Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 6, 2013.

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The epic, feel good, bromantic roadtrip short film "The Reward", will now continue as a fantasy series in "Tales of Alethrion".

The Reward?

The Reward is a nine-minute animated short directed by Mikkel Mainz Elkjær and Kenneth Ladekjær. It is their graduation film at the animation workshop. For more information, visit the short's BLOG.

"Courageous, exuberant animation. You sense the creators striving to top each other in each frame. This is a world bursting with life."
- David Hellman - Artist of "Braid"

"An epic journey beautifully compressed in a short!  While being wacky and fun, the film managed to address a more philosophical perspective toward what is truly most meaningful- the reward of achieving a goal or the experience of the journey."
- Mike Nguyen - Animation lead on Warner Bros' "The Iron Giant"

STRETCH GOALS!!

FIRST STRETCH GOAL REACHED!

We can now make the first episode of "The Tales of Alethrion". From now on the higher we reach the greater the quality of the first episode will be. Let's see how far we can get with these last days - Thank you!

FINAL EVENT: 05/04/2013

03:30 PM (New York Time)

Go here to learn more

EVENT #2 - DRAWING CONTEST: Winner Kalen Knowles! 


CHECK OUT THE UPDATE AND THE TOP 10 DRAWINGS HERE!

We need your help! Go HERE to learn more.

Due to popular demand we repost this video of The Dunes of Kahltofal:

Music by: Mathias Winum

- - The Reward game - -

~Click the image to play the game!~
Finally the game is online! Grab a friend, slay monsters and highfive your way to online glory! Play as the two main characters Vito and Wilhelm and test your friendship!


Things we will improve if we reach the Pledge goal!

  • More fine tuned and stable gameplay
  • A new enemy - "The slime tadpole"
  • 1P / 2P version
  • New stages
  • New playable characters
  • Downloadable version for Mac, Windows and Linux

What happens to the map and the people involved after Wilhelm and Vito pass it on to a new generation? How did the map come to be, and what is the story of the great mirror and the treasure behind it? Who is the character amongst all the treasures at the end, and why is he holding the treasure chest so tightly?

Embark on a journey through a world filled with wonders. Experience the unexpected as we take you through different cultures and species found in these lands. Hear the story of the greatest hero of them all. The one who founded the era of heroes and valor but who's own story ends in grief and regret. This is "The Tales of Alethrion"

The first episode will tell the tale of the legend behind the mirror and why the map was created. Afterwards the story picks up just as Vito's and Wilhelm's epic quest has been concluded. They are now old and mighty heroes who wander the world. The next episodes will focus on new adventurers who travel out and explore the world. They will all be connected by the treasure map and influenced by the spirit of Alethrion.

What we would like to do with this series is to further develop the universe that we created during the making of "The Reward". There were so many possibilities which we didn't use in the short film and from the very beginning we wanted it to work like a pilot. In our opinion "The Reward" is a new take on the fantasy genre and has a spirit of wanderlust and fun and not the classic good versus evil. We want to focus on characters and their individual journeys and make stories that challenge the traditional ways of telling a story. It's important to us that the characters we create feel alive and full of personality. It is our belief that the story and humour will be best told with strong characters.

We want to make the series closely connected to the short film, but still have it's own appeal as well. It's important that it follows the spirit but delivers something new. We don't want to just copy the succes but we want to explore the same universe and feel of The Reward.

We love animation, we love fantasy and we love to make great stories. We see this as a possibility to take the fantasy genre in a direction that is mixed with the modern world and the values we have today. We hope you will help us get this project on it's feet so we can create something so magical, so epic, so insanely crazy... that you just might go blind...

Who are "Sun Creature studio"?

We are the three united beings of Bo Juhl, Mikkel Mainz and Kenneth Ladekjær. After we graduated from the animation workshop in Viborg we decided to make our own animation studio. We want to explore the 2D world of animation and try to push the boundaries and limitations that animation has today.

We want to keep a playful and experimenting animation style, but still with the most interesting look possible. We want to keep the industry moving forward, and work with talented and good people inside and outside of Denmark.

For now we are focusing on the series "Tales of Alethrion", based on the universe of the short film "The Reward", directed by Mikkel Mainz and Kenneth Ladekjær. Bo Juhl was the director of "Under the fold", another of the bachelor films of the Animation Workshop 2013.

We are looking for possible business partners and co-producers who would like to be a part of this epic series.

Our weapon of choice considering animation is Tv-Paint! Nice and easy program with lots of possibilities.

check out our website and showreel

The journey to make a series:

First we will produce the visual foundations and write the basis of the story line for the whole series. We will be setting the style, making animation tests, exploring and drawing lots of characters and environments, and much, much more.

This step will be about finalizing the script for the first episode. While writing this, we will also be making the storyboard for the episode. This is a very interesting point in the production since this is where the cinematography and the scenes and clips of the episode will be settled.

This is where we can start working on the animatic for the short. This will settle the editing and cutting of the episode. This is crucial for the tempo, drama and humour. With the animatic you will get a very accurate sense of how the episode is going to look like. Think of it as a moving comicbook. Moreover we will also work on finalizing many of the visual elements at this point.

This will be the point where we will grab ahold of our faveourite bardic talent Mathias Winum, creater of the OST of "The Reward". With the animatic done and therefore the timing done we can start working on the epic score and theme for the hero Alethrion!! Now we will also be drawing the Layouts for every shot. At this point we can also open up our trusty animation program Tv-paint and start animating actual scenes!

This step is the last effort to pull the dragon out of its tower. We will be coloring all of the animation scenes made in the previous step. We will be upgrading the layouts to actual painted backgrounds. Finally, every shot needs to be composited so they look nice and consistent. It's a long and hard process but it will be worth it when we look back.

Having reached the final goal, you have not only made us forever grateful, you have also made us able to finish the production of the first episode! We will be able to finish the animation, background painting, final editing and compositing. With the first episode of "The Tales of Alethrion" we have created the stepping stone of the series in the spirit and style we want. This will give us a lot more freedom when we take this project further. With the backup from you guys we will be able to convince future investors to give us artistic freedom so we can give you an epic fantasy series just like "The Reward".

The more support and funding you give us the better we can push the quality of the first episode and thereby the series!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The goal with the KS campaign is to produce the first episode. The better the funding goes the better the episode will be. The better the episode will be the easier it will be for us to take the project further and make the series a reality.

There are certain challenges financially, since we want to create a whole series. At the moment, we are planning on making 12 episodes of 7.5 minutes, but for now it can change since we haven't decided on what platform(s) it shall be published on - television, internet, mobile devices, etc.
As mentioned earlier, this is a step towards finding investors and funding for the entire series.

We have- and will invest a lot of our own time in this project, and will do our best to bring you the entire thing. It will be the best quality possible, and we will keep on exploring and playing in the style of The Reward. We will keep telling the best stories possible that are targeted at teenagers and adults.
The violence and irony might be an obstacle for finding the money for the project. Though, to be able to make this world believable, exciting and fresh we think that breaking concervative rules most be done. We want the viewer to expect the unexpected.

FAQ

  • Vito and Wilhelm are very much boys and therefore we wanted to caricature their idea of "cool" and "epic". A lot of our inspiration is from the classic "Conan" and old school fantasy where the heroes always have a lady at hand while slaying mighty beasts. That iconic cliché of fantasy and "Epic" was what we wanted to make fun of and stylize in the short film and that's why we chose to use ladies as a way of showing Vito and Wilhelms vision of being “epic”. It's just as much making fun of the male idea of what makes you masculine and awesome as it is making fun of the female image.

    An early idea we never got to use in the short was how Wilhelm got inspired to become a warrior. They were meant to be ambushed by goblins and as they were about to get killed a lady would jump in and save them. She was meant to be a super cool gal with attitude who Wilhelm got a crush on and therefore got inspired to be as powerful as her. We didn't include this because of time issues but we liked her character a lot.

    The series will be focusing on many different characters and most likely we will be having female leads as well. This will mean more diverse female characters with more depth instead of “more boobs”.

    It all depends on who is the main character and what their journey is about. That was the reason for choosing the way we used females in "The Reward" and it really depends on what tells the best story. None of us are against female rights and "The Reward" just as much makes fun of the male self image as the female.

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  • We are definitely planning on making the series voiceless like the short. We think it's a major part of its charm. It opens up the characters for interpretation and makes the universe more imaginative. Its an element we feel strongly about keeping.

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  • we will do our best to make you or your character play a small part of the episode. It will be a fully animated character, not just a BG character standing still. If a lot of people pledge to this reward we might need to put some of them together in a small group so they don't all individually affect the episode. But yes we will do our best to make your characters more than just part of a big pan of a background :) The thugs is a good example of characters playing a small part (the three bandits where the leader gets stabbed).

    Also when we say roleplay character it can be any type of character that you have created. It doesn't necessarily need to be DnD. We might need to redesign some parts of the character so it will fit with the style of the series.

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    ----------LAY ON HANDS---------- Thanks for showing your support for the project! This is important to take the project further! And remember: every goldpiece counts :)

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    -----------------HIGHFIVE------------------- A "The Reward thank you" illustration as PDF sent to you!

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    ----------TRAVELLERS POUCH---------- You will get "The Reward thank you" illustration, Some of the early designs and animation tests AND the EPISODE as a 720p digital DOWNLOAD (DRM free)!! (Visual chart bottom page)

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    TALE of CHAMPIONS --- Vito and Wilhelm's funding journey as a short comic. Also includes all the rewards from the 17$ tier (Visual chart bottom page)

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    ---------THE TREASURE CHEST--------- ALL the visual preproduction material of the first episode (Alternate designs, storyboard and animatic, animation tests, compositing tests, background paintings, the script) for you to download! The EPISODE as a 1080p digital DOWNLOAD (DRM free) and you will get your name on the CREDITS as a special thanks! ( Visual chart bottom page)

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    GNOME SPYGLASS --- The Art of the Reward book as PDF. Also includes all the rewards from the 30$ tier (Visual chart bottom page)

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    -----------MEET THE HEROES----------- A special thank you ANIMATION from Vito and Wilhelm, the two main characters from the shortfilm - - The directors sketchbook as PDF and the SOUNDTRACK for the first episode! - ALL previous rewards included (Visual chart bottom page)

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    TOME of ALETHRION --- "special tier", The Art of Reward as a physical BOOK! SIGNED by the directors and with an ink doodle on the cover. Also includes all the rewards from the 30$ tier (Visual chart bottom page)

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    MEET the LEGENDS --- "Special tier", The Art of the Reward as a physical BOOK. Also includes all the rewards from the 50$ tier (Visual chart bottom page)

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    ----------POSTER of HEROES---------- The Reward Poster (33.1 x 23.4 in) signed by the directors of The Reward. Shipping included. -- ALL previous rewards included -- (Visual chart bottom page)

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    IMPROVED POSTER of HEROES --- "Special tier", The art of The Reward as a physical BOOK. Also includes all the rewards from the 80$ tier (Visual chart bottom page)

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    --------------MITHRIL SHIRT-------------- The Reward T-SHIRT! Show your support to the world and carry the heroes on your mighty chest. You also get the complete collection of "The Reward" postcards. Shipping included -- ALL previous rewards included -- (Visual chart bottom page)

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    45 backers Limited (5 left of 50)

    FULL PLATE ARMOR +4 --- "Special tier", The Art of the Reward as a physical BOOK. Also includes all the rewards from the 125$ tier (Visual chart bottom page)

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    CALL for ADVENTURE --- An opening into another realm has been made! You will be one out of MAX four lucky people who will play an online DnD (3,5) session with Sun Creature studio. It will be a weekend of adventure and if we reach the 160,000 stretch goal the campaign setting will be in the world of Alethrion!! Includes all the rewards from the $145 tier.

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    -------SPELL OF CREATIVITY------- ORIGINAL line illustration (8.3 x 5.8 in) drawn and signed by EITHER Mikkel Mainz or Kenneth Ladekjær. Shipping included. -- ALL previous rewards included -- (Visual chart bottom page)

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    ---SPELL of UNITED CREATIVITY--- ORIGINAL colored illustration by Mikkel Mainz AND Kenneth Ladekjær (8.3 x 5.8 in). Drawn and lined by Kenneth, watercolored by Mikkel AND signed by both, shipping included -- ALL rewards from "MITHRIL SHIRT" and lower included -- (Visual chart bottom page)

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    8 backers Limited (4 left of 12)

    ------MEET YOUR ALTER EGO------ Your roleplay character drawn AND FEATURED in the FIRST EPISODE. The Illustration(8.3 x 5.8 in) will be lined by Kenneth Ladekjær, watercolored by Mikkel Mainz and signed by both. Shipping included. -- The Treasure chest and ALL rewards from "MITHRIL SHIRT" and lower included -- (Visual chart bottom page)

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    5 backers Limited (1 left of 6)

    --------ENTRY of a DEMI GOD-------- YOU and your roleplay character drawn AND FEATURED in the FIRST EPISODE!! The Illustration(8.3 x 5.8 in) will be lined by Kenneth Ladekjær, watercolored by Mikkel Mainz and signed by both. Shipping included. -- ALL rewards from "MITHRIL SHIRT" and lower included -- (Visual chart bottom page)

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Funding period

- (30 days)