So the awesome keeps awesomeing - we've hit Stretch Goal #3, and Brian Luzietti is doing stuff. He's got some new jetpack sounds that I plan to get in the game today, just before the Indiecade deadline.
Now, something that's buried pretty far down on the Kickstarter page, that nobody has picked up on yet, is that I'm offering classes in game development.
After teaching at Digipen for a bit, and getting paid hardly anything for a ton of work, and thinking about the ginormous tuition the students are paying, I thought it would be a good idea to cut out the middle man.
Also, I was looking at other Kickstarter projects and thinking it was a bit lame that people were donating a thousand dollars to get, like, a tavern named after them or whatever. (And then I did exactly that with my own. But at least there's only five "taverns" in my game - it's valuable because it's rare! And you get all the other stuff too.) But I also thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if they got to create a whole level?"
But wait: not everyone knows how to make a videogame level. Which is why I then thought, "What if I offered one-on-one online (or in person, if they happen to be in the Seattle area) instruction and worked together with these budding level designers to make these levels?"
So that's what I'm doing. You'll get at least ten hours of one-on-one instruction by me. You'll get your level in the game, with a big bold credit by you, like the way N+ levels often have the designer's name on them. Also: you'll be keeping the rights to the stuff you make—so you can use what you create in your own games. (Though, at least for the near future, without the swinging character controller that's the key to Energy Hook. Still - your assets and level could be the foundation for something cool of your own.)
"But wait," you say, "that means I'd be paying you to work for you?"
Oh, no, you're onto me! Yes! Yes, you kind of would!
But I still feel like it's a good deal. You're getting real-world experience, mentoring from a veteran developer, and credit working on a notable game for a lot less than the price of going to game design school.
The bonus levels will be tangential to the main game. Players who don't want to play them won't have to, but I have a feeling some of them might end up being more fun than the core levels. What I'm imagining is at certain times the Energy Hook protagonist, Delilah, has to sleep. And when she sleeps she dreams about Energy Hook. And those dreams are the Bonus Levels that you all will make. Maybe sometimes they're pretty much like the regular Energy Hook levels; maybe sometimes they're COMPLETELY CRAZY. It's up to you. (But I get final cut.)
Make sure you have several solid days to work on your level before signing up for this - because if your level isn't done in time we just might have to ship without it. And if you're interested, you should probably get in touch first and ask me any questions you might have: firstname.lastname@example.org.