Update 2: David did an "Ask me Anything" (AMA) on Reddit on Tuesday, 8/21 and answered a lot of your questions about this project, his past work and addressed the very serious issue of his favorite jelly bean flavor. Take a look.
Update 1: We're happy to officially announce that we'll be using Unity3D to develop Jungle Adventure and due to popular demand, we've expanded platform support to PC, Mac, Linux and OUYA. Get more detail from our project update.
Welcome to the Jungle!
Game industry legend David Crane is turning to Kickstarter and you, the gaming audience, to create his next great game. The roots of a jungle adventure don’t run any deeper than they do with David and by partnering with you, he and his team can take the genre he created to the next level!
For the last 30 years, David Crane—a true game industry pioneer—has been quietly and, not so quietly, designing and programming a steady stream of hit games on just about every existing platform. Here are just a few highlights:
Creator of Pitfall!™, the very first platform adventure and one of the longest running #1 games in history, holding the top spot for 64 consecutive weeks
Co-founder of Activision®, the largest video game company in the world and the company that started it all as the first third-party publisher of video game cartridges
One of the most acclaimed game designers in history, honored with a myriad of awards, including Game Designer of the Year, Parents' Choice® award and as the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences first ever Pioneer Award recipient
Most Recently, fans voted two of his games into the Art of Video Games exhibit currently on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
It's a Jungle Out There
In 1982, David pushed the technological boundaries of a primitive system, infused it with a sense of the epic and managed to create something the world had never seen: the first platform adventure!
The evolution that has taken place since then in technology, as well as player sophistication, has been epic as well. If all this was brought to bear now, its boundaries pushed as David pushed the boundaries 30 years ago, what would the invention of the jungle adventure look like today? How would we explore this world? What world would it be? And who would we meet there?
Setting Out for the Journey
Our stalwart explorer enters the scene, a traditional side-scrolling view. It’s immediately familiar and accessible. But it will only take a few steps into the Jungle to see we’re in unexplored territory. The environment is a lush, vibrant 3D space, not simply a backdrop. The camera moves with us and helps us see what we need to see, from whatever angle necessary, to keep the experience smooth and action-packed, varied in perspective but always simple and true to its platform game roots.
In the Jungle, the Quiet Jungle...
The Jungle itself surrounds us, envelops us. It is alive and breathing, a character in its own right. It teems with creatures both benevolent and quite dangerous, familiar and fantastic. The Jungle and its denizens are reimagined to BE the adventure. Its significance will transcend that of a simple—if immersive—environment and approach fairy tale archetype: the Jungle as symbolism and mythology.
Seeing the Sights
To bring the Jungle to life as we intend, we’re setting the bar high from the start with the execution of the art in rich, full 3D. We’re aiming for a vivid, stylized realism that reinforces the feeling of an epic adventure, deep mystery and allows us a nuanced approach to embedding story elements while keeping the gameplay clean, clear and easy to pick up. The player should be able to smell the flowers—or feel the heat of a dangerous predator’s breath the moment before it strikes. We’ll soon have an exciting announcement regarding this aspect of the project, so stay tuned!
The game will have top-notch sound design, providing as much spacial depth as the visuals themselves. Techniques that allow us to create environments and tension through sound effects and music will be employed, supporting the storytelling and sometimes integral to the plot itself.
As for the music itself, it will be dynamic, reactive to gameplay and as emotionally stirring as any movie soundtrack.
A Tale of Mystery & Suspense
The team is currently collaborating on a story to be written by a top entertainment writer. It will have the epic scope that a game of this nature deserves, and is also being developed in conjunction with the game design so it is a natural extension of it, not a roadblock or extraneous element. The player will be as involved in the story and its characters as one would a favorite TV series or movie.
While the details of the story are currently top secret, its structure is a daisy chain of mysteries that player must act to solve—only to propel the player further into the next mystery. It will borrow from real-world mythologies, but take the player to surprising locations. And we will redefine the concept of the Jungle Adventure by redefining the Jungle itself.
The Game's Afoot
Riffing off of the classic platform adventure gameplay and stirring in a great portion of innovation, we are currently creating a “toy box” full of game mechanics we want YOU to help us play with. This why we’re here and not pitching the game to MegaPublisher X. Depending on the ultimate scope of the game based on our success here, as well as the platform, we can make a fundamentally rich and engaging experience deeper, richer and more immersive.
Tell us of the game mechanics that excite you most, of the ones you want to see taken to a new level. Join the Jungle Party and help us craft the perfect game. Be the next Pioneer.
The best part? The adventure starts immediately. We've partnered with GameTrailers to bring you along for the journey - documenting the game development process in a series of behind-the-scenes video updates. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll quietly wonder to yourself how game developers can drink so much soda. Most of all you'll experience what we experience every step of the way - from funding and concept development to launch of the final game.
Kickstarter: A Journey of Self-Discovery
The world of video games has evolved in ways beyond just the technology. The number of viable game platforms has proliferated. The business has evolved considerably. The time is right for a project like this and Kickstarter is the best way of bringing it to life. With all due respect to the traditional way of getting games to market, new devices and the pure digital world have created opportunity for the true artists in the game space, not only to create what they want, but also to wholly own it and fully reap the rewards in success.
