Border - Remembrance
A top-down pixel art, action rpg. Using the classical Metroidvania format. Set in a doomed world you can`t save, but try anyways.
Border: Remembrance is a fast paced, high difficulty Metroidvania game, in the spirit of Castlevania games mixed with Dark/Demon souls. The pixel art visual style delivers a weird and twisted tale of a world’s last 3 weeks.
In the interest of time, here is the short summary of what this game is:
- A grand misery.
- Nonlinear storytelling.
- Multiple endings.
- Countless secrets.
- Architectural level design.
- Alternative routes, shortcuts.
- Different characters have entirely different routes for the same level. • Up to 20 different weapons and spells for each character.
- Destructible environments; burn, blow and slash your way through obstacles. Who needs keys when you have a rocket launcher?
- No tiles. Each level is hand drawn.
- A mixed technology setting; swords meeting magic and space age technology.
- Themes inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Read on for a detailed description, but why just read when you can play the demo instead?
"Gameplay is King"
While many play games to seek out good stories or characters, gameplay still needs to be a priority when considering a game. Games are interactive and you cannot deliver an interesting world unless your gameplay compliments the art.
Border’s first goal is to deliver a smooth and fast paced game, one that is fun and fair to play while still being really challenging.
Upon starting the game, your goal will be clear, you will have 3 characters to choose from and 3 of the huge main areas open to you.
Each character has an entirely different entry point and portion of the map accessible to them; aside from the end bosses of each of these areas, they won’t share any bosses. This means that replaying a level with another character is an entirely different experience.
Once selecting your area you will have a clear goal but multiple ways to reach it. The architectural level design ensures that shortcuts are present and many in number. Hand drawn areas make navigation easy, also helpful is the fact that defeated enemies and their remains will never disappear.
You will eventually come across unique enemies or fallen warriors who will grant you access to new weapons or spells.
Weapons and Spells.
These are the focus of your character. They all have entirely different move sets, strengths and weaknesses. Many of these weapons and spells can grant you access to new areas, similar to the traditional Metrodvania formula. All of these weapons and spells use the same resource: your stamina. All of these areas are full of secrets and Easter eggs.
The game uses a natural method of storytelling where the environment tells a story on its own, without much exposition. Additionally the game’s "cut scenes" will never wrestle the control away from the player; the camera never loses sight of the player, and if you don't want to listen to your enemy’s monologue you can always interrupt them with a well-aimed punch to the face.
On your journey you can sometimes come across NPCs who are neither friends nor foes, some will talk to you, but you might never know if they will become your enemies later or not.
Sooner or later you will die. When you do so, you will lose all of the souls attached to you. However, they can be recovered - similar to how it works in the Souls series of games.
Aside from your weapons you will have a few things always available to you, these are as follows.
- Healing: you can only heal with charges in your crystal fragment, these replenish at every checkpoint.
- Protection spell: each character has their own altered version of this basic spell. It deflects weapon hits and reflects projectiles, but cannot defend you from area of effect spells and traps.
- Shifting: it’s a form of dash that allows for a short burst of rapid movement. It also allows you to trigger traps and area of effects without being harmed.
- Overextension system. This is an extremely powerful offensive ability available to you. When used it will increase all of your stats drastically and provide a special move set that can decimate foes, and turn the odds in your favour. However, to activate this you need to sacrifice one of your charges used for healing.This mode lasts only for a short time, unless you sacrifice another charge while the mode is active.
Once you reach your destination at the end of an area, and complete your mission, you will return to your base of operation: the Nagifar. On this space-worthy ship you can upgrade your skills, exchange a few words with the other characters, and learn a bit about the world you’re in.
Bosses are a big focus of the game. They are usually one on one affairs, many of them will try and communicate with you in some way, some have multiple ways to defeat them, and these ways can alter the story and the NPCs that you might come upon later on. Expect these to be challenging encounters.
Once ready, you select the character and the area of your choice again.
Based on your choice of who finishes which area, the story will shift and change and you might understand a bit more about the world, and why it will end...
Border: Remembrance takes place in what is known as a mixed technology setting. This is a world housing nations with largely different levels of technology and prosperity. After a cataclysmic war, the world reawakened with newfound magic, and new forms of life, with some survivors using advanced technology some even living in space.
From sprawling city nations to abandoned temples to lads crawling with robots, this is a chaotic world.
Visit the Forest of the Seal, where once a great nation gathered mages to perform "The First Summoning", now the land is overtaken by nature and infested with Demons. Still, the descendants of the few survivors still guard this place and fight to stop the spread of Demons any further.
Fight your way through the city nation of Berelaai, the largest remaining Human kingdom, and witness as the church turns to madness in the face of imminent destruction.
Battle with the elements as you search the new South Pole for the hidden city of Artificial Intelligence: this city houses Millions of AIs who escaped the last Great War. See with your own eyes how the calculus of AIs deal with the destruction of the moon.
Delve deep into the Sunken City, where Geometry and conventional logic will be of no help to you. Fight the cursed inhabitants of this ancient and unnatural place.
Enter the space station of Yggdrasil, where the gears of technology never stopped. Decide the fate of the scientists now thrust into a civil war, and the moon threatens even the station.
A group of these scientists decided to completely isolate themselves from others and delve into experiments with the new found magic in the world.
This project gave birth to your playable characters: humanoids with inhuman everlasting life given to them.
At the beginning of the game, you, the player, trigger a terrible explosion on the moon. This will cause 35% of the moon’s mass to break apart and begin its 3 week long journey toward the earth. This means the end of all complex life on the planet for good.
You caused this, and there is no saving the world this time.
The story focuses on 3 characters form the Aesir project who can be considered a new race of humans. They have everlasting youth and possess bodies more resilient than those of normal humans.
These Demigods will set out on a journey to form what are known as the Mana Stones, fuse them with as many souls as they can and find a new world to plant these souls after the destruction.
But as this cataclysm waiting for the world is absolutely undeniable, the people of this world will have a hard time dealing with the concept of certain doom.
You will visit the two great kingdoms of man who are at each other’s throats, each blaming the other for the destruction of the moon. Uncover the remains of the Demon Palace, where a once great soul was sealed away. Enter and marvel at the nation of Artificial Intelligences built for themselves. Delve deep into the cosmic chaos of the Sunken Capital. And witness a pointless war just before the end of the world.
Your journey will deal with themes of absolute certain loss, cosmic insignificance, and how the different cultures reflect on their actions near the end of everything they know.
By the end you might even uncover why the destruction was triggered, and expose a great mystery.
You might say that there is a strong atmosphere of desperation and unavoidable destruction in Border… well, you'd be right! One way of setting the tone is with an engaging storyline, but to really feel as if you are actually there you're going to need music. Whether it is just simple background ambience or full-blown musical scores, with Border, the aim has always been to enhance whatever scene or idea I have been given to work from by creating music around it - thus creating a real emotional connection with the player.
The music creation is actually a two-way process. I am given a detailed description of either a character, event, battle, area or scene using keywords. I may also be given specific restraints such as which instruments to use, or how the music should progress. Then with this information I will usually begin to formulate ideas in my head, imagining certain emotions that may be present. Usually this begins on piano only, then I will add more instruments in once I have a confident starting point.
Once this has been roughly assembled, it will be sent to Istvan for feedback. From there changes can easily and quickly be made if need be. This whole process for one piece of music takes between a few hours to a few days - depending on the complexity of the music and time constraints. The benefits of working this way are clear - not only is the whole process extremely quick, but the constant feedback ultimately provides Istvan with music that compliments the original design intentions and the atmosphere that is needed in a game like Border: Remembrance.
Note: To clarify all console versions listed will be released, stretchgoals only means they can be released the same time the PC versions will be released. If stretchgoals are not reached we will still release on the listed consoles but only some time later.
---£4.000 Flyable world map.---
A fully detailed world map you can fly your Spaceship around, and even discover hidden areas and secret bosses.
---£5.000 Forgotten age Dungeon.---
An endgame dungeon featuring 7 Bosses of extreme difficulty, offering more clues about the language used in the game.
---£6.000 More Music.---
More haunting musical tracks from the talented Jamie Warne.
---£8.000 Hiring Help from community.---
Hiring help to work on even more enemies’ pixel art animations, this means a faster development, and more content.
---£10.000 PS4 and PS VITA Versions on launch.---
Console versions with Console specific controls. Stretchgoal is ONLY to ensure the console versions will release on launch. If the goal is not met, the first sales on PC will cover the costs of the porting, meaning around two months delay.
---£12.000 local Co-op & Duel Mode.---
Pick up a second controller, or do it the good old fashioned way and share the same keyboard. Challenge your friends in a super fast paced Duel arena, up to 4 players.
---£16.000 Voice acting.---
If available using the voice talents of: Megan Hollingshead (Pokemon, Code Geass, and countless amazing video game performances.) for the role of Frey.
Johnny Yong Bosch (Code Geass, Haruhi, and hundreds of amazing video game performances.) for the role of Baldar.
Liam O'Brien (Bleach, Code Geass, and hundreds of amazing video game performances.) for the role of Midir.
*If said voice talents will be unavailable the voice work will be hired from indie voice actors.
---£18.000 Nintendo WII U version on launch.---
Thanks to Nintendo`s latest policies this can become a reality. Console versions with Console specific controls. Stretchgoal is ONLY to ensure the console versions will release on launch. If the goal is not met, the first sales on PC will cover the costs of the porting.
Because aside from the music, this is purely a one man game. Currently I`m working odd jobs through temporary employment, I have little time left, and given a successful Kickstarter I can dedicate more time to the game. Pixel work and Coding takes a lot of time.
Releasing a game also involves taxes, and that requires paperwork. Setting up a proper website and distribution of the DRM free version is not free either.
Kickstarter is also a great opportunity to interact with the target audience, survey their feelings about the game and potential ideas on how to improve it - more eyes see a lot more.
This means I plan to do weekly updates, during and after the Kickstarter. If you want extra reassurance follow me on Twitter where I`ll be talking about my daily progress, and sharing art from the game on a regular basis. From YouTube gameplay snippets, to Twitch pixel art and GML coding sessions, to crafting Music with Jam, I plan to make the development of the game a more open experience.
Backers can expect a playable demo of the game for pc shortly after the end of the Kickstarter.
Our Website: http://www.fallenvalkyriestudio.com/
Our Press kit: http://www.fallenvalkyriestudio.com/press-kit/
For more art, please visit my Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/fallenvalkyriestudio
Or our IndieDB page: http://www.indiedb.com/games/border-remembrance
Or just follow me on Twitter for daily Pixelart, and updates on the game`s progress: https://twitter.com/FValkyrieStudio
Thank you very much for reading.
Risks and challenges
Aside from the Music this is a one man effort.
There are obviously positives and negatives to this. The negative is the possibility of getting swamped, luckily the game`s code is 70% complete. Most of my time will be spent on asset creation. The upside of this is the ability to keep the vision and game design consistent.
I have a really clear vision of what this game should be, and value the responsiveness and comfort in gameplay firstly.
This means I am to make a game that first feels solid and plays smoothly before trying to deliver my artistic goals.
The game is currently fully functioning, and all coding besides menus is finished. Using GML means that even if problems were to occur, they are incredibly easy to fix. At this time the game has no bugs or glitches, and the game runs at a steady 60fps on 1080P resolution on 5 year old computer hardware. Performance still persists when using over 100 enemies on screen!
The only risk I can run into is being late on release, I value a strong finished version over buggy and barely functioning early access.
The main challenge is obviously time. There is a LOT of sprite animating to be done here, but again a lot of training got me to a really efficient method, which should make all of this possible in the desired time frame.
As I stated earlier I will make the development of this game very open to the public, I have nothing to hide, and will do everything in my power to be transparent!
Thank you very much for reading.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)