Occultus is an action platforming game with splashes of horror elements thrown into it. With an extremely small development team where all elements are being developed by just myself aside from the notable exception of the music, Occultus hopes to deliver a tightly designed, challenging and fun experience for players. You play as Vito Kresnik, a warrior who travels to a mountain fortress overrun with monsters upon hearing tales that a wicked Hungarian noble has allied himself with the Devil and started raising armies in his stronghold. The game is being developed using Unity, with a code base in C#.
Because this is mostly a one-man project and it is not overly ambitious in scale, costs can be kept extremely low which is why this project may seem to have an abnormally low funding goal. I have always felt that a good, well-designed game should be 100% focused on delivering a tight and consistent experience that doesn't overextend its reach, and I still believe that! Should the project be funded, you'll be able to follow the development here on Kickstarter through project updates as well as participate in the future kickstarter test builds intended to improve the game(if you backed within a tier that includes them).
- Traverse through 6 stages each with their own ghoulish environments and challenges. From dark forests to dank caverns, all the way to the keep of the fortress itself, each area has new foes and obstacles for the player to conquer.
- A classic experience inspired by many of the legendary, challenging games from the past. Players will have to plan their jumps and strikes carefully if they want to overcome the challenges that lie ahead. Rushing in without thought will not work for very long...
- No tricks and no gimmicks, just you and your wits. I'm dedicated to delivering as tightly designed of an experience as I possibly can with Occultus. Simple controls and mechanics will be a key staple of this game. Reinventing the wheel is not the goal here: I am simply trying to make the most fulfilling and enjoyable experience I can.
- Two difficulty modes with engaging differences. In normal mode, enemy placements aren't too difficult to figure out and you only get knocked back when hit while mid-air. However, hard mode is geared for those looking for more of a challenge. You will get knocked back regardless of when you were hit, and enemy placements are changed. What other changes could hard mode hold for you in the future? Who knows...
- Use a set of magical items that you can find throughout the stages to help you progress. While it is possible to clear each stage with nothing but the sword, smart use of items will make completing the stages much easier!
- An optional CRT shader that you can choose to get a different look out of the game.
There are three different backer tiers available for this project. Their rewards are listed below.
- This tier is for those who want to support the project but who might not be interested in getting the full game. You have my eternal gratitude either way!
- This tier gives you a copy of the game for Windows upon release of the game. Steam or DRM free, both will be options I am pursuing for all tiers that receive the game.
- This tier also gives you a copy of the game upon release, but as thanks for your support I'll also be putting your name in the credits for the game. This tier will also give you access to backer-specific test builds of the game should you want to participate in them.
- This tier is intended for those who want to support the project just a little bit more. You'll receive all the same rewards from the previous tier, but the section of the credits that your name will be in will be a little more special with more time in-game dedicated to it.
You can play an early test build of the game right now! This build is intended to give you a taste of what the finished game might be like. This is not intended to be a perfect display of what the final product will play like, so think of it more like a concept demo. Please read the included instruction pdf before launching!
Anyways if you're interested, the link below contains the build. It has the current iteration of the first two stages of the game.
- DOWNLOAD HERE!
- Windows only
- After playing, consider helping me with development and filling out this short test survey!
Also note that this build represents a software in development and will undoubtedly contain bugs and other issues. I've tried my best to make the build as stable and fun as possible, but I don't have access to a tremendous number of machines to test on and I certainly lack the resources to expand that right now, so there's no guarantee that this particular build will work nicely with your setup. The game however is quite lightweight and should work on most laptops and PCs from the limited testing I HAVE done.
IMPORTANT: Just as a final aside, there's a possibility that the download link might go down if there is an unexpectedly high amount of daily traffic through it. If that happens please be patient and I'll do what I can to find another solution. This is a new experiment for me so bear with me!
Music has been such an important part of the most memorable games from the past. Ask anyone about their favorite games from the 80's and 90's: from Super Mario Bros to Castlevania, some of the first things that pop into people's minds when thinking about these games are the amazing soundtracks that accompany them.
To that end, I've tried to find the best possible music that I could for Occultus. The soundtrack for the game is being done by the talented Super Marcato Bros, Karl and Will Brueggemann. Below are some sample pieces from the soundtrack.
You will be able to find more of their work as well as the soundtrack for Occultus eventually on their website.
Programming, Design, Art, and Sound: Max Austin
Occultus is the product of my childhood nostalgia and constant fascination with game design all coming to a point. Ever since I first started playing games I was interested in how they worked; why certain things were done the way that they were and what tools and skills were needed to make your own. I got my start "programming" when I was in middle school with Game Maker's scripting language. Now, I'm a senior student in computer science at Utah Valley University. Working on most of the game myself gives me a unique ability to control how things are presented, and I hope that this has resulted in me creating an enjoyable experience for you.
You might be asking at this point "Why Kickstarter?" for such a small-scale project like this one. I've chosen Kickstarter because I feel that it is the players that determine which projects ultimately end up succeeding and failing, and Kickstarter gives me a unique opportunity to connect with my potential playerbase and develop the game alongside and for them in a way that pretty much no other platform available will let me do.
Along the same lines, you might be asking "Why this specific sum of money?", as many other video game Kickstarter projects often have much loftier goals. What makes my project different in this regard is the team size and scale of the project itself as well as how far along in the project I was able to get to at this point on my own. Because this is mostly a one-man project, the cost of keeping the project going is not very high. With the music already being done, pretty much all the funding at this point will be going into finishing up art and sound assets, testing and debugging code(testing especially is a big one), and any other potential administration related fees related to ultimately launching the game itself.
Thank you so much for taking the time to take a look into my project. It means a lot that you've even bothered to read all the way down here. If you decide to back the game, I promise to do everything I can to ensure that I make Occultus the absolute best that it can be. Ultimately its the support of the players that determines which games get a chance to leave their mark. Thanks again for giving this one the chance to do it and I hope you'll join me in making this possible.
Also please consider sharing the project with anyone who might interested! This project will not succeed without people knowing about it, and it's my belief that word of mouth is the most powerful tool that connects people to the things they're interested in!
Credit for the wonderful font I've been using
- "Venice Classic" by soixantedeux
- Available here
Risks and challenges
Due to the nature of how far along in development this game is, the risks of getting this game out to people are primarily distribution related. The possibility of delays because of this are very real, as no doubt anyone experienced in video game software projects is already well aware of. Despite this, because the game is currently only slated for a PC release(though others are options I would like to pursue given the resources and opportunity), there are fortunately many potential alternate distribution vectors should Steam fail.
Other than distribution, there of course exists the possibility of unforeseen development issues that could hold the release back such as critical bugs that could be unearthed. However because of how much of my code base is near completion, I am not anticipating too much more on this front than I already have right now. Working primarily on one's own, for all its drawbacks, does have the benefit of eliminating the possibility of team issues which so often bog down indie game projects like this.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)