3 Minutes to Midnight - A Comedy Graphic Adventure
A classic point-and-click comedy adventure like you haven't seen in 20 years
3 Minutes to Midnight - A Comedy Graphic Adventure
A classic point-and-click comedy adventure like you haven't seen in 20 years
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, November 8 2019 10:59 PM UTC +00:00.
3 Minutes to Midnight is an adventure game brought to life by Scarecrow Studio—a small, passionate team—and is unlike any you have ever seen before.
Most fans of point-and click-games would assume this is a pretty straightforward adventure game with a beginning and an end. But... what if that wasn't the case? What if every action you took had consequences? What if each puzzle had truly and wildly different solutions? Sounds pretty revolutionary, right?
Follow Betty Anderson and Eliza Barret as they unravel a mystery in their sleepy little New Mexico town. With over 15 hours of gameplay, charismatic art, breathtaking environments, and a colorful cast of characters—each of whom has extensive dialogues and intricate backstories—this game will keep you glued to the screen.
It also boasts droves of items—each with its own customized description and special role—to use in the game’s complex, challenging, and enthralling puzzles.
It's the late 1940s and somewhere, in the middle of nowhere, a loud explosion shatters the night. A plucky teenager wakes up with a jolt. Where is she? WHO is she?
Turns out she is Betty Anderson, and whatever blew up in the desert seems to have wiped her memory clean, but as she’ll soon learn, Betty has a lot more to worry about than amnesia. Like, say, a town full of people who aren’t what they seem, an overly ambitious mayor, a top-secret military base, the mafia, and a potbellied pig with a vendetta. Then there’s this little problem of a doomsday plot counting down to the extinction of the human race… but she'll get to that later.
Join Betty to crack the conspiracy that starts with a bang and ends at 3 Minutes to Midnight—if we’re lucky.
- Classic adventure gameplay
Inspired by such titles as The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, and Sam & Max Hit the Road—3 Minutes to Midnight combines the point-and-click gameplay and clever humor with high-definition cartoon art, an intuitive interface, and a compelling mystery.
- Two playable characters
Play as plucky teenager Betty Anderson and the ambitious and diplomatic mayor Eliza Barret—two characters on opposite sides of the spectrum—to unravel a plot much deeper than one would surmise at first glance.
- A small town of strangers and secrets, all deeply connected
All the characters in the game—as well as the world they live in—have a rich and detailed backstory, with clever and unexpected ties to each other. Scratching the surface won’t be enough to discover more than their apparent identities.
- Puzzles up the wazoo
Everyone knows that puzzles can make or break an adventure game. (Cat hair mustaches, anyone?) After all, most of the challenge comes from figuring out solutions to these convoluted problems. What’s worse than puzzles that are too hard or too easy, though? Having to solve the same kind of puzzle over and over until you feel like eating your controller out of frustration.
That’s why we’ve made a special effort to vary the types of puzzles in 3 Minutes to Midnight. You may need to talk to other people in town to figure out an answer—or to get yourself out of a real mess. Some puzzles are progressive, meaning one decision early in the game could dramatically influence how you find answers. The environment may hold clues, but you might also have to rely on your own inherent knowledge.
With over 1000 interactable objects and the largest script in point-and-click history, players will be able to use their creativity to figure out many different solutions. In turn, these decisions can influence the outcome of the game and affect which ending the player sees. When we say this game can be replayed, we’re really not kidding!
We’re talking hidden dialogue, events, and characters that you might otherwise never see. Maybe that character you kept hearing about wasn't actually real. Or maybe he was… and just very well-hidden.
- Multiple solutions to some puzzles
Most of our big puzzles have been designed in such a way that there's sometimes more than just the obvious solution. You might find an easy way to solve a problem, or maybe you'll find a secret that unlocks more information about the backstory of our characters.
- Multiple endings!
