A Small Favor is a hand-drawn, 2D adventure that combines the gritty, futuristic adventure style of Full Throttle and Beneath a Steel Sky with the side scrolling sci-fi exploration of Another World (aka. Out Of This World). You play as an alien assassin (with a laser gun!) trying to escape the clutches of a dangerous gangster.
This new game is based on one of ClickShake’s most popular browser-based games (http://www.clickshakegames.com/games/small-favor/a-small-favor.php). Using the browser version as a starting point, we’re creating an expanded storyline, improved artwork and hours of new gameplay. The completed game will be released as a DRM-free download for PC and Mac, with plans for an iOS and Android release too (rewards are for PC/Mac only).
We wanted to give a big shout and thanks to Caulder Bradford for all his programming work on the original "A Small Favor" series!
The Story So Far...
For those who have violated the rules, life is bleak. With a "blind" security badge they only have one of two choices, eke out an existence in the dangerous wilds of the "Blindzone" or work for one of the many local gangsters that fester in the shadows of the Green Zone ghettos.
Employment in the under belly of society means becoming a "Favor Collector". An armed mercenary willing to do what the rest of society can't and operating outside of the ever watchful gaze of the Galactic Ministry of Regulation. Blackmail, theft, assassination - there is no deed too illegal for a "Favor Collector".
Our story follows one such collector working for Sirius Frost, an especially repugnant gangster who rules the southern slums. Heavily in favor debt, the nameless assassin grinds out an existence taking on whatever illegal activity is requested of him. In return Sirius grants him a hacked ID badge, allowing him to blend in with the rest of society instead of being banished to the "Blindzone" by the Galactic Ministry.
He dreams of once again living a normal life, but with an almost insurmountable debt load, collecting favors seems to be a permanent part of his future.
Until one day, when during a routine collection assignment he stumbles upon a downed space craft. Inside he finds a body with a high level ID badge and one small favor that, if completed, could wipe his debt clean and give him the new life he craves.
But as he soon finds out, a small favor can quickly become a big one.
WHAT IS THE GAMEPLAY LIKE?
PUZZLES Enforcing the illegal favor trade means solving problems for various citizens. By requesting a favor from you, they absorb a portion of your debt, enslaving them one favor at a time to your gangster employer. The favors you embark on will come in various forms, sometimes it will be as easy as finding a special item or fixing a situation, other times it will involve an assassination, simply wiping out the problem altogether.
Solving these will require a combination of traditional inventory quests and environment puzzles. They'll use wit and lateral thinking, without devolving into the usual "try this on everything" inventory pitfalls that haunt the adventure genre. Though the game is side scrolling we still want to maintain the atmosphere of a traditional adventure game. Therefore there will be no fast action events required to solve the puzzles, allowing you to play at your own pace and think about the solutions.
We want our puzzles to be fun and challenging, without being so difficult and obtuse that it halts the story. We want to keep the narrative flowing and the game play exciting!
EXPLORATION We want to give the player the chance to really explore the environment they inhabit. That means letting them go where they wish, entering people's homes, discovering secret areas and stories that lurk just below the surface. The main quest will be linear but we hope to provide enough side quests that the world will begin to feel open and real. We want our world to go beyond static backdrops and feel like a real community with many stories to tell.
LASERS! One element that we want to include that separates this game from more traditional adventures is the laser gun. Our hero will have a gun as a permanent inventory item, which you can use to solve puzzles, intimidate and coerce other characters and make life and death decisions.
THIS GAME WILL BE DISTRIBUTED DRM-FREE!
We have a variety of rewards, ranging from giving you the game to putting you in the game. Check them out! *All artwork is still in concept stage and is subject to change. We will allow backers to vote on final Tshirt design.
WHO IS CLICKSHAKE GAMES?
ClickShake Games is a two man, indie game studio straddling the border with offices in Ohio and Ontario, Canada. Formed in 2010 by Jay Ziebarth and Steve Castro, together we have created numerous 2D games including the full length adventure Ballads of Reemus, as well as Ugly Americans: Citizen Ugly for Comedy Central, The Visitor: Massacre at Camp Happy, Wentworth, Paradox Embrace and others. Our passion is creating imaginative worlds and colorful characters in outlandish situations.
MEET THE TEAM:
Jay a.k.a. "Zeebarf" is an internet cartoonist, award-winning game designer and former TV actor and writer. His work has not only been featured in books, calendars and greeting cards; it has also circled the globe in viral email forwards.
Jay also co-created the Gemini Award winning Canadian animated TV series "SONS OF BUTCHER". In addition to being the lead character designer and one of the head writers, he also starred in the series as the jive talking janitor "Doug Borksi". Sons of Butcher currently airs in 150 countries.
After two seasons, Sons of Butcher was cancelled and Jay has finally returned home to the internet, where he has redefined himself as a creator of Indie adventure games, creating the popular web games "The Several Journeys of Reemus", "A Small Favor" and "The Visitor" among others.
Steve a.k.a "EntropicOrder" has been creating Flash games since 2000 and is educated in computer programming. In 2001 he launched his hit game Rooftop Skater, which was featured on TechTV's Site of the Nite and landed him multiple game contracts for Sports Illustrated for Kids, including another successful extreme sports game Sik Trix BMX. He also created Buried Alive!, Shape Switcher and more.
