"Contemporary character-driven dramas are in short supply in gaming these days, but that could soon change with enough financial support for the episodic indie adventure The St. Christopher's School Lockdown."
-- Jack Allin, AdventureGamers.com
"The game concept art is really beautiful and the plot sounds complex and immersive."
-- Michael Shaw, KickstartAdventure.com
"I’m incredibly impressed by their art style, by the fascinating political theme of the story, by their extremely well thought-out plan for the series, and by the team of individuals who are working on the game."
-- Josh Mandel, game designer extraordinaire, who is currently about to release Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded
"This is a unique adventure game that explores modern themes of suppression and revolt in the context of a British public school. It looks great, has a different and very interesting theme, and promises to have a character-centered story similar to our own plans with Hero-U."-- Corey Cole, co-creator of Quest For Glory (!!!), currently working on Hero-U: Rogue To Redemption(!!!)
"Unusual and immediately attractive, this is a far more exciting proposition, to my mind, than a £500,000 sequel to something that I liked when I was fourteen."
-- Adam Smith, Rock, Paper, Shotgun
CHECK OUT MY IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW ABOUT THIS PROJECT OVER AT ADVENTUREGAMERS.COM. YES, ALL CAPS. I AM THAT EXCITED ABOUT IT.
THE ST. CHRISTOPHER'S ALUMNI CLUB:
One of our lovely backers, Guran, had the brilliant idea of creating a backers' club for those who decide to increase their pledges by just £6.70-- the 6 representing six playable characters, and the .70 representing seven episodes. If this strikes you as something you would be keen to be part of, then just go ahead and tack on an extra £6.70 to your initial pledge! That's all there is to it, you are now officially St. Christopher's Alumni, and you can add that to your public Kickstarter name, to show your support for this project! We will be coming up with some fun bonus goodies JUST for those of you who become Alumni, so consider it, ladies and gents!
NOW ON INDIEDB.COM.
AS WELL AS STEAM GREENLIGHT.
The St. Christopher's private school, known across the UK for its prestigious staff, its high test results, its generous scholarships and its breathtaking architecture, has been seized by its student body. Roughly two hundred teenagers (and even a few primary schoolers), led by the charismatic and headstrong Roger Spencer, have taken their own campus by storm, staging a lock-in protest against severe new financial rulings set forth nation-wide by the Ministry of Education. Barricaded within the building and facing pressure from the police, the government and the media, the young St. Christopher's crusaders are going to find out how quickly things can go from bad to worse...
The St. Christopher's School Lockdown (working title, referred to as St. Chris from here on out) is a point-and-click adventure game, reminiscent in style of the Sierra and LucasArts glory days, and will be released initially for PCs, Macs and Linux, and if the demand calls for it (and our finances allow it), ported to mobile platforms.
This is an interactive story on a grand scale of seven progressive episodes. It is heavily inspired by recent events in both the United Kingdom (01, 02, 03) and in Chile (01, 02, 03), involving massive student demonstrations, rallies and riots. We invite you to do a little bit of reading into it, as it's a fascinating subject, and will help give a great deal of insight into the game's setting and political climate.
Now, let's talk gaming. Right from the get-go, we want to promise you:
-- NO meaningless fetch quests!
-- NO pixel hunts!
-- NO juggling eight hundred inventory items and combining them until you hit upon that one perfect puzzle solution by sheer accident!
-- NO deadly boring "find the key for this locked door" puzzles!
-- NO mazes!
St. Chris is a product of love, put together by folks who know that at the heart of the best video games lies, first and foremost, a damn good story. We might remember The Secret of Monkey Island for its ingenious puzzles involving rubber chickens with pulleys in the middle, but the reason it holds a special place in our hearts is due to its utterly memorable characters, its vivid setting, and pitch-perfect writing. And we hope to live up to the standards set by adventure game icons such as Al Lowe, Jane Jensen, Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and Corey and Lori Ann Cole.
If you missed the link up above, we want to invite you to go ahead and visit our WEB SITE. (DISCLAIMER: As we are constantly updating the web site right now, please excuse any temporary technical malfunctions. Trust us, we are on it.)
