Guide six characters as they force a world that isn’t going anywhere to listen to what they have to say. Read more
This project was successfully funded on May 24, 2012.
About this project
PHYSICAL REWARDS ARE NOW AVAILABLE.
So, Who Are You, Anyway?
Hi, my name is Johnathan and I've been working on an action role-playing game (RPG) with a few other people. In fact, I've been working on it for about five years - since September 2006. The story really begins with me tinkering in RPG Maker 2003 for a while, and then moving to Game Maker. Why is this important?
Well, I love RPGs. Specifically, ones like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and even lesser-known ones like Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole. I loved the way these games made me feel, I loved their epic scope, I loved their narrative, and I loved the way they played. So I began making a game in RPG Maker called Valiant Blade, and I proceeded to slavishly imitate the best RPGs. I didn't really know any better, as you could probably tell.
Time moved on and I grew up. Life got in the way several times, but even then, I was still kicking around my facile facsimile of Final Fantasy. I remember approaching some little thing - I don't really know what it was, some minor detail of a system I was designing, and for the first time, I did something unspeakable.
I trashed a well-established design trope because it didn't make sense.
And then I trashed another, and another, and another. Since then, I have always approached design this way, and will continue to in the future.
What's This About?
Eventually, Valiant Blade gave way to Alcarys Complex, the epic RPG gave way to a character study about the nature of power and violence in all its forms, and saving the world gave way to just surviving its perpetual onslaught. Grinding and killing for experience melted away, replaced by a social system that rewards talking to people and knowing your characters. The plucky hero, the demure girl magician, and the impossibly evil yet charming villain all died, left on the cutting room floor by someone who's seen them one too many times.
Replacing them are six characters who stood up and forced a world that isn't going anywhere to listen to what they have to say. Characters like a young man who has forsaken violence, or a woman whose career may not be all that it seems. Most of all, the characters are people yearning to be saved from the world, rather than save it.
Everything in this game, from the characters to the locales to the main storyline, has been approached with the goal of total fusion of story and gameplay. I wrote the story's first draft in 2009, and for the last three years, it's seen continuous refinement, editing, and planning - in fact, I made edits to a crucial scene just last week. There are webs upon webs of cause and effect in this story, and I'm dedicated to making them all satisfying and sensible. I'm really too close to the project to make an objective value judgment of what we've done, but I can say this with confidence: I guarantee that Alcarys Complex will be unlike any game you'll ever play.
We're not going to promise you hours and hours of gameplay, but we will try to deliver you a compelling, personal, and dense experience.
We've built this game from the ground up over five years, and it's cost a lot of money to do so. In fact, our expenditure to date is $11,250.02, and an overwhelming percentage of that went into the graphic design of the game (~75%).
We've bootstrapped the cost of the entire game, and it's worked okay so far, but we're pretty much out of money at this point. Alcarys Complex is 90-95% done, and with your help, we can finish it.
How are we going to use your money?
Our projection is that we'll need $4,000 to finish the game. This will be spent on:
- An original folk soundtrack by the excellent Chris Apple
- Finishing the remainder of the graphical assets, including composite character art, sprites, and backgrounds
- Administrative costs (business and middleware licensing, reward fulfillment, and other things of this nature)
Any excess over the goal will go toward making this project even better, whether by producing limited physical runs, porting, or lowering the cost of the final game. I promise I won't use the money to make a suit of armor made of Sacagawea dollars or to buy the world's least expensive giant robot.
If you're still unsure about whether or not you want to back us, we have a demo that you can play right now (PC only)!
There's a reward on the sidebar that allows you to design and write your own NPC. Because we are trying to maintain a coherent game world, we must ask backers who request NPCs to follow these guidelines:
- Nothing inappropriate, please.
- No references to things that don't exist inside the game world, please. If you want to say hi to your mom, that's fine: moms exist. If you want to talk about your sweet car, no dice, sorry (even though it's probably pretty sweet).
Don't worry, we'll work with you to come up with something!
Definitely PC, and Apple OS X by the end of the year. A Linux release isn't out of the question, but we currently have no plans for one at this time.
No self-published Modest Arcade game will be wrapped in any sort of DRM, ever. This includes Alcarys Complex and any future titles we may produce.
Move and navigate menus with [Arrow Keys], attack and confirm with [C], cancel with [Z], open the help screen with [F1]. For more detailed controls, refer to the readme. To configure custom controls or use a joypad, use the Configuration Menu (either at the title screen or in the main menu).
You can! If you choose The Socialite reward, you'll get the opportunity to work with us to design an Interactive Dialogue. You'll get to choose the circumstances of the dialogue and the players. Guidelines:
- Nothing inappropriate
- No references to things that don't exist inside the game world.
- You're free to choose any adversary you want, but since Alcarys Complex's party structure is fixed, you may not use a custom party configuration unless it is explicitly allowed by the developers.
Don't worry, we'll work with you to come up with something!
Pledge $1 or more
The Antidote: Backers receive our Kickstarter wallpaper.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5 or more
The Candy Bar: Backers receive a handwritten thank-you postcard (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
The Vile Victoria (OSX): Backers receive a digital copy of the game for Apple OS X, including all future patches and additions. Note that this version will need to be ported, which takes time (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
The Vile Victoria (WIN): Backers receive a digital copy of the game for Windows, including all future patches and additions (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $12 or more
The Health Drink: Backers receive a digital copy of the game's soundtrack (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or more
The Sinister Sargasso (PC ONLY): Backers receive immediate access to every build of the game produced since 2006 through the Modest Arcade build repository (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
The Solvent: Backers receive a digital character book containing the art, background information, and conceptual materials of each of the main characters (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or more
6 backers Limited (94 left of 100)
The Pocket Watch: Backers will receive a first-run physical disc copy of the Alcarys Complex Original Soundtrack, composed and arranged by Chris Apple (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
The Peppermint Oil: Backers receive our signed print (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $70 or more
8 backers Limited (92 left of 100)
The Star Fragment (PC ONLY): Backers will receive a first-run physical disc copy of Alcarys Complex (includes all unique lower rewards, INCLUDING the soundtrack disc and signed print).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
5 backers All gone!
The Smoothie: Backers will be written into the game as a non-player character (NPC) bearing their likeness and name. We'll work with you to get enough dialogue for the plot period system. See NPCs for more details (includes all unique lower rewards).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
The Socialite: Backers will be given the opportunity to design an Interactive Dialogue with Modest Arcade. Backers can choose the adversaries, the subjects, and the point at which the dialogue takes place. See Interactive Dialogues for more details (includes all unique lower rewards except The Smoothie).Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)