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When a VR console feels more "real" than reality itself, Lilya must confront her own beliefs about the nature of existence.
When a VR console feels more "real" than reality itself, Lilya must confront her own beliefs about the nature of existence.
When a VR console feels more "real" than reality itself, Lilya must confront her own beliefs about the nature of existence.
194 backers pledged $6,248 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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</reality> - Visual Novel Game

$6,248

194

Late Backing!

Couldn’t get the reward you wanted? Or can’t use Kickstarter? There will be a late backing option in the future! Follow us on twitter, facebook, tumblr, or keep tabs on our website for the announcement (likely coming in January).


 

The best way to get a sense of what </reality> will be like is to try out the pre-alpha demo! The demo is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and includes chapter 1 (of 10 chapters total). You may leave us feedback on the demo here: demo feedback survey.

Greenlight

 

 

GOAL REACHED! $6,000 - Additional art and music

At this funding level, we will upgrade our art and music goals - we’ll be able to make more character poses/expressions, more CGs, more ending panels, more music tracks, and more sound effects.

$7,000 - Additional story routes

At this level, we will be able to add some major alternate story routes, making your choices even more impactful. This stretch goal includes additional art and CGs for those routes.

$8,000 - Partial voice acting

If we hit this goal, we will be able to hire voice actors to help bring the characters to life! 

Supernovas blaze in the night sky and major natural disasters are commonplace, but the gaming world is abuzz over a revolutionary virtual reality console. The Penta, developed by InterMense founder Jacob Lessard, promises a neural connection more “real” than reality itself. But what does it truly mean for something to be real?

When VR nerd Lilya Martel arrives at InterMense as a beta tester, she expects to spend the weekend battling her social anxiety in exchange for the opportunity to enter Vitalia, the flagship Penta simulation. But between the physical side-effects of the Penta, suspicious explanations from the developers, and the odd and unbelievably intelligent inhabitants of Vitalia, clearly all is not as it seems at InterMense. Ben Evers, another beta tester, claims that Vitalia is the world in which he belongs - permanently. When Ben’s life is threatened, Lilya sees that she has become involved in something much riskier and more eye-opening than she realized.

As Lilya, Ben, and Jacob’s fates intertwine, they must make some of the hardest decisions of their lives, and confront their own beliefs and perceptions of the nature of existence.

Screenshots from the pre-alpha demo
Screenshots from the pre-alpha demo

 

  • A Thought-Provoking Narrative - with several mind-bending twists and two perspective characters, the story is both philosophically ambitious and deeply personal - over 90,000 words.
  • Choices That Matter - a heavily branching story line makes the game re-playable. Your decisions have major consequences - ranging from shifting a character’s attitude, to placing them on a different story branch, to re-directing the outcome of the entire game.
  • Expressive Character Art and Visuals - 14 characters (each with various poses and expressions), 12+ background scenes, 17+ CGs/special illustrations, 15+ ending panels.
  • Character and Relationship-Building - rich character development, affected by your choices, and with opportunities for both romantic and non-romantic relationship-building. Romance is optional, and may be pursued from either Lilya or Jacob’s perspective.
Work-in-progress CG of Lilya and Ben.
Work-in-progress CG of Lilya and Ben.
  • Original Music and Sound Design - by the talented composer Chase Bethea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have been pouring an intense amount of time, effort, and passion into this game - building this world, developing these characters, and churning out all the assets. We are committed to putting funds of our own towards the development, as we feel that it's only right for us to contribute and invest in our own project before we ask for money from others. Funding for music/sound, writing, art, and programming is currently coming out of our own pockets. We’ll be honest - </reality> is going to be completed (eventually) whether or not we are funded. We are determined to share this story with the world.

However, by raising outside funding for the game, we will be able to commit more of our time towards </reality> (rather than towards other work that pays the bills). If we are funded, we will be able to put more time and money into all aspects of the game - including music, sound, writing, art, and programming. Together, we can build a better, more polished game in a shorter amount of time!

Here’s what the Kickstarter funds will go towards:

  • Writing/editing and Art creation take up the biggest chunks - these are the major elements of the game still left to create.
  • 15% will go towards Music and Sound Design.
  • 12% will go towards Programming.
  • Backer rewards, and Fees will take up approximately 10% each.
  • The 8% remaining will be our “safety net” in case of unexpected costs or setbacks.

 

We hope to complete development for </reality> in early 2017 and be ready for release by March. Based on our progress so far, we believe that these goals are very doable, especially if we are funded and can devote the majority of our time to the project.

Even if there are unexpected development delays (or if we make all of our stretch goals!), the latest we would push release would be summer of 2017.

