This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Runes: The Forgotten Path, a VR wizard adventure
Runes: The Forgotten Path, a VR wizard adventure
How does it feel to be a wizard? Our game has the answer: cast spells with your own hands, experience a deep story in virtual reality!
How does it feel to be a wizard? Our game has the answer: cast spells with your own hands, experience a deep story in virtual reality! Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
About this project
This update comes with a big announcement. If we reach the 100% funding before May 22nd, all the pledges from Rune Caster up to Leth the Reformed will see their reward upgraded for free! For higher pledges we have some extra goodies as well, check our update.
Runes: The Forgotten Path is a VR adventure set in a fantasy world in which you play as a renegade wizard. You will master the art of spellcasting by drawing rune shapes in the air with your hands to solve puzzles and fight enemies.
With your spells and wits you will try to remember your lost memories and escape Oblivion, a prison inside your own mind. Runes will challenge you with puzzles designed specifically for VR without holding your hand throughout the process. The story puts you in a world made of dreams and memories that will captivate your senses.
With this demo you can have a first taste of what makes Runes special. You will test our 4th Wall locomotion system, solve puzzles and learn the spellcasting system. We hope you enjoy it! : )
We are also sharing with you a combat demo we made for Gamescom 2016 where you can try another two spells and fight Turmoils!
PLATFORMS: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift with Touch controllers.
RELEASE DATE: Q4 2017 Gameplay time: 5h+
ENGINE: Unity 5
"What I saw left me wanting to go hands-on with its detailed world and gesture-based magic." - Hardcore Gamer
"Channeling a mechanic that I’ve been a fan of ever since I first played Arx Fatalis, in Runes you’ll have to draw the shapes of spells in the air using your hand in order to cast them." - Upload VR
"The world has been created with great care, and physical interactions within the game world are aimed to give you as much of a natural feeling as possible." - Big Boss Battle
"Stormborn Studio has something amazing on their hands.Runes: The Forgotten Path takes elements of some of the best VR games on the market, wraps it into a solid magic-based storyline, and turns us loose in a room scale experience that wildly exceeded my expectations." - Gamingtrend
"Runes somehow captures the holy trinity of VR; something good to look at, something to meaningful to do with your hands, and giving purpose to movement - all while maintaining, what I’m told, will be a narrative driven game " - Gamegrin
Runes: The Forgotten Path has been in our minds since the astonishing success of the Oculus Rift Kickstarter paved the way for the surge of VR. With the advent of room-scale VR the project found its perfect medium. Designed from the ground up for Virtual Reality the interactions and the world are as consistent with what your senses expect as possible.
We push VR to its maximum and try to give you sensations and emotions that would otherwise be impossible.
The physical interactions with the world have been refined and tested to make things as natural as possible while giving you a sense of wonder and immersion.
- 100% designed for room scale VR.
- Cast spells by drawing in the air with motion controllers.
- Full story driven VR title with different environments and puzzle solving.
- Photogrammetry for full deep and immersive worlds.
- New seamless locomotion system.
- Nodding system: answer to yes or no questions just by moving your head.
Runes uses a new locomotion system which combines 1st person and 3rd person gameplay mechanics.
The name of this system is "4th Wall" since the player crosses the wall from spectator to actor in a seamless yet engaging manner.
The system works as follows: all interactions (such as fighting, dealing with puzzles, etc) happen in 1st person, however when traversing long distances the view can be switched to a 3rd person fixed camera. In this mode the player will see his avatar, and control it as in a regular 3rd person game, while still being able to move in room-scale and observe the environment. This allows for many interesting new concepts, from puzzle mechanics (see demo) to narrative choices.
4th wall is however not the only locomotion solution adopted within the game. As of now we have several main locomotion systems working inside the game: 4th Wall, trackpad locomotion and teleport. Options FTW!
Legends tell of the ancient golden age of peace and prosperity at the beginning of time, when the Makers created mankind giving them the gift of Magic to shape reality and grow strong.
The Makers guided men, teaching them wisdom and love for all beings in the cosmos, but they left to other dimensions for unfathomable reasons.
Mankind was left on its own. Men and women built a strong and wise civilization, bending the forces of magic to shape reality and create inconceivable wonders. Then the priceless gift of the Makers turned into a curse, as the strongest men, who grew power-hungry, became tyrants.
The Panopticon had been established: an order of powerful wizards that started regulating magic, allowing only a little glimpse of it to be used by their underlings. The punishment for those who defied the law was Oblivion: an eternal sleep prison of the mind that forced the body of the traitors into life while their mind was imprisoned in a never ending limbo.
