Free to play, "Dashkin" is a high-speed game based on the award-winning Brackenwood series of Flash movies by Adam Phillips.
UPDATE 5: One week to go! Thank you all again for your overwhelming support of Dashkin! We are still working hard on preparing all the rewards and there's a brand new backer reward for all you animators out there.
Remember to keep an eye on the Updates tab where we announce new rewards.
Free to play in the browser, Dashkin is a game of high speed challenges and, if you're not careful, bone-crunching collisions. You play as Bitey, dashing through various Brackenwood environments, challenging your own best times and avoiding detection by the deadly shadow people, the Yuyu. Along the way, unravel clues to Bitey's past and the mysterious flying creature that watches from the shadows.
What makes Dashkin unique?
You mean apart from the stunning environments, parallax depth, sheer amount of character animation and animated visual effects? Apart from the original musical score, immersive sound environments and ultra high speeds? Apart from having been described by other well known and respected Flash game creators as "beautiful", "solid" and "like playing in a Brackenwood movie"?
So far consisting of 20 levels (with a World Map capable of holding hundreds), Dashkin never feels monotonous, as it rewards varied gameplay. With several statistics tracked for each challenge, different powerups are awarded depending on your style of play, e.g fast, aerial, thorough, cautious, reckless. This means you can play and replay levels in different ways to earn the powerups you need for the more difficult regions of the world map.
Bitey needs your help!
Dashkin was originally planned for a standard sponsorship model where we, the creators, are paid an upfront figure for developing the game. In return our game is branded with the sponsor's logo and links. Post-release, ads within the game would earn us a steady trickle of revenue to help us fix bugs, post updates and maybe even work on new features.
Sponsorship however, often comes with strings, ropes, sometimes even chains attached. In February we jumped on board with a sponsor whose goal was to turn Dashkin into a viral Facebook game with social features and micro-transactions for enhanced gameplay experience. As it turned out, the deal fell through as changes in the sponsor's organisation forced them to stop work on Dashkin and offer us an exit.
We took it as sign. Dashkin is almost finished, all but ready for beta testing and yet, we still have a chance to do it independently, no sign of micro-transactions, stamped only with our own brands and of course, your name!
What's the money for?
Dashkin has been in full-time development now for 8 months. The two of us have worked across timezones, neglecting nutrition, hygiene, sunlight and family to work passionately on this thing we believe in.
Should we reach our funding goal, we'll be in a financial position to finish the game independently and free of a sponsorship brand. It'll also enable us to run a beta testing cycle (with our Kickstarter backers doing the testing) and settle accounts with the amazing music guy.
Should funding reach 200%, it'll not only help us continue to support post-release with bug fixes and updates, but we will release the game ad-free AND begin work on the expansions! On top of all this, we are looking into the costs of porting the game to mobile.
LATEST REWARD: BiteyCastle Academy 2D FX Animation Course - the video has all the info. This reward has special conditions however, as it is a standalone reward. Please see the reward description for info before you pledge!
You can change your choice of rewards at any time, so if you see something new, you can adjust your pledge or choose a different reward for your pledge level.
[pictured: above - reinforcements arrive, and below - Bitey himself with one of the t-shirts and a plush made by MoriChax]
By pledging any amount, you're becoming a part of the Dashkin story, not to mention helping us bring 8-10 months of hard work to fruition and spreading the Brackenwood word. For that we will love you until the end of time.
NOTE ABOUT PLEDGING - if you back a project, you don't actually pay anything until the END of the campaign. You can pledge any amount and lower/raise your pledge at any time during the campaign. If we fail to reach our funding goal, nobody pays a thing. For more info, see the Backer's FAQ here.
SKILLS - The course assumes you have some drawing ability and a desire to learn animation.
EQUIPMENT - No software or equipment is required to take the course (except to watch the videos, view the images and read the articles).
If you're an animator, you'll be able to practise what you've learned using the software or equipment of your choice.
For example, techniques in fire animation will be demonstrated to you, and you would practise them however you like, whether on paper, paint, film or animation software. Most articles and videos are about how effects work and how you would create them. The lessons and exercises apply equally regardless of your software or media choice.
Dashkin is designed to run in a variety of systems from the office junk heap to the slickest gaming beast. It will however, require the latest Flash plugin for your browser.
For that cinematic widescreen experience, we created Dashkin at 1200 x 400. Most desktop monitors these days use a resolution of at least 1280px wide, but if say, your laptop resolution can't go as high as 1200 wide, we will provide links to smaller resolutions when the game is released.
If you look at the gameplay video, you'll see visual warnings (flowers, thorns, reeds) long before their respective obstacles appear. This gives the player ample time to prepare for what's coming. It's the DASH speed that's really dangerous, but it's just like any racing game. Use the accelerator wisely ;)
Of all the close friends, family and colleagues who have tested Dashkin for us, there has been no negative feedback on the gameplay.
Early Beta testing is reserved for for a specific pledge amount, but there may be a more open beta to which you can contribute later, if you don't get a chance during the campaign.
Currently Dashkin is a single player game. If our campaign and game release is successful, future updates may include friend challenges, racing ghosted versions of your friends' times and global high scoring.
This has always been part of the plan. We'll consider porting Dashkin to iOS and mobile devices based on the success of the free Flash game.
Bitey is the last of the Dashkin, a super-fast species of people. The game is built around the concept of speed and tells a story from his point of view. As such, the only playable character right now is him. We do have plans for another playable character but that's something for a future game. Sequel anyone?
