City + Theme
The protagonist of HomeMake has always been the city. The game began by trying to represent a continuously changing city that adapts and morphs to each unique user. The design of the city has been in our minds since we were children; a city that is fantastical with a cyberpunk edge. We want it be as sublime as possible, mixing nostalgic suburban landscapes with futuristic urban boroughs.
The city is situated on an inverted sphere, providing an endless playing field without the traditional environmental tropes that stall one’s exploration. Traditional mapping is impossible as the city is always reforming, the only way to unlock the secrets of the city is start an adventure and explore.
City + Location
Cities change every day. In HomeMake the environment will constantly change at an unnoticeable rate. The concept of progression works on multiple scales. The overall scope of the game is one of progression, as the player evolves their understanding of the world and narrative, the city morphs and adapts, creating an ever changing cityscape. The totality of the system is never fully understood as a constant state of progression is maintained.The game will be set in Galaxy SEED (Stellar Earth Evolution Designer) Sumimoto. The main character lives on the inside of Sumimoto in the suburbs of the city sprawled around the inner surface. An inverted planet, the player travels along the interior surface of the sphere, providing a continuous playing field with no obvious boundaries.
The existence of the urban fabric as an inverted planet creates a variety of unique moments. Although the city development and types of spaces vary widely throughout, the constant factor acting on all structures is the gravity. Radiating from the center, buildings must thrust inward. Available air volume decreases as buildings grow. Negotiations and tensions arise and create architectural problems as buildings begin to bump into each other. The nature of the street, and the views of the city above are in constant dialogue with the battle happening between buildings as they clash in the sky.
The complexity of the views coupled with the sublime understanding of motion and relativity caused by the centralized gravity results in challenging platforming elements as players travel across the city hunting new goals.
City + Identity
Our desires to explore such a city lead to the mind transfer game mechanic. We wanted to understand what it felt like to inhabit our city but not just from our own point of view. Every resident of a city has a unique take on the environment, with their own personal biases and experiences coloring their understanding, a wholly unique version of the same city lives inside everyone’s heads. In exploring our city, we often found ourselves changing our characters attributes to gain a different perspective of our city through a new method of interaction. We want our game to explore these subjective understandings of space and how they related to the individual character.
As a result, Sumimoto is littered with multiple avatars, each with distinctive abilities, desires and biases. This causes multiple body swaps as one traverses the shifting cityscape. This piqued our imagination as we began to speculate on the possibility of multiple perspectives; our city is experienced a lot differently between different avatars. Playing as either a robot, a plant, or a hippo, not only will the city change to match your characters unique abilities, but perceptually the city will be represented in a new way, reflecting each character’s take on the environment.
City + Desire
Gameplay revolves around perceptual based puzzles that require body swapping to unlock the secrets of the city. Different bodies provide different platforming advantages. Some run faster. Some see sound. Some talk smooth. The changing urban fabric encourages the player to swap bodies in order to address the immediate landscape around them.
Regarding to the platforming elements, the constant changing of the city creates an ever expanding series of challenges that arise as geometry shifts and varies. It is at the player’s own discretion that they determine the best character and exploration technique required to advance through the city.
City + SoundOur music making experience is rooted in DJing. We want to add this experience of nonstop DJ mixing to the game, providing a continuous soundtrack to compliment the endless environment. As indicated by our opting for an essential mixtape, there will be no set OST for the game, instead different musical parts will blend into an endless tapestry based on environment and gameplay. The musical pieces move through genre from blues to jazz to funk to hip-hop to glitch, creating a hybrid sense of nostalgia and future.
Franklin Cosgrove (Cory) + Archgame (Matt) are architecture students by day and video game designers by night. The city in our game has been building in our minds since we were children in the Midwest, where vast urban fields are still fantasy. Franklin Cosgrove is a comic aficionado and animator, likely found at your local comic book shop every Wednesday. Archgame is a computer programmer and DJ, still preferring analog vinyl control when mixing his music digitally.
As architecture students, our two man team has extensive experience designing environments and 3D modeling.Our architecture has always been influenced by our experience in the digital environments of video games, now we’d like to reverse this and create a video game that draws on our experience as architects.
