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A handcrafted indie adventure game about the power of music. Go on a journey and save the world with singing~
A handcrafted indie adventure game about the power of music. Go on a journey and save the world with singing~
989 backers pledged $21,936 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$21,936

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Wandersong takes you on a whimsical, musical journey around the world! Use your singing to connect people, solve puzzles, and (hopefully) save the world! 

Inspired by a 5,000 mile bike ride across America, this game is all about going on an adventure, meeting tons of unique characters along the way, and using the power of music to bring them all together!

This game is not about memorizing and re-using songs; it's about observing what's around you and using music to interact with each unique situation.

...Is a side scroller where you can sing at any time! There's a lot of emphasis on narrative and playful interactions with your singing.

You can run and jump with the keyboard or controller buttons, and sing using either the mouse or a controller stick. Throughout the game you'll encounter a lots of unique characters, creatures and objects who respond to your music in different ways. 

Your singing will be able to move objects, change the direction of wind, clear fog, summon birds, passify ghosts, alter the flow of time, or a hundred other things... depending on what you sing to!

We're planning to launch on PC and Mac with Steam, the Humble Store, and other similar digital retailers.

You can find many more gifs/screenshots on our Devlog!

Eons ago, the goddess Eya set the universe into motion with her music. Now, as she does every epoch or so, she's planning to sing a new song, effectively resetting existence. 

To preserve the Earth, the bard will have to go on a journey around the world, visiting the planet's spirit guides and collect pieces of a mysterious melody called the Earthsong.

The story has flavors of Earthbound, Over the Garden Wall, and My Neighbor Totoro...

The Bard - A jolly soul who brings music wherever they go. Everyone calls them a kid, but on closer inspection, they're not all that young. Unrelenting optimism paves their way forward!

The Angel - A messenger for the goddess Eya. Vicariously feels her mom's love for all that exists, which makes her job as harbinger of doom challenging. 

Miriam - A rude witch and unwitting ally on the bard's journey. Has powerful magic and rides a broom around. Impatient and short-tempered, but not a bad person once you get to know her...

The Dream King - One of Earth's guardian spirits, albeit the laziest and most apathetic. Humans are "eh." Seems content with the end of the world.

And many more...
And many more...

The first "Act" of the game is already playable (of 7). All the basic systems are in place, we have a swanky level editor, all that good stuff. We have a roadmap for what the rest of the game is going to look like and a pretty good understanding of what it's going to take to make it. While some big challenges still lie ahead of us, we've laid enough groundwork to be confident that we can make the game and that it will be compelling to play when it's done!

The level editor in action
The level editor in action

Greg Lobanov, that's who!

Drawing by Meowza
Drawing by Meowza

I've been making games in Game Maker (this one included) for over a decade. I've made jRPGs, platforming adventures, mobile puzzle and action games, and most recently, a deckbuilding roguelike called Coin Crypt. I found a scarf in a tree once and have been wearing it ever since. I am not a good singer, but I still really like doing it!

I have thus far been handling every aspect of the game solo. With kickstarter funding, I can bring in collaborators for sound and music!

Hyperduck Soundworks is responsible for that pretty music you heard in the trailer! They've worked on a huge variety of games, including Dust: An Elysian Tale. 

Martin Molin, of Swedish folk-pop bands Wintergatan and formerly Detektivbyrån has also expressed interest in doing a few tracks for the game using a marble-powered music machine of his design. 

Music plays a vital role in Wandersong, obviously! We want to fill the world with simple singalong tunes and folksy charm. Wherever possible we'll be using live performance to capture the feeling of real human presence, with simple instrumentation that goes pleasantly with the sound of the player's singing. In particular we're inspired by flavorings of Irish folk, Amelie, and game soundtracks like that of Wind Waker

The feelings and themes in this game coalesced from a lot of artistic inspirations and life experiences. Last year I decided to do something crazy and ride my bicycle across the United States, covering over 5k miles in 5 months. It was a wild adventure, and a huge inspiration for this game!  I slept outside, faced harsh conditions and made friends with a lot of different people in a lot of different places. For me, it was a lesson in what one can accomplish with optimism and a reassurance in the goodness of humanity. I want to communicate those kinds of themes in making Wandersong.

I love the feeling of singing, how it energizes you and projects some kind of energy. I love how it moves and connects people. I want Wandersong to be about that too.

If we exactly reach our funding goal, it's going to be used like this:

Our collaborators for sound and music are not set in stone yet, and the extent of what we can do will be determined by the success of this Kickstarter in addition to my own personal funding. If we exceed the goal by a significant amount I'll be able to put the money towards other aspects of the game, but our first priority is making sure we can support talented musicians and sound designers to make quality music and sound.

I have some savings from my previous game(s), and a continuing passive income from those releases to help me pick up the financial slack in the time between now and when Wandersong is done. Any amount exceeding the goal is going to help me make sure I'm personally taken care of, besides also working us towards those stretch goals!

 Fledgling ($1): You're a cool person!