When we said replayability, we meant it! The game offers multiple endings, each of them distinct from the others. The endings are drastically different and are determined by how you play the game, giving real stakes to the story. Some finales may be happier than others, so pay attention to your choices! No need to fear “multiple endings” where the only differences are that the ending cinematics have the camera tilted at a weird angle and everything is tinted some random color—we guarantee it.
- Elaborate hint system
Our built-in hint system will highlight important objects and assist during those tense dialogue options. After all, we wouldn’t want you to get lost (or look for a walkthrough online!) So if you have the need, activate this option... or don't.
- "That doesn't seem to work."—No more!
“That doesn’t work” is now a thing of the past! No more will you be stuck hearing the same phrase 5000 times in a row, because we made sure to write 5000 lines of unique dialogue specifically for this reason! All of them clever and funny, of course, for you to discover at your leisure.
- Easter eggs
Wait, what’s this you picked up off the ground? An Easter egg! During Betty’s (mis)adventures, you’ll have the chance to find lots of Easter eggs. They’re not all three-second jokes or random background details, though. We’re talking elaborate hidden gems. Remember what happened to Guybrush if you left him soaking for too long? If you do, you’ll know exactly what we mean. If not, don’t worry—you’ll develop your own set of elaborate in-jokes once you play the game. Like Ben Zinn’s plumbing, humor is wildly creative and slightly dangerous. (See, that’s an in-joke you don’t get... yet.)
- Hidden references
Consider yourself genre-savvy? Maybe you watch a lot of movies? Then you’ll definitely enjoy hunting for cleverly hidden references to other great works. They may appear as witty book titles or hard-to-spot cameos, but don’t worry—they won’t be taking center stage. After all, 3 Minutes to Midnight has its own stories to tell.
Yes, we made sure to include at least one Star Wars reference... original trilogy, of course.
We’ve ensured an expansive and interesting gameplay experience. In fact, we might’ve gone a bit overboard. Early testing of the game took about 12 hours! Considering there was no dialogue and that we knew exactly what we were doing… you’d probably think we’re crazy! So, get yourselves ready for 15 to 20 exciting hours of gameplay.
But don’t worry, our game isn't long because it's clunky. We’ve introduced many quality of life improvements. Want to leave a location faster? Double-click the exit! Feeling lost? Use the hint system. Re-entered a dialogue by mistake? Skip it! Then again, maybe you won’t want to.
Have we mentioned that our characters have both expressive faces and bodies? It just makes everything so much more dynamic. Take a look below...
If you're one of those hardcore keyboard & mouse players, you’ll appreciate the amount of work that went into making its controls as smooth as possible. On the other hand, if you swear by a controller, you’ll get to experience the best controls ever developed for a point-and-click game.
All characters are fully integrated with the game’s backgrounds, thanks to shadow and coloring systems specifically designed for this title. Dynamic lighting affects every scene. No character will ever look like a cardboard cutout in a bad Saturday cartoon show.
The game offers multiple solutions to different puzzles, with many, many conditions that lock or unlock certain information or events.
Here’s a bit of gameplay for you to enjoy. The first half of the video is brand-new 4K footage exclusive to our Kickstarter, with voice acting and sound effects not yet implemented. If you want to enjoy our talented voice cast, the second half of the video—which is from a demo shown at worldwide events like Gamescom, PAX East, and E3—will give you a fuller experience. Don’t worry, though, we made sure there are no spoilers. For real, we checked. Several times.
Our game has over 50 characters aside from Betty and Eliza, each with an intriguing backstory, and many of them interconnected. While you unravel the main plot of the game, you’ll learn more about every single one of them—if you want to, that is. Discover hidden dialogues and the special events they lead to. Only the most expert of adventurers will be able to unlock this game in full!
Now, how about we meet some of the townsfolk?
We want to make the best-looking point-and-click adventure game of all time. That’s why we have some of the best artists working on it. Environments look familiar? That might be because our environment artist, David Puerta, worked on such titles like Yesterday, Runaway, and Broken Sword.
