Most succinctly described as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker meets Pokémon, Steamboat Billy is a singleplayer adventure-RPG set in a classic Disney-like universe in which you must defeat and capture strange monsters while sailing the dark seas, in order to rebuild and bring back color to the world you once knew!
Once every millennia, the Great Leviathan emerges from the ocean’s depths to curse the world into monochromatic chaos! By exploring land and sea, collecting treasures and creatures along the way, you will need to combat the Leviathan’s cronies and rebuild the city of Star Harbor in order to restore the color to the world!
As fans of classic American cartoons of the 1930s, Steamboat Billy's art style is very much an homage to that era, albeit with a few differences. We've added some anime flair to our characters and we aren't afraid of mixing in modern animation techniques and visual effects
Steamboat Billy was created from a pure desire to see a mix of design ideas, that we call “pillars”, come together in an adventure-RPG with a 1930s cartoon artstyle. Our pillars of design are the following: Exploration, Collection, Crafting and Combat.
By focusing on doing these four things right, we knew we could create an amazing game that would stand out from the rest!
The inspiration we used to cover exploration in our game was The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker, in which you play a young boy who sails the seas. The idea of having the setting of our game in the ocean or the seas was particularly appealing because of the vastness, the looming dangers and the unknown world that lies under it all!
The scale of the map versus the player is something that we felt would give a real feeling of exploration. When you stumble upon a small island that you didn’t expect on your route, it’s a pleasant surprise and you can’t help but wonder what secrets can be found upon it! There will also be numerous treasure maps scattered across the world and if you can recognize the areas they depict on the map, you will be able to fish or dig for wondrous treasure!
The seas are also known to be treacherous… The constant danger looming over you, as your boat crosses choppy waters in a storm, is something that can’t be replicated in other settings. You’ll also have to be very mindful not to run out of gas, as this would put you at the complete mercy of the elements, as well as the creatures that dwell beneath the waves.
When you make a game about seafaring adventures, there absolutely needs to be tons of TREASURE! As you explore the waters and islands that compose the world, we want you to find cool and powerful items, building materials and also new creatures that will fight at your side during your travels. Collecting all of these elements in the game will be quite the challenge
Inspired by the Pokémon game series, the creatures in Steamboat Billy will have different statistics, abilities, strengths and weaknesses that you will need to consider and balance, as you can only take a certain number of them on your boat. The rest can remain at Star Harbor and help the rebuilding efforts!
The premise of the game is that the world you once knew has been changed, somehow, by a dark tsunami. You awaken on the shores of Star Harbor, your home, and realize that all of the buildings and landmarks have been broken down or washed away. This leads you to go out into the wilds and find materials to rebuild the city!
This part of the game is interesting because the way the city gets built will be entirely in your hands! Do you want to build the blacksmith up before the tavern? Or perhaps the general store before the shipyard? Building each part of the city, and stocking up the stores you once knew, will require materials that can only be found through exploration!
Also, as color comes back into the world, you will be able to customize the colors to your liking!
After playing through hundreds of different RPGs during our lifetimes, we’ve found that some of the most entertaining ones were those that managed to create meaningful player engagement DURING combat sequences. This is why we decided to mix traditional RPG combat with quick time events (QTE) in our game, similar to the combat system seen in the classic Super Mario RPG!
Like most RPGs, the combat system in Steamboat Billy will be turn-based and feature actions like: Attack, Item, Defend, Abilities. That being said, while performing each of these actions, it will be possible to execute a QTE in order to get a critical hit or a dodge, depending on the chosen action! This will certainly bring a better dynamic to combat encounters, and give the player even more diversity when fighting with different creatures!
As fans of cartoons since we were kids, it was a no-brainer that our next game was going to be in the more circular american cartoon art style that Disney popularized. Seeing the critical successes of games like Cuphead, Hollow Knight and Bendy and the Ink Machine really cemented our decision as it showed that there are masses of people out there that love that style as much as we do!
