About this project
Cosmochoria is a love letter to old-school action / arcade games like Asteroids, Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong. Cosmochoria is a mesmerizing way to kill hours: hopping between planets, unravelling forgotten mysteries, killing aliens & giant space monsters and planting mysterious seeds to sprout new life across a long-barren galaxy. Get involved in helping to complete Cosmochoria's development by backing the project and gain access to some super cool Kickstarter exclusive rewards!
You play the role of a tiny pink naked cosmonaut who 'finds himself' in a distant galaxy. While no story is immediately apparent, consecutive games will begin to reveal some of the deeper mysteries surrounding the universe around you.
You are free to roam the galaxy in search of these secrets, or to remain on a single planet, establishing a home base to fight aliens and tend to your galactic garden.
Initially, your apparent mission is to plant seeds & sprout new life in a dying galaxy. Once these plants grow to maturity, they present fruit which you can then pick to earn more seeds. While planting seeds on a planet, you discover it is revitalizing it—bringing it back from the brink of extinction and restoring it as a vibrant beacon of shiny happiness.
However (cue bassy tones) as you plant, an ancient alien race appears in steady waves, bent on putting an end to your interplanetary mission. As the game progresses, the aliens get smarter, more varied, and are even interspersed with epic boss battles with giant creatures like robots, space dragons, motherships and more.
You can fend off their attacks with your own upgradeable laser blaster, or simply jet away to another planet to continue your galactic seed planting mission. You also have the ability to purchase upgrades and supplementary items with the coins you collect from destroying the aliens.
These include specific character & ability based upgrades like improved health, faster & more fuel efficient jetpack, and weapon upgrades. In addition to these upgrades, some support items are also available from the upgrade shop and include things like defensive pyramid towers that will destroy aliens for you while you plant, a star map that shows your location in the cosmos & tracks your galaxy-saving progress, and more.
Death in Cosmochoria is permanent, however, upgrades which you have purchased prior to dying will continue to stay with you, as well as the crystals you collected on your journey, so you're always working to upgrade your abilities, last a little bit longer, and discover a little more about the universe you find yourself in.
Deeply inspired by the minimal cartoon simplicity of LocoRoco, Yoshi's Island, Pixel Junk, and Adventure Time, the artwork of Cosmochoria is lovingly designed to inspire a feeling of childlike play & wonder. Character designs are simple, minimal vector art illustrations that set up a light hearted & engaging mood for the game.
I made a very conscious decision to ensure players of all ages could enjoy Cosmochoria—kids, for the care free atmosphere and cute appearance, and older players for the sense of nostalgia and reminder of that sense of innocence & simple fun.
I've known Ilkae since 1997, where even then, he was an incredible producer at the mind-blowingly young age of 12. He has continued to grow as a formally trained musician and has flexed his trademark sound of emotional melodies and intricate sound sequencing. When I approached Ilkae about working together on the soundtrack for Cosmochoria, he was not only excited but insistent that he collaborate with his close working partner, Zebra. While initially I had not heard of Zebra or his music, it took no more than an hour of listening to his previous releases and tracks Ilkae had passed me to learn that the two of them would be a truly perfect fit for the soundscape of Cosmochoria. Their tracks balance precariously between playful and carefree while—paradoxically—encompass the cold, lonely vastness that one might feel staring out into the infinite... all alone.
I've worked hard these past months to get the core gameplay running smoothly, with accessible controls. I knew the biggest impression I could make to set this game apart in an ocean of amazing indie games was to emphasize the originality of the gameplay with a freshly unique art style and amazing soundtrack. Most of the 'shell' of the game is done, and extensive testing has taken place by amazing volunteers worldwide to try and ensure that the real core structure and gameplay is a truly enjoyable experience.
Now that I'm confident with where the game sits, it's time to start adding layers of depth & polish that will send Cosmochoria to the next level. Here are some of the features you would be making happen by backing this Kickstarter project:
- Tonnes more enemies in the same illustrative style.
- More dope music? Yes sir, yes sir. Three bags full.
- Mysterious story & lore hidden throughout the cosmos.
- Bosses exploding out the galactic wahzoo!
- Alternate weapon types, all upgradeable.
- Additional towers to satisfy your inner strategic warlord.
- Pants! + other unlockable costumes for our hero, Cosmo.
- Pieces of an unassembled 'SuperWeapon' scattered throughout the galaxy.
- Rankings based on your overall statistics. (kills, seeds planted, etc)
- Leaderboards to compare your scores with the world.
