A 2D twitch puzzle shooter with a retro feel and a hard sci-fi plot. Can you defeat the Metacell and save the universe from destruction Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on February 10, 2013.
About this project
Greetings internet! Here are the essential, need-to-know points about Metacell:
- Metacell sort of already exists! It’s currently available in a light beta stage for the Windows platform only, and we plan to release it on Mac, Linux, web, tablet, and X-Box platforms as well. If we succeed by 300%, this will happen sooner rather than later.
- Think of Metacell as a majestic, genetically enhanced octopus. Right now it can squirt ink and kinda swim around, but so far we’ve only been able to build it one tentacle. It’s not ready to swim around in the big ol’ ocean and catch little fishies with its handicap, looking like a grapefruit with one arm. We want to give our octopus a better quality of life; it needs more tentacles! We want to fix up Metacell with all of its tentacles and make it the best game ever. With your help, we’re going to do this by adding a ton of content: different game modes, selectable player characters, multiplayer capabilities, technology linking profiles and the mutable story throughout the game saga, and updating the engine to allow multiplatform porting to all those platforms mentioned in the point above.
- The goal of this kickstarter is to raise the minimum amount of money it will take to 1) complete Metacell, the first game in the Metacell Saga, 2) fulfill rewards, and 3) deliver on the promises we are making within a reasonable length of time. The money will be used to turn the current beta (our jacked up octopus) into the game it is destined to become (a beautiful fully-fledged octopus with all of its appendages) by paying for the software, hardware, and talent to make that happen.
- Metacell is the first of a 5-game saga in which each game has a different gameplay experience corresponding to its place in the story. While Metacell is a 2-D twitch puzzle shooter, Metacell II: Beyond the Gate will be a 2.5-D shooter RPG. Metacell III: Adrift will be a 2.5-D puzzle RPG, Metacell IV: Ascension will be a 3-D action-adventure platformer RPG, and Metacell V: Origins will be a 3-D survival horror FPS RPG. The complexity of each consecutive Metacell game will increase throughout the saga. So supporting this game will lead to a whole pile of other, increasingly intricate, awesome games.
- The other goal of this Kickstarter is getting the word out. We want to get people excited about the game, the Saga that the game will begin, and the universe that the story takes place in. We’re not just making a game; we’re telling a story and building an immersive universe just for you.
We have a lot of content for you to dig into, so check it out! If you’ve got questions and you can’t find the answers here, shoot us a question! There are also additional resources beyond this kickstarter campaign where you can discover more: the website link, link to dl the game manual and the beta itself.
The Imaginary Awesome Studio - Metacell Kickstarter Adventure
During our adventure on Kickstarter we will be doing some animated shorts called the Imaginary Awesome Studio. These shorts are just us having some fun. These guys will come out as time goes on. In the current season we go to Kickstarter to fund Metacell. There will be several more episodes coming out during the span of the Kickstarter so check them out! This season of the Imaginary Awesome Studio is done in stop motion.
Metacell Update 03 - A Pleasant Chat With Dominic Moore
The third episode of Metacell Update, an animated series that will be airing frequently throughout the Kickstarter, giving deeper insight into the project. Each episode will cover a topic ranging from: what Metacell is, the characters and story, the planned game modes and pretty much everything else. This episode takes place several days after Metacell Update Episode 02 - An Exploration into Metacell. Caitlin, Chris and the Metacell get to chat with the High Paladin Dominic Moore in an exclusive interview and find out what happens to me in the next episode of John's Metasaga - Journey.
What is Metacell?
Metacell, the first installment in an epic five-game saga, is an immersive 2D twitch puzzle shooter with a hard sci-fi plot. Each game in the saga has its own distinctive gameplay tailored to its position in the story arc. Our galactic hero and his crew fight to save the universe from devastation!
