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Legend of Iya's video poster

A metroidvania adventure built of beautiful pixels. Read more

pledged of $75,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on August 11, 2013.

A metroidvania adventure built of beautiful pixels.

About this project

Donate now with PayPal!
Donate now with PayPal!



General notes:

  • Ctrl+Q Will quit the game instantly at any time.
  • The demo is be controlled with either the cursor keys+ZXC, or the WASD+Cursor, which can be switched in the options menu. 
  • The game supports controllers - the button layouts for 360 controller and a sidewinder can be swapped in the options as well.
  • The game is written in GM8.1, so Windows8 people have to turn the sound effects all the way down in order not to anger the cruel gods of Microsoft.
  • You MUST unzip the entire game including the external files and folders.
  • There is an unfinished "8-bit" version of the game in the EXTRAS menu.
  • Powerup items can be collected by standing over them and pressing up.
  • Iya can climb ledges when you jump to them and hold up.
  • Iya has two attack types - quick and strong. Tap attack button for quick, hold - for strong.
  • While in the air Iya can either slam enemies down with down+attack, or kick them up higher with up+attack.
  • Explore the area. There is one hidden powerup object and one health upgrade.
  • Save rooms are activated by standing in the middle and pressing up.
  • The sound and music are a placeholder. I have an awesome musician lined up for the project, but first I need some sweet, sweet Kickstarter money to pay him.


Let's Play:

And in case you are too lazy to play the demo - here is a video of me playing it.

If, however you want to see other people play my early preview demo, check these out:

Patrick Klepek (Giant Bomb)






Gate 2 GamerZ  (Portuguese)

TheLezard1987 (Spanish)

The Game:

Legend of Iya (it's pronounced Ee-yah), has been my never-ending passion project as long as I can remember. Beginning with early 8-bit computers, and stretching all the way to present day, the game has changed, evolved and improved over the years, from a simple 8-bit run-and-jump to something far more compelling. The game has seen at least half a dozen iterations, each time dying, but being reborn as some kind of a stubborn freaking phoenix.

Legend of Iya (LOI) is a 2D, story-driven metroidvania game in development for Windows PC (with ports to Mac, Linux and Ouya likely to follow once the main build is finished). As I am a pixel artist by trade, the game features top-shelf pixel graphics and animation reminiscent of 16 and early 32-bit era, with lush, varied environments, tons of animation and detail, and some crazy-huge setpieces.

A big-giant-BMP-for-a-room!
A big-giant-BMP-for-a-room!

Oh, and let's not forget awesome boss battles! Will have a bunch of those. In fact I ended up writing my own procedural module-animation editor for bringing those to life without killing me with animation work. The results are vaguely reminiscent of bosses in games like Castlevania  SOTN and 16-bit Contras:

Not to spoil too much of the story, the game centers about a twelve-year-old protagonist, who gets whisked away to some far-off fantasy land populated by all kinds of mutant, bio-mechanical and just straight-up weird creatures. On its surface LOI might sound like a hundred other Wizard-of-Oz-like stories, but it's totally not - you'll just have to take my word for it.

The ridiculous monster lineup so far
The ridiculous monster lineup so far

Planned Features:

  • A vast, labyrinthine world reminiscent of the classics like Super Metroid and Castlevania SOTN.
  • High quality graphics - like the best SNES could offer. None of that crude hipster-pixel here!
  • A soundtrack by the awesome Magnus "Philter" Gangstad.
  • Tons upon tons of quality sprite animation! Like, seriously - the player alone already has somewhere in the vicinity of 500 frames.
  • Chunky pixels! The game runs in a 256x192 native resolution of pixelated retro goodness.
  • Dozens of new powers, upgrades and secrets to find and collect.
  • Juggle-tastic melee combat.
  • Massive boss battles and set-pieces.
And big-giant-regular-enemies
And big-giant-regular-enemies
  • Also - Extras!
Like all five of the original ZX Spectrum Legend of Iya episodes
Like all five of the original ZX Spectrum Legend of Iya episodes

Why Kickstarter?:

Well, it's simple, really. The Legend of Iya is a massive project that requires an insane amount of time and effort. So far - this venture has been solo, but if I am to ever finish it, I will need to hire a crew and work on this project exclusively and without diverting my attention to contract work. Here are the basic things your money will be going toward:

