The Oyster Hotel is a co-op action-adventure PC game about criminal partners Ned and Julia who pass away and are sent to The Oyster Hotel in purgatory by Saint Peter to work for an overzealous fox named Felix going back in time with the guests of the hotel to journey with them as they re-experience key moments in their past lives. Things can get a little dicey. Best case scenario, you make your way out of purgatory. Worst case... well, we'll let you find out for yourself.
What kind of game is The Oyster Hotel?
The Oyster Hotel is a PC same screen third person couch co-op action/adventure strategy fighting game with beat ‘em up elements. The Oyster Hotel focuses on co-op, narrative interaction. You get to drive things, shoot crazy weapons and get superpowers from drinking different kinds of coffee. The Oyster Hotel features advanced fighting mechanics, including a parry combat system, co-op fighting moves, some pretty sweet weapons and hand-to-hand fighting inspired by martial arts, fencing, tai chi and a wide range of dance from swing to breakdancing.
These are the expected specs of our current game we will update you if this changes, but this is very unlikely.
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 7 (SP1+)/8.1/10 64bit
Processor: Intel i5-2300/AMD FX-4300
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GTX 650 (2GB) /AMD Radeon 7850 (2GB)
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 30 GB available space
Get in Touch With Us
We love hearing from you! Feel free to reach out if you'd like to grab a cuppa' joe and do an interview, have questions or would like to request more artwork/sound clips/whatever.
Email is always the fastest way to reach us - We are a tiny team juggling a lot of hats, so while we love to get on the phone and gab, we only do phonecalls when they're scheduled ahead of time (because otherwise we'd never get this game done!)
Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll talk to you soon!
Erin & Elijah
Style of Gameplay
The Oyster Hotel is a same-screen co-op 3d action/adventure game where mobsters, crooks and basement dwellers battle for redemption in the afterlife.
Our game features advanced fighting mechanics, including co-op fighting moves, some pretty sweet weapons and hand-to-hand fighting inspired by martial arts, fencing and a wide range of dance from swing to breakdancing.
Who We Are
We're Erin and Elijah Hamilton; two american artists who met and fell in love while working at an ad agency in Detroit. We quit the agency together to pursue our creative work together independently, and celebrated our wedding on the family farm in 2016. Together we've done endless work for the film industry and released multiple series of art projects together for social change.
We began writing The Oyster Hotel during our honeymoon, originally as a screenplay, and soon realized that it would be more fun if it was interactive. Like, really interactive. We've been developing the game ever since. In the meantime, we've also welcomed our amazing daughter, Bear, into the world, and are expecting our second child in late April of 2019.
Erin grew up in Michigan in a rural area just outside of Ann Arbor and was homeschooled all the way through her senior year of high school before attending College for Creative Studies in Detroit (and dropping out at just the right time)
Elijah grew up in South Bend, Indiana and was extremely involved in theater and sports including football, wrestling and competitive fencing before attending Columbia University in Chicago, where he also dropped out at just the right time.
We're both really into independent learning and our romance started out because we kept sharing our favorite books and online learning resources with each other at work and realized pretty quickly how much we loved nerding out together.
We wanted to build a game that would be the ultimate way to spend some hours with your favorite partner in crime. We've invested all of our time, energy and resources into doing exactly that.
Coffee and Frequencies
Every saint is granted to opportunities and blessings from above to produce coffees, these coffees aint no regular coffees - they come with powers, some great and some small.
Coffees Featured in the Demo
St Peters Roast
Every being in purgatory rotates on different frequencies at different times. Some call it essence, some just call it frequencies... When your giving a person static, you're disrupting their frequency rotation which causes damage.
Most of the weapons in purgatory, especially the ones made by St. Peter and given to the workers at the Oyster Hotel, are made to work with rotating frequencies and cause massive damage to the frequencies they disrupt. Seriously, be careful who you point those things at.
Weapons with Frequency Modification Capabilities
The Legba Radio
A beautiful radio made by Saint Legba. Used to communicate and to access radio frequencies that take out enemies and play beautiful jazz.
A transforming multi-frequency weapon that reacts to frequency levels and takes on new forms.
