Kickstarter has been an amazing ride! Thank you all for your support, Children of the Sun!
If you're discovering this campaign too late and want to help by pre-ordering the game through Paypal, Amazon Payment or Google Wallet, we have opened a Slacker Backer page with the great folks from the HumbleBundle store, in order to let you do just that.
- Update #14: 45K reached! Arabic subs in the bag - Go for Linux!
- Update #13: 12 Hours to Go! Tell everybody!
- Update #12: Assets, HUD, U.I.... Talking about graphics
- Update #11: Stretch goal passed + 3D Artist talks textures
- Update #10: E.P. and Art Director discuss their roles
- Update #9: Designing a level
- Update #8: Let There Be Light
- Update #7: Game runs on PC!
- Update #6: Extended gameplay footage.
- Update #5: 100% funded.
- Update #4: Esteban Pack - second print.
- Update #3: First weekend.
- Update #2: Visual assets for social media.
- Update #1: TOP-UPS Added & First FAQs Answered.
Help us bring the Mysterious Cities of Gold video game to the PC and YOUR country with localized versions!
You're a fan of Esteban, Tao and Zia? They need your help!
We're hard at work developing The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths on the Wii U, 3DS, iPad and iPhone, and it's on track for a release this fall (fingers crossed!).
Unfortunately, and to be completely and candidly honest, our initial plans were to release the game in French only; the new season is directed in France, and airing only in French-speaking territories, where it's the most popular.
But since we announced the game, we've been swamped with emails, and messages on various social networks, asking us to consider both an international release, and a PC version.
Those requests came from all over the world: UK, US, Germany, Latin America, Lebanon – we simply didn't anticipate it would raise such a global interest, and already had focused our development budget on the game itself.
That's where you come in.
More than 30 years after enthralling a whole generation, the cult French and Japanese anime show "Mysterious Cities of Gold" (also sometimes known as "Esteban, Child of the Sun") has been resurrected this year for a second season currently airing on leading TV channels in French-speaking countries.
This rebirth was mainly the result of a Facebook-led campaign driven by over 100.000 French fans, and all the activities they organized to keep the show alive in everyone's mind.
Today, we turn towards this vibrant and international community of die-hard fans to help us make our Mysterious Cities of Gold video game project a little bit bigger than we could make it on our own.
As huge fans of the show since its first broadcast 30 years ago, we're currently completing our dream video game based on the Mysterious Cities of Gold universe, characters and story.
Fans, we heard you! So here we are, throwing a Kickstarter to gauge more precisely how many of you want this to happen and just how bad you really want it.
If our goal of 30.000 US$ in pledges is met, we commit to:
✔ Develop a High Quality Port of the game for the PC.
✔ Fully localize the game in English, including voice-acting dubbing of cinematic scenes and dialog.
✔ Subtitle the game in Spanish.
++ STRETCH GOAL: If we exceed our initial funding goal by 10.000$, we will add five more languages as subtitles: Italian, German, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese and Swedish. Polish will also be added as subtitle option for free, after a professional translator fan volunteered for the job. ++
(Because it requires a lot of modifications to the code, we cannot add Arabic as an extra language at the normal rate.)
Our game will be perfectly faithful to the art and soul of the Mysterious Cities of Gold, featuring original music and even cinematic excerpts from the show (which is actually one of the reasons we’re here ^^). The video game will basically retrace the new adventures of Esteban, Tao and Zia in an interactive manner.
We have identified the Mysterious Cities of Gold as a universe that many nostalgic fans love from back in their youth, and would now like to enjoy and share with their children (at least those who have turned into parents). "Trans-generational” is the word we use in French to describe that phenomenon. "Family entertainment" is probably how Disney-Pixar would call it stateside...
It is our firm intent to respect this and therefore, we have taken extra care in making sure that the game is not only accessible and playable by players of all ages, but also enjoyable on different levels so that kids, parents and even more "core" gamers have playing modes that they will find compelling.
