Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~
Slog through the Funpocalypse in Undead Darlings, a visual novel dungeon crawler RPG developed in the West with a Japanese aesthetic.
Greetings, intrepid readers! Thank you for visiting the Kickstarter page for Mr. Tired Media's first internally developed title, Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~. We’re very excited to bring this game to you, and after telling you all about it, we hope that you will share in that excitement!
What is the Undead Darlings Project?
What we hope to achieve with Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~ (UD~ncfl~ for short) is to channel and emulate some of the best aspects from different Japanese game genres—such as classic JRPG mechanics and visual novel style storytelling/character growth. We are paying homage to a number of classic and modern game titles with UD~ncfl~, both in its design aesthetic and in sometimes subtle, sometimes not-so-subtle nods within the narrative itself.
As for the tone of the story, we are striving to achieve a balance between comedic and heartfelt, both in the writing and in the visuals. The two of us who created Mr. Tired Media worked at NIS America for a combined total of ten years, which has helped to foster a great appreciation for niche Japanese games and the visual styles that their fanbase loves and expects. Everything in UD~ncfl~ is designed to evoke the flair of Japanese anime-style art, and to achieve this, all assets are hand-drawn in HD resolution. It’s a tad ambitious for our inaugural game, but the results should speak for themselves!
Having worked at a Japanese publisher for many years, we have also come to understand the thought process behind Japanese-style narrative, which is key to being able to create a powerful story in the visual novel genre—a genre the Japanese game industry has down to a science. Also, as avid RPG fans for most of our lives, we wanted to pay homage to one of our favorite games from yesteryear, Phantasy Star. Specifically, the original quadrilogy that spanned the Sega Master System and the Sega Genesis. Our battle system has been designed to recall the visual aesthetic from Phantasy Star II and IV while adding in our own unique battle system mechanics. We also are involved in a long-term relationship with dungeon crawling games, ranging from the older Wizardry titles to modern-day incarnations like Legend of Grimrock, Operation Abyss and Dungeon Travelers 2. To express our undying (ha!) love for these types of games, we chose for ours to adopt dungeon crawling elements outside of the visual novel segments.
Without mincing any more words, we are a team of very passionate gamers who want to make something that we can be proud of, and that others will be entertained by. We’ve made a great amount of progress bootstrapping out of our own pockets, but now, we are putting ourselves and our passion project out there for all to see. Please help us give this game's development the final push to completion, so that we can summon the Funpocalypse for all to celebrate!
What's Undead Darlings About?
The story of UD~ncfl~ revolves around Reginald "Reggie" P. Happenstahnce and his journey to take the cure for the zombie plague that his scientist father developed someplace safe; somewhere it can be mass-produced.
The game opens with Reggie waking up from an alcohol-related coma (courtesy of his own father, no less) and being told that society had crumbled due to a virus outbreak that turned most everyone into zombies. He learns all this from his childhood friend Pearl, who just so happens to have turned into one of the undead, but has somehow managed to retain control of her mind. This is a theme that remains present throughout the game's narrative regarding the undead girls—though their bodies may be dead, their hearts are still human.
On his journey, Reggie will meet a bevy of undead girls who have also held onto their human hearts, along with a fellow human named Buck who has abandoned his. Buck also takes on the duty of driving the party around in his big hybrid truck.
While on this adventure, you—as Reggie—will get to learn more about the undead girls traveling with you based on the choices you make in the visual novel segments. Perhaps one of them will grow close enough to you for romantic feelings to develop, and they may even place enough of their trust in you to volunteer to be the first test subject for your father's cure!
Oh, Cool. So... Mechanics?
The game contains three distinct gameplay sections:
- A visual novel section, where characters interact via text and bust-up images. You will be prompted to make several choices in each scene that will branch the dialogue into unique conversations—not just one or two different lines, but a different conversation entirely! These choices will allow you to learn more about and grow closer to your party members via an Affection Point system, so pick carefully if you are trying to get a certain character to open up to you! See how we code these scenes below (the first three minutes were lost to the Internet Abyss, many apologies!). It may not be the most visually exciting stream out there, but the information contained therein is definitely worth it!
- A dungeon crawling section, where you take three party members with you into familiar, trope-happy post-apocalypse locations to explore. These 3D dungeon sections are played via a first-person perspective in the grand tradition of Wizardry, which has been carried into more recent games like Class of Heroes and Demon Gaze. Since this game takes place after society has fallen, there is no currency or any weapon/item shops, so seeking out loot points to keep your party well-equipped for battle is vital, especially since weapons are scarce and come with durability ratings based on their rarity! Use them to fend off baddies in both random and pre-set encounters.
- A battle section, where you will issue commands to your three-member team in traditional turn-based combat. In addition to regular attacks and special skills, there are Phantasy Star IV-inspired combo attacks to discover, so have fun experimenting with different skills to see if any unlock a new combo attack. Another battle mechanic at play includes the ability to create custom "Macros" so that you can efficiently auto-battle against specific enemies with specific weaknesses. This is vital because of our unique EE (Exponential Exploitation) System!
Our original battle system emphasizes exploiting an enemy's weaknesses to stack damage. Stacked damage will cancel when an attack does not exploit a weakness, and hitting multiple weaknesses at once will increase the damage output and stack the multiplier at an even greater rate.
For instance, imagine, if you will, that you are fighting a zombie who is weak to Fire and Slashing attacks. Sure, you can have two characters use those attack types separately, but if you know a skill like Fire Slash, which incorporates both of those attributes, you can exploit both weaknesses at once for...massive damage. Ugh, that phrase is forever ruined, isn't it?
Loot also comes with skills attached, so pick your party and equipment wisely to exploit every possible combination of enemy weaknesses and show the Funpocalypse who's boss!
