Chambara Postmortem

Over the last eight weeks, I’ve been in Scotland competing in the 2014 Dare to be Digital competition, an international game jam where college teams from all over the world strive to construct a game in a two-month span. The three winning teams of this competition go on to be nominated for that year’s Ones to Watch award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

My team, Overly Kinetic, was nominated for our game Chambara, a binary-colored split-screen stealth game inspired by a Samurai Jack episode. Creating Chambara at Dare was one of the most challenging and exciting times of my life, and definitely a highlight of my career. At our booth at the Protoplay Festival, I saw for the first time, people laugh and smile with each other as they played our game. To think that something I made gave such a positive, loving, experience to people, that’s amazing.

Here are my personal thoughts on the project and how it went.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

1. Preproduction paid off.

Chambara underwent an extensive preproduction period that extended for multiple months. Conceptualization and team-building began as early as January, and preparation for the pitch extended all through early May. The team met for three hours every Tuesday to plan for the pitch, prepare documentation, assemble project plans, consider funding solutions for our flights to Scotland, and conduct physical and digital prototyping. Our Tuesday meeting was often followed up by a weekend meeting where we would conduct research by watching chanbara movies or current anime, as well as playing games like Metal Gear Rising and Timesplitters. Over the course of those months, we discarded as many as three scripts for our pitch video and two project plans.

The result of our extensive preproduction period was an exceptional pitch video and high morale throughout the first week of Dare. Knowing every task we had to do to complete this game down to the hour, we worked game-jam-like hours through the first week and completed a playable prototype within three days.

2. Polished core mechanic.

The intentionality of my previous game, The Pilgrim, was to explore what game feel and character controls could communicate emotionally to the player. The “feel” of a jump can communicate anything from empowerment and joy, to disempowerment and frustration.

To this extent, much of the success of a character-action game comes down to the kinesthetics of movement through a space, which is why it was of utmost important that the “feel” of moving about in Chambara was empowering and playful.

Level design was blocked for a week because we could not reasonably create levels until we understood how players would feel moving through them. Once Alec designed an excellent, fully-featured character controller with some advanced movement features like gliding, walljumping, and blocking, we began to construct levels around those features. Subsequent iterations of that controller would add features such as variable walk speed, remapped controls, and a “squawk button”. Ultimately, the game owes a lot of its success to game feel and the tactical depth afforded by our movement system.

3. Rapid iteration and playtesting. 

A mantra of game design is “fail fast, fail often”, which upholds that it is extremely important to have some testable proof-of-concept as early as possible and iron out the flaws from there. The reasoning behind this mantra is that the earlier that flaws with a design are discovered, the earlier those flaws can be corrected, making the process of creating a game an inward spiral of course-correction and continuous refinement. To this extent, we were successful. We implemented, tested, and discarded several of our ideas from preproduction on the very first day.

10434192_10204556365375333_4906817666901670897_n
One of our first testable levels

We ran extensive testing outside of the one public session that Dare to be Digital arranged for us. We treated every industry mentor that came in as another playtester, and studied their play-behavior very closely, down to tracking notes on how they moved their thumbs around the gamepad. Their reactions and feedback would form the basis of what we wanted to build and implement the very next week. Each of us would send builds back to our friends and family to get their feedback, and a comprehensive metrics backend provided us with ample data that we weren’t entirely sure how to interpret. 

4. Simple assets. 

Building a Chambara map is easy: simply drag and drop cubes, deform them, and throw one of two materials on each block. For a while, many of our environments were constructed entirely out of 3D primitives, which led to some delightful moments when I threw rigidbodies onto everything. For a short time, we had “leveloution”.

Around the sixth week, we determined that we needed to art up the levels to give them more grounding and readability, as well as solve the problem of players not being able to determine where the boundaries of a level were. So we began to construct art assets to replace the primitive cubes and planes that used to build up the levels.

Constructing these 3D assets was shockingly easy, especially given that our dichromatic aesthetic nullifies the need for UV maps and textures. Every asset I constructed was a simple cube with faces cut into it, each of the faces would receive its own material. This pipeline allowed us to create and implement 3D assets in only a fraction of the time it would have taken if we had used any other art style.

5. Multiplayer is exciting to design for.

While I was involved with The Maestros back at USC, I was only working on that project as a community manager. Chambara was my first multiplayer digital game, the rest of my projects being either single-player digital or multiplayer analogue. Working and designing a digital multiplayer game was a refreshing change of pace from the kind of work I’ve done in the past, and making this a project I was really invested in.