Kickstarter not only allows David and the team to return to the core values and approach to games he pioneered 30 years ago, it allows you, the gamer, to go on the ride with us. Traditional game publishing and development tends to get out of hand quickly in terms of cost and bureaucracy. The task of the game itself is either secondary to its marketing or a slave to it. We, on the other hand, can keep the core team lean, focus on the essentials of making a great game and get realtime feedback from players.
It’s a win-win situation for the people who matter most in the situation—the developers and you, the audience.
We want as many people to come along for the ride as possible, so even at the minimum contribution tier of $15 you'll get a full version of the final game, and the ability to impact its direction via the exclusive backer-only developer area.
If you want to step it up, we have created special premium rewards to bring you even closer to the game and its development - from a full HD download of the behind-the-scenes updates, to signed and numbered collectible posters and badges to a digital book full of concept art and stories from the team.
If you really want to take it to the next level, though, you can become a part of the game's universe and lore. Have your identity on a collectible treasure or be forever immortalized in the Hall of Kings level, where much is revealed as our hero comes closer to the climax of his adventure.
We couldn't be more excited to make you an active participant in David Crane's next great Jungle Adventure. For anyone who's ever wondered how a game gets made or has wanted to pitch in and help a creative team bring a game to life, the opportunity is here. Will you answer the call?
We're proud to be Kicking It Forward and helping to fund the next generation of Kickstarter projects.
At first glance, 2.5D sounds like it is less than 3D. It is not - it is just a different way to assemble a 3D scene. For certain subjects, such as a side-view scrolling scene, 2.5D can be better. Let's compare the two:
• A full 3D game display shows objects in the world from multiple angles. You can walk around them to see the back. This technique makes movies like Avatar possible, but to look good in a game requires the fastest PC with the most expensive graphics card; or a high-end gaming console and a $30M budget. Without that power the images can be very blocky. Advantage: See the backs of objects. DIsadvantage: Clunky graphics on all but very high-end gaming consoles.
• 2.5D is used where the world layout allows for viewing only the fronts of objects. The same 3D rendering system can be used (i.e. Unity), placing the objects into a 3D world, but the world objects present a single pre-rendered texture face to the camera. Because the image is pre-rendered before it goes into the game, it can be made photorealistic, looking like the real object.
Both 3D and 2.5D have their uses. Using 2.5D in a game (where it makes sense) is a trick to manage game performance on most average PCs.
Update: We are excited to report that the game is now planned for PC, Mac, Linux and the new OUYA console. The timing of the Linux version will be dependent on Unity3D's support of the Linux platform. Here’s what Unity says about compatibility in their upcoming version 4.0 release: “Unity Games will run out of the box on most modern Linux systems, but we are only providing *official* support for 64-bit or 32-bit Ubuntu Linux with vendor-made graphics drivers.“
We will expand to other platforms like iOS and additional Android devices depending on total funding.
$900,000 seems like a lot of money, but game development is an expensive proposition, especially when striving to mix true innovation in a genre with rich, immersive environment and storyline. Jungle Adventure is going to have a team of professional programmers, artists, level designers, writers, sound designers, etc. The majority of the money goes to employing this team over the 12-18 months the game is being developed. For comparison, the production cost for the last AAA game you bought was probably 15-20 times our budget for this game.
Part of the $900,000 will also go toward production costs for the behind-the-scenes documentary that will follow the entire game development process.
The finished game in all its leaf-filled glory, delivered digitally for PC or Mac. Access to the exclusive backer community and opportunity to vote on key features of the game. Access to the closed beta.
Exclusive downloadable PDF Jungle Venture Creative Book - featuring all the concept art for the game, creative notes, stories and narrative from David Crane and the creative team, game secrets, developer bios, original photos and more! Includes all previous reward tiers.
The one, the only, the incredible, the astounding Jungle Adventure backer t-shirt - to impress your friends and show your support. Exclusive poster, suitable for framing and only available through this funding drive. Special collectible embroidered patch (1 of 5), reminiscent of patches earned in the glory days of the Atari 2600. Four full copies of the game to win friends and influence people. Special thanks in the game credits. Includes all previous reward tiers. (Backers outside of the US, please add $15 for international shipping)
A limited-edition, numbered poster - signed by David Crane and the entire Jungle Venture team. The first one is on David's wall, the other 999 are available only to funders. Full set of 5 collectible embroidered patches. Includes all previous reward tiers. (Backers outside of the US, please add $15 for international shipping)
Become forever immortalized in David Crane's Jungle Adventure game. A personalized collectible treasure will bear your identity. Also receive an autographed copy of one of David Crane's Atari 2600 cartridges. (Backers outside of the US, please add $15 for international shipping)
Why simply be immortalized in the game, when you can be remembered as a king? Have a likeness of your face forever etched into a statue in the Hall of Kings level (see concept art). Receive a personalized printed close-up of your face in the Hall of Kings, signed with thanks by David Crane.
Have lunch with the team and spend an afternoon in the Jungle Venture office - kicking around ideas, pounding your fists on the desk dramatically, sipping soda from the finest goblets and generally being part of the magic.