I’ve been writing a lot lately about marketing and creating an audience for your indie game. Always this has been for the purpose of making some kind of return on your investment of time, money and sanity. But what can I say about a game that is not intended for profit at all?
Quite a bit, actually. My keyboard runneth over.
I, Hope is the name of a forthcoming title by development team Arconyx, who has partnered with GameChanger Charity. While the group’s track record tells me they will probably put out an entertaining title, the project’s purpose is far greater than mere amusement.
The purpose of this game is twofold.
First, the game’s plot and play are intended to be empowering for hospitalized kids with life-threatening diseases like cancer. Heavy, right? According to Arconyx,
“I, Hope is being developed to support children in hospitals around the globe. When they play I, Hope we want them to feel strong and courageous, empowered by the virtual defeat of their real-world enemy. But even more than that, we want them to feel hope for the future, regardless of what it may bring.”
Currently struggling in their Kickstarter campaign, Arconyx themselves could use a bit of hope. With just over two weeks left and about $22,000 to go, there is a looming possibility this project may never come to fruition.
The project’s secondary purpose is to raise funds in a more long-term way via GameChanger Charity, to whom Arconyx will donate the distribution rights of I, Hope. This means GameChanger Charity can sell and distribute the game for the enjoyments of the patients they benefit, and can also sell copies for the purpose of raising money.
Maybe I’m a sap, but to me this project is just too good to fail. So many games are created with no purpose or purely for profit. It’s nice to see a developer who is interested in something beyond.
For 10 years, Arconyx has been creating animation for companies like Nick, Disney, Sci Fi and Lucasarts (visit their website for a full list). Their concept art and screens reflect some of these influences and look rich, creamy and delicious.
I, Hope is to be a 3D platformer in which the protagonist character, Hope, travels to the various floating islands that make up the game world in order to defeat a monster named Cancer that threatens to overwhelm and destroy her village. Each of the islands she visits has a unique theme and a unique item she must acquire to defeat Cancer.
The islands’ themes are strength, courage, knowledge, support and mysterious fifth island that is sure to illicit introspection and generally drive home the message this game intends to convey.
Should the game meet the appropriate stretch goal, an RPG-style character development system will be implemented too. Fingers crossed.
“A lot of people out there, especially gamers, want to give back in a meaningful way, but often don’t know how… The great supporters of Kickstarter can enjoy an amazing game while knowing that the product they supported is going toward a great cause.”
I hope they’re right and gamers really do step up to the challenge. The game looks good, but who cares? This is about something bigger than games. Arconyx is trying to do something great. And in doing so, they’re presenting the gaming community with a chance to do something great.
If Arconyx’ Kickstarter campaign fails, it’s on all of us. Just saying.
I personally believe in this project and I really hope they get funded, but I can’t do it by myself. Check out their Kickstarter page and donate a few bucks. Its for a great cause.