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A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
18,558 backers pledged $776,084 to help bring this project to life.

Half-Genie, All Heart


Happy Genie-tines Day!

Here's a Valentine's Day wish from WayForward to all of our Shantaerians and Tinkerbackers! o^_^o

Building a Hero

Lets talk about game development at WayForward, shall we? Before we get to production artwork (the highly polished stuff you see in the final game), we take our ideas through a lot of phases. Our goal is to make every single element in Half-Genie Hero the best it can be, and to provide adequate time to polish, iterate, tear down, try again and so on.  

We begin by scoping out the game, something that all of you had a hand in. We're designing 2 intro segments (one for Shantae and one for Risky Boots), 5 main Chapters or "Worlds", and an epic conclusion. Some of these Worlds will be themed to the stretch goals you all made happen -- racing on magic carpets in one case, tracking down the secret origins of Shantae's new Guardian Genie Rival in the other. Each chapter will have its own enemies, music, effects, environments, and bosses which all get broken down into tasks, with time and money accounted for.

Then comes the fun stuff... concept artwork, scenario design, engine development, character design, rough story outlines, animation tests, and our gameplay "collision gym", which we use to establish game rules (gravity, camera, enemy behavior, and Shantae's moves).  

Here's a sketchbook page breaking the game down into Worlds (we call them Chapters when referring to story, but Worlds might be a better term. You know, standard game jargon). Players will be unlocking these Worlds in order, following a mostly linear storyline - and then revisiting them to fulfill NPC quests. You can see which characters might be involved with the storyline too.

Next are some thumbnails - loose paintings that explore color and tone for each area. This makes it easy to see the game at a glance and say, "Hey, there's no Lava area in this game, but we've got 2 kinds of that ok?"

And finally some character designs for one of our large scale bosses, the Giga Mermaid. In our Waterfall Chapter, Shantae is investigating some mermaid-related crime and this 50 foot tall Mermaid Princess marks the end of the level. While she rages out and deals epic damage to Shantae you've got to wonder why she's in chains. Is this a frame job? Maybe and maybe not! Anything can (and will) change in the early phases of development. That's why we call it Game Development!

Mightiest of the Year!  

In other news, Mighty Switch Force! 2 has been nominated for Game of the Year by Pocket Gamer and we need your help to win! Please click the image below and vote to make your voice heard!


Our good friend Jeremy Blaustein and the team at iQiOi Co., Ltd. have an exciting Steampunk Adventure game on Kickstarter right now: Blackmore.  Jeremy has localized some of our previous titles and we hope you'll take a look at his campaign :)

Thanks for reading and remember, to stay in touch with us between updates you can follow us on Twitter @WayForward or Like us on Facebook!

NMD-JSD, Rex Warden, and 81 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      TearDrpsonWater on

      I can't wait to meet the Giga Mermaid! Her designs are gorgeous! I'm most excited to explore the mermaid water region! :)

    2. Missing avatar

      Stephen Townsend on

      I LOVE the Giga Mermaid designs, in particular the one on the bottom right has a good mix of traditional Shantae cuteness and threatening enough to be a boss. I also rather like the one with pigtails with Shantae on the cliff in front of her.

    3. Vince Vazquez

      LOVE this kind of stuff :) Thanks for the BTS and (always excellent) concept art, Wayforward!

    4. Missing avatar

      Michael Brown on

      Always wonderful seeing insights into game development. Shantae's been an inspiration to me since Day 1, but this takes it to a whole new level! Thanks, WayForward!

    5. Olli Johannes Suvinen on

      Sorry, das testing due to kickstarter news I got if my account still works.
      There has been hackers 'n shrimp.

    6. Missing avatar

      Anemos on

      After a long week of midterms, seeing that Valentine's card in my inbox just completely made my week ^_^

    7. Antonio Ortiz on

      @Phil instead "threating them" like that, you should support it: more success, more easy coming to Steam (even Double Dragon has came to steam, it´s jsut a matter of time)

      I must confess I love the first design of the Giga Mermaid. Others are cool too...but doesn´t recap in my humble opinion the "power and cruelty beauty" of the sea (and its inhabitants)

      One question for Wayforward, how much time remaining we have to keep pledging? I haven´t enough money, but I would love to upgrade my pledge to the Digital Artbook tier in next weeks : )

      Thank you for the update guys!

    8. Marcelo José Rosa on

      Thanks for a Valentine day card, sweet Shantae! ^__^
      Oh! I liked the idea of Giga Mermaids! Very interesting indeed! I'm increasingly excited by the game! ^__^

    9. EvaUnit02 on

      Sorry, I refuse to support the Mighty Switch Force series in any way until you bring it to PC.

    10. Rullakebab99 on

      I had to vote for Steamworld dig and its studio Image&Form in every category where available. T_T - that game was just something else. I'm sorry, WF!!! :'((

    11. Johnny Jones on

      When you guys say "worlds" and "chapters", do you mean separate stages or on overworld as in past Shantae games. The phrasing has me a little worried is all.

    12. Gerald Bocook on

      The idea behind the Giga Mermaid, for some reason, sounds totally like something from a Vanillaware game. And I'm totally, horribly, fantastically okay with that. The idea actually gives me a headache of extremely awesome proportions. hahah

    13. Adrian Batey on


      The link is here:
      And I noticed somebody funded some money to PayPal today.

    14. Francisco Jose Cano Perez on

      Where's Pirate's Curse? You said there would be Pirate's Curse.

    15. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      The author of this comment has been deleted.

    16. Jeremie Lariviere

      Great update, thanks! I'm looking forward to the game!

    17. Gamemaniac3434 on

      Refarding the giant mermaid, I vote for the design furthest to the right. Its pretty good

    18. Jamie 'Mitch McKidd' Mitchell on

      This is really making my video gaming senses tingle throughout each update with the amount of progress "Half-Genie Hero" is making. WayForward is really making this one of the most anticipated video games of 2014.

      Also, voted for Mighty Switch Force! 2 as 3DS game of the year. =)

    19. Missing avatar

      Carlos Santacruz on

      Man im really thorn with all these project updates... on 1 hand i really want to see how everything is going but OTOH i dont want to keep spoiling myself on the game any further. :(

      Lovely pic of Shantae as usual <3

    20. Jake Pangares on

      Oh my gosh! This game is looking 20 times better every time you guys talk about it! I mean DANG!!! I'm honestly more hyped for this game than even Smash Bros.!! The Giga Mermaid thing by the way is genius!! (Not to mention beautiful!) My favorite is the one on the far left with the two ponytails but they all look awesome! Not to mention teasing us on the environments and such of the chapters! Dang! I want this game in my hands now but I BEG you to take your time and make this game the best it can be! Oh! And I voted for Switch Force! btw ;)

    21. Missing avatar

      Louis London on

      Those are some lovely Giga Mermaid designs. When will us contributors get the chance to vote on them?

    22. Gary Stewart on

      I like what I see in the development. And that's obvious that it's Gigi D.G.'s doing on the Environment Ideation (beautifully done). I'm so anxious for this game (but no rushing please)!

      HYPE GET!

    23. Guilherme Reis Bonfim on

      Wow! So much information!
      I'll need some time to go through all of this. Nice stuff.

    24. Missing avatar

      Luffink on

      That (those?) designs for the Giga Mermaid looks GORGEOUS. Seriously, I love every single one of them.

      Say, how is the Paypal funding going? Any chance to reach the 900k stretch goal so far?

    25. Matthew Bowie on

      I love the Shantae Photo and the concept art! I made sure to vote and I'm sure you guys can win! :D

    26. WayForward Creator on

      Fixed :)

    27. NMD-JSD on

      Your link to Pocket Gamers Awards doesn't work.