Ambassador of Sieubia (AoS) is an episodic fantasy visual novel game about Nisha Ellanor, an ambitious diplomat and mage who has vowed her service to her country.
Nisha was born and raised in a small town in the countryside. Her parents were farmers and lived a simple, modest life.
This was changed forever when a band of barbaric thugs pillaged the town, burning and looting her family home and slaying her parents before her eyes.
Nisha was to be taken away and sold into slavery, only to be saved by a lone warrior who had been traveling through the area. After defeating the savages, the warrior guided Nisha to an orphanage, where she would spend the rest of her early childhood.
Having been saved in such a manner, Nisha aspired to one day be able to protect others and help prevent misfortunes like the her family had suffered.
After a good deal of hard work, dedication, and some luck, Nisha managed to graduate from the most prestigious military academy in the country and was then capable of pursuing her goal.
This is where Nisha’s journey begins.
Gameplay in visual novel–style games is relatively simple. You read a story, enjoy the art and music, and make choices when prompted. Some visual novels are choice-heavy with little impact, while others are limited in choices but they have huge impacts on the story. In AoS, we intend to provide a balance between the two so players can interact with the world around them in a meaningful way.
Each character has their own number of traits—such as shy, intelligent, impulsive, optimistic, etc - which you will learn through their dialogue and actions. To make a character more likely to befriend Nisha, you will need to make choices that put that character at ease—usually a choice related or neutral to one of their traits.
In some cases, it may be best to push the character's boundaries and help a very introverted character to be more out-going or a very impulsive and aggressive character to be more reserved.
Here are some of the more important characters that will have a major influence on Nisha's journey and her choices.
Having grown up in a wealthy family, Lillian found herself cast into Sieubia's most prestigious military academy after revealing she had a knack for horseback riding and a special connection with animals. While not being the greatest student, always aloof and constantly distracted, she is one of the best equestrians the academy has seen, and is even more skilled at cavalry combat. She is one of Nisha’s only friends and is extremely loyal; both to her country and her allies. Lilliane has trouble keeping her mouth shut and is notorious for being very blunt and vocal about what she thinks.
A past shrouded in crime, espionage and trafficking black market goods, Noraea Fireheart evaded capture and imprisonment for most of her life; gaining a reputation within Sieubia as one of the greatest assassins and smugglers that ever lived. However, everyone’s luck eventually runs thin, and she was apprehended after a job took a turn for the worst. She was offered her freedom back in exchange for her services – to work for the kingdom and military instead of as a privateer.
Much like Nisha, Mystearica was orphaned at a young age. Growing up proved difficult as her temper and emotions always got the better of her decision making and her anger management issues only increased over time. Once of age, Mystearica left the orphanage and joined the military - only to find that her outbursts and defiant behavior weren't permitted. After being forcibly discharged, she became a personal bodyguard and eventually met Noraea. Surprisingly, their two contrasting personalities melded perfectly and the two have been inseparable since.
A proud member of the Octian Royal Guard and an honorable knight - Stel Desani serves her kingdom and country with great distinction and courage. At a young age, she swore an oath to protect whoever she was assigned to until her very last breath if necessary. Stel makes for a dedicated guard and escort, but has a hard time lightening up, often being too sedate or stern even in the safest or carefree of environments.
Growing up, Jiji lived a posh and pampered life style within one of the wealthier houses of An'Kazi. He hadn't a worry in his life, and he spent his days reading and learning - seeking more knowledge, ever so curious about the world he lived within, and the world beyond Eshijan's borders. Due to Jiji's interest in the world outside of Eshijan, when he came of age, he was given a chance to become a foreign ambassador for the emperor. He took this opportunity, vowing to commit his life to his work at the emperor's pleasure.
This island nation is detached from the dangers of the world and has an abundance of amenities and resources like beautiful beaches and fertile farmland. Most importantly, it's the homeland of the Sieubian culture.
Sieubians are the descendants of an ancient, dragon-like race that once ruled the world from the mountains to Sieubia's east, now 'Octia'.
Through years of evolution and adaptation, Sieubians have distinguished themselves from their ancestors, cultivating a global presence and a creating new empire rivaling the size and power of the kingdom over which their predecessors once reigned.