WHAT WENT WRONG.

1. Bad timing hurt some components.

Despite all the preproduction and planning we did, something would inevitably go wrong and throw the project off schedule, which is why we designed our game to allow for features to be cut or suffer without hurting the core game too much.

We worked on an asymmetrical schedule with our composer Austin, who was operating from four timezones away. Since we were working on this game full-time and he was working part-time, we inevitably moved the pace of the project disproportionately fast. We would build levels and features and put in requests for sound assets and music faster than he could reasonably create them. There were multiple times where we would request a sound effect for a feature that we would have to cut days later, thereby making him do unnecessary work.

We also planned for a comprehensive UI revamp later in production that we were ultimately unable to do. The main menu seen in the festival build is filled with a lot of issues, making it very inconvenient to set up games and match players to teams. Ultimately, we had to create temporary solutions by revamping the existing menu system and creating UI assets that were not as rigorously tested or refined as they could or should have been.

2. Health. 

One of our team members got very sick later in production and was unable to come to the studio every day to work on the game. While we crunched much less than we would typically do during the school year, we still made sacrifices to our health in terms of diet and exercise. Affordable food options in Dundee are limited, and much of our diet came down to refrigerated tortellini and sandwich meat from Tesco, or processed meals from a frozen-food retailer called Iceland.

3. Budget

All Dare teams are allotted 200 GBP to use to spend on production of their game. We were confused as to how to use this money, because you don’t really need much money to make videogames. So early in production, we decided to save that money up for our Protoplay booth, which we wanted to be a welcoming, homey environment where people could come in and play our game and receive a prize for playing.

The American dollar isn’t very strong against the British pound, and expenses in our own currency were far greater for us. A 20 GBP expense was equivalent to a 35 USD one, making us reticent to spend.

Ultimately, we ended up going over budget and had to pay some of the expenses, like branded t-shirts and crafting gear with our own money.

4. Inconsistent theming. 

   While we spent much of our research phase in preproduction looking at samurai cinema and anime, very little of that influence made it into the final game. Visual tests of our levels over the first two weeks revealed that people associated our imagery with German Expressionist film, with its harsh angles, angsty edges, and dreary colors, which was a connotation that we didn’t find fun or appealing to us. Others said that the visuals reminded them of Frank Miller’s Sin City, which brings up a load of sociopolitical issues that we aren’t prepared to address.

We started art-ing up the levels around the sixth week and giving them life and thematic grounding. Nonetheless, the look and feel of the game remains inconsistent across the game’s five levels. “Glorious Mansion”, our two-player level, brings up European connotations with its red and white color scheme and its ornamental accents and assets. “Neo Tokyo” is a strange mashup of Akira’s late-80s cyberpunk style and utopian metabolist architecture. “Flour Mill” sticks out with its industrial gears, mechanical ticking, and wooden slats. “Mono-Ha Garden” is the only stage that uses cylindrical shapes as its base asset and is inspired by the Mono-Ha art movement of the 70s. “Reservoir” was actually a map that we didn’t have time to finish, and remains constructed entirely out of primitives. A number of silly easter eggs in the hills are its only theming.

5. Ethics? 

We knew that the primary audience at the Protoplay Festival would be children, roughly 7 to 14 years old, moving into the competition, and felt that there were many ways that we could do something very harmful to them, as well as create a problematically racist appropriation. People change through experiences, and since videogames offer experiences, we knew that we could have a very negative effect on the values of our players. I discussed this problem in depth in my previous blog post about the subject.

While we made extensive measures to neuter the violence of the game and spin the mechanical interactions into something positive, I don’t think we did enough. When a mother at Protoplay dismissed our game as “another killing game”, I was deeply hurt. If anyone reacts that way, I don’t think we did enough. The formal systems of games necessitates conflict between players or systems, and to struggle against the structural foundation of the medium is a vast challenge that I doubt that we can pull off. While the magic circle indictates a separation between the world of a game and reality, games and the behaviors that they create through their systems are inherently political expressions. If the values expressed through our content are dissonant with what we believe, then I think that we would be doing something we would regret in the future.

Chambara's debut at protoplay was very positive and warm.
Chambara’s debut at protoplay was very positive and warm.

Civilization is a great game because its systems encourage competition between players, creating brilliant emergent narratives. But when those systems in context are metaphor for violence, imperialism, and ultranationalism, I can’t really say that Civilization is a comfortable game once I leave its magic circle.

