About this project
Committed and unforgiving, The Man Came Around is a survival game filled with though choices in a time of crisis. A political fable about exile, hardships and the collapse of democracy.
Occida, one of the most powerful nation of the world, is shaken by mass protests met by brutal repression. As the fight between The Many -an activist organisation- and the government intensifies, the country is rapidly falling into dictatorship.
Play five citizens trying to leave this mess.
Your only hope is to cross the Northern Border, a heavily guarded fence lost in the middle of the mountains.
You’ll face grave dangers during your trip, between the deadly elements and the corrupt cops. Manage your scarce resources, take tough decisions and make the best of your group abilities to escape this lethal maze.
But remember: sometimes staying alive is not the same as doing the right thing… Will you sacrifice your principles in order to survive?
- Political fable: The story explores how a democratic system can fall, ruined by special interests. And asks the crucial question: How could it happen?
- Moral Choices: Sacrificing a member, making shady deals or letting innocents die in order to survive ... Those choices will impact the story.
- Group Survival: Permadeath for the characters! It’s up to you to finish the game with five or only one survivor.
- Trauma System: Stress and guilt will impact your characters’ psyche.
- Interactive Narration: Let your choices change the story. Replay to discover all possibilities.
Lost in a Maze: Explore a labyrinthine world full of secrets.
- Unique Graphic Style: 2D handcrafted speed painting.
Located in the harshest mountain range of the country, the Northern Border is full of dangers, natural or man-made. Accidents, wild beasts and governmental agencies will stand in your way.
The downfall of Occida, the mysterious organisation known as "The Many", the shady dealings at the border...
Discover all those hidden truths and dark secrets as you search the best way to reach the border.
Or should I say the best ways. Because some paths are clearly not for everyone...
- Don’t play one character but five!
Each has its own reason to flee the country, moral compass and abilities. They’ll be great in some fields, and suck in others.
In a classic survival way, you’ll have to manage their stamina, warmth and health with the equipment you’ll find.
- They can die at anytime.
Buried in avalanche, frozen by the wind, or beaten to death by the special forces. It’s up to you to finish the game with the whole group alive, or just a sole survivor.
There are usually two ways to deal with the various obstacles on your path. Take the risk as a group and hope for the best or endager only one of your member.
Will you sneak behind the guards as a group or send someone to get their attention -and a possible bullet in the chest- first?
But wounded characters will slow you down and you probably won’t have enough food at some point... Will you try to save everyone or leave the weak behind?
- Moral choices
Managing a group sure is hard, but you’re not the center of the world. Meet various characters and face some intense moral dilemmas!
Will you sacrifice a member to save the group? Make deals with crooked individuals? Steal ? Hurt people? Or just do nothing when facing evil?
Intense stress and guilt will impact your heroes.
No one knows how they will react when pushed to the edge. Bursts of anger, depressions or betrayals: everything is possible. Try to keep them alive and sane...
- Replay value
Depending on the choices you make, some situations will or will not happen further in the game. Play it several times to discover them.
Plus, an additional Story + mode will make the adventure even more unpredictable.
My name is Thierry and I’m an independent gamedev from Brussels, Belgium.
After my studies in Corporate Communications -Yes, I know. Please don’t judge me- I decided to follow my dreams and start creating games. I learned to program and to draw -or at least I pretend I have- and started working full time on The Man Came Around.
So, instead of telling you to buy useless stuff, I’m telling you to buy entertaining stuff made by my tiny hands. Hooray!
I’m also an incorrigible leftist.
One year and a half ago, as I started working on this game - a simple plane crash story then called To the Sky- I asked myself what I could to do to make the world a better place.
I decided to use my games to relay progressive values and express some of my frustrations about the system.
Don't get me wrong, I like explosions and stuff in games, but more variety cannot be a bad thing. All movies are not action movies, are they ? And if a game talking about politics and social issues can impact only one person positively, it’s definitely worth a shot.
Since I made that decision, a lot of things happened. 2015 and 2016 were pretty f****d up. Scandals, protests, bombings - sometimes close to home -, elections… Some made the game looks more like a documentary than a dystopian fiction.