Current Progress:

Writing: 95%
Editing: 25%
Character Art: 65%
Backgrounds: 50%
CGs: 40%
GUI: 60%
Ending Panels: 0%
Music/Sfx: 15%
Programming: 70%

 

To thank our backers for their generous support, we have some exciting rewards planned! In addition to the basic digital (DRM-free & Steam) copy of the game itself, we are also offering the original soundtrack and a digital artbook with behind-the-scenes content, early sketches, and illustrations not found anywhere else.

For mid-level rewards, we have a beta-tester tier (be a part of the development process and access the private developer forums!), a fun bundle of our three previous commercial games (Deity Quest, I Can't Escape: Darkness and ADventureLib), and the first physical goodie - a limited edition 11x17 print (of the character of your choice).

For those who desire even more tangible rewards, the game, soundtrack, and artbook will all be available in hard-copy. The game and soundtrack will come bundled in a hard DVD-size case, and the artbook will be hardcover. Physical reward tiers will also include Steam keys (if we are greenlit).

For those who want the physical goodies, but need something a little more special, we have some really unique upper tiers - the SPECIAL edition of the game will include bonus content and a special ending, while the “<PLUSHIE KUMORI />” tier and “<ULTIMATE TYPE="PHYSICAL" />” tier both feature a lovingly hand-crafted, soft and fluffy plushie of Kumori, the cat-like AI inhabitant of Vitalia.

For the ULTIMATE backer, who is exceptionally invested in helping us make this game a reality, the “<ULTIMATE TYPE="IN GAME" />” tier will allow you to work with us to put yourself (or a character of your choice) into the game itself, as another Beta Tester who tests the Penta alongside Lilya.

Hi! We’re Natalie and David, a husband-wife team that has been making games together since 2008. We met in college, where David studied Computer Science and Natalie dabbled in English and art, and somehow ended up with a degree in Philosophy. In 2012, we founded Fancy Fish Games, and began making games with contracted collaborators, including our highly talented composer Chase, who we have continued to work with ever since.

For the last four years, we have been creating and self-publishing our own type of quirky indie games - games that make players think, that are story-rich, and that inspire reflection. We have released all sorts of games - an RPG, two horror games, a point n’ click, two interactive stories, a puzzle/platformer, a strategy game and more.

 

Many of our games are available for free - if you are interested in trying them out, you can find them here: http://davidmaletz.newgrounds.com/.

We are still a relatively small, unknown studio, working hard to make games with impact and expand our audience. We are aware of the many challenges facing indie game developers, but we retain high hopes that through perseverance and by producing quality work, we will slowly be able to reach more and more people who are looking for thought-provoking games like ours.

The </reality> Team is comprised of:

 

Risks and challenges

From our many years of independent game development, we have learned how easy it is for game projects to fail. But we have also learned how to avoid the pitfalls that lead to project failure. We know how to take an idea from the concept stage to completion and release. We have all the skills we need to finish developing </reality> - and development has already come a long way. Given that this is a passion project for us, we cannot see any scenario in which the game will not be completed.

The biggest challenge for </reality> will be sticking to the project schedule. With other life and work commitments, setbacks are inevitable, and all too common in game development. However, we have set the schedule (see the project timeline section, above) realistically based on our progress so far, aiming for a release by March 2017. In the absolute worst case scenario, the timeline may be extended by up to four months, moving the latest possible release date into the summer of 2017. If this happens, we will be sure to keep everyone in the loop.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    <WALLPAPERS />

    A big thank you and a set of awesome wallpapers. We'll also put your name in the credits to show our eternal gratitude!

    All backers of $5 or more will have their name in credits (unless they prefer not to)

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    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    <GAME EARLY="SUPER" />

    Get the full game - both DRM Free and a Steam Key if we get greenlight. This is a SUPER limited early-bird special!

    Get it while it lasts!

    *The game will retail for $12 USD

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    <GAME EARLY="TRUE" />

    Get the full game - both DRM Free and a Steam Key if we get greenlight. This is a limited early-bird special!

    *The game will retail for $12 USD

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    <GAME />

    Get the full game - both DRM Free and a Steam Key if we get greenlight.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    <GAME SOUNDTRACK />

    Get the full game and the high quality digital soundtrack composed by Chase Bethea! You can listen to a few tracks from the game in the “Features” section of the Kickstarter page to get a sense of what the soundtrack will be like.

    Includes:
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    <GAME ARTBOOK EARLY="TRUE" />

    Get the full game and the digital artbook! The artbook contains early sketches, final art, and exclusive illustrations not released anywhere else, along with behind-the-scenes descriptions and stories from development. This is a limited early-bird special!

