Anomaly 1921

Anomaly 1921 is a neo-noir, industrial, steampunk first person action game designed by sci-fi industrialist C.D. Jones.
Casey Jones
Milford, Pennsylvania
United States
1 Team Member


Anomaly 1921 takes place in a steampunk neo-noir industrial powerhouse of a city named New Manhattan. You enter the city from what is known as a Singularity Transporter. These transporters require a powerful and plentiful resource given by the super-conductive ocean beneath the city's foundation.

New Manhattan was merged together from a primary visionary and inventor Robert Maraux, a man who owned a very prestigious corporation.

The Maraux Administration originated in a small city called Ryth, Washington. New Manhattan however, is six miles out from Washington in the Pacific. Robert Maraux built the city exclusively for the rich and wealthy to share the abundances of resources amongst what they called the golden shimmer in the Pacific. But he was a little more interested in giving his employers a firm handshake, a pat on the back with a smile and point in the direction of their very own business. He's a man of musical taste, likes to sing in the rain and is generally delighted to share ideas with rightful citizens.

In this city you play as the Great Edgar Riegerstood. A magician that now lives in exile shortly after an accidental murder of a young girl during the showcase of your new resource developed for ultimate illusion. It's then when you drift yourself into New Manhattan seeking for new life, residing in this exile with this weight on your shoulders.

Edgar's no assassin, marine or any type of street thug brawler. He's a man whose life has just recently fallen apart and he so happens to be gifted with this extraordinary talent, something he's been doing for years.

The modern equality movement was started by a woman called Miss Mary Green, someone who most definitely proved themselves to be a strong, forceful leader to escort her members of her society into that golden city to cherish the opportunities.

During this experience the player can decide whether or not to take a side to this movement or ignore it all together. Just know that with every step along those separate roads, there are consequences.

There are these robotic titans who maneuver on these cast-iron balls who were specifically made for handling the poor infestation, or “scavengers” the wealthy like to call. They can be summoned openly by the citizens utilizing an electric transporter named the Gates of Judgment to clench their claws down on the poor, then simply toss them over the two hundred foot walls and into the ocean. But what if Miss Green's message came across? What if there were so many followers even following her death that would result in some sort of final push. They would be loyalists toward her, devoted to not just hers, but their dream as well to share the fortunes of the city. And what if they felt so strongly about this that they took action themselves that they may not feel so proud of, but felt worth it in providing that goal. On that note, the scavengers do have a wide array of eyes watching out for them as well.

The city is full of thugs, robotic titans, vigilante's and gangsters. All of them play a vital part to which role the player decides to play out as. Do you want to use your illusionist resources to throw a man across the room and steal his money? Or would you rather sink a gangster into a black hole before he open fires on a crowd?

New Manhattan is a living, breathing city. You may have these towering walls that block out most of the light, but does that mean you'd always be residing in the dark? That's the question that the player really has to think about. And hopefully in the end it'll be an experience they won't soon forget.



I mentioned before that New Manhattan was full of thugs, robotic titans, vigilante's and gangsters. Now, if you think about it, these things can go a few ways. You can go in guns blazing and resources full and sweep into a room and clean it inside and out with a few rag-dolls on the floor. Or you can go the overly dramatic route and keep death few and far between, but that might bland out the combat entirely on its own.


 I've decided to take the time to study the personal emotions, effects and dramatization of violence combined with darkness and vulnerability. I've listened to music and pieced together the samples within the keynotes that envelop their own depth to them. Movies and Soundtracks such as Blade Runner, Brazil, Dark City, The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, Road to Perdition, the Prestige, Bioshock, Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Vangelis, etc. I've dissected that emotional language slowly and carefully to make the perfect match for this type of emphasis.


There was a very specific formula I've stood strongly by since the beginning of the development. But first you have to think about the backbone of where all these things need to come together in order to stay together.


For example, you take an empty street with a single streetlight. You need to inhabit that world with something, specifically the player. Let's say the player or person is standing in front of that light, staring blankly. You've already gotten the player to look toward the light, so you've grabbed them, you've acquired their curiosity.


What comes next is the wonder or reason behind why that streetlight may be the only one on, or maybe why it's flickering, emitting some sort of noise. The farther the player gets away from that light, the larger their shadow becomes. If you make them wonder away from that point, you've got them exploring, looking themselves for the formula. The light is the guide. The player is the curiosity or the mind. The shadow is their effect on the environment, or in other words the trail they leave behind.