  • Living expenses. Let me come clean - I have a family - a wife and two awesome kids. They sort of enjoy eating and having a roof over their head when it rains. I'd like for them to continue enjoying those things while I finish LOI.
  • Sound and music. While I can lay some mean pixel and code up the crazy in GameMaker - I am absolutely a nobody when it comes to writing music of any kind. I will need to hire some of my very talented musician friends to help me with that.
  • MORE ARTS! While I am your average pixel robot capable of pixelination on massive scale, I still can't do everything in this massive game all at once. I DO however have access to some amazing pixel freelancers who will hopefully make LOI even prettier than it already is.
  • Legal stuff. If I am to publish this at all, I will sure as hell need to lawyer up some things at some point, and if my previous experience with the legal profession is any indication - that costs A LOT.
  • Programming support. This is a big "probably". While I'm pretty competent in my skills as a GameMaker programmer, there are areas of the game where I know I will have to do better before it's done. And who can do better than real honest-to-goodness programmers.
  • Software. LOI is currently being made in GameMaker 8.1. If anyone out there wants a Mac or an Ouya port - I'll have to convert it over to GameMaker Studio - which isn't exactly free.
  • Marketing! Now I said it - marketing. I'll have to do stuff to promote the game, which from my understanding involves placing banner adds, going to conventions, and giving snobby, self-aggrandizing game-design lectures: )
  • Physical reward tiers. All this stuff costs money, and moreover - takes time to design, order, assemble, package and ship. So much so - I'll probably have to pay someone just to handle it at least partially


I am currently aiming to finish The Legend of Iya in under a year, but things happen - good and bad, so I will try to keep you all updated of the game's development as much as I can afford. I have tentatively set the release in November of 2014, but that date can change both, forward and back, though hopefully not by much.


People who have signed up for the beta access will be given the game once it's as near to at least 90% completion as possible, and can be played all the way from the beginning to the end. I tentatively expect this to happen around August of next year.


Since most physical rewards require the game to be complete or near-complete, I don't expect those to go out earlier than the game itself. In fact - it will probably take me another month to get the stuff manufactured and shipped out.



Choice of prints #1 or #2 FREE for all pledge $250+

Both prints FREE for all pledges $500+

Pixel Print #1 (art not final)
Pixel Print #1 (art not final)
Pixel Print #2 (art not final)
Pixel Print #2 (art not final)

Prints measure approximately 10"x7" for image itself. Frame not included.

+$15 - Your choice of signed and numbered pixel print #1 or #2. Limited to 500 each. (Frame NOT included, add $5 for international shipping)

+$25 - Both pixel prints - signed and numbered. Limited to 500. (Frame NOT included, add $5 for international shipping)

Design not final
Design not final

+$30 - The Legend of Iya exclusive backer t-shirt (add $5 for international shipping).


In order to upgrade your pledge please go to "manage your pledge" and add the amount corresponding to your desired add-on while leaving your reward tier the same. Next - send me a personal message listing your add-ons.

System Requirements:

As mentioned above - The Legend of Iya is being developed in GameMaker 8.1, and therefore is not an extremely agile beast. However, I've been putting and plan to continue applying significant effort to optimization in order to run the game on older hardware. Currently the requirements are: OS:

  • Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7. W8 works but requires a bit of pokery.
  • CPU: 1.6Ghz Intel Atom or better.
  • RAM: 1 GB or more (this is theoretical - as the smallest memory board I own is a 1 Gig)
  • GPU: Anything that supports DirectX 9 it seems. 

Who am I?

I am a videogame industry veteran with over a decade of professional experience under my belt. During my career I worked for many different developers and publishers including Majesco, Gameloft, DreamRift, A Bit Lucky, WayForward and NG:Dev. During this time I got to work on over 50 or so commercial games including games like Psychonauts, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Batman TBATB DS, Monster Tale, Epic Mickey Power of Illusion, GunLord and Pier Solar. Making videogames has been my dream since I have first played Wizard of Wor on an Atari 8-bit computer at a makeshift arcade in former Soviet Union. This dream has first came true when my grandfather gave me a ZX Spectrum for my 12th birthday - my first game, written exclusively in ZX Basic - Legend of Iya. It was terrible: ) I have since learned to code quite adequately, and have mastered the art of pixel quite well.

