About this project
"I have fallen deeply, irrevocably in love." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"A glorious looking new indie platformer" - PC Gamer
"Of all the Nip joints in all the towns in all the world, Jones walks into mine." - GameZebo (Q&A)
"Noir Is The New Meow" - IndieStatik
Click here for the papercraft patterns, and watch the video for details on the event.
UPDATE: Kickstarter staff has told us we can't offer prizes, as they're worried about conflating prizes with reward tiers, etc. So, we can't offer any prizes this Friday, but we will still feature the winners prominently in our Friday update!
Also - we'll still do something very cool for the winners, once the Kickstarter is wrapped up, and we see where we're at. We just need a few days to figure out something appropriately awesome.
Also, this is open TO ANYONE, not just backers. Have fun!
UPDATE: If we hit the $30k stretch goal before the Kickstarter ends, I will throw the $40k stretch goal in too and we'll do both! (because one's pre-launch, and one's post-launch free DLC)
The next stretch goal is "Chinatown," which we'll make if we hit $30,000!
It's a zone styled after the Chinatown regions in classic noir film, just without the offensive racial stereotypes. In “Chinatown”, you’ll hunt down The Siamese, a devious cat trying to displace the Nip trade with his own creation - Poppyseed Muffins. Along the way, the player will acquire the use of fireworks ammunition, which is used as an ignition source and light source amongst other things.
For details on the other stretch goals, we explained them in a previous update.
Want some music? Well hey, MUSIC!, Artistic Influences, Case File #1 - Franky, Case File #2 - The Chief, Mega mondo MORE Music!, Hot Tin Roof on mobile? It's more likely than you think, Case File #3 - Suzy Cube, Case File #4 - Emma Jones, Case File #5 - Mortimer Scratch, A Proper Thank-You, Interviews / Contest Extension/ Android & OUYA (more soon!)
Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora is a single-player game aimed at PC / Mac / Linux (and maybe some other platforms). We've just about finished pre-production on it. It plays best with a gamepad, but works great on mouse and keyboard.
On the one hand, it's a noir side-scrolling adventure platformer, stuffed with style and charm. You're Emma Jones - a two bit gal in an 8-bit world - and you're the Private Investigator on a string of grisly murders. You'll run, jump and climb through a massive 3D city (it's not just a flat sideways plane), sleuthing up clues and tracking down the killer.
All the while, your partner has your back. Francine - though she hates that name, so everybody calls her Franky. She's the cat that wore the fedora, the first feline ever to become an investigator. Whether you're up against Boxian mooks, rats hired as dumb muscle, stoolie pigeons, or even other cats - she never leaves your side.
On the other hand, it's Metroidvania inspired - but with more of the Metroid, less of the vania. It's an explorable city with soul! Full of characters to chat up and secrets to explore, it's not just a corridor you fight through on your way to your next ability.
Speaking of new abilities - you will find different cartridge types for your revolvers. Change the way you play with knockbacks, grapplers, blood splatters, fireworks and more! Knock down locked doors, panic other characters into letting you slip past, and grapple up buildings. Each new tool unlocks a new corner of the world so you can find even more clues and secrets! Each one brings you a step closer to unraveling the mystery, and finding the killer.
That said, this isn't your typical run and gun. Sure, there's plenty of shooting, but your gun is a tool, not a weapon. Violence isn't always the answer - you've got to use your head!
Your revolver shakes in your hand. You've got one grapple cartridge left and a firework - but he's got the drop on you. Your fedora has three new holes, and Franky's cowering beside you.
The little rat's info was good, though. She's lead you straight to the pigeon's nest in the cannery, and once you take him down, he'll sing like a canary. Take a quick peek around the corner, and there it is - he's standing on an oil slick. What a maroon.
