About this project
In a strange, nocturnal world a moonman is summoned by an ancient mollusc. It sends him to the farthest corners of the land to search for fallen moon fragments -- that will power a great star-machine.
PAYPAL: Missed the KS? You can still support Moonman via Paypal/Humble by heading over to moonman.io. This option will be available for a short time after the Kickstarter ends.
THE KICKSTARTER IS A SUCCESS! We've had a massive month of Moonman and we just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone that was involved. It was amazing and humbling to see the whole community get behind this project, and we're really looking forward to making a great game. We'll be releasing regular updates over this coming year and so we'll see you in the comments section! :)
OST: The Moonman OST, composed by Aliceffekt, is now a backer reward. If you back the project at the alpha tier or above then you'll also receive the OST when it's released!
Check out these updates for more information about the game, lots of awesome fan art, and many moonhugs!
Moonman is a procedurally-generated adventure game! It is set on a nocturnal planet orbited by many different moons. Every new game generates a unique alien world, containing towns, forests, tombs, islands, and strange landscapes.
Your goal is to build a giant star-machine, using moon fragments that you find throughout the world. The fragments may have been hidden in caves or tombs, ingested by large creatures, or hoarded by reclusive creatures.
Moonman blends the short, rogue-like gameplay of games like Spelunky and Binding of Isaac, with the mining and crafting gameplay of Terraria. The game features:
- a strange green Moonman that smiles at .. well .. everything;
- a quest that will have you exploring alien landscapes;
- strange moons that influence the world;
- peculiar inhabitants to talk to;
- resources to collect, harvest, mine and trade;
- a fully destructible world;
- a plethora of items to wield, wear, throw, fire, and craft;
- monstrous and odd creatures to hit with things;
- ancient puzzle-rooms to unlock; and,
- a few jumping spiders, like these.
A Brief History
Moonman has been in development for over 2 years full-time (see my development log for the history). I have already designed and developed many parts of the game; however, to complete Moonman I need to fund one final year of development. Your support will help cover costs such as artwork, music, and additional programming. It will also enable me to focus 100% on making Moonman into something really amazing.
A Procedurally-Generated Adventure
Moonman is an adventure game with procedural elements. When you start a new game a unique world is generated, with populated towns, dark dungeons, exotic forests, quiet caves, submerged tombs, and crumbling castles.
The regions will contain NPCs, enemies, items, treasure, and most importantly, the moon fragments you use to build a star-machine. Moonman must quest into each of these main areas to find those fragments.
For example, the fire fragment is found in a volcanic region, the ghost fragment is found in the wastelands, and the pale fragment is buried somewhere in a forest. Here are some examples of the area types in the game.
Forests have with an eerie pervading silence and are watched over by Palus, the calm cerulean moon. The insects, worms and animals that live here are typically friendly and the area is rich in lumber and iron ore.
Here's a diagram showing the structure and major features of a forest. Check out this update for more details!
In the volcanic region lies cursed places like Ket Agre, where the lava moon Agre attracts demons like moths to a flame. You can find veins of firestone below the surface, used to craft flaming weapons. Lava flows around these regions.
High up in the mountains, the Stone Moon watches. The peaks are populated by lords and slaves, entrenched deep within stone fortresses. The hardest minerals and most skilled blacksmiths can be found here. Wings would come in handy, to help bound between the rocky outcrops and avoid plummeting to your death.
If you mine deep enough into the mountains you may find a rusted iron door. It leads to the dungeon Azkaez, where no moon shines. A burning torch or glow-bug is vital here, to keep the creeping darkness at bay.
Caches of gold and gems gleam through cracks in the walls and treasure lies forgotten in the tombs. Old forgotten traps are hidden here, and corpses rise when disturbed. Here's some in-game footage from a Dungeon area.
Mining and Digging
To survive the harsher regions you'll need to get better items and armour. You can buy these from merchants, or craft them directly from resources found in the world.
The world is fully destructible -- you can chop down trees, dig for treasure, and demolish castle walls. Some areas are only accessible through brute force or with special items, such as the blessed magical smash-hammer of de-friending.
Here's some in-game footage of Moonman hitting a tree with a shovel for some reason, and then finding a mask in a treasure chest.
Sticks, Swords, and Harsh Language
The world can be a tough place for a squishy green biped. You'll need weapons, armour and other items to survive, some of which you can craft yourself and others you'll need to trade for.
Weapons come in various types, including: melee, ranged, throwing, and magical. Special items can be used to do a range of tasks, such as creating magical blocks, carrying water, or unlocking doors. There will be the usual set of items (iron swords, crossbows, hammers), and rarer sets which are hidden in tombs or available to buy at a high price. Some games will have many rare items, and some may have none.
Armour and clothing can make you tougher to kill, can give you special powers, or will help mask your horrible green face. In the image below we see Moonman geared up as:
- Pig Champion -- Pig mask, jade shield, gold armour and iron sword.
