A side-scrolling, snow-chucking, wise-cracking beat 'em up with deep roots, robust levels, and plenty of hot cocoa to go around!
Snodown is a game for anyone who grew up playing the classics, and has done their fair share of growing up since then. All of us here on the development team have fond memories of our favorite titles, and want to recreate those memories for new players, while saying something meaningful and creating fresh and fun game mechanics for longtime players.
It's not about us. Above all, we want to create experiences that endure.
Snodown: The Demo
We can talk about Snodown all we want, but as we all know showing is so much better, You can play a demo version of Snodown here, on the Scirra Arcade! We're proud to currently be the 3rd top rated game on the entire site, but have our sights set on that #1 spot!
Snodown: The Game
- Two-player side-scrolling beat-'em-up action
- Ranged combat, interactive environments, and unlockable abilities
- 14 boss encounters
- 7 levels with robust level design and variable layouts that change as you unlock new abilities
- Secret bosses, hidden levels, multiple endings! Woah!
Almost every beat 'em up in the history of beat 'em ups has focused on punching. Don't get us wrong - we love punching! But, we wanted to mix it up a little.
Instead of having a primary melee mechanic, the primary mechanic in Snodown is ranged: chuck snowballs. This opens up a lot of design opportunities! Where in classic beat 'em ups you were most commonly in danger if you were very close to an enemy, in Snodown you can be in danger even if the enemy is all the way on the other side of the screen. For beat 'em up veterans, this will feel fresh, fun, and exciting (we should know - we're veterans ourselves!). For players new to the genre, we hope this will inspire you to check out some of the classics that in turn inspired us!
We also wanted to incorporate level mechanics commonly found in regular other side-scrolling genres: additional abilities that unlock over the course of the game, a primary hub that lets you return to previous levels, additional content that you may not be able to access the first time through a given level, and lots more!
Additionally, we wanted to through some of our own crazy ideas into the mix. The enemies that spawn throughout each level will change depending on your specific ability kit at that time. Let's say on your first playthrough you go through Level A to B to C to D, but on your second playthrough you go D to C to B to A. The enemies you encounter and techniques they use to beat you will be different in every single level!
And finally, beat 'em ups have some pretty common tropes. We wanted to take these tropes and play around with them, avoid them, or completely turn them on their head. We don't want to spoil too much, or we might give it all away, but you can expect some gold ol' mischief!
The Story - Carol is Missing!
Every winter the students have an enormous school-wide snowball tournament: the Schoolyard Snodown. Cody, champion for two years straight, is about to finish his last year at the school. This time around, he has decided that he's too cool for snowball fighting. Done with the game, he dumped his best set of cold-weather clothes into the school's lost and found. He's mellowed out, grown up, and even has a cute girlfriend now – Carol. They held hands once. Maybe. It's middle school.
As the first big snowfall of the season falls onto the town, Cody and his kid brother Sam talk over their walkie-walkies as school lets out. Cody may be done with the game, but his rival, Diesel, is far from done with him . . .
Sam: "bzzzt . . . zzt . . . dy? Can you read me? Cody are you there? Over."
Cody: "Yeah, Sam, I can hear you."
Sam: " . . . "
Cody: "Sam I'm not gonna say 'over'".
Sam: "C'mon, big bro! Ple-"
Sam: "*sigh* Okay... Did you get your snow gear back?"
Cody: "No, looks like Diesel's goons skipped class and swiped it. Will you just tell me what's going on already?"
Sam: "That jerk! I bet he split it with the other gang leaders. Now we're gonna have to get it back and save your friends!"
Cody: "My friends? Sam, what are you talking about?"
Sam: "You haven't heard? Diesel's challenged you to the Snodown, again! He's already captured all of your friends or bullied the rest of the school onto his side!"
Cody: "Shouldn't we just tell his parents or someth-"
Sam: "NO. Cody. You know the rules of the Snodown! You'll lose! Besides, you're so cool when you're snowball fighting! You're so fast, and strong, and and -"
Cody: "Ok, fine, Sam. I'll do it. Jeez. So, that jerk Diesel got the whole middle school to turn against me, kidnapped my friends, and stole my best snow gear?"
Cody: "Ugh. Now they're spread out all across town so I have to find them and chuck snow at them until they give up?"
Cody: "Welp. Let's get this over with. Wait, Sam - have you heard from Carol yet?"
Sam: "No . . . I bet Diesel probably nabbed her, too . . . This is the worst, Cody! We gotta stop him!"
Cody: "Yeah, we do. Over."
We are planning on releasing Snodown for the PC (direct download) and the OUYA, for a start. That being said, Construct 2 gives us a lot of platform flexibility so if there's a particular place you'd like to be able to play Snodown, let us know! You name it, we can probably publish to it. Our goal is to get Snodown onto the platforms you guys want to play it on, so if we hear that there's a lot of demand for a particular platform, we'll do everything we can to get it there.
Popular platforms (aka Steam) would be great for Snodown, and we'd be honored to be a part of any of them, but at this point, given the small nature of the project, it isn't feasible. Hey, we're not saying it couldn't happen! It's just a long shot - one we'll address when we get there.
We'll be sending out a survey at the end of our Kickstarter campaign to collect all the necessary information from all of you - shipping address if you ordered a box copy, screen resolution, etc.
$1 - [SPECIAL THANKS] We are truly grateful to every single backer who helps us turn our idea into a real game. So! To express our gratitude, your name will appear in the credits for Schoolyard Snodown. Thank you very much!
