Help fund a JRPG-inspired, 16-bit noir detective Role Playing Game! Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on May 11, 2014.
About this project
Who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself?
Something happened that night in the hospital - something that cost you your career as a police detective, your sanity and your partner's life. Ten years later, you have the chance to put things right. Are the hallucinations that plague you a key to what happened that fateful night? Muster your detective skills and gather your allies as you take to the streets to prove your innocence!
Thank you to our amazing backers for your voice and support! Even though our Kickstarter campaign was not funded, Pixel Noir's journey continues!
1) Please join us at our Pixel Noir community forum so that we can continue the discussion!
2) Donate to our cause today. Every little bit gets us a step further in bringing Pixel Noir to you!
3) Listen to & Buy the Super Mysterious Detective EP! Proceeds go to help fund development of Pixel Noir!
4) Help us by spreading the word about Pixel Noir!
Want to keep up with us?
Stretch the Bartender will now able to be recruited as a party member at the start of the game as a part of all 25$ and Tiers!
You had it all, once: a job, respect, a chance to make a difference in the world. And as an up-and-coming detective in the Pinnacle City Police Department, you were well on your way to doing just that. But you got cocky – following a lead on a cold case that you were convinced you alone could solve. Instead, the only thing it led to was your undoing; taking the lives of innocent people, including your partner, Det. Cold, in the process.
Ten years later, with detours in the nuthouse and a bottle of scotch, you’ve hung your hat in Pinnacle City. It’s no garden spot anymore, but it’s still home to a colorful population of washouts, dirtbags and big time crooks. Lucky for you, these sad sacks provide your private eye business with plenty of cases: mostly snapping pictures of cheating spouses and telling poor saps what they already know. Every now and again, a Mr. ‘Deuce’ pops up like a bad habit, paying too much for jobs that are too much trouble than they’re worth. No friends to speak of, unless you count the bartender at the local watering hole. And maybe the local wild man Woof, though he’s not so much of a friend as he is a cocker spaniel with fists.
It’s not a great life, but it’s uncomplicated and it’s yours.
And then someone has to ruin it all by bringing up the past. You thought that cold case was dead and buried, but a new lead’s crossed your desk that may unearth everything. But as new evidence is brought to light, your sanity starts sinking into darkness. Without warning, people contort into gruesome monsters; alleyways melt into visceral mazes. How can you hope to uncover the truth, when your own senses betray you?
Pixel Noir’s gameplay is inspired by our favorite games, including investigation sequences where players look for clues & interrogate suspects, JRPG-style wandering & battle sequences, and beautifully hand-drawn, 16-bit, Film Noir graphics.
Gripping Storytelling. Embark on an adventure that will keep you riveted, as if you were reading a hard-boiled detective novel late at night by a fireplace. Pixel Noir is packed with interesting characters and secrets that will keep you hitting buttons and guessing until the very end.
Pixel Noir's cutscenes will consist of motion comics:
Classic Style, Upgraded. Pixel Noir retains a 16-bit era look and feel, while having some considerable upgrades from the SNES and Sega Genesis era games. Some of our favorite upgrades include a streamlined graphical interface, motion comic cutscenes, unlockable achievements, and cross-save functionality, allowing you to save and play the game across multiple devices.
The music theme for the game is inspired by classic NES and SNES-era games:
There will be tons of battle and epic boss themes. This is the theme for the first boss battle:
Explore Pinnacle City! Search the city in your quest for answers. There’s plenty to do and see here if you look hard enough. Occasionally new characters will drop by your office with new cases to solve and new mysteries to uncover. There’s even rumored to be underground black markets that sell rare weapons, armor, and items. No RPG is complete without a wealth of sidequests, unlockable achievements, and a fun card game!
A Battle System that Feels Great. Finally, a battle system that’s simple and fast paced, yet strategic. Timed attacks, timed blocks, skill trees, even team combo attacks—Pixel Noir’s battles will feel great. And if you were wondering, Pixel Noir will be updated and customized for each platform, meaning you’ll never have to sacrifice gameplay for platform.
Battle System: Pixel Noir’s turn-based battle system is both fast-paced and strategic. Timed attacks and blocks will make sure that you are always in the thick of a fight. Environments will yield opportunities at every turn to take advantage of. Shoot a chandelier to drop it on an enemy, or have it create cover for you. Found a bottle on the ground? Throw it at an enemy! WHY NOT!?