You chamber the grappler and the firework. A quick shot at the ceiling, and you're zipping up a line. He shoots, but misses. Pigeons are terrible shots, and you're too fast. As you fly by, you shoot the firework into the oil slick - and the pigeon squacks to beat the band. By the time you land, the fire's out cold, and so is he. He'll wake up to prison bars, terrible coffee, and the cheapest interrogation lamp petty cash can buy.
You notice a glint in the rubble. What's this, a new revolver? With more chambers? You pocket it. He won't be needing it where he's going.
This is Hot Tin Roof.
We're a small team based (mostly) in Colorado, and we all work out of our basements. If you'd like more information on us or on who makes up the team, click here.
As for how we're making it, we use Unity 3D. It's just about the best cross-platform tool imaginable for indies. Within Unity, we've built out the tech that lets us make a unique 3D side-scroller like Hot Tin Roof. We're calling it warped plane side-scrolling, and it's taken us 2 years and an entire previous game to get right.
It's worth mentioning, though, that we're not using the built-in character controls, AI, UI, or even the default gravity. You've probably played a bad Unity 3D platformer or two, one that felt like you were controlling a threadbare sofa, or where everything had space gravity, right? We're not one of those. Everything is custom built for a fantastic platformer experience.
To get Hot Tin Roof this far took 5 months, and most of our savings. The core side-scrolling, platforming and revolver tech is solid, but we've got a long ways to go in terms of adding content and fleshing out the world. The $20k buys us the 6 more months we need to finish and polish the game.
With that 6 months, we can complete the game out to a decent length. If you played Guacamelee, figure something on that order. If we start hitting stretch goals, we can pull features and additional regions back in from the cutting room floor. That would result in a longer development period, and an even meatier game experience.
If you'd like to see a rough breakdown of where the money goes, it looks a bit like this.
You might think our last game did well enough to fund our next game... but unfortunately, it did not. Jones On Fire was big critical success, but financially, not so much. Even so, it set us up perfectly for Hot Tin Roof, and it shows that we're a more than capable development team.
Hot Tin Roof will be $15 when it ships. $10 for a copy is thus a ~33% discount, for helping us make the game a reality. Neat!
Everyone at the $10 reward tier or higher gets a DRM-free copy on PC, Mac and Linux (via Humble Store, and hopefully GoG). Once we're on Steam, we'll include a Steam key as well.
Thanks to the folks at Cerulean Games, Hot Tin Roof will also be coming to Android and iPhone/iPad/Touch. That will probably include Android consoles like the OUYA and GameStick, and any AppleTV/GooglePlay consoles that might be on the horizon.
We'd also like to see the game on proper consoles - PS3 or PS4, Wii U, one of those - but it will depend entirely on how much we can raise.
We will, of course, also support the Steambox (once we're on Steam).
Once the Kickstarter ends, anyone with a backstage pass gets added to our team mailing list, and you'll get to see any discussions we have from then on. That's also the mailing list we use to distribute test builds, which means amongst other things, you'll get immediate access to the build of Hot Tin Roof that we'll be showing off at PAX.
Beta access differs from backstage pass in that beta period doesn't start until the game is complete and stable, and you won't have access to the team mailing list. You'll get early access to the game a couple of months before it goes live, and you'll get to be part of making sure it's fun and playable for as many folks as is possible.
The buttons are totally awesome. I mean just look at them. LOOK. They are so adorable it hurts.
They're little 1-inch round stickers featuring Franky. They're pretty neat!
Huge thanks to Cara Holmes for her help with filming and editing the trailer. If any of you need help with any of that, we cannot recommend Cara enough - she is fantastic at what she does. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org (don't forget the 't' - there's another Cara Holmes in video editing, oddly enough), and she's a Colorado local, if you happen to need filming done in the area.
Just, probably don't film in an echo'y basement like we did. Her equipment is excellent, but basement office acoustics are pretty naff.
So, you think Hot Tin Roof looks awesome, and want to make it a reality? Great! Glad you're on board - it'll be an awesome ride! Here's what you can do.
