Daedalus
Daedalus

This project has already launched.

Daedalus – is a thriller hard sci-fi adventure video game. You play an astronaut aboard the Daedalus Space Station, a man plagued by prophetic nightmares of death and destruction. You tell yourself they are only dreams, but after the first crewmate dies… what will you tell yourself then?

The game takes place in the hard sci-fi After Reset™ universe. In the 22nd century, several years before the "Reset" (a thermonuclear apocalypse that nearly ended human civilization), the crew aboard the Daedalus Space Station is eager to return home from a yearlong orbital exploration of Venus and Sun. Only thirty days remain until the next crew rotation, but Matt Cramer, an astronaut from the crew, begins to has unnatural dreams full of horrors that are about to become a reality.

Yet as the days count down to zero, strange events begin to unfold. Crewmates succumb to accidents or rumors of murder, communications go dark, and everyone grows increasingly on edge as conspiracy theories abound. Though help is on its way, you must survive long enough for it to arrive.

Throughout the game you will interact with six characters aboard the Daedalus Space Station, and below you’ll find an in-depth look at each of them with our character bios and HD art.

Hiroto Yoshida: JAXA, mission commander.
Hiroto Yoshida: JAXA, mission commander.
Matt Cramer: NASA, mission specialist (engineering science).
Matt Cramer: NASA, mission specialist (engineering science).
Jill Scott: NASA, mission specialist (biological science).
Jill Scott: NASA, mission specialist (biological science).
Eitan Levy: ISA, mission specialist (physical science).
Eitan Levy: ISA, mission specialist (physical science).
Lia Medvedeva: Roskosmos, mission payload specialist.
Lia Medvedeva: Roskosmos, mission payload specialist.
Ron Armentos: AES, mission pilot.
Ron Armentos: AES, mission pilot.

 

The Daedalus game will emphasize story, character development, and relationships over puzzle solving. The story is affected by the player’s dialogue choices and actions during timed events that can often lead to some of the station’s components being lost or damaged. It’s also possible to uncover new research or knowledge of various threats under investigation, to affect the outcomes of certain characters being killed, as well as the player’s relationship with the crew and the way they perceive each other. The choices made by the player will carry over from episode to episode.

The visual style for the game will be like a graphic adventure similar to The Walking Dead Game and Heavy Rain, with painted 3d characters and environments, and a third-person perspective gameplay POV with a variety of cinematic camera angles.

Concept Gameplay: Main Menu
Concept Gameplay: Main Menu
Concept Gameplay: Loading
Concept Gameplay: Loading

Daedalus OST - Main Theme:

 

HARSH EMOTIONAL STORY: Each crewmember of the space station has the unique personality, background, story, desires and fears, friends and enemies on Earth. As one of them, you’ve worked with those people shoulder to shoulder for the last year between the blazing Sun and melting Venus, surrounded by the emptiness of space. With only thirty days left before you head home to Earth, something dark and older than the paleocortex takes your friends one after another. Something more dreadful than death itself, something that now leaks through your nightmares and envelops your reality by devouring everyone and everything that might escape from the station.

REALISTIC HARD SCI-FI ENVIRONMENT: Developed with scientific realism, the Daedalus Space Station represents the latest technologies of the XXII century, the Golden Age of united humanity in the After Reset setting. The environment, equipment, and lore of the game represent the traditions of hard science fiction and an emphasis on scientific accuracy or technical details. Details about the Sun, Venus, spacecraft, and living conditions aboard the space station have been worked out in consult with scientists and NASA's Reddit forum so we can bring you a plausible and realistic version of the future that awaits humanity.

GENRE: Interactive Movie, Graphic Adventure.
TARGET PLATFORM: PC (Windows, Linux), Mac OS X. GAME MODE: single-player.

Atmospherically, it is inspired by: Solaris (by Stanislaw Lem), The Invincible (by Stanislaw Lem), Echopraxia (by Peter Watts), 2001: A Space Odyssey (by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Clarke), The Ego Tunnel (by Thomas Metzinger).

At Black Clouds Studios we strive for transparency throughout the development process, and that includes financial data. Below you will find our planned budget for the development of the first chapter of the Daedalus video game. We’ll need roughly $168,879 to do everything we’d like to do, but our initial goal of $55,492 will still allow us to achieve a high quality experience that we think you’ll enjoy. While we’re hoping to meet our stretch goals, our experienced team can handle either funding strategy.