We’ve created a huge number of locations for you to explore. All of our backgrounds are painted in 8K resolution and converted to 4K for the final version of the game. Most are panoramic, allowing us to show you beautiful parallax effects and leaving you with even more to discover. But enough explaining, why not take a look?
Some of our environments are even available during both day and night. Gameplay and situations change with the time of day, and so will the people you encounter.
It’s taken us three years to craft 3 Minutes to Midnight’s script. Over FIVE people have worked to make sure the script is rich and engaging, engineered to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.
Every item, or combination of items, is accompanied by a humorous comment. Some may be more subtle than others, but we think they’re all good for a laugh. Examine any interactable item for a chuckle… as well as a clue.
That’s why you can trust us when we say every aspect of the game has been treated with the utmost care and respect, and the script is no exception.We value a good story as much as we do our art and our game’s integrity.
- Environmental animations
Each environment in the game is carefully and uniquely constructed. They’re also animated and update whenever you interact with them! Remove something? Poof, gone! Add something? Poof... in?
- Character animations
Along with these awesome environments, we have original, meticulously crafted animations for each and every character, so that no moment feels exactly like the last twenty. Every character has their own unique and lovely charm. Just take a look at some of them!
Watch Carrie Anne and Slim relax by feeding some pigeons.
Or maybe you’re more interested in BIG cats?
Possibly interested in seeing some more of Betty?
Or was Eliza what you were expecting to see?
Or maybe some of these colorful characters? Yes, even the goldfish has personality!
Most of us have our favorite tunes from these old adventures games stuck in our heads, and no matter how much time passes, their greatness never fades away. We’ve put a lot of thought into developing our soundtrack, choosing only the best in Guy Jones, an award-winning composer for TV, video games, and film. He had the task to create these themes specifically for our game, and he delivered. Nothing beats translating visual art into music!
Here are a few pieces from our score for you to enjoy:
As spooky as it sounds, the ScareMixer is a thing of beauty. Despite its name, we don’t use it to mix scares, but to make sure every musical theme in the game is treated with great respect. No longer will you notice those jarring cuts in audio that you hate so much, seamless transitions from track to track are the way of the future—and that’s why ScareMixer was born. Anyone else thinking about iMUSE™️ right now? You got the idea. Now, how about we show you what we’re talking about...
Great legends of point-and-click, like Roberta Williams, Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, David Fox, Steve Purcell, Peter Chan, Hal Barwood, Al Low, Brian Moriarty, Gary Winnick, Charles Cecil… and many more!
But let’s not stick to just personalities. A lot of legendary shows and movies also inspired 3 Minutes to Midnight. We’ll play it safe to avoid spoilers, but if you can fathom The Twilight Zone and Monkey Island having a baby… that’d be pretty close to 3 Minutes to Midnight.
We have many brilliant influences, some of whom were instrumental in shaping our childhoods. They've given us many memories that will stay with us until the end of our days, but how about we make some new ones, too?
What our studio intends to do is bring the point-and-click genre to the next level. At some juncture, adventure games turned to 3D as the next step in their evolution and—while it worked for some of them (like the amazing Grim Fandango)—it was not the case for many, many others that tried that approach.
We’re firm believers of 2D point-and-click adventure games, but what if, besides a breathtaking main plot, we implemented other awesome features like 4K graphics, adaptive soundtracks with seamless transitions, post-processing, backstories for every single character, fluid and gorgeous animations for every action, decisions and consequences that shape the game’s several endings? All of that plus a hint system, the ability to play with keyboard and mouse as well as game controllers, tons of replayability, and a very long list of etceteras.
Over the past two years, we have received very positive feedback from our community and the press, which keeps us motivated and helps bring us closer to the finish line. Our first game, 3 Minutes to Midnight, will be released in spring/summer 2020.