- Crystal Knight -- Crystal armour, crystal helmet, royal shield, and pike.
- Enchanter -- Jade armour and holy staff.
- Bare bones -- Skeleton armour, skull mask, and jade great-hammer.
- Broom Owl -- Owl mask, iron armour, iron shield, and broom.
Creatures, Characters, and Combat
Many aggressive entities will get in your way while you are on your moon-quest -- they should be exterminated with a stern smile. They will often spawn in groups that share a common property: a flock of electric bats; a puff of poisonous spores; or a pack of friendly hell-beasts, for example. Here's a gameplay video showing a nest of spiders and their reaction to a fire staff.
The majority of the game has been built and most of the technical challenges have been overcome. The game engine supports many features such as fighting, mining, building, fire, and water. To finish Moonman I'll need to:
- further develop the AI, rendering, physics, world generation, and the combat system;
- create the art, including sprite animations, background artwork, and other graphical improvements;
- design the global structure of the game, including weapon and armour arcs, gameplay length, unlockables, and extra characters; and,
- do extensive testing through the Kickstarter-only alpha and public beta programs.
I have dedicated over 2 years full-time on Moonman. It is now at a stage where I can develop the story, characters, mechanics and world, and shape the game into a great experience. A solid year of development is needed to get it to where it should be and your support will allow that to happen. Your contribution will go towards:
- Additional Help: I will hire an artist to help me refine the look of the game, design and animate new creatures and sprites, and direct the overall look and feel of the game. Additional assets (such as sfx) may also need to be purchased.
- Operation Costs: These are costs that aren't directly related to development, and include workspace rent, exhibiting, web hosting, internet access, and marketing.
- Moonman: If I can cover my living costs I'll be able to focus all my energy on making Moonman into the game it should be.
Please read this update for information about stretch goals, and with that in mind here's a list of fun new things you can expect to see in Moonman if we meet certain targets above the initial funding. :)
Moonman invaded my dreams one night and I haven't been able to shake him. I have been making games and fun software for over 10 years and I love science and art. I received a PhD for messing around with procedural generation and I live with my wife and cat in Melbourne, Australia. She likes to sit in cardboard boxes (my cat I mean, not my wife).
Aliceffekt (music and OST) - @aliceffekt
Devine Lu Linvega originally started the Aliceffekt project to create soundscapes to complement his illustrations and games. He has since then produced a wide variety of tracks, ranging from IDM, noise, industrial, and ambient – as well as music for interactive installations.
I'm super excited to announce that he will be composing the full soundtrack for Moonman. His music also appears in the trailer, in a track called Cyclopaedia of Tlön.
Gio Lobato (additional music) - giolobato.com
Currently residing in NYC, Gio got his start making bleeps and bloops in his basement bedroom as an alternative to laying in bed wide awake all night. In Moonman's younger years, Gio composed some music for the game, but has since moved on to other things. You'll find some of his music hidden in the final game.
Some of the sprites that appear in Moonman were illustrated by Alex, an animator and pixel artist. He has worked on games such as Primal Carnage and Super Roman Conquest, and likes to beatbox and annoy Ben with Dark Souls trivia. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Food and sleep enthusiast. Reminds Ben to take a break every few hours by constantly meowing at him. Loves boxes.
The game: All backer tiers get a copy of the game. I'm aiming for a PC release in mid to late 2015, with an OSX and Linux release coming sometime afterwards. I would also love to publish the game to the major consoles and handhelds, however that depends critically on how much support Moonman can get.
New! OST: An official soundtrack for Moonman will be released for sale alongside the game. But because we love you: all backers at the alpha tiers and above will also receive a copy of the OST on release!
Alpha access: Backers of the kickstarter at the $20 tier and above will get a super special alpha preview version of Moonman, available well before the main release. You'll also get the OST! (see above)
Postcard: For the $40 tier I'll mail you a postcard all the way from my moon-base in Melbourne with a personal thank-you sketch on the back. The postcard will feature Moonman art (see below).
T-Shirts: Back the project at the limited edition $60 tier and get a sweet Moonman t-shirt. Choose between a few designs.
Tombstone: Back the project for $100 and your name will be inscribed on a tombstone, to appear randomly throughout the world. (Alternatively you can suggest a name, but in either case I may edit it to fit it into the lore of the world.) Please read this update to find out more about tombstones.
Creature Creator: Back the project at the $200 tier and get involved with the design of a creature to appear in the game. You supply a short description and I'll work to incorporate it into the lore and style of the game. The creature will be passively roaming the world, appearing occasionally in the region you choose.
NPC Designer: Back the project at the $500 tier and help design a mini-boss or important NPC. I'll work with you to bring your idea into Moonman's world. An "important NPC" is an interactive humanoid or creature who trades items, gives items, or provides information. A "mini-boss" is a larger-than-normal aggressive creature.