Our goal is to release St. Chris in seven installments. In each of the first six chapters, you will play as a different character, each caught within the protest for their own personal reasons. From a runaway suffering from bipolar disorder to a ten-year-old who manages his own pawn shop, you will be forced to make difficult moral decisions, further their personal agenda, and try to make the best of a bad situation! Decisions will carry on from one episode to the next-- a minor action you might have taken as one character in the second episode might have dramatic consequences for the character in the fifth one, for instance. As for who you will be playing as in the seventh chapter? Well, we don't want to spoil the fun, do we?
(Let us state here-- our current goal will only cover the demo and the pilot episode! See the Goals and Timeline section, as well as the Stretch Goals section down below!)
-- A plot inspired by very current and ongoing political events!
-- Hand-drawn characters and moody environments in a comic book art style!
-- Build relationships between characters! Forge and break alliances! Find love! Spread gossip!
-- Puzzles! Dialogue puzzles! Mini-game puzzles! Gadget puzzles! Computer hacking puzzles! Even a puzzle where you have to play drunken charades in the dark! Yes, really!
-- Teenage hijinx!
-- Optional side quests and achievements!
-- An in-world collectible voodoo doll trading game, featuring a stat-based battle system!
-- Roleplaying elements, including stats, reputation and a morality gauge!
-- Hours upon hours of gameplay-- we're shooting for something in the realm of 40+ hours! (Although not PER episode, of course; come on, we're not THAT crazy.)
-- Exclamation points!!!
This is an ambitious project. However, if we meet our funding goal, that would allow us to devote 100% of our time to the development of this game, and to spend the resources on the highest quality software and assets to make it a truly polished and elegant product.
Now, let us state that the funds we are currently asking are only going to cover the playable demo and the pilot episode. That is as much as we can promise with the amount we are currently requesting, and all subsequent episodes will continue to be financed by donations, sales of the first episode, and personal investments from the staff! As much as we wish we could promise you that our current goal would fund all seven episodes, that would be unrealistic.
The donations we are asking for will go into development of the in-game artwork, hand-drawn animations and environments required to put together a playable demo and the pilot chapter. We'll also be able to pay our composer to record a professional, original soundtrack, we'll be able to afford royalty-free sound effects, fonts and extra graphical assets. Any donation, no matter how small, could end up making a world of difference. Our aim is to release a playable demo in Q2 of 2014, and the full first episode in Q4 of 2014, with each consecutive episode release coming out every four or five months.
However... We like to be optimistic, so, continue onwards to the next section!
You'd better believe we have stretch goals! While simply reaching our minimum funding goal would be a cause for celebration, we have big dreams-- and remember, every single donation counts.
£13,000 -- Full funding for episode two.
£15,000 -- Actual voodoo doll collectible action figures and models of the main characters, as well as a web site store with other goodies.
£17,000 -- Full funding for episode three.
£20,000 -- The implementation of professional, top-quality voice acting for cinematic sequences.
£21,000 -- Full funding for episode four.
£23,000 -- Cross-platform porting to mobile phones, and deluxe editions of each episode featuring designer commentary and special features.
£25,000 -- Full funding for episode five.
£29,000 -- Full funding for episode six.
£33,000 -- Full funding for ALL episodes.
£5 or more:
PROTESTER -- You will receive a FREE digital DRM-free copy of the pilot episode upon release. This means you're paying half the price of its actual retail value!
£10 or more:
SUPPORTER -- Your name will be mentioned in the game credits, and you will receive a high quality desktop wallpaper (you can even specify the precise dimensions)!
£20 or more:
STUDENT -- Your name and personal photo (or, if you prefer, a representative avatar image selected by you, within reason) will be featured on our web site's Hall of Fame, as well as the previous rewards.
£30 or more:
REPORTER -- A free digital copy of each episode upon release, as well as an invitation to a monthly developer's chat session (beginning in August 2013 all the way through until release) AND access to certain early alpha/beta builds, as well as all previous rewards.
£50 or more:
HOOLIGAN -- Your name will be listed within the in-game school database as a St. Christopher's student, along with a record of your academic achievements and/or set-backs, and an assessment of your behavior. You will, of course, have as much input into this as you desire, and it will include a single, basic character portrait. Includes all previous rewards.
£75 or more:
RUMORMONGER -- A scandalous article about you will be featured within the in-game gossip blog, "Classified". You will have full input into which "secrets" will be revealed about you (and it will all be done in a tasteful and tongue-in-cheek manner, we promise), and a "candid" drawing of you will be featured alongside the written piece. Includes all rewards up until (and including) the REPORTER tier.
£100 or more:
LEGACY -- An entire wing/building of the St. Christopher's campus will be named after you! A commemorative plaque will be prominently featured within it, as well as a classically styled, framed portrait. Includes all rewards up until (and including) the REPORTER tier.
£110 or more:
FASHION VICTIM -- You will receive a very stylish limited edition T-shirt, a signed hand-drawn, toned and inked 8"x8" portrait of yourself by the lead game artist, and all of the rewards up until (and including) the REPORTER tier.
£225 or more:
REVOLUTIONARY -- Be a character in the game itself! You will work with our project lead to design a unique NPC, which can be based on you, a family member, one of your original characters... There will be certain restrictions, but we will do our best to give you as much freedom as possible, and even allow you to come up with some of your own dialogue! You will be featured in the game credits as "Character Consultant". Includes all rewards up until (and including) the REPORTER tier.
£350 or more:
INTERIOR DESIGNER -- Work one-on-one with our environmental artist to design a room within the St. Christopher's campus (within reason)! Whether it be an English classroom, a locker room, a counselor's office-- we will be entirely open to your ideas and suggestions! You will also receive a special title within the game credits as "Environmental Consultant". Includes all rewards up until (and including) the REPORTER tier.
£450 or more:
ACTION FIGURE -- You get to work one-on-one with our project lead on the design of one of the trading/battle game voodoo dolls! It can be based on you, it can be based on your best friend, it can be based on your D&D character-- you will have a lot of freedom with this, even in terms of determining its combat stats. You will be featured in the credits as "Voodoo Master". Includes all rewards up until (and including) the REPORTER tier.
£750 or more:
LOVER -- Become a central part of one of our episodes. YOU will be written into the script as the former lover of one of our playable protagonists, and will be brought up in his/her conversations, have featured e-mails and text messages show up within the game, and will work together with the project lead on determining exactly how you will be depicted as a character! You'll also be featured in the credits as "Romantic Adviser". Includes all rewards up until (and including) the REPORTER tier, as well as a customized T-shirt featuring your character alongside his or her former lover.
£1500 or more:
HERO -- One of the six main playable protagonists will share YOUR last name, and part of his or her main outfit design will involve a T-shirt with your picture on it! You will also become a character within the first episode with an entire sub-plot revolving around you, which you will work on together with our team members. Help us set the tone for the entire game! Your name will be THE ONLY NAME listed in the credits under "Extra Special Thanks" (sorry, grandma!). Includes all rewards up until (and including) the REPORTER tier.
If you would like to add one of these add-ons to your existing pledge, just add the required amount to your existing pledge, without changing your current reward tier, and simply send me a message on here telling me which of the rewards you have chosen! That's it! (I will also be providing a survey at the end of the campaign asking about add-ons, but this is just so we can keep track while the campaign is on-going.)
PLUS: £3.50 for US shipping, £7.50 for international
Sizes range from Youth XS to 4XL!
PLUS: £3.50 for US shipping, £7.50 for international
Cheesy? Tacky? Potentially humiliating for your dog? NO! My loyal pup, Okosan, insists that dogs adore to support indie game developers, too! Sizes come in small, medium and large!
