Saturated Dreamers: IGF Fee and Misceallenous Development Costs
Saturated Dreamers is an independent game by the creators of Immortal Defense, Fedora Spade, Missing, Boundless Ocean, and The Man Who Hates Fun. It's been in production for two years. You can see all of our games here.
Saturated Dreamers is a top-down exploration game. Its genre is a bit hard to explain; I wanted to take the Zelda / action-RPG genre try to do to that what Knytt and Seiklus did with the platformer genre. The focus is on exploring environments, interacting with creatures, and helping your characters solve the mystery of the lake. You play as a human who was sent to an alien world to study it -- a world which contains only a single giant lake, filled with strange creatures.
You can read its design document here, but beware of spoilers. It may give you some idea of what the game is like. Its development log here -- the game is currently about 40% done, and is planned to be finished by the first half of 2010. It also has a site, although there isn't much there.
Currently production is funded only by a portion of the sales of Immortal Defense, which average around ten to twelve copies sold a month currently.
NOTE: If you'd like to pay by PayPal instead, and do not have a credit card, use this link and I'll count it towards this.
Here are the costs which we would like to cover with this request:
- The Independent Games Festival is a contest for independent games. It has a $95 fee and can help bring promotion to an independent game if it becomes a finalist. It's quite pricey for a contest, and there's no promise of getting anything out of it, but it may be worth a shot.
- The FMOD sound engine requires a $100 license fee for shareware/indie games, and is currently the engine being used for the game in development. There's an alternative free sound library I'll switch to if we can't pay for this, but that one doesn't allow sound frequency bending on the fly, while playing sounds (a feature which is used for various things in the game).
In exchange, we offer our thanks and various rewards if the amount is reached (see the sidebar for those). There are other costs which would be nice to have as well, hosting fees, royalty-free atmospheric sound effects, and so on, so going beyond the target amount would still be very useful as it'd help us with those costs.
- Paul Eres (rinkuhero): programming, design, direction, level design, marketing
- Hardi Gosal (orchard-l): tile art, portrait art
- John Thornton: writer, co-designer
- Kelly Lea Harris (komera): creature design, creature art
- Long Dao (longetech): music
Here is more information about the game (much of it taken from the game's website):
Saturated Dreamers is an exploration game set on a sentient alien lake. In it, you guide a ship and explore the lake, its creatures, and your own characters through your ship's strange abilities, which you gradually find and expand as you explore the world of the lake.
Saturated Dreamers is an experiment: it has action without harm, a shooter without explosions, bosses which become your friends once defeated. The story and game progress proceed non-linearly, you can explore things in your own personal order. The goal is not to defeat every enemy in your path, but to find ways to bypass them without harming them, or even to find ways to connect to them.
Saturated Dreamers is an upcoming game by Radical Poesis Games & Creations. Release is expected in early to mid 2010. Here's an video of the game's intro as it stands now (August 2009).
The team making it is responsible for games like Immortal Defense, Fedora Spade, and Missing. We've been working on it for two years, and that will probably be three years by the time it's finished.
The Lake is old and alive. Many creatures live with it. In a sense, the creatures are the Lake, and the Lake is its creatures. Humans discovered it and set up a base to try to understand the Lake.
Humans have learned a few things about the Lake, but many mysteries remain. The creatures seem to communicate using invisible particles called memory cells. The lake color-codes its water to let creatures know whether they're in the right place. There are creatures which clean up the lake, creatures which guard it, creatures which collected the dead creatures, creatures which feed other creatures: they work as one body, as one system, although there are also many creatures whose role is unknown to the humans.
For this reason, the humans are reluctant to meddle with the Lake, until the Lake begins to create creatures which look like humans. These "Lake-humans" hide themselves from the humans, but one was captured by them. Venus.
The Lake is large. It covers much of the planet. It is bigger than any lake on Earth, but not as big as an ocean. It will take a long time to explore. It will take a long time to learn about. The player should proceed slowly but with confidence.
In the center, there is a relatively peaceful area. This is where Venus was found.
One part of the lake is full of creatures, heavily populated.
Another area is full of whirlpools, and is hard to navigate because the strong water and wind currents can push the |Leta| around.
Another area is full of dead creatures and vines. It is here where creatures are revived after they die.
Another area is full of steam and small volcanoes, and is often so full of darkness and ash that it is hard to see for long distances.
Another area is cold and full of ice and icebergs, with few creatures and relatively little water to navigate through.
Another area is full of flowers and the creatures which tend them. This area brings life to the Lake by collecting energy from the stars and converting it to food for the creatures.
Another area is rocky and undeveloped, with almost no creatures. It is here that the humans have set up their research base.
The cave is also ringed by a network of caves and tunnels surrounding it, which connect the edges of the Lake and contain it. If these are reached, the |Leta| could navigate the lake quickly, like a highway around the Lake. Reaching it will be difficult though, because the Leta begins in the center of the Lake.
There are five characters you can find in Saturated Dreamers.
One is a human, named Mercedes. She's a scientist, and has red hair. She pilots the |Leta|, and
One is a Lake human, named Venus. She was found in the Lake by the humans, and Mercedes takes care of her. She can live in the lake without being killed, and can understand the creatures of the Lake, who seem to avoid harming her. Venus can connect with the creatures. You find her early in the game.
One is NeoTheo. He used to be human, but no longer is, because the Lake killed him. But at least the Lake also brought him back to life, with creatures inside him, which give him monstrous looks, but a kindly personality. Is the real Theo even still inside? He must be, because NeoTheo still knows how to engineer the |Leta| and install and upgrade its functions. He's somewhere in the Lake, Mercedes and Venus can find him.
One is Icks. He is neither human nor Lake human, but looks human. What is he? He speaks in strange words, almost a baby language, and knows how to do many things. He has fish gills, and can change his form and grow wings when he wants to. He can guide Mercedes and Venus through the Lake, and explain the different parts of it. He's somewhere in the Lake, Mercedes and Venus can find him.
One is Spare Moment. He is also neither human nor Lake human, but not the same type of thing as Icks is. He has green skin. He is older than Icks, about a few million years older. He offers them assistance: he tells them where to go, and what they should do if they want to get back to the Duck Blind, although his words are hard to understand. Is he like a guardian angel to them? He appears on the |Leta| mysteriously at one point, after Mercedes and Venus have explored enough of the Lake.
The Lake has many creatures, each performing different roles for the Lake. Each type of creature has its own mysteries.
Some creatures, like the Sababoo, the Nuri, and the Argi Mound, keep other creatures in their place, and prevent them from wandering off. Similarly, the Seenu colors the Lake, making sure creatures know where they are.
Some creatures, like the Ember Fly, tend the flowers, which are the food source of the Lake.
Some creatures keep other creatures alive, protecting them from dangers, like the Catob and the Blepa.
Other creatures collect the dead, like the Peeka. Some, like the Feni, revive them after they die.
Other creatures, like the Fior Fly, bring light to dark areas, and help creatures migrate correctly.
Many other creatures can be found, some with roles the humans have not yet discovered, but which the player may discover.
There are also large creatures which run their particular areas, these are called local mammoths. Jewel is one of these, as is Fleuri and the Opinici.
Some creatures exist just to have fun and keep all the other creatures from getting bored, like the Recap and the Kobu.
The |Leta| is the ship the characters in the game ride around in. It's a human creation, intended for exploration, but it's adaptable and can take on various functions depending on the situation.
The |Leta| begins with a gun, but loses it.
The first function the |Leta| finds is the Line, which can be used to attach the ship to things and to pull things.
The |Leta| can gain a Light, which allows it to see in dark places, or to scare some creatures, or make other creatures happier. There are many places in the Lake which need light.
The |Leta| can gain a Sound recording device, which allows it to record and play back the sounds of the creatures. Some of these sounds can do strange things when played back. It can only store a few at a time.
The |Leta| can gain a Bait, a distraction, which can cause creatures to move towards it and wonder what it is. It can be used to get past creatures guarding some areas, or for other purposes.
The |Leta| can gain a Shield, which will prevent the |Leta| from harming creatures as much when it accidentally runs into them, and will protect the |Leta| from environmental hazards.
The |Leta| can gain a Net, which will slow down anything in its field for a short time (including the |Leta| itself).
The |Leta| can gain the power to make some objects and creatures ghostly, which will allow the |Leta| to pass through them. This can be used to open up secret passages.
The |Leta| can gain an upgrade to its engine, the Zig engine, which allows it to dash faster and dive underwater, which can both be useful for many things.
The |Leta| can gain another weapon to replace its lost gun, which can be used to scare off giant creatures or to break obstacles like bushes and loose rocks and crystals. But it's dangerous, so be careful not to use it to kill any creatures!
- (55 days)