The Frequency Conductor
The simple frequency conductor allows it's user to control the frequency of different things within a certain range. If used correctly, the frequency conductor can be used to toast your enemies.
About the Characters
The characters for the Oyster Hotel are emotional, wise cracking, exciting, and adventure-minded spirits that take you on a journey through a wide range of perspectives and experiences.
You play as Ned and Julia, lifelong partners in crime, and now they work for a Fox named Felix at the Oyster Hotel located in Purgatory in the 4th ward.
A loyal theif and devoted husband to Julia, Ned got his start in crime stealing jewels and antiquities from the shipyards where he met Julia. Over the course of his short life, he worked his way up in the crime world, upsetting large mob figures, agitating the law, and finding his own eternal nemesis in Sheriff Wanuski.
A heart of gold would be putting it lightly - fierce is a better word for a woman who has been chewed up by the jaws of death, spit out and lived to tell about it. Ain't no-body gonna push over Julia for nothing, no way no how, and you sure want to stay on her good side. Meeting Ned on the shipyard while searching for her father was more than enough to convince her somethings are just meant to be.
A finely-tuned instrument of class and substance and born into leadership, the ruler of The Oyster Hotel is sly in her essence and not afraid to put gun to fist and bullets to anything that don't go her way. She has to deliver on the souls that she promised, and like her mother she don't plan on losing or going out without a fight. Play by her rules and you'll be a-ok. Dissapoint her and you may find yourself in a darker corner of purgatory than you anticipated.
A hard case to crack, Florence has seen his share of the good and bad sides of life and of purgatory, the sins of the saints and the basement dwellers alike. It dont sit to right in his stomach, but he's just the driver for St. Peter, delivering souls back in forth to the Oyster Hotel and beyond for now.
The Boss, as he prefers to be called, St. Peter rules purgatory with an iron fist and an armory that most could only dream of. There are few who dare to cross him, and those who have have suffered fates far worse than death and eternal damnation. (Bet you didn't know that was possible.) He also has exquisite taste in coffee and can roast a bean beyond compare.
Owned everything including the circus on the boardwalk and people loved him - until he was banished to the basement where dwells with the others - In madness and in slight the aura of bad intentions grew closer to him - Lenny had become ill minded, ill fated and filled with hatred. A crook and mobster Lenny wanted nothing more than basement dwellers to have the top floor - to explore - to once again inhabit that source of life - and he being him he would do anything to get it.
The storm was happening in Vinny always before he arrived in purgatory and was banished to the basement he was able to manage extorting special coffee from the drop points in Purgatory he would later side with Lenny and rule over the the basement dwellers using their weakness of coffee and distorting their minds to do awful things and steal the identity of those guest at The Oyster Hotel.
The detective in him stirred with emotion when thinking about Ned and Julia a thorn in his side and the reason his family left him. He was obsessed they said - he disagreed. He was simply trying to haste on finding them to conquer and hang them on his wall - he imagined anyways of what he would do to them when he found them take from Ned what he had taken from him.
The Basement Dwellers
They fed on the portions of old coffee crates mixing them to potency's and sharing them down below. The crates were used for homes and for building underground shops. The coffee when mixed brought wars and divided the basement dwellers creating mobs, gangsters, and mixes of coffee that made the basement dwellers experience things unheard of by the ones who visited purgatory. Beckoning for peace Lenny took the helm, they shun from the light and spew in the night there rumblings and rattling of old jazz and clanking of symbols of the old past.
About The Oyster Hotel's Original Music
The uptempo jazz twangy music was created by Willis K. Hamilton a musician, filmmaker and puppet master from Kansas City MI. He's also my (Elijah's) father.
We drove all the way to Kansas City, Misourri with 6 month old baby Bear in the back seat to meet with my Father and beg him to put some of his musical genius into The Oyster Hotel. He had no idea what to expect and neither did we. The game was in it's infant stages at the time, hardly anyone knew it existed and we hadn't even dropped the first trailer and I asked him to do music. "For a game?" he asked - "Yes," I replied, "it's going to be a great game." From that point on, he just started kicking out this music that was so in tune with our vision for the project, it was uncanny. They say when family members sing together, the way their voices blend together is almost unearthly. Working on this project with my dad absolutely convinced me that the same is true when families collaborate together on creative works. (Dad, if you read this - it's been an honor.)
