Side-Scrolling Adventure A Small Favor Turns to Kickstarter
On a bizarre alien world where cash is outlawed and people survive by trading favors, a deeply-indebted "favor collector" grasps at one last chance for a normal life.
A Small Favor actually began life back in 2009 as a free, Flash-based game series about a nameless assassin who does what he must in order to survive on an alien world where hard currency is outlawed and bartering is everything. But while those games were fairly conventional point-and-click adventures, the 2013 "reboot" is taking the concept in a different direction as a side-scrolling 2D adventure.
In the game's dystopian setting, currency has been abolished in an attempt to eliminate corruption and citizens have security badges that restricts where they may travel and what they may do, all enforced by the ever-watchful (and literal) eyes of the Galactic Ministry of Regulation. Because of that, it's now bartering for favors that makes the world go 'round, and naturally an "underground favor-trade," enforced by armed Favor Collectors who commit blackmail, theft, assassination and more, has come into being. The "hero" of the game is a particularly repugnant member of the profession who sees an opportunity to return to a normal life by performing just one small favor - but as usual, it doesn't work out quite as planned.
"A Small Favor will be the same protagonist and share the ideas created in the Flash games but overall will be a much richer experience. The browser game is a more traditional screen to screen adventure while this new one will bring in more of the Another World side scrolling exploration vibe (and more laser gun!)," ClickShake Games co-founder Jay Ziebarth explained.
"Also, those games were more just a series of missions, where this one will have a much deeper storyline. The ability to choose who to side with to achieve your goal is one idea I want to delve deeper into, allowing the player to solve a puzzle by either working with The Hacker Worm or the gangster Milos, or double crossing them both and killing everyone but still achieving your goal," he continued. "I want to let the player decide how ruthless or fair they want to be with solving puzzles."
Despite being a side-scroller, the developers say A Small Favor will maintain the feeling of a traditional adventure, with a focus on exploration, story and puzzle-solving. At the same time, they're aiming to avoid the usual pitfalls of "adventure game logic" in which every problem can be solved, eventually, by simply using things on other things until something takes.
The plan at the moment is to have A Small Favor ready to go by 2013, but that's dependent at least in part on being able to focus on the game over the next several months, which of course is where Kickstarter comes in. The goal is $30,000, which will go toward living expenses during the production period and licensing fees for music and audio effects. This is admittedly a little more of a flyer than I usually take with Kickstarters, but I like the look of the thing and the fact that it's based on an established, if not especially well-known, property, and the thought of playing a legitimately unpleasant assassin who doesn't have a heart of gold and a pure motive for what he does turns my crank pretty hard too. Hey, that's how I roll.
If you like what you see, you may throw some coins in the hat at Kickstarter, and if you'd prefer to take a look at the original game first to learn more about what you're getting into - which I heartily recommend, by the way - then point at, and click on, clickshakegames.com.