I'll return to my original statement which brought up the oppositions within the city itself. With all those things in mind I stated previously, I can say that violence, struggle, emotion and personal gratitude amongst accomplishment will be a very important theme throughout the experience. It would be my first intention to let the player feel what I felt coming into the development process. I want them to feel as if punched in the chest when they begin to claim another life that isn't theirs. And that I will do my very, very best to surely deliver something that the player deserves.



Creating a convincing, well fleshed out, detailed, and heavily invested atmosphere has always been my priority. You wouldn't have believable characters if there wasn't some sort of way that made those characters that way. They had to be formed somehow, by their choices, their intelligence, their directives, motivation and imagination.


I've always been fascinated by the cultural aesthetics of Steampunk and Cyberpunk and their derivatives and sub-genres. Dieselpunk, decopunk astropunk, biopunk, etc are all extremely fascinating and well detailed cultures on their own. Sculpting a city that absorbs these cultures correctly to form its own is a very tough challenge, but at the same time worth the investment. It's hard to say whether there's more so Steampunk than Dieselpunk because I've tried to carve them into the world equally. But being that Steampunk introduced its own sub-genres to me, the lines between some of these aesthetics have been quite blurred. But may I say, carefully.


Neo-Noire in the blend of the science fiction realm is by far my favorite genre of film. I mentioned Blade Runner, Brazil, and Dark City in the past. Those three movies happen to be my top three favorite movies of all time, and have strongly, and I mean strongly, influenced me to shape Anomaly 1921. I couldn't tell you how many times I've listened to those soundtracks on their own, separate from the films themselves.


 This goes the same for the art direction, architectural development, mood, tone, context, and substance I strive to deliver within the game itself. I've done my very generous and fair share of studying these aesthetics of culture, and continue to do so on a daily basis. The images and music are most likely permanently engraved into my head. And when the player gets the chance to play the game themselves, it wouldn't be surprising that they feel that same way themselves.


I would like for the player to enter the room and stare for just a few moments if that. To feel the echoing tones of the music bounce off the walls and cast over their original opinions of the world and change them. Some buildings demand different music, tone, moods than others. Symmetry is a nice thing to look at, but tends to be much less interesting especially when something out of the ordinary draws a specific attention. This goes for the entirety of the culture. As demanding as the Steampunk culture is, it makes it that much more difficult to pin-point these micro-necessities. For instance, from time to time you'll notice that some things are more worn, rusted, used, or unaligned and distorted. This kind of attention did seem a bit scary and unclean at first, but it sticks true to the design. To me, there's a numerical list when building one of these environments.








4.Shape-shifting and Building Geometry


5.Minor Detail-work




7.Major Details


8.Bonus Details






Consistency in the detail is something that is both key but difficult to comprehend as an open minded, unscripted gamer, but it is an absolute must as a developer. I want them to feel that they are secure in a world that exists and feels the same way they would feel as if they felt the cool breeze brush upon their shoulders, smelt the brisk air just before a rainfall, the oncoming warmth of dawn. All of this may be impossible, but I'll make sure I'll get as close as I can, that's for damn sure.


Void Op; Noun
Definition: An operative specialized in opening voids in time to create alternate history that leads to experimental futures following the imperfection of a modern society.

Mission: Open the void into the year 1921, murder the West Coast Italian Mafia Leader Jean Rieno before he murders Robert Maraux. This will prevail the Maraux Administration.

Robert Alan Maraux was a visionary. He owned a corporation in 1920 post industrial revolution called the Maraux Administration, a conglomerate company that brought together the modern industrialists that was said to change the world. Maraux had convinced himself to rise above the ranks of modern civilization and take over, with the help of none other than the Western Mafia. But the debts that lie overdue twist a web around Maraux, binding him to stray for new life. When anarchist,visionary genius and inventor Robert Maraux, the man with absolute power says he'll build a city for the wealthy and throw out the rules, he means it one hundred and ten percent.

