Share this project


Share this project

Photo original
A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
Created by


18,558 backers pledged $776,084 to help bring this project to life.

A Smashing Good Time in Scuttle Town


Hi Tinkerbackers!

Things are  moving at breakneck-speed over here, and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is looking more and more amazing with each passing day!  Don't believe us? Check it out for yourself below!

Scuttle Town

Scuttle Town’s going “full circle” in Half-Genie Hero. We’re building out new concepts that take the Game Boy Color's circular town layout and recreating it in 3D. If you look closely, you might notice that every vantage point from past games is faithfully represented! The front and rear gate, the scarecrow fields, and even the old Lighthouse bay. We can’t wait to start building the new Scuttle Town!

Desert World

In our last update we showed you Desert concepts.  What you see below is those concepts made real in-game!  It now has a darker look and hints of a lost age in the background. Totally swank! 

 We've also got new desert-themed enemies to show you, including some new and returning faces! Check ‘em out!

Shantae in SMASH BROS?!? VOTE NOW!

Is anyone else losing their mind over this? Nintendo president Mr. Iwata has opened up voting to add your favorite character into SMASH BROS! As the original indie darling, we can’t think of anyone more suited to the task than our own hair-whipping heroine Shantae! She’s got the legacy, having Nintendo exclusive game launches dating back to Game Boy Color -- but her costume swaps and move sets are a perfect fit as well! More girl power, more magic, more music, more moves! VOTE NOW! 

North America Smash Ballot -
EU-UK Smash Ballot -
Japan Smash Ballot -

After you vote (you voted, right?) check out these awesome costume variations from our art team! We want Shantae in SMASH BROS., but it’s up to YOU! We already know what happens when you combine your collective might! Make some noise and VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

North America Smash Ballot -
EU-UK Smash Ballot -
Japan Smash Ballot -

Slime, Sand, and Silver (Anniversaries)!


Greetings and salutations Shantaerians and Tinkerbackers!

Say Hello to SlimeGal!

While for most of you it’s been a while since our last update (sorry about that), a smaller group of Backers has been working with the dev team intensely on backer-created content for several weeks now. Today we’d like to reveal the first of our Backer-Designed enemies, the SlimeGal!

The SlimeGal was designed by backer A.J., with his idea being a slime-based enemy capable of changing shape. She’s not overly malicious, just a creature looking for her next meal. A.J. walked us through several design iterations, with him writing additional thoughts, moves, and adjusting to the game’s needs. We worked on dozens of possible designs and color schemes, with A.J. directing us towards the version you see here. We couldn’t be happier with the results, and feel that she fits wonderfully into the existing universe.

We had a ton of fun working with A.J. but we’re not done yet! Animation will continue to draw up key poses while the programming team proves out her base behaviors. Then we’ll get her working in actual environments designed to maximize her move set. And when that’s over, visual effects and sound design team will step in to perform their magic. A.J. sends his regards, and hopes you’ll love SlimeGal as much as we all do! Thank you A.J!

Your Face in Game & Your Art in Game!

We’ve been making progress on “Your Face in GameBacker NPCs as well, although we do need your help! We’re still missing photos from two of our backers. If you backed at the “Your Face in Game” Reward Tier and did not receive an email, please check your spam filter or email us at!

Yesterday was also the deadline for our "Your Art in Game" Backers to submit their fan art for the in-game Museum.  We're still missing a large number of submissions from our artists so if you haven't submitted your art, please submit it ASAP.  We're extending the deadline until 3/16/2015 at 11:59 PST, but after that we can't guarantee your art can be included.  If you backed at the “Your Art in Game” Reward Tier and did not receive an email, please check your spam filter or email us at!

Desert World Concept Art!

The team has left Mermaid World behind to work on the Desert World, the Race World, and some revisions needed for the Intro section of the game. The underwater areas have been given a lot of attention in the past months and look absolutely stellar! Here are a handful of images to enjoy.

 WayForward turns 25!

Lastly we’d like to invite you to celebrate WayForward’s 25th birthday, which just landed on March 1, 2015. We’ve been doing this for a quarter of a century and love making games for you. To help spread the love, we’re holding some epic sales in the coming weeks on fan-favorite games. Prices range from FREE (this is for you, Vita owners!), to 25%, 50%, and even 75% off. Some sales are restricted to certain territories, so check out our Facebook page for more details. As backers you’ve done plenty for us already, so we’ll say it here – DON’T MISS THE FREE STUFF!!

