Delve into the world of British law, testing your perception and deduction, in this Ace Attorney-inspired visual novel PC game.
MAJOR UPDATE 15/08/2017: Thanks for all the interest so far! Thanks to lots of useful feedback, we're going to be improving a number of aspects of the project so that all of it is as good as parts of it. Primarily, we're going to be updating the character artwork and certain parts of the GUI. In addition, we're going to be semi-majorly reworking the first episode as shown in the demo in order that it be more indicative of the quality and themes of the later stories/episodes. The best way to keep up-to-date with development progress, with all the latest sketches and previews, is following us on Twitter and our dedicated subreddit /r/AcquittalGame. We hope to get a fully-polished, release-ready version of the game out on Steam/iOS/Android before Summer 2018 -- whether you've already pledged to the Kickstarter or are not fully convinced, please do follow our development updates to see how the project will be updated and improved thanks to your input!
If you did already pledge, or would like to, you can make a direct pledge here, which also qualifies you for credit acknowledgement, game keys etc. This way you can help contribute regardless of the Kickstarter -- every little helps get the game to your fingertips as quickly as possible with the highest quality content! Many thanks!
Here's a first look at our new evidence menu and standing bar:
(Click on images for full-resolution!)
Capital punishment hasn't occurred in the United Kingdom since 1964, but, on the 15th March 2019, a colossal domestic terrorist attack on the state's most prestigious law school leaves the criminal legal system in chaos. With thousands of deaths, survivor Storm Sente, a mere 20-year-old law student, finds himself called to the bar to fulfil his premature duty.
But as the so-called People's Movement for the Revival of Capital Punishment grows into an ever-larger, ever-present threat, the bar is by no means a safe place to be. With even the long-standing local police corruption rearing its ugly head, there's more to fight against than the cases themselves as friends become almost indistinguishable from enemies – the very future of law and order hangs in the balance, from forces both inside and out.
Join Storm and investigate crime scenes, defend clients in court, achieve justice for the innocent and – with a bit of luck – uncover the truth of the fateful terrorist attack and the sprawling cult behind it.
Acquittal: Induction™, the first instalment in a planned series, was born from inspiration from Capcom's Ace Attorney series and is in many ways a homage. Alternating between the investigation of criminal cases at the crime scene and the defence of clients in heated courtroom trials, it inherits its basic mechanics from the classic visual novel series, while taking and running with those core concepts.
The game draws more inspiration from both British courtroom dramas and real-life cases, also adapting the genre to a format more befitting the PC/Steam platform, featuring updated, stylish graphics and new Sherlockian game mechanics (such as Testimony Analysis, Brainstorming and Concatenation) in the way of divergent thinking. These new game modes allow for logic and puzzle-solving like never seen before, moving from pointing out simple contradictions in testimonies to deducing complex facts and theories in order to fight your case and uncover the truth.
Carving out a new niche of its own, Acquittal brings the glory of the British courts into your home, with a variety of new, stylish game mechanics and a deep story of police corruption, capital punishment and confliction between morality and the law. It's easy defending innocent clients -- but what choices will YOU make when the line blurs and people's lives are in your hands?
Featuring a distinctive style, innovative gameplay mechanics and an epic story with a colourful cast of characters to match, Acquittal: Induction is comprised of five episodes, each longer and more challenging than the last. The 1st of these (The First Daybreak) is available to be sampled in the demo. The subsequent episodes will be released incrementally (as free updates included in the purchase) as development completes with funding.
This law-drama adventure game will be available for PC, Mac and Linux, to be released on Steam.
The entire first episode of Acquittal: Induction has been completed, of which the entire first half is available for free to download as the demo. With further funding, the remaining four episodes will be completed in turn and released incrementally, as updates to the original game. Releasing episodes in this pseudo-agile way ensures security for the project, allowing players to be able to download and start playing content as soon as it's ready, rather than waiting a potentially painfully long time until the entirety of the game is completed.
In addition, we'll be launching on Steam in order to get the game released on one of the best and most powerful distribution platforms around, supporting cloud save services, achievements, and much more!
Though produced, developed, programmed and written by Procella Games, a great number of hugely talented people have already contributed to the various elements going into the game:
- Composers | Caleb Cuzner · Sherrick Wiegel
- Arranger | Ryuno
- VFX artist | Lazcht (Stellar-Ø)
- Sound designer | Clea Leshlick (Stellar-Ø)
- Character artist | Daphne Robinson
- Character animator | David Fuentes
- Background/incidental artists | Badriel · Julian Seifert
- GUI/logo designer | Juan Mojica
- Videographer | WhiteCharisma
- Prototype concept artist | Nicole Aniceto
- Prototype character artist | Karl Rillera
- Prototype background/animation artist | Alexis Rillera
- Prototype GUI designer | Angel Wareman
Not to mention the wide range of voice talent:
- Storm Sente | Austin Lee Matthews
- Sebastian Donovan | David J. Dixon
- Lizzy Harrison | Kira Buckland
- Charlie Lawrence | Corey Holland
- Howard Silberling | Joshua Tomar
- Terri Wonder | Kristyn Mass
The graphical interfaces and sound design for the entire game have already been fully completed. The original soundtrack has been fully composed (available physically as a reward tier...!), while the tracks for the first episode have been fully mastered - funding will also complete mastering for the rest. Here's a sample of the funky, retro soundtrack as composed by Caleb Cuzner/Sherrick Wiegel and arranged by Ryuno:
Acquittal: Induction's sleek GUI was designed by Juan Mojica, allowing for streamlined organisation of collected evidence and personnel profiles, with the dynamic screen animations and stylish divergent thinking interfaces being designed by Lazcht of Stellar-Ø.
As such, the majority of funding for the remainder of the game will go into producing more of the vibrant character designs and animations and stunning backgrounds. The backgrounds for the courtroom were designed based on real British Crown Courts, expertly brought to life by Badriel, with the colourful cast of characters vividly designed and realised by Daphne Robinson and fluently animated by David Fuentes.
Although the entirety of the graphics have been completed for the first episode demo, we need the funds to produce the bulk of these beautiful graphics for the remainder of the game. So you can be sure your pledged money goes to good use, the full budget breakdown for the target of £4,500 is as follows:
The rewards offered feature lots of exclusive promo material and even an in-game Kickstarter exclusive costume change. Higher pledges even offer some neat deals regarding our future games, including Acquittal sequels; check them out to the right! Remember, all rewards are cumulative, bar the UPGRADE tiers!
As for the face behind the project, my name's Sam Griffiths, self-employed as Procella Games. I've always been passionate about gaming and development, currently studying Computing Science at the University of East Anglia. When I'm not studying or working on Acquittal, I'm usually found working on novels and partaking in acting and ballroom dancing.
Born and bred in Coventry, UK, I've also always been interested in English criminal law, and have toyed around with the idea of bringing the magnificent British courtroom dramas into a collaboration with one of my favourite game series, Ace Attorney. I hope fans of Phoenix Wright, Britain, criminal law, visual novels and PC gaming can all come together and hopefully enjoy this exciting project!
Risks and challenges
With the majority of the game assets completed, the artwork becomes the limiting factor. With sufficient funding, we can ensure high-quality graphics for the rest of the game, and can ensure that they're completed as quickly as possible in order to get you the game you want.
Also to this end, releasing episodes one-by-one as updates will make sure you can delve straight into the adventure as soon as possible, making sure your pledges and rewards pay off right away.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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