About this project
Download the free demo now from itch.io!
Sole is an abstract, aesthetic-driven adventure game where you play as the only source of light in a world shrouded in darkness. Wander through uninhabited environments, painting the land with light as you uncover its mysterious past. Explore the remnants of great cities and discover the history of an ancient civilization on your journey to restore life to an abandoned world. Sole is a heavily atmospheric and emotionally engaging gameplay experience that is accessible to audiences of all backgrounds and skill levels.
Inspired by our personal experiences as new artists and developers, Sole is built on the feeling of wandering through the dark trying to figure out who you are, where you are, and what your purpose is. Expanding on the ideas of aesthetic-driven games like Flower, The Unfinished Swan, and Proteus, our goal is to create a dreamlike adventure that captures the sensation of being lost in an unfamiliar place.
After 2 and a half years of development, we've built a full alpha version of the game with all of the gameplay mechanics developed for each of the 5 levels. We've also built a complete level of the game that we will share soon as a downloadable demo.
Sole features a unique illumination mechanic that lets you paint the world with light wherever you travel, leaving a trail of illumination wherever you go. Journey into the abyss of a world lost in shadow, painting the land with light as you discover its mysterious history. Grow trees, sprout grass, and illuminate the dark as you transform a lifeless world. Unlock the secrets of an ancient civilization as you spread light throughout the ruins of great cities.
We believe that video games are one of the strongest cultural influences of this generation. They have the power to challenge perspectives, elicit complex emotions, and communicate universal human experiences - sometimes without a single word. Play is one of the purest and most fundamental conduits for human imagination and creativity. It allows us to explore relationships, boundaries, and ideas through games differently than any other medium.
Art is always a reflection of its creators, and our development of Sole is no different. All of the exploration that our team conducted to come up with a strong vision for the game became Sole's core theme itself. Sole is a game about being thrust into an unknown world and wandering through the dark trying to figure out who you are, where you are, and what your purpose is. All of this mirrors the emotional artistic journey we’ve had throughout the game’s development. Our goal is to capture the feeling that all new artists experience: of feeling lost and directionless in an unfamiliar world, and learning to find your way. As our first long-term video game production, the development of Sole has been an incredibly transformative process for everyone on the team. So while there’s a certain somberness and melancholy to the game, there’s also a tremendous sense of hope that reflects the creative awakening we’ve undergone throughout production.
To keep the game as universal as possible, Sole is designed to communicate all of our narrative themes through the game’s atmospheric and aesthetic design rather than direct traditional storytelling. It’s more important to our team that we capture particular emotions through play than tell an explicit story. In this way, we hope to create a dreamlike experience that players remember for the feeling they had during play rather than specific game mechanics or narrative elements.
Sole is game about transformation. Driven more by feeling than action, the game has been meticulously crafted to ensure that each environment is as beautiful as they are fun to explore. Featuring stylized geometry and pastel colors, the visual direction of Sole creates a dreamlike atmosphere that reinforces the surreal nature of the experience.
At its core, Sole is driven by a haunting orchestral soundtrack that serves as the voice for the lonely world. Composed by Nabeel Ansari, the music of Sole is a rich soundscape of ethereal tones and somber melodies.
Listen to a few of the sample tracks from the soundtrack below.
Gossamer Games is a brand new Philadelphia-based independent game studio creating ambitious aesthetic-driven experiences that explore games as an empathetic and expressive art form. Originally formed through an experimental college incubation studio, Gossamer started as a small team of university undergrads eager to help diversify the mobile games marketplace with aesthetic-driven gameplay experiences. Surrounded by a pool of talented artists and developers, Gossamer was founded in 2015 when the team began working on early prototypes for Sole.
Today, Sole is being developed by our team of three incredibly talented cross-disciplinary artists and orchestrated by a truly exceptional composer. Our mission is to make universally-accessible games that explore complex thoughts and feelings through play.
Thomas Sharpe co-founded Gossamer Games in 2015 and currently acts as the studio's creative director. Interested in the emotional intensity of storytelling through play, his primary focus is designing unique gameplay mechanics that elicit a particular feeling. Tom's work explores video games as a powerful empathetic medium through allegorical game design.
Nina DeLucia is a Digital Artist and 3D Environment Artist for Gossamer Games. Having graduated Drexel University in 2016 with a degree in Animation & Visual Effects, her passion for designing beautiful and mysterious games led her to join the Gossamer team and sculpt the vast environments of Sole. But in her free time, she’s usually watching Anime and munching on homemade shortbread cookies.
Vincent De Tommaso is a 3D Environment Artist for Gossamer Games. Obsessed with building worlds, Vincent spent his childhood making sprawling cardboard cities from shoe boxes and HotWheels cars. His passion for telling stories through environments led him to join the Gossamer team and build the ruins scattered throughout the game.
Nabeel Ansari is a fan of the fantastical, seeking to build worlds and emotion through music and technology. He studies a hybrid degree in Applied Mathematics and Music and works both in the virtual instrument and game audio industries. His soundtrack work can range from somber evocation to dramatic catharsis, and his virtual instrument work appears in the music of many professional composers.
