Free to play, "Dashkin" is a high-speed game based on the award-winning Brackenwood series of Flash movies by Adam Phillips.
UPDATE 5: One week to go! Thank you all again for your overwhelming support of Dashkin! We are still working hard on preparing all the rewards and there's a brand new backer reward for all you animators out there.
Remember to keep an eye on the Updates tab where we announce new rewards.
Free to play in the browser, Dashkin is a game of high speed challenges and, if you're not careful, bone-crunching collisions. You play as Bitey, dashing through various Brackenwood environments, challenging your own best times and avoiding detection by the deadly shadow people, the Yuyu. Along the way, unravel clues to Bitey's past and the mysterious flying creature that watches from the shadows.
What makes Dashkin unique?
You mean apart from the stunning environments, parallax depth, sheer amount of character animation and animated visual effects? Apart from the original musical score, immersive sound environments and ultra high speeds? Apart from having been described by other well known and respected Flash game creators as "beautiful", "solid" and "like playing in a Brackenwood movie"?
So far consisting of 20 levels (with a World Map capable of holding hundreds), Dashkin never feels monotonous, as it rewards varied gameplay. With several statistics tracked for each challenge, different powerups are awarded depending on your style of play, e.g fast, aerial, thorough, cautious, reckless. This means you can play and replay levels in different ways to earn the powerups you need for the more difficult regions of the world map.
Bitey needs your help!
Dashkin was originally planned for a standard sponsorship model where we, the creators, are paid an upfront figure for developing the game. In return our game is branded with the sponsor's logo and links. Post-release, ads within the game would earn us a steady trickle of revenue to help us fix bugs, post updates and maybe even work on new features.
Sponsorship however, often comes with strings, ropes, sometimes even chains attached. In February we jumped on board with a sponsor whose goal was to turn Dashkin into a viral Facebook game with social features and micro-transactions for enhanced gameplay experience. As it turned out, the deal fell through as changes in the sponsor's organisation forced them to stop work on Dashkin and offer us an exit.
We took it as sign. Dashkin is almost finished, all but ready for beta testing and yet, we still have a chance to do it independently, no sign of micro-transactions, stamped only with our own brands and of course, your name!
What's the money for?
Dashkin has been in full-time development now for 8 months. The two of us have worked across timezones, neglecting nutrition, hygiene, sunlight and family to work passionately on this thing we believe in.
Should we reach our funding goal, we'll be in a financial position to finish the game independently and free of a sponsorship brand. It'll also enable us to run a beta testing cycle (with our Kickstarter backers doing the testing) and settle accounts with the amazing music guy.
Should funding reach 200%, it'll not only help us continue to support post-release with bug fixes and updates, but we will release the game ad-free AND begin work on the expansions! On top of all this, we are looking into the costs of porting the game to mobile.
LATEST REWARD: BiteyCastle Academy 2D FX Animation Course - the video has all the info. This reward has special conditions however, as it is a standalone reward. Please see the reward description for info before you pledge!
You can change your choice of rewards at any time, so if you see something new, you can adjust your pledge or choose a different reward for your pledge level.
[pictured: above - reinforcements arrive, and below - Bitey himself with one of the t-shirts and a plush made by MoriChax]
By pledging any amount, you're becoming a part of the Dashkin story, not to mention helping us bring 8-10 months of hard work to fruition and spreading the Brackenwood word. For that we will love you until the end of time.
NOTE ABOUT PLEDGING - if you back a project, you don't actually pay anything until the END of the campaign. You can pledge any amount and lower/raise your pledge at any time during the campaign. If we fail to reach our funding goal, nobody pays a thing. For more info, see the Backer's FAQ here.
SKILLS - The course assumes you have some drawing ability and a desire to learn animation.
EQUIPMENT - No software or equipment is required to take the course (except to watch the videos, view the images and read the articles).
If you're an animator, you'll be able to practise what you've learned using the software or equipment of your choice.
For example, techniques in fire animation will be demonstrated to you, and you would practise them however you like, whether on paper, paint, film or animation software. Most articles and videos are about how effects work and how you would create them. The lessons and exercises apply equally regardless of your software or media choice.
Dashkin is designed to run in a variety of systems from the office junk heap to the slickest gaming beast. It will however, require the latest Flash plugin for your browser.
For that cinematic widescreen experience, we created Dashkin at 1200 x 400. Most desktop monitors these days use a resolution of at least 1280px wide, but if say, your laptop resolution can't go as high as 1200 wide, we will provide links to smaller resolutions when the game is released.
Bitey is the last of the Dashkin, a super-fast species of people. The game is built around the concept of speed and tells a story from his point of view. As such, the only playable character right now is him. We do have plans for another playable character but that's something for a future game. Sequel anyone?
If you look at the gameplay video, you'll see visual warnings (flowers, thorns, reeds) long before their respective obstacles appear. This gives the player ample time to prepare for what's coming. It's the DASH speed that's really dangerous, but it's just like any racing game. Use the accelerator wisely ;)
Of all the close friends, family and colleagues who have tested Dashkin for us, there has been no negative feedback on the gameplay.
- Hunt is a pursuit mode, where Bitey must keep pace or catch something to beat the level.
- Flee is the opposite. Bitey must escape something that is pursuing him.
- Time-trial Challenge is a mode in which you try to get the fastest times and beat your previous times.
- Endless mode means you can run forever.. if you're good enough! The level gets progressively more difficult, the further you run (think Robot Unicorn Attack)
Early Beta testing is reserved for for a specific pledge amount, but there may be a more open beta to which you can contribute later, if you don't get a chance during the campaign.
Currently Dashkin is a single player game. If our campaign and game release is successful, future updates may include friend challenges, racing ghosted versions of your friends' times and global high scoring.
This has always been part of the plan. We'll consider porting Dashkin to iOS and mobile devices based on the success of the free Flash game.