All Right, TL;DR Version
Here are the most salient points for you to salivate over:
- Funpocalypse is the keyword at Mr. Tired for this game. We’ve all seen the apocalypse in other games, movies, and TV shows, so why not make one where life isn’t all grimdark? We use highly stylized menus and an in-your-face color scheme to make your eyeballs dance with glee. By oozing both a cute and undead style, this game will really be unlike anything else on the market today!
- Gorgeous hand-drawn visuals throughout—character art, enemy art, user interface, and even the font were all drawn by hand to be unique and look downright splendiferous on HD displays. Jaggies, schmaggies! We even have drawn our art inverted so that the characters can turn and face one another while keeping their designs accurate; a small but often overlooked detail in RPGs!
- An off-the-wall, unpredictable, and non-sequitur sense of humor brings the Funpocalypse back to life. Both in the writing and in the visuals, you will experience plenty of moments of laughing out loud, bellowing out a single "HAH!"...and of course, a healthy number of eye-rolls and groans. Those are absolutely valid reactions and we love those, too!
- Over 20 floors of dungeon crawling goodness! Ogre your way through classic survival horror trope-filled locations like a police station, hospital, government lab, and more!
- Battle against several dozen unique, over-the-top baddies like our good friend in the first trailer, the smoking crow.
- Over 50 unique skills to learn, along with a great number of additional combo skills!
- Loot galore! Do you think you can find a weapon with 99 durability?! How about one with a COMBO skill pre-embedded, opening up an entire party slot for true greed-fueled conflagration customization?!
About the Mr. Tired Team!
Hitsukuya: Character Design, Crazy Talented Artist
The genius mind and talented hands behind the characters of Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~, Hitsukuya has been a mainstay at Anime Expo's artist alley for years, among the several other conventions she visits around the world. Her art instantly captured the attention (and moe-lovin' hearts) of Mr. Tired, and they simply had to ask her if she would be interested in helping to design their characters. They were fortunate enough for her to say yes, and the results speak for themselves! Thank you, Hitsu!
Mark Hamrock, Owner of Hamrock Music: Musical Score
A California native, Mark spent his youth in the city of Whittier where he began taking violin lessons at the age of four. Soon after, he studied classical piano for six years before pursuing the guitar full time. At the age of twelve he began instruction under the tutelage of guitar great Rusty Anderson (current guitarist for Paul McCartney as well as studio guitarist for Elton John, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Willie Nelson, Santana, Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, and more).
Mark eventually studied jazz theory and composition for three years with Alan Rowe (Stan Kenton Orchestra, Keith Jarret) before attending the University of California, Irvine, to study classical guitar and baroque lute. Here he had the opportunity to study with and play for many prominent International classical guitarists, including David Tanenbaum, Scott Tennant, Ricardo Cobo, Andrew York, and John Schneiderman. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Perfomance Degree, Mark focused his abilities on touring internationally and performing with various acts, including Jazz Legend Larry Carlton, Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band), and Dave Mason with Traffic.
As a Producer, Recording Engineer, and songwriter, Mark has worked with many bands and artists including Brooks Wackerman (drummer for Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies, and Tenacious D), Solomon Grundy, Breakfast with the Mayor, and The Pickups, as well as many others.
Programming Team: Seattle Indies
While they prefer to work in the shadows and remain mysterious and indie-like, our staff is made up of talented people from the Seattle Indies scene. Gotta represent the community that we have become a part of!
Menu and UI Design: Chase Oliver
One of the coolest dudes in Atlanta, Georgia, Chase has been friends with the Mr. Tired team for eons. His hand-drawn UI for the game, including the battle menu font, is one of the main parts that will separate this game from the pack. He will also be handling the battle effects and animations, so look forward to those!
Voice-over Studio: BangZoom! Entertainment
Hinging on a stretch goal, BangZoom! Entertainment is our choice for voice-over goodness. These guys know their stuff, and we would love to be able to work with them and bring these undead girls to life—audibly!
Risks and challenges
We at Mr. Tired have been hard at work on this game for two years now. We have all the core systems up and running, a majority of the game script complete (currently sitting at approximately 80,000 words with an estimated end total of 100,000), most of the art assets complete, and the 3D level designs are currently in progress. We're so close, and with your help, we can make our dream a reality.
That said, there are still hurdles to overcome even if our initial funding goal is met. Here's what's left for us:
-Paying for a lead programmer to gel the three game systems (visual novel, dungeon crawling, battle) together and create consistent code
-The remainder of the 3D level design, which includes the base levels, textures, 3D objects, and lighting
-Approximately 100 battle animations for normal attacks, skills, and combo attacks
-Sound effect design and implementation
-Payment for the remainder of the music score
-Remaining enemy designs (concepts and rough sketches are complete)
We'd also like to be able to buy groceries, but every cent we can put toward the game and Mr. Tired as a development studio, we will. We are not doing this to line our pockets.
Other challenges hinge on reaching stretch goals.
Voice acting is a major cost, but it adds so much value to a game that has a large amount of static images and text. We are confident we can get amazing talent working with BangZoom! Entertainment, where we often went during our time at NIS America. We are close to many voice actors, actresses, and voice directors, so we have no doubt that we can make this happen!
Should we reach the stretch goal for the PS4 version, we will need to allocate funds to keep a programmer on salary for several additional months to take care of the porting process and address bugs that arise during Sony's QA of the title during Master Submission. This also applies to the PSVita stretch goal, as we will need to do some heavy programming to properly manage where the game stores its assets in the handheld's memory.
With a background in publishing, we know we are equipped to handle any obstacles that arise outside of the actual game programming, which is well on its way to completion. All we need is your support, and we will give you something unlike any other game out there!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)