Innsmouth, 1927. The town is secretly run by the notorious Esoteric Order of Dagon and its evil mastermind, Dr. Herbert West, the warden of the Innsmouth Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
In late October, prohibition agents get word of suspicious behaviour on the Devils Reef, a small island just off the coast of Innsmouth – Fishermen report sightings of strange looking people hiding between the rocks of the otherwise deserted island, and disquieting chanting being heard at night. Convinced this is a cover-up for alcohol smugglers the department sends out a landing team to investigate … an investigation that swiftly turns into a deadly nightmare that only one of them, Detective Thomas Malone, survives with luck.
Stranded at Innsmouth’s shore Malone is found by West’s men and brought to hospital. This is where the adventure begins …
The Eldritch Cases: Dagon is a horror adventure based on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos.
Escape from Dr. West’s Hospital, explore the town of Innsmouth and cross the secret plans of the Esoteric Order of Dagon!
The Eldritch Cases: Dagon is the first game in a planned series of adventures based on H.P. Lovecraft's stories. Think X-Files in Lovecraft-land to get a rough idea what The Eldritch Cases could become!
The game will feature 2 playable characters, plenty of lovely locations like an asylum, a morgue, graveyards and Innsmouth’s famous sewer system as well as interesting interactions with a colourful array of charming townsfolk and possibly even a meeting with a very old one!
The game will be developed for Windows, Mac, Linux,and Android and be released in German and English.
The game is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's writing, in particular the stories Dagon, Shadow over Innsmouth and Herbert West, Reanimator.
Besides that I also took a lot of inspiration from the Illuminatus trilogy and generally authors ranging from J.G. Ballard to Stephen King.
Games that have inspired me are for example the Broken Sword series e.g. the way the game is divided between the 2 characters is very similar, I'm also using the same control scheme (left click = action, right click = look at), for atmosphere I'm very fond of Scratches, Dark Corners of the Earth, Black Mirror and Gabriel Knight, with maybe a hint of Silent Hill.
tl;dr, the facts:
horror point & click adventure based on H.P. Lovecraft
2 playable characters
Soundtrack by Jan Kavan
first in a series of lovecraftian adventures
This matrix shows a breakdown of the rewards per tier:
The rewards in more detail:
£30 Innsmouth Tourist
From this tier onwards you receive a 24 page PDF with scenic renders of various locations in the game, character renders and background information.
£40 Lurker at the Threshold
I will release the first chapter of the game early to everyone from this tier onward, and your feedback will flow back into the development - tell me what you like and what not, what works and what doesn't. You will be listed as a beta tester both in the credits as well as on IMDB etc.
£50 Justin Geoffrey
Your first ingame appearance: Your name will be written down either in the patient register in the Hospital's office (together with your diagnosis) or in the guest book of the Gilman House Hotel (together with a dedication)
£65 The King in Yellow:
From this tier on, you get a limited box with either a DVD or a specially designed USB flash drive (your choice) with the game, soundtrack, wallpapers and PDF. This box is limited to the Kickstarter campaign and will not be available anywhere afterwards. The digital download versions are of course also included in this tier. This tier now also includes a limited set of 5 postcards from sunny Innsmouth!
From £75 onward:
For the tiers from £75 onwards I'll also add a print of a specially rendered image of your personal reward as well as a high-res digital version of that render for download.
For the limited tiers (from £100 onward) I have created mockups of how they could look like:
For the Charles Dexter Ward tier you can choose the name, date and a dedication to go on the headstone, there will be a selection of five different stones to chose from.
For the Pickmans Model tier you can select the picture (obviously :-) ), name and a short description of what made this person to madly famous.
For It's dead, Jim you can select the name on the door, the reason of death, and also give me some instructions on how the corpse inside (yes, the doors open!) should look like, e.g. haircut/color so that they resemble you. Since you died in the hospital there will also be a file about you in the filing cabinet in the office with your photo and patient history. Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse!
£500 The not so evil clergyman:
For this tier you will be represented in the game by an NPC that is involved in solving a puzzle, has text and can be interacted with. You will also have a portrait in the game (similar to the £150 tier, however not in Dr. West's gallery but somewhere related to the respective NPC. Prints of your NPC and the portrait are included. You can select on what side you are, you can help our heroes or cause them troubles (I have heard that Dr. West is looking for a personal assistant - they pay is low, the hours ungodly, but in return you'll get yelled at a lot!)
