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$1,033
pledged of $2,000pledged of $2,000 goal
64
backers
18days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, July 14 2019 12:32 AM UTC +00:00.

$1,033
pledged of $2,000pledged of $2,000 goal
64
backers
18days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, July 14 2019 12:32 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Play an early version of one of the maps here in a Chrome browser!

What is Grace?

Grace is a short story-based game about two field technicians working in the Sierra Nevada of California. They're tasked with monitoring the nests of the Ruddy Quail but discover that the study design won't work because of human impacts on the ecosystem. They have to decide whether to continue collecting data or to tell the nearby townspeople about the problem.

The two protagonists, Grace and Kiran
The two protagonists, Grace and Kiran

We wanted to make an immersive natural environment with this game.You can use your field guide to identify the flora and fauna that you find throughout the levels. All the trees, flowers, and birds included in this game can be found in the Sierra Nevada (except for the fictional Ruddy Quail). All the bird sounds were sourced from the Macaulay Library (the Ruddy Quail was kindly voiced by the Mountain Quail). 

Right now we are about 60% of the way done with the development of Grace. Learning how to use Construct 3 (our game development software) was a large part of the last two months. We've also created the first and largest map, animations for the birds and main characters, pixel art of the plants, and dialogue boxes. The soundscape was designed so that birds and objects become louder as you approach them. The mechanics of the field guide are completed.

Grace is the first game we've worked on together. Development began in mid-April of 2019, so we'll have been working on this for two months at the time of the kickstarter launch. When the game is completed we'll release it for free on itch.io and--if we meet our stretch goal of $4,400--Steam! We want this game to be accessible to people of all financial backgrounds.

The idea for the game came from a short story that Sarah wrote to explore her own feelings about science vs. outreach. We decided to turn the short story into our first game to test our skills and to see if anyone else is interested in environmental games. We have ideas for bigger games that we'd love to make in the future! 

Why Do We Need Money?

Making art takes a lot of time and talent, so we'd like to pay professional artists to draw higher resolution illustrations of the birds and plants for the field guide. We want to pay artists $100-200 per illustration and we have 28 illustrations to commission. Sarah is a decent digital artist, so she could make some of them if necessary. That's why we've set our goal to $2,000 with a stretch goal of $4,400. Any additional money will go toward maintaining our Construct 3 license and buying food.

If we do not get funded, we plan to develop the story part of the game and release it on itch.io anyway! The pictures for the birds won't be as pretty and it will probably take longer to finish. If we don't meet our goal and you'd like updates on our progress anyway, please contact us at swampastudio@gmail.com or follow Sarah on twitter.

Who Are We?

We're a team of two based in Worcester, MA. Jon is a videographer and music composer who works with nonprofits in the area. Sarah is an ecosystem ecologist and is entering a Master's in Geography program in September. She has been involved in projects ranging from bird breeding ecology to tree mortality. We collaborated on every part of the design of Grace. 

Rough Project Timeline

If we meet our goal, we'll immediately start contacting artists and commissioning illustrations. We will provide updates on the timeline for these. In the meantime, we're working on the other maps as well as polishing the demo map, adding dialogue, and making story animations for the game. We hope to finish all this by August 31st, 2019.

Our To-Do List

  • Story animations
  • Scene transitions
  • The field site map and the store map
  • Assets for the new maps (store items, field equipment, etc.)
  • NPCs that appear in the store
  • Sound design for the new maps
  • Opening title animation 
  • Credits music
  • Extra dialogue to fill in story exposition
  • Illustrations we didn't get the funds to commission
  • Integration of illustrations into field guide

Risks and challenges

Getting artists to work on the illustrations. We plan to reach out to artists who promote their natural illustrations on social media once this kickstarter is live. If you or anyone you know would be interested in being commissioned, please email us at swampastudio@gmail.com.

Getting the word out to people who will be interested. We don't know which communities might enjoy this game, so please share to those who would be interested!

If the game development timeline runs beyond August 1st, Sarah will have trouble devoting as much time to Grace since she will be moving across the country and starting graduate school. Luckily, Jon will be able to dedicate the time needed to complete Grace.

We are novices with Construct 3. It will be a challenge for us to get Grace running smoothly on browsers other than Chrome. However, it will work well on Windows and Mac. There might be other game development hurdles like this that we don't foresee now. That's why we have a conservative estimate of when this project will be done.

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    Get a copy of Grace

    We will email you a link to play or download Grace when finished!

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    Your name in the credits of the game!

    The list of names will be shown at the end of the game.

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    Short Story

    Get a digital copy of short story that the game was based on.

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    Digital Wallpapers

    We'll send you a set of digital wallpapers for desktop and mobile featuring art from the game made by Sarah.

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    Be a Park Ranger!

    See your name in the credits with a special thank you from our birds!

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits! (as a "Park Ranger")
    • Digital copy of Grace
    • Digital wallpapers for desktop and mobile
    • Digital copy of the short story Grace was based on
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    Have an in-game tree named after you!

    Have one of our largest ponderosa pines, sugar pines, or Douglas firs named after you within the game (like how a giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park was named after General Sherman)! Your name will appear in a bubble over the tree as Grace approaches.

    Includes:
    • A tree named after you within the game!
    • Your name in the credits! (as a "Park Ranger")
    • Digital copy of Grace
    • Digital wallpapers for desktop and mobile
    • Digital copy of the short story Grace was based on
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