** UPDATE 2/7/2013 - We've added another stretch goal! If we reach $30,000 in the next week, we will personally guarantee improved pixel art for the game! **
** UPDATE 1/17/2013 - We're on Greenlight now! If you have a Steam account, be sure to Upvote us and help us get into the top 100! If we do, the game will eventually become Greenlit, and everyone who has pledged at least $10 or more will receive Steam keys free of charge when we're released! **
Freedom Planet is a stylish platform adventure that pits a ridiculously fast dragon girl and her friends against an alien invasion force. Its retro-styled graphics, tight gameplay and charming characters make it feel as though you're playing through the golden days of the Sega Saturn or Playstation 1. The game features voice talents from around the web such as Sean Chiplock, Edwyn Tiong and Dawn Michelle Bennett, as well as sound designs from Akash Thakkar and gorgeous music composed by both Woofle and the game's producer Strife. Freedom Planet may only have a demo so far, but it has already tickled plenty of itches with its straight-to-the-point platforming action.
"A breath of fresh air for indie platformers . . . every platformer fan should grab the demo."
"I see no reason why you shouldn't check out the demo right away."
~ Tony Ponce, Destructoid
Unlike many Kickstarter projects, Freedom Planet already exists and has a pretty decent amount of content so far. In fact, the goal of our Kickstarter is not to get help finishing the game, but to polish it and reach as many players as possible. With your help, we can export it to other platforms; Our options include Mac, Steam, XNA, iOS, and potentially Android and HTML5.
Stretch Goals Ahoy!
$3,000 (Done!)Animated cutscenes!
Hiring extra programmers!
Spade as a playable character, Classic Mode/Time Attack only
Webcomic series, future expansion set that makes Spade playable in Story Mode!
Advertising, promotion, getting a head start on the next game in the series and adding the Commander from the trailer as a playable character in a future expansion set!
Members of our voice cast will do a video playthrough of the game after its release... in character!
We have been actively searching for pixel artists to help us improve the game's look, and we don't want to settle for anything but the best we can get our hands on - which of course means that we will need to hire professionals who can work their magic quickly and efficiently. If we reach $30,000, we will personally guarantee an improved art style for the game that retains the vibrant colors and unique style while making it look like something you'd see on a Nintendo handheld system.
What makes us different?
There's no shortage of platform games on the market, and a lot of them are fun experiences. So, what does Freedom Planet do differently from the vast ocean of indie platformers out there?
We jump in quickly with an equal mix of high speed action, platforming, and exploration. Most platform games focus mainly on one of these three elements, but with our 360-degree physics engine, we believe there is a lot of potential to mix them all into the same package. Imagine barreling down a road while being chased by a giant death laser, at which point you run up a wall and end up on several different routes depending on which direction you take and whether or not you decided to jump. Or, how about a room with ceiling crushers where you can either blast through them to cut down on time or chill on a bench and wait until the coast is clear? The kind of experience we're aiming for is one in which almost any action you take leads to something interesting.
Another notable difference Freedom Planet has is something we wish was more common in video games: Female heroes that are quirky and endearing. Each of the game's three playable characters - Sash Lilac, Carol Tea, and Milla Basset - have their own distinct personalities, and they each have their own ways of overcoming obstacles and discovering secrets.
- Lilac can whip enemies with her hair strands and build up energy by running really fast. When she builds up enough energy, she can spin like a cyclone or boost through the air like a comet!
- Carol can punch and kick enemies at lightning speed, pounce, and scale walls. If she collects fuel canisters, she can even drive a motorcycle!
- Milla can levitate for a short time and dig through dirt to find items and treasure. When the going gets tough, she can summon shields to reflect enemy projectiles.
The ruthless warlord known as Lord Brevon has crash landed on the world of Avalice. His surviving crew learns of three nearby kingdoms - the water city of Shuigang, the forest metropolis of Shang Mu, and the sky nation of Shang Tu - that are powered by an artifact known as the Kingdom Stone. Brevon sets in motion a sinister plan to manipulate the three kingdoms into attacking each other, knowing that when they are weakened, he can take the stone and use it to repair his dreadnought.
Meanwhile, two young girls, Lilac and Carol, are on their way to the annual pilgrimage to the Kingdom Stone - not to pay tribute, but to steal money from the rich so that they can continue to live by themselves in their treehouse. Along the way, they notice an airplane falling from the sky! They race across the valley to rescue the pilot, Torque the Shellduck. Little do they know that Torque is the only one who knows about Brevon's plan, and he cannot stop him alone...
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how we intend to use the money we receive:
Steam Greenlight - $100 (DONE)
Thanks for helping us get on Steam Greenlight! Click here to check out our Greenlight page.
Everyone who pledges $10 or more will receive a Steam key free of charge if we are Greenlit.
SWF Exporter - $69
This will give us a workaround for Mac users to be able to play the game. It will also allow us to embed a Flash version of the demo directly onto our website; The demo won't even have to be downloaded for people to try it out!
mProjector 4 for Macintosh - $249
This will allow us to convert the Flash version of the game into a desktop application for Mac users. Thus, it is the final stepping stone for getting the game working on Macs.
