This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Kynseed - A Whimsical Sandbox RPG Adventure
Kynseed - A Whimsical Sandbox RPG Adventure
Made by a couple of ex-Lionhead Fable devs, Kynseed is a quirky 2D sandbox RPG. It's an adventure of a lifetime - literally.
Made by a couple of ex-Lionhead Fable devs, Kynseed is a quirky 2D sandbox RPG. It's an adventure of a lifetime - literally. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
About this project
Featuring title music by multiple BAFTA nominated and legendary Fable composer Russell Shaw. Treat your ears below...
Spend your days adventuring, farming the land while raising your family, or even running your own tavern, apothecary, blacksmiths or goods store.
Every person and domestic animal you meet remembers what you do, or fail to do.
You can step off The Path into the darker areas of Quill and encounter faery tale monsters and enticing mysteries.
The seasons will pass and living things will grow old and die. Faces from the past are replaced by the fresh young faces of new life.
And when you die of old age yourself, you will pass your family tree's Kynseed on to your children so that they may continue your bloodline and shape their own legacy.
Choose male or female and get to know the inhabitants of the land and be involved in friendships, romance, marriage and putting your family to work on the cheap.
Kynseed is a 2D sandbox adventure from veterans of Lionhead Studios’ Fable series. Drawing from years of experience crafting the iconic Fable titles, we aim to deliver an all-new quirky RPG filled to the brim with mystery, exploration, awful puns, and sandbox possibilities.
While invoking the spirit of past Fable games, Kynseed is infused with our own ideas and a mix of British folklore, ancient legend, and rustic traditions. We hope to capture these inspirations in an atmospheric world with whimsy, humour, and eccentricity, and not a single orc or high elf in sight.
You have grown up in your parent's idyllic farm in The Vale, a peaceful valley in the faery tale land of Quill. In time, you meet the mysterious Mr Fairweather, who offers you a mystical acorn called the Kynseed. Once planted, it will grow a magical family tree.
But such a gift does not come without a price.
Will your name be carved on the walls of history or scrawled on the walls of the pub outhouse?
An Aging World
The land is affected by your choices and deeds. Seasons come and go and affect the world both visually and in gameplay.
Living Things Have Memory and Grow Old
Individuals and animals grow old and eventually die. Families remember your good deeds or wrongdoings for generations.
Unique Life Mechanic
Pay the mysterious Mr Fairweather for powerful upgrades and revivals, at the cost of years from your life! Will you miss out on your child's development to buy that music box that makes dragons dance? Will your business suffer because you bought a pet cat that turns people to stone?
Wander from The Path and indulge in meaty combat against various nasty faery tale creatures that guard the materials and loot you need to become the greatest in the land.
Meaningful Relationship System
Build friendship into romance and produce heirs to continue your legacy. Do favours for others and not only gain friendship but also juicy information and gifts.
A calendar keeps you up to date of festivals and events. Learn where and when the best ingredients grow. Attend various competitions, annual fayres, and don’t you dare be late for a date!
Monsters and Creatures
They're more than just sword fodder. Each creature has a sim and their own traits that you can take advantage of. Remember, even dragons need to go to the bathroom now and then. (That wasn’t a pile of gold that Smaug sat on!)
Run Your Business
Own a tavern and craft beers with bizarre effects. Be a blacksmith and forge weapons and tools to order. Manage your apothecary and mix cures for a variety of bizarre poxes and curses.
A Land Where Superstitions Are True
Heed the advice of the Old Fishwife and the locals to find out everything from where the rarest items can be found to where and when the best places to conceive are! We're not just a little stitious. We're super stitious.
Every village has their own customs and quirks. Visit the annual cheese bowling rite and encounter Wiki Men, Fred Barleycorn and wear the Trousers of Fertility, as passed down through generations. (I really hope they wash them...)
Hunger dictates combat prowess so a proper breakfast before some monster slaying goes a long way. Discover and use proper recipes though, and you can take your fighting to the next level, or even use the Traits in food to distract, weaken or even scare away enemies!
All items and materials, have unique traits. From medicinal to hallucinogenic, shrinking to fattening...Want to feed laxatives to herds of sheep and lead them through town? The creative possibilities for fun are endless.
Be Friends with Animals
Domestic animals and critters have opinions of you based on your actions. If they like you enough they may just let you ride them!
No mythical world would be complete without music to go with it. The title music has been made by Russell Shaw but also helping us out with some beautiful world music is Matthijs den Daas. Here's a couple of tracks you can expect to hear in our prototype. We'll be adding much more music as development continues.
