The Nascent: An Anecdote of Aetherholme
It's sort of like a tabletop rpg, but in video game form.... kinda. Side scrolling fun with the Narrator pulling the strings.
When is it coming out?
The Nascent is scheduled to come out in April of 2016. What's it coming out on? The Nascent will be released first on Xbox One and Windows. Other consoles are a possibility but those will be released after the initial release.
So what is it out on again?
The Nascent, as mentioned above, is coming out on Xbox One and Windows platforms. We may release on other consoles(Playstation, Mac, etc) but at the moment we are only promising Xbox One and Windows.
What is the Nascent?
You likely watched the video. Now it's time for us to actually explain what it is that the Nascent is. This'll only be a brief summary of the game and we will delve a bit deeper in the lower sections. The Nascent is a 2.5d adventure platformer in the vein of previous greats such as Metroid or Castlevania. The term typically applied to these games is Metroidvania, however what does that really mean?
Like any of these metroidvania style games, the Nascent's gameplay is entirely a side scroller. You'll be going from left to right. However it is also a 3d game, so we can use the benefits of the modern technology to add a dynamic feel to the Nascent. This means that all of the characters and environments are in 3d, and you will also move back and forth into the background and foreground. In tune with the genre, the Nascent will put it's gameplay strength in it's exploration. Our goal is to give the player the freedom to explore and get as much out of the game as they wish without forcing them to have to find upgrades in order to enjoy the game. The Nascent's gameplay won't necessarily revolutionize the genre but it will provide solid gameplay wrapped in a memorable story and a consistent fantastic humor.
Gameplay is supremely important, as we know, but so too is story. We have tried to make sure that our gameplay and our story remain as a happy pair that works together. We don't want any of them to interfere or detract from each other. We have our narrator who will be the voice of the game. He will be the one who talks to you about everything; from your actions, to reading out that poster that you decided looked kinda interesting. The background will feel alive, we want to emphasize that you're a small part of a bigger world, the city itself will be as much of a character as anyone.
The Nascent will play similarly to any of the games in the genre. Seto, your character, will have a normal slue of basic moves; such as an attack, and some dodging. Then throughout the game you will unlock more abilities in order to get into previously inaccessible areas. The Nascent will also put an emphasis on using your abilities intelligently. Your enemies are all going to be stronger than you, however you have access to a lot of little quirky abilities that not only are useful in exploration but also in combat and combos with the goal of getting that messy thief kill in there.
All of this comes together for the plot of "It's kinda like a Tabletop RPG but in videogame form... kinda.". Every element of the game will share in the lovingly crafted aesthetic to create a unified unique experience in order to make a game that will stay in your heart for years to come. We want The Nascent to radiate that aura of quirky indie love that we love to see in games. We love The Nascent, and we're going to make sure that everything comes together to create a game that people love and remember.
Our story is something that we're actually pretty proud of. The Nascent's story isn't some sort of sweeping swashbuckling adventure, nor is it a giant emotional tear jerker. We tread some well worn ground with certain parts of our story, yet we feel that it is different at it's core. All of the developers at Fox and Badger have always been big fans of story/character focused games and that is something we wish to bring into the Nascent.
The story is about Seto, a Nascent, as he awakens within the city for the first time. In the Nascent, you're not going to be saving the world or changing the structure of it. The city is huge, and you're just a tiny little confused halfling. Instead, the Nascent is about a confused scared murder hobo who just wants to be able to live a life in freedom. However, the city does not want someone who is trying to roam around on free will causing problems. Along the way he meets a couple of interesting folks, and goes to some interesting places.
This is all couched in the overarching tabletop rpg. In the Nascent you're not actually playing the character Seto. You're playing the player who is playing Seto. It's all in your imagination, what the game looks like is the result of what the player is imagining within the game.
The story in the Nascent is something that extends from more than just the actions taken and exposition given. Instead the story is also in the world. The Nascent takes place in an aetherpunk dystopian utopia known as Aetherholme(aka; the city or home). A city the size of a large state, surrounded by a gateless wall with a great tower at its heart.
The City is ruled by the City Central Government who watch over the four great guilds. The Guilds run the day to day of life in the city and every citizen is within their reach. Within this city where every building that will be allowed has already been constructed, and where there is only so much space for agriculture, everything is kept on tight watch. Everything from birth rates, to where you can live is monitored. Population is monitored and every crime is handled harshly, any crime is a death sentence if you do not pay your fine in time.
How did it get to here? The legend goes that the gods grew frustrated with the violent ways of the earthly. After becoming frustrated, the gods left the mundane realm to their own devices and left to their Divine bureaucracy. Without gods the world began to breakdown, so it was up to the great Archmage Quellistral and his brave companions to create stability like any good tabletop adventure. After creating the city, the Immortal Archmage(now leading the Wizard's guild) gave way to the city government to rule. If the Archmage follows the city why don't you?
We've said Aetherpunk a couple of times now, so what does that mean? Well we'll digest it a bit more, but what Aetherpunk does is it allows us to run with our game's unique setting and design direction. It allowed us to push forward with an urban high-fantasy setting that we feel hasn't been seen much before. Our world is the sort where magic users have fights in the street over minor insults, where adventurer is a paid position for someone who wants to harvest material from the free range giant spiders.
The Aether Part of it; You all know what steampunk is. Aetherpunk is a setting where technologically the society latched onto a particular facet. In Aetherpunk, the particular technology is harnessing magic. Using particular engines, the city managed to gather the natural Aether that flows in the air, in order to create the standard of living and security that we enjoy today.
The Punk part of it; When Cyberpunk became a genre, what mattered out of it was the dystopia that it envisioned. In Aetherholme, there is a high-fantasy dystopia in place, a sort of urban magical fascism. Akin to the cyberpunk settings where the world is ruled by mega corporations, Aetherholme is in the grip of an Oligarchy where the Guilds control the day to day lives of the citizens and where the City controls every breath of a person's life. Everything from; birth queue, lack of prisons(everything is a death sentence if you can't pay/get a bail from your guild/company), monitoring your position, what house you can live in, etc.
Seto. Our main character and the titular Nascent of the game. Seto wakes up naked in the shadow of the great wall with no memories. Confused, homeless (a crime in the city), unregistered (another crime), and unemployed (crime), Seto wants to live without being chased down. However, the powers that be are very inclined to not let him wander around.
Wisp. The first bit of assistance that Seto is given comes from Wisp. Another halfling who speaks to Seto as if he was already her friend. Wink. Though she is friendly she seems to be distant. In all honesty though, how much can you trust any of the Narrator's NPCs?
Ronen. Another player character, Ronen is the only other one in the world who is not within the Narrator's control. Ronen is your friend in reality sure, when he's not an expiator. However, this is your first tabletop rpg, so who knows how he acts within the blanket of the RPG?
Jorge. Let's face it, most of the time the player just does not want to take the time to listen to the narrator. Sometimes the player does not take the time to listen to what is good for him. Sometimes, the damn PLAYER SHOULD PAY ATTENTION!! AND GET OFF THEIR PHONE!! SO THAT THE NARRATOR DOESN'T NEED TO CREATE NPCs TO TELL YOU WHERE TO GO!!! … that aside. Jorge is the NPC that the Narrator creates in order to give you a pleasant trusting face to help you along your way.
As a character, Jorge is an older Nascent. Someone who came from a position similar to Seto but has over years with hard work managed to get ahead in life. He is a strong stout man who cares for Seto like a son, because he knows what it was like.
Jorge under went a shift(that is still in process) during development. He was always based on Foxy's grandfather, a fantastic wise man built like a tank. During development the world became a less interesting place and now his grandfather is showing up angels at the bench press. Nemo(as he was known at the time) then had to shift to reflect the awesome man that he was based on. This whole game is only possible due to him.
The Narrator -
In the Nascent, we are going with a whole theme of Tabletop rpgs. This carries through in every part of our game. From the art direction, and voice acting, even the buttons and gui(especially the gui). One of the things we're proud of is our wonderful narrator. The Narrator is the voice of every character in the game from the little old ladies to the shopkeeps.
Since we only want one(two at most) voice actors for this game, we needed to think about what to do with a lot of our music. The City is a large complex fantasy setting. There will be a fair share of taverns and big crowds that need voicing. What is a tavern without a song or a crowd without a rabble? For that matter a church without a choir?
Thanks to modern technology and the skill of our awesome voice actor, all these things are totally doable now with one person. A filter here or there, and it turns out pretty great. The greatest of memories in tabletops are of the Narrator being the kids and stuff, and now with one guy being a trio of drunken tavern singers it really allows us to stick to our dream. Any tabletop player knows the fun of having their Narrator/Game Master etc having to come up with new voices because you insist on talking to every child you see. The feeling of improv, and home style friendliness is one of the pillars of our game.
You've heard a lot about what the story and characters are about, but what about the gameplay? The Nascent isn't going to revolutionize the genre in any ridiculous way however we will give a solid memorable experience.
The Metroidvania style of game is characterized by the ability to explore the world as much as you see fit. Do you remember that door that you saw at the beginning of the game? Oh hey, now you have an ability that opens up that kind of door. Well then, feel like going back into the game in order to try and pick up every object? Well then go back and get it. Just interested in finishing the game immediately, go ahead and just run through it. In the Nascent you will be able to get as much game as you want.
The play area of the Nascent will be a fairly large 2d world. Everything will be left or right, and up(being in a city the Nascent will have much verticality). An important aspect of the game that we want to keep is the ability to backtrack. We want you to be able to visit the very first area to the furthest corner when you've reached the edge of the Narrator's imagination. There'll be landmarks and a map to help you along so you don't get lost. Though one thing that always bugged us about the metroidvania style game is when you're trying to backtrack it can sometimes feel like a chore. That's something that we are going to address, we're going to make sure that you can traverse the world easier as you backtrack; opening up shortcuts, getting new abilities, increasing your stamina, etc.
Another important part of exploration is staying alive. Nothing kills the momentum of a game more than having to stop and run back to the save spots, and we didn't think that regenerating health fit with our game. So we plan to have locations where you can heal back up.
This is a bit where we can blend the story and the gameplay together. Aetherholme is a city where everything is at least basically enchanted. Every sword is enchanted to not rust, or maybe to not lose it's edge. There are spots throughout the city where you can find health potions just lying about forgotten. What with the imagination aspect of the game, Seto fills in the blanks. What do you think of when you imagine an awesome drink that heals you and keeps you going? Right, furry fuel(or if you're lame, some other energy drink), that's the only real option.
Sometimes, the best way to heal up is to fudge your character's HP count when the Narrator needs to step away from the table. Maybe he needs to use the restroom, or maybe the pizza guy's at the door. In the time it takes him to handle this sudden task away from the table, you can heal up, like the opportunist you are, and cover your tracks with an alibi. You were clearly too busy chugging your favorite energy drink to do anything to your character or maybe something spilled on your sheet and you totally just had to clean it back up to full health. Nothing could distract you from the sweet taste of Furry Fuel, you even like to imagine your character drinking Furry Fuel along with you in the game.
Furry Fuel Energy Drink is the Furry Fandom's first commercially-available energy drink! We are happy to have had such a positive response after asking to feature their product in our game. We wanted to have Seto drink something when he had time to take breaks, and Fox was happy to discover Furry Fuel Energy Drink which prominently features a fox on the can. As mentioned above, Seto will be drinking Furry Fuel at the healing locations, and we plan to have a can of it sitting on your side of the table in the main menu video. It is Seto's player's favorite drink after all. Just imagine if we meet the stretch goal for Foxier Seto, it would be the perfect liquid smarties/pixie stick flavored fuel for Foxy Seto
If you're interested in Furry Fuel Energy Drink, you can see their Facebook page here:
If you're interested in purchasing Furry Fuel Energy Drink, be it to fuel yourself while you play The Nascent: An Anecdote of Aetherholme, get that extra bit of energy for your furry activities, or just need a new tasty drink, you can visit their webstore here:
Seto isn't an incredibly strong character, instead he is a clever one. A Clever, violent, high functioning sociopath, who wants to money, and who doesn't care about all the awesome story that the Narrator lovingly crafted or the setting of the Aetherholme RPG. Using the skills that his character sheet has at his disposal, Seto needs to fight using his abilities and smarts in order to get the kill.
There are several types of enemies in the game, across a few different factions. All of them will do a lot of damage and you only have so much health. Never fret though, they might be stronger, but they are also prone to freaking out when you shoot your spider slingshot at them. Their soft stabable parts become obvious when you're hiding in your sudden smoke puff. Each of your abilities in the game can be used in order to get the edge up on them. However, that doesn't mean that your enemies won't be smart enough to get free from it.
Throughout the Nascent you will get several new abilities in order to allow you to progress. Every ability in the game will come with several upgrades, that will be sprinkled about the world, giving you many things to go out and seek. Each ability will add a gameplay feature that will be used in Combat and exploration.
The Nascent will have different abilities that you unlock throughout the game, we'll go into two of them here so that we still have secrets about.
The Spider Slingshot: The Spider slingshot is one of the abilities that Seto unlocks relatively early in the game. It provides Seto with some ranged capabilities in order to even out his playing field a bit, for combat. For exploration the spider slingshot will open up the ability to start opening up things from a range; that eyedoor through the grate that you can't stab, distract the guard who's watching the door through a guard room, force someone to drop a rope they were holding, etc. In combat, Seto's main goal is to just make sure that the person ends with an awesome description from the Narrator. To that end, the Spider slingshot allows you to hit an enemy and then proceed to murder hobo after he's on the ground patting off spider.
The Smokebomb; Now, why couldn't a sudden burst of obvious smoke hide you? Exactly, there's no reason why it couldn't. The smoke bomb is a tool that allows Seto to avoid being seen, either in order to avoid combat or to evade it. This is one of those items that will change wildly depending on the situation. A little too much wind? Maybe the guards have come prepared? In combat the smokebomb will allow you to get the one up on your enemies so you can get in on that kill or run away. In exploration, the smokebomb will allow you to avoid some combats, and to deceive some people for shortcuts.
Throughout The Nascent Seto will constantly be evolving. Another important part of the genre is that your character will slowly change throughout it, in a slow ramp so that you don't realize how awesome you've gotten till you go back to the beginning of the map. The same thing will happen with Seto throughout the game. The world will be littered with pick-ups; for your unlocked abilities, your core health and stamina, lore bits, bits of loot and most of these will affect your character. Every time that you unlock an ability it will reflect on your character and will reflect your selected abilities and if they're active or not. With these systems in place, we want to reflect that even though the City doesn’t care about Seto, Seto's world is still important. A story doesn't need to be world spanning to matter.
The game if of course in progress, but here is a look at some of the stuff we have in a still motion so that you don't have to pause the video or anything.
The Game: Pretty self explanatory, when you back us enough for this reward you will get the game in it's digital format on the system of your choice(that we’re releasing on)
Postcards: If rewarded with a postcard, it means that you will be sent a postcard from in the world. The postcards will have an address from the setting and each one will be lovingly hand written.
Posters: We have these three different posters. When you back us enough to get them, we will send you the appropriate amount of posters printed out in awesome quality and full color. Atop of all of that, you'll get an awesome cardboard tube. Imagine all of the stuff you could do with that.
Plushies: At current we have two plushies that shall be set as rewards. They will be sent to you wherever it is that you may live.... so long as that's near a post box. We currently have two, if they prove to be rather popular we will make another one. Shipping within the United States is calculated into the cost already, if you're outside of the US there will be a slight increase due to shipping.
In game Graffiti: Are you an artist? Do you want your face in a game? Just your name? Then this is the backer reward for you. The City is full of graffiti, it's one of the only ways that the citizens are allowed to modify their homes. If you have any particular graffiti of your own that you want us to put into the world, or if you just want to put in your name, or a picture of something, we will graffiti it up and make it fit happily into the world. Obviously though, it'll have to be appropriate..so.. nothing obviously not cool.
Voice message from the Narrator: Is your phone not sexy enough? Do you get bored of that robotic voice? Maybe you want our narrator to pipe in when you get a text message? Well then look no further(ignore that.. just keep looking and backing. We love you.) for with this reward our beloved Narrator will give you a personalized message.
Every game: Fox and Badger is just starting as a company. A backing for the Nascent is a backing for Fox and Badger studios, and for all of the games we shall release. If you do us the grand fantastical favor of backing us this much we will be forever grateful. In case grateful is not enough of a motivation, we give you every game that our studio makes in the future. In the future on whatever consoles it is, in it's awesome digital format. The game we make in 10 years, one of those copies will be yours, because you're a fantastic person.
Everything: Similar to the every game reward, except you will get them in fancy collector's editions when we have them. Physical copies, and collectors boxes. Statues we make, T-Shirts, stickers.. everything that fox and badger studios will ever make. People like you are the reason why we will exist, and giving you stuff is the least we can do.
When it comes to stretch goals, we are trying our damnedest to make sure that we don't inflate our release time. Any sort of Stretch goal will not change the release window of our game, instead they will either be more people we are hiring or some form of free DLC after the initial release.
73,045 / 73,545/ 74,045 -
More Posters - Every $500, we'll add a new poster design to the selection to a maximum of three new posters. That's a new poster that you can pick from! Imagine all of the options if you can. That's a lot of math.
Foxier Seto - At this stretch goal, we will hire an additional staff member in order to make our main character the furry that he always imagines himself to be. This will be an OPTIONAL toggle in the game so that you can play with either regular Seto or Foxy Seto. The staff member will also improve the rest of the game as it will allow us to have more variety in our character models.
Freelance Animator + 1. At this goal, we will be able to pay our freelance animator to add a massive amount of background animation to the game. This will increase that feeling of a living world that we want to emphasize. Also it will give someone else money for their hard-work and passion. So everyone wins.