XNA or Android Exporter - $79
The XNA exporter will enable us to sell the game on Xbox. Our only viable option at this point is Xbox Live Indie Games, as XBLA is notoriously difficult to be accepted into. We're still on the fence about Xbox, so if we decide not to take the risk, we will instead wait for the Android exporter to be released so that we may prep the game for the upcoming OUYA console.
SoundSnap Subscription (200 sounds) - $149
While some of our sound effects are original creations, we are also seeking to add additional sound effects from SoundSnap into the game. We would like to purchase one of their subscription plans so that we can pick and choose a bunch of cool sounds from their extensive library.
Multimedia Fusion 2 Developer - $369 (without upgrade discount)
This enables us to sell the game without needing to add the Multimedia Fusion 2 logo in it, and it also gives us access to several exclusive object extensions.
Art Commissions - $500+
Gorgeous artwork like the stuff on our website doesn't come for free. We're looking to commission a talented artist full-time for this project, and we'll need a decent sum of dough to get the best quality possible. We don't have an exact amount set in stone because we're still waiting for responses from several of our top choices, but we feel that we should save up at least this much.
Manufacturing and Shipping Costs for Pledge Rewards - $???
One of the rewards you can receive for pledging money is a dual CD set of the game's soundtrack. A portion of the money pledged will go towards manufacturing and shipping charges for this.
Deduction Fee - $100+
Kickstarter will, of course, inhale 5% of our funding goal if we are successfully funded, which adds up to at least this amount.
When will the game be finished?
We haven't decided on an exact release date yet, but we're aiming for a release in 2014 at the latest.
How long is the game?
There are currently 8 stages planned, not including minigames or extra boss battles. The first stage, Dragon Valley, is the shortest and takes most people 10-15 minutes to complete on their first try, so there should be a decent play length in the full version, especially if you want to complete Story Mode with every character.
Isn't this just Sonic the Hedgehog with different characters?
Scroll down to the Risks and Challenges section for our response to this.
Who exactly is working on this project?
While the actual game is being built by a single person (Strife), numerous others are contributing to the project. You can find a full credits list on the bottom of the official website.
Will the game have a widescreen feature?
It's an option. We've already configured the game to handle different screen widths - we just need to figure out how to switch between them during runtime. It hasn't been easy given the limitations of our software, but if we can find a way, we'll do it.
Risks and challenges
For starters, we should take this opportunity to address what some of you might be thinking: That Freedom Planet resembles Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog too closely and risks infringing on their copyrights. We can assure you that we have spent a long time looking into this and talked with several industry professionals, and we do not believe that this will be a problem. Many "Sonic clones" in the past contained gameplay mechanics that were far closer, including Bubsy, Jazz Jackrabbit, and more recently the Rayman: Raving Rabbids mobile game. Heck, we take a lot of cues from Super Mario and Mega Man as well, but our similarities to these games are rarely pointed out.
Freedom Planet is our maiden voyage into the world of commercial game development, so a lot of things are completely new to us. We've only ever developed PC games in the past, and we're newcomers on the business and financial side of things. We're not jumping into this blindly, of course, as we are constantly seeking advice from other indie developers who have released games in the past.
We can't promise that the game will be released on every platform that we've mentioned so far because we simply don't know what kinds of complications to expect. What we can promise, however, is that the pledge money will go a long way towards making not only Freedom Planet a success, but our future projects as well. Afterall, many of the things we will purchase can be reused, so you can be certain that the dragons, aliens and gratuitous explosions in this game will be the first of many!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The short answer is no. We currently don't have the means to export the game to Nintendo systems, but if it ever becomes possible, we would absolutely love to see Freedom Planet in the eShop.
We would love to bring the game to OUYA, but Clickteam (the makers of our game development software) has not yet released an Android exporter, which is required to make this possible. They are, however, actively developing it, so rest assured, we're getting it the moment it comes out!
We wanted to be honest about what we would spend the money on and focus only on the essentials first, and with so many projects out there that end up coming short, we figured it was better not to take any huge risks with our first Kickstarter.
That being said, we're absolutely floored that we reached our goal in less than a day! Now that the basics are out of the way, we've put up our stretch goals and we'll do whatever it takes to make sure that every dollar is put to good use.
Linux actually is a possibility, although we would need to use the Anaconda runtime for it to work which doesn't support controllers - only keyboards. If there's a reliable way to port the game over without losing controller support, though, then we'll definitely go for it!
We're flattered, but we already have three musicians on the team who are doing an awesome job. :)
We're not a fan of DRM since it almost never does its job of preventing piracy, and it only make things harder for people who actually payed for the game fair and square. So, the full version will have no DRM whatsoever.
The Steam version may have some limited DRM due to the way their services work, but it doesn't seem like we have any choice with that one. Should this happen, we will make sure that it's as painless as possible, both for us and for our players.
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