I'm looking for additional funding to keep me from turning to space piracy while I work on completing a casual MMO called Empire in the Sky.
Why help Herb?
For the past 8 years I haven't worked directly on a game (last time I was in the shop was 2002), but I'm glad to finally "get this out" and make the game that I truly want to make. I know you're going to love it as much as I do.
I've given much of my gaming career away in the form of friendly advice, and my advice has made it into great games. However, I've always wanted creative control that is only available for the very few at large studios like EA. This project has become the place I put all of those great gaming ideas I've collected.
If you love great games: keep me working!
I want this project to be my focus for the next 10 months as it has been for the last 15 months. I'm hoping you'll help get it there. Pass this link along to other people who you think might be interested in getting involved with the project. I can really use the backers. I've invested thousands of dollars in a state-of-the-art game lab which I am commanding every waking hour to make this game a reality. A guy could use a pizza every now and then.
Side bonus: help computer science! Anyone who backs our team is also helping Ecere Corporation (www.ecere.com) create an awesome new programming language that is free for programmers all over the world!
A little about the game: http://www.youtube.com/EmpireInTheSky
The game takes place in "The Future" which is a beautiful cartoon Galaxy developed with cutting edge tools. Your character is fully customizable and you play the role of an ambitious citizen in a slice of the Milky Way galaxy. The game's design is online, multi-player and casual, with vivid colors and effects, special features such as the ability to customize your ship, building extensive bases in a persistent world, communicate in real time using 200 smileys and picto-grams, generate new game pieces and participate in an on-going science fiction epic that pokes fun at human visions of the future.
The game is a casual, cartoony science fictional MMO. Players interact in hyperspace between the stars, collaborating and competing during roleplay. Players advance through levels and reach an end-game scenario where they can perpetuate their organization, maintain their holdings and participate in the GRB-related end-game features.
The game takes place in the fictional world of "The Future" where independent contractors explore the Universe, subjugating or befriending alien species, messing with the building blocks of matter, building empires, bases, colonies and tourist locations on planets, asteroids and moons of their choosing.
In this part of the Galaxy, there is one massive interstellar base constructed by the humans called Starbase Central, which is the central hub and starting location for all spacefaring businesspeople. Spacefarers can join or found companies and stellar empires, form political relationships, mine resources, build bases, collect alien artifacts, explore uncharted planets, harvest interstellar gas clouds, discover new elements and materials, and later construct new parts and units (if they are so inclined). Additionally, chemist specializations are achievable which permit the player to essentially invent new material elements in the Universe.
Players participate in an ongoing trading system that allows them to sell new part designs, discovered or engineered material elements, raw materials and the like to further their endeavors by increasing their stellar bank balances. Player-"funded" guilds/companies can be customized with flags and logos that you design.
Command your fleet to conquer the galaxy. Of course, combat is an option and banding together is a great way to ensure survival in a largely unexplored and dangerous part of the cosmos. Players can perform the role of Emperor, Space CEO, mercenary, trader, space privateer or nomadic scientist. It's up to the player to decide what path to take -- and yes, for the meek of heart, PvP is optional and there is always a crater to hide in.
Players at the end-game who have specialized into one of a few roles: top secret designer (I won't even mention the feature here since it is way too cool), chemist or geneticist. Players who actively use these features of the game will be subject to the GRB (Galactic Review Board) so that we can filter content and improve submissions of new content for the less-skilled. The GRB functions kind of like KickStarter, where proposed parts are aggregated and filtered by our administration (a group of core reviewers) who make sure the new content is up to code.
What the money goes towards / what's coming up
Development website: http://www.lostastronaut.com/
The game currently has a great opening sequence and excellent basic 2d art engine. We've added 3 gigabytes of music to our package.. only the highest quality! Hours of enjoyment right there ... an extensive social component to our communication windows -- 200 smileys, 50 radio voice messages like "Fly my wing" or "Come with me I have a plan"
In the next few months, myself and the team in Quebec will be developing the core graphics and networking functionality to wrap up the nuts and bolts of our basic proof. Once this is done, we can deploy the engine (hopefully by the end of summer) and I suspect we can beta-test the game in Fall 2010.
The money goes toward the expenses of developing the game (which includes hiring voice actors, production and publication costs, paying licensing, legal and business fees, buying necessary equipment such as server space, paying the [rogrammers with pizza and beer and keeping the lights on).