Stealth Games. I've been studying the genre for a while now, learning the ins and outs of games like Pac Man, Thief, Deus Ex, and more to inspire the development of Children of Liberty. That game's development is going along very well (thanks in part to Kickstarter) and got me invited to be on a panel on stealth games at PAX East 2012. So when I heard Sneaky Bastards was putting on a game jam devoted to Stealth Games, I jumped on the opportunity to make something. What I made was Moonlight: Mistress of Mischief.
Moonlight can best be described as a puzzle game with stealth elements. It's very old-school and grid-based, almost shareware-esque in its execution. Your goal is to steal all the gems in a room while eliminating any guards who stand in your way. How? Stealth tactics. For instance, you can hide in a box and sneak up on them from behind to shank them, or crack some ice in their path and send them plummeting to their doom in the icy waters below. To top it off, all of this was working after 48 hours.
Since launching the version that came out for the Stealth Jam, Moonlight has been improved significantly. Five more levels were added, as well as new AI, traps, hold-to-move, controller compatibility, sound effects, and some placeholder music. The game now has 10 levels with 2 castles: The Treasure Temple and the Frozen Fortress.
Moonlight has the opportunity to be huge. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to make Moonlight into something fantastic.Kickstarter is more than just a site for making money. It's a site for creatives to help creatives, and this is your chance to get creative.
Because of the simple nature of the gameplay, Moonlight opens itself up to a whole slew of possibilities and community involvement. Want to design an item? Have an idea for an enemy? Is your imagination running wild with an idea for a castle? There's a pledge for that. Heck I may even be nice and put aside development of content for a couple months to make an actual level editor that backers will get access to early on, allowing them to make their own levels to be incorporated into the game.
The other great part is that Multimedia Fusion has been receiving many updates lately, especially in terms of exporters, so Windows isn't the only option for platforms anymore. Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android, and XNA are also possibilities, but not without your help.
$25,000 may seem like a lot, but there's a lot to keep in mind with game development. For instance, this would potentially be my first mobile game, so I would have to be able to afford iDevices and Android gadgets (potentially several thousand dollars right there), licensing fees for said devices, competition entrance fees, and paying a fair amount for contracting out artwork and music.
Most likely! An exporter does exist for Linux builds from Multimedia Fusion. It may be a bit further down the road than the Windows version due to some code incompatibilities but I'd give it a 90% chance of happening.
At $5, you get the game in its current form almost immediately and all future updates! A code for the game on Desura will be sent to you as soon as its available, which should be between September and October. You will also receive all codes for the game on PC, as well as for Mac and Linux when those versions become available.
Everything Above PLUS:
Design a level for Moonlight! If the project reaches a funding level where I can make a level editor, you'll be able to test the editor. Otherwise I am happy to send you a grid, castle and gameplay guides, tiles, or even an empty template file if you have a copy of Multimedia Fusion 2. Heck you can even sketch your level out on a piece of paper and I'll build the level out from that.
You will also receive proper credit in the game as a Level Designer, as well as a thumbnail of your level next to your name in the credits.
Everything above PLUS: All digital versions of the game ever. If it comes out on mobile, it's yours. If it comes out on console, it's yours. If the game gets a big new version with graphical overhauls, its yours. All updates, expansions, DLC, etc.? Yours. This is basically a lifetime subscription to all that is Moonlight: Mistress of Mischief.
Everything above PLUS: Design an item for Moonlight! Moonlight's inventory needs to be expanded. Right now she only has her trusty knife. Can you think of a great item she could use in her adventures? At this reward, you'll be able to design an item, its mechanics, its limitations, and even its look and name. It can be whatever you want, from everyday tools to fantastic spells. Just please try to stick within the gestalt of the game (fantasy/medieval). I will let you know immediately if the item you have designed is not within the realm of my capability. You will receive credit as an Item Designer on top of Level Designer, and your item's icon will appear next to your name in the credits.
Everything above PLUS: VIP booth access at any con we're ever at. Seriously. I will design you a special "Lantana Games VIP Access" card that you can wave at us at any con to cut to the front of the line at our booths (and if the Enforcers/security/etc. let us let you cut). You can schmooze with us all you want and even join us for drinks! We will also send any extra game codes we get your way so you'll always have something new to play. If any other bonuses come up we will let you know what they are.
Everything above PLUS: Wow. Seriously? $500 for a puzzle game? For this, first of all, you will be part of a "Shrine of Donors" included in the game, complete with a small sprite statue drawn in your likeness. Furthermore, I will send you a special edition CD version of the game, burned by me personally on my home desktop, and load it up with lots of stuff just for you. What kind of stuff? Howabout the soundtrack for the game burned onto that very same CD? You can take the game with you and listen to the music on road trips! Still not good enough? Howabout an included art book with concept art and screenshots from development? Of course, this CD will be signed and include all versions of the game for computers, as well as codes included in the booklet for other versions that may exist by that time. PLEASE NOTE: Special Edition and Gem Editions will not be available until the launch of the final game.
Everything above PLUS: First of all, you will be credited as a Producer. Secondly, you will receive the Gem version of the game. You thought a simple Special Edition CD was cool? How's this for a kicker: This version of the game will have alternate versions of the transition screens than everyone else's. Instead of just Moonlight's sprite running in one direction, your version's transitions will be FMV's, downgraded to be reminiscent of Sega CD-era FMV games like Night Trap! This version will also include everything in the special edition but you will receive it on a purple CD to differentiate it from the regular special edition. PLEASE NOTE: Special Edition and Gem Editions will not be available until the launch of the final game.
Everything above PLUS: Design a castle! You thought designing just a single level was cool? Howabout designing the look, feel, and overarching mechanics of an entire Castle? For instance, The Frozen Fortress has cracks in the ground that will kill you if you step on them twice. I will work with you one on one to design a castle with mechanics that fit into Moonlight's gameplay, create a good level of challenge, and feature a unique look. You will also be credited as a World Designer.
Everything above PLUS: First of all, you will be credited as an Executive Producer. Secondly, this is the "Huge Pack." You will receive 1 Gem Edition + 1 Special Edition + 5 Digital Editions of Moonlight: Mistress of Mischief to gift among your friends. On top of that, not only will you be included in the "Shrine of Donors," but you will also have your own, secret shrine somewhere in the game (you can choose which castle to have it in, or even design a castle dedicated completely to your shrine) complete with a much larger statue made in your likeness. Finally, you will receive a high quality print of the game's final title screen, signed by myself and the Lantana Games team as a personal thank-you. You will also be invited to party with us any time we throw a shindig! PLEASE NOTE: Special Edition and Gem Editions will not be available until the launch of the final game.