Which is why a single person calling Chambara “another killing game” is so perturbing to me. If our systems of conflict are construed to be about violence, anger, and confrontation by some people, then what does our game communicate to our players? Do our players leave the experience better or worse?

I think we mostly succeeded, I saw nothing but positive behavior from people who played our game. Kids and adults laughed, smiled, and bonded with each other as they played our game, often shaking hands after they were done. We witnessed no toxicity and had a greater diversity of players than we expected, entertaining young girls and older parents, people underserved by existing games. A father with an autistic child thanked us giving his son something to smile about, which really made our day, and overall, I think we created a lot of love in that festival tent. Yet, I can’t forget what that mother said, “oh, another killing game”.

Nonetheless, if Chambara ended up being the blood-drenched mess of violence and negativity that it could have been, presenting itself as yet another “killing game”, then I don’t think I could accept a BAFTA nomination in good conscience.

FUTURE

We intend to retrieve the rights to Chambara from Abertay University, who manages each team’s IP for the duration of the competition. What exactly we’re going to do with those rights remains to be decided. If we choose to develop the game further, we might self-publish on Steam Greenlight or Playstation Network, or pitch and sign on with a publisher. We will probably solicit our professors for advice on what to do from here.

We would like to submit to indie festivals like Fantastic Arcade, The Wild Rumpus, and Indiecade. It would be fun to travel to games events like EVO and essentially go on “tour” like what Nidhogg or Killer Queen has done.

If we can’t decide, we’ll probably open-source the game’s project files and make the game free to download, essentially donating the game’s source code to the public domain so people can poke through the code and assets and learn how the game was constructed. Open source is a great thing for education, and given Unity’s omnipresence in amateur games, I think we can do a lot of good for the world if we surrender our code.

STATS

Period: Production: 8 weeks

Staff: 5 full-time, 1 part-time

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop, Unity3D, Visual Studio 2010, Audacity, Autodesk Maya, Blender, Monodevelop, iMovie.

Budget: 200 GBP

chambaragame.com
daretobedigital.com

Tactile Cave: My First Game

This month marks my fourth year making games. This was my very first game, Tactile Cave, which was made four years ago this summer.

In San Francisco, there is a children’s science museum named the “Exploratorium” in the Palace of Fine Arts. Within, there is an attraction named the “Tactile Dome”, which is an indoor maze left completely unlit. Visitors must rely on their sense of touch to move about the maze to the end. This game was heavily inspired by this attraction, featuring three levels of dark, tactile goodness.

~ August 2nd, 2010

 

I originally thought I would be a journalist, but when I ended up spending a summer at the COSMOS Summer Camp at UC Santa Cruz studying a games course, taught by then Ph.D candidates Anne Sullivan and Gillian Smith, things changed. I worked with Davis Huang and Daniel Xu to make a Processing-game called “Tactile Cave”. So I decided to take the videogame thing and go as far as I possibly could with it.

Screenshot from an updated version from 2011

Later that year, I wrote an open-letter to Leland Yee and the Supreme Court defending videogames during the Brown v. EMA case, which got his office’s attention. Soon after, I tried multiple times to make a dream game I had come true, enlisting the help of Bard Sodal and calling ourselves “Subtle Stone”, which was a pun on Bard’s name. I moved down to Los Angeles that fall to study at USC Interactive and met some incredible people, and now I’m in Dundee, competing in Dare to be Digital for a BAFTA.

I don’t like to think in capitalistic narratives of “progression” and don’t think they’re right for most creative folk, but I see this game as a bit of a turning point in my life. A catalyst that led me to where I am now.

Tactile Cave started as a rougelike, and it isn’t very good in retrospect. Your choices are very limited, and success is mostly a matter of trial-and-error. It doesn’t work on most machines without an annoying Java plugin, and the art is ugly, and the music, stolen. I couldn’t program at the time, so I was then responsible for handling art duties and designing levels using graph paper.

i was planning on putting a picture of me from four years ago but eh,
i was planning on putting a picture of me from four years ago but eh,

To be honest, I don’t really feel too different now from how I felt four years ago. I’m a much better designer than I was back then, programming comes to me much easier. Maya can be great fun when it cooperates. I know Unity well now, and I’m teaching myself Unreal 4 for Advanced Games.

