Guys -- an important update:
Given that we didn't get the early traction so critical to Kickstarter projects, we are canceling the project and retooling it and perhaps coming back to Kickstarter at a later point.
As we've said in the project description, Surre.al is a dream job for us, so we are fully committed to it, and do expect to launch by the end of 2013 -- please keep an eye on us in the news.
As you know, this will automatically make sure that your pledges are not charged -- thank you SO MUCH for all of your support.
What is "Surre.al": a game world that that will take you on fun multiplayer adventures in stunning 3D, whether you are using a smartphone, tablet or your PC, with full support for the Oculus Rift.
Think The Matrix, Westworld, Snow Crash. This is what we're building.
We want to invoke that sense of wonder that comes from realizing that every kind of adventure is possible, the sense of wonder we felt when we read Snow Crash, when we saw the Matrix. From Unity to the Oculus Rift, it's obvious that now is the time to build the multiverse as it was only imagined. That is our vision for Surre.al.
One avatar to rule them all: We support PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets and every device supported by Unity, as well as the latest Virtual Reality interfaces. And we support third party artists and game developers, who are helping us grow our world in ways that were never possible before.
Our Team: Steve Dacek, Orchun Koroglu and Arthur Goikhman. We build avatar based award winning games that have been played by millions of people, and building this Surreal world is our dream job. Thank you for making it possible!
“I am excited about Surreal. This is exactly how I envision virtual reality.”
Like any proper adventure, Surre.al begins with an exciting voyage on a magnificent ocean going vessel, on its way to parts as yet unknown. Where it might take you is almost entirely up to you: Surre.al is not bound by any Earthly ocean, nor is it bound by the normal restrictions of space and time.
The ship is much bigger on the inside than the outside, and passengers from all walks of life are aboard: some travelling alone, some with friends, with different ports of call, and different ideas about fun is...
Wait, this wasn't in the brochure!
For those not looking for dinosaurs, zombies or other exotic adventures, Surre.al has the wide variety of fun real-time games and entertainment you would expect on a luxury liner. Here are some highlights:
- Bars, lounges and clubs
- Billiards, Bowling (stretch goals dependent)
- A theater that supports user generated content.
- And of course a full casino with slots and table games (virtual currency only).
It's all about you and your experience: Surre.al will let passengers create an avatar that is a true extension of self, with unprecedented control over appearance and physique, free to engage in your own idea of fun. Certain Kickstarter backers will receive a custom designed, unique avatar face based on photo images they provide. Surre.al will also let you fully customize your accommodations, on the ship, and ultimately off the ship (stretch goals dependent).
Not to worry, our casino is solidly onshore, so those coins are just bits on a server, a way to keep score, but you have never experienced more realistic 3D game play. With dozens of custom animations, you’ll practice hi-lo counts, shuffle chips like Johnny Chan, bluff like Maverick, and feel the incomparable thrill of the rolling dice as your friends cheer you on. And if you want to hang at the bowling alley, the game arcade, or the billiards hall, challenging your friends to games of 8-ball or 3-ball, you can do that too.
The Mall. Obviously.
Whether you want to get inked or check out the latest fashions, the hub of social activity on Surre.al is the mall, where you will find stores catering to every taste, and everything from gifts for your friends to artwork for decorating your state room, and of course lots of places to hang out. Our 3D shopping experience is immersive, communal, and tied into the real world using Augmented Reality. You have never seen or experienced anything like it.
Excursions across time and space!
Paragliding. diving the Great Barrier Reef, or fighting world war A through Z, this is where you will find new games and activities on an ongoing basis. Are you a Unity game developer? Talk to us about getting your game added here, and check out the reward matrix.
If You Are Here To Get Social...
There's always a party going on in the club, with dancing competitions and karaoke. Think slaying an orc is hard? Try having 50 avatars execute a passable Cupid Shuffle together despite network latency. Luckily you can record it all for posterity.
Or you can hang by the bar or by the pool, laze in the sun, sip tropical drinks, gazing at beautiful people. Whatever your preference, you’ll find multiple bar and pool environments to suit your taste. Let’s not forget our fully stocked gym with machines tied into a variety of racing games (stretch goal dependent).