BUDGET (for the first episode):
Writing [2ppl]: $5,000
Painting (~400 arts*$100 + GUI) [4ppl]: $45,000
Programming [2ppl]: $8,000
Audio (music, vfx) [1ppl]: $5,000
Voiceover [6ppl]: $6,000
Video (cinematic) [2ppl]: $4,000
3D Modelling (6 chars, 16 environments) [studio] = $33,000
Engine Upgrade: $750
Project Management (10months) [1ppl] = $10,000
• Rough Summary: $116,750
Force Majeure (20%): $23,350
Kickstarter Project Costs: $9,350
• Pre-final Summary: $149,450
KS/Payments/Bank Fees (13%): $19,429
• TOTAL (before taxes) = $168,879

If the full costs are estimated at $168,879, WHY are we asking for only $55,492?

We’ll need $55k to accomplish our minimum goals and launch this production, but there’s a lot more we’d like to do that will make the game more immersive and enjoyable. We’re also including a financial buffer to pay for unexpected developments and setbacks.

Though it quite common for Kickstarter campaigns to leverage an initial fund with the hope of future investors, if we are unable to reach our final budget goal with stretch goals then our producer will pay the difference out of pocket. Rest assured that we will not release a buggy and incomplete product if we fall short. Please bear in mind that this budget is for the first episode or chapter of our game, and not the complete title, but your purchase includes all future episodes in this series.

Why EXACTLY $55,492?

Most of you have probably heard about the infamous “Potato Salad” project, a Kickstarter campaign that successfully collected a whopping $55,492 from 6,911 backers just to watch some guy make and eat potato salad. Granted there were t-shirts and social media advertising at play, but ever since that campaign we’ve used that figure as our criteria for our products. If we can’t raise at least that much for a game, then we must be doing something wrong.

Likewise, if a project takes off and achieves numerous stretch goals, it’s an excellent proof of concept for luring investors and building a franchise. Essentially, this is a tipping point for many developers.

From the budget we derive our estimated development timeline. Delays are always possible and should be expected, but keep in mind that every month of delay only increases our expenses — we don’t like it either! Still, we believe in delivering a functional and fun product over meeting an arbitrary deadline.

TIMELINE (for the first episode):
2016
• November – KS campaign completion; all team members meeting; modelling.
• December/January – scenario workout; team members coaching; modelling.
2017
• February – animatic and staging; engine modification; GUI/mechanics approving.
• March/April/May – painting; gameplay programming.
• June/July/August – VFX; voiceover; music.
• September – release.
TOTAL: 10 months.

Each further episode would take roughly 4 months.

Using Telltale’s The Walking Dead video game as a base model for our project, each episode should provide at least 120 minutes of gameplay and 400 scene-arts (roughly 3-5 minutes of gameplay each).

STRETCH GOALS:

As the Daedalus video game takes place in our vast, hard sci-fi After Reset setting, we would like to keep the atmosphere by giving each goals the names of the lore concepts which are considered in the game.

1. “Potato Salad” [$55,492 goal] – this is the basic goal to be reached, an indicator that our backers want to see this project come to life, a sufficient sum for us to proceed with quality development and guarantee the initial episode.

2. “Rydberg Matter” [$131,927 goal] – this is our estimated final budget that we need to achieve to do everything we want to do and not have to pay for it out of pocket.

3. “William Molyneux's Problem” [$168,879 goal] – at this point we feel prepared for anything, except perhaps the apocalypse itself. Our budget is solid and flexible, but there’s a lot more we could do if we had the time and money.

4. “Methanococcus Maripaludis” [$ХХХ,ХХХ goal] – for now this goal is a secret, but we look forward to sharing it with you!

5. “Solipsism Syndrome” [$ХХХ,ХХХ goal] – Top Secret :)

Risks and challenges

“The best predictor of future behavior - previous behavior.” (c)

Based on our previous experience (posted here and here), you can count on our team to deliver a product. Though it is very common for projects to be delayed, our producer (Richard) will ultimately be personally responsible for the project and the development of the After Reset franchise. He pledges to cover any missed funding goals out of pocket to ensure the successful delivery of the product, just as he has done with The Fall of Gyes and After Reset RPG.

Delays, and the expense they incur, are the only significant risk to our project. Our team is experienced, our goals are reasonable, and we feel very confident about this production.

Also, there will be no Steam Early Access for the Daedalus game, but we will share our progress with you and our alpha build on Kickstarter, in closed update (with NDA), as soon possible.

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