Kickstarting Zeitgeist 1980, an 80s movie themed game

The 80s. A decade of time-traveling robots, talking cars, masked slashers, weird science, ninjas, suspenders, toy commercials disguised as cartoons, and a never-ending cold war. I grew up in the 80s, and it left its mark on me.

Zeitgeist 1980 is an interactive fiction game set in the world of cinematic 1980, drawing inspiration from classic movies, television, and cartoons of the year. It’s broken up into four episodes, released as a serial and building off of one another, each drawing from different shows.

I’ve been developing the game in Godot using Inkle’s Ink markup language. Ideally I’ll be able to fund 4 more episodes covering 1980’s cinema, and then continue on to covering games inspired by 1981’s releases, and so on.

Check out the kickstarter, support it if you’re so inclined, and please - spread the word.

Looks cool!

Maybe add more retro 80s stuff in there as throwbacks.

For example, product logos; they’ve all slowly and subtly changed, also packaging is totally different.

I went looking for images of old style products and they’re not easy to find (unless they’re old enough to be in a museum). Many products like certain brands of sneakers have been reintroduced in retro form - but they’re actually quite different from the originals.

Other things like garment stitching has changed. One reason why modern “retro” clothing does not look the same when examined. I think, most garments weren’t overlock stitched then, instead many items like shirts were double stitched. Then there’s the materials of course…

Good luck with the game.

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Unfortunately the Zeitgeist 1980 kickstarter fell short, earning $1640 of a $2500 goal. Development will continue, with a few necessary changes:

  • Far less art and music - since I can’t commission it, it’s what I can manage, and I’m slow.
  • Streamlined development focused on the prose and story. Probably good to reduce scope a bit.
  • Development switching from Godot + Ink to Twine - it’ll be faster, Godot would have been overkill for something that’s primarily text, and because the barrier for entry is lower for a browser based Twine game than an application players need to download and install.
  • Funding will come via my patreon. I’ve already almost doubled my monthly support via supporters crossing over from Kickstarter - the more support, the more art and music I can commission. With enough support we might even be able to port back over to Godot - the framework is already coded, it’d just be a matter of transcribing the story elements.

So, we’ll see how it goes from here.

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Best of luck! I’ve been on an 80s camp kick lately myself. I’ve even stooped to watching David DeCoteau movies. Looking forward to this!