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SmashByte

SmashByte

Team Members

  • Alfred Lozano
  • Freya Jolliffe

Website

Social Media

Ever watch a horror movie and wonder to yourself what you’d do if you were in any of the characters shoes? We’re creating a multiplayer game that will allow players to emulate the experience of being in a horror setting. Risk all to save your friends or work alone to ensure your own survival.

 

Venture Concept Overview

Modern multiplayer survival horror games suffer from the same problems a lot of horror movies suffer from; an over-reliance of jump scares and gore. Hollywood has slowly caught on to this but the games industry is still struggling with the concept, much to the player’s lament. We at Smashbyte games aim to – through collaboration with behavioral psychologists – fill this hole and introduce a more atmospheric experience that will both engage and challenge players.

 

Our Enthusiastic team of five have developed a game – with the working title of Possession – that pit a four-man cleanup group against a radiation-fuelled spirit, all of whom are player controlled. It is the player’s choice whether to work as a team or alone, with inherent advantages and disadvantages of doing so. Our wide range of skills have enabled us to develop an alpha build that has been met with a great deal of praise from players and professionals alike. We have already met success after our Cause a Stir campaign, which has enabled us to attend a games expo in Melbourne at the end of October.

 

With additional funding, we could attend more industry events and pay for industry standard software. $4,500 would pay for our teams required software licensing, and another $3,500 would aid us in marketing, allowing us to get to future conventions. A further $6,000 would pay for six months worth of office rental at AIE come the start of 2018; when we will no longer have the space as paid for with our tuition.

 

Thank you for considering us for the grant funding.

The Idea

There are many people who enjoy experiencing exhilarating and suspenseful moments through horror games and films. What we often find ourselves asking during these experiences is “What would I do if I was in that situation?”

 

We are looking to make an online multiplayer game that will provide a platform to test the players’ resolve and wits in extreme situations. Our game will involve 4 players playing as hazmats charged with the clean up of an intense nuclear disaster. One other player will play as a malevolent entity bent on destroying the hazmat agents.

 

The hazmats will have the ability to repel the entity using light via torches and flares. Batteries, flares and other resources will be limited however, forcing players to use them sparingly. They will also have to be aware of the ghost’s ability to possess their comrades, creating an interesting trust dynamic in the game. These scarce resources in the game will set a challenge for the players that will have them choosing wisely between risking their lives the team, or only aiming for self preservation.

 

With our experience of making games and an already working prototype, we are confident in our abilities to not only design such an exciting game, but also see it all the way through.

The Market

Our game will be directed towards people looking for an exciting form of entertainment, and those who have fun testing their nerves under extreme circumstances.

 

Even though the game will include horror and supernatural elements, we feel that this will be a great way to test a group’s team working skills under very high risk scenarios. It will be a platform that will excite and energize its users while providing insight on how they work with others in extreme circumstances.

 

The Competition

Currently, there are a small number of multiplayer horror games on the market right now. Many of the games on the market right now are either outdated or suffer from poor support leading to very mixed receptions. Despite the setbacks, these few active games are still played because there just simply isn’t enough supply for the demand these types of games have.

 

What we are looking to do is provide players and fans of the horror genre with a game that will veer much more in the supernatural and psychological horror genre. We want to make a game that will rely on dynamic environments and interesting mechanics more than simply gore and shock.

 

With the number of people online looking for new multiplayer horror games to play, we are confident we will be able to provide them the new and exciting platform they’re looking for.

The Vision

In the future we would like to see our game active and supported by a large and healthy community. We plan to release the game with its key features that will provide a full experience and challenge. As our game grows, we will add more content that will further challenge our players and refresh the tests that they will have to overcome. Providing updates will ensure that the players do not easily become desensitized to the nature of the environment and dangers being emulated.

 

With the growth of our venture we will need to increase our scope to match the demands of the community we plan to build. In order to do this, we will need to increase the size of our team. We estimate that our team of 5 will grow to a number between 10 to 15 people.

 

Our game will originally be released on Steam, an online gaming store front, giving us access to a world wide customer base. This will allow us to be able to reach people from all parts of the globe without having to invest in physical production. If we were to expand our offices though, we see Melbourne as a great fit for another office since it also has a very strong game development and art community.

 

Overall, our main goal is to make a game that provides an exhilarating experience that players want to come back to.

Mentor Pitch

Our mission is to provide an exhilarating psychological horror game that will have people not only on the edge of their seats, but also provide an opportunity to reflect on the choices they make while playing. Our game will involve interesting and unique mechanics aimed at providing an exhilarating and new experience. We have already succeeded in creating a stable and functioning prototype and are now in the process of building a full product with a fresh and distinctive art style. The kind of person we’re looking for in a mentor is someone with a passion in gaming and psychology.

