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Ethereal - A game about life and death project video thumbnail
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$5,220 pledged of $17,250 goal
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By Thomas Finch
$5,220 pledged of $17,250 goal
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About this project

To see the trailer in full 1080p HD watch it here on youtube!

Based on the true story of my own father's life and death, Ethereal follows the protagonist through seven of his most traumatic memories. Hidden throughout each memory are mementos that help him let go of the past and move on.

Through the memories, you learn about the protagonist's life, seeing his worst days and helping him remember the good.

The game has multiple endings based on the player's level of completion at the end of the 7th and final memory.  

The Brookstone Cemetery world is based on the memory of his parents' death when he was only ten years old.
The Brookstone Cemetery world is based on the memory of his parents' death when he was only ten years old.

Other spirits wander his memories, confused, angry or sad, searching for their place in the afterlife. Hellhounds wander the memories waiting for the right moment to grab the player and drag him down to hell!

Restraint the hellhound looks away and hides its face when you face him, but turn your back and he rushes towards you.
Restraint the hellhound looks away and hides its face when you face him, but turn your back and he rushes towards you.

Throughout the game's seven worlds, the player must solve puzzles using his seven abilities and the help of other spirits. Along the way, he must avoid hell hounds lest he be dragged through a hell void!

Wrath the hellhound paces back and forth, seething in anger. Get too close and he snaps his jaws shut on you. Sneak past him or face his wrath.
Wrath the hellhound paces back and forth, seething in anger. Get too close and he snaps his jaws shut on you. Sneak past him or face his wrath.

Abilities

At the start of each world a new ability is added to your arsenal. As your arsenal grows, the puzzles adapt. This will keep the game feeling fresh and challenging without frustrating the player by becoming overly complex.

The player using the ability 'Haunt'.
The player using the ability 'Haunt'.

In Ethereal, there is no jumping. Instead, the game's main ability is Flipping. The player reverses gravity only for himself, allowing him to traverse puzzles. Other abilities include: Miasma (becoming a fog-like form), Haunting, Possessing animals, Guiding (Leading other spirits and using their asisstance), and more to be revealed later.

Puzzles

Ten mementos are placed throughout each world, hard to reach or hidden. Three of the mementos in each world are hidden behind harder, more traditional puzzles. This could mean anything from a jigsaw puzzle to riddles, but each is unique to the memento it holds. The clock puzzle below holds the "Dad's Pocket Watch" memento.

We want to consistently surprise you with the quality of Ethereal's art. We are striving for smooth, high resolution animations, but ultimately our focus is on excellent art design and unique ideas.

Composed by Dmitry Petyakin, the soundtrack fits perfectly with the somber tone of Ethereal's story. 

Rather than describe it further to you, why not listen for yourself?

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We want everyone to experience Ethereal no matter what language they speak or platform they prefer. 

Localization: We want Ethereal to be available in as many languages as possible. Currently, the confirmed languages are: English, Czech, Danish, Italian, Portugese, Turkish, Greek, Russian, Korean, Spanish, French, Dutch, Japanese, German, Swedish, Hindi and Chinese. We will continue to add languages throughout development and even post-release and all versions will be updated frequently.

Multi-Platform: We understand that not everyone uses the same platform for gaming. So, we want Ethereal to be on as many platforms as possible. Confirmed platforms so far are: Windows, Mac and Linux. We would also love the game to be available on PS4, VITA, Wii U, and Xbox One, if at all possible.

Obligatory Pie Chart
Obligatory Pie Chart

Risks and challenges

Every project comes with its risks and challenges. Ethereal involves a lot of resources and there is always the chance that we will end up behind schedule. We want Ethereal to be the best game it can be in a reasonable time frame. So, our biggest risk is missing our projected release date. However, we're doing everything to ensure that development goes as smoothly as possible and are currently ahead of our projected schedule. Lastly, as I stated earlier, this game is based on my own father's life and death. I will do everything in my power to make sure this game is something he'd be proud of.

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    GAME TIER
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    You get a digital copy of the game at release! (DRM-Free option available for PC, Mac and Linux) You also get a set of backer-exclusive wallpapers!

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    SOUNDTRACK TIER
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    ART LOVER TIER
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    You get a backer-exclusive PDF Art Book full of Ethereal concept art! It also comes with our loading screen screensaver!

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    EARLY BIRD BETA TIER
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    You gain access to an exclusive beta! There will be no open beta so only backers at this tier or above receive this opportunity!

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    POSTCARD TIER
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    We will physically send you a signed 'Ethereal' postcard! You also appear in our "Special Thanks" section of the game's credits and on the game's website!

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    SPIRIT TIER
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    Your name will be in the game! Throughout the game there are many spirits which you guide back to the afterlife. As they enter through the heavenly gates you will see their name appear above it, showing that they have moved on. By choosing this reward, your name will be one of those that appears!

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    TOMBSTONE TIER
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    Become a part of the game! A specific tombstone will become yours. When the player interacts with it, your name (or nickname) and a phrase of your choosing will appear!

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    EASTER EGG TIER
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    You get to decide an easter egg that we put in the game for everyone to see! This is, of course, at our discretion and can not be inappropriate.

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    EARLY BIRD BE IN THE GAME TIER
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    You appear in the game as a human NPC!
                                                                
    You choose the memory in which you appear. You decide your outfit based on the memory. We base the human's physical appearance off a photo of you! You even get to tell us what you want your idle animation to be! (ie. "I want to scratch my head.")
                                                                
    This is, of course, at our discretion and can not be inappropriate.

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    BE IN THE GAME TIER
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    You appear in the game as a human NPC!
                                                                
    You choose the memory in which you appear. You decide your outfit based on the memory. We base the human's physical appearance off a photo of you! You even get to tell us what you want your idle animation to be! (ie. "I want to scratch my head.")
                                                                
    This is, of course, at our discretion and can not be inappropriate.

    You also receive all previous rewards.

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Funding period

- (31 days)