Company Overview

Galloping Ghost Productions, Inc. was established in 1994 and is owned and operated by Doc Mack.  Doc is the writer and designer of the Dark Presence and Conquering Light video games, which are both currently in production.  He has a strong background in graphic design, production, video editing, music and audio recording, writing, costume & prop creation, web design, technologies, managing and marketing.  Combined with his extensive knowledge of games and the gaming industry, he is a great lead to the design team and brings the staff together.

 The talented staff of Galloping Ghost Productions has a true passion for video games and many have been gaming since the late 70’s or early 80’s. Many of the staff members are specifically hired for their skills in their particular field of expertise.  Due to the smaller structure of the company, staff members often assume multiple duties.  Galloping Ghost is quick to train staff members in the use of software and/or any unfamiliar aspects of production.  This results in a smooth cohesion throughout the development process.   

Galloping Ghost Productions is currently working on Dark Presence and its follow up title Conquering Light. Both are digitized, high definition, fighting games that push the genre to new levels of detail.  Both games are heavily story oriented (over 1,300 pages of story and character development) with vast potential for marketing and promotional items (comic book, T-shirts, and other items are currently in production). The games themselves stand to be the largest game data content productions ever, a large feat for any independent gaming company. 

Our goal is to make all our games unique and inventive, and to give video gamers something they haven’t experienced before.  We are planning to release the games in both arcade versions and home console versions.

Currently we are seeking investors for outside funding to complete Dark Presence and Conquering Light.  With additional funding we will be able to complete the games quickly and get them in front of the general public.

The future for Galloping Ghost Productions is bright. With the upcoming completion of two games, we are looking forward to a heavy marketing campaign with them.

 

The Staff

While many video game companies have hundreds of people working on a game’s production, Galloping Ghost Productions has a streamlined staff.  Most staff members have multiple duties.  The result of this is a focused, cohesive team approach to the projects.  The principal staff members and their duties are described below: 

Doc Mack – CEO Galloping Ghost Productions Inc.
Doc started playing video games in 1979, at age four.  He founded Galloping Ghost Productions in 1994, with the goal to produce games.  Doc is quick to learn anything that will help with his ambitious projects.  Doc is self-taught in: graphics, video editing, lighting, guitar and other instruments, costume design sewing and web design.  He is quick to lend his knowledge to others on staff, allowing each employee to handle more diverse tasks.  Doc is involved with every facet of the production, including working with the programmers, actors, artists, 3D artists, business, music, writing, and web design.  He wrote all the stories and designed all the characters for both games.  He created all the costumes and filming props for the games.  He also choreographed all the moves for both games and played a staggering nine characters.  Doc seems to have endless knowledge of the industry and a great amount of contacts as well.  His leadership skills are outstanding and it’s easy to see that he is truly passionate about these projects.   He has a vision of what he wants and will not stop until the games are complete and released.

Matt Buk – Electrical Engineer
Matt has been on staff for almost 9 years.  Starting at our first blue screening studio, Matt has become involved in all areas of production.  He was in charge of camera selection and lighting set up for the studio.  He is a very focused worker and approaches any of our problems with sharp logic.  He recently completed our post production software research, which helped us decide on what programs we would be utilizing.  He also portrayed two characters in Conquering Light.

Jeremiah Smith – Pro Video Gamer / Video Editing
Jeremiah was a key member in the filming studio.  He handled most of the video capturing.  He has a keen eye for detail, which was a great help with costume continuity during filming.  With a strong background in video editing, he is currently working full time on chromakeying.  He is a true video game enthusiast and plays all genres on all platforms.   He knows what makes a good game and is anxious to play both our games.  He also played a character in Conquering Light.  Jeremiah wants video game design to be his career, and is learning many new aspects of game design.  He is quickly becoming skilled with many new applications.

Chris Deluttri
A very dedicated worker, Chris has had to learn many new software titles in a short period of time.  He currently is working on sound effects for the games and also assists with actor relations.  Chris also played a character in Dark Presence and a different character in Conquering Light.

Jim Mack & John Chavers – Musicians
Jim and John are currently in charge of our music and sound effects.  They are both very talented musicians, having released several CDs with various bands.  Both play guitar, bass & drums and are currently working on recording songs for Dark Presence and Conquering Light.

Tiffanie Godinez – Chromakey
Our newest staff member, Tiffanie is working full time on chromakeying.  She also spent many hours helping in the studio with capturing. 

Program Ace – 3D Art Team
Currently we have been allocated a staff of 3 members of Program Ace to work on our background art.  They are located in the Ukraine and have worked on many great games for top companies including Sega & Namco.

Marwan Ansari - Programmer
Our talented programmer who has worked on many great top selling games

Actors:
Doc Mack                            Matt Buk                             Jeremiah Smith
Michael Lombardi            Megan Barnett                 Melissa Babiar
Andrea Quinones            John Chavers                     Linda Bohn
Pek Pongpaet                    Don Kiolbassa                    Bill Powell
Susan Shen                         Chris Deluttri                      Nick Jansa
Gerry Cantu                       Kelly Schuering                 Kristina Saric
Mickey                                 Stan Mimred

Two actors from Mortal Kombat (who also run martial arts schools in Chicago) were in the lineup, but after seeing the amount of time required and difficulty of the moves, they opted to refer each of their top martial arts students to us.

