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Monsters. Calamities. Fun. Read more

Boston, MA Video Games
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Monsters. Calamities. Fun.

Boston, MA Video Games
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About this project

Update #4: An Interview With Bryn and Steve about Dreadline

Update #3: A Plea From Ghost

Update #2: Steven Shows the Level Building Process

Update #1: Bryn Explains the "Sketchy Renderer."

“Wolfman, The Mummy and a Ghost Walk Into A Bar. On The Titanic. And Start Killing Everyone.” - Kotaku

“Dreadline: a game about killing soon-to-be-dead people from ex-Irrational and Harmonix devs” - Joystiq

“I was just getting all cross about something entirely unrelated to games, and then games made everything better!” - Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“The concept sounds like it’s straddling the line between hilarious and horrible.” - Shacknews

“Who you gonna cull?” - The Indie Game Magazine

“I think we’ve got something to look forward to…” - Destructoid

“Imagine if Charles Schultz had made It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown after a particularly nasty mescaline trip…” - 1up

In 10 seconds, the RMS Titanic will hit an iceberg, killing over 2/3rds of the passengers... AND THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS!

Dreadline is a high intensity, single player*, action role playing/real time strategy mashup. You control an unlikely and eclectic group of monsters killing the doomed during historically-inspired catastrophes.**

* If we can raise enough money, we would love to add multiplayer!

** Dreadline will be DRM-Free.

Dreadline is the kind of game you make when you don't have to convince anybody other than yourself that it's going to be awesome. A kid with a sheet over his head and a kitchen knife who thinks he's a ghost? What if he wore a backpack filled with a harvest of human hearts? His best friends consist of mummies, monsters, and a magical flying cube with incredible powers? Dreadline is mysterious, curious, cute, violent, and strange. We're following our instincts, not a spec developed by a team of marketing experts.

The game revolves around our main character, Ghost. He's an 8 year old boy with a bit of a troubled past. He was saved by a group of misfit monsters who were given a time machine by a highly educated alien from the future. What could go wrong?

We started out with one goal in mind... to take the RTS/RPG gameplay that you love, and make it way faster paced and frantic. You start each level by picking a team of 3 monsters to accompany Ghost as he "visits" calamities throughout time. (It would be far less civilized to kill people who weren't going to die anyway, no?) Each playable monster will have a unique and crazy skill set. We have a cool new interface for controlling your monsters (codenamed "dreadlines!"), an insanely competitive leaderboard system for keeping stats so you can compete with friends, and an awesome new game engine that makes the game look unlike anything else out there.

We are industry vets, but please don't hold that against us! We've worked on  dozens of games over the years, from first person shooters, to ARPGs, to the biggest music games ever made. (Freedom Force, Bioshock, Titan Quest, Rock Band, etc.) What we haven't had the opportunity to do is make a game that is truly our own. Unfortunately, so many of the best ideas we ever heard were left on the cutting room floor of AAA developer's offices. Those flashes of inspiration should add up to more. We have both the expertise to build this game, and the vision and creativity to make sure we don't get lost along the way.

Dreadline is the kind of project that we've always dreamed of making.

We have been toiling in obscurity for the better part of a year, shaking off the residue from our old day jobs, finding the right project, and getting it ready to present to the world. Our hard work has paid off. The response to what tidbits of the game we've shown to people has been fantastic. We've laid the groundwork for building an incredible, one-of-a-kind game that we couldn't be more excited to build.

It took quite a bit longer for us to get to this point than we anticipated. As the project developed, our vision for what it could be grew and grew. What was originally going to be our quick-turnaround/low-risk/easy-breezy/genre game evolved into a completely original game that is far more exciting, but also far more challenging to build. Now that we're ready to really get down to building this thing, we're out of cash. We have enough of it up and running to know that it's going to be ridiculously fun, and we can't wait to finish it.

We're fortunate to have arrived here at the perfect time. Kickstarter has proven that there is an amazing audience of people ready to support projects like ours. 