To minimize the risk in producing and delivering the rewards for each tier, we've decided to make every reward in this campaign digital. Though we love physical collectables as much as anyone, going all-digital will let us spend more time finishing the game and less time shopping around for the best t-shirt printers or shipping companies.
A single digital download of the full game for your choice of either iOS (via the App Store) or Android (via Google Play).
A Steam code for a single digital download of the full game on desktop platforms.
A 30-page digital artbook that documents the progression from concept art to final version.
A high-quality download of the full Sole OST.
Beta Build Access
Play Sole before all your friends. We'll send you links to download the latest Beta builds on whatever platforms you wish as they become available.
Developer Chat Access
An invitation to join our exclusive backer/team only channel on Discord.
Alpha Build Access
The easiest way to be amongst the very first to play Sole. We'll send you links to download the latest Alpha builds on whatever platforms you wish as they become available.
Developer Commentary Video
Once the game is complete, our team will sit down and record a video of us playing through the final version of Sole and talking about all our design decisions and how things evolved.
Custom Glyph Message
Your 140-character or less message translated into our top-secret glyph language and hidden in a level somewhere.
Associate Producer Credit
Your name listed in the "Associate Producers" section of the company credits.
Launch Party Invitation
An invitation to join us at our launch party where we'll celebrate our incredible journey making Sole. Specific times & places TBD, but it's sure to be somewhere here in Philly. Please note that travel and accommodation are not included.
There are a ton of ideas and features that we would love to implement into Sole but lack the time or resources to produce. We have spreadsheets upon spreadsheets of what we would do with funding all the way up to $500,000 illustrating what production would look like with extra people and resources.
Should we be fortunate enough to receive more funding than we humbly seek (woo hoo!) we have a plan. Here's what we'll be focusing our efforts on if we happen to exceed our initial goal:
We know that Sole falls into a more artistic genre of indie gaming - and therefore interests a relatively new, and sometimes hard to reach, niche gaming community. Having brought Sole to a few game festivals and events during our production, we've already started to experience this community. We've met many wonderful gamers, with whom we have connected and learned from as both fellow gamers and developers. We believe that Kickstarter can help us further that experience online and connect with an even wider group of gamers within that community. We also believe we can begin to give back to those who help us here by sharing our personal first-hand experiences as a new indie studio along the way. Kickstarter can provide us with the perfect platform for making those experiences available to anyone who has an interest in learning more about what goes into creating the games they enjoy.
The vast majority of the funds raised in this campaign will cover the salaries of our artists and developers creating the game. For the past few years, the project has been mostly self-funded but we have now reached the stage of development where our team is required to scale and dedicate more time to reach the finish line.
Below is a breakdown of where the money raised will go if the game reaches its initial funding goal:
Sole is far more than just an idea. After more than 2 years of part-time development, the game is finally nearing the end of Alpha production with the entire game blocked in from start to finish.
We began work on Sole over 1,000 days ago and as the ambition for the project grew, so did the project length. But the vast majority of that time was spent trying to figure out what exactly we wanted to make and we've finally nailed down all the details for our vision of the game! Each of the game's five levels are blocked in within the game engine, waiting to be polished and implemented into the full game.
Video game development timelines are notorious for shifting around because creators always want to make the best art possible. So we'll continue to explore any opportunities that would help us make the game even better (that don't add on another 3 years of development).
Having been burned by a few Kickstarters ourselves, we know from experience how frustrating it is when projects drag on forever with no end in sight until it eventually dies. If anything does change with our release plans, you'll be the first to hear. We're committed to staying in conversation with all our backers every step of the way.
That said, here is a rough estimate of our current production timeline that would leading up to an initial release in Spring 2018.
Risks and challenges
If we were the betting type, we’d wager that this is probably the first time you’ve heard of Gossamer Games. Nice to meet you! Though we’ve received a few small bits of press coverage, Sole marks the first time we’ve gone public as a studio. Everyone here at Gossamer is acutely familiar with the incredible risks involved in creating video games. As an art form, video games are truly boundless, limited only by the imagination of their creators. And while this wonderfully powerful trait of game development allows for near limitless creative freedom, it also means it’s exceptionally easy for even the most experienced developers to get lost in the details and run out of time and money. So we fully understand any skepticism in trusting a brand new team of developers to deliver on a project as ambitious as Sole.
One of the easiest ways to know if you’re working on “the right” project is if you can’t help but work on it. And if the past 2.5 years have illustrated anything, it’s that Sole is absolutely a project we’ll be seeing until the very end. For us it’s never been a matter of *if* Sole will be released, but *when* and how good we can make it. Though this is our first full-length title as a team, we’re fully committed to making a game that delivers on all the lofty goals we’ve set out to accomplish with Sole. With our combined experience of shipping multiple games and under the mentorship of industry veterans, Gossamer is uniquely poised to take on such an ambitious project as our debut title.
So while we wholly respect the enormous amount of trust we’re asking you to place in an unknown developer, rest assured that it would be a much bigger risk for us to walk away from the thousands of dollars and years of work we’ve personally invested into this project than it would be to just finish the game.
We’re just as excited as anyone to play the final version of Sole. With your help, we’ll have the means to put the final touches on this very special game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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