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$13,196 pledged of $70,000 goal
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By +Mpact Games
$13,196 pledged of $70,000 goal
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About this project

 Hanako – Soul of the Samurai takes players online for an immersive experience in Feudal Japan. Help decide the future of a nation by playing as one of four distinct classes. Serve a clan to defeat your opponents throughout a multi-map campaign. Master your class’ directionally-driven combat, abilities, and spirit-based skills to get an extra edge. Enjoy a game that is easy to learn, difficult to master but seeks to capture the Soul of the Samurai.

The artistic qualities and backstory of the game serve as a symbolic tribute to team lead, Matt Canei's late mother. The art and lore of the game represent an everlasting struggle of life and death, health and disease and the natural balance of opposing forces to metaphorically represent real-life tragedies and to honor those lost.

Updates:

Release Platforms: PC (via Steam) and Console (Stretch Goal Dependent)

Release Date: Early 2016

 Questions? Get Them Answered Live on Twitch.tv/HanakoGame Backer-Oriented Streams Every Tuesday or Thursday @ 9pm EST.

 DarkStation's DarkCast: An Hour of Hanako Podcast w/ +Mpact Games' Connor McCarthy

Watch our Kickstarter Video in Full 1080: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKeUajHbcX0

Precision and accuracy are vital as you engage in either close quarters or ranged combat and polish your skills to make short work of your enemies. Each class has two styles of combat that allow players to creatively adapt to different battle scenarios, avoiding the monotony of click-spam "hack-n-slash."

Choose to block incoming attacks at the cost of your Ki (energy). If your timing is perfect, just as an opposing strike enters an area of threat, you can block to execute a parry technique that will throw your opponent off-balance and create an opening.

Enhance your basic combat with Ki, a resource that is actively managed and spent on a multitude of mechanics including sprinting, meditation, class-specific skills, abilities & more.

Choose between three skill branches to supplement your class' basic combat. Our skill tree offers both skills and abilities. Skills provide adjustments to key stats like health, Ki, attack speed and more. Abilities grant enhanced moves or buffs like combos, charges, sweeps, area-of-effects (AOE) and other enhancements. Additionally, abilities include status effects like knockbacks, knockdowns, damage-over-time (DOTs) effects and so on.

Players may assign skills in a multitude of ways to create adaptable builds. Unlocking a full branch within your tree allows you to master your class which provides stronger stat boosts, a more distinguished appearance, a third ability or even an elite weapon. 

Kenshi | Naginata | Ite | Ninja
Kenshi | Naginata | Ite | Ninja

Hanako – Soul of the Samurai leaves the player with many paths to follow in becoming the ultimate warrior. Each class can be built for multiple styles of play, so everyone should find a style that suits them best.

Kenshi – Swordsman Class

Your average class which boasts good offense, defense and speed. A perfect class for beginners to learn the ins and outs of the game. Be the all-around warrior for your team.

Playing this class is suggest for beginners. With moderate abilities all around you can make up the core of any team. Mastering the Kengou allows you to expertly fill almost any gaps within your team's ranks.

Naginata – Bladed-staff Class

Clear paths through the enemy or be a shield for your team. This class boasts a lot of power and a long weapon reach, but be careful because all of your armor makes you slower than most.

Playing this class is suggested for intermediate players. With your boosted armor, you can take more damage than most. A skilled player will be careful about getting surrounded... it could be your downfall, or a blessing in disguise.

Ite  – Archer Class

Be a master when it comes to sniping opponents or provide cover fire for teammates in dangerous situations. It will take skill to make sure you avoid the enemy while getting the best positions to take your shots.

Playing this class is suggested for intermediate players. The Ite can be the deadliest of opponents for picking off unwary enemies or doing damage to multiple enemies at once. They have less armor, which allows them to be faster than most classes, so use that fact wisely to your advantage.

Ninja – Specialist Class

Use the shadows and your speed to your advantage to take down opponents. Never fear being trapped for your amazing acrobatic skills and various tricks in your arsenal will get you out.

Playing this class is suggested for advanced players. The Ninja possesses the least armor, but the most speed. Use this to dart in-and-out of combat dizzying your enemies. As a specialist, you can become a huge help to your team or an incredible detriment to the enemy.

Teams play in a "tug-of-war" style campaign across seven maps with four types of game modes (Available for single-map games too). Campaigns begin in the center on a battlefield map and you must drive your opponent back, map-by-map, until you have sieged and defeated their player-controlled Daimyo in our Castle Assassination mode.   

Each level is designed to present unique obstacles and mechanics which will require strategy and teamwork to deceive your enemies. Flammable cover, forested areas that conceal your visibility and unaffiliated rogue teams are just a few of the things to keep your play experience on the battlefield engaging and varied. 