In 2009, he designed and programmed Paradox Embrace alongside artist Zeebarf which lead to the eventual creation of ClickShake Games.
Steve is also our resident philosopher and parkour practitioner.
Sergiu is a music and sound composer for mobile and computer games, film and other visual media. Mixing orchestral tracks with electronica and ethnic elements, Sergiu is known for his powerful musical scores, ambient textures and edgy soundscapes.
Sergiu's past collaborations with ClickShake games include "The Visitor: Massacre at Camp Happy", "The Visitor Returns" and "Wentworth".
"A Small Favor" will mark ClickShake Games third commercial game. "The Ballads of Reemus", a traditional point and click adventure game, was our first and was released in January 2012. We've also just completed work on an upcoming iOS puzzle game for another company. Each of those projects were amazing learning experiences, both with managing milestones and budget. With the knowledge of those games we feel more than ready to take on this new project and can't wait to get rolling!
WHY DO WE NEED YOUR HELP?
Our past projects have been ultra low to no budget efforts, while this allowed us to have total creative freedom it also meant having to stop for months at a time to take on paying jobs.
Kickstarter will allow us to have our entire budget up front, which means a solid, distraction free work flow.
We’ve budgeted the entire project so we know exactly what we need and for how long, this alongside the ability to focus on just one project will allow us to create the best game possible in the shortest amount of time.
WHEN CAN WE PLAY IT?
We plan on launching it by October 2013.
With our last game, "The Ballads of Reemus" we created a visual production timeline and also released regular video production diaries to keep fans informed. We want to keep that level of connection as we move forward with this game. So expect lots of updates showing where we're currently at in the development process.
We'd also like to involve backers in the beta testing process. Your feedback will help us make a better game.
Our budget is devoted entirely to paying our living expenses and licensing music and sounds. We’ve made sure to include the kickstarter fee and reward costs into our budget, that way we don’t short change the production at all.
Bringing this game in on time and on budget is our number one priority. Having made two commercial games in the past, we know how easy it is to over commit and watch the deadlines dance away. So managing scope is very important to us, we want to deliver, on time, exactly what we promised.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?
If we exceed our goal we plan on expanding the game with extra side quests and exploring more stories involving minor characters. We believe we can do this in a way that won't require a lot of extra development time and resources. No matter what, we want to keep our focus on creating the game we originally promised in a reasonable time frame.
We support Kicking It Forward, and pledge to give 5% of our profits to other Kickstarter campaigns if we hit our goal.
Risks and challenges
Keeping a game on time and budget is easily the most challenging aspect of the entire process. The risk is always one aspect of the game will be much harder than anticipated to complete and as such requires more than the allotted time to finish. This usually starts a chain reaction and before you know it your deadline whizzes past you.
Having already tackled a full commercial game as well as a large scale iOS project, we feel we've gained enough experience to accurately predict how long each step of the process is going to take and have allocated the appropriate amount of time for each stage, complete with a contingency plan in case of any road blocks.
Creating a game with both adventure puzzles and a side scrolling element is also not without its challenges. It will require a new engine and knowing exactly how long it will take to build is always a bit of an unknown element. But having already created a dynamic side scrolling engine for "Paradox Embrace" and a robust adventure game puzzling engine for our plethora of adventure titles, we feel like we are starting with a strong foundation and a solid head start in the creation of our new engine.
Our past experience, coupled with our strong work ethic, we feel makes as more than ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
We've been making games non-stop since 2009, releasing around 10 games since then, including the full-length Ballads of Reemus, which we finished with less money (though had to take on side game projects to fund it as a result), so you can trust that we know what we're doing, that we very dedicated to finishing what we started, and we'll be right here working on this game if this gets funded.
We would love to, and are investigating if and how we can do that. Currently the Marmalade SDK does not officially support Linux so we are looking at other options such as HTML5 or Unity which work with it. As of right now, we cannot confirm support for Linux.
As a THANK YOU for being one of the first to back our project, we're offing a LIMITED amount of digital downloads of the game at the Early Bird price! You'll also get your name in the credits and exclusive access to our "BACKER ONLY" forum.
A digital download of our first commercial adventure game "The Ballads of Reemus" to play while you wait for us to finish this one.
Along with a digital download of the "A Small Favor" soundtrack by Sergiu Muresan and a PDF E-Book of all the concept and production art.
As well as all previous rewards tiers.
ALL DIGITAL REWARD--- Name an NPC character. Those characters milling in the background, going about their daily business. Help them step out of obscurity and bless them with a name of their own. Also includes all previous digital reward tiers.
*Name must be in good taste and not violate any copyrights.- THIS REWARD IS STAND ALONE AND IS NOT INCLUDED IN ANY OTHER REWARD TIER
ALL DIGITAL REWARD--- Name an NPC character AND give them a one sentence (140 characters MAX) line of dialogue. The character will say this line anytime the player talks to them. Also includes all previous digital reward tiers.
*Name & Dialogue must be in good taste and not violate any copyrights.- THIS REWARD IS STAND ALONE AND IS NOT INCLUDED IN ANY OTHER REWARD TIER
You've created your own item, character and mission. It's time to take on a starring role. We'll create an Easter Egg side quest making your character playable in-game.
As well as all previous reward tiers
*Any player created item, character or quest must be in good taste as determined by ClickShake games and not violate any existing copyrights.