About this project
Modern games are fun, but I like the classics! I love that I can often play through one in under an hour--simple, challenging, and satisfying! Those games were short by necessity, but brevity IS the soul of wit, and it's not a bad way to do things.
Inspired by SF and Fantasy pulp stories, Tiny Barbarian is made up of individual episodes that, combined, offer a huge amount of content, but individually can be completed in under an hour, while still offering an exciting and complete experience. And we're not asking you to pay individually for a series of episodes. Nope! Buy in once and you'll receive each episode as soon as it is complete!
Here's some more clips of the game in action:
The original Tiny Barbarian was a tiny but very well-received Game Maker project I put out last year. This new version is All New and makes use of Starquail's custom 2D engine - the same engine that powered Astroman on XBox Indie. I received a lot of enthusiastic feedback, and thanks to that feedback, the new engine, and my own determination for improvement, the new game darn near destroys the old one (but you can still get it here, if you like).
Tiny Barbarian now has a much improved combat system that makes juggling enemies a breeze, they can even be knocked into each other for extra damage. TinyB himself is completely redrawn, just as tiny but even more ripped with low-def muscle, and with new moves to attack enemies from different directions (the elbo drop is my favorite). As with the original, the stories are heavily inspired by old Sword & Sorcery yarns (think Conan the Barbarian) with plenty of nods that genre fans (and old-school gamers) are sure to appreciate.
This Kickstarter concerns a PC version of the game only, but other platform releases may become feasible later on.
Here are some things you will be able to do in Tiny Barbarian DX, in no particular order (spoilers, obviously):
- Fight endless hordes of evil (or just misguided) warriors.
- Wack a gnome until gold comes out.
- Flee from a giant serpent.
- Defeat a huge, fire-breathing parrot.
- Ride a bumblebee.
- Ascend a wizard's magical tower.
- Save the most beautiful ladies that can fit into a 16x16 pixel box.
- Bite a vulture.
- End the reign of snake-worshiping cultists.
- Outsmart a puma made of liquid metal.
- Battle white apes on an airship.
- Eat chicken you found in the garbage.
- Countless exploits that defy description!
Big, small, or even tiny, making a video game is a significant undertaking. I should know, I've been working on Tiny Barbarian in my free time for months! So why Kickstarter? Well, I could start tiny - finish a single episode and see how it flies. But with your support through Kickstarter, I can work on the project full-time, commit to multiple episodes right away, and you'll get to play them much more quickly. Currently four episodes are planned, but extra pledges will mean additional episodes, “Stretch Goal” style.
Behind every retro sword-wielding barbarian action game is an retro action game fan. I'm Michael Stearns, and I'm the guy behind this one. My friend and programming genius Daniel Roth and I have been producing games under the StarQuail brand for several years now. Our last game, Astroman, was honored by Game Developer Magazine as one of 2010's top ten XBLI titles. Usually I'm the art guy and he's the programming guy, but for Tiny Barbarian, I'm both guys, although he continues to assist me (willing or not!) whenever I need a bit of expert advice. I'm also the creator of the webcomic Dawn of Time, which ran consistently--and received praise from an amazing number of complete strangers--between 2008 and 2011.
Joining me is Jeff Ball, the super-talented musician who worked with us to create the soundtrack for Astroman, as well as the music for the original TinyB. He has worked on other titles such as Monkey Island 2: Special Edition, Wing Commander Saga, and contributed his violin mastery to triple-A titles such as Mass Effect 3, Gears of War 3, League of Legends, and others.
Most of the rewards are pretty self-explanatory but I want to describe or show a few in detail.
The Game: The game itself is the most basic reward, and with digital delivery, getting it to you is a snap! Backers will receive the first chapter (almost done!) and each additional chapter as it is completed. The delivery date displayed in the Rewards List is for the total project, so you will be playing the game long before date shown. Also, your name will appear in the Hall of Heroes, an in-game monument to my Kickstarter backers.
The DVD Box Edition: This special box edition includes your digital download, the box with artwork, and a short booklet with cool artwork and a totally unnecessary (but also Totally Necessary!) guide to getting started. The box edition does not include a physical copy of the game, but it's a fantastic thing to have on your shelf.
The Shirt: Trade in those barbaric scraps for something more civilized! If you think it looks good here, think how good it will look... ON YOU.
Tiny buttons: Any reward tier that has stuff shipped to you will also have a set of five shiny, shiny 1" buttons shipped to you along with it! Each assortment will include a varied selection of the game's cast but you can always count on getting one pixellated barbarian hero."Keeper of Terrible Secrets:" This is the big one! I'll hide an Easter Egg in the game based on an idea of your choosing. It might be a secret room devoted to your greatness, or it might be a unique, game-breaking mount! The ideas come from you but I'll be the one who determines how it actually appears in the game. Anyone playing the game can access these Easter Eggs, but only you will know how to do it--it's up to you to decide if you want to share it or not!
Risks and challenges
I love games, I love making games, and Tiny Barbarian is the sort of game I love to make. With only one person's vision behind it, the biggest risk is that I may have bitten off more than I can chew--I do worry I've promised too much, not just to my backers, but to myself as well. Your dollars are buying my development time, so the question is, have I budgeted enough?
To convince myself, I have spent the last several month squeezing game development into my free time. (I have a day job, you know!) It hasn't been easy, but the result is a pretty good-looking project with all the groundwork laid out before me. There will be challenges ahead, but between my experience working on other games and having overcome difficult spots in Tiny Barbarian's development already, I know I can overcome them without delay. If I do find myself stumped, I have other experienced people ready to lend a hand. (Daniel already knows I am not shy about asking for help when I need it!)
$12,000, even minus Kickstarter fees, costs for rewards, and taxes (taxes!) is a lot of money. I don't ask for it lightly, and I've taken a lot of time to determine what I need to support Tiny Barbarian's development. With your support, Tiny Barbarian will be finished, it will be finished on time, and--seriously--you're going to love it. Thanks for your help, every tiny bit is appreciated!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
It goes without saying that I want Tiny Barbarian on all the platforms I can get it on! As I mentioned above, this Kickstarter with its initial goal is for Windows PC only, but as it progresses and gets closer to the funding goal we'll start looking seriously at stretch goal options for other platforms. Consoles are extremely unlikely, but feel free to message me to tell me where you'd like to see TinyB appear!
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