About this project
Created in Unity for PC, MAC, and LINUX
"Lacuna Passage isn't a typical sci-fi title that's interested in action, drama, and suspense... The game warps your preconceptions about how games are supposed to work."
-Andrew Groen The Penny Arcade Report
"... I love how [Lacuna Passage] is prioritising the brutality of just existing on an alien planet..."
-Luke Plunkett Kotaku
"... as the wind disturbs the red waste, and dust devils flit across the surface, it strikes me as a game world I desperately want to experience while wearing an Oculus Rift."
-Craig Pearson Rock, Paper, Shotgun
7/18/13 Update concerning Add-ons:
We are now announcing optional add-ons for all pledge levels! It's pretty simple. Just increase your pledge amount by the cost of the add-on you want and we will send out a survey at the end of the campaign to confirm your choices. Here are the available add-ons:
Extra copy of the Original Soundtrack Download - $5
Extra copy of the Digital Download Edition - $15
Access to the Closed Beta - $15
Extra copy of the Kickstarter Exclusive Edition - $25
Extra copy of the Physical Collector's Edition - $50
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Lacuna Passage is a story-driven exploration and survival game set on Mars, drawing inspiration from titles like Dear Esther, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and even Pokemon Snap. You play as Jessica Rainer, the only survivor of the crashed Heracles mission, investigating the disappearance of the first ever manned mission to Mars. You have several tools at your disposal, but most important are your skills of observation. You will need to uncover mission logs, recorded audio files, and other physical clues left behind at critical mission locations in order to uncover the story. An interplanetary trail of breadcrumbs is waiting for you.
There are 25 square miles of open terrain around the crash site for you to explore, and in order to find the missing crew of the Hermes you won’t want to explore blindly. You must carefully manage your vital resources or you will find yourself stranded in the great red wasteland with no food, water, or oxygen. Will you simply survive and wait for rescue, or will you risk your own life to find the truth? Time and nature are your enemies in Lacuna Passage.
Our talented composer Clark Aboud is working to create a moving soundtrack to match the desolate and unforgiving landscape of Mars. The music will also be dynamic and react to your actions. To get a feel for the themes we will be featuring please check out some of our sample tracks.
Lost and Found
One of our primary goals while developing Lacuna Passage is to maintain a high level of detail and realism. We have worked very hard to keep our game world grounded in science.
The Red Planet: All the terrain in the game is generated from actual Mars satellite elevation data. The Mars High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) provides us with a true-to-life game environment that allows for a space exploration experience unlike any other.
To create our massive final game environment we are combining large scale data of Holden Crater with more detailed data from various locations like these. The end result will be a seamless, massive terrain lifted straight from the red planet.
The vistas of Mars are also complemented by our accuracy with the sound design. Due to the thin atmosphere on the planet sound waves do not travel as far, so exploring the surface can be a hauntingly quiet affair.
Mission to Mars: The events of Lacuna Passage take place entirely on Mars; however, the man-made structures, capsules, and vehicles are all accurate to proposed and potential Mars expeditions. You will discover habitat modules, science facilities, a greenhouse, weather monitoring stations, pressurized rovers, and more. Many of these locations will provide you with a temporary respite from the harshness of the Mars landscape. In our quest for accuracy we have been in contact with several aerospace engineers and scientists to help us with these mission designs.
A Unique Perspective: In creating a first-person exploration game the challenge has been to make you feel as if you are an astronaut inside a space suit. To support this idea we have created a user interface that is entirely within the fictional bounds of the game. All information displayed in your helmet is projected with high contrast lighting against the inside glass, similar to the technology that drives heads-up displays in modern fighter jets and other vehicles.
In addition to the helmet displays, all secondary information and menu screens are accessible via your external datapad, a tablet-style device designed to assist astronauts with data collection and assessment. After you boot up the game there should be nothing to break your immersion.
Medical Monitoring: Many survival games focus on arbitrary statistics like “Stamina” or “Fear”, things that are difficult to quantify in the real world. In Lacuna Passage we have very specific survival metrics that are measured via urinalysis and blood analysis directly within your suit.
Monitoring your sodium and potassium levels, blood glucose, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, body temperature and more allow you to have a complete picture of Jessica’s physical condition and stave off starvation or dehydration.
The mystery at the heart of Lacuna Passage requires a keen eye and the proper tools to document everything you encounter. Your digital camera will be an invaluable tool while exploring. At any time you can snap a photo of your view to capture what you see.
Perhaps you find a handwritten note that you want to save and reference later, or you find a footprint in the sand that could be blown away in the wind at any moment. Take a photo and both can be saved permanently. Or perhaps you just want to practice your composition skills with some impressive landscape shots.
Every photo you take is saved directly to your hard drive at full resolution. You can share these photos online and collaborate to solve the mystery or just swap new beautiful desktop backgrounds.
Random Seed Games is comprised of many volunteer collaborators. We are not seasoned veterans of the game industry, but we are extremely passionate about this project and we hope that shows in the content we have created so far. Lacuna Passage will be our first commercially released game and we need your help to make it happen. Everything we have built so far has been funded from our own pockets, and as you may already know, making a game is expensive. We all have full-time jobs and work on the game only in our free time. If we were able to secure the modest amount of funding from this Kickstarter, a select few of us would be able to devote the time and resources that the game will require to be completed.
It is also important to us to remain independent, which will allow us to innovate in ways that can be difficult with a traditional publisher. Below you will see a breakdown of how we plan to spend the funds and help Lacuna Passage become a reality.