The way we differentiate ourselves from the traditional style is through our character designs, which gives an anime-flair to the characters we bring to life, and through the use of modern animation techniques and visual effects!
To follow-up on the nostalgia of old-timey cartoons, our OST will be influenced by music of the era, but we also want to infuse this classic style with modern sounds and effects to give it a fresh new feel! We believe this will bring out the best of this already epic game experience!
Founded in 2014, ManaVoid strives to mix traditional genres in new and innovative ways! The team had a modest success with their first kickstarted commercial project, Epic Manager, which is now playable on Steam! After the game’s release, the company started doing some contract work, most notably for Borealys Games’ Mages of Mystralia, another Kickstarter project that’s been recently released! Now we’re back to creating new worlds for our players to get immersed in, and Steamboat Billy is the next project we want to take to moon!
The master of geeky t-shirts! Chris has degrees from the University of Montreal and has worked on almost every aspect of video game development (Programming, Narrative Design, Game Design, Integration, Marketing…) for the past 5 years! Don’t ask him to draw anything though… Seriously, you’ll regret it.
The Disney-obsessed 2D mastermind, he's the creator of this world! Anthony has been drawing cartoons since he was a kid and we can barely contain his excitement for this project! After a master degree in Architecture and a degree in Game Design,Anthony has been producing and directing 2D artwork, animation and visual effects for various games in the past few years and has all of the skills necessary to bring a project of this scope into your hands!
Armed with a creative eye and a natural talent for producing and shipping projects, Kim got a post-grad degree in Game Design and has been making awesome games ever since!
Jackie is the studio’s resident animator. With her passion for anime, cartoons and japanese culture in general, it was a no-brainer for her to start a career in moving images and the art-style we are using in Steamboat Billy is right up her alley!
Inaugurated in 2015, Geeksound Factory have been making music and SFX for video games in the Montreal area to great success! They were the team behind the music and effects of Epic Manager and our experience with them was so good we just had to have them back!
The primary reason is for us to be able to fund the game. But, between Epic Manager and Mages of Mystralia this is ManaVoid Entertainment’s 3rd Kickstarter project, so at this point we know that the value of a Kickstarter goes way beyond the amount of money raised during the campaign.
For one, just building a community around a project is crucial for development. We saw how important the feedback was during the Steam Early Access of Epic Manager and the closed beta of Mages of Mystralia. If it wasn’t for those beta tests, the game would’ve been released with a plethora of bugs and design issues that we were ultimately able to iron out with your help!
Secondly, although the game is already packed with cool features and mechanics, we’ve got a ton more on our bucket list that we would love to implement into the game, but can’t guarantee because of a lack of funds. Kickstarter allows us to potentially reach these stretch goals and make the game that much better!
Finally, this campaign is also Steamboat Billy’s first public appearance, which means that all of the media coverage we get for this game will help us receive more exposure in the long run. Considering the number of games being released these days, a successful Kickstarter campaign will certainly help!
From everyone here at the ManaVoid HQ, we really can’t say enough good things about the Kickstarter community!
We certainly appreciate everything you’ve done for us and our company so far and we hope to continue this relationship through Kickstarter, Steam discussion boards and seeing you all at events in the near future!
Risks and challenges
We are very aware that Kickstarter projects often come with a certain level of risk for the backer, but we want to reassure you that this game will get done no matter what happens during this campaign. Coming to Kickstarter allows us to make the game without compromising on the quality of our vision, but if push comes to shove we do have publishing contacts we can turn to.
Furthermore, this is our 3rd Kickstarter project (Epic Manager, Mages of Mystralia), so we know what we are doing in terms of scope, pledge levels, rewards and stretch goals. We’ve delivered the games we promised in the past and will continue to do so in the future!
ManaVoid is a team of talented developers who’ve all shipped games before and we are a part of an ecosystem in Montreal that allows us to turn to other professionals at any time if we’re in a pinch, so the risk level for our project is pretty much as low as it gets!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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