We’ve accomplished so much in the last year, it’s pretty amazing! And we show no signs of slowing down, so don’t touch that dial!
But here’s what I’m most proud of: we’ve made people laugh. There’s a very unique, generous, wry and, yes, somewhat cynical sense of humor arising from the artist and programming community here at the Monochrome Workshop. Puns, parody, bad jokes, glib references to roommate conflicts and the end of the world, all of it pops into the short narrative appearing in our most recent demo.
And when I’ve watched people play the game, my greatest moments of pride are when I see a smile appear, or a person chuckles at a bad joke that is good because it’s bad.
It’s a compelling concept: Otto and his friends versus the world, wrapped in a larger effort to promote the importance of good humor and honest entertainment in difficult times. But can we sustain that for more than a brief glance, more than a 10-minute experience? Can we build a coherent storyline out of this crowdsourced approach to art and story generation? Can Otto and his Troupe offer the kind of entertainment that will save the world from the lifeless boredom and the control of Chairman Fountainhead and his Bleak Barons?
That’s the experiment we’re contemplating for this first year of the new decade – a decade when many of you participating in the Monochrome community will see your 20s fly past in the 20s, seeking your own voice and opportunity to make a difference.
To accomplish this task, we will need to
• Create more than 1500 unique pieces of digital art and sound. Yep, that’s a lot. Between backgrounds, characters, objects in the world, we want everything to be unique, handcrafted – a reflection of the diverse artists who have created it. It’s a daunting number, and we need a whole bunch of committed artists to accomplish that task. To help accomplish that goal, we will offer cash payments to qualifying artists above and beyond their portion of the revenue share offered in the original prospectus.
• Expand the battle system to incorporate “The Troupe.” Otto’s ability to attract friends and enlist their help is a centerpiece of the game concept. We need to present that in a clean, clear visual package that also offers satisfying tactical moments. We’ve begun to flesh out the main types of Entertainment that each character can use to win over or defeat enemies encountered in the game.
• Build the underlying logic that will drive the narrative structure of the game. We know that Otto needs friends. How does he find them? And how do we program the journey so that the player, projecting as Otto and friends, experiences all of the possible options to entertain the NPCs encountered to make them friends (or obliterate them with their attacks)?
• Improve the team’s website. Monochromerpg.com was constructed to help us keep the community organized, and to track the contributions made by individual artists. We will continue to improve the functionality and utility of that platform in an effort to educate the world about the goals of our community and the opportunities to contribute.
• Find more resources. Our existing investors will provide additional funding to keep the project going in the near term, but we will need additional funding to bring this to the market. We’ll be seeking additional funding through crowdsourcing platforms like Patreon and Kickstarter, and will be approaching various publishing houses to test their willingness to adopt our project and approach to collaborative development.
That’s a lot of work. Are you in?
If so, we need you to
• Make your voice heard! Are you an artist? Then give us an asset to work with! A musician? Give us a battle song. An animator? Take one of our reference images for one of the main characters, and give us a movement, an emotional state, or an action that we can use!
• Recruit artists and contributors! Ask your friends to sign up, build an asset, add a line of dialogue, or anything that contributes to the storyline.
• Play the demo and give us feedback! Nothing is perfect, but playing makes it so. The more people who play and tell us what can be improved, the better. I know we can build this thing – and I know that your contribution is an essential part of it. Let’s show the world how important entertainment and laughter are and help Otto save his world. Episode 1 lies ahead. Let’s get cracking!