$5 - [THE GAME] You will receive your very own copy of Schoolyard Snodown! You choose the platform - OUYA or PC (or, any other platforms we have expanded to!). We're currently targetted February 2014 for Snodown's release. Plus, all previous rewards.
$15 - [SOUNDTRACK] You will receive a copy of the full soundtrack for Schoolyard Snodown (digital download)! We'll delivery this once our sound guy puts the finishing touches on all the tracks, likely about a month before Snodown itself is released. Plus, all previous rewards.
$25 - [LETTER] The Snodown team will personally send a hand-written and signed card to you expressing our tremendous thanks, and encouraging you to get some quality snowball fightin' time in this winter! We'll even include some awesome concept art we used to create Snodown! We'll be sending out a survey after this Kickstarter campaign successfully concludes in which we ask for your address. Plus, all previous rewards.
$50 - [SNOWBALL] If you are contributing at least $50 to this project, THANK YOU!! We like you so much, we'll hit ourselves in the face for you.
You get to pick a member of the development team who will literally get a snowball to the face. Have mercy! Yes, this happens for each backer who contributes at least $50. Yes, we will record each one on camera. Yes, we will upload a video montage for all to see. Plus, all previous rewards.
$75 - [HANGOUT & EARLY ACCESS] Our hat is off to you. At this point, you've helped us out so much that you deserve to be a part of the process.
Each backer who contributes at least $75 will be have multiple opportunities to see early (spoiler-free!) versions of Snodown and help design the game itself! You'll have the opportunity to provide direct feedback, and we'll even invite you to join one of our weekly meetings! You'll get to witness how the magic happens, participate in design discussions, and of course shoot the breeze. Once all business is concluded, of course. Goofing off is a very serious business, and should only be one when appropriate. Plus, all previous rewards.
$100 - [BOX COPY] Physical rewards are expensive for a small studio like us, but this one was too good not to offer to everyone! Especially you're awesome enough to contribute this much.
If you contribute at least $100, you will receive a Special Edition boxed copy of the game, including a signed art print and the soundtrack! We'll be sending out a survey after this Kickstarter campaign successfully concludes in which we ask for your address, so we can get it to you. Expect it in the same week that Snodown is officiallyreleased. Plus, all previous rewards.
We will not be offering box copies of Snodown for retail purchase outside of this Kickstarter. This is exclusive!
$150 - [GAME MANUAL] Your Special Edition boxed copy will include a retro-style full color instruction manual! In addition to containing concept art, extra story details, and advanced gameplay tips, we'll have extra easter eggs hidden throughout! Maybe those secret parts of each level won't be so secret after you take a flip through the manual . . . Plus, all previous rewards.
$200 - [ALLY] We'll use your name and likeness for one of Cody's friends! Cody is participating in this darned Snodown because you guys got captured by Diesel, you know? How careless of you! Now it's time to show Diesel who's boss along side Sam and Cody themselves! Plus, all $150 and under rewards.
$250 - [TOWN FOUNDER] A statue of one of the town's founders in Town Square will be designed using your name and likeness! How intrepid! This statue will be big, bold, shiny, and of course, golden. Additionally, we'll name Cody & Sam's middle school after you! Look at you, founding schools and video games and stuff. Should two backers select this reward tier, we will name the middle school collectively after both of them (e.g., if John Roe and Richard Schmoe contribute $250, it will be named Roe-Schmoe Middle School). Plus, of course, all $150 and under rewards.
Why Kickstart in the First Place?
The primary constraint for this project has always been time. We know exactly what we want to do, but don't quite have the means to do it. Many of us work part-time jobs in addition to being a full-time worker, student, or parent. Securing funds from Kickstarter would mean transforming Snodown from a nights-and-weekends project into a part-time job for many of the team members, and being able to put in the time we need to finish this game. It would let us take reduced hours working part-time and replace those hours with time spent on Snodown!
It means we could release Snodown in February 2014, instead of who-knows-when.
Beyond 100% Funded
The nature of this project and our time constraints prevent us from putting in much additional time after our launch window (February) until the summer, which is why we aren't offering stretch goals - that's too long to ask all of you to wait.
However, you can rest assured that any funds we raise in excess of our target will go towards adding as much polish as we possibly can to Snodown! Extra boss animations, additional level detail, more lines of dialogue - you name it.
We can't begin to express how thankful we are for all the support we've received. Having the opportunity to present Snodown to the rest of the world has been an incredible experience. We're looking forward to sharing the finished version of the game with all of you next February!
-The Schoolyard Scoundrels
Risks and challenges
Time is the primary constraint for Schoolyard Snodown. We have the team, we have the vision, we've planned out every detail of the game, and with a successful Kickstarter we'll have the funds. But considering every team member either works full-time or is a full-time student, the primary risk to the project is that one of our team members simply won't have the time to complete their assignments.
This risk should be largely mitigated by a successful Kickstarter. Securing funding means paid team members, which in turn means that team members can afford to put more time towards the project.
Additionally, we've been very conservative in building our budget and schedule. For any given task, we took the high-end estimate of how long it should take to complete. When each team member estimated how much time they'll be able to contribute to the project, we took the low-end estimate. We also purposefully built in contingency time to ensure we'll be able to finish what we've started.
We're much more likely to find ourselves with extra time towards the end of the project, which we'll be able to use to further polish and refine Snodown.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)