The following people comprise the past and present contributors for Random Seed Games:
- Tyler Owen - Creator, Writer, Programmer, and Artist
- Cameron Raab - Lead Artist
- Spencer Owen - 3D Artist
- Steve Carmichael - 3D Artist
- Nathan Jenson - 3D Artist
- Cody Scharpf - 3D Artist
- Clark Aboud - Composer
- Marc Gillespie - Concept Artist
- Andy Collis - Concept Artist
- Ludovic Celle - Concept Artist
- Gabriel Verdon - Concept Artist
- Phillip Keane - Aerospace Engineering Consultant
- Nikkita Bradette - Voice Actress
$15 - A DRM-free digital download of the game. If you pledge at this level or higher you will also receive a download of some beautiful desktop wallpapers and the 4 "Alpha" Tracks featured in the Music section above. The game will likely cost more after release so this is a Kickstarter opportunity.
$20 - The game AND the amazing complete Original Soundtrack. Boom. But wait... what's this? Only $5 more and you can get...
$25 - The game, the soundtrack, AND bonus content exclusive to our Backers. Every astronaut is allowed a certain amount of personal data to bring with them on their mission. This bonus content will include all of Jessica's personal data. This includes emails and photos from her family back on Earth and some of her favorite music. Perhaps even some information that may lead you to new discoveries on Mars.
$50 - Remember that bonus content? All the astronaut's personal data is brought with them on a NASA issued USB drive. At this level you will receive all of Jessica's personal data on a physical USB drive that is a replica of the ones in the game. The game itself and the soundtrack will also be loaded on the drive, shipped inside a box that will look nice on your shelf (USB drive and box yet-to-be-designed).
$65 - All of the above AND access to our Closed Beta Testing leading up to the game's release. Experience Lacuna Passage before anyone else and help shape the final release through feedback on our private backer forums. Beta access will likely begin sometime in October 2014.
$75 - All of the above AND an incredible, limited edition 11x17 poster. We plan to hold a vote for the final design. Each poster will also be embedded with a unique code that only you will be able to utilize in the game. It will be your choice to share your secret with the world or keep it to yourself forever. These posters will not be available anywhere else.
$150 - Includes everything in the Physical Collector's Edition, Closed Beta Access, AND you will have your name in the game. A tribute to your support. Our backstory has plenty of characters that need names and we have plenty of unique ways that you might be mentioned. You will be integrated into the fiction and not just listed on a plaque. Update: The Limited Edition Poster has been added to this level despite what the rewards say in the boxes on the right.
$250 - Includes everything in the Physical Collector's Edition, Closed Beta Access, AND you get to help us design a "memento" object. Every astronaut is allowed a few small comfort objects from home while on their mission. Tell us what YOU would bring with you and we will put it in the game (within reason). Update: The Limited Edition Poster has been added to this level despite what the rewards say in the boxes on the right.
$500 - Welcome to the team! You're an honorary Producer on Lacuna Passage! You will be mentioned in the credits and have access to select Alpha Builds of the game throughout development, including the current prototype seen in our videos. Includes everything in the Physical Collector's Edition and Closed Beta Access. Update: The Limited Edition Poster has been added to this level despite what the rewards say in the boxes on the right.
1. Integrated developer commentary - $42,000 ACHIEVED
If you want to know more about the way the game was created then this will be an excellent way to see inside our development process. Commentary nodes will be spread out over the game world allowing you to explore and peek behind the curtain. Since this is not critical to the primary development we have included it as a stretch goal.
2. Oculus Rift Support - $52,000 ACHIEVED
We already have a Rift, but we are still unsure what kind of undertaking it will be to include proper support. The added development time and difficulty will likely require this additional funding.
3. More extensive voice acting - $57,000
Throughout the game you will find many data logs, journal entries, and communication recordings. We think that having actual voice actors for these pieces really makes the world come alive. With this extra funding we can turn a portion of our text-only logs into more immersive audio logs.
4. Live music recording - $62,000
Even the best synthesizers rarely capture the same emotion as a live instrument.
5. Improved terrain and environment quality - $75,000
Creating an open-world game presents some challenges for a small development team. We would love to devote more resources into making the environment as detailed as we can.
6. Larger game world with new explorable locations - $100,000
With additional funding not only can we improve the environment quality, we can also make it larger in general. We have plans for more mission outposts and areas of interest that will only be possible if we hit this stretch goal.
7. Possibility of ports to other platforms - $125,000+
Depending on how far over our goal we go, we may be able to port the game to additional platforms. We will talk more about the possibilities if we get this far.
Risks and challenges
Since we are a new developer we know we have a long ways to go to complete this game; however, we have spent nearly an entire year building what we have now in our free time. It is likely that we may run into hurdles during production, but we are committed to seeing this project through to completion.
We plan to continue doing weekly devlog updates on our progress to keep everyone in the loop. When we run into problems you will be the first to know. We believe that with your support and feedback, we can create something incredible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
It's very unlikely. We've set our goal very low for this reason. If we don't reach our minimum then we probably won't have the resources to complete the game.
No, the bonus content could be thought of as a "Prologue" for the main game. It is not necessary in order to experience the main plot, but it may give you more insight into the game world and the purpose of the Mars missions. It would be comparable to reading the mission outline of Apollo 13 before watching the movie. It will be a fun exclusive for those who are interested in additional detail.
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