Yay, the game is now finished and available!
Visit dominiquepamplemousse.com to check it out!
Hi! My name is Deirdra, and I’m a writer, programmer, musician, and visual artist who primarily works in videogames and interactive media. My latest work in progress is a stop motion musical detective adventure called Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!”
Dominique Pamplemousse, the titular protagonist, is a down-on-their-luck private investigator of ambiguous gender only one rent payment away from homelessness. When the CEO of a major record company shows up asking Dominique to locate a missing pop star, taking the job appears to be the straightforward thing to do. However, as things are never quite as they seem in these kinds of stories, Dominique winds up framed for a crime they didn’t commit, bringing to surface their mysterious past and the events that led them to take up shady detective work in the first place.
Musical? Did I just read that correctly?
With singing, and everything! It’ll be like watching a stage musical, only you get to control which verses the characters sing next. Pretty neat, huh?
I’ve written and recorded quite a bit of music for my previous interactive works, in addition to playing with a super awesome Balkan brass band for the past three years, so I’m definitely no stranger to this whole “being musical” thing. My aim is to go one step further and actually integrate music and singing into an interactive narrative format. Inspired by my experiences with jazz improvisation, the soundtrack to this project is composed in separate sections that can be played in a different order depending on the player’s actions.
And it’s also in stop motion?
I’ve always loved stop motion animation, and have wanted to use it in a videogame for quite some time. Pretty much all the art assets in this game are made from real, physical things: clay, aluminium wire, cardboard, paper, fabric, felt, duct tape, and whatever else I’ve been able to get my hands on. It makes for a much more organic art style than what I’ve previously been able to create using just a computer, and it just plain looks and feels like a lot of fun. (Check out the video at the top of the page to see it in action! You did notice there’s a video, right? Or alternatively, play the demo!)
So, what kind of experience do you have with game development, anyway?
I have a number of finished solo projects to my name, dating back to 2002. Most recently, I released the previously-crowdfunded Life Flashes By and the award-winning, text-based The Play. I’ve also worked professionally in game design and programming on several larger titles.
More importantly, however, I’m known for touching on personal issues in my work, such as feminism, race, gender, coming of age, and social awkwardness -- subjects you’d be hard-pressed to find in most big budget videogame productions. I also prefer focussing on narrative, exploration, and problem-solving as game mechanics, as opposed to combat. Videogames aren’t just frivolous wastes of time to me; they’re how I express myself.
And how are you building this thing?
I’m using Adobe AIR; having been a Flash developer for years, Actionscript 3 is a language in which I’ve become quite comfortable. Plus, it has the advantage of being cross-platform. My current plan is to make the game available for Windows and Mac desktops, as well as on the iPad, but I am open to other devices (e.g. Android tablets) if I somehow wind up having the means to test them. If there’s any particular platform on which you really, really want to play this game, please let me know and I’ll do my best to make it happen!
Okay... but where is the money going?
So far, I’ve been working on Pamplemousse on my own dime, in whatever spare moments I’ve been able to fit in my schedule. However, I currently have enough time between paid work that I’d really like to make this game a higher priority. If this project gets fully funded, I’ll be able to treat the remainder of its development like a Real Job™ and get it finished within the year.
Taking into account that Indiegogo and PayPal will take their respective cuts, and that I’ll also need to create and ship your contribution perks, the amount I’ve asked for is the minimum I would need to fund the game to completion. That is, to finish the writing, recording, set construction, animation, and programming on this project by myself, based on estimates from my work so far on this as well as previous projects. With that in mind, if I just so happen to get overfunded, Tim Schafer-style, I’ll be able to put in more spit and polish, and perhaps even bring on other people to help me. (It would be super fantastic to get a professional sound engineer to help with mixing and mastering, for instance.)
All right, but what’s in it for me?
Why, the chance to contribute to the development of a really, really unique and offbeat videogame, of course! Plus, one of several spiffy rewards, from having one’s name in the credits to owning a piece of original handmade artwork used in the game itself to a custom short film featuring the game’s characters.
But wait, there’s more! If you happen to be the contributor with the highest pledge amount, you’ll get an additional bonus reward: your name (or a pseudonym of your choice) featured in the game as an important plot point! (In the event of a tie, whoever contributed first will be selected.)
I’m sold! Now what do I do?
First, select your pledge and claim what perk you want. Then, tell all your like-minded friends about this project and share it on all your favourite social networks. Remember, this is a “fixed funding” campaign, so if I don’t hit my goal by the deadline, no one gets anything. Which, you know, would be a total bummer. So, please help me spread the word in any way you can! Even if you’re as flat broke as Dominique and can’t contribute financially, any kind of support you can give is super appreciated.
I’m really looking forward to bringing this game to life and getting it into your hands! Let’s make it happen, shall we?