- $100K STRETCH GOAL REACHED! Coming in December 2013: The Rats of Europa online service!
- $75K STRETCH GOAL REACHED! The level editor and desktop game clients are happening!
- Minion medal design revealed!
- MP3 album add-on announced!
- Add-ons announced (scroll to the bottom of that update)!
- Bürgermeister stein design revealed!
- Definitive list of our supported platforms.
- Be sure to check our Updates page periodically!
THE WORLD OF GIRL GENIUS COMES TO LIFE...
The Rats of Mechanicsburg is the first video game set in the world of the Hugo Award-winning webcomic Girl Genius. Help Krosp, Emperor of All Cats, battle an infestation of clockwork rodents. Use cunning tactics and mad science to rebuild Mechanicsburg, crush the ratbots and ultimately defeat the Maus King! Blending sidescroller action, physics puzzles, and the unique art and humor of Phil and Kaja Foglio, The Rats of Mechanicsburg is a fast and fun game for ages 9+.
...BUT ONLY WITH YOUR HELP!
We're making good progress on the game already, but there are some big expenses we have to pay before we can go much further: sound effects, music, fonts, development-software licenses, compatibility-testing services and more. Our minimum target covered just those costs, but thanks to the incredible support we've already received, we're well past that now. We've added more features to the game: artwork by the award-winning Cheyenne Wright, music by the renowned composer George "The Fat Man" Sanger, an Android version, and more levels. But if we raise more, we can make the game even better. Our stretch goals are listed at the bottom of the page.
Because it's your support that will make this game succeed, we've come up with some great ways to thank you for that support.
Every person who pledges $4 will get exclusive in-game content. At this level you become a Citizen of Mechanicsburg, with access to a forum to interact with the team during development. And naturally all Citizens are duly listed in a roll of honor in the game. At higher pledge levels, backers receive more prestigious rewards, such as unique medals to publicly identify Lady Heterodyne's most loyal supporters. A select few will get to participate in alpha and beta testing. See the sidebar to the right for details on all our exciting rewards.
Backers at the Citizen level and up for Android receive a copy of the game. We can't really do that for iOS, however. Instead, we need to ask our iOS backers to hold onto an extra dollar and buy the game through the App Store at launch. Getting noticed in the noise of the Apple App Store is a big challenge... but if we do, we'll be able to bring you even more Girl Genius games in the future!
The best way to get noticed is simply to be high on the charts, and the only way to do that is for people to purchase the app through the App Store--Kickstarter presales don't count. If just 1% of the Girl Genius fans buy the game on the day of launch that'll be enough to put us at the top of the daily App Store charts and knock those ill-tempered avians off their perches!
But it just feels wrong to run a Kickstarter for an iOS app and not give away a, you know, iOS app. The Girl Genius Paper Dolls is currently in certification, and we hope to release it immediately after the holidays. This fun little app lets you dress up Krosp, Zeetha, Agatha and Gil, then pose with them in your own photos. Your honored status as a Citizen of Mechanicsburg for iOS will unlock all current and future content in this app for free. So your $4 pledge, plus $1 more in the App Store later, gets you the paper doll app to play with soon, exclusive content in the game when it launches, and public recognition as a valued supporter of Lady Heterodyne!
The bonus paper dolls app is not available for Android at this time. But Citizens who select Android will receive the Rats of Mechanicsburg game itself. So no matter which device you have, your $4 Citizen pledge gets you an app.
As we've already passed our $12,500 threshold for this goal, it's now official: The Rats of Mechanicsburg is for iOS and Android. Specifically, we'll be targeting Android 2.3.3 and up on mainstream phones and tablets. Depending on availability, we'll also support Ouya, though sadly we didn't get in on that Kickstarter. The Android version will follow as closely behind the iOS version as possible; our current commitment is two months.
As part of this, we have new Android-specific reward tiers. These tiers do not include the paper doll app, because that app has iOS-specific code in it that won't port over, but instead they do include a copy of The Rats of Mechanicsburg app itself.
Backers at the Lab Assistant and up tiers get both iOS and Android.
To help the game match the comic's distinctive hand-drawn look as much as possible, the amazingly talented colorist for Girl Genius, Cheyenne Wright, will be joining the project now that we've hit our second stretch goal. In addition to his comic book work, Cheyenne is also an accomplished videogame artist. He will be creating 3D model texture art in the true style of Girl Genius. In addition to Cheyenne's work, we're adding more models to the game, doubling the number of different enemies Krosp can fight.
Thanks to your support, we met our third stretch goal, enabling renowned game composer George "The Fat Man" Sanger to come on board and create a custom score for The Rats of Mechanicsburg! Every backer at the Minion ($24) level or above will receive an MP3 album of the score, and soon we'll announce a new tier to give every Citizen backer a change to get the album as well.
As part of this same goal we're adding voice throughout the game. Phil, Kaja and the Studio Foglio gang will deliver their signature performances, backed up by other professional voices.
In the winter of 2013, we'll also release a complete level editor for the game, alongside an update to the iOS and Android games to allow loading levels. This editor will let players do everything that our own in-house designers can do--in addition to monsters and game objects you'll also be able to add story elements and scripted events like boss fights. Use your levels to tell a tale! Every backer from Citizen on up will receive the editor and desktop game client for free.
By the end of 2013, the level editor will be backed up by an online service. Every creator will get to name a town in the Transylvanian mountains and create game levels--"streets"--to fill it. Any other player who knows the name of a town can visit it and play the levels there. We'll have leaderboards tracking the towns with the most visitors, the towns rated highest by their visitors, and the towns that manage to kill the most visitors.
Risks and challenges
Software is difficult to finish, and especially difficult to predict, even for people like Stephen with 20 years of industry experience. We've already finished enough of the game to be confident that it will ship next year, but it could take longer than our planned launch of Spring 2013.
Having shipped two games in the App Store already, and having worked on several others for other publishers, we know that device compatibility and performance is always a challenge. We are currently targeting all iOS devices from 2010 onward (which specifically leaves out iPhone 3GS or earlier), and iOS 5.1 and above. Depending on what Apple does with iOS, we may have to trim our list of supported devices and versions.
Android devices have an even broader range of performance than iOS devices. Our current minimum Android version is 2.3, but even within 2.3, some devices with older graphics chips or lower RAM may not be supportable.
On both Android and iOS, we depend on Unity3D version 4.0 as our development platform. If Unity drops support for or has unfixable bugs on a particular OS/device combination, we have no means to bypass that issue.
Finally, all iOS products exist at Apple's mercy. For all we know, Apple could decide tomorrow to ban all crowdfunded projects from the App Store--not likely to happen, but there'd be little we could do about it if it did. What we can commit to is to do our best to fulfill the rewards as described within the bounds of what Apple permits.
Your generous support will minimize all these risks. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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