Lovecraftian games are ten-a-penny these days, so it takes something special to make a new one stand out.
Fortunately, Hit The Sticks' upcoming project Mark of the Old Ones most definitely had that something special, as you'll know if you read our preview from a while back. While the basic game structure is pure 2D Metroidvania, the means by which you get around is very unconventional owing to the fact that protagonist Thomas Lyle has only one leg but two Lovecraftian tentacles sprouting from about his person. Rather than running around on the floor like in a regular 2D adventure, you navigate by independently manipulating these two tentacles to grasp on to various scenery elements, swinging around and launching yourself into areas that would be inaccessible to a regular character thanks to a detailed physics model.
Having got the basic mechanics sorted in a tech demo that you can play for yourself right now, the team at Hit The Sticks is now turning its attention to building the proof-of-concept into a full-fledged game with a deep, authentically Lovecraftian narrative, and, following the trend of many other indie developers, has turned to Kickstarter to seek funding.
Hit The Sticks is asking for a total of $225,000 to fund development, largely to allow the team to dedicate all its time to the project and still be able to, you know, pay rent and eat and things like that -- plus development essentials like middleware licenses, additional software and coffee.
"We could get day jobs, ask for less money, and work on MotOO remotely on nights and weekends," writes project lead and producer Jordan Brock on the Kickstarter page. "The result will be that the game will take much longer to make, and it will not be nearly as good as it could have been. So, what it really boils down to is that we are asking you to give us the opportunity to fully dedicate ourselves to this game, and really make it the best game possible."
The basic $225,000 goal will allow the team to realize its vision for what it hopes will be the first episode of a four-part adventure. In total, Brock estimates the four episodes will cost a total of $1,200,000 to develop, and if the team successfully manages to raise more than that it will look at porting to PlayStation 4 -- Sony has reportedly already expressed interest in the game.
"If we can raise $225,000 and people see how awesome Chapter 1 turns out, we can fund Chapter 2 via the revenue it generates, and/or private investment, and/or another Kickstarter campaign," adds Brock. "Breaking it up just seems more doable. Crawl before you run." He also notes that breaking the project up in this manner means that people will be able to play the game sooner -- only waiting a year for development of the first chapter rather than an estimated two and a half years for the whole thing.
Brock's plan is to release the first chapter in November of next year, with additional episodes to follow at six-month intervals, finances permitting. To find out more, check out the Kickstarter campaign page and Hit The Sticks' official site for the game.