First, every little bit helps. Even $1 can make a difference. So, thanks!
Second, follow our developer on Twitter, @glassbottommeg, and help her get the word out. Retweets turn a little squeak into an earth-rending roar! (Or meow, I guess - but it's a SUPER loud meow!)
Third, help us spread the word. Tell friends on Facebook, upvote or link us on Reddit, neogaf, GameFAQs, IndieDB - anywhere you frequent. Every mention we get massively helps us out.
Finally, of course, keep an eye on our updates. We've got some awesome stuff to show, and we're certain you'll dig it.
So, ta for now... and thanks!
Risks and challenges
The budget is tight. $20k covers it (mostly keeping the programmer alive to focus full-time on the game), but we'll need to be mindful of scope creep.
We've seen other teams blow their scope entirely by over-promising and under-delivering on stretch goals, so we're going to be really careful on that. You won't see us promising co-op, VS multiplayer or the like. That's all stuff we'll consider for sequels or expansions, but for Hot Tin Roof? We're going to deliver a rock-solid, fantastic game, and stretch goals will just expand on that game, adding new regions to explore, more abilities to unlock, cooler AI and additional character behaviors, etc.
Even so, remember, this is the games industry, so development may push past that expected 6 months. It most definitely will, if we hit stretch goals. That's why all of the reward tiers list "August" - it's very unlikely things would push that far, but we want to have the flexibility to take the time we feel the game needs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Think art book. It'll be page after page of concept art, annotations by the artists, discussions on design in the margins, etc. It'll give you an idea of how the game came to be as it is, and show off stuff we had to cut or modify.
Yes! No shipping cost whatsoever, we just email you some links and you're set.
The digital copy of Hot Tin Roof will be a DRM-free downloadable .zip file, and once we're on Steam, a Steam key (that we'll email you).
The digital soundtrack will be a collection of MP3s, encoded at 320kbps.
The digital coffee table book will be either a PDF, or a kindle-format ebook, or both.
With physical rewards, a much higher percentage of the money has to be dedicated to "prize fulfillment," and comparatively little goes toward the project. What that means is that we might think we've got, say, $100k to work with, when actually, it's more like $70k.
The reason this is important is Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing system. So if we hit $20k, we HAVE to be sure that we can make the project for precisely that $20k. Physical rewards make it really hard to tell how much of that money is actually for the project, and how much is for paying for physical rewards.
It gets even more important with stretch goals. Toward the end of a project, people are probably piling on physical rewards, meaning that we'd have no idea if we could actually do that stretch goal that the funding number says we ought be able to do - it all gets really messy.
So - we're keeping it simple. By limiting the physical rewards, we can accurately estimate how much money we've got / what we can deliver on, and then we can deliver exactly what we promise.
We will absolutely consider creating a merchandise shop after the Kickstarter ends, where certain items can be purchased independently. That won't be until quite a bit closer to release, though, and we won't necessarily include every single physical reward in it, probably just the really popular ones.
Nope! 100% of the Kickstarter funds go to the desktop version. The mobile port is a gimme.
Dave wanted a crack at it, so I tossed him the source, and now he'll be taking that whole thing on himself. All I'll do is finish up desktop-side and pass him the code/assets as they're completed. I'll probably even reverse integrate optimizations that he makes for mobile, which will make the desktop-side game scale down to even lower-powered hardware, if that's all you've got. It's win/win!
No. All of the stretch goals (aside from the NPC schedules / time of day one) would be delivered as free post-launch DLC. Any money we make from pre-orders also goes into the same pot toward making those happen, and even after launch, if the game is a big enough success? Then we can still do them.
The NPC schedules one is a bit trickier, though. If we don't hit that stretch goal during the Kickstarter, it'll take some luck for that to make it into the final game. Unlike all the other post-launch stuff, the NPC schedules system has to be in BEFORE launch. It also can't be just tacked on in the last month, since it affects every zone in the game.
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