- Gamepad Support (HID & XBox360 Compatible)
I'm turning to Kickstarter because I want to be able to focus on Cosmochoria's development. While my final vision is likely something I could achieve on my own over the course of years of devoting my free time and income, I want desperately to be able to focus on the game and get it out. With your support, that is a very real possibility. I also look forward to connecting with potential fans of Cosmochoria interested in giving their feedback and helping to shape the final stages of development. In addition to the development costs, the Kickstarter would assist me with some other key areas surrounding the creation and eventual commercial release of the game. I've broken them down here.
- The Musicians: Ilkae and Zebra have crafted sounds akin to the breathy yawn of digital angels and the dark gurgling of demons. They deserve to be paid, just like my Red Bull hookup. Moreso, actually.
- The Development: Imagine me sitting there at my desk day after day, night after night, toiling on something for the sole purpose of bringing a smile to your face. A % of the campaign will go towards keeping me & my family alive while I do that. A small % is also allocated to software licensing and testing.
- Promotional Support & Advertising: A % of the money raised from this campaign will go towards spreading awareness of the game either through beneficial partnerships, advertising or paying a guy to actually get naked and jetpack around Times Square.
- Producing the Amazing Incentives: Every Canvas Print, every T-Shirt, every hand-sewn doll costs me $, so before I can ship it out, first I have to pay to get it done.
- Kickstarter Fees: Roughly 5-10% From what I gather.
- Stephen Harper: Canada's government requires their small cut.
I have devoted my life to creative ventures. I began producing electronic music in 1996, and after years of development, started my own Independent record label called "Neferiu Records" in 2000, which I ran for 13 years before shutting it's doors (to focus on bigger and better things... ;) In the time I ran Neferiu Records, I either assisted with or completely handled the support, promotion, audio/video production, remixing, performance, mastering, and graphic design of 71 pieces of audio artwork from musicians around the world. See www.neferiu.com for an everlasting record of what we accomplished in Canadian underground music history from 2000-2013.
During that same time, I started my own illustration and design company, 80bit, and completed quality web, illustration and print design work for clients in both Canada and the United states.
In addition to those primary ventures, I've continued to devote myself to crafting strange and wonderful things either through my own musical endeavours, producing and performing as "Mantrakid", creating hundreds of hilariously absurd jingles for happily paying customers at HorribleJingles.com, or by simply sharing the drawings I make for my son's lunchbox every day via my personal Instagram.
I am a deeply honest and open person, willing to go the extra mile to ensure you can not only see my vision, but can palpably feel the passion and love I feverishly pour into everything I do. I deeply understand how limited my time on this Earth is, and I want to leave my mark of weirdness on it, even if only for my dearest family and friends to enjoy. To have your support, I get a sense of awe at what we could accomplish together.
Risks and challenges
I am not a seasoned developer. I have worked on various aspects of game development for personal projects or as contracted work for most of the last 15 years, but this is my first experience developing a game, from scratch, by myself.
That being said, my passion, drive and independence are my greatest asset in this adventure. I started Cosmochoria because it felt like something I could handle on my own, and within a few short months, I had a beautiful looking, fully playable build complete with artwork, interface design, sound and music that will appear in the final commercial release.
A LOT of effort was taken throughout the entire process to this point to ensure that the gameplay of Cosmochoria was enjoyable above all. While there are planned elements still missing from the game that this Kickstarter will help realize, I believe the core of the game is a truly unique and fun experience and I purposely waited to Kickstart this game until I knew it was ready to prove its value to you. With this solid base in place, I am more than confident that Cosmochoria will shine like a space diamond with your support.
Whether it has been running an independent record label for 13 years, putting out music from electronic and hip hop artists around the globe, or by leaving my comfy salaried job to build a career for myself on my own terms, I have established myself as a highly motivated dude riddled with an abundance of passion, initiative and a solid work ethic (thanks Mom & Dad). I am in this for the long haul, and in the event of ANY challenges faced, I pledge to maintain crystal clear communication with you.
I deeply understand the context of asking for your support, and will treat every backer with the respect and appreciation that they deserve for literally making my dreams come true.
Cosmochoria will deliver; I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity you are giving me by supporting this campaign.
- Debbie and Kaede for believing in me & having my back. Love you.
- Lee, Scott & Mike B. for being there for me in those first months of the project when i was working at a fever pitch. Thanks so much for your insight and advice that truly helped the game take shape.
- Christian Wright & Kevin Dufour for their tireless work and support with the campaign and with 30/30.
- Brothomstates for mixing the audio track of the Kickstarter video.
- C.Nilsson @ OpenGameArt.org for the trees used in the main Kickstarter video.
- Jason K. For your gracious advice & support.
- Homies @ Facebook, Twitter, SteamCommunity, NeoGAF & QBN for the amazing support & feedback.
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