By Josh Speer / April 27th, 2015
It’s been a while since I have done a Crowdfunding Spotlight. Mostly this is cause I have been trying to keep Kickstarter from taking all my money, but also because it’s been a while since a new game project has really jumped out and caught my attention. That all changed when I discovered Dimension Drive. Currently in development by Netherlands based 2Awesome Studio, it is a very unique looking vertical scrolling SHMUP with a hook – you can warp between dimensions to fight the Ashajuls, a cruel alien race. You control orphaned pilot Jackelyne Tywood, Jack for short, as she fights to protect the cosmos from this threat. Her ship, the Manticore, is the only one capable of fending off the Ashajuls assault, since it is the only ship besides the Ashajuls fleet capable of warping between dimensions. Besides being a convenient plot point, this warping also provides a very cool gameplay hook. The team sums it up best – “Shooting consumes Dimensional Energy on the side you are currently fighting on. When you destroy an enemy, you gain some of that energy back–for the opposite side. This means you must constantly be on the move, teleporting across both sides of the Dimensional Divide to survive!”
According to the Kickstarter page, Dimension Drive will be “A seamless combination of levels focusing on strategic shooting, fast puzzling and frantic defense“. You will have to maneuver between dimensions to avoid enemy bullets and debris. I love this simple yet compelling twist on the standard SHMUP fare, as it looks to add a lot of dimension to the usual gameplay (pun intended). This is well illustrated by the 3 different level types to be found in the game – Shooting, Puzzle and Defense stages. Each stage will revolve around one of those gameplay facets, while still incorporating elements from the others. Better yet, Dimension Drive looks to eschew the standard lack of plot in the genre, and promises dynamic, comic book style storytelling and several mysteries to uncover about Jack and the Dimension Drive itself. This will be spread across 4 “issues” with 4 “chapters” each, based in one of four different worlds.
2Awesome Studio also promises the game will be built around replayability, focused on the categories of Game Modes, Online Leaderboards, Level Statistics and Achievements. An example of the different Game Modes are the standard Arcade, where you have one life per hit, 3 lives and 2 continues; but there is also Pacifism, where you have no weapons and have to survive by teleporting back and forth. The Online Leaderboards are pretty standard fare, where you get point multipliers for not getting hit and annihilating enemy hordes. Level Statistics sounds more interesting – “Destruction percentage, lives remaining, data cubes collected, energy warnings…We throw all of that data into our super-complex wavelet transformation algorithm and give you a rank for each level.” Finally, Achievements are pretty much what you expect. Insane feats of derring do that earn you accolades accordingly.
The team behind the game has been working in the industry for decades, and will use the funding to make the game as polished and bug free as hardcore gamers demand. They have experience in multiple industries, including the European Space Agency. So yes, the developers of a SHMUP game actually work with space ships in their free time! While the team is asking for 30,000 Euros, there is still a decent chunk of time left to make it happen. Right now the funding is at about a third of the way there, and Dimension Drive has approximately 2 weeks left. Which is where you come in!
There are as yet only a few Stretch Goals listed for the game, but they sound promising. At € 35,000 players will unlock more levels, weapons, enemies and abilities. Horde and Boss Mode will be unlocked at € 42,500 and at € 52,500 we Two Player mode! If any of this sounds remotely interesting, there are still lots of tiers to pledge at. Here are some of the more noteworthy ones:
€ 5 (~US $5, ~ £4) VAIN CITIZEN: A Big Heartfelt Thank You from the team + an exclusive Backer Wallpaper.
€ 10 (~US $10, ~ £7) EARLY WARP: Everything in the 12€ tier, but cheaper! Get it while it’s hot! This is the Early Bird tier, and only 100 are available!
€ 15 (~US $16, ~ £11) ESSENTIAL GEAR: A Digital Instruction Manual + a Digital Copy of the game + the exclusive Backer Wallpaper
€ 25 (~US $27, ~ £18) DRIVE ENGINEER: Early Beta access to the game + a Digital Copy of the game + the exclusive backer wallpaper! We’ll include your name in the credits and you will have the opportunity to help us improve the game with feedback, suggestions and requests.
€ 80 (~US $85, ~ £58) DATA CUBE: Limited edition (only 200 available) PHYSICAL COPY OF THE GAME + Digital Concept Art Book + Digital Comic Book + Digital Soundtrack + Early Beta access to the game + the exclusive Backer Wallpaper!
€ 250 (~US $265, ~ £181) THE MANTICORE: 3D-Printed version of The Manticore + EVERYTHING from the 150€ tier. Only 200 of these will be produced.
€ 1000 (~US $1060, ~ £725) ASHAJUL COMMANDER: Collaborate with us to Design and Name a new enemy BOSS! Help us create the ultimate foe, and then fight against it in-game! Give us your ideas and we’ll take care of the rest. Includes ALL REWARDS ABOVE. Only 4 available!
€ 7000 (~US $7410, ~ £5065) THE HERO: Turns out Jack is not alone in her fight against the Ashajuls. Your planet was destroyed by the Ashajuls when you were only a child, your family murdered in the process. You managed to escape in The Manticore and have been raised by a race of friendly aliens… but you’re not Jack! The question now is who the Hell is this Jack and why does she have a ship so similar to yours?! This was bound to happen with so much inter-dimensional travel. Pledging to this tier means we’ll create a new protagonist for the game–YOU (or a friend, family member, pet, piece of fruit…you name it)! With a new story and custom-painted Manticore, you and every player adopting your likeness can BECOME A HERO AND SAVE THE MULTIVERSE! This is also most exclusive reward tier–only 1 available! Includes ALL REWARDS ABOVE.
It would be an understatement to say I’m excited for this project. If you are too, check out their official Kickstarter page and consider pledging! And make sure to spread the word before it’s too late! If funded, Dimension Drive will be available on Windows, Mac and Linux, and even Steam if it is Greenlit. Don’t let the Ashajuls be victorious!
2Awesome StudioCrowdfunding SpotlightDimension DriveLinuxMacPCShmup