So Pipette Inc., my studio, will only produce games containing a meaningful critique of society. It’s not just about The Man Came Around, but the entire studio’s philosophy. So here's my whislist for our poor world and the values that Pipette Inc will defend and promote :
Let’s stop discriminating people based on their race, gender or sexuality. And I’m a cis white male, so to all my counterparts around the world : stop being douchebags.
Society should work for all of us, not just a greedy minority. Life is not about productivity and money. You also need to have the time to play games.
I don’t want polar bears to die. Oh, and no climate wars, droughts, floods, massive pollution and the end of the world either. Climate change is real. Deal with it!
We should always fight fascists. Insert a whiny « Aren’t you a fascist because you want to beat fascists, you fascist ? » comment here. Well, sorry alt-right nazis, but “We don’t like your kind here.”
I've been working full time on The Man Came Around for a year and a half now. I learned a lot in the process, and I’m finally sure to have all the tools and abilities I need to finish the game. Which is why I dare bring this project to kickstarter.
As you know, an artist doesn’t live from just love and fresh water. We also need some dry bread, a cardboard house and a wifi connection. I’m currently financing the game with my savings and the support of my family, but I need a little help in order to make the game better and replenish my pasta stock.
And since The Man Came Around criticizes a lot the political corruption and the neoliberal greed, chances I’ll get money from a bank or my right-winged government are … hem… pretty slim.
So I prefer to ask progressives from around the world to back the project, if the idea of a studio producing entertaining and committed games appeals to them. Call me a crazy socialist, an anarchist or a fool, but that’s the way I roll!
I’m asking for ten thousand euros. It’s a lot, and at the same time, it’s not. To be honest, making games cost a lot of money, especially if you want to pay talented people to work and eat pastas with you.
The developmental cost of the game is much higher than what I ask here. The budget of an independent game can vary a lot, but it varies between 50 and 100K. So, I’ll combine the Kickstarter money with my own savings to make it work.
The initial ten thousand will serve to pay :
- The sound and music of the game
- My food and my rent (let’s be honest)
- Another starving 2D/3D artist to help me
Any stretch goals attained will help me make the game better and finish it faster. Mainly be hiring talented people to help me improve some parts of the game.
Here are some graphics to explain the whole thing. Everybody loves graphics! (Damn you, marketing :'( )
Some concepts and production processes from The Man Came Around. Thank you to Mary for her work on the HUD and some levels of the game, and to Noé for the concepts!
Poster, Artbook and T Shirt etc.
I don't need to really explain those ones, so FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE MAGIC.
The Many's Manual for Revolution vol. I
A booklet wrote by the activist organization known as "The Many" to oppose their corrupt government and greedy corporations. The manual is filled with good advices to protest and challenge the oligarchy. And also with dank memes.
The Man Came Around Boardgame prototype
Play The Man Came Around with friends with this experimental and yet highly promising version of the boardgame. Playable from 3 to 6 players, TMCA the Boardgame is a semi-cooperative adventure where your group has find a way trough the murderous borders and face multiples dangers.
By taking all those decisions almost democratically.
Indeed, players can use card to influence votes, steal objects or just send someone else to a probable death...So, what will you do when the food runs scarce and Walt spent the whole game backstabing you?
Sometimes, you need to save your own ass. No hard feelings, Walt!
Tables of rewards
Risks and challenges
- Create a game
Creating a game alone is quite the hurdle. So, how can I be sure I’m gonna make it?
Well, first of all, I’m passionate and motivated. It sounds like a bad cover letter, but it’s true!
Second, I’m not truly alone. I have the chance of having great friends helping me on the project. And to be part of small-but-thriving belgian indie game scene, with a lot of great artists and coders always ready to share their knowledge
Third, I spent a lot of time on the pre-production phase to be ABSOLUTELY certain I would be able to finish the game. Now it’s just a question of time, and ability to live afterwards without being super-hyper-mega broke.
Don't hate monday folks, hate capitalism.
- Create a political game
Doing anything political is risky, especially in video games. The internet is vast and full of trolls. But I don’t really mind what alt-right nazis will think of me, so if you don’t like the project, too bad!
And If you do like it, then thank you. You’re an awesome human being. Keep up the good fight!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
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