Video pitch

https://youtu.be/G0iEKVlcC-w

The Customer Experience

One of the biggest challenges of any product is getting the people who want to use it know it exists. The plans we have for bringing our product to the attention of those that will enjoy it include:

– Weekly Facebook and twitter posts and activity

– We will contact as many relevant news outlets as possilbe in hopes that they will cover out product

– Posting of our game on as many relevant platforms as possible (steam, Ich.io, GOG, HumbleBundle

– Word of mouth

– Reddit

– Our own website

 

Upon discovery, our product will be accessible through the following mediums:

– Steam (purchase and download)

– GOG (purchase and download)

– ich.io (purchase and download)

 

After purchasing, we will communicate with our customers by:

– Forums (reddit, steam, GOG)

– social media

– email

– website

The Team

We know we can execute this venture because of our skills and experience, such as:

– Art abilities; we have skilled and experienced artists in our field

– Unique game design

– Programming abilities

– All of us are graduates of AIE in our respective game development fields

– Very disciplined and already accustomed to working for longs periods of time in order to deliver products

 

The assets we have that will help us:

– GamePlus; provides a community of game developers that will give us valuable tips and feedback. Also provides reach to more publicity and media

– Have facebook and twitter followings

– Reach to other parts of the globe (members who have many contacts from places in North America, to places in Europe and Asia)

 

Our Progress:

– We’re just a month away from releasing our first official game (Destructonaut)

 

And most importantly, we already have a functioning prototype of our game with networking which was made in only 15 weeks! This shows that we really do have the skills needed to get our product finished and into the hands of people in need of a new and exciting medium to test their wits and skills with.

Our Partners

While we have the skills and experience necessary to make an innovative and exciting product, there are still large barriers restricting us from reaching these goals in a timely manner.

 

Software:

Currently, we are using non-commercial versions of advanced software that makes our production pipeline as fast and efficient as necessary in order to be competitive. However, in order to publish our product we will need commercial licenses for the various software that our team has been trained in, this includes:

– Maya (at least 1 user)

– Adobe Suite (at least 2 users)

– 3DCoat

 

Promotions and Pax:

We also understand the reality of having to invest in promotions for our venture and the necessity of going to big events such as Pax. Many developers have attested to the fact that showcasing their games venues like Pax provided them with the essential boost in traffic and sales that were needed to make their games a success. Paying for the booths and accomodations easily leads to costs in the thousands of dollars for just one venue. Despite the cost, it proves many times to pay back in future sales.

 

Networks:

Another thing that we are always looking to have help in is networking. Having help with getting our product known whether it be to investors or to games magazines and sites is something we always appreciate.

 

How to contact us:

We are happy to have interested parties contact us through:

– Social media

– email (smashbytegames@gmail.com)

Funding Sought

Our projected estimate for funding is based off of a 2 year production time. We are including everything in here that we find essential to not only creating our product but launching it as well.

 

Software:

  • Maya LT (x2):                               $795
  • ZBrush (x1):                                 $1360
  • Photoshop Creative Cloud (x2): $686
  • 3D Coat Pro (x1):                         $379
  • Quixel Suite NDO (x1):                $836

Marketting:

  • Pax 2018 (5 exhibitors)                $4500
  • Advertising (via social media)     $500
  • Other conventions                       $1500

Trademarking and Legal

  • Trademark (business.gov.au)       $420
  • Registering Ptyld                         $479

 

Suppliers and Platforms

  • Steam Direct                                $127
  • GameJolt                                      Free
  • Ich.io                                            Free

 

These numbers put us at roughly $12000. With that kind of grant we will be able to meet all of the minimum goals that we are aiming to achieve for the growth of this project.

Our Partners

Unreal:

Unreal
not only provides a wonderful game engine but also grants aimed at small
studios (like ourselves). The recipients of Unreal’s grant will receive not
only funding, but also promotions and advertising through Unreal’s robust
networks.

 

AIE:

AIE
is the post secondary educational institution that specializes in the
development of video games. They have a excellent track record of providing
their students with support and guidance in regards to releasing games.

 

GamePlus:

The
place where we will be renting office space in the short to medium term is
planned to be GamePlus. GamePlus not only provides working space, but also a
community where we can have our products peer reviewed and receive valuable
tips and tricks from more experienced devs.

 

Sound
and Music Specialists:

We
have already been getting in touch with several sound engineers in order to
make sure that the quality of our sounds will be at the level needed to deliver
an eerie environment. 

 

Steam, GameJolt, and Ich.io:

To get our product on the market we will need to partner with suppliers. All of these suppliers are also well known for the support they provide games that they are well received within the market. The support is mostly through advertising and marketing.

People knowledgeable in Psychology:

Since we’re making a psychological horror, we’ve also decided to start looking for someone knowledgeable in psychology. Currently, we are working with a student studying general psychology at uni. This has helped a lot in narrowing the type of psychology we are interested in, and also finding past research in this particular subject.

Capturing Value

The value our game will be providing is
through the experience that customers will receive when they play it. The
mental challenges, team collaboration, and suspense will provide players with
an experience provide players with the exhilaration they need to keep their
lives balanced.

 

The income plan will involve:

  • Onetime payment: Customers will pay an upfront
    fee for the game.
  • Future downloadable content: along with
    essential updates, we will include big changes in packages that customers can
    pay for to further increase their experience. 

 

We took the time to speak to many gamers and potential customers both in and out of the gaming community. We looked for people in person and online. We found that customers’ price expectations ranged from $10 to $60 on average.

After these conversations, we also did our competitor analyses and found that games in our field are averaging at $19.99. For these reasons, we concluded that the most realistic price point for our game would be $19.99.