£5 each, £9 for three, £15 for six
PLUS: £3.50 for US shipping, £7.50 for international
Patches will be roughly 2" - 3" (5cm - 7.5cm)
Alas, no image for these yet, but know that they will feature portraits of the six playable characters, ALONG with a classy St. Christopher's school insignia that you can proudly sew on to your favorite blazer/jacket/wallet/etc. HOWEVER, the insignia will ONLY be available to Alumni! Still, let us know if you would like one, along with which character you would want, and we will get back to you as soon as possible with a design.
If you would like to check out the craftsmanship and quality of the designer we're using for these, go ahead and peruse their web site: stadriemblems.com
£5 for a set!
PLUS: £3.50 for US shipping, £7.50 for international
Pins! Stick them all over your messenger bag, on your motorcycle jacket, or just cover a cushion with them! We will go into more detail on the different designs to choose from in later update, but PINS!
PHYSICAL COPY OF THE ORIGINAL GAME SOUNDTRACK:
Receive the full, studio-recorded game soundtrack, along with liner notes from our lead composer, Mr. Derik Stiller, and the rest of the team!
DELUXE BOXED COPY OF EPISODE ONE:
A little expensive for a single episode, perhaps, but this is only because the boxed copies will be limited edition ONLY for our Kickstarter supporters, and will include exclusive bonus content, just for you guys.
SIGNED FIFTY-PAGE ART BOOK:
This, we will be publishing with Lulu.com, and it will feature both final, high quality art from me and Alejandra Rojas, as well as examples of our rough concepts, ideas we didn't end up using, etc! Oh, and we'll sign it. I warn you beforehand that my signature looks like chicken scrawls, though, so I apologize beforehand for the messy squiggle that will grace the inside flap of your book.
For every set of add-ons totaling ABOVE £25, not including shipping, we will give you a set of temporary St. Christopher's transfer tattoos. Be a kid again for a few days, while also showing your support for the project! ...And then scrub furiously at it in the shower for the next week until your skin is raw! Hooray!
A DIGITAL PORTRAIT OF YOU (OR A FRIEND) BY LANEY BERRY
That's right, guys! Provide me with a couple of reference pictures of yourself (or a friend, family member or pet), and I will be more than happy to draw you in the style of the St. Christopher's characters!
A DIGITAL COPY OF THE FULL GAME SOUNDTRACK
Rock out to the St. Christopher's beat, with high quality MP3s from our lead composer, Derik Stiller, and also featuring the music of Dayv Hackenberger.
AN EXTRA COPY OF THE GAME FOR YOU TO GIFT TO A FRIEND
Spread the love! As long as your current pledge is above £5, then get additional copies of Episode One for even cheaper!
A DIGITAL VERSION OF THE OFFICIAL ART BOOK
This will be distributed as a PDF, and will feature the art from the physical art book, but in a high quality screen-friendly format.
LANEY BERRY -- As creator, character and sprite artist and lead designer, The St. Christopher's School Lockdown is basically Laney Berry's brainchild. Whether it be character concept art, dialogue scripting or puzzle design, Laney is in charge of making sure it all fits together into one seamless product. Laney is a detail-oriented multitasker, and she holds a degree in Visual Communications from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She is originally from the United Kingdom.
ALEJANDRA ROJAS -- Alejandra Rojas is a published author, environment and game designer from Chile, currently based in the US, and has independently developed several of her own casual puzzle and arcade games. She really enjoys digitally evoking imaginary worlds. She very much believes in the narrative of this project and the potential transition of a great story into even greater game mechanics. She is in charge of backgrounds, visual assets, and the scripting required by the game engine.
GREG CASSEL -- Greg Cassel is an essayist, nature photographer, multimedia artist and fantasy world designer. He has a BFA in Film and New Media Art, and is absolutely nuts about blazing new trails for interactive digital media. He’s also somewhat crazy about social theory and activism, but let’s not get into that. He’s our creative content editor and test target for voodoo curses.
KARA QUEEN -- Kara Queen is a jack of all trades who is helping to round out the team by offering with her skills in art, marketing, dialogue/script supervising, media production, and by giving rounds of high fives for moral support. Another graduate of the Savannah College of Art in Design, Kara currently resides in Seattle with ambitions to draw (a lot!) and make independent comics (hopefully a lot!). She thrives on visual art as a whole, good storytelling, black coffee, and she can name every single one of the original Pokemon.
