Who: Jordan Brock and all the video game developers, artists and programmers at Hit the Sticks in Devon, PA.
What: They’re building a physics-based video game called Mark of the Old Ones inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft. They need $$ to take it to the next level.
Goal: A whopping $225,000.
When: They need the money by Nov. 5.
City Paper: I don’t know a ton about this stuff. What stage of development am I looking at in the video on your Kickstarter page?
Jordan Brock: At this point, we've completed most of the programming for the main gameplay. However, there is no real art in the game yet. So, you're seeing a skeleton of the player and the world. We need to raise funds to flesh out that skeleton.
CP: The rendering of the Thomas Lyle character so far seem pretty sick. He’s lost a leg but gained some weirdo tentacles. Seems like the physics of the game will be pretty complicated.
JB: We're quite proud of the physics. Having a strong physical basis defines Mark of the Old Ones' gameplay. While the physics are certainly complicated on our end, players won't need to worry about that. Basic movement quickly becomes second nature, and there's a lot of depth to reward practice.
CP: So you’re all a bunch of Lovecraft-heads over there? What is it about his stories that you think translates well into video games?
JB: The core story and design team has read pretty much every Lovecraft story published. Everybody in the team has had exposure to Lovecraft's work and the Cthulhu mythos, though the amounts vary.
Lovecraft's stories revolve around investigation and exploration. After all, the Old Ones are hidden, worshiped by secret cults. Without that investigatory bent to the stories, Lovecraft's characters would never come into contact with the dark forces at work in the world.
In contrast to more traditional media, video games have a unique opportunity to give agency to the audience. So instead of merely telling you about an unearthly locale, we empower the player to find his own clues and reach his own conclusions about the fate of Namaset.
CP: Will gamers need to do some required reading to enjoy MotOO?
JB: We don't think so. While familiarity with Lovecraft's work will certainly deepen the experience for players, Mark of the Old Ones stands on its own. In this regard, we follow a long tradition of other authors working in Lovecraft's world. We play with other people's toys, but we won't break them.
CP: So far, you’ve got quite a way to got before you reach your goal. What’s your confidence level? Is this your dream on the line?
JB: It's true that we have a long way to go. I think we're all kind of terrified, honestly. We've been working our butts off reaching out to gamers, the local tech community, and media.
Saying it's our dream on the line is accurate, if maybe a little melodramatic. For most of us in the office, we're artists and game programmers. This is pretty much all we know how to do. And we're all in love with this game, so if it doesn't come to pass, I think it's fair to say we'll be devastated.
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