But I don’t think mastery ever comes, there’s still much to learn and so many things you aren’t ready for. Emergent mistakes that you learn from but aren’t prepared to make. Project-to-project, you never are really certain what you’re doing. Its never easy, and as you’re moved up and up and up, never really sure what people see in you and how you could possibly be qualified for anything, more and more weight is packed onto your decisions. You don’t quite “master”, but “discover”, as you tread down and down and down this microcosmic rabbithole. You grow to love that uncertainty, live with it, make it part of your identity and come to embrace that precariousness with a new name: “excitement”.

The decisions that my team and I make over the next week will determine what happens to Chambara and, if our decisions are good, what happens to us.

 

Chambara Developer Diary #3

We’re closing out on Week 7, and I’m somewhat comfortable calling what we have here as “Alpha”. Next week will be the last week we have to finish the game, then its on to exhibition at the Protoplay Festival. The result of our presentation there will determine whether or not we will be nominated for the BAFTA’s Ones to Watch Award or any of the other prizes.

We ran a playtest on our game late last week on a number of kids from a local summer program. We learned a lot about our game’s new player experience and how learning navigation of first-person space works for young people. A lot of that probably comes how a lot of these kids grew up playing games like Minecraft and how they attained their initial literacy in games through it. We’ve made a number of changes to our game because of it. I hope we’ll have time to complete all of the changes we need to make in the next week and a half.

We ended up being featured in VICE Magazine’s The Creators Project, and that interview got us quite a bit of buzz over the last week. I just finished up an interview with Develop Online which should go up in the next few days. Hopefully, we can sustain that momentum to Protoplay, as the judges seem to factor our behavior and outside interest into account when interacting with our games.

Clash
Clash

This week, the team has been mostly focusing on gearing the game towards a festival context. We have removed stages inappropriate for new players and gave players a pre-game sandbox to run around in and get accustomed to controls and space. Alec has been working on a new UI system that would be more usable than what we currently have now. The number of stages, which used to stand at around nine, has shrunk down to five, allowing us to focus on adding representational elements to levels to give them a sense of context, place, and fun. I’ve been implementing sound effects as they arrive and cutting together a trailer for the game, focusing on communicating the mechanical and aesthetic uniqueness of our game. I’ll post that once we’re happy with it.

We’re in charge of handling a budget of 200p at Dare to be Digital, roughly $350. We’ve allocated almost all of that money towards our booth for Protoplay. I’ve been to Indiecade and Glitch City parties before, and there’s a unique social context in that kind of event/festival setting that I really want to leverage. Killer Queen does this really well, as does Sportsfriends, and Spin the Bottle. Only at a festival can you play with complete strangers and bond with them over games in a social atmosphere that’s both celebratory and community-building.

Whoosh
Whoosh

So we want to construct an inviting booth that meshes well with the dichromatic aesthetic of the game. A “living-room-in-a-expo-hall” where people can drop by, have a great time, make some friends, and chill out in a social context that many find exhausting. I saw a lot of that come out of the Mild Rumpus at GDC, and with our limited budget, I hope we can achieve something unique there.

Chambara Dev Diary #2 – Let’s talk a little bit about values.

In The Art of Game Design, Jesse Schell writes,

We aren’t [only] designing games, we are designing experiences, and experiences are the only things that can change people, sometimes in unexpected ways. (451)

If you aren’t willing to take responsibility for the games you make, you shouldn’t be making them. (455)

is it possible you could find a way for
your game to do good? To somehow make people’s li ves better? If you know this is possible, and you choose not to do
it, isn’t that,in a way, just as bad as making a game that harms people? (456)

Chambara has begun to grow legs and get attention outside of the tiny circle of people following our journey in Scotland. After an imgur album of gifs hit the top page of reddit’s indiegaming board, AlphaBetaGamer got a hold of the images and shared them on their site. Soon afterward, a tumblr post featuring those images hit 250 notes, and I received a message from Vice asking if they could do a story on the game. Soon, we will have to be accountable as to what our game represents to the outside world.

I look at the above lenses that Jesse proposes about the game designer’s responsibility to the world and wonder if our game can really offer a sound response to those questions.

Civilization 5

I’ve been playing a lot of Civilization recently, a game that I immensely enjoy and find to be an immaculately designed story machine, spewing out amazing emergent narratives. Yet, I am uncomfortable about how much I enjoy it. Civilization‘s winstates and mechanical progression prioritizes disagreeable values about imperialism, cultural hegemony, and state-centric nationalism. Yet, it is these uncomfortable values that create an incredible game.

Our game is a fighting game, where the conflict is violent and resolved by the elimination of the other. Thus, we start off with some uncomfortable themes such as the resolution of interpersonal conflict through fighting, redemptive violence, and the need to “right” the world by killing the human beings which make it “wrong”.