A Furrier Cast - At this stretch goal we are not hiring anyone else but instead we are using the funding to get more time for game development. Another OPTIONAL toggle, this will let every character in the game become furry. From Seto all the way to background folks. During this time, the coders and the game designers, will begin working on our next game. This will be added as free DLC after the release of the game to all backers.
EVERY +400 -
More Plushies - Every $400, we'll add a new plushie to the option of available plushies. Imagine the variety of things you'll be able to cuddle. The whole cast of characters at your side without the worry of Seto's stealing from you. ....no promises if they become possessed. We can't control that.
Gabriel "Fox" Tovar: A graduate from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a Bachelor's in Animation and VFX. Gabriel Tovar is the Co-Founder of the studio, and now does the character animation, Character modeling and rigging. With a passion for story and bringing things to life, he'll animate Seto and the other residents of Aetherholme with his talent. His motivation for founding the studio and committing to indie game development is to bring stories to life with his closest friends and share those tales with those who wish to experience them. He'll make his Grandfather proud with his achievements.
Jose Luis "Badger" Castro Sanchez: A graduate from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a Bachelor's in Game Development. Jose Luis is the Co-Founder of the studio, and now does the Coding, Environment Modeling and Texturing. His long history of video games, books, and table top RPGs gives a wide base from which to gather inspiration for the game. His motivation for founding the studio and committing to indie game development is his need to see his ideas come to reality. It would be unbearable to not at least give the studio its fair shot.
Brian "Human" Hulse: A student of Voice One in San Francisco and graduate of the Actors Training Program at Solano College, Brian is a long-time friend of the studio founders and an aspiring voice actor. He has done various projects for students at the Academy of the Arts and is a former member of the disbanded Rats in the Alley Improv troupe from Vallejo. Brian has been an avid fan of RPGs ever since his father introduced him to D&D 3.5 in his youth. With a great deal of experience being a DM for multiple systems, Brian is happily willing to play the role of the Narrator, including all the weird things that such a role requires. It will be his largest role to date, and he is eager to find out just how weird he will have to be for the project.
We're also on facebook! Like us there... please.
We're asking for your money, so I should guess that you will probably want to know where it's going. There'll be this awesome little chart down here but for specifics you can read this.
Survival: This is the money that we're using for the day to day functioning of the business. We're talking about the office rent, paying the bills of the core team so that we can work full time on the game. Up til now we have been part time, this is where we can finally start being real developers.
Equipment: Game development requires a lot of equipment. We need computers for … well everything and they need to be pretty decent computers. Those pretty decent computers all need a few different crucial programs. Atop of all that, those computers need to be atop of something. All in all these costs stack up to be significant.
Fulfilling Dreams: Here is a large one. Fox and Badger studios is our dream being fulfilled, however to have our dream fulfilled we need some assistance. A game requires many people working together. This section of the funds is given to payment to the fantastic folks who are working for us.
Backer Rewards: People enjoy their awesome backer rewards, I know I do. These rewards all cost something. Plushies need stuffing, posters need printing, and everything needs shipping. All of this is for the fulfilling of all of that.
Safety Window: Unexpected things tend to happen, and no plan survives the first shot. We have this here so that we can have a bit of leeway incase something horrible happens(idk... crazy silicon eating virus eats one of our computers.. or more reasonably one of my computers get ruined by an upstairs leak and the insurance company is gonna take months and we need a replacement computer now)
Kickstarters Cut: I like to think that this one is pretty obvious.
Risks and challenges
Creating games is like.. super hard. Even the greatest and largest of game companies face challenges every day they work. No game is ever made without a risk. The biggest risk that The Nascent faces is just the normal difficulty of game development. Data might become corrupted(though we will be having a rotating backup daily, a weekly backup and then a monthly backup), accidents might happen, unexpected complications, an employee may suddenly have to stop working, or things might just take longer than expected.
However, we've already faced many challenges on the way here. Losses, and complications both personal and business related. Delays have been had, but we are still at it. No matter what happens, The
Nascent will happen. We've already been working at this for several months on part-time, wracking our brains in frustration due to being unable to actually work as we want to, and once we can truly begin this, nothing will stop us. Even without funding we will find a way to make it, it would take... a really long time and we'll all have ripped our hair out but it'll get done.
One of the biggest problems that faces Kickstarter games is sticking to the release date. We are planning everything in order to avoid those problems. That is why we are adding game features to the base game with stretch goals. Our funds will instead just be used to hire people so that we can improve what exists. Our projected release already has a couple of months added to it so that we can have some safety windows.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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