Project Maiden is an ambitious single-player indie game that will attempt to challenge some of modern gaming's most ingrained commonplaces. With your support, Project Maiden will be made by a small team and be free for anyone to download and play forever.
Updated: Stretch Goals!
New Stretch Goal: The Doubleclicks
The Doubleclicks will write a new, never before heard song for Project Maiden! It will have sweet licks and dope jams and it will make you feel feelings.
Stretch Goal Achieved: Full Band Soundtrack
Joe Kenneally does awesome work with just a guitar (or mandolin) and his iPod for recording. But what if we could get more support for Joe? Holy God, what would that music sound like?
Stretch Goal Achieved: New Game Plus
Ideas kicked around for NGP include Half-Life 2 style commentary, a hard mode where you have no or "minimal" powers, boss rushes, and a "speed run" mode. More info to come!
Project Maiden Press
So far Project Maiden has been featured in several articles across the net!
- Gaming Bullshit kicked off their Indie Spotlight feature with us.
- Fund This Game interviewed Kevin.
- Indius gave us a great write up in French!
- Josh Diendorf interviewed Kevin on his IGN blog.
- Strength Gamer gave us an excellent write up.
- +10 to Fire Resist gave us a very heartfelt write up!
- Fantastic Neighborhood makes a whimsical juxtaposition of Imo's sprite as well as a hilarious crack at Kevin's facial hair!
- New: Rock Paper Shotgun. Holy crap!
- New: Eurogamer thinks we're cool!
Want to do an interview? Maybe a feature? Let us know how we can help! Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org but act fast! There isn't much time left.
Like Zelda In Reverse
Okay, so you know how at the start of any given video game you have like... no stuff? And then by the end of the game you have ALL THE STUFF?
Right. So do that backwards and you have the gist of Project Maiden.
You start with all (or most) of the powers and abilities you'll have in the game and each level you lose one of those powers. You choose the order in which you play the levels (Mega Man style) so you don't have to give up your favorite power right away. You will, however, face the Final Boss with only the core mechanics and exploits you learned in the course of the game.
The powers of Project Maiden are versatile with many different effects depending on the situation and your skill.
Rockjump creates a block of stone that can shield you from enemy attacks or give you a platform to jump off of. Using Rockjump while in the air creates a platform at your feet when you land which rockets you up into a higher jump.
Transmute shoots a spiraling orb of energy from Imogen's outstretched hand that turns flesh into stone and stone into flesh. Uses include "stoning" guards and bringing mysterious statues to life. The camera follows the projectile and Imogen has control over where it goes. Though it moves fast, you can use the projectile to scout ahead in tricky levels.
Stoneskin covers Imogen in rock-hard armor that she can use to turn herself into a battering ram, bolster her combat effectiveness, or sink in water. Jumping is difficult when you're coated in mystical granite, but if Imogen becomes airborne with Stoneskin activated, she can unleash a devastating stone elbow drop.
Losing powers cuts off side routes and shortcuts in later levels. If you lose the Rockjump power in level one, in level two, there may be a sneakier route over a group of enemy soldiers that is now inaccessible. Likewise you may have to look for a way around the two cultists with assault rifles if you can no longer Transmute one of them into immobile stone.
The levels organically get harder each time you lose a power and there will be many paths through a level depending on the powers you have available and your own cleverness.
UPDATE: Check out our new video detailing Project Maiden's backstory and lore:
Project Maiden's story takes its themes from the game's mechanics. "Loss" is an important theme I'm trying to express and it's also the central mechanic of the game. The story will explore how we define ourselves by what we hang on to and what we let go of.
The story takes place in a dark fantasy setting where a massive war has decimated the planet and all of the Gods have either left or died. Two mortal races are left behind with no means to continue the war or govern themselves.
An uneasy truce of necessity is formed and then threatened by, well, you.
You are the key to waking the last God on the planet, the one who will end the war. Through a botched ancient ritual you inherit this God's powers and immortality while losing your memory, your voice, and slowly, your sanity.
You play as Imogen. Imogen has the capabilities of a warrior and the powers of a God, but it's up to you what kind of character she is. She could be a violent avenging spirit, a stealthy pacifist, or anything in between.
You are assisted by Theo, an idealist who attempts to convince you to preserve the truce as he guides you through the shattered land.
It's up to you whether or not to end the war or preserve the truce, your only necessity is your own survival and sanity.
The plot and world are revealed naturally through exploration and gameplay. There will be no front-loaded exposition or cutscenes of any kind. Dialogue scenes do not freeze your character. While NPCs are talking you are free to walk away, listen stealthily, or attempt to stab the self-important monologuing philosopher-boss straight in the gob.
No DRM, Free Download
Once the game is funded, out of beta, polished, and released, it will be free for everyone forever. Download it from my website, torrent it, share it, whatever works for you. There will be a suggested donation on my site but other than that, it's open to the public.
If this game is to succeed and if there are to be more games like it, then the support from the community has to be strong. Conversations, rants, fan art, and fan fiction will be how I judge this game's success.
That said, if you'd like to see it made, please back this game. Project Maiden will not get made if it isn't funded. Some backers will get exclusive input on the game's beta (which includes input on the game's story), in addition to other fabulous rewards so please give generously if you want to see this game and others like it.
Where Does the Money Go?
For my minimum goal, the money goes toward covering my cost of living while I make the game in addition to replacing hardware if it breaks, and covering art, programming, and music projects for people who aren't me.
