What is the story?
Tales of walking shadows come from across the world. These common entities, referred to in many legends and religions, are described as the shades of the underworld or the shadow people. First you see them out of the corner of your eye. When you look straight at them, they often disappear. Their mere presence can induce physiological effects including choking and temporary paralysis.
A Jan. 26, 2012 headline from a UK Think Tank reads:
Shadow People: Attacks On Humans Increasing
The most conspicuous amongst all the shadow people is a tall villainous figure, dressed all in black, who wears a hat - The Hat Man. While the claims of his intentions are wide and varied, a very common belief is that he has come to collect your soul.
This is not some made up story we created for a game. The Hat Man is out there. You can Google him. Our game puts you up against him so you can see if you have the skills to complete the game without losing your soul. You will have to pay attention to what you see and what you hear. Use your stealth abilities so he does not find you before you finish and escape.
Added Gameplay Video
Why this game?
It started as an after-work project. We played around with creating dynamic maps, a scary environment and a heart stopping monster. We added creepy background audio and threw in some animated object events. After a while it played like a pretty fun game. At least we thought so.
Then we showed a version to some Twitch.tv game reviewers and here are a few of their comments:
"It doesn't focus too much on jump scares and doesn't focus too much on atmosphere. It's a very good balance."
"It is like Slender and Amnesia had a baby."
"It was fun dude. And it scared me."
"I am extremely excited to see this finished."
Based on that encouragement and positive feedback, we are finishing it. Instead of closing ourselves off and doing it on our own, we decided to open it up so people could contribute their ideas. To do that, we have to switch the project from an after-work project and start giving it our full attention. We need to listen to your suggestions and try some things out. While that takes more time, we are really looking forward to it. Definitely support us, become a part of the team and help make this happen.
What is great about this game?
Besides being scary, the game includes a dynamic level building system that actually changes the level while you are playing it. This means that the level never ends. You can keep going and going and going and there will always be more. This also means that if you go back to where you have already been, the layout may have changed, which adds to the nightmarish feel of the whole thing.
This also adds replay value. Everything is different every time.
What platforms does it run on?
The Hat Man is a single player only game we are currently targeting for Windows and Macintosh. We have worked on many different hardware platforms including the PS3, Xbox 360, Android, PS2, NDS, Xbox, SNES, and go all the way back to the Apple ][. We are currently PS3 and PS Vita certified developers. To release on a platform you have to have a license from the platform creator, the hardware to test, and the people to test as well. This means the added platforms and hardware we will support will come from the suggestions and contributions of the people who support us here. We are using Unity to develop the game so almost every platform is open to us. To get the game on another platform, tell us what it is and tell your friends to support us so we can make sure the game runs on it.
Stretch goals are extra content that we can accomplish if the funding goals are met. Now that we have hit $1,500, we have enough resources to add Oculus Rift support! Our next goal is the OUYA platform at $3000. We are not saying that if we do not reach the stretch goal we will never work on the rest of the features. But if we do reach the stretch goals, we can promise we will do them with confidence!
Kickstarter means that small, niche video games like this can exist. The Hat Man began as a passion project for a former paranormal investigator and his sidekick. As we added more to the game each week, we felt we really had something special. The kind of title that would benefit by staying indie.
We did a $1 Kickstarter campaign because the game is a long way along and we are going to finish it regardless of what happens on Kickstarter. The money will not be used for that. What it will be used for is software licenses, hardware, and getting the game on more platforms. It will also be used as a barometer for the interest in what we are doing. The more interest we have, the more time and resources we'll dedicate to the game.
If you like what we are doing, support us! And spread the word about what we are doing.
Who is Game Mechanics?
Game Mechanics was created in January 2011 as a virtual company by John C. Ardussi (San Diego, CA) and Mike Gehri (Cary, NC). Together we have over 30 years of experience in the game industry, working on 20+ games that range from the Descent series to Ghost Recon. As independent developers we have created several racing games, a demolition derby game, a 2d platformer game, even a racing screensaver. Mike has also worked as a paranormal investigator which was the initial inspiration for him starting this project. Both of us have a deep passion for creating experiences that are fun and entertaining.
Risks and challenges
Starting a new game is easy. Finishing a game is hard. Luckily we are a long way along and all the remaining features are simple compared to the work that has already been done. One of the things that we pride ourselves on is creating things that are solid. The most common comment we got from the reviewers is that they were surprised the game never crashed while they played it.
We feel very confident that we will come very close to or meet all our deadlines. We do not have anyone above us who can hold back the release of the game to add some feature that has nothing to do with the game. We are truly independent.
We also have the aid of the Unity community. They are extremely helpful when we venture into areas where we have never been before. And the gamers themselves are always helping us with feature suggestions. To quote the Beatles, "We get by with a little help from our friends."
Lastly, all our stretch goals of other platforms are going to be left until after the game is final. So more money will not mean the release is delayed. It will just mean there will eventually be more platforms to play the game on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We are now near the end of the Kickstarter campaign and have sent out several builds to Let's Play channels, so if you have gotten a message and link from us already you are good. At this point in the campaign we will not be sending out any more early versions since the Alpha is only a few weeks away.
Going forward we are giving permission to post videos to people who back our Kickstarter for the version they backed it for. If you have backed at Alpha level, you will be able to post videos of any and all versions once the game goes Alpha. Beta backers can do videos for the Beta version and later. Those who back the final release version have to wait for the final release before posting videos. Those who back us for less than the release version do not get permission to post videos unless they buy the game when it comes out.
We are not giving permission to people who have not paid for the game.
If you make a video that includes our game, make sure and send us a message so we can promote it.
We already planned to release the game regardless of the Kickstarter outcome. We saw a game a while back called "Energy Hook" who took the same approach of a 1 dollar goal and it worked great for them. So we decided to do the same thing since both Kickstarter and Greenlight are great ways to generate buzz.
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