Kigi is our main robot. Gameplay wise, although he can’t jump very high, he can run fast, see sound, and shoot light. An excellent skill to have when trying to navigate those congested city streets or when you’re in some trouble with the local bullies. He hasn’t always been so functional, however, and your first objective in HomeMake is to sneak out of the house, find all Kigi’s missing parts and piece him together.
Allow us to introduce Sandwiches the fox. That's right. Sandwiches. Unlike Kigi, Sandwiches, is our most recent addition to the HomeMake cast. The idea came to us when thinking about a character who had to somehow navigate the city using a different sense other than vision. Unfortunately for poor Sandwiches, he is completely color blind, unable to enjoy the poly chromatic city around him. He doesn't seem to mind though as he has a keen sense of smell and a quick pace to make up for it.
Check updates for more character bios!
Check out some of these interviews and articles about HomeMake!
"A Gorgeous Disorienting Videogame Designed by Architects" - WIRED
"Harvard Architecture Students turn Tokyo into Brain-Melting Digital Playground" - KILLSCREEN
"What would happen if a builder’s brain exploded?" - ROCK, PAPER, SHOTGUN
"HomeMake features a clean, stunning art style, creative level design, and a unique concept that takes a metaphor for city architecture and lets us frolic in it." - CLIQIST
"HomeMake is as much a spiritual exploration as it is a physical one" - INDIESTATIK
"In a world of brown and grey shooters and sword-swingers, bright and beautiful games like Homemake are a breath of fresh air" - GAMESINASIA
"A constantly-changing city that’s as much of a protagonist as the character you’re playing." - THE BIT PULSE
"The game looks absolutely stunning." - FIST FULL OF POTIONS
"The first thing of the game that attracts me is it’s aesthetics and the idea of the hollow world" - PIXELFLOOD
"complexity of the views coupled with the sublime understanding of motion and relativity" - WARPDOOR
- 20% Hardware
- 60% Software (three dimension animated games are expensive)
- 10% Rewards
- 10% Fees
Many of you have inquired about stretch goals, platforms/consoles and how our Kickstarter success will impact the game's design and distribution. We are more excited than ever about HomeMake's design and encourage everyone to continue sharing this project with as many people as possible.
We disagree with the idea that there's direct correlation between quality and scope in a project like this. Our original funding goal was the bare minimum and maximum we needed to complete the game as we originally designed it. Recently we've seen a lot of games go beyond their original scope and end up spreading themselves too thin. We have no desire to make the same mistake.
However, platform/console development does require additional resources outside of the game's original design. The more money we have, the better we can invest ourselves into working on HomeMake unencumbered and release the game to as many platforms/consoles as possible. We are artists first and foremost, so for us it is more important to get HomeMake into as many people's hands as possible over financial success. Currently we hope to release HomeMake on PS3, PS4, Wii, WiiU, and Xbox One, with Sega Dreamcast as a bonus. All extra funds will be put towards as wide a distribution as manageable. We know this seems ambitious, and therefore, we encourage everyone to continue sharing the game and supporting it. This way, we can share HomeMake with as many people as possible!
Risks and challenges
With no previously published games, we understand we play the underdogs in this story. As architecture students, we have the ability to forego sleep and food to complete projects and meet deadlines but unfortunately pure willpower can only get us so far. Everything in the game is still under development. We are excited to continue honing what we already have and create even more content to give each player a multi-layered environment to explore, but in order to do this, we need your support!
Limited software licenses and old computers have allowed us to bring the game to its current level. With your contribution, we can procure the hardware and software we need to continue working on the game and bring it to its imagined state. The funding will not be going into our mouths or pockets. Every cent will be spent on things absolutely necessary to finish the game or create reward items. This Kickstarter will not only provide us a means of finishing this game, but allow us to continue developing other games in the future.
Currently we plan to release HomeMake for PC, Mac, and Linux, but would love the opportunity to release it for Playstation, Wii, and Dreamcast as well. Made with Unity.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)