After that minimum goal the next $2000 goes straight to music production as it's the one area I cannot do by myself. That money will cover recording costs and time for the composers and musicians.
The next batch of money goes toward better hardware for development purposes and all money from there on will be put toward getting the best talent possible to work on this game for as much time as they can spare.
Kickstarter takes a small cut from my total and so does Amazon. I also lose a bit to Massachusetts Income Tax and making and shipping physical rewards costs a bit of money, but I've accounted for all of these in my minimum goal.
The more funding I get, the more I can offer. This Kickstarter page will be updated with more stretch goals as they become relevant!
Meet the Team!
Kevin Cole has always liked video games enough to be incessantly critical of them. He went to college for English and had a tech job for a while and he really really wants to make video games. Kevin is the programmer, narrative designer, writer, pixel artist, animator, accountant, dungeon master, and manager of Project Maiden. He thinks writing about himself in the third person is strange.
Joe Kenneally is like, really good at guitar. Like super good. He also plays a bunch of other instruments, did a song a day in May, and has other music that you can listen to and buy. Joe is composing, performing, and recording the music for Project Maiden. He's pretty punk rock.
Hadley St. Clair was one of the first people to acknowledge Project Maiden as "Probably a good idea." Hadley is the concept artist, character designer, and content editor for Project Maiden. She is a freelance writer/artist/actress/supernerd for hire. She is also a wizard, probably.
Bryan Shepherd has a degree in Illustration and is kind of blown away that he's the fourth one on this list. Fourth? Really? He and Kevin have been best friends for like ten years, and they used to run an improv troupe together but, no, fourth is pretty good. Bryan is the promotional artist and concept artist for Project Maiden. He also has a webcomic.
John McGowan contributed concept art and promotional art to Project Maiden even in the early days when it wasn't much to look at. You can follow his exploits on his tumblr.
Brian Townsend is just happy to be here. Brian is the graphic designer for Project Maiden and doesn't understand why Bryan is so upset.
Any amount you donate over one dollar gets your name in the credits. Higher donations will be more prominently featured in the credits. Regardless of what you donate you get my eternal thanks and a place in the game's credits.
Rewards (for the most part) are cumulative. Donating $5 for example, gets you a (slightly more prominent) piece of real estate in the credits and a digital file of the track "My Isis, My Everest" from the Project Maiden Soundtrack.
A fifteen dollar donation gets you whateverthehell I just said in the previous paragraph plus exclusive access and input on the Project Maiden Beta before it is released in its final form. The feedback I get will influence Project Maiden's final state from mechanics to story. It'll be fun.
All backers above the fifteen dollar level will receive all of the rewards at the fifteen dollar level in addition to their reward.
UPDATE: Backers who donate $25 or more will also get a 3" x 3" Project Maiden iron-on patch. Here's the design:
Note: Our crack team of Latin scholars have pointed out that the more correct version of this phrase is "Arma Feminamque Cano." Rest assured that change will be made by printing time.
Backers receiving Prints will be able to choose from all available prints after the Kickstarter is successful. The current selection of prints are below, with more to be added soon!
Update: There are new prints!
Likeness Rewards are for donations of $80+ dollars and most of them represent a unique character that your pixellated face will be cast as in the final version of the game for all to see. See the Meet the Team segment for an idea of the style your likeness will be made in. Your likeness will be a real character in this game... possibly with dialogue! Your likeness will also appear with your name in the credits segment of the game. You will be immortal, feared, and/or loved.
Backers at reward levels above $80 will also receive all of the rewards of the highest reward level below $80. If more rewards are added, you will get more stuff. Right now that means you get:
- Your Likeness in the game
- Two Art Prints of your choice
- A digital version of the Project Maiden Soundtrack EP
- Access and Input on the game's Beta
- A place of honor in the Credits
- Eternal Gratitude from me
- NEW: The Project Maiden Iron-On Patch
If you have questions please email me at email@example.com.
Keep checking this page for updates. Please tell your friends! And thank you for everything!
-The Project Maiden Team
Risks and challenges
* I am one person. All the sprites, animation, story, and programming thus far were made by me. This puts a lot of pressure on me but the more money I have, the more help I can bring in.
I have many loyal friends in every arena I need: programming friends, artist friends, animator friends, and music friends. I can get help with anything I need, but if the game is going to blow you away with stunning... everything, I need to pay these good people for their time.
* Project Maiden will be my first publicly released video game. I'm a gaming news junkie and I've worked for a tech company so I know that development isn't always smooth (to say the least) and deadlines... oh deadlines.
Once again, stretch goals will help me bring professionals on to this project and I will keep my development open to public scrutiny.
For the record, I have been working intensely on this game for two months now and there hasn't been a problem I couldn't throw time and coffee at, but yes I realize, games are really hard to make. They're also the most fun, amazing, challenging things to work on ever.
*The game has a female protagonist and I'm... some white guy. I want Imogen to be the best protagonist she can be and I want there to be tons of interesting, deep, and believable female (and male!) characters. I throw myself on the mercy of the internet and your input on my characters is what will make them well rounded and believable. Please email me with any questions you might have about my game's subject matter and also tell me what you'd like to see out of a strong female protagonist.
What follows are some promises I intend to keep:
The game will pass the Bechdel test.
The characters will exist in (and rebel against) a society where not everyone is treated with equal respect.
The female protagonist will not be damseled. The male lead will be damseled on probably more than one occasion.
- (30 days)