DIGITAL COPY OF THE GAME
We'll be releasing Kynseed for early access in late 2017. When we do, everyone who backed us at this level will get a copy of the game on early access as well as the full game when released.
YOUR NAME IN THE CREDITS + DIGITAL ART PACK
Back us at this level and we'll put your name in the credits for all to view in wonderment. This tier level also gets you access to a pack of digital art which includes a myriad of wallpapers in a myriad of resolutions, extremely hi-res posters, as well as animated GIF's for all your internet needs.
Kynseed is a world as musical as it is beautiful. At this level you'll get a full uncompressed digital copy of the soundtrack.
DIGITAL QUILL LORE & ART BOOK
The land of Quill is rich with history and legends. We're taking world building very seriously with Kynseed and we'll be packing as much of that world into the Lore Bible as we can. In it you can expect details on creatures, the history of each region, character origins, and even insights into the mysterious Fae Realm and its inhabitants - including the enigmatic Mr Fairweather. Also included in the Lore Bible is the Art Book which will contain high resolution versions of many of the images made and used during Kynseed's development, including beautiful concept art created by the legendary Mike McCarthy (who helped define Fable's look).
DEV FORUM & DEV STREAMS
The entire community will be involved with offering feedback and direction during Kynseed's development. However, if you fancy seeing a game's development even when it's unpolished and has warts and rough eges then you'll want this reward. With it, you'll get access to one of our developer forums where you'll see us discuss very rough draft areas of the game and we'll turn to you for thoughts and feedback on things that aren't quite polished enough for public consumption. Additionally, you'll get access to monthly developer streams where we'll let you watch a live feed of one of our desktops as we work on the game (and we'll be hanging out in the stream chat as well). Ever wanted to see a Bob Ross style stream of somebody using the ACTUAL tools to make an ACTUAL video game region? Then this reward is for you.
ACCESS TO THE COMBO-SPRITE EDITOR
Did you know that almost every tree in Kynseed is unique in some way? That's because we made a really cool developer tool called the ComboSprite Editor. With it we can take various game sprites and combine them together to make really interesting creations. It's one of the many ways we're working to get away from the 'tileset' look commonly seen in 2D games. At this backer level, we'll actually give you access to download and use the same ComboSprite Editor that we ourselves are using to make the game. It's an incredibly satisfying tool to use and it's surprisingly relaxing to just chill out and create fun things. And who knows, if someone makes something that we particularly like we might even put it into the game!
A WANDERING FAE NPC NAMED AFTER YOU
In the land of Quill, there will be NPC's from the mystical Fae realm who wander the land. Back at this level and one of those NPC's will actually bear your name (or any other name you'd like to come up with).
PERSONALISED GRAVESTONE EPITAPH
As some Fable fans may remember, there were numerous gravestones scattered around Albion. Many times these gravestons had epitaphs written on them as easter eggs about various members of the development team. But as it happens, the Kynseed team is rather small so we need your help in filling the land of Quill with...well, graves. Back at this level and we'll get you to write a small bio about yourself which we'll then use to come up with a personalised epitaph on a specific gravestone in the land of Quill that you can find and go to if you ever want to pay respects to yourself.
A STATUE MADE IN YOUR IMAGE
Send us a picture of yourself (or even of your significant other!) and we'll make a statue based on that image. The statue will then be placed in the grand Hall of Eternity, a place of esteemed honour in the land of Quill. And, to be clear, this is for an ingame statue as we don't really fancy contracting sculptors for a life sized bust of yourself (though back as at £5,000 and maybe we'll talk).
CREATE A LEGENDARY WEAPON WITH US
Most games have Legendary Weapons and, although Kynseed does too, there's so many more types of Legendary items than just that. This, our highest of tiers, is to work one on one with the development team to conceptualize, design, sketch, and even name a Legendary Item that every player will be able to use in the game.
While many campaigns have 'stretch goals' we thought it best to instead have 'stretch funding' and let the community help decide which areas of the game additional money will be spent on. We'd love to look into other platforms long-term, but for now here are some more immediate areas we'll be focusing extra funds on. We'd love to hear all your suggestions as well!
Any Stretch Funding Received Will Go Towards:
We've heard your feedback on this and are looking to focus our efforts on the look of the player's character, NPC's, and animations. Stretch funding will allow us to get an additional artist earlier to help work on their look and animation early. The land of Quill is full of inhabitants with rich personality and it's important that all their personality shines through in the game's art.
