I wrote several months back about Ore Creative’s Kickstarter for point and click surreal adventure, Ira, and they’ve been pretty quiet since the failed Kickstarter. Last month, via the Ira newsletter, beautiful news appeared in our inboxes, news I longed to read: Ira was coming back. Ore Creative continued working on the project and a Kickstarter was in works. A lot of Ira had been changed and split into three separate acts and the team would pursue three separate Kickstarters to divide out development.
An episodic point and click adventure?
(courtesy of GIPHY)
SIGN ME UP.
They’ve added a few changes to their demo too, which is available on the Ira official website, that really have given the game more life and polish. The demo is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There’s a lot of lore for me to touch up on, so prepare for some reading. This is a newsy-feature now!
Where Have We Been?
Ore Creative launched a Kickstarter campaign for Ira back in April/May, hoping to raise funds for the entirety of Ira’s development. Unfortunately, of the $68,200 goal, only $8,363 was raised. The team cancelled the Kickstarter early and decided to go back to the old drawing board to see what went wrong and what they could improve on. The team was going to try again. And so, they did. They worked on Ira in the months since the cancelled Kickstarter, polished up the demo, changed some lore, and gave Ira even more life! Now they’ve divided Ira into three different acts and will pursue funding for them separately, releasing Ira episodically.
Where Are We Going?
One of the things that has always impressed me about humanity is the drive for progress and improvement. We are an efficient folk, a bundle of dreamers, who dare push the limits to change things for the greater good. Why? Because we like things difficult, we love a challenge, and we’ll be damned if we don’t find something testing. One of the things I detest about humanity is greed and an insatiable thirst for material things, superficial titles, and entitlement. The story of Ira is beautifully complicated by reaching out to both ends of the spectrum and that’s what may appeal to me the most.
As mentioned in the previous article, Ira takes place in an alternative timeline. One thing we love to push for is innovative technology and Ira’s universe definitely does so. Imagine not just going to the moon, but Mars! In fact, going to Mars so regularly that miners are hired to work up there for large periods of time, like a regular mining job on Earth. The Cold War isn’t even driving the desire for space technology advancement – it’s greed – though at the heart of it is the lovely dreamers. But I’ll touch up on Intele Co momentarily.
It’s the time of the Great Depression but we are far from it. The economy seems to be booming with plentiful jobs thanks to Intele Co’s push for space exploration. Regularly visiting Mars during the 30’s? Unheard of. Except in Ira’s world, it’s commonplace.
Now, Intele Co is at the heart of this progression in the Ira timeline and it’s awfully bittersweet. Intele Co (“Earth’s Future Today”) is actually responsible for the massive and abrupt technological progression. Somehow, the very determined company found a way (and funds) to maintain a completely classified research department that went above and beyond to figure out just how can man freely explore space. Out of the blue, it happened. The world changed overnight because of Intele Co, they profited considerably, and for some reason it all originated in the tiny little farm town of Pilgrimage.
But why Mars? A signal. A small transmission that caught our attention. Naturally, Intele Co hopped on this with this classified research department and were able to gauge where it transmitted from: Mars. For reasons withheld from the public, we had to go there. Immediately. Something important was awaiting us on Mars and we needed to get out hands on it. Thing is, after regularly sending teams of miners to Mars and working them to the bone, it just wasn’t enough and Intele Co certainly didn’t care much for their employees in the process. Eyes still on the prize, the sweet transmission beckoned Intele Co once again, this time in a far, far away place.
The Lithic System appeared to be the answer to every problem humanity was bound to face in the upcoming decades. Its resources were plentiful. There was so much humanity could do here. It seemed like the perfect solution but it came with its consequences. And so, they built the glorious Holocene and strived to claim dibs on the Lithic System as soon as possible. Profits, am I right?
And so, the Holocene, the largest space vessel we’ve ever created, ventures off towards the Lithic System. Researchers, scientists, engineers – you name it – from every corner of Earth gathered on this once in a lifetime mission among the stars to an unknown system in the sky. People all over the world were united, gazing up at the sky in amazement at this grand achievement we’ve reached. A generation of dreamers was born. This was only the beginning.
Meet Ira – Demo and More
Now, Ira is one of these dreamers. Ira is just a young boy on a family farm whole heart clings to the stars above him, mystified by the trail left behind from the Holocene. His father is one of Intele Co’s many slaves, bound to the mines on the rusty martian surface. His mother, a kind, gentle housewife faltering from an unspecified illness. Siblings? Ira’s all alone. We, the player, meet Ira in his childhood, dreamily gazing up at the sky in wonderment.
Ira’s always been astounded by the beauty of space exploration and desperate to learn every possible thing he could about the black canvas above him, which drives him to eventually work hard and become a space explorer himself aboard the Holocene II, chasing after the questions the Holocene I left behind. Unfortunately, the entirety of the Holocene’s conception, creation, and launch is shrouded in so much mystery and corruption that sweet Ira finds himself locked into a much more deeply troubling situation. It truly becomes a matter of life and death for him.
After 1,082 days in a stasis pod, Ira awakens disoriented and alone. So very, very uncomfortably alone. Bits of his past return to him sporadically as he tries to piece together the entire story of why he’s even on the Holocene II in the first place. Soon, he uncovers the truth behind Intele Co and the Holocene I – and it isn’t pretty.
The demo is just a small look into the basis Act I: Pilgrimage is based on but it does such a great job. As mentioned in the previous article, Ira is a point and click game with dialogue options with fairly open exploration. Players can somewhat navigate to their heart’s desire.
Ira Kickstarter Campaign
On January 5th, Ore Creative launched their Kickstarter campaign for the first act of Ira: Pilgrimage. They’re hoping to raise $12K by February 6th and so far the team has raised almost half of it ($4,833 as of writing this – 302 backers). The funds taken from this Kickstarter will contribute to the development of Act I, which is expected to be released either mid or late this year (2016). The majority of the funds are going to development but much will go to things like production, Kickstarter/Amazon fees, taxes, and rewards. Considering that, pretty small amount for development.
More good news! Ira Act I: Pilgrimage is also on Steam Greenlight, asking for some very supportive votes from the community. Things are going great on Greenlight for Act I. In fact, it’s listed as #40 out of the top 100 on Greenlight. Unfortunately, it’s not greenlit yet, so if Ira is a game you fancy seeing grow even more, votes are welcomed.
Everything seems to be going in the right direction this time for Ira and it’s very exciting to see.
Ira Act I: Pilgrimage will be available on Windows, Mac, and Linux AND Android and iOS mobile devices.
You Want the Moon? I’ll Give You the Moon!
Favorite game(s): Gone Home, Life is Strange, Back to Bed, Transistor
Non-indie: Mafia II, L.A. Noire, Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle), The Assassin's Creed Series (mainly Brotherhood and Black Flag)
Worked for Cliqist.com from Jan 2013 to Februrary 2014.
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