The Game

Laired is a never ending dungeon crawl at it’s core. On top of this you layer a system of collectable and upgradable heroes, of elementally themed advancement, and a good layer of character rebirth. Finally throw in some arcadey upgrades in the dungeon and what you get is a proven classic that feels unique all over again.

Laired expands on the principles of early genre founders like Wizardry and Gauntlet, but with as much cruft as possible removed to leave a game that plays both cleanly and fun.

Laired is a dungeon crawler built on distilling down that fundamental contradiction of dungeon crawlers: Preparation vs. Dungeon Dive.It builds on that to create a game in which the player is constantly faced with the choice between returning to town for more permanent advances, and staying in the dungeon with whatever temporary bonuses they can find. To do this it casts away from the traditional xp and item mechanics, borrowing instead from arcade and point buy systems.

Right now about another month worth of development is forecasted before taking the game to auction.

The Story

Ever looked up into a store window, eyes wide, starstruck by the wonders inside. Well Sapphire has. She looked up at those delicately carved figurines and knew she wanted them. It was a fierce need, rather unlike any need she’d felt before.

Unfortunately for her, Sapphire was a pixie and pixies don’t use human money. Distraught at the thought of their slipping through her grasp she ran into the forest looking for something of value she might barter. Some thing that would shine bright enough to make the shopkeeper smile wide and hand her the small figures. And strangely enough she found it.

A gold disc had been embedded in the very back of a cave wall. She was far too young to read the writing around the disc. Something about darkness. Without a second thought Sapphire pulled down the disc and trundled into town. She’d have the figures, the shopkeeper would have his shinies and the whole town would have their monsters… wait, monsters!?

Contribution perks -
Get your name in the special thanks section of the credits.

Get hand drawn concept art sent to you in the mail. (Please send contact info to

$100 – Limit 4
Be added to the game as a hero character.

Funding Bonus Goal Rewards

As a motivated creator I have a laundry list of tools and assets that I’d love to have around for future projects. Meeting larger funding goals allows me to do that and allows me to spend more time on Laired guilt free. Every time a goal is reached a new set of 3 hero characters will be added to the final game.

Bonus levels -




Putting The I in Team – About the Developer

Laired is a dark beast in it’s own right, clawing it’s way forth from a single developer. Sara Pickell lives in a single bedroom, working half the day on game production and half the day fighting back the termites that threaten the room’s continued existence. A biography of their life would be a strange and twisted book, including years of depression, some homelessness, and the challenges of growing up as a queer Mormon, who also happens to be bipolar.

But enough of that dark stuff, she also loves music and dancing and games and making games. She can’t imagine not making games, so she’s not going to try.

Why this isn’t on kickstarter-
Because if this only raises enough for a case of mountain dew… that will still make the final product measurably better.

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