But enough chitchat, here is the factual information about the game:
- The basics : The game is a balanced mix of puzzle and infiltration, in top-down perspective, where you alternatively control one of the three heroes (Esteban, Tao and Zia) and combine their abilities to go through the levels. Influences include Lost Vikings or, more recently, The Cave.
- The controls : We offer two main control schemes. A touch-screen approach for kids and mobile gamers, and, on the consoles, a regular, direct stick and buttons control for people who like traditional controls. Of course, the Wii U version offers both; and for a PC version, we'll be using point & click based, mouse and keyboard controls.
- The story : We tried to be as faithful as possible to the story-line. The game starts at the exact place where Esteban, Tao and Zia, begin their journey in search for the far eastern City of Gold. Each level is a transcription of the places they explore in the series, and, between the main groups of levels, cinematic cut-scenes from the animated series guide the player through the story arc.
- The universe : We based all of our work on the actual assets of the series. Character models, enemies, props, places, animations : for all of these, we started from the graphics that were used in the animated show and transformed them into game assets. All this work has been done hand in hand with the series director and creative director, with, once again, only one goal in mind : loyalty to the spirit and the atmosphere of the show.
- The music : Because music has always been one of the key elements in the Mysterious Cities of Gold universe (starting with its theme song), it was unthinkable for us not to include it in our game. Every environment of the game has its own musical theme, coming directly from the series.
- Get Bonus ! While we think beating all the puzzles and infiltration phases of the game will be a challenge in and of itself, we didn't forget those power players among you who wish to explore absolutely everything or do perfect runs. So we added collectibles, hidden chests and challenges like finishing a level without being detected by the enemies or under a certain amount of time. Those challenges unlock original artworks from the TV series, showcased in a gallery.
- The numbers : 30 levels, about 6 hours of game-play in average, around 20 different puzzle mechanics that combine into hundreds of possibilities, 17 different environments faithfully rendering the places which the heroes of the series go through, 26 cinematic scenes.
Except as noted below, all physical rewards are expected to be delivered by December, 2013. Digital rewards will ship as soon as they are ready, starting the week after the successful end of the campaign.
The actual game is what this is all about. A digital copy of The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths is included for all pledges above 15$, if you want the Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS or PC version of the game. The iOS version of the game changes hands for 12$. Delivery of digital copies on Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and iOS will be handled through individual coupon codes systems available in both the eShop and the App Store.
A Kickstarter-exclusive Digital Art Book composed by our art director will also be included as a perk for all pledges above 30$. The Digital Art Book contains exclusive work-in-progress pieces.
Your name will appear in the "Special Thanks" credits section of the game if you care to pledge more than 30$. Even more bragging rights for you!
Just can't wait to get your hands on this? Want to feel special about playing this game that you help make a little bit before everybody else? Want to be treated as the insider stake-holder that you now are? All pledges above the 50$ threshold will give you that kind of VIP access.
We will print out a limited series of posters based on the game Key Art and signed to your name by the art director. This will be included for all pledges of 100$ or more. This is a physical reward; worldwide shipping costs are included.
Poster not good enough for you? We have an even more limited run of Framed Artworks, this time signed to your name by the Director, for backers who commit to 275$ donations. This is a physical reward; worldwide shipping costs are included. [SECOND PRINT - Price increased from 200$ to 275$ to fairly compensate first round of early adopters for their quickness, and also for the fact that we are diluting the uniqueness of their reward]
Probably the ultimate form of bragging rights. You will be listed as one of the 5 associate producers of the game in the credits! This special nod will be limited to 5 of our most devoted supporters (and not included in any other pack) for 500$ apiece.
As some of you may know, an art exhibition / fan fair has been held in Paris at "Le Dernier Bar Avant La Fin Du Monde" to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Mysterious Cities of Gold. Some exclusive artworks were shown to public for the first time during the exhibition. The best four piece will be delivered to you in luxury edition prints. Those exclusive artworks are limited to 10 lucky few only and are solely included in the 800$ pledge level.
