The folks over at London’s Fossil Games are crowd funding for their new project Camp Sunshine, though not exactly in the typical way of ‘help us make our game’.
In fact, Fossil Games are not asking you to fund their game at all. Rather, they need some financial support for marketing, designing the cover art and also to cover the costs associated with publishing. That’s all. Of course, for your contribution you score a copy of the game and possibly some nifty extras if you choose, so really it’s a win/win.
Camp Sunshine is horror game and homage to RPGs from the 16-bit era. Fossil Games cite movie monsters such as Jason, Freddy and Hellraiser as inspiration, and have set out to create a game that proves horror is about the story and atmosphere, rather than “fancy graphics with trillions of polygons”. I’m fascinated by this premise. I too am a huge fan of classic RPGs. It will be nice to play one that features adult themes, while still retaining that nostalgic feel of the 16-bit era.
The hero of Camp Sunshine is Jez, a teenager who has just been dropped off at summer camp. He awakes in the middle of the night to discover that the camp is deserted, and the place is covered in blood. The terrifying Isaac Illerman has returned from the dead to wreak havoc on the campers! Armed with his trusty flashlight, Jez must discover the camp’s mysterious past and put a stop to the killer once and for all.
The gameplay features simple mechanics of exploration, puzzle solving and scavenging. Players are able to explore the entire camp. This includes dorms, shacks, head offices, counsellors’ quarters and lunch rooms. A variety of fiendish puzzles will be included. From the game trailers, I could only make out sequence puzzles. Jez’s survival also relies on scavenging torch batteries, energy drinks, food and discovering diary pages will unlock the camp’s hidden past.
Fossil Games are seeking $750 U.S. to cover their costs. This is by far the smallest amount I have seen a developer crowdfund for. Pledging $5 will get you a copy of the game, while $10 nets you the game and soundtrack. Contribute with a $50 pledge, and the developers render a pixelated version of you to possibly be killed off by Isaac. The highest tier available is a $100 pledge, which will credit you as a director. This will grant you access to the above rewards, plus Skype calls with the developers, who will listen to and incorporate your ideas into the finished game.
With just over 20 days remaining, backers have already contributed $420 of the $750 total. Camp Sunshine is already 60% complete and just needs a little more time to render 16-bit sprites of people with their heads cut off (yay! – Ed), with the aim to release this Halloween.
Michael Vane is a freelance writer who is also a proud backer of Camp Sunshine. You can follow him on Twitter @DrVane