Consultants:

George K. – AFFT - Web Traffic
George has helped with previous projects.  He is an expert in advertising online and is always quick to lend a hand with web development.

Tom S. – Microsoft – Programmer
Tom has also helped on previous projects.  He is currently working at Microsoft and will be helping us when we bring the game to Microsoft for release on the X-box 360.

 

The Games

Our first game is called DARK PRESENCE and its follow up title is CONQUERING LIGHT.  Both games are 2D, digitized, one-on-one fighting games, similar to the original three Mortal Kombat games.  However, we are on a much larger scale than anything previously attempted and use the latest video technology.  We are implementing several new game play features never before attempted in any fighting game.  Unlike many older games, which were drawn or newer games that are all computer generated 3D art, we use live actors for our characters.  We filmed our actors in High Definition performing fighting moves in costume in front of a greenscreen.   Then we process the video and incorporate controller movements to build the characters in the game.

                Dark Presence has 8 selectable characters, one hidden character and one boss character.  All the fighters use weapons throughout all the in game action which is a first in any digitized fighting game.   This has never been attempted before as the chromakeying process is difficult. 

This is also the first fighting game to have no image flipping.  Most fighting games film or draw one side of the character and then simply reverse it when the character turns around in the game.  This causes discrepancies such as costumes being reversed (for example if a character has a tattoo on his right shoulder, when they do the image flip, the tattoo will be on his left shoulder.  We filmed complete left and right sides for every character.  This sounds like a simple idea but it’s really a major undertaking as it instantly doubles the amount of footage that needs to be shot.  We took this opportunity to add another whole new element to the game.  We had the characters have different basic stances and separate move sets for each side.  This adds a whole new level to game play as players may like moves on certain sides more and have to fight for positioning.  This will have gamers playing longer in order to learn all the best strategies. 

DARK PRESENCE will also feature extremely lifelike character reactions.  In most games a fighter will strike their opponent and their head will go back, no matter what direction the attack came from.  We have gone to the extent of filming directional reactions.  This allows our characters to realistically roll with different attacks.  If a strike hits the character on the right side of the face, they would roll left with the attack.  We applied the same principle with falls.  Our actors filmed dozens of various falls in order to be able to react to any attack thrown at them.

                As with most all fighting games, you select your character and fight your way through the other combatants.  If you are able to beat all the other fighters, you are pitted against a final boss.  If you are able to defeat the boss, usually you are treated to a little story showing what happens to your character.  Games like Mortal Kombat had storylines that had alliances between several fighters, even though they would kill each other during fights.  At the end of the game, the character story just went on as though you hadn’t just killed off your friend.  This was a very large inconsistency with the story.  As Dark Presence and Conquering Light both are very story driven, we will feature multiple endings, which play based on what you do in the game.  For example, Trenton and Wilson are brothers, but they have to fight during the game.  Story wise, Trenton does not want Wilson dead, so if he kills him during game play, the player will see the “bad ending”.  If Trenton wins the fight but does not kill off Wilson, the player gets to see the “good ending”.  This will have gamers playing each character several times trying to see all the endings.   This also leads to one other point in Conquering Light.  The true ending in Dark Presence has most of the characters killed off.  Any one killed off in Dark Presence does not return in Conquering Light.  Many other games go back and bring back older characters to extend the amount of characters in the game.  Mortal Kombat had ten characters of which all except one, returned in Mortal Kombat II (however only seven were playable).  So while Mortal Kombat II had 14 characters half were just rehashed from the previous game.  Most characters don’t even have new costumes or moves.   We have again gone out of our away to make our characters stand out above and beyond the typical game design.  Conquering Light has an astounding 20 fighters.  Of the original ten characters in Dark Presence only one character is the same in Conquering Light.  Three other characters also but with completely different costumes, and very different move sets.  We wanted to make Conquering Light play similarly to Dark Presence but not just be a redone version of it.

                Backgrounds are another area that is heavily scrutinized by serious gamers.  It’s very important to stage the fights in areas that not only look interesting, but always are relevant to the characters and their stories.   Our backgrounds are like no 2D game before, in the fact that we have an internal clock and calendar.  Most games have one background for each character, as do we, but we have rendered our backgrounds in several ways to show not only day, night (which will switch depending on the actual time of day, but also the game backgrounds will change from summer, to fall to winter to spring based on what month it is.  We even have multiple rain and snow animations.  With all the variations this makes our background count jump from 10 to a staggering 80+.  This attention to the backgrounds it will have players looking to see what else we have hidden with the game. 