Metacell is set in an alternate reality in the year 2272. This reality is comprised of two sides: the primeverse, where existence is structured and logical, and the metaverse, where things simply are with no rhyme or reason. High Paladin Dominic Moore and his crew’s leave is cut short when he is called to answer a distress signal from Zion, a top secret research facility located within the metaverse. The distress call warns that the Genesis Project, a recent experiment that attempted to synthesize a hybrid creature with both meta- and prime-organic material, has gone horribly wrong. Moore must plunge his ship and his crew straight into the heart of danger to contain this creature, the Metacell, and prevent it from crossing over into the primeverse and tearing it to shreds.
What is the Metacell?
The Metacell is a creature created as a result of the Genesis Project that combines the unlimited potential of the unpredictable metaverse with the stability and constancy of primeverse organics. It was born a single-celled organism, but something went wrong and allowed it to breach its containment and expand in size at an alarming rate. Now, astronomically large and comprised of both prime- and meta-material, the Metacell is the equivalent of a god. As it nears maturity and the beginning of its reproductive cycle, the Metacell and its potential offspring pose a threat to the very existence of the primeverse.
What is the Judgment-Class Cruiser?
The Imperium's most powerful warships, Judgment-Class Cruisers are hand-designed and custom-tailored to their Paladins. Before space travel or even the age of machines, when the order of Paladins was just begun by Charlamagne, Paladins were always accompanied by their faithful steeds. Now, thousands of years into the future, this tradition has been carried through the centuries to the current Paladins whose "steeds" have become the safest, smartest, most powerful mode of transportation in the empire. When a JCC is commissioned, the Paladin devotes 5 years to the process of hand-designing and building the JCC. During this time they are introduced to the navigator and soul of their ship, a technophile Spirit-born who integrates with the ship itself as well as forming a permanent empathic connection to the Paladin.
What about the characters?
High Paladin Dominic Moore
A human paladin and one of the Imperium’s greatest warriors, the duty- and honor-driven Moore lives to serve the Imperium. When he isn’t out saving the world he can be found on his home planet playing with his son and watching romantic flicks with his loving wife.
A technophile Spirit-born courtesan, she is the second in command of Dominic's crew. Being a technophile Spirit-born allows her to meld with Dominic’s ship, a Judgment-Class Cruiser, and pilot it. Mirra is a bit catty and she’s a stickler for rank, so she and Chef have never gotten along.
The Judgment-Class Cruiser’s artificial intelligence system. Unlike most ship AI’s that simply tend to daily duties and manage the ship, C.A.R.I. is a master strategist and the master of arms of the Judgment-Class Cruiser. Her true talents appear in live combat and in the training sessions for Dominic’s crew in which she creates and runs training scenarios.
With the Fanboy’s Wet Dream pledge package, this could be you, dear reader.
What's the current beta gameplay like?
Metacell is a twitch puzzle shooter, so it incorporates puzzles, traps, and shooting. The game is in the match-three genre, so players must make matches of three or more genes of the same color to remove them from the Metacell. In order to make these matches, players circumnavigate around the Metacell shooting randomly generated genes from their ship.
Core Gameplay Elements
- Movement: the player's ship, the Judgement-Class Cruiser, is rotates both clockwise and counter-clockwise around the Metacell. This gives the player a full 360 degree range around the Metacell.
- Ramping Difficulty: Every 10 matches increases the level of the Metacell. As the Metacell increases in level so does, the rate of gene-spawning increases and the chance of triggering a trap springing to life the Metacell's defenses.
- Matching: in order to fight back the genes, the player must make matches of 3 or more like colors.
- Score Multiplier: when you make matches quickly one after another you increase your score with a stacking multiplier.
- Orphaning: when a gene loses connection with the center of the Metacell, the gene withers and dies.
- Danger Zone: as the Metacell generates genes and the player fires genes into the Metacell to make matches, there is a risk of the Metacell filling up. Once that happens, the player will die if they can't make a match and clear enough space to keep battling the genes.
- End Scenarios: The game ends if you run out of lives, score +1,000,000 points or beat level 99.
This isn’t your Mom’s game of Bejeweled though; we've added in some bonuses and challenges as you progress through the game.
Some of these bonuses include:
- Bombs: destroy genes and projectiles from traps, the players gains an additional bomb every 10 levels.