DERIK STILLER -- Derik Stiller grew up with the music of the 8 and 16-bit video game eras, and embraced its aesthetic and philosophies. As composer, he will contribute atmospheric backing tracks in the style of classic PC adventure and role-playing games, as well as thematic musical elements. Derik plays multiple instruments, including keyboards, bass and drums, and will be adding his performances to the soundtrack recordings.
JON BERRY -- As co-writer and overall video game enthusiast, Jon Berry pipes in to help deliver punchy and often redundant dialogue. Battle-hardened from innumerable play-throughs of the old-school Sierra point-and-click collections, Jon has become a severe and unforgiving critic of the genre. With his degree in Film and Television from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Jon's background in script-writing comes into play tenfold.
OKOSAN -- As team mascot, Okosan enjoys eating salami, taking long walks in the park, sleeping on piles of dirty clothes, and caring for his human, Laney.
We are massive believers in the independent game scene, and we genuinely wish we could currently do more to support it, but it's rough when we're in a similar boat ourselves! That is why KickingItForward.org is such a genius idea, and we are proud to announce that we will be donating 5% of our overall profits from the sales of our finished game towards other burgeoning Kickstarter projects.
Risks and challenges
When it comes to any independent game project, there are always cartloads of risks. However, we promise you that this game WILL be completed. The basic concept has been fermenting within the darkest recesses of Laney Berry's mind throughout most of her university career, and it just wouldn't let go until she decided to make it a reality (despite her father's best efforts to have her get a "real job" in something like dentistry, accounting or upholstery).
The biggest risk is certainly the fact that this is our first major game. Our current release timeline is only an estimate, especially beyond the first installment. However, our co-creator Alejandra Rojas is a published author in South America and Europe, with five books to her name, and she is gleefully putting her professional reputation on the line here. The rest of us aren't quite as accomplished yet, but we are acutely aware that our creative industry reputations depend on this project. So, while we recognize that there might be delays, we assure you that we will work absurdly hard to avoid them. If we reach our minimum goal, production of the demo and full pilot episode will become our full-time job. And, fingers crossed, if we meet any of the stretch goals for further episodes, new features and other goodies, we will be working EXCLUSIVELY on releasing them to you as soon as we possibly can.
Other obvious potential risks involve situations we have no control over-- the possibility of severe illnesses, family emergencies, meteor impacts... In that respect, we can simply promise to keep you all in the loop in regards to any potential delays. Pinky swear.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! We are currently based in Savannah, but, alas, I am not an American citizen. In other words, I don't have a social security number, which is required to set up an Amazon Payments account for a dollar-based Kickstarter, so instead, I am using my British bank account for this, which means British currency.
We are aware that it is somewhat harder for British campaigns than it is for ones based in the USA, but we still have faith that we can pull this off regardless!
YES. I mean, no. What you have to understand is that, while we do consider each "release" to be one episode, each "episode" is going to be a stand-alone game on its own terms, offering roughly ten hours of gameplay, individual minigames, its own protagonist, quests and side quests, soundtrack, etc. In the words of team member Greg Cassel: "First of all, you're crazy. And second of all, it's like a double-game!"
So, multiply that by seven, and you will realize why we are asking for the amount we are. £9000 is, in fact, not much at all when it comes to making even ONE episode-- really! Check out our stretch goals! You have to factor in the software purchases, the license for the various art and sound assets, the time we will be spending working on this exclusively instead of at a paid full-time job... It adds up, and quickly!
Also, keep in mind that £30 also gets you an "in" into the developers' inner circle, where you will be able to interact with us, offer input and advice, ask us "Are we there yet?" on a regular basis, etc, as well as a shout-out in the game credits, web site, etc.
I hope this clarifies our thought process a little bit, and if you have any further questions, do drop us a line! We are always very happy to hear from you!
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