Crab Form Voting Results, Concept Art, and More!


Hey there Tinkerbackers!

We promised more regular updates, so here's latest scoop on Shantae:

Crab Transformation Voting Results!

The votes have been tallied and we have a winner! It was a close shave, with the very pointy Version A taking 2nd place and Version B claiming the top spot. So here’s your winner, CRAB VERSION B! 

Let’s give her a round of applause! We can’t wait to get her animated and put into the game! And a big thank you to everyone who participated. We're really enjoying the voting process and look forward to having the next one soon!

New Concept Artwork 

We’d also like to show off some great concept paintings for our levels, which are moving forward at a brisk pace. Take a look and enjoy.

And here's a look at another area of our Mermaid World.

Your Face in Game

If you backed at the “Your Face in Gamereward tier, you should have received an email from us. As honorary Sequin Land citizens, you will be required to live within the game for all eternity, wandering back and forth or perhaps leaning on a wall. If you did not receive your email, please check your spam folder, or email We look forward to immortalizing you in Half-Genie Hero

Enemy Designer

Five of you are currently deep in design on our “Backer created enemies”. So far we have a handful of designs moving forward, and we will be sharing visuals with everyone in a future update. Longtime Shantae fans will be happy to hear that great ideas are flowing from your fellow fan-folk. Each fan-made concept fits right in with the existing universe very nicely. 

That's all for today, see you next update!

Shantae sure seems crabby...Transformation Vote!!


Hello Tinkerbackers!

We thought we'd kick off a new year with a lot of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero info, so let’s jump right in with some sweet new game content!

Gameplay Video! 

The video below shows some more work-in-progress of the Mermaid world. The storyline here involves an evil counterfeiting operation, but we’ve opted to keep the video spoiler-free.

#{project_title}'s video poster

One area features some platforming over Greek style pillars, with water hazards and some enemies that might feel familiar to long-time Shantae fans. The next shows some assembly line style machinery inspired by the classic TV show opening of Laverne & Shirley. Shantae’s going to have a tough time navigating the dangers of a machine operated cannery, and there are new alligator-style workers to contend with, and some (now temporary) electric bats as well. There’s also an action packed escape portion where Shantae slides down a chute at high speeds. Enjoy! 

More Visual Design!

Here are a few of the design elements that went into making the levels in the video above: 

A few, like the young maidens & enemy mermaids are yet to be animated. If you’ve played Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, you might recognize a rather sinister soul lurking amongst the concepts. Near the bottom are some more poses for the Giga Mermaid, the boss of this Chapter. The game is really coming together and is oozing with personality.

Transformation Vote!

It’s time to kick off another VOTE! If you backed at the “Contributor” reward tier, you’ve got a week to peruse these designs for one of Shantae's transformations and weigh in on your favorite! 

Our current plan has the player getting the Mermaid Transformation later in the adventure, which allows for unlimited exploration underwater. But earlier in the game players will use the Crab Form to plunge into the depths. While “falling” underwater, the crab can glide side to side (much like the Hat Gliding move in Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse – but, under the sea). The Crab Transformation can also duck to hide in its shell. And while all four of our crab designs look very different (not all have large, visible shells) we can pop the Crab into a protective state easily, defying conventional logic because, hey, it’s a cartoon! So choose your favorite, and we’ll get it animated and in game! This Vote will be open until 3:30pm PST 1/22/2015 and is live...NOW!

Remember, to vote you must be a Contributor level backer ($60 Reward Tier) or higher. If you are, simply go to and login to your account. Select WayForums and click on the Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Kickstarter Contributer+ Board

Once inside find the "Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - Vote #2: Crab Transformation" topic and you will have 4 options to choose from. Click the box next to your favorite and that's it!  You only get one vote, and once you've voted it's locked in, so make it count!!

Enemy Designers! 

If you backed at the “Enemy Designer" reward tier, please check your email inbox right away! We’ve reached out to the 5 Guest Designers to gather up their designs and begin the process of putting their own personal stamp on the game. We’ll be guiding these designers through several steps, ensuring that their foe fits into the world of Shantae, and has a proper home in one of the themed lands in which it will dwell. We’ll all be watching the process through future updates, and it promises to be an entertaining journey for everyone!