We’re a small indie team of twelve people consisting of:
- Jan Serra – Game Creator, Lead Designer, and Studio Director;
- Julen Diéguez –Lead Programmer;
- Daniel Peña – Lead Character Artist;
- David Puerta – Lead Environment Artist;
- Jorge Bompart – Lead Animator;
- Pavlína Kačerová – Head of Marketing and Localization Manager;
- Carles Xicola – Assistant Animator;
- Marina Hortal – Assistant Programmer;
- Claudi Lázaro – Assistant Programmer;
- Marc Salvador – Script Writer;
- Oscar Nogueras – Script Writer;
- Anna Merchant – English Supervisor & Assistant Script Writer.
When 3 Minutes to Midnight was but a fever dream almost three years ago, we had a clear vision of what we wanted—and went for it! This is our first game, and our lack of experience made some steps in this arduous process take longer.
No matter what, though, we've never lost our forward momentum. We have one clear objective—to create one of the best point-and-click adventure games ever made. It’s no easy task, but our passion and effort are reflected in every little detail. Nothing, no matter how minor, has been neglected.
A few months ago, while working on secondary plots for our characters, we realized that if we truly wanted to make them justice, we'd need to expand many aspects of the game a considerable amount.
We want to do it, but we also know that in order to accomplish such feats, we need your help! We want to work together with our fans to create a new point-and-click game that will occupy a special spot in your heart—just like the great games of old.
Stretch goals will be revealed as we move forward in the campaign, and we plan to build them around the wishes of our community. Want Mac and Linux versions sooner rather than later? You've got it! Love the game as it is, but wish there was a secret quest about bloodthirsty chipmunks? We're actually willing to make that happen! The future development of this game will be shaped by your willing hands.
Do you want to lose yourself in this fascinating, intricate world and explore everything we have cooking here at the studio? Then help us reach our stretch goals, and we promise this will be the most unique point-and-click game you’ll have ever played.
3 Minutes to Midnight will be fully voiced in English. However, the game will feature subtitles in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.
If certain stretch goals are met, we’ll be able to include Russian, Portuguese, Czech, and Polish and then, a few months after release, we intend to deliver Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean, and Japanese translations. However, if the campaign is a real success, we may be able to add these translations right away on release day!
Our aim is to release the game on Windows and, shortly after, on Switch, Xbox One, and PS4. There are plans for both Mac and Linux, plus mobile support for Android and iOS, but this is dependent on stretch goals and will take more time. For now, the game is being released on Steam. There are ongoing talks to bring the game to GOG but at an early stage, so we can’t confirm anything at this point. However, we’d like to have the game available on as many platforms as possible.
We know how important it is for our backers to be able to choose a DRM-free version. Therefore, you will be able to choose your preferred platform in a survey we will be sending out after the campaign is over.
We spend 100% of our time developing 3 Minutes to Midnight (it would be a higher percentage if we could bend time and space!), but sometimes we post crazy stuff or interesting news, so if you happen to be on Twitter, you might want to follow us by clicking the link below.
Of course, if you’d rather follow us on Instagram, we normally post images from events we attend, or everyday studio life. Just click the link below so you can stay tuned.
Or take the direct approach! Hop into our Discord and chat with your fellow 3 Minutes to Midnight fans!
Wait, you’re saying you prefer Facebook? Awesome, because we are there too! Hit the button below, and like our page. We insist.
Do you like tubes? So do we, that’s why we have a YouTube channel! Visit us for the latest video releases and trailers for 3 Minutes to Midnight!
If you work for the media or are a content creator, and want more information about the game or about the studio, click here or on the image below to access our press kit. You can also reach us at email@example.com if you have any other press related inquiries.
Risks and challenges
We’ve been self-funded for the past three years, but due to delays and bumps in the road—par for the course when you’re an indie team working on your first big project—we’re going to need an extra push if we don’t want these three years of work going down the drain! With enough funding, we can deliver a product that will take your breath away. We’ve planned all of the game’s stages for days on end, the script has been thoroughly checked to be as entertaining as possible, and the art is gorgeous.
But that final product won’t come to pass unless you give us the support we need to push through and get the last step done. In the end, the fate of this game depends on you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter