Saturday, May 25, 2013

KICKSTARTER PROJECT: Ray's The Dead: A game with a big heart, and lots of brains!

Ray’s the Dead is a game about Ray, a reluctantly resurrected zombie who, along with his swarm of zombie underlings, raises hell through unassuming suburban America during the last hurrah of the 1980’s.
Along the way you’ll discover who Ray really is, how he ended up dead, and most curiously, what is this giant light bulb contraption sticking out of his head! You’ll make fantastically freaky new friends as you build a diverse zombie army while you guide Ray through an adventure unlike any you’ve experienced before! This is a zombie game with real brraaains and heart.
Ray's the Dead will release on PC, Mac, and Linux at the end of 2013.
When a random bolt of lightning strikes Raymond La Morte’s grave he suddenly finds himself resurrected as a zombie, but a zombie with a few unique features. Namely, he has a spark of intelligence and a giant light bulb protruding from his brain. He has awoken frightened and alone in a once familiar world that has become strange and hostile, yet filled with wondrous new possibilities. In addition to exploring this now alien world, Ray will experience vivid flashbacks, where memories of his past will be revealed and the mystery of his death uncovered.
In Ray’s the Dead we want to tell a story unlike any other, the story of life and death from a zombie's perspective.  We love games that let the players feel like we are part of the narrative and the world, and that's why we'll be hiring on two dedicated writers to pen the griefs and gags of Ray's tale. These two wordsmiths have worked for such great game developers as Vivendi Games, Uber Entertainment, and Twisted Pixel Games. Check out the Dream Team section for more details.


  • Explore Life & Death - Through unique playable flashback sequences, the player will not only play as Ray the zombie, but as Ray the living man.
  • Visually Refreshing Art Style - Combine the charm of hand drawn 2D characters with the beauty of detailed 3D modeled environments and you have the recipe for Ray’s the Dead’s unique look.
  • Craft & Control a Zombie Army - You'll start the game as a single lonely zombie, Ray. You won’t be lonely for long though as you convert your victims to members of Ray's army, each providing their unique abilities to his arsenal.
  • An '80s Inspired Soundtrack - Please see the 'Audio' and 'Dream Team' sections to discover the exciting plans we have in store for our soundtrack!


Ray’s the Dead is not shy about acknowledging its roots. Players will immediately appreciate the games two main inspirations: Pikmin and Stubbs the Zombie
Pikmin is a much loved and unique game, which brought a breath of fresh air to real-time strategy genre with its unique gameplay and simple army management. Stubbs the Zombie told a compelling narrative through the eyes of a zombie protagonist  and two of the three members of Ragtag Studio worked at the studio that created it. We are combining and enhancing these elements, and bringing them to the forefront of Ray's the Dead.


To make the audio of Ray's the Dead as engaging as its story and visuals, we are partnering with a team of expert musicians and sound engineers who are experienced in creating immersive period pieces. Their work includes games like Shovel Knight, Double Dragon, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater. With their help we're crafting an original soundtrack inspired from the classic pop-sounds of the 1980s. Take a look at the Dream Team section below for more information about this talented crew.
Ragtag Studio LLC was founded in late 2010 by a group of three friends that share a passion for creating amazing interactive experiences, otherwise known as video games.  We bring to the table talent and experience forged in the fires of 13 years of AAA game development.
Chris began honing his amazing environment art and level design skills while working on Thief 3.  He moved one step closer to his indie dreams when he joined Wideload Games in its early days. There he helped breathe life into the cult favorite Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse.
Matt brings his love for character development and deep desire to tell an unforgettable story through gameplay.  After years of modeling kickass lead characters for the likes of Activision and Disney, he’s loving the opportunity to bring entire worlds to life.
After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Computer Wizardry, Shawn dove straight into the black magic of game creation at Paradigm Entertainment where he worked on numerous titles including Stuntman: Ignition for Xbox 360.  After completing work on Ensemble Studios' final title, Halo Wars, Shawn knew that there must  be more to game development then long nights with little emotional payoff.


We are striving to put together a truly world class team of additional talent to completeRay’s the Dead. From sound design, to story crafting, to music we want to work with the best. Here is a list of just a few of the amazing talent we have lined up so far: Jake KaufmanMike Albanese and Jace Bartet of Audio AggregateLuke Rowell of DisasteradioBen CrossbonesMatt and Ed 


We have some really exciting rewards in store for our backers!  Some are fully fleshed out, some will be introducing themselves over the course of the campaign to tempt you!

$15 The Game!

Pledging at any level will earn you a digital download of the game!  Choose from PC, Mac, and Linux platforms.  If the game makes it through Steam Greenlight, we will provide you with a Steam key for the platform of your choice.

$25 A Digital Bounty!

Wow!  All this and the game for only $25? What is all this stuff?
  • Digital download of The Art of Ray's the Dead book
  • Digital download of 4 desktop wallpapers
  • Digital download of our Print N' Cut Ray's the Dead Pop-Up Diorama (Hint: It's super cool)
  • Digital download of 3 Print N Cut Ray's the Dead Characters
  • Digital download of our beautiful 16 page 'make your own Ray Stuffie' guide!
*We will go into more detail on all of these items over the course of the campaign.

$35 Exclusive early access to the digital soundtrack!

If you read through our Kickstarter page, you'll see that we have VERY big plans for the 80's themed soundtrack for Ray's the Dead.  If we are funded and hit a few stretch goals, this will contain about twice the music you'd typically find on a soundtrack!

$50 Physical Soundtrack on CD or Cassette!

It's insanely important to us that the soundtrack for Ray's the Dead is incredible.  As you've seen above, we are lining up many of the best musicians out there to make sure this happens.
At this tier, you'll get both the digital and physical versions of the soundtrack, on your choice of CD, or classic 80's style cassette tape!
Backers at this level and above will receive the digital soundtrack before it is available to the rest of the world.

$50 All Digital Reward Tier!

The ultimate tier for those that love digital content, or international backers that don't want to pay for shipping! 
This tier gives you all of the digital rewards from the $12 tier through to the $100 tier! ● Includes a copy of the game on your choice of platform, everything in the $25 tier, the digital soundtrack, Beta Access, and the complete Music Lovers Paradise tier! ● This tier is NOT included with the $60 or $80 tiers.

$60 Choice of Ray Stuffie OR Ray's the Dead T-Shirt!

At this tier you'll receive EITHER an adorable stuffed Raymond La Morte, OR a Totally Sweet Ray's the Dead T-shirt!  Want both?  Add an additional $30 to this tier.  (You can add $30 to any tier to get either the shirt, or the stuffie)


These are the three t-shirt designs that are currently up for vote!  After backing, leave your vote in the comments!

$80 Beta Access and Printed Art Book

This tier gets you a printed version of the Ray's The Dead art book, along with early Beta Access to the game!  You'll get a chance to play a nearly final version of the game, months before anyone else! This tier also includes everything in the $25, $35, $50, and $60 tiers!

$100 Music Lovers Dream Tier

This tier will be every music lovers dream!  You will have access to the dropbox folder that all of our musicians will be uploading their music to.  You'll get access to all of the amazing tunes these guys will make over the course of the project, as soon as they create them. This means you get the soundtrack well before anyone else.
In addition, you'll get access to tracks that may not make it into the game, or to the final soundtrack.  A smorgasbord of music will be coming your way regularly during the duration of our development!
OH AND ONE MORE THING. Your name, and a sentence about your life, will be sung, and put into a song that will be used in the game.  This song will be classic 80's rock opera style.  How ridiculous is that?  (Includes all previous tiers)

$150 Your name on a Tombstone, Physical Pop-ups, 3 Button Set

You'll get your name on an in-game Tombstone! You'll also get a set of three 1" pins, and printed versions of the the 3 character cutouts, the diorama pop-up!  (Includes all previous tiers)

$250 Original Concept Sketch

You'll get an original concept art sketch! (Includes all previous tiers)

$350 Matt Carter Art Class

Matt will take you on a tour of how a lot of the art for Ray's the Dead was created.  You'll have the opportunity to see how it was done, and ask questions! (Includes all previous tiers)

$450 Ray Figure

A 4" figure of our main character Ray.  We will reveal a far more representative image of the figure over the course of the campaign. (Includes all previous tiers)

$500 Design Meeting

Sit in on, and contribute to one of our design meetings!  We'd love to steal all of your good ideas! (Includes all previous tiers)

$1000 Your Likeness in the Game as a Human or Zombie

$2500 A Character Named After You

In addition to the character that's been created in your likeness, he or she will also be named after you!

Why Kickstarter?

Ray’s the Dead is a game that we are incredibly excited about.  We believe in the game so much that we quit our jobs to work on it full time. We have been self funding the development of Ray’s the Dead up to this point with our savings and the financial support of our loving wives. We are committed to this game and are willing to continue down the path of self funding, but unfortunately this will necessarily mean some aspects of the game will suffer and some will have to be cut.  To avoid this we are looking to Kickstarter for help.  That’s where you come in!
There are few key areas that need the Love:
  • Purchasing the Unity licenses we need to release the game on multiple platforms
  • Paying all of the killer musicians that we detail above.  We want this soundtrack to be an outstanding piece of work on its own, and that's something we simply can't do without your help.
  • Getting the help of the team of talented writers that we detail above.

Let's Keep In Touch!

We'd love to hear your comments and questions!  Please ask anything you like in the comments section of this Kickstarter. 
Alternatively, you can find us on FacebookTwitter, or our individual Twitter accounts:
Read up on our past, present, and future antics on our developer blog:
We also have websites!

Risks and challenges

For a three-man team, Ray's the Dead is a very ambitious game. While we are up to the challenge, its certainly possible that things can slip. Unexpected barriers always pop up in game development, and this project will be no exception.
If we don't receive funding, a lot of the work we plan to pay contractors to help with, will fall on us. This likely will result in not only a longer development cycle, but a significantly diminished experience.
Funding this Kickstarter will go a VERY long way to ensuring that we can deliver the project as close to our projected completion date as possible. Once we can secure all the tools, engine licenses, and funds to pay our collaborators, we can focus on finishing the game and getting it into your eager hands!

For more info or to make a pledge, click here!

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