Update: Gameplay video and game features
The main part of Skjaar consists of solving the secret of the mysterious building the suddenly appeared in our character's world. From the first seconds of play you'll notice the strangeness and danger of Skjaar's world. One of the main things that separates Skjaar from other adventure games is it's ever changing environment. You can never be sure what you'll find in the next room even if it's the room you just came from.
Another key feature of SKjaar's gameplay is the way you decide to face dangerous situations. While it is possible to fight your way through or sneak in the shadows to avoid fights almost completely, you can also decide to use the environment in your favor.
We hope you liked this inside view in the gameplay of Skjaar. We'll come back soon with more feature videos like this one.
Thank you for your time and your support! :)
It’s 1861, and the Civil War is flaring across the continent. Orphan twins Orin and Camille Halloran have been transferred to the newly founded Washington Finishing School of Medicine, where they are taught to provide on-battlefield medical aid and survive under attack.
Camille’s roommate is their old friend Nea, and Orin stays with his friend Derek, who also happens to be Camille’s boyfriend. The pace at the school turns out to fast and intense, with people from all over the Union. It looks like the next few months are planned out for them, until one morning the whole school wakes up to find an enormous black castle-like thing lodged between the two main buildings. Nobody saw how it got there.
Nobody can guess what it is. It seems to float above the ground, connected to the school building with thin bridges. Panic rises and urgent word is sent to the Department for Preternatural Research, DPR. Camille and Orin overhear two angry professors saying it will do no good as the thing itself is likely the result of one of DPR’s own experiments for the military.
Three days pass and nothing happens. The odd black building seems deserted. Some say they peered inside, and that it’s a maze of hallways. Some say it’s all green and there’s grass growing, others swear they’ve seen it themselves and it’s just mirrors.
On the fourth day, the students receive strict orders not to go inside, under any circumstances. Naturally, they organize a get-together the same evening. Everyone is invited—Orin and Camille plan to go, too. As they discuss it over dinner, they begin to feel unusually tired, so they both decide to go to their rooms and take a nap before the party. They fall asleep with the buzzing of excited people in the hallways. After what feels like minutes, they are shaken awake by someone. Their friend Nea, looking alarmed. She explains everyone is missing. It’s early morning outside, and they go search together, but the facility is deserted. The only place they haven’t looked in is the black building. When the finally find a way in, it seems to pulse as if alive. They walk in.
The darkness inside is thick. Any fire they manage to light up is snuffed out by the drafts. They find the inside littered with corpses. They looks for survivors, but there are none. Camille finds her boyfriend among the corpses, cold and stiff.
Now they can’t tell where they are, Orin’s compass spins madly without settling. Riddles appear in fiery letters on the inside of its cap.
There’s nothing else to be done, so they decide to go back, and quickly. As they ran to the exit, Camille feels a prickle of fear down her back. Voices follow, telling her they know who she and her brother are, telling her to stay. She asks the others about it but nobody else can hear. They run faster.
They can see the way out, an oval of light encased in glassy stone. They’re getting closer, almost there. But the light from the exit shimmers once and it’s gone.
Behind them, the walls resonate around the chasm. They’re locked in a pit full of corpses, and the only way out now is to make their own.
As their journey unfolds, the battle for survival turns out to be the key for discovering their real identity, their ancient past and their future.
Skjaar (pronounced skee-ah-r, or ska-ah-r if you’re from certain northern tribes from an alternate dimension), is a hybrid steampunk/horror/fantasy adventure game with elements of action and stealth for PC and Mac (and eventually for mobile iOS, Android, PS4 and Xbox One). You'll be playing as either Orin or his twin sister Camille. Each character has their own story, path, set of skills. By choosing your playable character, the other one will become an NPC with whom you'll be able to interact during the game. There is also a third NPC character called Nea with her own complex path and story.
Skjaar has the typical elements of old school point and click adventure games such as investigating clues and solving puzzles but you'll also need to survive in an extremely hostile environment. Monsters, enemies and traps will be awaiting in almost every dark corner. During the game you'll be able to choose between fighting and killing whatever stands in your way or evading combat entirely with stealth and cunning.
While Orin has his blade, Camille can count on her aim and a pair of deadly pistols. If you choose to avoid combat, you'll be able to do so by hiding in the shadows and by using the environment itself to build traps for the enemy.
The gameplay of Skjaar has been inspired by classic adventure games like Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, Gabriel Knight and even The Metal Gear Solid series. On the other hand the world and characters have been inspired by the works of H.P.Lovecraft, Cherie Priest and anime such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach and Last Exile.
We’ve prepared a host of rewards to choose from. There are special chambers, wearable items, art…you name it. The sidebar on the right has more to say about it. ->
The first game item is the Shield Cuff worn by Camille, one of the two main characters in the game. She uses it as a protective force field generator when under attack. Now its more dangerous powers are gone for metaphysical reasons, but it might aid you as wrist guard if you have a particularly grumpy cat or as a cuff for a really, really tiny falcon (the instructions say up to two inches). And it looks pretty. :) The cuff is made of leather with a hand pressed leaf pattern, lace, vintage gears and red jasper.
Orin’s item is the Dragon Eye Compass, which is a key item in the game. To Orin it serves as sort of oracle, with occasional opinions. A mood ring that reflects its own moods, if you will. We tested it in our studio but after one of our colleagues tried to chat up a girl and the compass communicated something about a stamp collection, we decided to make it behave. It even points North now and everything. The eye’s still there though.
Field Marshal, the most expensive tier, is so because it comes with a Medical Alliance coat the main characters wear in the game. The coat will be made after your measurements specifically. All three items are one of a kind so they go to the quickest bidder (in this dimension).
Our Skjaar T-shirts come with the mid-to-high tier reward packages, and are available on red&black or black&white. We will be working for additional bonuses and surprise gifts for our backers and followers throughout the campaign so stay tuned!
Here’s a quick visual reference to help you choose what you want.
We are creating Skjaar with a small number of very talented individuals.
We are a small team of programmers / creative artists who are on a quest to set foundations for our small business named Stellark Magic. We've been all very passionate about games for years and finally decided to make one of our own.
We included four stretch goals, just in case a lot of you really like this.
We know there are many campaigns out here, so thank to for taking your time to view ours.
Risks and challenges
This project has the advantage of being months into development. The key technical and design challenges have already been overcome, leaving content, balance and polish as the main things left to work on. We estimate this work will take a further 4 to 5 months full-time.
Our background means that we’re very conversant with software project management techniques both generally and for the games industry. This may be our first commercial game but it’s not the first time we’ve managed and shipped complex software projects.
A risk we’ve seen poorly handled is how to cope with excess money. Stretch goals are great, but when faced with truly excessive pledges the temptation to overreach will be strong. Should we raise money far beyond the stretch goals we’ll explore the option of hiring people. That way we can add to the game without affecting the overall time-scale too much. Alternatively we’ll put the money towards extra content to be released post-launch. Either way, we plan to give you more without pushing the deadline back.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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