- Hunt is a pursuit mode, where Bitey must keep pace or catch something to beat the level.
- Flee is the opposite. Bitey must escape something that is pursuing him.
- Time-trial Challenge is a mode in which you try to get the fastest times and beat your previous times.
- Endless mode means you can run forever.. if you're good enough! The level gets progressively more difficult, the further you run (think Robot Unicorn Attack)
pledged of $20,000 goal
seconds to go
Jul 15, 2011 - Aug 17, 2011 (33 days)
Pledge $1 or more
A thank you email with virtual kisses, PLUS your name in the "Couldn't do it without.." credits in the game PLUS an exclusive digital download of 3 Brackenwood wallpapers.
Pledge $5 or more
The above rewards PLUS a pack of 8 animated, windowless (transparent background) loops of various game assets to run on your Windows or Mac desktop. In amongst there are a few surprise loops that you won't see in the game, or anywhere else!
Pledge $10 or more
The above PLUS 4 limited edition Brackenwood Wildlife collector cards
Pledge $20 or more
The above rewards PLUS a downloadable Brackenwood poster, printable up to 1 metre in size for your wall, signed by Adam Phillips.
Pledge $25 or more
All of the above PLUS a 60-page Brackenwood character sketchbook! This book is the first collection of Brackenwood character sketches, from the earliest notebook sketches to the latest character design revisions for feature fim and graphic novel. All characters including Bingbong, Lemonee Wee, Auld Sage and of course Bitey. Main creatures like littleFoot, mother morrug and fatsack are also included! Professionally printed and bound into a lovely little 5"x8" book. It's at the printers right now! (This reward includes the other $25 reward of the signed postcard (below))
Pledge $25 or more
The above rewards PLUS a Brackenwood postcard print personalised and signed by the artist.
Pledge $29 or more
All of the above PLUS the full set of BCA Flash Chapters (eBooks) including the long-awaited and soon-to-be-released Chapter 5. These huge PDF chapters teach you how to use Adobe Flash for animation.
Pledge $39 or more
***PLEASE NOTE*** - special conditions on this reward. Please read all of the following before you pledge! ================== BITEYCASTLE ACADEMY FX ANIMATION COURSE (plus all of the above rewards) You get 2 months access to BCA FX Course where you'll get exclusive articles, videos and tuition in the dark art of 2D FX animation, every week! It's common for animators to pay thousands $$$$ for an animation course of this calibre. **CONDITIONS** THIS REWARD IS STANDALONE. In other words, if you pledge higher than $55 this reward isn't included with the others in the higher pledge brackets. If you'd like to pledge higher, but want to choose this reward, please feel free to do so, but rest assured the course will launch in a couple of weeks on BITEY.COM. You can always wait to subscribe at the $24/month rate via PayPal/Credit Card when it launches.Estimated delivery: Sep 2011
Pledge $55 or more
All of the above PLUS the original music of "Dashkin" by Lee Miller, in a download pack for your computer, mobile device or even burning to disc. Comes with a digital booklet (PDF) of Dashkin game art.
Pledge $75 or more
All of the above PLUS a Bitey sticker and your choice of a 'Brackenwood' or 'Bitey' t-shirt
Pledge $100 or more
All of the above PLUS a limited edition set of 6 Brackenwood wildlife collector cards, PLUS an exclusive beta code to test the earliest release of Dashkin.
Pledge $200 or more
3 backers Limited (2 of 5 left)
All of the above PLUS, have yourself as an incidental zombie in the upcoming Diseased Productions game “Endless Zombie Rampage 3 (Tentative title)”.
Pledge $230 or more
3 backers All gone!
Work with Adam to design a Brackenwood creature to be used in the game! Depending on the design, the creature may play the role of an obstacle, or become an incidental background creature. Additionally the creature will appear in the game’s credits with your name beside it. This is your chance to leave your mark on the Brackenwood world! (oh, and yes, this reward includes all of the DIGITAL download rewards above, including Dashkin beta testing)
Pledge $300 or more
10 backers All gone!
All of the above PLUS a limited edition "Bitey" plush, hand-made by MoriChax PLUS your name in the "Extra Special Thanks" credits.
Pledge $500 or more
All of the above* PLUS an ORIGINAL signed B5-sized pencil sketch of Bitey, signed by Adam Phillips.
Pledge $1,000 or more
All of the (available) above, except the sketch is framed, and not rolled up! PLUS a Brackenwood design bible containing Adam's designs, descriptions and back-stories of the Brackenwood characters and their world. PLUS you get a special preview of the long-awaited sequel to "The Last of the Dashkin" personally from Adam Phillips via Skype. In addition to all of this, you get a Producer credit on the main Credits screen of the game.
Pledge $1,500 or more
1 backer Limited (4 of 5 left)
All of the (available) above, PLUS a commemorative, hand-carved wooden Dashkin figurine.
Pledge $2,000 or more
1 backer Limited (2 of 3 left)
All of the (available) above, except the framed B5-sized sketch is fully coloured! PLUS you get an "Executive Producer" credit, with your name and your website a clickable link (subject to approval) on the main Credits screen of the game.
Pledge $2,500 or more
1 backer All gone!
All of the (available) above PLUS Adam's ONE & ONLY wearable lifelike Bitey mask, with hand-carved wooden horns and adjustable size strap inside.