The player assumes the role of Edgar Riegerstood, an exiled magician who seeks for a new life shortly after an accidental murder of a nine year old girl, Jade, during a new daring act to further your invention developed for ultimate illusion. You drift into New Manhattan in a great time of need. Along the ways of setting your record straight, you must experiment with the abilities that came with the creation of your career, preferably a resource coursing through your veins that can throw your enemies, vanish without a trace, or even sink them into a never ending abyss.

The city of New Manhattan is a neo-noir industrial powerhouse and open to exploration. The option to explore before progressing through the story will also be available.

Define Who You Are:
Within the city there carries out a present contention between the rich and poor after a modern equality movement. Decipher whether to spare the war between the rich and poor, or take sides to the struggle to experience a different side to the story.

Experiment With an Illusionist's Abilities:
Abilities work as active and passive actions or features bound to your play-style. You can manipulate your player however you want, when you want, on the fly. That is, if you can afford it.

Some of the "Abilities" Include:

Thrust: Send an enemy afar or to his death from a rush of hot air.

Rust: Temporarily slow down your enemy by encasing their legs in rust.


Some of the "Platinum Hat Trick Tolkens" Include:


Misdirection: Strafing distance is increased for combat.

The Rabbit: Sprint Speed increased by 20%.




My name is Casey Jones, otherwise known as sci-fi industrial novelist C.D. Jones. I've published three short novels and one short story, I'd like to call myself a new breed when it comes to analyzing the world of science fiction. Anomaly 1921 will be my very first title brought to you buy the Unreal Engine 3. I began this project as a book a few years ago, but soon enough realized it was just beyond impossible to capture the atmosphere I dreamed to convey in a hundred page story. Some things demand to be bigger, as it did with this.

You are the gamer, and nothing is more important than exploring and experiencing the story than you. All backers are strictly backing the funding of unreachable resources that will build the very resources I need to create this world on an entirely new level. Higher quality lighting, clean sound engineering, smooth animations and overall deeper detailed architecture will be the direct result of your contribution.

Utilizing 100% of physical memory and processor usage to build the simplest of geometry to result in system crashes, insane loading times and broken gameplay isn't what I had in mind for the next year ahead. Especially for intensive game development.

If the resources needed go slightly astray, all of it will go towards the further development of the game. It's important to know how important YOU are.

As a one man team in the middle of nowhere, I ask of you, that bolt of lightening, to aid New Manhattan into an existing, virtual world. We have the heart and we have the brain. But what we need next is the lungs, and of course you, the eyes.

Thank you all for your patience, cooperation, and support. All credit goes to you and is greatly and always appreciated.



Anomaly 1921 is being developed by a one man team. It's come to my attention like it has with other indie developers that resources are scarce to complete these projects. With the help of you, the eyes to my mind as a gamer, we can contribute together and forge a direct path to the absolute success of this project.


It is likely that we will encounter delays, production slips, development barriers, etc. But I truly believe that with each painful congestion, there comes that very small percentage of quality difference when dedication and determination arises.


The rights to music, Steam Greenlight, and UDK Licensing may be a few hardships forthcoming down the road ahead. However, when in the face of these problems without any way to break through them, I will try my absolute best to get this game out the door and into your mouse and keyboard worn hands.


The support for Linux aside from Windows will also become troubling in the future. It is not guaranteed, but it is most definitely on my top priorities list.


The game is currently within the alpha construction process, but it is hopeful to land a solid 2014 release with an indefinite month to finalize the project.

As a one man team in the middle of nowhere, I ask of you, that bolt of lightening, to aid New Manhattan into an existing, virtual world. We have the heart and we have the brain. But what we need next is the lungs, and of course you, the eyes.




On one last note, I'd like to remind that New Manhattan needs voice actors. You, sitting right there, in fact all of you, may submit an e-mail to at any time, no rush necessary, to become part of the world. Similar to audio diaries, “Historical Rifts” occur when the player enters a specific building within the city to learn about its history. Think of it as a short blurb of extra world detail. A more detailed list will follow upon the finalized character script. *Please note that you will be working free of charge, no professional skill needed. There is no in-house studio for the recording process. A clear microphone and voice recording software are required. Scheduled meetings will take place via Skype or Google+.


Thank you all for your support and patience in my project. All credit goes to you. Be sure to visit this page soon to receive further updates on Anomaly 1921. I hope to show you more fairly soon. Until then, never stop playing video games.

- C.D. Jones

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