I don’t think those values are representative of what I believe.

I found one of the recent projects I was involved with disagreeable because the mechanics and metaphor came together to create something indicative of imperialism and the subjugation of native people for resources. It was an RTS where competing players farmed resources to fight each other by attacking a peaceful, NPC faction at the center of the map, with the overarching goal of using these resources to wipe out the other players. While the game was incredibly polished and impressive, I wasn’t sure if being involved with that project was right for me and my purpose in the world. Even if I admired the design aspects of the game, I wasn’t certain the values it communicated were what I wanted to give to the world.

Even then, our game does not have to be that game. We can rise beyond redemptive violence, binary judgement, and the dehumanization of the opponent. There are a large number of positive values that can be communicated through games about oppositional conflict. Elements like sportsmanship, respect for the opponent, self-improvement, and graceful defeat. In being a split-screen game, where positioning in space is important to victory, players can literally understand their opponents by viewing the world through their eyes. By drawing close and comprehending their opponent’s differing perspective, players can succeed.

Yet, that does not resolve all of the game’s issues, how players treat and understand the act of lunging forward to stab an enemy is the crux of the matter, even if spatial understanding is a matter of empathy.

When the end result of that empathy is the defeat and subjugation of your opponent, those semantics get compromised. Granted, the contextualization and semantics behind the kill don’t have to be grounded in destruction and violence, if represented in the right way, the act of attacking your opponent can be imbued with positive values.

Maybe I’m getting worked up about nothing. After all, the theory of the magic circle and its associated metacommunication dictates that in entering the mental space of a game, players perceive things differently, and confrontational actions are understood to be playful. Yet, I can’t help but feel that my involvement with games criticism and writing obligates me to be cognizant of what the elements of my game mean and how they influence/are influenced by the world they exist in.

Chambara Developer Diary #1

WEEK 3, DAY 4

Things have been going at a good pace for Chambara right now, I bought us a website recently, which you can find at http://www.chambaragame.com. Our second set of deliverables, marketing materials for programs for the ProtoPlay festival, is due early next week. We have a good prototype done and recently finished up our very first public play test, and are planning on doing a public, internet play test within the next few days. Very soon, you’ll be able to download and play the current version of Chambara on any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, provided you have a supported USB controller and a friend to play with.

I want to do something like a standard games postmortem for this project, but write it during active development, rather than doing so after the project is done. I believe acknowledging our mistakes and successes will let us learn from our issues faster, allowing us to course-correct better during the process of development.

WHAT’S GOING RIGHT

1. Thunderingly Rapid Prototyping

The first week of development was the most intensive. Having been accustomed to crunch time while juggling classes and development on The Pilgrim, we hit the ground running at a thundering, breakneck speed, arriving earlier and leaving later than most other teams at Dare to be Digital. We had a prototype up and running by the second day, which allowed us to see our ideas in action very quickly and better understand what does and does not work for this kind of game. We revamped movement and created our own custom character controller and a large number of test levels to learn how to design interesting, exciting action.

2. Experimentation

Much of the existing knowledge about level and game design is not applicable to the kind of game we’re making. We can’t guide our players with lighting, paths, and textures, and weapon balance is not a matter of balancing numbers on a spreadsheet. The Counter-Strike “Figure-8” loop is totally inapplicable for what we’re trying to create, rendering a lot of existing design writing and talks in a state of limited usefulness. This leaves us to discover what works and what doesn’t through our own experimentation. Exciting.

3. Fast Development & Testing

The best part about our workflow is that texturing and UV-mapping objects is totally unnecessary, making our asset pipeline extremely fast. By constructing our levels out of primitives, we are able to construct testable levels in hours rather than days. The benefits of this agile workflow are innumerable, and has allowed us to reach a polishing phase in a matter of weeks. The development plan that we established during the Spring has been totally burned through, leaving us tens of hours ahead of schedule. I expect that the game will be in a state where we will be comfortable showing it to the public by late next week, and I’ll move forward on creating a web presence for this game on indie games communities and submitting to festivals like Fantastic Arcade.

 

WHAT’S GOING WRONG

1. Unified Artistic/Ethical/Thematic Vision 

During preproduction, we didn’t see the value in establishing guidelines for the kind of game we were trying to make. We didn’t write any design documentation, we didn’t establish an Art Bible, nor a vision statement. As a result, we’ve spent the last several days in conflict about the thematic direction of the game. There are some who want Chambara to be an edgy-cool game inspired by the best elements of Batman Beyond and Samurai Jack (our original inspiration), while others want to create something cute, goofy, and playful, while others want to create something subversive of the oppressive heteronormativity inherent to the form.