Investigation Mode: Use the Detective’s Investigation Mode skill to not only solve the mysteries in Pinnacle City, but to also find secrets over the course of your journey. No matter where you go, your investigation skill can yield new information on a case, find rare items that will help you in battle, and even uncover hidden items that you can use in the thick of a fight to change your strategy!
It took us about a year to establish the gameplay and story concept behind Pixel Noir. Once we had established the concept and vision, we began to look for investment from any one of a dozen major publishers to fund a smartphone version of our game. Although there was a lot of interest around Pixel Noir and SWDTech, at the end of the day publishers wanted Pixel Noir to become a less serious, free-to-play or puzzle game. Somehow each and every publisher had come to the same conclusion: RPG’s don’t sell.
After months of negotiating back and forth considering potential changes to the game’s core mechanics, we finally made the decision to stick to our guns, raise the funds ourselves, and develop Pixel Noir the way it was always intended to be developed: as a classic JRPG reimagined for today’s platforms. While we seeded early development of the game with our hard-earned dollars, we simply can't cover the cost of building out a full game with this seed funding alone.
That brings us here today! With your help, we hope to bring this full scope RPG to your favorite device or platform. Let's create a role playing adventure that blends classic gameplay and a deep story with modern design mechanics. Together, we can bring Pixel Noir to life.
We are developing Pixel Noir out of our desire to see games like the ones we loved in the past come back into the mainstream. While publishers claim that no one wants to see the ‘classic RPG’ anymore, we know that games like Chrono Trigger and Earthbound continue to be highly played and loved by the gamer community because of their compelling stories and great game design. Your pledge will be used to pay for:
Programmers. Coding takes hard work and long hours. For some reason, our programmers don't take “unlimited ramen” as payment.
Writers. They're in deep with the yakuza and bodyguards are not cheap. Playing the odds on Pokemon evolutions is a dangerous game.
Artists. Our art team claims that pixel art is harder than it looks and that they’re “losing time with their families” working on Pixel Noir. I know, we’re not buying it either. But I guess we SHOULD pay for those art commissions eventually.
Audio. Our audio lead charges by the bleep. Bloops are free of charge though thankfully.
Management. We heard you like things managed, bro. So we managed your managers so your management is managed.
Rewards. Rewards aren't cheap. But they are fun. Take a look at the reward tiers to see how much you'd like to pledge!
And finally Software. Thankfully we already have most of the software we need to make Pixel Noir, but that dang DLC. Gets you every time.
We are SWDTech, a boutique indie game company dedicated to reimagining the classic RPG experience for modern-day platforms such as iPhone, Android, and Steam. We grew up playing games like Final Fantasy, Earthbound, and Chrono Trigger. Games that hold up as well today as they did in our childhood memories, but that haven’t transitioned well to newer platforms. We decided that the world needs a better quality of RPG’s for a new generation of devices. A game that’s focused on gameplay, that feels intuitive, as well as transportive. We’re out to flip all the tables, change the game, and walk out of the room with a jacket flung over our shoulders.
We were formed in 2012 and spent a year finding and hiring the perfect team. In 2013, we began concept development of Pixel Noir—our first title.
Our development team is locked, loaded, and ready to fire on all cylinders. Most of us are experienced professionals that have been on multiple projects with both AAA companies like Capcom, Marvel, DC Comics, Cartoon Network, Sony; and smaller Indie companies like WadjetEye Games, Indestructible Cannon, Hotslug, and more! We’ve come together create the RPG we’ve wanted for over a decade now.
Risks and challenges
We have a smaller development team for a game this size. It's possible that we may have delays on the timeline due to resourcing limits.
We have to work with Sony on the cross-save functionality with them. This may take time to work through the details and in the end, it's possible that it won't happen. We feel this is unlikely because of the existing cross-platform functionality between PS4 and Vita.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Right now, the planned systems are:
--PC (Windows & OSX)
Other possibilities, such as Xbox One, Wii U, and Linux are being looked into, and we hope to have a clearer answer ready for everyone near the end of the Kickstarter!
- (30 days)