a real-time strategic spell casting game based on the concepts of Wu Xing (5 Elements) and traditional Chinese medicine.
a game centered on the act of healing instead of killing.
a third person, single-player experience designed to be released in 6 episodes. This campaign is for the first Episode.
set in a a fictional, ancient China.
rendered in a graphic, comic book style.
being developed by a small team in Madison, WI.
releasing for PC, MAC/OS, and Linux in May, 2014.
Players assume the role of Pipa, a young Shaman who travels to Wudang mountain, the birthplace of Gong-Fu, to defeat a 2,000-year-old evil. Players must gather spell components from the mountain peaks, forge power medicines and magics, and then use those magics in real-time, arena-style spell duels in order to cure an ancient race of heroes who have been damned for eternity. By casting out and rejoining the mountain's 18 shadow demons the player must fight to banish the Last Immortal's evils from the earth once and for all.
GAME PLAY OVERVIEW
The secrets of an ancient culture sit atop great peaks under centuries of dust, water, stone, and decay. Explore them freely, gather what you need, and avoid the shadows that are hunting you.
The game has over 200 different components to use when making spells.The purity of the components used, along with how well you perform the forging tasks, will determine the final power of the spells you generate. A few examples of components you will need to find to forge the Veil of Purifying Ash are sulfur powder, black sea water, and pine smoke soot.
Players can forge more than 100 different spells, each with their own unique effect that can influence one of 15 different properties on a player. However, in order to be able to cast a spell, you must first forge its seal. Fail to complete the required steps in order and your precious components will be ruined. Succeed at the task and your toil will have produced several small disk-like seals that you can place on your sling and later use in combat.
Confront the Shaman.
Now you must test yourself and the spells you have created against the Shadows. Do you have what you need to withstand the Shadow's attacks? Which of your spells has an effect? Is there anything you can not defend against? Did you see any weaknesses in the Shaman's defense?
Take what you learn, modify your spell plan, reforge the seals you need, and try again. Fight until you defeat the Shadow and free the Shaman imprisoned inside.
Cure them all...
If you succeed in driving out the Shadow with your medicinal cures, your joy may be short lived. Though the Shadow will depart the body of the Shaman, it will likely flee to strengthen the next Shaman further up the mountain.
The Magic System
The art style of Shaman is a graphic comic book style with ink styled lines, hard black shadows, and simple color palettes.
Each of the game's exploration levels will be split into several comic like panels. These will be small windows into the game world that the player can move through. A simple click in the panel/area you want to move to and your avatar will path to that location. This allows the player to see the entire scene and for us as developers to be able to use cinematic framing and present a more enjoyable experience. Has this been done before? Not sure, might be a first.
The shaman were the first race of man. Created by the Eight Immortals when the
earth was first formed, they were to be a race of slaves that would bend and shape the new planet into a home fit for the gods. To aid the shaman in their tasks, the
Immortals granted them power over the elements of the earth. This power
was known as the Sha. Over time the shaman would gain favor. The Immortals would eventually decide to leave the earth to the shaman to populate and grow as a free race. However, not all of the Immortals were in agreement. The god known
as Waulin wanted to rule the earth and make it his domain. When the other Immortals departed, Waulin tried to take the shaman by force and gain control of the Sha. A great spell battle ensued, and in the end the shaman were able to stop Waulin from learning their secrets. They split his being into 18 separate pieces, with the strongest among them sacrificing their bodies in order to imprison his shadow magic. They saved
the world from ultimate destruction, but in doing so became prisoners inside their own bodies as the shadow took control. For two-thousand years these shadows have roamed the mountain's high peaks night and day searching for the secrets to unlock the Sha and become whole again. There, still trapped inside, are the souls of the brave shaman, forced to watch as the shadow slowly seeps it's evil out across the land.
If you would like to see this game come to Valve's Steam, please consider voting for us on Greenlight here! If our campaign is successful and we make it onto Steam, we will provide Steam keys to all game level backers.
Shaman is the first game to be developed at High Iron Studios. We are a small, veteran-owned, independent game studio in Madison, WI. Our previous industry experience spans across both AAA and mobile/social platforms with credits on eleven (11) shipped titles between us:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Call of Duty: Black Ops
XMEN Origins: Wolverine
Bob vs. Bear
We are a small team focused on delivering the quality gaming experience that we have promised our backers. We cannot afford to over scope this project and thus wewill not be adding stretch goals to this campaign. Any additional funding we raise over our campaign minimum will go directly towards supporting the development and completion of episodes 2-6 and their associated features. To address the questions of multiplayer versus and co-op modes, both have been part of our code base from the start, but finishing and releasing them will depend on the size and desire of the community that develops around the game.
Shaman:Shadows of the Last Immortal
Backers who qualify for a game tier will receive one digital copy of Shaman, Shadows of the Last Immortal, Episode 1. This episode is targeted for a minimum of 5 hours of game play and will see player's face off against the first three Shaman as well as explore the Earth monastery and it's surrounding grounds. Distribution: Digital Download
Collectible Metal Spell Coins
Machined heavy duty metal coins, 1 3/4" in diameter.
