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.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Character Art: 65%
Ending Panels: 0%
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:
- Natalie Maletz - Artist, Writer, Co-Designer
- David Maletz - Story Concept, Programmer, Co-Designer
- Chase Bethea - Composer and Sound Designer
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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