Here are some comparison shots from Dark Presence, Moral Kombat II and the latest Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.

http://www.gallopingghost.com/lvl/mind_master/014mm.jpg
MIND MASTER – ROAD TO NOWHERE – DAY – SUMMER

http://www.gallopingghost.com/lvl/mind_master/020mmfall.jpg
MIND MASTER – ROAD TO NOWHERE – DAY – FALL

http://www.gallopingghost.com/lvl/mind_master/027mmsnownight.jpg 
MIND MASTER – ROAD TO NOWHERE – NIGHT – WINTER

Compared to Mortal Kombat II Living Forest

Here is the background of the Living Forest from the Latest Mortal Kombat

The animation is pretty limited with the Mortal Kombat backgrounds; this is can be due to system limitations, developer time constraints or just the developer being more focused on other game areas .  Regardless of the cause, it should not be overlooked.  Our backgrounds are full of animation, trees and grass sway in the wind.  Clouds float across the screen in the sky.  The street lamp flame flickers and even has bugs flying around it at night time.  Not to mention the weather effects like the snow and rain.  The rain causes puddles to accumulate that the characters splash through if they step in them. 

FINISHING MOVES – As in Mortal Kombat, after you’ve won the match, you are able to “finish off” your opponent with a special finishing move.   When a character won, he or she could stand a certain distance away from the opponent, and enter a special button combination.  The screen would go dark and the victor would perform a “Fatality”.  This would be anything from ripping a heart out or punching a head off to super natural moves like breathing fire on your opponent or freezing him in ice.  Each character had 1 or 2 different finishing moves.  The way they were filmed was similar to regular basic moves.  The actors would do an attack and then the opponents would do a separate reaction.  Filming it this way caused several problems with moves not lining up from character to character.  Everything was handled in a very generic fashion.  We have taken this concept to a whole new level.  Our finishing moves have film-like cinematic quality.  Unlike Mortal Kombat, every actor has filmed each finishing move with every other actor.  It ends up viewing like a short movie, as we have filmed each finishing move from several angles and then edited them together in post production.  Each character has three separate finishing moves (A, B, & C); however they have been designed in such a way that they can be linked together!  Finishing move A can link to finishing move B, and finishing move B can link to finishing move C.  All three can be done together for a very dramatic, action filled finishing move.  Filming each actor with one another allowed us to change up finishing moves from character to character.  This will be a big draw to get players to keep playing to see all the finishing moves.  Dark Presence has a remarkable 437 finishing moves and Conquering Light has 1504! Once edited, our finishing moves are about 4 hours video by itself.  The latest Mortal Kombat attempted to make linkable finishing moves, but it went over poorly with gamers, as it was again done generically.    Standard hits, a punch to the stomach or kicking the opponent’s knee to spin them around were now considered killing moves.  Several game magazines even questioned why they opted for such watered down finishing moves.  It was a big mistake that definitely left gamers unsatisfied.

                Game balance is a critical aspect that also determines how well a game will be received.  If all the characters are not properly balanced, there will always be a favored fighter that is easy to win with.  With our games, each character’s characters weapon variations make game balancing very interesting.  A bigger fighter (such as Titan) will do a lot of damage with his weapon (an axe) and since he is a big guy, it’s logical that he would be able to withstand a fair amount of damage.  However, he is a slower character and has a shorter reach.  By comparison the Ravona character fights with a staff, is much faster and has a very long reach.  However, she doesn’t do as much damage with her attacks and she is not able to take as much damage.  Using these attributes we are able to balance our characters.

Like with all fighting games you are able to choose to play against a friend, and you are also able to challenge the computer.  How well the computer plays against you is determined by artificial intelligence (A.I.).  However usually fighting games are loaded with several preset calculations that determine what the computer will do in any situation.  While this is usually adequate, astute players are often quick to find flaws in the system.  This can make the game incredible easy to play through just by doing the same movements over and over.  We have a true learning A.I. system, which will prevent this from happening.  Our computer literally learns and adapts to each gamers’ play style and adjusts to always make the game challenging.  We have also taken into account to not make the game frustrating to new players. 

One exciting and innovative feature we will be implementing in the arcade version is the “shock band”.  The shock band will be worn by the player, and when his character receives heavy damage in the game, the band will discharge a shock.  This will be a completely optional feature.  For safety purposes, the arcade system itself will house a recharging battery powered device incapable of accidentally sending too strong of a shock, instead of drawing power straight from the wall socket.  We have done testing and it adds a strong element to the game play.  While the “shock” is mild it gives incentive to be a little more protective of your character. 

Another cabinet related feature will be the prize drawer.  The drawer will unlock when the player wins the game.  The drawer will contain eight separate panels each containing a prize relating to the characters in the game.  The prizes will range from a shirt similar to the one worn in game to, sunglasses like the ones worn by another character.  The arcade vendor will be able to reorder prize directly from us to restock.  Having a prize drawer will not only get gamers playing all the character to collect all the prizes, but it may also have them playing in more locations if they have seen someone else win the game at their local arcade.

In Conquering Light, we added even more unique features.  Most notable is the addition of two sets of team fighters.  Continuing with the story, there is a set of brothers and a set of sisters that fight as a team.  This gives them special moves that a single fight could not perform alone.   We also added a third team of a fighter and his dog.  Most movies today would have opted to make a computer generated dog.  With some inventive filming, we have been dog to use a real dog in our game.

With all the features and attention to detail that we have incorporated in Dark Presence and Conquering Light, they are sure to please even veteran fighting gamers everywhere.  With unique characters, detailed backgrounds, great game play and just the overall fun experience of playing the games, we are expecting them to sell very well once they are completed.
 

The Development

                Development is broken down into three parts, pre-production, production, and post-production.  Pre-Production is complete.  This was the time spent designing characters, making costumes, casting our actors, coming up with the play mechanics for the game, developing story lines, move structures and so on.  We also spent time assembling our skilled staff to work on the project. 

Production is also complete.  This was our time in the filming studio.  We entered the studio January 1, 2005 and left October 17, 2006.  The first six months we spent testing our camera set up, lighting arrangement and filming process.  June 16, 2005 we began actual filming, and filmed nearly every day.  Many sessions lasted over 24 hours.  Some of our actors are trained marital artists, some are not.  The ones that had no training, we worked with and taught them every move they would have to execute.  Filming consisted of standing on a green screen in a “Basic Stance”, performing an action move, and then returning as closely as possible to the original basic stance.  If the actor did not line up perfectly he/she had to do the move again. The actors had a television with an outline of their basic stance on it to see how close they were to landing a move. We also had foot outlines on the floors to help line up foot positioning.  A quick move was done in three or four attempts, while a hard move could take twenty or more.  The most difficult move took 182 takes!

            
  Linda as Ravona prepares for her next move.    Doc makes sure Jena lines up properly.

The average character had about 240 basic moves with over 1,000 attempted moves.  The average character was filmed in 52 hours for basic moves and finishing moves.  Close attention had to be paid to facial expressions too.  So much detail comes through in high definition, that if an actor is not putting in their full effort, it would be easy to tell in the actual game.  Filming in costume, under the hot lights, while swinging, (in many cases) real weapons was definitely a challenge even for our most seasoned martial artists. 

 

 While actors filmed basic moves by themselves, finishing moves were handled differently.  Every actor had to film their finishing move with every other actor.  Unlike Mortal Kombat, which had generic offensive animations that coincided with generic reactionary animations, filming them together would allow us to change certain points of the finishing moves for various reasons, sometimes expanding how the characters interact within the story.

   

Alita reels from Cole attack                                             Reece chokes out Sakata

  This was a tremendous undertaking, but the result we ended up with will be one of our biggest selling points.  We shot the finishing moves from various angles so once edited they have a very cinematic look to them. 

  We began post production shortly after leaving the filming studio.  Post production consists of sorting all the footage we shot.  Organization has been key to making two projects this big possible.  Since the filming studio we have kept careful records of what was shot and when.  Currently, all the game data is on 10 external hard drives that tally up to two terra bytes of data.  We also have of two sets of five DVD binders with hundreds of DVD backups of all our data.  The DVDs are stored in two separate locations in case of fire or other catastrophe.   

Currently we are focusing on chromakey work.  We have already completed six of the ten characters basic moves for Dark Presence.  We are almost done with another two as well.  We estimate another month for all the basic moves to be completed, and then we will move on to chromakeying and editing finishing moves.  This should take about another month.

Chromakey is the process of removing the greenscreen from our video.  It is a very long process as every move has to be loaded into our software and looked at frame by frame.  The average character is about 15,000 frames of animation.  While it is fairly easy to remove solid green from the shot, the lighting would often cast shadows, which usually have to be removed by hand.  This is the most labor intensive part of post production. 


 


Here is a screen shot of the process used to chromakey our characters.

 

  While chromakeying is going on, our music and 3D backgrounds are also being worked on.   Also, our programmers are working on finishing the actual game code.  When the game coding is done and all the content is ready, we will work on a process called “character building”.  Character building is when we assign joystick controls to the animations, and determine properties such as; how much damage a move inflicts, which reaction animations will play when a character is attacked, where the player can be hit and so on.  It’s an extensive process, but once we have one character completed, we will be able to use that character as a template for the next. 

Following that stage the game will be in its beta stage, where we will play test to find any game flaws.  We already have a long list of volunteers for beta testing the game.  This will make the process go very quickly.

Also at this stage, backgrounds and music will also be implemented.  Background development is handled out of house by a company called Program Ace.  We are in daily contact with our artists there.  It’s a fairly straight forward process designing the backgrounds.  We have the basic ideas and rough backgrounds that we upload to them.  Their artists sketch out a rough draft and then send it back to us for approval.  Changes are sent back and forth until the background is finalized.  At that point, the 3D artists start modeling and rendering the sketch into what will be our final background.  The constant communication has made working with a team halfway across the world easy, efficient and very productive.

One other aspect of the game coding is security.  Many great games get pirated and lose sales as they end up being given away online by bootleggers.  Fortunately, Dark Presence and Conquering Light have several ways to combat piracy.  First is the fact that the games are both incredibly large.  This will keep people from attempting to just rip data off the screen.  It’s just not feasible for it to be stolen that way.  Next we have a proprietary video codec that was created specifically for our games.  It’s a great compression algorithm that gives us excellent video quality without having an impossible amount of memory in the game.  Also the game hardware will scan itself to make sure all other components are factory original and being emulated.  With these precautions, we will be protected from piracy and bootleggers.

With the game having so much data our programmers faced a big challenge.  Most games are able to fit on a DVD which holds 4.7 Gigs of data, but older games were much smaller than that.  Mortal Kombat for example was about 600 Megs.  A single character in Dark Presence is larger than that.  Our programmers devised a special graphic compression system just for us which will allow our data to be shrunk down to a more usable size.  This will be a very sought after tool in the industry that Galloping Ghost Productions now owns.

With post production going along very well, the games will be completed in as efficient way as possible.  With additional funding we will be able to have more employees working and get the games done and to the public quickly.


 

 


 

DARK PRESENCE

Current
Workers

Est. Comp. Time

Ideal Workers

Est .Comp Time

Chromakey Basic Moves

3

2 months

5

1 month

Finishing Moves to Chromakey and Edit

1

6 months

7

2 month

Character Building

0

**

5

3 months

Visual Effects

0

**

3

2 months

Intro

0

**

3

1 month

Endings

0

**

3

2 months

Music

2

2 months

3

2 months

Audio Effects

2

2 months

2

2 months

Backgrounds

4

5 months

8

2 months

Game Code

1

5 months

3

3 months

Beta Testing

0

**

5

3 months

User Interface

1

2 months

2

1 month

 

                Several of the current workers are involved in multiple aspects of production.  Many of the above listed elements are being worked on at the same time as well.  Currently we are looking to release the game before the year is over.  Added funding would provide the capital to purchase more computers and hire the additional workers we will need to speed up our production time immensely. 

 

The Industry

                The video game industry is big business and continues to grow in revenue each year.  In 2002, the video game industry broke the $10 billion mark worldwide, and for the first time, it was more profitable than the U.S. movie theater industry.  Another record was set in 2005, when the industry generated $10.5 billion.  By comparison Hollywood made just $8.99 billion.  The record was broken again in 2006.  The US market made $12.5 billion, with Hollywood lagging behind at $9.49 billion.  Analysts predict 2007 to be another record year for the industry.  Now is the time to invest in this promising market.

The American video game market in itself is doing well, bringing in $12.5 billion in 2006, an increase of 6.4% over 2005.

The strength of the video game market is in the variety of products being sold.  There is the software.  They are the actual games themselves.  Then there is the hardware which is the actual system that plays the game.  This also includes arcade cabinets, memory cards, controllers, accessories and anything manufactures can think of.

Another interesting thing is happening in the industry.  Movies are actually being made based on games.  This adds even more of a chance to make money off of a game.  The examples are many, Mortal Kombat (which also spawned a TV show), Resident Evil, House of the Dead, Street Fighter, Doom and even Halo is being made into a movie.

Video games continue to grow and become a bigger part of society.  This helps out with merchandizing.  It is not uncommon to walk down the street and see someone wearing a video game t-shirt.  There are even sections in most gaming stores that sell various merchandise promoting games.  They range from video game action figures, to trading cards and comic books.  A video game that comes out now has a very good chance of making money in many diverse areas.  Since the entire industry is very healthy it sets up the chance for games individually to do very well.

2006 was filled with success stories of individual games.  These successes were varied from every type of game and play style to every type of system.   Playstation 2, an aging console system, still had plenty of hits.  Guitar Hero 2, a popular party game, and Kingdom Hearts 2, a popular RPG, both made over 1 million dollars in one month.  Not to mention the most successful game of 2006 was Madden Football 2007 for Playstation 2 which made $2.8 million dollars in December of 2006 alone.  That doesn’t even include all the other systems it was on!

Another incredibly profitable time in the industry is the holiday season.  If games are well made and come out at the right time they have the potential to move a high volume of units in a short period of time.  Take for instance Call of Duty 3.  This is a popular and critically acclaimed sequel.  Call of Duty 3 was timed to come out just in time for the holiday season.  Couple this with the excitement of the new consoles, the Microsoft XBOX 360 and Sony Playstation 3, and you have a recipe for success.  Call of Duty 3 sold 1.1 million copies in just one month. 

While the home market has flourished, arcades overall have declined greatly over the years.  There are several reasons that arcade and home console units have not co-existed well over the years.  First is that arcade units cost several thousands of dollars.  In the past this was fine.  Consoles could not bring that graphic quality home to the players, so if gamers wanted the best looking games, that had to go out and pay to play it.  The problem occurred when the home console units technology started getting better and the arcades stayed the same.  Arcades used a very simple system call JAMMA that played PCB boards.   This system was limited in color palettes, resolution and even having more buttons.  For whatever reasons, the arcade industry continued to use the same Jamma systems until well after 2001.  Arcade companies making ports from arcade to console started being able to give more content in the home version then in the arcade.  This made companies rush the porting time, giving only a very short amount of time that the game would be exclusive in the arcade.  Instead of the year and a half the arcade would have the game to itself; it began to be cut back to about 6 months and then even shorter.  This gave arcades no time to recover the costs of the expensive arcade units.  Many smaller “mom & pop” arcades were forced to close down due to this.  Bigger arcades such as Dave & Buster’s and Gameworks are the main arcades in the country now, which mostly are filled with simulator games, and not the standard upright arcades.  What we have done, is go around the Jamma system completely.  We will be running on proprietary PC hardware that will enable us to have no limitations on our games.  Since PC hardware is relatively inexpensive, this keeps our costs at a minimum.  We can still charge standard arcade prices and maximize our profits.  In the past years there have been very few arcade games released.  This has left main arcades hungry for any new games, which will make it even easier for us to sell to the bigger distributors.  Recently two major game companies (Capcom and Namco) have announced a return to arcades.  Both plan to release games late this year or early next year.  This shows that our business plan is right on target with the headlining gaming companies and we are ahead of them in production.

These are exciting times to be involved in the video game industry.  This is the best time to be making a video game due to the strength and direction of the market.  If a game is made well and released at the right time, there is potential to make a lot of money.


 

The Competition

With any new video game, it is usually held up very closely to the competition in its genre.  If you are only as good as the other guy who has been out for years and has several sequels under his belt, you just aren’t going to make it.  Our competition has to be broken down into several categories. 

The Indie Market – As we are independent gaming company we will initially be compared with other indie games & companies.   Though independent gaming is becoming very popular now, and many smaller companies are putting out good games, we just cannot be compared to them.  While most indie games are lower budget and visually less attractive, we are far above and beyond anything on the indie scene presently.  One website that tracks indie gaming very closely is the TIGSource.   The title of their review on us is simply “HOLY SH__”.  They go on to say “Prediction: Best Games of 2006 (2007?). A bold statement, I know. But I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.” http://www.tigsource.com/articles/2006/07/21/holy-sh .  While there are some great independent games out there, we’re confident that nothing else is of the same caliber as our games are.

Mainstream video gaming is a huge industry.  Games have multi-million dollar budgets and hundreds of staff members working on each game.  While there are several viable fighting game franchises out today, there are only a few that are real headlining games.  Mortal Kombat will be our closest comparison game franchise.  Fortunately Mortal Kombat II is one of the bestselling video games of all time, and we are anxious to show what a much more advanced and better game we have.  Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3 and its follow up Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 all used 2D digitized graphic in which live actors were filmed on blue screens.  While its creators at Midway Games have produced four more versions of Mortal Kombat, they did not sell them in the arcades.  They were all fully rendered and did not sell anywhere near the amount of copies as Mortal Kombat II did.  Throughout Midway has opted for a more fantasy style story, where characters can throw fire balls and freeze opponents with ice.  It should be noted that most of the staff are big fans of the Mortal Kombat series.  Doc actually custom built his own arcade versions of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II for his home.  He also knows many of the actors that filmed in the original games.  Three of the original actors from Mortal Kombat series were asked to be involved with our filming of Dark Presence and Conquering Light.  Once we had each of them out to the studio and they saw how cutting edge our production was, they were all very excited about the opportunity.  However after seeing our filming list and move requirements two of them decided it was best if it were left up to someone younger.  As both of them run martial arts schools in Chicago, they brought us their top students, who fit the roles very well.  A third actress from Mortal Kombat II had a concern with the level of violent content in our game.  She also recommended her top student for the part. 

 Here is a comparison chart of many key features that are looked at by gamers.

 

 

Mortal Kombat

MK II

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

DARK PRESENCE

CONQUERING
LIGHT

Unique Characters

10

8

9

10

19

Background
Variations

7

9

13

80+

136+

Endings

7

12

24

14

38+

Frames per character

170
including
 finishing
moves

230
including finishing moves

260
Including
finishing
moves

15,000
NOT including finishing moves

16,500
NOT including finishing
moves

# of Moves
per character

36
including
 finishing
moves

50
including
 finishing
moves

52
including
 finishing
moves

250
NOT including
 finishing
moves

275
NOT including
 finishing
moves

Finishing moves

7

51

84

437

2504

Resolution

800x600

800x600

800x600

1280x1024

1280x1024

 

 

Currently even the newest gaming systems (Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii) will have a hard time running our full game.  As most games are 3D they require less data space for the games.  We are going to discuss releasing the games on the Xbox 360 with a hardware expansion to allow for all the added space we will require.  While there are several fighting games on the home systems, most are 3D.  However many 2D games have been released in classic compilations or are available for download, which have been selling extremely well.  It’s clear to see that many gamers want to see “classic” 2D games.  A review of Mortal Kombat Armageddon (which marked the end of the Mortal Kombat series)  in Electronic Gaming Monthly states that it would have been better if they focused on a 2D version of the game and put more effort into the finishing moves.  These two factors are what made Mortal Kombat one of the biggest fighting games series of all time.

This will be broken down further into animated and digitized, and we will also compare ourselves to the top 2D fighting games as well.  Animated games such as Street Fighter II and Samurai Shodown have the characters drawn by hand.  This requires large amounts of artists and time and would usually still end up with a relatively small frame count.   The animations would look great but would have to play fast and would still seem a little choppy and not fluid.  2D digitized games such as Mortal Kombat were filmed with live actors as we have done, but they opted for a very low frame count.  Their average character has around 240 frames of animation for both basic and finishing moves.  In Dark Presence, our Titan character has 14,983 frames of animation for his basic moves alone!  We run at 30 frames per second.  This gives a true to life look to our characters.  Having such a high frame count is why we were so careful to line up during the filming process.  Anytime someone would not line up, this would cause a “pop” in the animation.  It was critical to have the best looking and smoothest possible moves and reactions.