Kynseed's sim systems represent a huge undertaking for us and, while we're up to the task, we also understand that we'll be able to create better work faster if we hire a dedicated sim coder whose sole job is to perfect the underlying systems of the game. This includes such areas as:
- Daily routines for NPC's
- Generation based life cycles of people and pets
- Relationship systems for friends and romantic interests
- Additional interactivity between people and creatures
- Improved pathfinding for all people and creatures
- Among many other things
Additional funds would let us get an extra hand to make an interface that's not only intuitive but amazing to look at. This will also free up our primary artist to focus solely on creating art for the world itself.
Kynseed is a 2D Sandbox RPG that lets you live your life before passing down your skills and possessions to your children and continuing the adventure as them. The world remembers your deeds and actions. Friends and loved ones age and pass away. Even beloved pets grow old and their offspring continue their own bloodline.
As you build your empire, both homely and business, you'll develop your renown and reputation and will eventually gain the attention of the mysterious Jack of All Trades! You can choose to take on jobs, open your own business, take on tasks and quests, mess with the sandbox, raise a family and go off The Path into the dangerous places for combat and loot finding. The materials you find can be used to help further your business and equipment while increasing your reputation.
The land of Quill is where you live. It is a place full of idyllic valleys and meadows, peaceful villages and rosy cheeked folk. A place ruled by no king or government. It is also a place surrounded by faery tale forests that host mysterious towers, dark caves, and silent ruins. From the dreamy meadows of Summerdown to the hidden depths of Ghostlight Cavern. From the bizarre structures of Copperpot Village to the festering waters of The Shingles.
Connecting the human places of the world is The Path. The denizens of the forests never leave their homes...but if you wander from The Path expect trouble! All manner of monstrosities of folklore and Fae folk from Jabberwocks to Brownies, Men O' the Wood to Hobgoblins, Wyrms to Banshees - these and many more lurk in the darkness.
Each village has its own customs and traditions, locality specific traits, and even tastes for food. Using this information is key if you want to forge relationships and create a winning business. Local delicacies go a long way to making simple folk happy.
Quill is also a place where superstitions and proverbs are all actually true! A stitch in time really does save nine and the Stork delivers all the babies!
The first chapter of the game takes place in The Vale where you live with your dad and sister on the family farm. During this idyllic lazy summer you will be given tasks by your father which earn you Brass, the currency of the land. You have a rota with all your jobs laid out but if you don't do them you can earn Brass in other ways: finding it, earning it, and even winning it. You can fish, hunt, catch insects in jars, pick fruit and berries, make an assortment of lovely jams, ride pigs, find dig spots with your dog, throw stuff around, take on jobs in the village and so on.
You have a best friend in your woodland den called Twig. Twig is a wild child living in the forest who has been cursed and is half hare! Twig is the best friend that a hero could ask for: he's loyal, mischievous, and encourages freedom. Your adventures with Twig inadvertently lead you to a secret grotto where you hear the jangling of charms and out of the darkness strolls...Mr Fairweather.
Mr Fairweather is a Fae gentleman who lives alone in the faery realm of Eldrytch. He is charming and eccentric, but also sinister and unnerving. Mr Fairweather sees your potential and offers you the Kynseed. This magical acorn, once planted at your own family home, will let you realise your potential...but at a cost.
In return, Mr Fairweather asks that you give him 5 years of your life for the Kynseed. Then, on your 60th birthday, your life will end and you will go with him to Eldrytch. At or before he comes to collect you on your 60th birthday you will be able to uproot the Kynseed to pass it on to any of your children.
If you die any time before then, Mr Fairweather will revive you at the cost of 1 year of your life...
Mr Fairweather carries with him his Box of Delights and will offer you arcane trinkets, charms, tools and even weapons in return for a life cost. At the end of every year, as the last day of winter ends, Mr Fairweather will appear and take his life tax. You then start the new year older. So what kind of stuff does he sell, I hear you squeak excitedly?
- How about a magic sack for capturing animals?
- A hat that makes the wearer forget everything?
- Lantern lenses that let you see spirits?
- A hoe that does the farming for you?
- A golem bodyguard?
- A man eating pot plant?
- Changeling cream?
These items let you mess with the world, erase your mistakes, or help ease your tasks. They can let you access parts of Quill you couldn't reach before, help with relationships, or just aid your fighting prowess. Will your thirst for advancement and fun cost you quality time seeing your family and businesses grow? Such temptations...such decisions...
When you get your own home and plant the Kynseed, your contract begins. The tree stands behind your house and grows and morphs depending on your situation, from representing kids as apples, to your ancestral line as roots
At any time you can choose to cut down the tree and 'end your life'. Mr Fairweather will then ask which child you want to pass the Kynseed to. Your children will take some of your traits and have the skills they learned growing up, plus access to all your stuff.
You then 'become' that child and continue the bloodline. If you have no children, it's game over...so plan accordingly!
