Tulpa is a game vacillating between weird puzzles and symbolic narrative, both seen through the prism of surreal artwork and atmospheric music.
Tulpa is a puzzle-platformer game, in which the player controls two characters, a girl named Ophelia and a boy named Oliver, that travel through an ever-changing world.
The characters possess different abilities and perceive the world differently. This makes the survival of both characters non-trivial, as traversing the world and overcoming its challenges demands that the player has both perspectives in mind.
Story-wise the game revolves around concepts borrowed from occultism and theosophy, with thought forms (or “Tulpae”) on the focal point. Characters hide twisted secrets and the world transforms to pair with their psychology.
Symbolism is also used along those lines with both game objects and -literal- symbols (we call them “Glyphs”), filling the world, giving information to the player about the story as well as about the challenge he is facing.
With all these in-place, it comes down to the player to find out the grim past of our (anti-?)heroine and her tulpa.
Basic ControlsThe game’s controls regarding character movement follow the well-known and established control patterns of the platformer genre.
Player uses the arrow keys for moving Ophelia to the left or to the right and space for jumping and climbing.
When you switch over to Oliver, the arrow keys are used to set him in motion in both the horizontal and vertical axes, floating near his beloved Ophelia.
Character AbilitiesOphelia doesn’t have any special ability. Her role is interacting with the material world by means of pushing and grabbing stuff around.
Oliver’s ability on the other hand is the interaction with otherworldly objects using a telekinetic power, directed by the player using his mouse.
SanityOliver is Ophelia’s tulpa. He was created by her own mind in need for support.
That cause has an effect. Ophelia needs Oliver to be close, otherwise she begins to lose her sanity, ensuing an inevitable death.
The aesthetics are focused on flat colored models and fine tuned full-screen effects for the generation of minimalistic but intense and smooth-looking scenes.
The graphical concepts are heavily inspired by the works of Salvador Dali, Jacek Yerka as well as other known (and unknown) artists.
On the gaming side, great influences were Yume Nikki, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, American McGee's Alice and Limbo.
Finally, the Glyphs being a major characteristic of the game aesthetics, follow a sketched/scribbled style adding obscurity on the -already twisted- matters presented.
Tulpa is dark, it's eerie. The same goes for Red Aura’s music.
We knew it from the very first hearing, Red Aura was the missing puzzle piece of this game. We share very much the same theme and mood. Paradoxical!
Red Aura’s experimental and dark ambient elements make Tulpa shine… darker.
As for the sound effects, if we manage to reach our goal, Luke Thomas is going to work on it to give the game that final touch it needs to feel smooth and complete.
From development perspective, a huge amount of work is already done for Tulpa.
So you may ask why we need your help?
For our game to be released we need to optimize both some pieces of code and part of the assets (mostly audio).
Apparently that needs tools we can’t afford while we are still students (with no full-time jobs).
That means that we need two Unity Pro licenses, sound effects and to get our musician a new laptop, since her last one doesn't work.
So if you like the game and want to play it you can help us by contributing any amount you want towards our goal.
Only one potential risk exists: it is kind of macabre and involves one or more members of the team. So Tulpa will definitely be released sooner or later.
However, since polishing may take several months to complete, in the meantime we will keep you up-to-date with the latest development news and (why not) invite you over to beta-test the hell out of our game (assuming you agree to be heavily spoiled story-wise).
On the right side of this page you will find the levels of funding you can contribute.
Under the title of each perk you can see information about your rewards, our tokens of gratitude for your help.
In case your perk includes a poster or a canvas print, you can pick any scene out of the following.
Controller/GamePad Support (5000$)Tulpa was designed with the keyboard-mouse control scheme in mind, so it needs some refactoring to properly support gamepads. Achieving this stretch goal will allow us work on this feature.
Console Port (10000$)Our second stretch goal is adapting Tulpa for release on Xbox One through ID@Xbox (the Xbox independent developer publishing program).
Sequel / Spin-off (15000$)Your support was basically enough to provide funds to make another game.
Given enough time, we can plan out a Tulpa sequel or spin-off, to add more depth and detail to the story and the characters.
Thanks in advance!
Thanks for taking the time to check our campaign!
Any kind of support is really appreciated, so you can contribute to the project just by sharing this campaign with your friends, since we really need exposure to make it!
Comments and feedback of all kinds will be really helpful too!
Tulpa is also on Steam Greenlight, so please vote for us, it will be much appreciated.
You can also find us on our website and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or contact us via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.