Dreadline is currently slated to be an English-language, single-player, PC release that will be completed around August of 2013. The plan is to have 9 playable monsters and 7 calamities. We have estimated that it will cost us $167,000 (minus the take of Kickstarter, Amazon, and our prizes) to get Dreadline out the door. It's quite a bit less than what other game projects of this size have asked for since we've been self funding for over a year now.

But we would love to offer more. We want more monsters, more calamities, multiplayer monster fights, Mac port, iOS port, more languages, or anything else YOU may want. We don't want to put up a table of new features that could be rolled out yet, because we would first like to hear from people like you.

People are clamoring for more Dreadline cartoons! We are planning on building animated cinematics very much like our teaser trailer for the game. Even a short and sloppy animation like that takes a serious amount of work. More money would mean that we can make more, better, and more ridiculous cartoons. 

Eerie Canal is about creativity, independence, and innovation. We want to continue to make games that nobody else can.

We have built our entire game engine, entitled "shoe_gazer", from the ground up to make Dreadline. When we first started on the game, we weren't sure what we wanted it to look like. We just knew that we loved Steven's concept art, and after a while, decided that we should try to make our game look like his sketches. Having our own technology allows the game to look unlike anything else out there while also giving us the ability to add any of the ridiculous features we can dream up. Additionally, it supports all of the functionality you've come to love in other games (use of multiple cores, particle systems, cool physics, 2d/3d sounds, networking, etc.)

Risks and challenges

Video game development is a risky process fraught with peril. Just think of how many AAA titles with huge budgets end up getting canned. (Steven and Bryn should know, they worked on a project for a few years at Irrational Games that never saw the light of day.)

Dreadline has a number of things going for it that will keep it from becoming just another forgotten game.

1- All members of the team are game industry veterans. Bryn and Steven have been the lead programmer and lead artist on projects at Irrational Games, Harmonix, and Iron Lore Entertainment.

2- Dreadline has been under development for over a year. Although we have a lot of work left to do, the game engine is up and running, and the game is playable. (Just look at the footage from the video!)

Honestly, the main thing we are missing right now is funding. We have developed the title for as long as we could, and are now basically flat broke. Although we joked about it, we have actually put a very detailed plan/schedule into place and know exactly how much more money we need to finish Dreadline. That's what we're asking for.

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FAQ

  • YES! He is still one of the masterminds behind the game. Bryn returned to his day job at Harmonix because they're one of the best game developers out there. And also, just maybe, because he was out of money.

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  • We would love to bring DREADLINE to additional platforms. This is going to depend on a few things. If we exceed our shoestring budget on Kickstarter, we hope to have the financial and personnel resources to bring it to additional platforms. It's also possible that revenue from the finished game will allow us to bring it over to additional platforms in the future.

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  • Of course. We're pursuing the Kickstarter funding angle because we don't have any other options. Fly us out to your alpine château, beach house, or other desirable exotic locale, and we can discuss the possibilities of working together.

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  • We are not terrible people, and though there are people who will be offended by some of the content in the game (...but my grandmother's hunky paramour died on the Titanic!), we are not insensitive, and seek to keep things in the reasonably tasteful realm.

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  • Probably. We all do a lot of different things. That's what keeps us interesting.

    Last updated:
  • We're very interested in what it is that all of you are looking for from DREADLINE. Speak up! We're listening.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    $5 reward

    5 backers

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $10 reward

    336 backers

    A downloadable copy of the game, DREADLINE!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $25 reward

    159 backers

    A digital copy of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION. This edition includes the full game, with digital art book and soundtrack, and other extras!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    48 backers

    Special, Kickstarter only, in game outfits and accessories for your favorite monsters! See them as they have never been seen before! Plus, a digital copy of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $65 reward

    2 backers

    NEW REWARD! BY POPULAR DEMAND!
    Finally, an affordable DREADLINE for your shelf. Enjoy a real-life, mailable, losable/scratchable, DREADLINE DVD. It will have a lovely basic package, including some kind of entertaining insert, sticker, and good vibes.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $75 reward

