This mad-cap adventure started with one simple question: can we create a game that randomly generates itself?
We locked ourselves away, sketched some ideas, scrawled a bunch of notes and before too long the GameTron 1000 was born.
Then, suddenly... Kaboom!
Kickstarter exploded all over the internet and things became a lot more exciting. What if we allowed our backers to contribute their own creations to the project?
The GameTron 1000 is pretty ambitious stuff...
The team here at Mojo Bones will create a standalone game for iOS, Android and PC that provides a randomly generated experience at the push of a button. Yup, that's right... platformers, scrolling-runners, balancing games, arena battles, collect-'em-ups, slash-'em-ups, boss fights, time trials: the list goes on!
Each bite-sized game will be generated using a simple reel system and will randomly select everything from characters, enemies and bosses to genres, objectives, collectables and environments.
One minute you could be platforming through the desert fighting off waves of zombie pigeons, next, you're running away from a giant bug-eyed marshmallow monster with two minutes to toast him!
That's the beauty of the GameTron. It's silly, unpredictable - but most of all - fun.
Far from a simple collection of mini-games, the GameTron 1000 will feature a bunch of genres and sub-genres that can be mixed-&-matched to offer bundles of variation.
For example: the 'falling' genre has our hero plummeting in-front of a constantly scrolling background. Sub-genres will then be used to indicate the finer details of the game. Will you be fighting-off a troop of falling enemies in a twin-stick shooter (combat)? Or perhaps using the accelerometer to steer your falling hero through a maze of debris (avoidance)? Just two basic examples.
Now take into consideration the other areas that can be randomised. The enemies you fight; your playable character; the environment you're falling through; how much time you have to survive for; your control method; the objects you need to collect (or avoid), and you can start to see how unique each game has the potential to be.
Funding is obviously important, but the reason we've turned to Kickstarter is because we want to make the GameTron as whacky and unpredictable as possible. That's why we need YOU!
Choose one of our 'GameTron' backer options - and when funding is complete - we'll give you the opportunity to submit your idea. It will then be hand-crafted by our talented art team and added to the game. Easy peasy.
Want to browse through everyone's handiwork? No problem: all creations can be viewed in the game's 'Pixelpedia'. Each and every submission will be listed and categorised - alongside the name of its creator - for the world to see.
The GameTron 1000 will provide your very own library where you can store and organise your favourite randomised creations. Every saved game will be turned into it a virtual game cartridge and placed on your library's shelf. And guess what? Each game is automatically given its own random name too.
Think of it like your very own retro game store!
Although the GameTron 1000 is designed as a single-player experience, we've got some great social features planned.
Not only will you be able to send your favourite - and funniest - games to your friends, we'll also allow you to compete against them for bragging rights. Send a challenge and you'll be alerted if/when they manage to trump your performance. Think of it like high-score tennis.
There will also be a featured 'Game of the Month' competition, allowing the whole GameTron community to attempt the same game and battle against each other for top-spot on the GOTM leaderboard.
Twitter and Facebook will also be integrated so you can alert friends to the madness you've conjured-up. Want everyone to know you've just generated a game called 'Monkey Needs Lipstick'? - no problemo, click and spread the word.
We love the 16-bit era. Not only do we go all giddy when it comes to old-school visuals but they provide a snug fit for the GameTron's mix-&-match premise. We aim to capture all the fun and innocence of the golden age of gaming and hopefully our pitch video gives a taste of what we're capable of.
But wait-up! The GameTron isn't going to be exclusively for us nerdy geeks. No siree. It'll feature many different genres and objectives to suit all difficulty levels and playing styles.
Action-packed arcade gameplay is the order of the day and our mission is to create a game that can be played in short bursts, but with massive replay value.
Whether you're waiting for a bus with a few minutes to kill, bored and want something new to play, hosting a retro game party or vying for high-scores: the beauty of the GameTron 1000 is that you never know what you're gonna get. There's always something new waiting around the next corner.
All of the game's art assets are designed for flexibility, allowing us to take user submissions and keep them consistent.
Environments will be broken down into a 3 distinct layers (background, midground and foreground) so they can be easily swapped, regardless of genre.
Collectables will be a fixed size so bear in mind the limited space when making your suggestions. These examples should give you a good idea of the room we have to work with...
Just like our environments, the game's characters will also follow a template structure. This makes it possible for every character - regardless of their design - to function within the game.
All GameTron 1000 characters will be based on humanoid proportions, making it possible for them to deal with the many different gameplay scenarios we have planned. However, that doesn't mean that you should feel restricted with your ideas...
