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UPDATES #11: BACKERS ONLY
Welcome to our Kickstarter campaign for The Center: Act I - AXIS! We have created a PRE-ALPHA build of our prologue demo that you can access and download through our website, www.thecentergame.com.
Please keep in mind that this demo is NOT INDICATIVE OF THE FINAL GAME. It is meant to serve as a PROOF OF CONCEPT to help explain what our intentions and goals are in conjunction with this campaign. We'll be updating the build of the demo throughout the campaign and we'll post updates whenever we've done so, so if the project interests you please stay tuned for more!
We've designed every asset in our campaign from the ground up over the last five months. Each member of our team has been working on their own time while also holding down other jobs to make ends meat. It's our collective dream to make this game a reality, and in order to do that we need your help, so without any further ado, here is our campaign!
The Story So Far ...
Long ago, an ancient alien race that predates all life sentenced the universe to complete obliteration. Their agents, the harbingers of this destruction, were dispatched to locations throughout the cosmos. Upon reaching their destinations they were sacrificed, causing massive, galaxy-consuming explosions.
ANU is the last of these martyrs, and completion of his mission will mean the end of existence as we know it. His destination is Ciraric, a lone, ravaged planet at the very center of the universe. However, unbeknownst to ANU, Ciraric holds a secret that will force him to question his purpose...
Jason Rosa penned the original story for The Center. Inspired by the obscure storytelling of Team ICO’s Shadow of the Colossus as well as the Star Wars films and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, his goal was to tell a story from the perspective of an unfathomable evil. Designed to be unstoppable in its destructive goal, this evil force is pressed into a situation that blindsides it into feeling empathy and, ultimately, leads it to question and challenge its own purpose. To do so, a high quality 3D isometric foundation was chosen. We intend to provide a classic feel while delivering new, exciting features and modern gameplay mechanics.
The Center: Act I - AXIS is targeted for PC & MAC.
Why Act I?
Our vision for The Center is immense, but because this is our first project, we didn't want to ask for too much from our backers. We know that trust and experience is a big part of what makes the Kickstarter formula work, but we believe that the incredible efforts of our team thus far prove our dedication to the project. The sooner we can get you guys a fully fleshed out game to play, the sooner we can prove that we mean business and earn your future support!
Large, captivating landscapes to explore: In addition to Ciraric's impressive scenery, its landscape is littered with the dilapidated ruins of alien temples, each with its own unique set of challenges to overcome and its own atmosphere to savor. The maps we're creating are teeming with hidden mysteries just waiting to be discovered, all presented in stunning HD.
Intriguing, thought-provoking imagery: Vibrant characters, incredible landscapes, and daunting structures create an abundant, compelling world that is both familiar and uniquely alien.
Involving combat mechanics: We did not design The Center: Act I - AXIS to play like a typical "hack and slash" adventure game, and ANU's suit is not designed for combat. In order to overcome most enemies, he will need to utilize Ciraric's environmental hazards in combination with his companion HEX's unique abilities.
3D "Shifting Isometric" camera: The majority of the game will be played from an isometric perspective, but in certain environments and during specific sequences the camera will shift to emphasize important objects and give you a closer view of the action.
Our team of professional artists and animators have painstakingly worked to bring ANU, HEX, and a host of supporting characters and adversaries to life.
ANU - An alien life form, ANU has only ever possessed a single purpose - to die as a martyr on the order of those who command him. He now journeys to the center of the universe to fulfill that purpose, and what he finds there will alter his fate... and the fate of the universe.
HEX - An artificial intelligence designed to assist ANU in completing his mission. HEX is badly damaged en route to their destination, and this damage hinders his internal processing ability. He will likely regain his full composure as his internal systems work to repair themselves - only then will he recall his true purpose to ANU's mission.
Swarms of deadly enemies: We've put a lot of effort into creating enemies that are as dangerous for ANU and HEX as they look. From the conceptual phase to full implementation into the engine, nearly every member of our team has left their mark on these baddies! Here are a couple of the enemies you'll encounter in The Center: Act I - AXIS:
Pux attacks in a straightforward manner and is easy to defeat, but it has a tendency to swarm in numbers.
Threadvire possesses the ability to excrete a potent acid capable of dissolving solid rock and common metals. It can quickly move through tunnels it has created and emerge where it is least expected.
MANY MORE ENEMIES will be included in the final game! As a special bonus, if we reach our $40,000 stretch goal, John Giang from Industrial Light and Magic has agreed to lend us his substantial experience and expertise by creating an original character for our project!
John is an acclaimed Concept Artist, Art Director, and Illustrator. John has contributed creative work ranging from comic art to graphic design to major motion pictures. John has done work for Marvel Studios, Bay Films, Paramount, Disney, Lucasfilm, Legendary, Lego, ImagineFX, and Stan Lee's POW Entertainment. Currently a staff artist at Industrial Light and Magic, some of John's film credits include: Age of Ultron, The Avengers, Pacific Rim, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Iron Man 1 and 2, Rango, and Star Trek just to name a few. John’s work is featured in many of the movie’s art of books and online: www.orbitalharvest.com and www.facebook.com/john.giang.fanpage.