- Pick-ups [Xenomorphic]: shift color based on the color of the target reticle.
- Pick-ups [Eugenic]: remove all genes of the same color when matched.
- Pick-ups [Catalytic]: detonate after being matched, removing all genes and projectiles within the explosive radius.
Traps have the possibility of being triggered each time a player shoots an gene into the Metacell:
- Spikes: projectiles that temporarily pin players to a random section of the board.
- Orbs: shoot in random directions and must be avoided by the player.
- Beams: lasers that the player must avoid.
- Tentacles: tentacles attempt to grab the player and destroy them.
What are you planning on adding after the Kickstarter succeeds?
The current beta that everyone has access to is just the beginning! This Kickstarter will generate even cooler elements to the game. We covered these additions in the video, but here they are again in a fancy, expensive-looking list!
- Selectable player characters, each with their own unique gameplay abilities.
- Casual game mode that gives a relaxing twist to the gameplay as well as more relaxing space music to fit the tone.
- Challenge mode that provides numerous single and multiplayer challenges to test and enhance the player's skills.
- Multiplayer capabilities where up to 4 players can either compete against each other in several different battle modes or competitive challenge modes, or they can assist each other through the story mode or co-op challenges.
- Updated technology allowing for smaller installers and better back-end tech to enhance the player's overall experience.
- Expanded space metal and space music soundtrack.
- Updated and additional movies to enhance the plot elements.
- Linking profiles that will carry throughout the saga, allowing the player to shape their Metacell experience based on how well they do throughout each of the games within the Metacell Saga.
- Mutable story mode that has many different storytelling paths, placing the story direction in the player's hands. What a player does within story mode will carry over within their profile to each consecutive story mode in the saga.
- Updated engine to allow multiplatform porting to mac, linux, web, tablet, and xbox.
What makes Metacell a unique snowflake?
Worldbuilding! The world of the game is incredibly detailed. We’ve worked on this universe over the course of 8 years, so to say that it’s a fully-realized world is an understatement.
Gameplay! We’ve combined the classic simplicity of match-three games with challenging additions that transform the genre. And plan to add even more twist to the current beta.
Awesomeness! The game has a fantastic plot that works with our chosen game genre. The story is richer for the gameplay, and vice versa. It’s addictive! The speed of the game, combined with the story, is incredibly engaging for both casual and constant gamers.
Epic Space Metal! When you first listen to our completely original, completely awesome soundtrack for Metacell by the most excellent and talented Space Vikings, it may actually be physically painful for you to stop listening. It's that good.
Space Vikings - Odin's Nebula
Saga based! It is not just one game with one story, it is one epic story told over 5 games that will be a unique immersive experience from one to the other.
“Metacell beams pure awesomeness straight into your brain cage!”--John, our fearless leader.
Who are we?
The PfR Company
Products for Robots is an entertainment development company in Athens, Georgia. Besides our office, Athens is home to the University of Georgia and a lively music scene, as well as being within easy driving distance of Atlanta. Some fun facts about Athens:
- It’s home to that one guy on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology who thinks evolution is a “lie straight from the pit of hell” (true).
- Parking tickets are only ten dollars here (equally true).
- Town Hall is edible (less true).
- First runner-up for the sexiest town alive award (false: first prize).
Space Vikings is Products for Robots' epic space metal band that crafts the elegant sound that is Metacell. Internet dwellers, space metal is the most magnificent genre of music ever to grace the world with its existence, and Space Vikings is the epitome of all things space and viking. Words cannot describe the majesty of their sound, but a close approximation might be "!!!!!!!!!!!?!!!!!." You can get a taste for it with the sample track, but you'll have to listen to the whole album to truly understand, which means you should probably invest in one of our lovely pledge packages.
Space Vikings - Among the Stars
Space Vikings - Battle at the Mead Hall
The PfR Staff
John Posey III, The Creator, The Designer, The Fearless Leader, The Story Teller
Chris Goodrich, The Animator, The Artist
Caitlin Downs, The Writer
Tom DiCesare, The Coder
Scott Andrews, The Musician
Adam Byer, The Sound Engineer
Al William, The 3rd Dimension
Also some lousy interns, but who cares about those guys.