Your Art in Game!

Backers at this reward tier have been contacted as well. Now we’ve got a place for you to upload your original Shantae-themed artwork. There will be specific instructions for you as well, including general guidelines and formatting...stuff we can discuss with you outside of this update.

Your Face in Game!

We’ll be reaching out to you next, so please get a couple of photos ready! You’re about to become an NPC in Scuttle Town

Ok, that’s all for now... it’s busy, busy, busy over here at WayForward and we can’t wait to show you more in the next update. See you then!

'Tis the Season for Backers and Bad Guys!


Ho ho ho Tinkerbackers!!

We have a lot to share, but at this time of year we just have to say:

Happy Holidays!

Everyone here at WayForward wishes you the happiest of holidays!  May you spend it with friends,, squids...zombies, and the occasional baron or two!

And if you haven't heard, here's a special something from us to you this holiday season! Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is coming to the Nintendo Wii U eShop in North America on December 25th!!  The game features HD Portraits, Off-TV play, and Controller Support (both the Wii Classic Controller and Wii U Pro Controller)!

And for all of our European and Australian fans, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is expected to release on both 3DS and Wii U in late-January or early-February!  We'll be sharing more details soon on Facebook and Twitter so get hyped!

Half-Genie, Full Funding (and then some!)

As you all know, we closed the PayPal store earlier this week to lock in the scope and finalize all of the content that will be included in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero.  We want to thank each and every one of our Backers again for your support, both in the form of pledges and your overall energy and encouragement. 

We had a funding goal of $400,000 to make Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, and being new to crowdfunding, we weren't sure if we'd reach it.  Boy did you guys surprise and impress us. 18,558 Kickstarter backers pledged $776,084 in the first 30 days of our campaign, and things didn't stop there!

We opened a PayPal store and linked Backerkit to our website bringing in another 2,974 backers and an additional $171,853!!  

This brings our final total to...21,532 backers and $947,937!!!!

Our backers were able to fund more than double what we needed to make Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, and as a result we wanted to reward your amazing efforts with a game that is more than twice it's original size.  

We'll be playing through a total of 5 Chapters (instead of 3) plus Intro and Ending stages as not just Shantae, but as Risky Boots, Sky, Bolo, and Rottytops as well.  And Shantae herself will have a Ninja outfit, Beach wear, and even a Patty Wagon Costume!  Once again, thank you so very much!!

Fan Art Museum

Hope all of our Fan Artists are hard at work on your masterpieces!  We're working the kinks out our file upload process on the site but keep on eye on your email inboxes as you should be hearing from us soon!

Enemy Designers

A handful of our Backers have taken on the awesome responsibility of designing an enemy for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero.  That can include the general behavior, look, and method for attacking or blocking the player’s progress.   There are many things to consider when designing an enemy, such as: 

· Number of game states, like walking, turning around, stopping, falling, jumping, cartwheeling, etc .
· Size and complexity, what it looks like and which areas of the game it inhabits· How it reacts to the various attacks from our playable characters 

We will be there to guide the designer through each step in the process.  We will advise, help keep it “on brand” within the Shantae universe and lore, and will create various sketches to help bring the idea into focus!  

Here's a sample created by the WayForward team:

We’ll post the highlights as we go, but please understand that in the end, these enemies will be considered part of the Shantae universe and they won’t receive a stamp of approval until they meet with the high standards you’ve come to expect.  In other words, please be courteous to our honorary enemy designers as they dip their toes into the process!  

We’ll begin by reaching out to these backers to open communication and get the “back of the napkin” idea of their enemy.  We’ll consider these ideas, and how they can best be shuffled into our game worlds.  For instance If we have, say, too many lava themed enemies then we’ll work with the designer to adapt the design.  Next it’s lots of sketches, color compositions, temporary implementation into the game, and then a final, functioning enemy!   

Here's that WayForward-designed enemy again, this time in a first pass rough cut idle animation, now ready to take a bite out of our Half-Genie Hero:

We're finalizing the Enemy Designer pipeline but expect to start emailing each of you very soon, likely just after the holidays.  So keep an eye on your inbox!

We're looking forward to 2015 and hope you are too!!