Known around the world for their technological advancements as well as skill in various magical arts, Sieubians are also recognized for a distinct trait they share with their ancestors: they are of an epicene nature, with both genders having very feminine characteristics. A major indicator to determine the sex of a Sieubian is their horns, or lack thereof; male Sieubians possess horns, while females do not.
Players will have the opportunity to decide what sex they want Nisha to be in the beginning of the game.
(For the purpose of making things simple within the Kickstarter, all Sieubians and Octians are labeled as Female - using Her/She. In the game, they will be labeled according to Sieubia's native language.)
To the southeast of Sieubia lay Oxos, whose rolling plains and prairies form a sea of earthly green and gold. These open grasslands are occupied by a tribal, nomadic, beastlike people called the Rubani, who enjoy a natural talent for hunting wildlife and domesticating beasts thought too feral to control.
Excessively territorial, the Rubani view any encroachment on their land as a threat. This inevitably led to a conflict with colonizing Sieubians, as well as inner disagreements within the different tribes and sects of the Rubani. These disagreements resulted in a massive civil war that lasted many years, allowing Sieubia to gain a foothold within the western peninsula of Oxos. However, the once-separated tribes have finally unified under a single banner again to push Sieubia's settlers out and reclaiming old ancestral lands.
A mountainous country rich with ancient treasures and architecture left over from a past empire, Octia is the homeland of the Octians, the closest living descendants of the dragon race that once ruled the world. Octia’s steep and desolate landscapes offer little to those who are not capable of flying or trekking the massive summits on which archaic cities and temples are perched.
Still holding onto a fragment of the power they once had, Octia regards itself as being a nation that honors nothing more than morality and truth, though this often results in meddling in other countries’ affairs in an effort to make the world as peaceful as possible—even at the cost of more violence.
Karaso is a diverse and temperate region home to the noble and young humans. While not as experienced or historically important as the older races of the planet, the different states and kingdoms within Karaso have come together to strengthen their bond in hopes that they can join Sieubia as one of the world’s most prominent names.
Karaso has prospered due to trade agreements with Sieubia and their overly friendly political methods in recent years.
Notably, Humans seem to be the only race capable of having children with Sieubians, leading some to believe that perhaps they, too, are descendants of the dragon race.
To the north of Sieubia and Karaso lies a frigid territory shrouded in mysteries and rumors. Often described as somewhere adventurers flock but never return from, Asnar is inhabited by a feline race, the Asnarians.
Secluded from most threats because of the deadly weather and climate, Asnarians live and thrive in deep underground cities carved out from the very mountain ranges that make up the large, uncontested region.
It is commonly understood that Asnarians will eat anything they can get theirs paws on that isn't a fellow Asnarian; many thus assume that most adventurers to Asnar end up an entrée.
Land locked and protected by a large belt of deserts and steppes, Eshijan is a nation left largely untouched by exterior influences.
An'Kazi is the capital and home of the Zahari, a race of harpies that worship the sun and sky and have ruled over this desolate land for thousands of years. They shun outsiders and explorers from ever entering unless they stay permanently and adopt the Zahari dogma and traditions.
It is said that the Zahari were created with powerful twisted magic by the ancient dragon race simply to be their servants and subjects, and that they played a major role in the dragon race's downfall.
$6,000 = 100 Backgrounds
$10,000 = 50 Scene Specific Drawings (Estimate)
$8,575 = 35 Unique Character Sprites
$3,150 = 35 Songs Composed by Andi A.
$3,600 = Kickstarter Fee (around 8% of total funds generated. 5% for kickstarter and 3% for amazon)
$1,500 = Merchandise/Mailing Fees/Misc
$11,700 = Writing/Development/Programming
I'm going to be blunt when I say this: making a game isn't cheap, and a majority of our artists are willing to work for less than what would otherwise be the standard simply because they want the opportunity to work and to see the project be a success.
This budget represents essentially the bare minimum of creating enough content for the game to potentially make a name for itself. Keep in mind that the project is going to be episodic, so even $45,000 (realistically $40,000 due to kickstarter fee) for just the first episode is pretty minimal compared to the scale of where we want this to head.