Patron: Any contributions over $1000 will get a special mention on the loading screen of Moonman (if you wish). You will appear at the top of the supporters section of the credits, and all of the previous rewards are available to you. I'll also buy you a coffee if you're ever in Melbourne and we can have a chat about games, science, or anything!
Moonman started as a small personal project but has now become something much bigger. I'd like to thank everyone who has helped along the way. Thanks to the great game developers at TIGSource forums for the last 3 years of great feedback. Thanks to my friends and family who reviewed this Kickstarter and gave me awesome suggestions. Thanks to my loving wife and family who have supported me through this. And finally thanks to you dear backer, for supporting independent game developers like me. [:D]
(Note that the F.A.Q. has been moved to the bottom of this page.)
Risks and challenges
I have devoted the last 3 years to working on Moonman and am confident that it will be ready for release within a year. I have developed a solid game engine, solved many of the technical challenges, and refined the art to its minimal and unique style. Over this time I have also received significant amounts of constructive feedback through my devlog, which has also motivated me to keep a steady pace of development.
With successful funding, the next step is to bring the game together into a coherent whole and refine it into a polished and fun experience. This is going to be a challenge but you can be assured that I'll work my hardest to bring Moonman and his strange world to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Moonman has mechanics similar to games such as Minecraft, Terraria, Starbound, and Crea. You can chop down trees, mine and smelt ore, craft weapons and armour, and build structures; however, like jumping and running and fighting, these are just the basic rules of the world. Moonman is really a single player exploration-focussed game set in a strange alien world, and in that sense it's more in line with games like Another World, Knytt Stories, or Proteus.
Moonman is a single player exploration game with mining and crafting mechanics like Minecraft. However, a big difference between Moonman and other games in the genre is that Moonman has a goal that is achievable within a short play time (between 30 minutes and an hour). You won't be spending hours mining and crafting things to get better loot, instead you'll be travelling quickly through the world, moving between the regions to collect all the moon fragments. You'll be able to adjust the size of the world (and hence the gameplay length) in the world creation screen.
I hope to structure the game more like Binding of Isaac and other modern rogue-likes, with aspects such as permadeath being optional. At its smallest a world will contain only seven small regions (swamp, forest, mountain, etc.) each with a moon fragment. At its longest a world may contain multiple regions for each type (dark forest, dead forest, forgotten history abundant tiny forest, etc.) including secret regions. It won't be clear where the moon fragments are, so you'll have to get information from NPCs to help locate them.
If you enjoy wandering around an alien world, crafting weapons from minerals, unlocking contraptions, and fighting hordes of monsters, then you'll probably enjoy Moonman. Moonman is heavily influenced by traditional and modern rogue-likes, however, I plan to take the procedural generation much further than what typically appears in games. I wrote my PhD on procedural generation and so I have some experience in the area, however it's definitely going to be a big challenge to harmonise all the elements to make a fun game.
Will there be NPCs that give you quests or the only quest is to find the moon fragments? Will any boss drop some special item or weapon instead of moon fragments?
I definitely plan on having some sub-questing in the world. For instance, you may need to build a bridge for a stranded NPC, who then reveals information about the location of a moon fragment. There will also be unique weapons which are found in hidden rooms, dropped by some creatures, or crafted by secret blacksmiths. A particular world may contain none or many of these things.
The game will be released for the PC on Steam and via a DRM-free method (such as direct download). It may also be released on other platforms such as Humble Store, Good Old Games, Itch.io, etc. Mac and Linux versions will follow shortly after. A console/handheld release is also a possibility, but will be considered at a later time.
NOTE: Kickstarter backers at the $10 tier and above will receive the game both on Steam and via a direct download.
NOTE: The Kickstarter-exclusive alpha will be distributed most likely via a direct download.
Currently Moonman can only be played with a keyboard and mouse. The mouse control is necessary because you need to click on doors, chests, and NPCs to activate them, as well as place stone blocks and other things. However, because the focus of the game isn’t on building, I think I’ll be able to figure something out with respect to controller support. For instance, the left stick could move moonman and the right stick could be used to target interactive objects nearby. So in short: it's quite possible!
There are a substantial list of stretch goals for Moonman. These include multiplayer support, permadeath/hardcore mode, modding, console targets, and generally a much bigger game. If we can get the funding close to the goal then I’ll elaborate more on what may be possible. But first, let’s get Moonman game funded!
There is a main quest and a few random sub-quests. There will also be some lore scattered around the world and the NPCs will give there opinion on the whole thing. By collecting the lore through multiple play-throughs the history of the planet will be revealed, as well as other secrets. It's quite likely there'll also be extra characters and modes to unlock.
The kickstarter-only alpha will be sent out in May or sooner. The public release of the game will be later this year.
Yes! Head over to http://moonman.io and you can support the project via Paypal/Humble. This will only be available for short time.
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