Katelyn Binder, The PR / Justin Crews, The Animator / Kate Reichert, The Strategic Planner
Where can we learn more about PfR?
- The Products for Robots website www.productsforrobots.com
- On Twitter @tweetsforrobots
- Our Facebook page www.facebook.com/productsforrobots
- Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/ProductsForRobots
- Steam Green-light http://steamcommunity.com/id/productsforrobots
- IndieDB http://www.indiedb.com/company/products-for-robots
When will we get this stuff?
Of course, if things don’t quite go this well we have a backup timeline:
Why is PfR on Kickstarter?
Games don’t just grow on trees, internet dwellers. Games grow out of the flesh and blood of their creators, feeding like ticks until they are thoroughly ripe and ready to drop off and into the world. To keep our flesh alive and blood flowing, we need money. That’s why we’ve come to you!
What we’re planning to use the money for:
Finishing the game! We plan on adding all the good stuff we mentioned before to make this game perfect! The following briefly shows how we plan on doing that:
Why should you support this game?
Why are we making this game in the first place?
A direct quote from our fearless leader: “This is the game series I always wanted to play. Since no one else is awesome enough to make it, I decided to make it myself. I want everyone to play my awesome game because what is the fun in making an awesome game if there aren’t awesome people to play it with?” Wise words from a wise man with a limited adjectival vocabulary. It’s the game you want, and it’s the game you deserve, people.
How will you be rewarded?
If you direct your gaze to the side and top of the page, you’ll encounter a detailed list of the rewards for each donation level. If you direct your gaze downward and scroll, you’ll get the same list but with more details and some mighty fine pictures. Overall, we want to use your donations to bring you into the world of Products for Robots. We don’t want to waste your money attempting to send you monogrammed vacuum cleaners or crystal chandeliers with Metacell dangly bits, so most of our rewards are digital with only some limited physical rewards. When you donate to us, you become a part of the team, and our pledge packages reflect that idea.
The Pledge Rewards?
$5 - [I’ve Got Five On It] Closed-Beta access and a high five! Our high fives are pretty legendary, you know. I once heard that Chris’s high fives severed a man’s arm.
$8 - [Metacell Digital Soundtrack] Only interested in awesome space metal music? You’ll get a digital copy of the Metacell soundtrack. Time to rock out!
$10 - [Metacell Digital Edition] You will get Closed-Beta access and the basic digital copy of the game upon release. This provides instant gratification as well as a future gift. Smart thinking!
$25 - [Metacell Kickstarter Edition-Digital] You will get Closed-Beta access to the game, a digital copy of the game, and a digital copy of the soundtrack upon release. The super cool thing about this version of the game is that it comes with a unique Kickstarter-exclusive game mode which will change the way you see Metacell FOREVER, you lucky thing.
$35 - [All I Got Was This Awesome Shirt] Pfff...who cares about epic space metal, a rad video game, or a super spectacular saga? Just give me one of these bad-ass t-shirts. You get to pick from 1 of the 4 shirt designs [Products for Robots, Space Vikings, Metacell, or The Imaginary Awesome Studio]. If you live not in the United States of Awesome, tack on an additional $15 so we can ship you your schwag.
Whoa! Hold on a minute! Those shirts are mighty fine! Did you have your eye on more than one? If you answered with an enthusiastic yes to that question, we can help you out! When you go to enter your donation amount, simply add an extra $35 (per extra shirt) to the price of the package you were planning to get. Make sure you tell us that the extra money is for a shirt! Here's some example math; you want that kick-ass high five for $5 and an extra shirt with a hot unicorn on it: 5 + 35 = 40. Congratulations, math wizard, you just negotiated an extra shirt and a high five with your 40 bucks!
$50 - [Metacell Members Club - Basic] You will get Closed-Beta access of Metacell 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and digital copies when they are ready for release 7 days before anyone else. This is a Kickstarter-only opportunity and is only available during the campaign.