Mage quality comparisons between Dark Presence and other 2D fighting games like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter II speak for themselves, as shown below:


Mortal Kombat II

Street Fighter II

http://www.gallopingghost.com/dark/screenshots/newscreen1sm.jpg
DARK PRESENCE

It’s clear to see our game’s video quality is unmatched.  Even the newest Mortal Kombat games, just can’t compete.  Having real actors allows us to show facial emotion too, further enhances the action.  This is not easily achieved with 3D characters, which usually have little or no expression.


Mortal Kombat Armageddon

Looking at the competition in the arcades and in the home console market, it’s easy to see there are some great games.  Most of our staff has been playing them for years.  We have taken our passion for fighting games and made Dark Presence & Conquering Light surpass everything else out there in terms of graphics, story, game play, and more.  We respect the game franchises that have been around for a long time.  It’s hard not to when you see that they’ve made billions of dollars over the years, but we’re confident that our games have what it takes to sell big to fighting game fans.

 

Marketing

For video games, like any other product marketing can make or break its sales.  Being an independent gaming company, we do have advantages when it comes to marketing.  Presently most all of the other independent games that are being worked on have a much smaller scope then what we are shooting for. 

We will focus on marketing in many areas, including gaming exhibition shows, magazine reviews, touring, the internet, a documentary, promotional items, and international gaming. 

Gaming Shows:  This is a great way to create buzz about our games.  While most companies only hit the biggest show (such as the E3 show), we will attend many of the smaller shows as well.  On June 10, 2007, Galloping Ghost Productions attended the Midwest Gaming Classic.  While it is a smaller venue, we did meet with the main people who run the show.  We offered them a private showing of our progress so far on Dark Presence.  They were very impressed, and even offered us a complimentary booth for the next show to promote our games in the next year.   Once the game is completed we will schedule out a complete itinerary of shows that we will attend.  One of the advantages we do have is that with live actors as our characters they will be able to personally promote the games.  With any major video game show, magazine and internet coverage is very strong.  This leads us to our next area of marketing.

Magazine Coverage:  There are currently dozens of video game magazines that come out monthly.  Many gamers read several of the magazines every month.  We will be putting together promotional press packages and sending them to all the major gaming magazines as we near completion.  Included in these packages may be a video demo or even a short playable game demo as well as other promotional items to generate excitement for the games and their characters. 

The Tour:  Once Dark Presence is complete we want to get it in front of as many people as possible.  While gaming shows will get us coverage in magazines and on the Internet, nothing beats going straight to the arcades and letting the retailers see how the game will do if they had one in their arcade.  We will be planning events in major arcades, showing off the game itself as well as giving gamers an opportunity to talk with the designers and actors.  Promotion for this can be done through the arcade and online as well.   The tour can be a great way to generate sales instantly. 

Internet:  The internet is one of the best ways to promote video games as you can show video clips and really get game players drawn into our games.  We currently have our main web domain, Http://www.gallopingghost.com updated and upgraded during production.  We have started an e-mail list which presently has over 1,500 names which we can use to send e-mails and return visitors to the site as new merchandise becomes available.  We have already been interviewed by several gaming sites as well, one of which has already proclaimed us “Indie Game of the Year”.  As with magazines, we will contact them and give web reviewers access to the game so they can review it for their web patrons.    We have done several game web site interviews already and again received very promising responses.  As we are holding off on pushing our games until we are closer to their actual releases, it’s amazing that we have already been receiving emails from not only the US but from around the world (most notably England, Australia & Serbia).

Documentary:  We were recently approached to be a part of a documentary about the video game industry.  The director is looking to show what it takes to bring games to market from a recognized gaming company’s point of view and from the indie gaming companies point of view.   The director will be showing the documentary initially at the Sundance film festival.  This will be a great way to get our name out as well as show how work went into the games production.  We will be doing an in-house documentary as well.  This will be included with the home console release in a deluxe edition of the game.  As many gamers really appreciate an in-depth, behind the scenes looks at the production end of their favorite games, this should be a great promotional item.  Again, since we have live actors there are a lot of great stories from our filming studio that are much more entertaining than just the usual developer’s point of view.

Promotional items: Strong, identifiable characters create enduring interest in a game, and great potential for marketing of promotional items.  We have already started making and selling promotional items with Dark Presence and Conquering Light.  Items such as t-shirts, buttons, and posters are common, but we intend to go much further.  We have already been in contact with a sculptor from McFarlane Toys (one of the biggest toy manufactures in the US) and he has expressed great interest in sculpting action figures and statues for us.  We have found many sources online where practically any item can be made with our logo or characters on it in small quantities.  This way we can test to see how well items will sell before going into larger budgeted production runs.