Massive boss battles: Heavily inspired by the 16-bit era, The Center: Act I - AXIS has a host of imposing bosses to keep you on your toes. By utilizing unique timing mechanics, each boss encounter is a perilous dance through deadly hazards and brief windows of opportunity. Requiring quick reflexes, innovative thinking and a mastery of the game's mechanics. We're creating these battles to challenge your gaming sensibilities and, through victory, bestow a fulfilling sense of achievement.
We've put considerable thought and energy into testing a unique way of synchronizing our boss battles to musical time signatures and BPM. We want the player to feel like a key instrument within the battle and allow them the freedom to play as one. Since Studio Daisho LLC began as a musical composition and sound design studio, it was important to us that our musical ability showed in more than just our background themes and sound effects. We'll continue to flesh out and play with this idea so look forward to seeing it in the final game!
Alluring, ambient soundtrack: Studio Daisho LLC is, first and foremost, a musical composition and production business, and this shines through in The Center: Act I - AXIS. The original sound track we've composed is our best work yet!
Intuitive sound design: Rather than settle for immersion-dampening game design standards by utilizing a classic HUD, we've decided to deliver much of the necessary data to players through sound. Subtle audio cues will train the player's ear to ANU's status and encroaching threats.
The Center: Act I - AXIS is a 3D "shifting isometric" action/adventure game. Players will control ANU and HEX as they explore Ciraric, battling hostile enemy aliens while navigating devious traps and evironmental puzzles. Their mission will take them to a number of ancient alien structures filled with startling secrets about the planet... secrets that will cut to the very core of ANU's own existence.
The dynamic duo: While players will primarily control ANU, HEX will always be close behind. ANU possesses some basic measures for attack and defense, but he is not outfitted to combat the threats the two of them will encounter. On the other hand, HEX is capable of using a number of powerful abilities, and his value to ANU's mission is extraordinary.
A range of situational abilities...: One of HEX's most important functions involves incorporating various pieces of technology into his own systems. He also possesses the ability to project an energy field around himself that is imbued with the properties of that technology. When the player calls HEX to ANU's palm, he can be aimed and launched like a projectile. When HEX smashes into enemies, they suffer the effects of his energy field.
...and environmental opportunities: There will be plenty of environmental hazards littered throughout The Center: Act I - AXIS's locations. Overcoming many of the enemies and puzzles in the game will require utilizing these hazards through combinations of ANU and HEX's abilities.
Unique resource management: HEX's energy field is sustained by a number of alloyed plates that break down as the energy field grows more unstable - that is, as HEX collides with objects and enemies. HEX has the ability to quickly fabricate new plates from materials and minerals found in the field, and maintaining a supply of these plates is essential for making progress in The Center: Act I - AXIS. They are, in effect, the player's ammunition, and their management will be a constant concern.
Subtle player guidance: While The Center: Act I - AXIS isn't exactly going to hold your hand, we still wanted to include mechanisms to guide the player. Throughout the game, HEX will issue audio cues that will help direct you in a number of ways. He'll warn you of impending danger, help point you in the right direction, chastise you for wasting time, and offer other forms of amusing commentary. Don't worry - there won't be any annoying text prompts!
We can't talk about player guidance without mentioning the extensive work that went into creating HEX's voice! Dakota Brown is the true voice of ANU's glitchy companion. By collaborating with Jason Rosa, who created an original vocal processor for Dakota, he was able to give HEX a unique, charming tonality. Take a listen to some in-game communication cues we call "HEX Talk!"
Studio Daisho LLC has already made its mark on the indie development scene, but solely as a musical composition and production business. These experiences collaborating with other independent studios on their own projects were rewarding in and of themselves, but more than anything, they served to stoke the fires of our imagination. The Center is the result of that; our labor of love. Every person we've sought out to assist us in bringing our vision of The Center to life shares in our passion for games, and we believe the collective creativity and drive of our team rivals that of any big studio. Unfortunately, there is one ingredient absent from this equation: funding. Thankfully, in this day and age, that does not have to be the insurmountable roadblock it may have been in the past. We can now turn to you, the people who drive this crazy dream factory, and ask you to endorse our project with a small show of financial support. We love what we do, and we are determined to make sure that any show of faith you can spare for our dream is rewarded with engaging experiences for years to come!
Risks and challenges
We believe the greatest challenge for a project like ours is assembling a team with the skills and determination necessary to bring our vision to life. Fortunately for us, that challenge is behind us, and we'd like to keep it there. Each member of our team believes in this project, and so far they have been willing to work for free on their own time. We're mostly here on Kickstarter so that we can change that. With the funding we've asked for, we'll be able to pay our team enough to enable them to spend more of their time working on our project - time that would be otherwise spent holding down part-time jobs that put their talents to waste. We've spent enough time in development and planning to be able to say that the path ahead is pretty straightforward. All it'll take from here is hard work and determination!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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