Risks and challenges

The risk is about standard like with every game project. Things can happen - life likes to throw curve balls to all of us, and it is possible, though *very* unlikely LOI will not reach completion before the end of next year. It's completely unlikely, however for it to ever cease to be, as I have dumped far too much personal free time into it to ever quit: )

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • I'll leave the ports for after the project is complete for the original platform - Windows PC. There currently are several export options in GameMaker Studio, including Linux, Mac, Android and iOS. The only difficulty in porting the project is transferring the project into GM Studio, which should be doable.

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    53 backers

    I thank you for your support! It means a lot to me.

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    Pledge $5 or more

    36 backers

    Your name will show up in the game’s credits under “BACKERS” section.

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    16 backers

    GEOGRAPHICAL! In addition to name in the credits - you get the game's digital map with all sorts of secret goodies marked off.

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    1,000 backers All gone!

    Get a DRM-Free digital copy of Legend of Iya as soon as it becomes available. If the game ever becomes green-lit on Steam – you’ll get the Steam code as well.

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    Pledge $15 or more

    726 backers

    A DRM-Free digital copy of Legend of Iya as soon as it becomes available as well as a Steam code if it ever gets green-lit.

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    Pledge $20 or more

    475 backers Limited (525 left of 1000)

    Get access to the DRM free copy of the game AND the digital soundtrack as soon as it becomes available! This, and all subsequent tiers will also include a set of animated avatars of various LOI characters and a set of game backgrounds blown up to wallpaper size, to be used, well, as wallpaper.

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    189 backers

    In addition to the digital copy of the game, get the full digital soundtrack.

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    168 backers Limited (832 left of 1000)

    TACKY CREDITS! This tier includes all the rewards of the previous tiers, except in the game's credits your name will be shown in a large, wobbling font, just because you are awesome! This reward is EXCLUSIVE to this tier.

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    127 backers

    Get beta builds of the game the moment it is even remotely ready to be played. All previous tiers included.

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    Pledge $100 or more

    11 backers Limited (989 left of 1000)

    Get a physical copy of the Legend of Iya soundtrack. All previous tiers included.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
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    17 backers Limited (983 left of 1000)

    GAME GET PHYSICAL! Get a physical copy of a *REGULAR* edition game. DVD case, artwork insert, manual, and the game disk. Also includes a DRM-Free digital copy of the game, digital soundtrack, name in credits, digital game map, and digital wallpaper/avatar pack.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
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    10 backers Limited (40 left of 50)

    PIXELIFICATION! From a photo-reference I will draw a small pixel-art portrait of you or anyone else you'd like. This reward also includes all previous digital rewards except for the TACKY CREDITS tier. It also DOESN'T include the physical soundtrack.

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    Pledge $250 or more

    12 backers Limited (88 left of 100)

    Get a physical copy of the Legend of Iya game – cardboard box and everything. Guaranteed to look spiffy on your shelf. All previous tiers are included, soundtrack and all.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    Includes all the stuff from the previous tiers, plus a physical reproduction of a short "comic book" I drew when I was about 10, that was supposed to be some kind of a back-story to the Legend of Iya, but in fact is just some horrible, HORRIBLE art drawn by a child who watched too much TMNT and Rescue Rangers. On a side-note - the "books" are in no way related to the Legend of Iya game in its current form, however you can probably use them to blackmail me.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Send me your photo, and I will pixel and animate you to become an NPC in an early area of the game. You’ll also get *everything but* the BOOKS OF ETERNAL SHAME tier.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $2,500 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    Your level of support is simply out of this world, and you probably deserve a medal. I don’t have a medal to give you, but I can give you a plaque that will look nicely on your wall. This will be like one of those plaques developers sometimes get upon completing a game, except you’ll get one. The plaque consists of custom artwork in an aluminium frame, a game disk and your name and “MAJOR BACKER” (or any other non-production-related title you fancy) engraved onto a metal plate. You’ll also get *everything but* the BOOKS OF ETERNAL SHAME and BE THE GAME tier.

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Funding period

- (30 days)