$69 - [Doodle Me Chris] You like the doodle style of the PfR staff? Well guess what? Chris will doodle you (hehehe doodle). If you live anywhere outside of Amurricuh, tag on that $15 for shipping.
$100 - [Metacell Kickstarter Edition - Physical] You get Closed-Beta access and a digital copy of the game and the soundtrack. Also, you get a physical copy of the game, soundtrack, and game manual in a box, just like the good ol’ days. You will also have your pick of 1 of 4 exclusive t-shirt designs that will never ever be made again outside of this Kickstarter campaign [Products for Robots, Space Vikings, Metacell, or The Imaginary Awesome Studio]. Your version of the game will include the EXCLUSIVE Kickstarter game mode. This is a Kickstarter-only opportunity and is only available during the campaign. Oh, did we mention the physical edition is signed by the team? Yeah, now we did. Sorry non-US of Awesome residents, you got to add an additional $15 for international shipping.
$500 - [Metacell Fanboy Club - Ultimate] Kickstarter-exclusive, you will get Closed-Beta access and super nifty physical editions of Metacell 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 upon their completion. In these fantastic collector’s editions, you will find a hard copy of the game, the soundtrack, the game manual, and 3 additional keys that you can give to your friends, sell on ebay, or make 3 different accounts to troll people with. You will also gain early access to the game 7 days before its general release. You will also also receive A SPECTACULAR BONUS GIFT OF YOUR CHOICE! You will get an e-mail a few months before release asking you to pick 1 of 4 super cool gifts to go in your collector's edition.
$1,337 - [PfR VIP Club Member] Kickstarter-exclusive, you will get 4 digital copies and 1 physical VIP edition of everything PfR makes from now until the end of time! This also comes with free VIP access to any PfR event (including Space Viking shows).
$5,000 - [I’ve Got 5,000 On It] You get the best high five ever. Like, imagine if Jesus came down from heaven to give you a high five; it’s exactly like that. Oh, and pretty much all of the lesser pledges.
$8,008.13 (Limited 1) - [Hehehe BOOBIE] You get a picture of an amazing rack! Worth every penny.
$9,001 (Limited 1) - [THIS PLEDGE REWARD IS OVER 9,000!] You get to be a special guest in the next Imaginary Awesome Studio animated short. John will make you into a puppet, Chris will animate you, and Caitlin will make you say really clever things. How cool is that? Super cool, that’s how cool.
$10,000(Limited 4) - [Fanboy's Wet Dream] You get to become a main character in the Metacell Saga. John will design you, Chris will draw you, Tom will program you, and the world will play you. Neat, huh? Time to give Mario a run for his money as the best game character ever.
What everyone who didn't jump on board the Metacell train will pay:
- Metacell Game (Digital Copy): $20
- Metacell Soundtrack (Digital Copy): $16
- Metacell Limited Physical Collector's Edition: $75
Clearly you're making a good decision here. Now all aboard the Metacell Train! The next stop is Win Town, and the population is you (and us, of course).
Risks and challenges
So games are hard to make. Sometimes, when we are crying in the shower, we like to think about these things:
1) Have you ever seen an artist talk to a coder?
2) Adobe crashes more times then the Russians did in the space race.
3) We make everything from scratch, like Betty Crocker. Cooking was her only job because starting from scratch is REALLY difficult and time consuming.
4) What if our office catches fire and everything we’ve ever created is destroyed?
5) If this campaign crashes and burns, our self-confidence will drop into the negatives and we will all have to live in a cave and eat mushrooms forever.
6) Car crashes are 88.6% more likely when you’re sleep deprived from designing a game (statistics may or may not be based on wild conjecture).
7) Someone could snatch our baby game from its cradle, make off with it, and raise it as their own!
8) We could drown in the ever-growing sea of indie game developers and no one will even know we exist. Is anyone even reading this? Hello?!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $25 or more
About $25 USD
[Metacell Kickstarter Edition - Digital] You will get Closed-Beta access to the game, a digital copy of the game, and a digital copy of the soundtrack upon release. The super cool thing about this version of the game is that it comes with a unique Kickstarter exclusive game mode which will change the way you see Metacell FOREVER, you lucky thing.Less
Select this reward
Pledge $35 or more
About $35 USD
[All I Got Was This Awesome Shirt] Pfff...who cares about epic space metal, a rad video game, or a super spectacular saga? Just give me one of these badass t-shirts. You get to pick from 1 of the 4 exclusive t-shirt designs that will never ever be made again outside of this Kickstarter campaign [Products for Robots, Space Vikings, Metacell, or The Imaginary Awesome Studio]. If you live not in the United States of Awesome, tack on an additional $15 so we can ship you your schwag. ***Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see the shirt designs!***Less
Select this reward
Pledge $50 or more
About $50 USD
[Metacell Members Club - Basic] You will get Closed-Beta access of Metacell 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and digital copies when they are ready for release 7 days before anyone else. This is a Kickstarter-only opportunity and is only available during the campaign.Less
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Pledge $69 or more
About $69 USD
[Doodle Me Chris] You like the doodle style of the PfR staff? Well guess what? Chris will doodle you (hehehe doodle). If you live anywhere outside of 'MRIKA HELL YEAH! Tag on that 15$ for shipping.Less
Select this reward
Pledge $100 or more
About $100 USD
[Metacell Kickstarter Edition - Physical] You get Closed-Beta access and a digital copy of both the game and the soundtrack. You also get a physical copy of the game, soundtrack, and game manual in a box just like the good ol’ days. You will also have your pick of 1 of 4 exclusive t-shirt designs that will never ever be made again outside of this Kickstarter campaign [Products for Robots, Space Vikings, Metacell, or The Imaginary Awesome Studio]. Your version of the game will include the EXCLUSIVE Kickstarter game mode. This is a Kickstarter-only opportunity and is only available during the campaign. Oh, did we mention the physical edition is signed by the team? Yeah, now we did. Sorry non-US of Awesome residents, but you got to add an additional $15 for international shipping. ***Scroll down to the bottom of the page to check out the designs!***Less
Select this reward
Pledge $500 or more
About $500 USD
[Metacell Fanboy Club - Ultimate] Kickstarter exclusive, you will get Closed-Beta access and super nifty physical editions of Metacell 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 upon their completion. In these fantastic collector’s editions, you will find a hard copy of the game, the soundtrack, the game manual, and 3 additional keys that you can give to your friends, sell on ebay, or make 3 different accounts to troll people with. You will also gain early access to the game 7 days before its general release. You will also also receive A SPECTACULAR BONUS GIFT OF YOUR CHOICE! You will get an e-mail a few months before release asking you to pick 1 of 4 super cool gifts to go in your collector's edition.
**Please See Full Description to the Left by Scrolling Down to "the Hows" Section.**Less
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Pledge $1,337 or more
About $1,337 USD
[PfR VIP Club Member] A Kickstarter exclusive, you will get 4 digital copies and 1 physical VIP edition of everything PfR makes from now until the end of time! This also comes with free VIP access to any PfR event (including Space Viking shows).Less
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Pledge $5,000 or more
About $5,000 USD
[I’ve Got 5,000 On It] You get the best high five ever. Like, imagine if Jesus came down from heaven to give you a high five; it’s exactly like that. Oh, and pretty much all of the lesser pledges.Less
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Select this reward
Pledge $9,001 or more
About $9,001 USD
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
[THIS PLEDGE REWARD IS OVER 9,000!] You get to be a special guest in the next Imaginary Awesome Studio animated short. John will make you into a puppet, Chris will animate you, and Caitlin will make you say really clever things. How cool is that? Super cool, that’s how cool.Less
Select this reward
About $10,000 USD
0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)
[Fanboy's Wet Dream] You get to become a main character in the Metacell Saga. John will design you, Chris will draw you, Tom will program you, and the world will play you. Neat, huh? Time to give Mario a run for his money as the best game character ever.Less
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