Misery Development, the team behind the Stalker: Call of Pripyat Misery Mod, needs £15,000 ($24,860) to make its first original game, The Seed.
Much like Stalker, The Seed is set in an Eastern Europe ruined by a catastrophic event, only it will be traversed via the interactive novel format. You’ll make tough decisions as a Russian survivor forced out of his shelter. As you read, the game will have dynamic sound and artwork that will change based on your choices and other factors. To see the game’s promised 50 endings, you’ll need to play it multiple times, making different decisions along the way and prioritizing food, health, ammunition, and teamwork in different orders.
The Seed is a significant change from the Misery Mod, which is known for adding considerable challenge to the original Stalker. Misery Development is building it in Construct 2, a drag-and-drop 2D game engine that avoids the need for programmers.
“We have absorbed tons of very valuable experience from our work on the Misery mod,” Creative Director Nicolai Aaroe said in an email interview.
“Misery mod has been really successful, but we felt that we could do so much more, especially if we had a wider berth and freedom, by using a programmable platform, where we have next to total control of all the details,” he said. “You know like someone suddenly opening up a door to the outside, while all your life you’ve spent working in the confines of a single bedroom apartment? That breath of fresh air is really inspiring, on a graphical level, also on a lore wise level, and in context of immersion.”
The six-person team communicate internationally using services like Facebook, Gmail, iMessage, and Skype, and they use ModDB to share parts of the game, Aaroe said. Misery Developer has already invested half of the game’s budget and needs the £15,000 to fund the rest.
“We regard The Seed not only as a financial investment but most of all as a real life bet — lead MDT members have quit their jobs to be able to work full time on the project,” according to the Kickstarter page.
It breaks down the costs like this:
• BASICS – Website, FTP, webmastering, hardware, software and our ‘offices’.
• DEVELOPMENT – Authors, programmers, graphic design, concept and audio artist.
• MANAGEMENT – Trademarking, copyright, company establishment.
• POST PRODUCTION – Testing, translations, proof reading.
• PROMOTION – PR, advertising, campaign fees, Backer rewards
• DISTRIBUTION – Fees, platform delivery and execution.
“The Kickstarter goal of £15,000 should suffice in enabling us to fully establish the development of all three acts,” Aaroe said. “But in this scenario we have made calculations that expected Act 1 sales will fuel the budget to ensure the completion of the series.”
Act 1 of the game will be released September, with Act 2 and 3 in 2015. If you pledge at least £15 ($25) you’ll receive beta access to Act 1 in August.
At the time of this writing, the campaign has raised £771 ($1,278) from 31 backers. If it exceeds the goal, the stretch goals promise to add increased graphical quality, an acoustic soundtrack, more endings, and an Android port.
According to their Kickstarter page, the team worked on their Misery mod for more than four years, and that experience has taught them the ins and outs of the development process.
The Seed is planned for a PC, Mac, Linux, and iPad 2 or newer release.