Ah, The Theater
The theater is one of our favorite features. This is where we will showcase original content including user generated video and machinima plays, and of course, shorts and even full length movies when we can get them. Check out the above video for a taste.
(Psst: This is where we'd like to say that "good taste" is always observed on Surre.al. We'd like to say it, but ultimately, you'll be the judge of that. Luckily, Surre.al will offer a wide arrange of fully customizable master suites, privacy controls for text and voice chat. Kickstarter backers will get first dibs on truly prime locations. Penthouse, anyone? Do you really need that helicopter? Yes?..then check out the reward schedule.)
So that’s Surre.al: a virtual world just being born, a world full of exotic locales, exciting adventures and most importantly, a world where everyone can always get a chaise lounge in the shade. Thank you so much for checking out our Kickstarter campaign. Keep reading below for full details on features, rewards and stretch goals!
- AAA Avatar Creator with optional RealFace avatars, variant physique, tattoos and more!
- Rich extendable 3D environment with open ended game play and support for state of the art virtual reality interfaces like the Oculus Rift, Omni and Leap Motion
- Interactive NPCs including creatures, passengers, maids, stewards, bartenders officers and of course the Captain. Oh, and did we mention Spirit? She's sipping that drink in our video.
- Integrated tournament and challenge system with real-time and asynchrnous play
- Full casino environment including slots, blackjack and poker
- Billiards and Bowling (stretch goal dependent)
- Fully customizable staterooms, Penthouses (stretch goal dependent)
- Hundreds of custom animations, with more being added all the time.
- Full support for PC, Web, iOS and Android play out of the box.
Over the last 18 months, we've built a platform that enables a world of possibilities, a world that will be defined, and ultimately succeed or fail, based on the freedom its inhabitants have to discover, and create.
What better medium than Kickstarter, then, to reach out to those inhabitants and start the creation process right now. Your backing and enthusiasm will help us bring additional artists and developers to help realize our vision. But we are most excited about getting your input now to help us decide what comes next!
So many places to visit, so many excursions to add! The three of us are working around the clock to get ready to sail, but your enthusiastic support will let us expand the team and do so much more, faster. Check out the stretch goals below, and visit our forum to help us prioritize and get your ideas on this board!
If you're to customize looking to customize your physical reward tier for any contribution above $60 and get some cool Surre.al products and collectibles, simply add one of the amounts below to your pledge. At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you will receive a survey confirming which the physical rewards you are selecting.
Risks and challenges
There's not been a game designer or developer that finished reading Snow Crash, or watching the Matrix -- and did not dream of developing something like Surre.al. Most have failed, some despite significant backing. Even some notable successes, like Second Life, topped out well before being able to fully deliver on their promises.
So despite our combined decades of experience in the gaming industry, why will we succeed in creating a world where the avatar is a genuine extension of self?
Well, for one, being a tiny team with no studio backing, we came at the problem from a completely different perspective. We knew that to be viable, the game had to be available on your device of choice -- and that we wouldn't know in advance what that device would be. So not only did we choose Unity for its breath of platform support, we've also labored tirelessly to make the game fully playable on every platform that Unity supports, including mobile platforms, of course. For true real-time play and interaction, we are using Exit Games highly respected Photon Network Engine, which is used in literally dozens of marquee titles.
We knew that to achiever our goal the game had to be accessible even to the most casual player, and so we set out to redefine the state of the art for casual and midcore games.
We also knew that if we set out to fully define our universe, creation would never be finished. So we decided to start with a "small corner" of it -- our cruiseship -- and then let our players prioritize and even crowd source the rest as we travel -- that's what makes this Kickstarter project so exciting!
A team of just 3 of us has done pretty much everything that you see in the videos and on our site, and we are committed to bringing you the adventures we've laid out here whether or not our Kickstarter project succeeds. But of course absent significant funding the timelines will extend. We do plan to make the platform available to third party developers through Unity's Asset Store before year end.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)