Another marketing point is our actors themselves.  Many are trained marital artists that compete regularly.  We will also be able to promote the games with events that any of our actors participate in.

We are also currently being linked online through our 3D teams’ website.  They told us they do not usually promote other companies outside of Sega and Namco, but they are very excited for us to do well.

One marketing point that is a hot topic is violence in video games.  Dark Presence and Conquering Light do have a high level of violence in them.  Coupled with the fact that we use live actors, this is almost sure to be brought up to the main stream media news.  Reports on in game violence such as with Mortal Kombat and more recently Grand Theft Auto received tremendous news coverage everywhere.  Politicians comment on it regularly and even base campaign platforms on it.  When a game receives so much publicity due to the violent content, it has always only helped to drive the games sales.  In November of 2003 a game called Manhunt for the Sony Playstation 2 was completely banned in the U.K. and was also removed from the major retail stores in the U.S.  Once the news coverage hit, the games sales skyrocketed.  While we did not make Dark Presence violent just for the sake of being violent, it does have some scenes that may be controversial.  Any attention this draws will only be helpful.

From the inception of Dark Presence, we’ve always paid close attention to how games do from region to region.  Games are often retooled to do well in other countries.  Sometimes the stories are changed, or visuals and content are removed.  During character development we had several online research chat groups.  This has allowed us to tweak our characters to do well in the largest gaming regions (US & Japan).  This is a very important step that is often not taken into consideration.  Mortal Kombat for example was one of the best selling games in the US, however when it went to market in Japan, it was only moderately received.  They changed the storyline and the blood effects and even then it still only did fairly well.  We’ve used that information to create a game that will not only do well in the US market but should appeal to Japan as well. 

Also the games become closer to completion we will also contact arcade industry leaders X-Gaming.  They are an arcade cabinet manufacturer that specializes in joystick set ups.  We should be able to secure a deal with them to custom build our joysticks for our cabinets.  This would guarantee us advertising on their prominent website as well.

With so many marketing opportunities available, we are greatly looking forward to the focusing on it more.  For now, we are not soliciting any promotional opportunities (aside from our website), as we want the games to be closer to completion.  The strong gamer responses we’ve received so far, without marketing anything have been so encouraging we one we do start marketing the response should be phenomenal.

 

Investing and Financial Data

As with any investment, there are no guarantees.  We are a small company in a very high demand, high technology market, operating on a small budget.  We have done everything possible to see these projects succeed and so far the response from those who have seen it has been very positive.  We are currently looking to raise $250,000 total.  We presently have one investor who has put in $20,000.  Getting the games to the point they are at now has cost approximately $200,000.  This includes workers pay, costumes, computers, cameras, lights, and other filming equipment, studio rent and other expenses. 

                While we do plan on doing several other projects, they will not be worked on with any funding from current investors.  Investors are limited to the profits from Dark Presence and Conquering Light games only.  We are not currently accepting investments in Galloping Ghost Productions, Inc.

To give an idea of how lucrative video games can be, let’s look at some numbers.  We are not able to get a final price of the game units cost until the game is a little closer to completion, but we can estimate the standard cabinet will cost about $3,800.  We will also be releasing a deluxe version with added features.   If we are able to sell our game with a $6,000 profit per unit and we only sell 200 (which would roughly be the amount if we only sold to Dave & Buster’s and Gameworks arcades), the return would be $1.2 million dollars.  This does not count the unlimited amounts of smaller arcades, pool halls, theaters, Laundromats, or school campuses that we will sell the game to as well.  It is hard to get accurate numbers as to how many places have arcades.  There is also a very strong private collector market that we can sell to as well.  Not only will we have the arcade to sell to but also the home console market as well.  While it’s hard to figure in the costs of licensing on the home systems, just looking at how well a top game sells can indicate the tremendous amount of profit that can be generated.  Games like God of War II sold over 1.3 million units before the game was even released in pre-purchases.  At the retail store the games usually run $50+ which is $65 million in store sales.  On top of that there are international sales as well for both arcade and home console. 


 

We currently have the following investing options:

1.       Investing with a return of a percentage of the profits earned from the Dark Presence game

2.       Investing with a return of smaller percentage of profits earned from both Dark Presence and Conquering Light games.

We are open to discussing other investment options, depending on the amount you are interested in investing.

     While the cost of production a pretty broad, it’s difficult to fully itemize the complete use of the funding, but here are some key funding elements:
Programmers $12,000 - $60,000
6 Apple Mac Systems – $1,500 each - $9,000
Backgrounds - $16,000
6 Full time employees: $2,000 per week
Web work: $2,000
Cabinet design: $3,800 per cabinet

               

We will also be looking to obtain bank loans, once we have secured the first few investors.  With funding in our corporate account we will be able to present the solid structure banks are looking for to give high dollar valued loans. 

Investors will be kept updated on a regular basis and are always welcome to contact us anytime as well.  While we do have a true passion for video games, we look forward to the financial gains from each of the games completions as well and we are quick to want to share both with our investors. 

If you would like further information or have questions regarding the games or investing, please contact  Doc Mack at 708-908-0267.

 

Thank you for your interest and time in reviewing our investing package.

 

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