    19 backers

    Enjoy your beautiful new DREADLINE T-shirt featuring your new favorite monsters, with a design exclusive to Kickstarter! This also gets you a download of DREADLINE:SPECIAL EDITION!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $100 reward

    12 backers

    The no-game bonus pack! Do you love Eerie Canal, but hate video games? This will get you the DREADLINE T shirt, EERIE CANAL T SHIRT, plus some buttons and stickers. We may insist on thanking you in our credits, but you'll never have to see them yourself.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $125 reward

    5 backers

    We will stuff a DREADLINE T, and EERIE CANAL T into a box with some buttons and stickers, and mail it all to you! Includes the download of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $150 reward

    5 backers

    Be one of the first to play DREADLINE in it's messy and un-glorious pre-alpha state. Gain access to our most forbidden knowledge, and help us right our wrongs. You will of course get a copy of the finished game, with your name in the team credits as well.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $225 reward

    5 backers Limited (67 left of 72)

    Stare into the dark as it stares back into you. A hand-pulled, limited-edition silkscreened poster featuring mayhem, monsters, and more. Signed by the EC team, and limited to 72 prints. Includes the download of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    7 backers Limited (293 left of 300)

    DREADLINE 2 Disk Box set. We will mail you a beautiful box set containing the full game, art booklet, and soundtrack. The box set will be signed by the team at Eerie Canal, and is limited to 300 pieces. There's a pretty good chance that it's going to come in Ghost's tiny red backpack.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $500 reward

    3 backers Limited (72 left of 75)

    A original pen and ink illustration created for the game. It could be anything from the hand-drawn texture of Ghost to the opening shots of the cinematic, to an elusive monster never seen in the final game. Don't fret, it'll be a good one!

    Includes a digital copy DREADLINE:SPECIAL EDITION, and a thank you in the credits!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $1,000 reward

    2 backers

    You will be murdered. Mr. Kimura will draw a picture of you getting killed by the monster of your choice. Send us your photo and address, and this terrible image will arrive in your mailbox. Includes a download of DREADLINE:SPECIAL EDITION, and a thank you in the credits!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $2,000 reward

    1 backer

    You will appear in DREADLINE! Send us a photo of yourself, and we will re-create you in game. That's the good news. Unfortunately, you will almost certainly die in the game over, and over again. Includes a download of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION, and your name in the Cast Members section of the credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $2,500 reward

    0 backers

    You founded Eerie Canal. We will perform a founding re-creation, but this time you will be there too. Mr. Bennett and Mr. Kimura met one boozy night at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA, and decided to start a game company. Come join us, pretend to be down from day one, and we will post a story about it on our blog. Mr. Kimura will draw your portrait on the spot, and we'll put it in the credits in the ultra-exclusive Pretend Founders section. This also incudes the T Shirt, Box Set, Tote, and other cool junk. Travel to Cambridge, MA required. 21+ only!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $5,000 reward

    0 backers

    Appear in one of the Dreadline animated cinematics! Have you ever wished that a clunkily animated likeness of yourself got it's head ripped off by a charming, if clumsy mummy? Some dreams do come true if you let them. We will also send you all the junk from below this tier. Drawing, shirt, game, signed junk, credits, in-game models... piles of Dreadline junk and/or memories to tuck away in your Hope Chest!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers

    This could be a serious calamity. Come to a team meeting, and tell us your amazing idea for a level of the game. It had better be amazing, because we intend on doing everything within reason to take your idea and make it work. Do you have an undeniably killer monster idea? Come convince us. In addition, you get all the previous awards. In extra-addition, you and a guest are invited to the Dreadline launch party. You basically worked for the company at that point anyway, so really how could we say no. You're responsible for travel to Cambridge, MA or Providence RI. We could settle for a video chat if you're unable to travel. Regardless, we will be handing over, or mailing you a ton of Dreadline/Eerie Canal junk including the T Shirt, Box Set, Stickers, Drawings, and whatever other detritus we can sweep off the factory floor.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers

    Big Timer? Big enough that you don't even want to deal with any of this? For $10k, you can ponder our small fates for a fleeting moment, change our lives, and disappear forever.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (28 days)