    Includes:
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    <GAME ARTBOOK />

    Get the full game and the digital artbook! The artbook contains early sketches, final art, and exclusive illustrations not released anywhere else, along with behind-the-scenes descriptions and stories from development.

    Includes:
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    <GAME DELUXE EARLY="TRUE" />

    The DELUXE edition of the game, including both the digital artbook and digital soundtrack! This is a limited early-bird special!

    Includes:
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    <GAME DELUXE />

    The DELUXE edition of the game, including both the digital artbook and digital soundtrack!

    Includes:
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    <GAME BETA />

    Get the game while it's still being developed, and access our private developer forums to give feedback and be an influential part of the development process!

    Includes:
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    <GAME BUNDLE />

    Curious about our past works? This tier includes the DELUXE edition of the game, plus all three of our previous commercial games - Deity Quest, ADventureLib and I Can't Escape: Darkness. Have fun playing our past games (which vary in theme/type, yet all have interesting quirks/stories) while you wait for </reality> to be complete! The bundle will include steam keys of ADventureLib, Deity Quest, I Can't Escape: Darkness and DRM-Free downloads of them.

    Includes:
    • ADventureLib, Deity Quest, I Can't Escape: Darkness
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    <GAME PRINT />

    The full game plus a limited edition 11x17 print of any character of your choice.

    Includes:
    • Limited Edition 11x17 Character Print
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    <GAME DELUXE DVD="TRUE" />

    A DVD in a hard case of the DELUXE edition of the game, for those who want a physical copy.

    Includes:
    • DVD copy of the game
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    <GAME SPECIAL />

    A SPECIAL edition of the game which includes bonus content and a special ending panel only released for Kickstarter backers of this tier or higher.

    Ending panels are story segments and images that make up the epilogue of the game. Which panels are shown depends on choices you made during the game. The special ending panel will add a little more to the epilogue about what happened to Lilya, Jacob and Ben.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive bonus content and special ending panel
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    <GAME SPECIAL DVD="TRUE" />

    A DVD in a hard case of the SPECIAL edition of the game, for those who want a physical copy with all of the bonus content.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive bonus content and special ending panel
    • DVD copy of the game
    • Limited Edition 11x17 Character Print
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    <PLUSHIE KUMORI />

    This is a *very* special extremely limited reward!

    A lovingly hand-crafted plushie of Kumori - the curious cat-like AI inhabitant of Vitalia. The plushie will be made by Natalie (a highly talented crafter) of super soft minky material, and is only available through this Kickstarter!

    Includes:
    • Handmade Kumori Plushie
    • Exclusive bonus content and special ending panel
    • DVD copy of the game
    • Limited Edition 11x17 Character Print
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    <ARTBOOK HARDCOVER />

    A signed, hardcover version of the artbook, for those who want to see all of the art and sketches printed in full color glory! The artbook contains early sketches, final art, and exclusive illustrations not released anywhere else, along with behind-the-scenes descriptions and stories from development. This is a very special, extremely limited edition reward!

    Includes:
    • Signed Hardcover Artbook
    • Exclusive bonus content and special ending panel
    • DVD copy of the game
    • Limited Edition 11x17 Character Print
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    <ULTIMATE TYPE="PHYSICAL" />

    The ULTIMATE reward for those who like physical goodies! Includes both the Kumori Plushie and the signed Hardcover Artbook. The plushie will be lovingly hand-crafted by Natalie (a highly talented crafter) of super soft minky material, and is only available through this Kickstarter!

    Includes:
    • Signed Hardcover Artbook
    • Handmade Kumori Plushie
    • Exclusive bonus content and special ending panel
    • DVD copy of the game
    • Limited Edition 11x17 Character Print
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    <ULTIMATE TYPE="IN GAME" />

    Want to be *literally* inside the game? This tier allows you to put your character into the game as one of the Beta Testers at InterMense who tests the Penta alongside Lilya. The character's appearance and personality will be decided by YOU, and your character will have a part the size of Max and Elias, including lots of dialogue and multiple expressions/poses.

    Beta Testers must be human, but if you would like to add a non-human character, we can discuss possibly adding the character as a Spirit AI (like Kumori). Please contact us to discuss what is feasible and whether your character could actually exist inside the </reality> universe.

    FUN FACT: The game was originally going to have five beta testers, but to save time, one of the testers was cut. This tier allows us to add the fifth beta tester back into the game!

    Includes:
    • Your character designed and put in game
    • Exclusive bonus content and special ending panel
    • Beta Access
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of the game (DRM-Free + Steam)
    • Digital Wallpapers
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Funding period

- (30 days)