You can hear some of the soundtrack in The Oyster Hotel demo. We will be having the final soundtrack pressed in Detroit at Third Man Pressing Plant, which is owned by Jack White (of The White Stripes) giving a nod to the rich musical history of Detroit. Their crew is pressing top notch quality records while investing in the cultural future of the city and we're stoked to get the soundtrack pressed there.
P.S. We'll be having the soundtrack pressed on 12" 180g Violet Vinyl. If you've got a soft spot for vinyl, you're not gonna want to miss it.
Their are about 7 unique custom built vehicles and about 4-6 custom weapons designed over the course of 4 months that were created for The Oyster Hotel, The Florentine a flying underwater vehicle was the first created and took about 3 months to finalize. All of the vehicles in the Oyster Hotel are engineered in the fasion of being as realistic as possible and have working parts.
Here is a list
Purgatory Police Dept Vehicle
Ned's Trombone Gun
Julia's Umbrella Gun
The Cherub Gun
Crazy Stuff Behind the Scenes During Development
Going the Extra Mile (without any funding)
We had to overcome a myriad of challenges during development of The Oyster Hotel Game. We actually put out a rough trailer out about a year ago, after about a year of work before that, and based on some of the feedback we got, we felt like we needed to develop things significantly further before we launched our crowdfunding efforts. We were far enough into the project that it was definitely time to either go broke or go home. So we did the insane thing and spent another year developing game mechanics, animating and really fleshing things out so that we can present you with a solid demo.
MacGuyver Would be Proud
We did it with absolutely no funding and extremely limited equipment. For example, all of the voices are currently being recorded on an old tracphone with a lavalier mic and we're working with some seriously old school monitors, so whenever we want to see the full framerate of the game, we go and plug into my (Erin's) dad's 4K tv to see what it's really looking like. You gotta do what you gotta do.
We used the remaining money from our last movie poster design gigs to build two new desktop computers when we were getting ready to begin developing The Oyster Hotel. They are totally awesome beast machines and we love them to pieces - there is no way we could've been able to pull off what we've done without them.
One of the two computers broke about 3 months ago (with all of that dragging the computer around to test the game on different monitors we mentioned, the GPU fell out and zinged the motherboard and... we could nerdspew about it more, but the poor thing needs some love before we can power her back on again.) So we've been working from one desktop machine and a really old laptop exchanging data through camera sd cards and shotty internet.
The game actually ended up getting erased a couple times due to weather related power outages and drives frying. We were prepared with backups but a few of those times we ended up rebuilding some major portions of purgatory and other levels. Somehow, every time we had to recreate stuff it just came out even better and we've significantly upgraded our backup game since then.
We developed the game in the country in Michigan which weirdly has decent internet, but our desktops don't have wifi adapters, so we've been using old phones attached by usb as WiFi adapters (yeah, it's a weird workaround... but it gets you a slightly better than dialup level internet connection and that was enough to get us through! And yes, this year made us really glad that we never bothered throwing out any of those old phones.) So it all worked out.
We became parents to the most amazing little girl on earth (unbiased opinion of course) during our first year of development. Her name is Bear. Learning the ins and outs of all of the things that go with taking care of a newborn baby while also figuring out how on earth to develop a game on par with something that usually takes a few hundred people to do... that was a crazy growth process for us! It was a really sweet time too, and fortunately we've got a kid that seems to be totally in tune with our eccentricities, so it's been really fun. She's spent her whole life seeing this game under development, and now that she's a little older, it's fun to see her reactions when the characters start doing something they couldn't do before. (her eyes got about the size of dinner plates when we first got the lip syncing working properly on Ned and Julia!)
In order to pull off all of that nerdy parenting magic, we got really into babywearing (if you don't know what that is... there are all of these awesome different baby carriers, some of them look like backpacks that you wear on your front side, some of them are more like a crazy long piece of fabric that you wrap up in like a giant burrito, and you can wear your baby on you and still have two hands free to do things like code like a lunatic until that sweet little human gets bored.) Elijah converted to working at a standing desk for most of the development process, so especially a lot of the early character modelling happened while he was running in place and wearing a baby in a baby carrier. And yes, there are photos and video to prove it!
