Former pizza delivery driver Thomas Finch crowdfunding Ethereal to help finish development and make something 'my dad would be proud of'

Son aims to honour late father’s life by making a game

An indie developer has taken to Kickstarter to help finish the development of a game based on the life of his late father.

The crowdfunding campaign seeks $17,250 to develop Ethereal, in which the player takes on the role of a spirit reliving his most traumatic memories in order to reconcile with his past. As players progress, users gain new abilities to solve puzzles and avoid enemies. The game is currently set to be developed for PC, Mac and Linux and published in multiple languages including English, Spanish, French and Japanese.

Speaking to Develop, the title’s creator Thomas Finch said Ethereal is his first ever game, having previously worked as a pizza delivery driver.

"For years I’ve fiddled around with making a video game,” he said.

“I’ve always loved writing and teaching myself to program. So when I had a good idea, I finally did it.”

Finch’s inspiration for the game was his father Mark, who died nearly seven years ago. He stated that since then, he’d wanted to create something as a memorial to his dad and his life, and it’s a story he hopes will resonate with others too.

“His life was always very interesting to me, because so much happened to him throughout it but he kept on going and never took it out on anyone else,” said Finch.

“I thought that telling a story about his life might help other people realise that it’s important to let go of the past and not hold on to things.”

Thomas as a child with his father, Mark

Finch began coming up with concepts for the game in August last year, moving into full-time development as the game’s designer, writer and programmer during the last six months. He’s also recruited a composer, Dmitry Petyakin, who found the concept on an indie game developer forum where Finch had been recording his progress. Through Petyakin, Finch also brought in artist Dmitry Karimov to the fold.

Finch said the raised from Kickstarter money will allow the team to carry on working full-time on the game, having exhausted other areas of funding, and will also allow help to make a game his father would be proud of.

“For the past six months that we’ve been developing this full-time we’ve been paying the bills with family and friend investments and loans,” he said.

“There’s always a limit with those and we’ve just about reached it. Without proper funding, we’ll each have to get full-time jobs to support ourselves and would be unable to work on Ethereal nearly as much. Our goal on Kickstarter is $17,250. It doesn’t sound like much, but we’re only looking for enough to pay the bills until the game releases. My ultimate goal for this game is that it will be something my dad would be proud of. I want to make sure that it’s the best it can possibly be.”

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