Fit very nicely in the palm of your hand.
Beautifully designed to mimic the magical seals in the game.
Highly collectible. This initial set will only be offered through this Kickstarter campaign. Don't miss out!!
Can be used to trade with others at game conventions or as player turn markers in your favorite tabletop games.
Coins will be distributed to backers via mail.
5 different coin designs to choose from (one for each of the five elemental schools in the game).
Paper Craft Set
We will be offering backers three designs of print and build paper models of art from the game. These will be both fun and challenging and will look great on your shelf once completed. Think of them as little a bit of entertainment that we can provide you before the game is ready. We will post the templates and designs as soon as they are ready. Delivery Method: Digital Download
This reward will include all of the music in the first episode of the game. Composed by our extremely talented sound team, all music will be original to Shaman and traditional Chinese in style. Here is a small sample of Pipa's Theme:
Digital Art and Design of Shaman eBook/PDF
Concept art, design notes, maps, strategies, spell recipes, component locations...there all here. Own a visual scrap book of the entire development of Shaman. Get a behind the scenes look at our creative process, how we came up with the ideas in the game, and how they developed over the course of our production. Format: Digital/PDF
Early Beta/Developer Forum Access
Get early access to test builds of the game and have the opportunity to provide direct communication to the developers on what you like and don't like about the game and how you think it should be fixed. Access is expected to begin starting in early January 2014. Backers will be notified by email when beta access and the forums open up.
Limited Edition Black Dragon Five Claw Spell Coin
A special black limited edition Dragon Five Claw collectible spell coin that will only be offered as part of this Kickstarter. Each coin will be individually numbered, professionally machined from heavy-duty metal at 1 3/4" in diameter, and beautifully painted.
Name/Design a Spell (Common and High level)
Backers of this reward level will get to work with our artists and designers to come up with a unique name, seal icon, and cast particle effect for a spell and have it included in the shipped game. Backers will also get to choose which of the 5 elements their spell will be associated with. We reserve the right to all final design decisions in order to maintain deadlines and design aesthetic consistency, but we will work with you to come up with great result together.
Name and Design a Temple in Shaman
Backers of this reward level will get to work with our concept artist and designer to craft a unique name, back story, and design for a temple in Shaman. We reserve the right to all final design decisions in order to maintain deadlines and design aesthetic consistency, but we will work with you to come up with a great result together.
Episodes 2-6 of Shaman : Shadows of the Last Immortal
The game we designed in Shaman is vast. To make sure we scope our time/resources properly and ensure our players have a good experience, we have chosen to release the game in several episodes. Our current plan is to first ship Episode 1 and then to continue with the development of the subsequent episodes, releasing one every 3 to 4 months until the full game is complete. To be absolutely clear: FUTURE EPISODE DEVELOPMENT IS NOT GUARANTEED. What is guaranteed, however, is that if our studio is able to produce any portion of the remaining 5 episodes of the game, backers who qualify for this reward level will receive all future episodes of the game, on the platform of their choice, via digital download, at no additional cost. Backers will be notified through email of new episodes if/when they are scheduled/released.
All Future High Iron Titles
Backers of this reward level will be placed on a special list that will entitle them to one (1) free copy of all future titles developed at High Iron Studios. Desired platform can be specified from those available at time of title release.
We have spent over a year in the planning and pre-production stage designing and testing game play, asset pipelines, and narrative to ensure a satisfying experience. We wanted to make sure that we could deliver what we were promising with a clear plan to ship prior to seeking funding. Though we cannot predict the future, know that we will always put our best efforts forward to ensure it's success.
We are an efficient and talented team with a wide network of talented and highly experienced freelance game developers who can easily be brought on board to speed up development or finish up extra tasks if necessary.
Contributors at this level qualify for all previous tier rewards plus the Art and Design of Shaman ebook/pdf, plus one (1) additional collectible spell coin of your choice (for a total of 2), plus Early Beta and Developer Forum access.
Contributors at this level qualify for all previous tier rewards plus one (1) additional collectible spell coin of your choice (for a total of 3), plus Shaman : Shadows of the Last Immortal episodes 2-6 (see note)
Contributors at this level qualify for all previous tier rewards plus two (2) additional collectible spell coins of your choice (for a total of 5), plus will get to name and design a lower level game spell.
Contributors at this level qualify for all previous tier rewards plus two (2) additional collectible spell coins of your choice (for a total of 5), plus a limited edition numbered Black Dragon Five Claw collectible spell coin.
Contributors at this level qualify for all previous tier rewards plus a limited edition numbered Black Dragon Five Claw collectible spell coin, plus will get to name and design an upper level game spell, plus be entitled to 1 copy of all games developed by High Iron Studios in the future.