We are expecting baby #2 this spring and we're over the moon about it - while there are certainly going to be some new learning curves having two kiddos, we're starting to get into a pretty nice groove of how we juggle parenting and development simultaniously and we're looking forward to the challenge (and it's gonna be awesome for Bear to have a comrade in arms.)
I (Elijah) personally deal with Ulcerative Colitis. It is severe I manage on a day to day basis handling it by picking up on Tai Chi, Dance, and Hiit workouts while working on the computer. Working at a standing desk instead of sitting has made a really big difference too. Some days are just brutal and we roll with them as they come. As a whole, fighting a disease that involves high levels of pain on a regular basis can be hard but it's caused me to become a lot tougher and have an extreme level of perseverence that has served me well in getting through the development process.
Using Co-Op to Bring People Together
We've worked together for quite a while now, first as employees at an advertising agency and then at our own businesses, and then as a married couple. Through all of that time, whenever we felt like we needed to be working more as a unit, our go-to warmup has always been to jump on some good co-op games. Something about it really gets you in sync with each other so that you can approach whatever you're about to tackle competitively in unison.
One of our favorite games to play was NBA Playgrounds, which is a riot and you really play on the same team (instead of somewhat against eachother or just in the same game but not really as a team) and all of the gameplay depended on both players using their respective strengths to win. The alley oop moves were sweet too - I've still never seen anything really similar. Anyway, we'd always play those kinds of games to get lined up before an important meeting or before an important task, or just if we needed to feel closer to each other as a couple. And there really aren't many co-op games like that out there. We're both pretty nuts about Mortal Kombat too, but we wanted to find a couch co-op where we could be fighting side by side, not against each other (although there's no denying that we'll always have a soft spot for a good late night Mortal Kombat marathon.)
So when we started writing The Oyster Hotel, we knew we wanted to build a game that would strengthen partnerships, friendships, relationships between family members and loved ones around the world and really help bring people closer together, no matter what kind of partnership they have. We really focused on making this game fun, interesting, and a partnered experience fo you and your best bud, wifey, business partner or other favorite person.
The idea of literally being partners in crime and seeking redemption is something that we find all couples have experienced or imagine some form of, even if you don't have an ounce of criminal in you (but we know that you do, so stop denying it.) When we started the adventure and quest of creating The Oyster Hotel we really had one thing in mind: Create a game that allowed two people to become closer and create a stronger bond of teamwork. We really wanted a co-op game that made you feel the adventure at hand. And we wanted to make sure that you really had to work together to fight yourself out sticky situations and rely on grit a little strategy and of course, all the fury you can muster up.
The Oyster Hotel was created for
Best Friends who enjoy each other's company and want to go on an adventure in purgatory.
Close kin and family who want to fight for redemption in the afterlife.
Married couples who need that mental vacay that allows them to have an adventure of fighting off mobsters and anybody who opposes their togetherness.
New couples who want to know how far they would go from purgatory and beyond to defend each other and protect St Peters real estate.
Co-workers/biz partners/anyone else that has a major project or meeting or thing that they want to go into with a united front.
Our intent in creating the Oyster Hotel
Bring two people closer together creating stronger bonds and better understanding of each others decision making.
Improve the logic and grit of each others awareness of sticky situations especially when mobsters try to take your morning coffee.
But what about me? I Don't have anyone to play it with! Is there a single player mode?
There is a single player option in there too - you can even play it in the demo and we've programmed an AI system so that the other character plays along with you - we just made co-op our focus and the single player mode is an awesome side option if you don't have someone there to play it with you!
You can experience the adventure of The Oyster Hotel in our playable epic demo below, the demo includes the action adventure fighting game in both local co-op and single player mode have fun.
Also experience in the demo
- Playing in 4 different worlds of The Oyster Hotel
- Play with partners in crime and in the afterlife Ned and Julia
- Meet characters such as Felix, Lenny, Florence
- Drive the flying vehicle the Florentine and defend the coffees.
Download Demo now and Support The Oyster on Kickstarter.