The ultimate tier! Your name (and/or company logo) will appear as the Producer in the opening credits of the game, on the box, on IMDB/Mobygames and similar. You will also have a portrait, this one however hangs in the entry hall of the Esoteric Order of Dagon building.
Also includes a print of your portrait.
The higher tiers (The old One and Mr. Marsh) will of course also get prints of their items. For all these tiers, if you are buying them for someone else, please make sure that they are cool with having their name/picture in the game :-) (and if they are not, ask yourself if they really deserve such a cool gift or if you should keep it to yourself).
Two add-ons are currently available, to order them you can simply increase your pledge without selecting a new tier:
1. Buy one for a friend: If you add £7 to your pledge you can buy an additional download copy of the game to give away to someone else
2. A printed hardcover version of the Innsmouth Tourist Guide for £25 (for those that already backed a tier with physical rewards, otherwise please add an additional £5 for postage!)
3. A mighty fine T-Shirt (97-99% cotton, sizes S - XXL) for £20 (plus £5 for shipping). See some design mockups below, the final design will be voted on after the end of the campaign (could be different, these are just some first ideas)
Hi! My name is Thomas Busse, and I'm the developer of The Eldritch Cases: Dagon.
I'm an adventure fan since I first played Maniac Mansion on my C64 back in the late eighties, and it's my preferred genre ever since. Roughly at the same time I also discovered my love for all things horror, and one of my favourite authors in that area is H.P. Lovecraft.
For almost all my professional life I have worked in various software companies holding positions from technical support, QA to development. Next to that I have studied Media Production at university where I learned all things related to graphics (2D/3D), video, story telling, project planning and so on that are needed for a project like The Eldritch Cases: Dagon.
I also enjoy lazy evenings on the sofa with a glass of red and a romantic DVD.
No I don't.
Music together with sound design form a critical component to any horror game. For that reason I've called for help Jan Kavan of CBE Software, who will provide a very chilling and unique sound to The Eldritch Cases: Dagon.
As you may have heard in the trailer, he is performing his music using real instruments, ranging from his trusty cello to doing unspeakable things to Steinway piano strings (don't ask) (seriously, don't).
Sometimes he even calls in beings from unspeakable dimensions to provide vocals or thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes. With only a subtle touch of digital sound effects, his music nods to traditional horror movies.
My goal is that the game's prevailing aural backdrop will rely on extremely careful use of background ambient sounds. When the music comes in though, it will push you to the edge of sanity, and maybe even a bit further.
Stay tuned for much more about Jan and his music in one of the upcoming updates.
Erich Zann would have wept tears of joy (or madness, who can tell the difference?).
I have been working on The Eldritch Cases:Dagon for about one year now and created the games backbone - the story, characters, puzzles, the look and feel and the project plan. Now it is time to bring all the bits and pieces together to create the actual game.
If the campaign succeeds this will enable me to work with freelancers to support me with this task, for one in areas where I'm not trained myself (music and sound) as well as for the 2d and 3d graphics where external help will help me increase the quality and bring down production time.
The team is already in place and consists of professionals that I already have worked with before and who are familiar with the project to ensure a smooth integration into the workflow.
Risks and challenges
Let's see, we are fighting against a sinister group of cultists who want to resurrect an old, evil god in order to enslave the world ... what could possibly go wrong there?
Joking aside, creating a game is a lot of work, and a lot of different aspects come together in the final product: writing, programming, graphics, sound, testing - each area has its own difficulties.
As is inherent to games development at any scale, delays can sometimes occur. I have planned the game to be of a manageable size and complexity to avoid these delays as much as possible.
I still think those cultists are the biggest problem.
However, this is Call of Cthulhu, not Call of Duty, so deaths are rather rare, and the game will autosave before it happens, so you are not going to lose hours of gameplay. See Broken Sword for reference, not old Sierra games.
Depending on what needs to be done next and where you are in the story you will control either Rose or Thomas. However you don't need to switch manually or figure out who to use on your own, the game will decide this for you. See Broken Sword for reference. I could swear I've read that before.
No, The Eldritch Cases: Dagon is a complete game with a closed storyline. However, as the title may already suggest, if Dagon proves to be successful then I would like to do more games in the same universe and turn The Eldritch Cases into a series of games (still not episodic though, every game would have a closed storyline).
