Emerald, an atmospheric, story-driven action-adventure game Emerald, currently in development at Vancouver’s KrangGames, is heading into its final 48 hours on Kickstarter, where the campaign has raised $ 7 395.00, surpassing its goal of $ 5 800.00 and heading towards meeting the developer’s sixth stretch goal. Krang’s founder, Nick Yonge (who incidentally celebrated his birthday this past weekend), is very excited by the promotion that Emerald has received over the course of its run on Kickstarter.Originally prototyped at the 2013 Vancouver Global Game Jam, Emerald is a story-based scifi adventure game. Players wake up in a derelict spacecraft and must repair its various systems while exploring and discovering what happened. The story is vague and mysterious, and the player isn’t given much clear information – rather, they have to piece together the story and decide for themselves what they think happened. The Ship is floating dead in space, adrift in the interstellar void. In zero-gravity you navigate its haunting, labyrinthine corridors.
Through flickering terminals you bring electric subsystems back to life. Hidden ciphers and encrypted secrets tease the periphery of your senses. Vivid interactive memories of your past reveal why you’re even aboard this vessel. What kind of disaster brought your original mission to a standstill? What is the significance of the word “Emerald”?
The world of Emerald is built into a rich, haunting sci-fi atmosphere. Countless hours have been spent ensuring that the game’s technology, though futuristic and conceptual, is rooted in reality. Much of Emerald’s history is found encrypted within the Ship’s data systems, waiting for the player to decipher it. There is no gibberish-text; everything has meaning. The story is wide open for interpretation, investigation, and imagination. Whether you simply play from beginning to end or scrounge for every clue and datum, you’ll be left with a rich and reflective experience that has followed Emerald’s protagonist across years of time and light years of space.
Emerald was initially intended to be an online Flash game, but soon grew into something more substantial. The prototype was built in Flash, but the final version uses Unity to take advantage of better visual features, optimized performance and the ability to build to virtually any platform, consoles included. Emerald is slated to launch on February 13th, 2014 for PC, Mac and Linux. Emerald’s soundtrack is available for $5 from Bandcamp (or slightly cheaper via the Kickstarter campaign).
- Immersive, atmospheric sci-fi environment set aboard a derelict spacecraft in zero-gravity.
- Rich storyline told through interactive flashbacks, cryptic terminals and enigmatic hidden messages.
- Nine endings based upon player decisions, with more endings pending implementation.
- Gorgeous stylized, minimalist visuals and a dark visual tone emphasize to the solemn sci-fi setting.
- Original score, created by Power Up Audio, blends seamlessly between futuristic synth and acoustic piano melodies.
- $5800 (BOOYAH): The Base Game. Emerald!
- $6000 (BOOYAH): Ten Endings. One more detailed ending will be added to the game, bringing the total up to ten.
- $6250 (BOOYAH): Two New Rooms in the Ship. Two unique new areas will be created, giving more details and environment to explore.
- $6500 (BOOYAH): Twelve Endings. Two more endings bringing the value to twelve.
- $7000 (BOOYAH): Five-plus New Rooms in the Ship. At least five rooms will be added, with the possibility of more.
- $7500: Fifteen-plus Endings. Three more endings, with the possibility of more.
- $8000: Professional Voice Acting. With the help of Power Up Audio, professional voice actors will be brought in to lend their talents to Emerald.
- $8400: Easter Egg Pass. A complete work pass on the game will be performed, specifically with the intention of adding unique easter eggs, secrets and bonus content.
- $8800: Dynamic, Virtually Unlimited Endings. Some endings will be designed to be influenced by extremely subtle, personal actions performed in the game, and will change on the fly. The result is that there will be emergent and original endings, making the Emerald experience vastly more personal and emotional.
- $9750: Full Professional Art Design. Professional artists (who, exactly, is to be determined, but I have several interested parties) will be brought onboard to thoroughly enhance the visual aesthetic of Emerald’s gameplay.
- $10500: Hire a Cryptography Consultant. I’ll visit local police stations and universities, and speak to consultants who deal with cryptography on a professional level, adding an extreme authenticity to Emerald found in precious few games.
- $11000: “Takeoff” Story Sequence. A longer interactive gameplay sequence will be added that explores the Ship’s takeoff from Home, before its fated journey began.
- $12000: New Music (at least two new songs). At least two new tracks will be composed for Emerald, again by the extremely talented folks at Power Up Audio.
- $12500: iOS/Android Ports. Emerald will be ported to be playable on mobile tablet devices, and ideally on mobile phones as well (depending on whether or not it plays well on such a small screen).
- $13500: Physical Game Box and OST Disc. A physical box copy of Emerald will be created with a playable game disc. The OST will also be provided as a CD.
- $14250: Physical Art Book and Dev Diary. An enhanced physical copy of “Encrypted Gemstones: the Emerald Developer Diary” will be printed, including unique game art, concept art and sketches from Emerald.
- $15000: PS Vita Port. Emerald will be ported to be playable on the PS Vita.
- $16000: “Outside the Hull” Gameplay Sequence. A section of gameplay will take place outside the hull of the Ship, adding a completely new and totally unique area to explore in Emerald.
- $17500: PS3 Port. Emerald will be ported to the Playstation 3 and, as soon as possible, Playstation 4.
- $18000: Physical Version of all story documents at “Log.txt” Level. The story-related documents at Log.txt Level will actually be created in the real world. Handwritten crew accounts, voice recordings, images and other media will be created and shipped to you in a big old box.
- $21000: Emerald Figurines (characters, objects, and the Ship). Small plastic figurines will be cast and created. These figurines will be of characters from Emerald, unique objects in the game, and of the Ship itself.
- $25000: Wii U Port. Emerald will be ported to the Wii U.
- $25000+: Beyond? Who knows… I haven’t designed more tiers than $25k’s worth, but if you keep throwing money at me I’m sure I’ll find an excellent use for it. Be warned, though – I won’t risk expanding Emerald to the point where a February 13th, 2013 launch date is no longer feasible.