These disagreements have slowed down production, and nailing down a character design was a process that took more than twice as long that I hoped it would. Retrospectively, establishing that vision prior to development and agreeing that the project is a shared effort between all of us would have saved us much time and frustration.

2. The Doldrums

I see the job of producer as an ultimately personal one, assuring that the participation of each team member fulfills their own personal needs and that they’re always working on something interesting to them. A disproportionate distribution of participation in a project is harmful, and being tasked with nothing to do while other team members are heavily involved isn’t fair.

Granted, this issue comes from the fact that some of our time was spent puttering around waiting for certain tasks like character design and controls to be finalized by another team member to be completed, removing blockades on progress. So I expect things with move much more smoothly later on, though I want this to be something that we are very cognizant of.

3. Unclear Milestones

Because we burned through our development plan, we find ourselves far ahead of schedule. Our core feature list is more or less complete and the prototype has been proven to be fun and accessible. So the path onwards is unclear. Features are envisioned and implemented on the spot as we wander around, trying to figure out what we can do to take this game further. We’ve been considering new maps and game modes, but we can only go so far before that extends the list of needed sound assets far beyond what can be created and implemented in time. I’ve worked with metrics and outreach to communities like reddit indiegaming, but I feel that such measures are unwelcome by my teammates. I am interested in working with cheat codes, game modifiers, or easter eggs, but will need finalized decisions about UI and design before I take that on.

 

tl;dr, Scotland is beautiful.
tl;dr, Scotland is beautiful.

Chambara is in Development

Day 4 of 2014’s Dare to be Digital  international game making competition has concluded, and we’ve been moving remarkably fast. We’re basically making this game with five strong designers, which means we’ve been in a lot of disagreement with a lot of the decisions to be made with aesthetics, functionality, and mechanics. We jammed out a prototype which allows us to test out all of our ideas very quickly, which helps us make decisions about what would be best for the project. We expect to finalize a character controller by tomorrow. Right now, much of this week has been experimental, trying out different map layouts and movement systems to figure out what works. I don’t know if anything like this has been done before, which means we’ll have to make a lot of discoveries on our own. We’ll be hitting UI stuff tomorrow, and I expect a build will be available by 9 PM UK time. I’ll have a website and public download link for our current prototype by then. Matches are entirely playable right now, but we should probably implement a win condition and end state for the prototype for player’s sake. The game will be exhibited at the Protoplay Festival in August, which is basically the UK’s Indiecade. Hopefully we can take this game far; we have a chance at a BAFTA or publication with Sony, which would both be nice things to have.

Dundee, Scotland
Dundee, Scotland

 

Indiegogo for my next project: Chambara!

Hey guys,

Some of you might know that I’m running a team for the 2014 Dare to be Digital competition, a nine-week international game design competition in Scotland. My team, Overly Kinetic, is comprised of the fantastic Esteban Fajardo, Catherine Fox, Alec Faulkner, and Tommy Hoffman, and our game is Chambara, a multiplayer first-person stealth-action game with too many adjectives in it. Check out the video pitch below to learn about it, because frankly, its actually really hard to describe it with words.

So in a nutshell

  • First-person stealth deathmatch game for PC
  • Dichomatic aesthetic: hide in plain sight
  • Local multiplayer
  • Pitching for the 2014 Dare to be Digital Competition

But Chambara can’t exist without your help! While Dare to be Digital will provide the tools, room, and board to allow us to produce the game for the Protoplay festival in August and compete for the coveted Ones to Watch BAFTA, competitors are still responsible for getting themselves to Scotland, which is a thing that we will need to turn to you to accomplish. We’re running an Indiegogo campaign to fund this journey, which you can access here. If we don’t get into the competition, the raised money will be donated to the Child’s Play Charity.

Here are the rewards that you can get for pledging:

  • $10 – Credit in the finished game
  • $30 – Credit, full digital game & personal thank-you card
  • $50 – Credit, Chambara Poster, full digital game, & personal thank-you card
  • $100 – Credit, Chambara T-shirt, full digital game, & personalized thank-you card
  • $300 – Credit, Chambara T-shirt, Chambara poster, full digital game & personalized thank-you card

So if you’re interested, head on over to the crowdfunding site and pledge to the project!