You believe in the Order.
In return, you get a DRM free download version of the game once it's finished for a platform of your choice (Windows/Mac/Linux). You'll also get access to the developer forum and 3 HD wallpapers for your viewing pleasure.
(If the game gets greenlit on Steam you will also have the choice of a Steam key in addition to the normal download)
(~$16 / €12)
The Unnamable: From here on, your name will appear in the backer credits in the game! Also, you will be able to take part in polls during the development and help deciding over character looks, user interface and so on
(~$25 / €18)
In addition to the previous rewards you also get the a digital download version of the Soundtrack. You can use it as an aural background for your sinister rituals, or when you are doing the laundry.
(~$41 / €30)
You look a little lost, and as such you will receive a digital Innsmouth Town Guide for Tourists (pdf, 24 pages). The guide feature information about Innsmouth's history, background information of the main characters of the game and a lot of pretty pictures for those of you that don't like reading. Also all previous rewards.
(~$50 / €36)
Lurker at the Threshold:
Your curiosity always gets you into trouble, such as having to play the first chapter of the game long before the rest of the world.You will be able to give feedback at this point and influence the further development, in return you will be listed as a beta tester in the game credits. You can even put that on your CV! Also all previous rewards.
(~$67 / €48)
You are either one of the unfortunate, long forgotten inhabitants of Innsmouth Hospital for the Criminally Insane whose only trace left is an entry in the in official register, or one of the many happy guests of the Gilman House Hotel who left their name in the guestbook! Also all previous rewards (~$84/€60)
The King in Yellow:
All digital rewards (the game, soundtrack, tourist guide and wallpapers) but in physical! On a USB flash drive! With the game's logo on it! OR alternatively a DVD version. Tell us which one you prefer after the campaign is over!
And yes, I know that naming this reward The King In Yellow doesn't make any sense, but what can you do!
(This tier includes the download versions as well of course)
(~$108 / €78)
Friedrich Wilhelm von Junzt: Occult books play a big role in Lovecraft's universe, and you will become the author of one that is featured in the game. You can find these books in Dr. West's library, and the best part: don't even need to write it, we just slap your name on it!
Pickman's model: Does your madness shine bright? A part of Dr. West's portrait gallery is devoted to famous madmen and women, and your face can become part of this unique collection: Send us a photo, and we will work it into a painting and display your name and the story of your particular horrific history.
Plus all rewards of the £65 pledge.
(~$250 / €180)
It's dead, Jim: Your rotting corpse in one of the 7 mortuary chambers in Dr. West's morgue. With your name and cause of death (of your choice (within reason)) written on the door! Plus all rewards of the £65 pledge.
(~$335 / €240)
The Old One: A NPC will be modelled and named after you and become part of the story. No work on your end needed, because the NPC is - this is a Lovecraft story after all - already dead. He/She will appear in a flashback, ingame documents, and have both a painting and the most pompous tombs on Innsmouth's cemetery.
Plus all rewards of the £65 pledge.
(~$586 / €422)
The not so evil clergyman:
Even the greatest heroes need some help from time to time, and fortunately not everyone in and around Innsmouth has already signed up for the Dark Side(™)! You will become a NPC with text in the game, modelled after your appearance (or description) who carries your name and will be actively involved in a part of the story. You will also have your portrait in the game, albeit in different places depending on the background of your NPC
Also all rewards from the £65 tier. Shipping included. (~$840/€607)
Mr. or Mrs. Marsh: It is all your fault. You created the Esoteric Order of Dagon and made Innsmouth the town it is today. For that, there will be a huge statue of you right in the center of New Church Green for everyone to see and admire. The statue will be modelled after your photo and contain a name plate with your name and a message of your choice (within reason :-) ). Shipping included. Also all the rewards of the £65 pledge (~$1260 / €910)
Nyarlathotep: This is the ultimate tier. You become The Producer(™) of The Eldritch Cases: Dagon! Your name will appear in the opening credits as Producer, as well as on the game box, website, IMDB, Mobygames and everywhere else. You can use your name, company logo or both for this. Your friends will all go “Oooooh” and “Aaaaah” when they hear about this, and they will invite you to fancy dinner parties and what not! This tier also includes your portrait in the gallery and everything from the £65 tier (~$4200 / €3030)