Here some illustrative images of the artworks:
This goes beyond bragging right. This is an actual shot at posterity. Forget naming. This is You, in the game. Quite literally. Based on photos of your selection, our art team will draw and animate frame by frame a secondary character based on your very looks, which will appear in one of the DLC episodes of the game, delivering a couple of dialog lines and everything! Only two of you will be offered the privilege for 6.000$ apiece.
++ NEW REWARDS ++
Dinner at the famous Parisian "Dernier Bar avant la Fin du Monde" with key members of the team, in a reserved room and with a four-services fine dinner menu themed on the Mysterious Cities of Gold and prepared by the chef especially for this occasion. Date can be set with you (preferably after November if you want to make our lives easier), this does not include transportation to Paris. You can be one of our 3 guests of honor for a commitment of 2.500$
Complete day-trip to the studio with the possibility to interact with the team while they work. While on-site, design your own poster with the art director, based on existing assets from the show and the game, we print it out, and the team signs it in front of you. Date can be set with you (preferably after November if you want to make our lives easier), this does not include transportation to Paris. Stepping into our world will set you back 4.000$ (limited to 3 people only).
Complete day-trip to the studio with the possibility to interact with the team while they work. Collaborate with the game designers to create your very own level, which will be available as DLC, effectively crediting you for level design. Date can be set with you (preferably after November if you want to make our lives easier), this does not include transportation to Paris. Creating your own level comes at the cost of 7.000$
(new) Update August 29th: Many of you have expressed the desire to buy two different versions of the game on two different platforms. By popular demand, this is now possible!+15 US$ : If you want to get a second version of the game in addition to the one which you are ordering, please simply add 15 US$ extra on top of the selected reward level and we'll sort out through direct messages, for which platform you want your side-dish served.
Neko Entertainment : A French indie videogame studio known among other things for critically acclaimed consoles and mobile physics-puzzler “Puddle”, and that probably boasts more fans of Mysterious Cities of Gold in its ranks than any other studio out there.
Fleur Marty : Big time fan of the Mysterious Cities of Gold since childhood, as most of her generation in France, she has been working as a project manager and a producer in the digital and video games microcosms for 15 years. Passionate about games, she pretty much blackmailed Cédric Littardi to be in charge of the project, when he brought up the idea of turning the series into a video game. She has been pouring all of her energy towards turning this great vision into reality ever since.
Cedric Littardi : One of the instrumental people in the discovery of Japanese anime and manga culture in Europe through the Kazé anime label that he had founded as early as 1993 to spread distribution of a multitude of famous series. He also handled the distribution of the Mysterious Cities of Gold DVDs in French until last year, when he left his company. As a child, he had never missed an episode of the show. He was the one that came up with the idea of bringing it to the video game universe and took the necessary time to convince the creators of the show to make that leap after all those years.
Ynnis Interactive : A new indie video game publishing company with a team of five and active in production and distribution of indie games with strong "Japanese culture" or "trans-media" components. The first successful game the company participated in was Strike Suit Zero, a previous successful project on Kickstarter.
The whole team would like to rise to the occasion and send millions of thanks to Blue Spirit Animation, Movie Plus, Jean Chalopin, Bernard Deyries, Studio Pierrot and all the great teams that worked on this awesome saga!
Help us spread the word! Here is an assets pack containing nice visuals at the perfect dimensions to tailor your facebook profile and twitter account for the duration of our campaign.
Risks and challenges
It is always risky to make a video game. However, in the present case, the game is already in development and has reached beta stage on Nintendo Wii U, so its timely release is a near-certainty.
Since this project is mainly about converting the languages in the game, and localization does not present enormous technical difficulties, the risks are relatively limited... short of Earth being the theater of a new Olmec alien invasion, that is.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)