Your character can work in any shop or set up their own business. The available shops to choose from are Blacksmith, Inn, Goods Store, and Apothecary. But you can also be a Bard, Farmer, or just an Adventurer and sell your loot and materials.
Each job is a little game in itself and doing jobs levels up your skill which unlocks more job related skills that will help your business. You can also hire NPC's to run your store, but check their quality! You can even put your kids to work, heartless fiend!
Capture wild animals and you can even sell those, creating your own pet shop. Just how much is that doggy in the window? The one with the dragony tail?
Mix ingredients in the Apothecary and try to help the demanding NPC's with their everyday bizarre ailments...but watch out for side effects such as Blueface, Extreme Flatulence, and Bee Hair!
Your shops gain Reputation separate from your own Renown and competitors may take advantage of any slip ups. By venturing off The Path you can find better items and materials to sell or use in your shops thus creating better items and attracting a higher quality of clientele.
The people of Quill (aka, NPC's) have their own day/night cycle, routines, and jobs. They have an opinion of you ranging from adoration to total hostility. Individuals have their own family trees, traits (some specific to the locality), and opinions of each other. They will react to your actions, fame, and remember your rights and wrongs against their clan.
Wrong them enough and they will launch Vendetta, and that's good for nobody.
NPC's will ask for 'Favours'. Complete these tasks to unlock rewards. The NPC will pay the Favour back by revealing important info, divulging secrets or giving you items and so on.
NPC’s, domestic animals, monsters, and even materials have Traits. Traits are usually hidden and can be exposed by gifting, reading, and talking to others. A small sampling of some Traits you can discover:
- Nose for Treasure
- Hard Worker
Your life is run by a Calendar, accessible at any time, which keeps track of annual festivals, events, and even romantic trysts!
You can add items to the Calendar too. For example, you may discover a flower that blooms only one day per year and may want a reminder of that.
The calendar also let's you check weather forecasts (when you gain the knowledge) and also track your Favours, due baby dates and deliveries!
When things get hairy (quite literally when you meet a Hag who hasn’t shaved recently), you can rely on a good sliver of pointy metal, a bow 'n' arrow, and some nice items to get you through the bad places. You assign a melee weapon, a ranged weapon, and one item allowing you to switch between all three.
As you gain experience in combat, you unlock new moves and skill. Your weapon also levels up and has its own reputation. In time, your weapon may become legendary. Or you could just steal that legendary weapon Old Firesnorter uses to pick bits of cow out of his teeth with.
The player can also increase their agility and defense skills eventually becoming like a lithe leopard leaping long lengths laughing leisurely.
We want the combat to be meaty and satisfying - not grindy and filled with loooooong health bars. And for those who want a challenge, you can visit the more dangerous places such as Hardwood, EvilWood and Nightmare Hallow.
Quill’s forests and caves are home to faery tale creatures and ethereal denizens. A place where ancient spirits cast their ancient gazes and Old Gods are revered and worshiped in dark corners. Though sometimes also in well-lit areas that comply to F.A.E. Commission Elf & Safety Standards.
Each creature has its own traits and its own sim. Monsters are no longer mindless aggressors. Well, some are, but they are mindless aggressors with their own needs, likes, fears, allergies, and urges.
By examining them, or learning about them, a wily player can take advantage. Creatures also have populations, so it might not be wise to wipe them all out. In fact, it may even pay to encourage their growth. After all, Dragon poop makes incredible fertiliser and Brownies love keeping houses clean...
The land of Quill is steeped in folklore where the hamlets and insular villages scattered around it all have their own customs and traditions.
How about the annual Apple Bob in PoppyHill? Bob hates it though. Or take part in the Harvest Underpant Frenzy in Tunt. Throw candies at Daddy Long Legs and Mrs Long Legs as they stride through Candlewych on All Marrows Eve.
Taking part in these rituals and festivities can actually grant boons and bonuses making participating in these traditions very important. Additionally, using old proverbs and heeding the Old Fishwife can give the player an advantage. Use these proverbs to find hidden places, world secrets, rare ingredients, or even learn combat advantages. For example...
- Milk a cow past midnight's hour, turns the cream very sour.
- Plant your seed on Summer's morn, more likely that a boy be born. Do it on a Winter's night, more likely that you’ll make Snow White.
- See a pin and pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck. See a pin and let it be, bad luck will jump outta a tree.
We feel this feature and setting makes Kynseed very unique, charming and interesting. There will be so much for players to discover, so many combinations triggering boons and curses and so much knowledge to share with other players. You may find you have your own daily rituals and actually obsess over doing everything right!
We are a team of three little pigs building a brick house to keep the wolf from the door. Two of those pigs are ex-Lionhead Studios developers and the other ran the Fable community for many years. With over 30 Years of experience developing the Fable series and its community (amongst others), we hope to infuse our games with the same charm, eccentricity and humour that permeated Lionhead’s games.
Co-Founder and Technical Director
Neal has worked as a scripter, coder, and tools creator for nearly every Fable over the course of 12 years as well as a gameplay scripter on Black & White 2. He was Lionhead’s 2nd best table tennis player, perhaps best shmup player, and boasts a stupidly high score on Threes. He is also a Streetfighter expert and fanboy, although he can’t cope with button mashers and for a polite and quiet guy he sure swears like a sailor.
Co-Founder and Design Director
Charlie was at Lionhead longer than anyone and that’s why the place smelled a bit. He cut his teeth as a tester on Black and White then Fable and ended up designing and building the Albion of both Fable 2 and Fable 3. Charlie lived for Lionhead - quite literally as he once lived there secretly for 9 days. For some reason, he is really good at the Mario Golf series despite being dreadful at real life golf...although real golf doesn't require you stopping an arrow on a power bar and trying to avoid giant mushrooms with faces.
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A rock star both on and offline, Matt helped out with the Fable community for over a decade and gained the respect of all those utter nutters. He's now part of our lovely team and when he isn't busy partying in Los Angeles he's busy editing videos, creating graphics, contributing to design, keeping us organised and on schedule, and not sleeping as much as he probably should.
Additional Support By:
Russell Shaw for the title screen music. Legend!
Matthew Weekes for our utterly lovely pixel art (with animation assistance from Georgio Ser).
Matthijs den Daas for the amazing music.
Deborah Saez for our current UI. Cool stuff!
Ian Faichnie for the superb Kynseed and PixelCount logos.
Mighty Mike McCarthy for all the stunning concept art!
And extra thanks to David Oxford and Lozz Logan for other fantastic art contributions.
As part of this campaign, you lovely people are able to download and play our prototype. We just wanted to quickly mention a few things about it:
The prototype is not a demo (not even close to one!) and is more to just get a handle on controls set over a week on your family farm during an idyllic summer. We have tossed in a load of collectibles and activities without any story, pacing and many key features missing.
The aim is just to deliver a little taster of the kind of thing to expect at the basic level. We hope it is still pretty fun and engaging for you.
If nothing else, just close your eyes and relax while listening to the dreamy music...
Kynseed is the passion project of a tiny but experienced team who spent aeons working on Lionhead Studios games. We wanted to create a game that continued the spirit of the studio we loved for many years. It is very important to us that we involve the community of players into the creative process from the very beginning of this journey. We want to create a little studio that is always open with its community and one which doesn't shroud itself in secrecy. It's also a chance for us to reconnect with the Fable / Lionhead community. Kynseed is a way for us to carry on the soul of Fable in our own humble way.
Thank you to all our old Fable fans and all our new Kynseed fans. We can't wait to see where this journey takes us.
Risks and challenges
The funds that we get through Kickstarter will be used to get our very small development team through at least half a year without having to eat each other. By then our hope is that we'll have expanded our game engine from our early prototype to a proper alpha build that we'll then release on Early Access on Steam (pending approval), itch.io, and possibly others. We understand that Steam's Early Access has sometimes been used to support games that weren't really operating within the spirit of what Early Access should be. With Kynseed, it's crucial that we get the community as involved with our creative process as possible. To that end, we're approaching Early Access trying to be honest and upfront about our intentions. When we launch on Early Access, you'll be able to get the current state of Kynseed at a discount. When the game reaches proper beta status we'll increase that price a little. Finally, when the game is finished and ready for release, we'll exit Early Access and put the game at the final price (still very reasonable). If you support Kynseed at our lowest level, this gets you a copy of Kynseed when we launch for Early Access later this year.
Currently we already have workable development tools, our own game engine which we've made from scratch, some very basic gameplay systems, a bit of music, some early art assets, and many other things. The more funding we get, the more talent we can hire and the quicker and better quality stuff can get done. More cash would also mean we can plough on with the rest of the game. Our ideal aim would be to have the game ready late in 2018 with frequent updates along the way once the early access is available. This will be dependent on team size and funding however.
As with all games, development is a tricky thing so timetables are never truly solid and features change as we go. Playing the game and getting feedback to gameplay and ideas is paramount to shaping the adventure.
We are very experienced though...pretty fast and determined to make sure it is polished and filled with charming touches and things to see and do and discover. We would very much love for you all to come along for the ride (but one at a time please…it’s a small pig).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter