Crowned Daemon Studios upcoming game Freak has hopped onto the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter. The game is seeking $51,000 as the base goal, with some other stretch goals detailed in case they do manage to surpass the initial target.
Freak is a top-down zombie game where players are put in the role of an autistic 14-year-old named Tinker who is bitten by a zombie, dies and comes back. The goal is to attempt to get to a civil part of the zombie-ridden society where scientists can examine Tinker and find out why he’s immune.
The game relies heavy on stealth mechanics, where players will attempt to sneak past zombie hordes, but engaging them is completely optional. You can see some of the game’s features and get an understanding of what the developers are attempting to do via the Kickstarter video below.
One of the things I found impressive about this project is the roto-scoping. It’s old animation film technique where real-life reference actors are filmed and the individual frames are used as reference for animation. It’s something that Ralph Bakshi was known for in movies like Fire & Ice, the animated version of The Lord of the Rings and the astoundingly fantastic film American Pop.
The technique was recently used – as mentioned in the pitch video above – in Stoic Studio’s highly lauded RPG The Banner Saga. When used properly roto-scoping can really help bring a project to life, despite the difficulty and arduous amount of work required for the technique.
I’m very interested in seeing how the cinematics turn out for Freak because over on the Steam Greenlight page it was one of the most praised aspects of the game and it could make or break how some people perceive the project.
Freak is a top down stealth shooter with a focus on strategy. In Freak players play as Tinker, a fourteen year old autistic boy who has recently been turned into a zombie but somehow retained his humanity. As Tinker you’ll travel across expansive levels that encourage exploration and meet many interesting characters along the way.
Beyond the cinematics and the story, another gameplay aspect revolves around Tinker’s ability to go zombie mode. After being bitten Tinker can use his zombie powers to blend in with the hordes, using it as a camouflage technique. In addition to this, the more the zombie powers are used the more dangerous it becomes for Tinker as he’s required to eat human brains to sustain himself. It’s a risk/reward mechanic that could help give the game some much-needed tension and keep players on their toes.