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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.

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Team Reveal: Skullgirls’ Mariel Cartwright!

Posted by WayForward (Creator)
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If you haven’t heard of Mariel Cartwright, you’ve no doubt seen her work. Mariel is the Lead Animator for the much acclaimed 2D fighter Skullgirls. She’s also the person behind the amazing animations you’ve seen in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero!

During her time off from Skullgirls, Mariel created all of the rough animation for Shantae’s new HD move-set… ready stances, hair-whips, running, jumping, ducking, crawling… dozens of sequences in all. We’re thrilled to have her as part of the team! Let’s bug her with some questions…

WF: What got you interested in Character Animation?

MARIEL: I grew up so surrounded by animation and games doing something art related seemed like a natural career path for me. I realized very early on that I loved drawing and drew nonstop all throughout grade school. It actually wasn't until I was 16 or so that realized I wanted to animate though-- my focus was actually more on comics before then, but I wanted to give it a shot. When it came time to apply for colleges, I went for the character animation program at CalArts and got in, and now I'm here!

WF: You have a very distinct drawing style. What are your biggest inspirations or influences?

MARIEL: Hm, it's hard to pinpoint any one thing. I love basically every Capcom illustrator and artists I've found online like Hoshikubi and Kawayoo, but I'm also inspired by horror movies and older anime. I don't want to limit myself to just these though, so I'm still trying to discover more stuff and expand my work.

WF: How did you get into the game biz?

MARIEL: It was a couple things around the same time: my school's job fair and being asked to contribute to Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I put out my portfolio at CalArts' job fair not expecting much... and was contacted by Matt (Bozon) and Adam Tierney for work not too long after. I got the Silent Hill job out of nowhere-- Tomm Hulett, of Konami at the time (and now WayForward!), emailed me after hearing I was a Silent Hill fan and asked me to illustrate Shattered Memories' joke ending. I owe all these guys so much!

WF: When did your work with WayForward begin, and what's happened since then?

MARIEL: The first time I heard of WayForward was when a couple guys from the company came to my school for a talk, but it wasn't until the aforementioned job fair that I started working with them. I think that was mid-2009, so I've been working with WayForward doing various illustrations and animation for over four years now. That's kinda nuts.

WF: Do you have a favorite Shantae or WayForward character? Why that one?

MARIEL: I like Shantae a lot, actually! Her design is pretty iconic and appealing, and despite style variations across games she's always felt like the same character. There's nothing quite like her in games. I think Half-Genie Hero looks fantastic so far and I'm excited to be able to work on her!

WF: What's your favorite video game of all time?

MARIEL: Maybe this is a cheesy answer, but it's still Final Fantasy 7 for me. It's the one thing I've consistently come back to and replayed every few years. I'm a terrible completionist though, and still have never gotten a gold chocobo... maybe this next run will be the one where I actually do it.

WF: If Shantae were to appear in Skullgirls, who would her rival character be?

MARIEL: Haha, maybe Filia? I think they need to have a hair vs hair showdown!

WF: Thanks Mariel! 

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You can follow Mariel Cartwright on Twitter: @kinucakes

VITA and VITA TV announcement!

Posted by WayForward (Creator)
5 likes

Hey folks, a lot of you have been asking for Half-Genie Hero on VITA. As it happens, the landscape of gaming has shifted somewhat today with Sony’s VITA TV announcement. In response, we’ve decided to port wfEngine to Vita as part of our “work-for-hire” business.

What does this mean for Half-Genie Hero? Well, it means that we can include both VITA and VITA TV as part of our $400K funding goal. It’s not a Stretch Goal, just part of the package.

Please help us spread the word, now that our message has changed. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero will now include “VITA & VITA TV” as an option for your platform of choice!

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Story Update: intro sequence

Posted by WayForward (Creator)
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THANK YOU! We're so grateful for for the many fans who have given their time and energies to this project.  We've made it to 50% by day five, and that's no small task! 

Today we're showing how the various levels from our main video fit together to form the game's introduction stage.  The game begins in the dead of night, where Shantae is mysteriously awakened and plunges into the forest.  She's drawn by something... but we don't know what!  This is when the player will learn the basics of the controls, simply by moving around.  Shantae is in her "jammies" and the moves are not fully unlocked yet, allowing players to ease into it. 

Through the forest and into Scuttle Town we go.  The town is oddly still.  The NPC characters that are usually wandering about are not present, and every door but one is locked.  Players find their way to the workshop, where Shantae's uncle (her only known family) is snoozing in a chair.  Hmm, he's left a rug pulled back, and a mysterious latch draws your eye.  Lets WHIP it! Yes, there's a door here.  What's he been hiding? 

There's a vertical basement level where the old inventor has been storing his many failed experiments.  Nothing odd about that.  But there are torches, as though someone's been here recently.  Shantae presses on to find an undersea cavern as large as Scuttle Town itself!  Is she dreaming?  The chamber beyond is even more intriguing, featuring a huge fountain with a stone Genie Statue.  It speaks!  The statue warns Shantae of grave danger that will soon befall Sequin Land.  It is impossible to describe...  she must see the evil firsthand!

Shantae is enveloped in blinding light, and is whisked away to what could only be the Genie Realm.  Shantae has never met her mother or father... could this place hold the answers she's been searching for all her life?  But what's that on the floor?  A magical seal keeps something huge trapped beneath the ground.  And whatever it is, it's breaking free.... RIGHT NOW!         

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Interview with Composer Jake "Virt" Kaufman!!!

Posted by WayForward (Creator)
4 likes

We hope everyone is still bopping their heads and tapping their feet to the theme song (we certainly are)!  For anyone who would like to know more about the music of Shantae: Half Genie Hero we have an interview with our composer, Jake "Virt" Kaufman.  Jake has been composing music for WayForward for a long time and has created the music for Mighty Switch Force!, Ducktales Remastered, and of course the Shantae series.

Jake will be performing the Shantae theme song "Dance Through the Danger" live at Club Microwave tonight!!!  If you're in Southern California, you won't want to miss this!

And don't forget to tune in to "Sup, Holmes?" on twitch.tv at 1:00PM PST tomorrow to see Shantae series creator Matt Bozon!

sholmes logo 200px by chzimmerman-d4r1tey

Shantae character design update!

Posted by WayForward (Creator)
5 likes

TWO UPDATES in ONE DAY!?  Work on Shantae's character design is continuing at a brisk pace.  We're presently trying out some new color palettes for the main sprite.  Our engine uses a nifty "additive lighting" effect, which can make her look cool & luminous by night, or warm & vibrant by day.  This is still a work-in-progress... check it out!     

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