of the game's music. And since this is a serialized game, the music will be coming out in volumes - all of which you'll be able to enjoy without paying any extra!
Those who pledge $40 or more will get a full color 18" x 24" Grapple Force Rena poster! And there are even more rewards beyond this - you can become a part of the game, getting the opportunity to make a cameo, help design your own course, or even make a boss character!
Grapple Force Rena definitely shows its heritage in the 2D action platformers that inspired it, but it has a uniqueness all its own. The serial nature of the game's development and distribution is unusual, with particular advantages and disadvantages, and I hope that my journey through this strange way of delivering a long, narrative game like Grapple Force Rena will help me learn more about the format's unique advantages and challenges, and pave the way for similar projects from other creative game-making folks. I fully intend to write extensively about my experiences making this kind of game, as well as sharing various tips and tricks I've learned along the way.
I hope you'll join me on my journey to tell Rena's story from start to finish!
Risks and challenges
As you can see for yourself, the game is already underway, and you can play the first two courses right now. I've been very, very careful not to promise anything that I would be unable to deliver - the existing content should be proof enough that I have the skill, knowledge, and will to deliver a complete game.
Since this game is largely a solo project, the responsibility lays solely on me to complete it - if anything happens to me, such as a health emergency of some kind, it could forestall development of the game. I don't have any prior history of medical problems, however, so this is hopefully pretty unlikely.
My living situation is stable and relatively low cost - I'm sharing a condo with two others, and I don't own a vehicle, nor do I have any conditions or habits that require expensive upkeep, so I can live for a very long time off of relatively little money. The amount I have asked for takes this into account. That being said, if some kind of unprecedented expensive emergency occurs, I might have to take some time away from Grapple Force Rena to find other work, which may mean less frequent updates than promised.
Fortunately, these are both nightmare scenarios that don't have much chance of happening - if I receive the amount of funding that I've asked for, I'm very confident that I will be able to deliver a complete game within the time frame I've established - that is, at least 25 courses, with a course released every two weeks. While I'm going to do my very best to keep to my promised update schedule, which is generous enough to allow time to build a "buffer" of updates, I can't realistically promise that I will be able to deliver an update on time every single time, simply because I don't have complete control over all the variables involved - one of my collaborators might miss a deadline, or life could simply get in the way in one of innumerable ways. If this occurs, I hope you will still bear with me and follow along with Rena as the game keeps progressing until the end!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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