Subverse - more detail





An original game concept.





1. Concept: harnessing games to address real word issues
2. Plan: ethics and intent
3. Open source: giving back
4. Funding: launching the proof-of-concept
5. Game overview: the fun part
6. Responsible play: far more than a game
7. Prototypes: how the idea evolved



1) CONCEPT: harnessing games to address real-world issues

This is an ethical, independent, not-for-profit project, to "gamify" donating to charity.

In the game world, players can vote or fight for worthy causes. In the real world, the causes benefit! Players have custom mini-subs and can fight for various causes in the arena. Top causes receive the donations. All causes gain exposure and a chance to benefit financially.

(Of course, it could be robots, monsters, or any other kind of combat. But we love those mini-subs!)

The app will be free to download. Players may then subscribe (for any amount over $1.00 per month) and then simply forget it. That's a rolling donation to good causes. Or players can engage with the app, to influence where the money goes.


Together, players can direct funds to innovations
and projects which may benefit the world.


Developing the game will create opportunities for remote contributors to get involved. It creates an inspiring showcase of talent. It will put code and assets back into the community, for others to use. It provides a platform for highlighting worthwhile projects and for funding the most popular. It will also be fun.



2) PLAN: ethics and intent

At it's core, the plan is to make a fun, appealing game, with a message and a purpose (actual gameplay details below). The game is a vehicle for raising awareness of humanitarian and ecological causes and generating revenue for them. For helping community-based and community-interest projects, not the global charity industry.


Donating is as easy as child's play
and it only costs pocket money.


Players ultimately subscribe (the donation) and may vote for causes from a range of suggestions. The top causes receive donations (portion of subscription revenue, based on number of votes). Suggestions will change periodically, to highlight different worthy projects.

For example, projects to repair the ocean and rainforests, or to improve conditions in impoverished areas. At its core, this is a platform to highlight issues and fund possible solutions, in a fresh way. Part of our role, as game caretakers, is to seek out projects which deserve the support and suggest them to voters. Our society is distracted, so we want to give people a positive and engaging experience, while restoring faith in the word "charity".

We will utilise open-ledger technology (such as blockchain) to ensure honesty, transparency and ethical behaviour. It is crucial that any generous donations are handled securely and safely, only benefiting their intended causes.



3) OPEN SOURCE: giving back

We'll make all assets and resources free and open-source. We want to provide opportunities for females, non-binaries, the differently-able and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This will take a team effort, so we're looking for collaborators! Programmers, artists, modellers, level designers, writers, producers/organisers, fin-tech, testers, sponsors and supporters. This needs a diverse community of makers and creators, willing to contribute.

By the people, for the people.

We may provide additional commercial options, to help fund the operation, but the product itself will always be available under a free/libre and open-source license.



4) FUNDING: launching the proof-of-concept

We'll seek an initial crowd-sourced investment, to launch the first public version of the game. Then we'll use player feedback to refine the game before we start scaling up. This is our "little acorn" approach. Although we have grand ambitions, we need to start small and grow. We want our players to have an influence on the project, right from the start and at every step of the journey! Empowering others is fundamental to this project.

Anyone taking part in crowdfunding us will get special in-game presents and thanks.

100% of any money the game generates goes to worthwhile causes. We will fund ourselves by asking for patrons, sponsors and donations, outside of the game. Additionally, we will create a legally registered, not-for-profit organisation to represent the game and then we can apply for grants. It is vital that we remain separate from the subscriptions in this way. We may not benefit from them financially and have no vested interest.



5) GAME OVERVIEW: the fun part

Everything will be presented through the medium of an original online social game, aimed at casual players with smartphones. Also suitable for more dedicated gamers. The game will be free to play but limited. Subscribers unlock extra perks like new decorations and better arena options. In addition, their money is going towards good causes. It's a donation. Pure and simple. The rewards are an in-game "thank you"!

Each player has an avatar and a home.

The game is set in the future, after eco disaster has flooded the world and most people live in survival mini-subs. Each player has a sub as their home base. It can be named, customised and shared. There will be sub-based mini-games and activities, with an ecological theme.


PEACE MODE: A bit like Nintendo's Animal Crossing, at sea.

Peaceful players can engage in voting, sharing, decorating, collecting and non-violent activities.


WAR MODE: A bit like Robot Wars with submarines.

Or players can visit the arena and fight for their chosen cause, earning it extra votes!
There will be a variety of weapons, armour and mini-sub customisation options.
There will be global leaderboards and tournaments, with status and in-game rewards as prizes.


The game will reward player engagement and recruitment of new players.

(e.g. A free player could sign up xx new players and receive subscription privileges for 1 month.)
In this case, sharing is a good thing and should be encouraged! It's all about good causes and being ethical.



6) RESPONSIBLE PLAY: far more than a game

Using a game to fund worthwhile projects is engaging and more cost effective than charities using TV advertising, paper marketing by mail or paying for street collectors. This is a modern way of gathering a diverse audience, in a medium they connect with. Obviously, the game must be of a sufficiently high standard.

A simple game can effect real change, although few even attempt to. Players can enjoy the game in its own right and at the same time, know they're doing something good in the real world. Every player matters!

All income will be donated. Period.



7) PROTOTYPES: how the idea evolved

The rough test models below eventually transformed into the current project.

They do NOT represent the final style or quality of the proposed game!



'Toxic Sea' 3D prototype, on Linux. (2016)



'Subversives' 2D pixel prototype, on Android. (2017)



  • We believe in transparency where it doesn't jeopardise security or personal privacy.
  • This project will be subject to independent scrutiny and the results made public.
  • It is our policy to minimise wastage and respect people's valuable donations.
  • As an independent project, we answer to our consciences, our players and any relevant laws.
  • We will never sell or share our players' private personal data.
  • The ends do not justify the means. Exactly the opposite.