Bird ($15): Get a digital copy of the game when it comes out on Steam and DRM-free for PC and Mac! Your name will go in the credits!

Songbird ($25): Get a digital copy of the game when it comes out on Steam and DRM-free for PC and Mac! Your name will go in the credits! And get the soundtrack with your copy of the game!!

Eagle ($50): Get a digital copy of the game when it comes out on Steam and DRM-free for PC and Mac! Your name will go in the credits! And get the soundtrack with your copy of the game!! Don't feel like waiting? You'll get the game before it comes out!

Bard ($100): Get a digital copy of the game when it comes out on Steam and DRM-free for PC and Mac! Your name will go in the credits! And get the soundtrack with your copy of the game!! Don't feel like waiting? You'll get the game before it comes out! Not soon enough?? We'll set up a google chat once a month where you can hang out with us and see how it's progressing!

Witch ($200): Get a digital copy of the game when it comes out on Steam and DRM-free for PC and Mac! Your name will go in the credits! And get the soundtrack with your copy of the game!! Don't feel like waiting? You'll get the game before it comes out! Not soon enough?? I'll set up a google chat once a month where you can hang out with me and see how it's progressing! And, I'll draw and animate you or a character of your choice in the style of the game!

Here's an example!
Here's an example!

Hero ($500): Get a digital copy of the game when it comes out on Steam and DRM-free for PC and Mac! Your name will go in the credits! And get the soundtrack with your copy of the game!! Don't feel like waiting? You'll get the game before it comes out! Not soon enough?? I'll set up a google chat once a month where you can hang out with me and see how it's progressing! And I'll work with you to put you or a character of your design into the game--complete with dialog and a unique reaction to the player's singing!

Muse ($2000): Get a digital copy of the game when it comes out on Steam and DRM-free for PC and Mac! Your name will go in the credits! And get the soundtrack with your copy of the game!! Don't feel like waiting? You'll get the game before it comes out! Not soon enough?? I'll set up a google chat once a month where you can hang out with me and see how it's progressing! And I'll work with you to put you or a character of your design into the game--complete with dialog and a unique reaction to the player's singing! AND, as a very special thank you from me, I will write you a song with lyrics inspired by and about you. 

I have a lot of ideas I'd like to work into the game! At our goal of 18k, I simply won't be able to put them all in and afford the additional music + development costs. 23k is the funding amount I originally worked out that I'd need to make the complete Wandersong experience, before I decided to lower my ask to a more achievable 18k. I'd estimate that each of the above goals will add 20-30 mins of additional playtime to the game.

If we do hit these listed goals, some of the next things we'd be interested in would be translations. With this game's estimated word count, a single language might cost us about $2k (plus dev/time costs to make this possible in the game engine), so we have to choose carefully! Feel free to sound off in the comments if you have a preferred language you'd like to see Wandersong in.

Art by jouste
Art by jouste
Art by mushbuh
Art by mushbuh

For press interested in writing something, here is a collection of screenshots and promo art you can use!

Risks and challenges

I've made lot of games before (7 commercial titles or so in the last 5 years). And as big a game as it is, Wandersong probably won't be the biggest I've made when it's finished. Or even the second biggest. (But it will certainly be the BEST). I've chosen my deadlines fairly conservatively and assumed that a lot will go wrong. And if reality still doesn't agree with my plans, I have no problem compromising the scope where necessary to make sure the game is completed. This is a part of game development and of life that I'm very comfortable with. I've never given a game a title and not finished it. In the end, I'm a lot more concerned with how to make this game as quality as possible, and less about how I'm going to get it done.

Concerning risks: Obviously I don't have the slightest idea what's going to happen between now and when the game is finished. It could be anywhere in the range of "pretty much nothing" to "I die in a car crash." The biggest potential risk I see comes from delay due to schedule/communication issues with whoever the final sound + music lineup ends up being. But believe me when I say that no matter how much money you invest in this, my personal investment (financial + emotional) far exceeds that! :O I WILL MAKE THIS HAPPEN. Or, die in a car crash. We'll see! Maybe with enough kickstarter money, I'll be able to afford the expensive medical procedures to pull through that car crash! Why am I talking like it's definitely going to happen? Maybe I'll stay off the road this year...

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    I'll set up a monthly group Google hangout, and you're invited! I'll show how the game's going, and we can just have a nice candid chit chat about game dev or whatever.

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    WITCH TIER
    I'll draw a portrait of you or a character of your choice in the style of the game, complete with a little idle animation! You can use it for whatever you want, including avatars, or just to gaze at fondly.

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    Become an NPC in the game! I'll work closely with you and design a character in your image, or whatever image you want (within reasonable bounds of the game world) as well as some text. I'll give you a unique reaction to the bard's singing, too!

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    MUSE TIER
    Wow!

    I will personally write a song about you, incl. lyrics, and record a performance of this song for you. This will involve some communication between us so that I can write meaningful words about you. The actual game composers will be solicited for feedback/advice on the songwriting. This recording can go on YouTube, or just straight to you.

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Funding period

- (30 days)