A couple more character-related notes...
Submissions are on a first-come-first-served basis. Nobody wants a game full of the same fluffy kitten! Try and be creative with your ideas - think outside of the box and have some fun. For example: instead of simply suggesting a 'dog', why not go for a 'slobbering Dalmatian' instead. The more unique your idea is, the more it'll stand out.
Also, it's important to keep the GameTron 1000 entertaining for everyone else, which means no personal submissions. We're more than happy to turn you - or your loved ones - into 'rock stars', 'zombies', 'F16 pilots' etc. but we really want to avoid the generic 'John Doe' type submissions.
'John Doe the Egyptian Pharaoh' is fine though.
And finally, no offensive submissions please. Save those for the 'GameTron XXX' edition: this is a family show!
This is unprecedented new ground, and to our knowledge, no one else has ever attempted to create a game that randomises itself, let alone one that features user submissions.
It's exciting stuff and we can't wait to get rolling. We're scheduled for a Fall 2013 launch and we're planning to document the entire journey. We'll be recording monthly updates to share with the community. Everything will be shared: from concepts and sketches to insights into the actual development process. Heck, we'll even photograph the blisters on the art team's fingers for you.
You guys will be part of this adventure - every step of the way.
The GameTron 1000 isn't a project that stops upon release. Oh no... we've always seen this thing as the beginning of a much bigger adventure.
Once the project goes live we want the GameTron to grow. Our flexible design means that we can continue to add genres, characters and modes, which will only help to make the game even more unique and unpredictable! We already have some great ideas for where we want to go next.
Extra funding will be pumped into maintaining the project - and if we really hit the big-time - we'd like the game to expand beyond its original scope. Localisation, new formats and voice-over are a few things we've already discussed.
'Audio' backers upwards will receive a copy of the game's soundtrack, which will also feature vocal outtakes, bonus tracks and all of the game's sound effects.
Here's a sample, featuring music that was created specifically for our pitch video...
Every backer level comes with a Professor Pixel approved digital 'Backer Certificate' thanking you for your contribution. 'GameTron Boss' level backers upwards will be upgraded to a physical 'SuperBacker Certificate', delivered right to your door and personally customised with your name, creation and signed by the dev team!
Not just any old book, the GameTron 'Making Of' art book will be a colourful insight into the production of the game that includes development photos, notes from the team, and of course, every single backer submission. The book will be divided into chapters (collectables, bosses, environments and characters), with each submission being displayed alongside the contributors name.
'Art' backers (and upwards) will receive a high-res digital copy of the book.
'Support/Lead Character' backers will not only get a hardcover version of the book, but they will also get a full-page to themselves (with their creation next to a hand-drawn pixelated version of their likeness).
Finally, roll out the trumpets for our 'Star Character' backers, as they will get the ultimate reward: their badass character looking super-cool on the book's cover!
We understand that not everyone can financially back the project. However, if you dig what we're trying to create, and want to see it succeed, your support can still make a big difference. Twitter, Facebook, email, smoke-signals, carrier-pigeon... we're not fussy.
Lastly, if you've made it this far... thanks for reading (phew).
The Mojo Bones team xxx
Risks and challenges
OK, here comes the serious...
We fully understand the risks associated with game development. The first step on any project is preparation, and that's the reason we didn't want to jump onto Kickstarter with a half-baked concept. When you're asking people to personally fund your project, it's an even bigger commitment, and something we take very seriously.
We've spent a lot of time prior to this pitch working on the game's design and making sure the project's foundations are in place. Whether that's testing various control prototypes or finalising our pipe-line for creating the game's assets, a lot of work has already been done to minimise risk and ensure that we're in a position to deliver on what we promise.
We also believe in 'practicing what we preach', which is why we've already invested time and resources into the project prior to it being funded. It would have been easier for us (plus cheaper and quicker) to sit in front of a camera and present our idea without any real pre-production, but we figured it was important to show our commitment.
We wanted to make a statement with our concept, not only as a way of making it appealing, but also to show what we're capable of. We figure that if you believe in our pitch, you believe in what we can achieve.
Finally, there's the practical experience of making games. We're an experienced dev team that have worked on formats ranging from the Gameboy Color to the latest smartphones.
Mojo Bones was formed in September 2011 as a way of realising ambitious ideas like the GameTron 1000, and since starting the company we've successfully launched two games, with our second title (The Curse) hitting the No.1 game spot in the App Store and breaking top 10 on Google Play.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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