(Click for Full-Sized Version)
(Click for Full-Sized Version)
                     

The art direction of Hanako - Soul of the Samurai revolves around balanced style and harmony between all screen elements. Our goal is to create our own stylized look that players will come to love and recognize as something that embodies the Hanako universe. The scenery of Hanako is allegorical, in reference to both the backstory of the project and in the game's lore. Our characters are vibrant and colorful to start to make sure they read well against the environments (or blend in if they're say... a ninja), however a player's color fades as they near death.

The universe of Hanako - Soul of the Samurai is represented by three artistic territories. The Hanako territories are lush, beautiful areas full of trees, waterfalls and other peaceful surroundings. Nature and color in our game is symbolic of life, peace, hope, love and the memory of lost loved ones. The Yamai territories are war-torn, ravaged areas full of death, famine and destruction that represent disease and loss. As these two powerfully representative spaces collide they create a tertiary territory in which something is bound to come out of...

The music for the game will greatly supplement and enhance the relevance and purpose of the art direction. The score is being composed by the talented Lawrence Lee. He had the privilege of writing and conducting the title track for Hanako with the London Orchestra, known for work with Hans Zimmer.

The Early Years - Connor McCarthy, Ajani Thomas & Matt Canei
The Early Years - Connor McCarthy, Ajani Thomas & Matt Canei

 Hanako started as a college project back in 2007 with team co-founders Matt Canei, Connor McCarthy and Ajani Thomas. The project was a dream design of Matt's since he was 14 and following the tragic passing of his mother Janie, after a 5 year battle with breast cancer. Janie was a brilliantly positive and loving mother who raised Matt to always follow his dreams. She said "never go without finishing something you start, always love people and let them know they did a good job."

Taking these life lessons into account, the original design was written the following summer as a tribute and a way to transform loss into a positive experience that can be shared with others through engaging gameplay and beautiful, symbolic art. 

Janie Canei & Son (2006 & circa 1991)
Janie Canei & Son (2006 & circa 1991)

The original name, Hanako means "flower child" in Japanese, and is also the Japanese equivalent of Jane. This was an extremely lucky coincidence since Janie's love of nature and life played straight into the art direction and symbolism honoring her memory.

After being an award-winning college project, key team members decided it'd be best for the game for us to get industry experience, learn more and revisit the project down the road. In June 2013, we decided it was time to pick it back up. We updated the original design to more modern mechanics and recruited talented developers, artists, etc. from all over the world with experience ranging from AAA game development, software development, and popular animated TV shows. With the new team and updated design, Connor suggested we give the game a fresh name and suggested Hanako - Soul of the Samurai.

Over the years the project has blossomed from an allegorical tribute of one into a brotherhood of multiple dreams. Our team members have grown to embrace the project as their own and have committed themselves to realizing our collective vision. We are incredibly confident in our design and look forward to sharing it with you.

* - Early-bird rewards are only for that tier (unless specified in the tier). The Indie Game Magazine Single Issue is only available on the $5 Tier Exclusively; Digital Subscription to the Indie Game Magazine is only available on the $70 Tier Exclusively.

* - Shipping Info: We will calculate shipping after the Kickstarter based on actual, accurate figures. We will collect this via surveys and direct contact. We feel this is the best way to not overcharge and make sure we are as fair as possible to backers. As a rough estimate shirts and hoodies are $5 in US, $10-12 in Canada and $12-16 elsewhere. 3D Printed characters are roughly $11 US, $15 Canada/Mexico, $23 Worldwide. We are waiting on estimates for the Poster and Physical Art book, but we anticipate they will be similar to the shirt shipping costs.

We will update you all as soon as we have exact figures through dev updates throughout the campaign. Please note that we'll do our very best to get all of your rewards to you in a timely manner, you may receive different rewards at different times.

Here's a review of all the awesome rewards you can get for supporting our game! Any designs we show may change, but we will make sure everything you receive makes you proud to be part of the Hanako family.

+Mpact Games was formed in 2009, at the advice of our professors. We work to produce games that can make a positive impact on you, the player, whether indirectly through art and metaphor, or directly through story. We're a team of incredibly talented, experienced and passionate developers, who give our evenings and free time for the game. 

With your support, we hope to acquire the resources we need to make sure the game gets done right. Let us introduce you to all of our members:

  • Development Costs: 36%
  • Backer Rewards: 17%
  • Third Party Fees: 15%
  • Marketing: 11%
  • Legal/Business: 11%
  • Software: 10%

The typical methods for funding a game like ours in the industry, requires finding a publisher or private investor that could leverage their investment in Hanako to control the creative direction of the game - which we'd prefer not to do. We decided the best way to maintain the integrity of the game and produce the gameplay we want is to raise the capital to complete the game ourselves. We simply can't fund this out of pocket since most of the team still has to pay the bills (a ninja stole our infinity bag of cash) and some of us still have some student debt (game dev degrees are expensive). That's where Kickstarter comes in. Kickstarter allows us to raise the needed capital without sacrificing our vision. 

Additionally, +Mpact Games believes in providing positive experiences for our players, we see you all as an extended family, and we want your feedback and interaction. As you're there for us; we also wish to be there for you - it is not a one-way street. With that balance and harmony, we can achieve our goal and give you something great, that can only be at its best with your pledges, support and collective brain-power. 

Risks and challenges

Design: Often times in Game Development, ideas and mechanics take many rounds of iteration to get to an ideal state, some never make it that far. However, we are confident in our design and project management that has nearly 8 years invested into it. We wanted to make sure the core of the game was fleshed out before considering crowdfunding so we can show tangible proof of a solid game foundation, not just drawings or false promises. We've scaled back and iterated to put the game in a place that can be successful.

Technical: The game originally used UDK as our engine of choice, but we decided in March 2014 to migrate to the newly released Unreal Engine 4. The team has decades of experience using Unreal-based engines for both AAA and Indie projects of a multiplicity of genres and styles. Epic's support has been pivotal to our development and we have full confidence in all technical aspects of our game. We are greenlit on Steam and ready to publish as soon as we finish, so there's no release barrier.

People: We have recruited an extremely talented, passionate team with solid core members that have been with the project since its inception. We have no doubts about our team's ability to produce a great game once we earn the capital needed to fulfill the rest of our vision. Many team members have shipped AAA titles or other large collaborative efforts so we know what it takes to deliver, and deliver well.

Shipping: Our estimated delivery dates are allowing for some contingency, delays and potential manufacturing issues. Some rewards may ship well sooner then April 2016. If we can ship something sooner we will.

Overall, we believe the risks are fairly typical and minimal for an Indie game of this nature. We are confident that with Kickstarter backing we will absolutely deliver Hanako - Soul of the Samurai to you at a high quality.

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    Doing Your Part

    Our humble gratitude for your support + Exclusive Digital Wallpaper for your PC, Mac, tablet or phone + Single Digital Issue of The Indie Game Magazine

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    Early Enlistment *EARLY BIRD*

    Early Access Steam Key + Doing Your Part Rewards*

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    War Historian

    Soldier Enlistment Rewards* + a Digital Art Book + a Digital Soundtrack by Lawrence Lee

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    Blacksmith

    War Historian Rewards* + Exclusive Backer-Only Starter Class Weapons (Katana, Yumi, Naginata and Ninja-to)

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    Early Merchant of War *EARLY BIRD*

    Blacksmith Rewards* + Exclusive Backer-Only Starter Class Headgear + Soldier Enlistment Key Upgraded to Steam Early Access Key & An Extra For A Friend

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    Merchant of War

    DIGITAL SPECIAL: Blacksmith Rewards* + Exclusive Backer-Only Starter Class Headgear + Digital Subscription to IndieGameMag

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    The Early War Band *EARLY BIRD*

    Merchant of War Rewards* + Official 'Hanako - Soul of the Samurai' Shirt + Soldier Enlistment Key Upgraded to Steam Early Access Key 4-Pack

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    The War Band

    Merchant of War Rewards* + Official 'Hanako - Soul of the Samurai' Shirt

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    The Collector

    The War Band Rewards* + Choose a Poster Print of One of Three Illustrations by Irene Strychalski + Soldier Enlistment Key Upgraded to Steam Early Access Key

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    Rare Collector

    The Collector Rewards* + Exclusive Backer Only Hoodie + Soldier Enlistment Key Upgraded to Steam Early Access Key & An Extra For A Friend

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    Rare Collector Rewards* + Playtest with Developers and Follow-up Feedback Session + Physical Art Book + Credited as 'Strategist' + Soldier Enlistment Key Upgraded to Steam Early Access Key & An Extra For A Friend

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    Daimyo

    Strategist Rewards* + Invitation to Release Party Weekend to hang out with developers before and during our Release Party (Travel Not Included) in Atlanta + 3D Printed Starter Character + Credited as 'Daimyo' + Soldier Enlistment Key Upgraded to Steam Early Access 4-pack

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    Shogun

    Daimyo Rewards* + Credited as 'Shogun' + Personal Recognition During Matt's Release Speech and Thank You Video + Custom Unique In-Game Weapon you help design + Additional 3D Printed Character + Soldier Enlistment Key Upgraded to Steam Early Access 4-pack

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Funding period

- (30 days)