This was the second age: an age of dictatorship, fear and hatred; mankind was strong and safe, but was no longer free.
Oppression lasted for centuries and it seemed it would never end, but all of a sudden something mysterious and terrible happened. The great Cataclysm, the causes of which are still unknown, left behind a scorched world, freeing forces of entropy on the lands of men that brought mankind on the verge of extinction.
You are Leth, a wizard who awakens after a long slumber, recalling only glimpses of his past. Your spells are forgotten.
During the game you will recollect his memories bit by bit, recalling your past and figuring out the mystery behind a magical world populated by bizarre and unsettling entities.
How did you become trapped in Oblivion? Who put you there? and why?
The music of Runes is of the uttermost importance, it ties the game together ranging from tense and epic tones to calm and mysterious ones. For this reason we are working with Lorenzo Visintin, a composer with a vision that left us enamoured. Here you can find a mix of the OST:
Anticipated Access will be delivered before the official release of the game 2 weeks in advance.
Beta access will be out at least a month before release.
Alpha access at least two months before release.
Symbol of law for some, token of harsh tyranny for Others. The Eye of the Panopticon has tirelessly watched over the practice of the four elements and the ten shapes throughout the second era until the great cataclysm.
Will you be powerul, wise or fool enough to wear it and bend mankind to your rules?
We are making this pendant in collaboration with a jewelry artisan who is handcrafting the first unit, thus guaranteeing a professional finish. This metal pendant will also allow the owner to unlock exclusive gameplay and discover its secret story.
Wear the power of Runes with our fluffy, cozy 100% cotton, 4-color printed limited edition T-shirt: a classy add-on to your geek wardrobe!
Yes! If we reach the 100% funding before Math 22nd, all the pledges from Rune Caster up to Leth the Reformed will see their reward upgraded for free!
If you pledge above at Panopticon Tyrant or Oblivion Revenant level we will invite you (travel costs not included) over to our Studio for a one on one session with the team and the game, you will also get a printed signed copy of the Art book.
The first social goal will provide all Kickstarter backers with an exclusive recipe for the alchemy cabinet, one of the main puzzle mechanics within Runes!
If you cannot back us right now please help us spread the word with a click
Runes has been in pre-production since 2014, the ideas and plot of the universe were forged years ago and have been refined for a long time. With the announcement of the HTC Vive we found our perfect platform and when we obtained one of the first Vive Dev Kits we were sold. We developed our first prototype with motion controllers and it felt great. For about a year we tried to find funding for developing the game but we realised most publishers and investors were not taking any risks with VR games.
We decided to quit our jobs and put all the cards on the table. We invested all the money we had saved up and have been in full development since last October. Development is going great, but we are running out of funds. We would like to remain true to our original vision and that is the reason we are coming to Kickstarter to ask for your help.
With the proper funding we will be able to develop the complete game and deliver a long (5h+) VR adventure.
The bulk of the funding will be used to keep the studio running until the end of development. We are very close to completion so we only need a few more months of development. Another big chunk of the money will be used for professional voice acting for the characters that populate Runes.
We're the kind of people who grew up in a world that included video games. Who explored other worlds, thanks to those video games. Some of us are old enough to have stared, wide-eyed, at a pixelated spaceship landing on Jupiter, on a Commodore 64. We've ventured through Hyrule, and saved princesses from Bowser.
We wielded both tongues and swords against our foes, on Caribbean islands, with Guybrush. We've ventured through dungeons and alien planets. And on and on, all the way to today. Screens of all sizes have reflected their light on our amazed faces, at all times of day or night. Video games helped shape our jokes, our imagination, our hysterical reaction times. We're gamers.
That's who we are. Stormborn Studio was unofficially established in 2014 with a dream, to build the fantasy videogame we had always talked about. After years of preparation we quit our jobs last year and opened the studio. We had been working with VR since the beginning of the DK1 times and have worked on b2b (business 2 business) ventures from 360 videos to interactive 3D experiences. However our dream has always been to make Runes.
Risks and challenges
VR development is a new frontier, experimentation is key but we are at a point where we are happy with the main mechanics of the game. The main risk is realising the end part of the game actually requires more time than we planned. As with any game development delays are possible and some features planned, such as new spells or enemies might prove quite involved. We are however confident on delivering the first chapter before the end of 2017 and share it with all of you : )Learn about accountability on Kickstarter