Any extra support is greatly appreciated and contributes toward some of our stretch goals and will help AoS become a memorable game and universe for players to enjoy!
$50,000 = Animated Intro by Rtil
Rtil has agreed that if the project exceeds it's base goal by at least $5,000, he'll add to the project by creating an intro animation - similar to that of Driftwood's but at a higher quality scale.
$55,000 = Voice Actors
Character dialogue will be voiced!
We will search and find voice actors we see fit to fill the roles of each character.
$62,000 = Animated/Interactive H-Scenes
Similar to small H-games, we'll add different animations and effects to make intimate moments just a bit more...alluring. (Lewd!!!)
$70,000 = RPG Style Combat
While RPG Combat is fairly easy to add to the game, we'd rather focus more on the story elements of the game than combat and all the stats that come with it.
However, given enough people are interested - we'll add this an equal importance towards the finished product's gameplay.
$90,000 = Animated Cut Scenes
We will add animated cut-scenes for important moments in the story that will leave the player more impacted then they would if it was just text and basic art.
Lead Developer/Writer - Wakagana
Co-Developer - Deathbunny
Gage "Bunny" Domhoff is a young game designer and artist from Dallas, Texas. He's got a wide range of experience in writing, creativity, and community management. Ranging from personal paintings, to managing companies’ social media.
Audio/Orchestral Lead - Andy Andi Han
Andy Andi has been involved with visual novels for a long time, starting with contributing to the Katawa Shoujo soundtrack many moons ago.
Since then, he's also been working with Hato Moa on her next project, Black Holmes, achieved a BMus (Hons) and MA specializing in composing for film and conducting, and composed for numerous indie and art films, one of which is currently heading round the Asian festival circuit. Whew!
Fun fact: he once ordered a "Big Tasty" burger from McDonald's that had no burger in it, and the replacement they gave him had only 1 half of a bun, but 2 burgers inside.
Here is some music Andy's composed for various other projects
Bon Appetit opening
Musician/Editor - Alec Richman
A. S. Richman is a college English instructor with a passion for music and literature. Alec met Wakagana at the start of the development of Driftwood and was a vital proponent in making the game and characters come to life.
Once again, he is lending a helping hand, composing and producing music for AoS.
Sprite Artist - KeidiRN
Keidi is a freelance illustrator and 2D game artist. She has worked on various indie projects including Innkeeper, Fairy Tale Games and Armor Blitz. She enjoys playing video games in her free time, her favorites being Ragnarok Online, Suikoden, Starocean and Castlevania.
She loves pizza and all its pepperoni blessings.
Background Artist - Nguyen Viet Hieu
Viet Hieu is a background artist from Vietnam. He has worked professionally at a studio and has 3 years of experience. He has recently moved to freelance work and was excited to join AoS. In his free time, he likes to play first-person shooters like Half-Life and Counter Strike. Other hobbies include traveling, swimming, and grabbing a drink with friends!
Scene Artist - Tori
Dezra Avery, more commonly known as Tori enjoys torturing himself by drawing for days on end without sleep. In his free time, he writes and draws comics, eats anything that's put in front of him and loves helping out his community. Tori's won several national art awards and has worked for Disney. (He's a total show off and tends to be loud and angry all the time - oh boy.)
Animator - Rtil
Rtil has a long creative history, ranging from his personal animations and drawings to his professional work for Skullgirls, Indivisible, Dysfunctional Systems and Driftwood.
In his free time, he enjoys taking care of his puppers and playing Overwatch. He absolutely -loves- Hestia's character design. (Not really.)
Lead Programmer - Luke Carpentier
Luke Carpentier is an up-and-coming programmer from New Hampshire. He has worked as a programmer on a few game projects previously and hopes to refine his skills through independent game development with the intention of making a career out of it. He plays games of many kinds, but loves telling stories with tabletop RPGs and as such they are a strong influence on his game design.
$1 - Be in the credits!
Your name will be added to the credits at the end of the game in the $1 pledge credits slot. We also sincerely appreciate the small, but very helpful donation.
(Every donation has it's own credits tier - starting from highest to lowest. IE someone who donated $50 will show up earlier in the credits than someone who donated $5)
$5 - Get the OST
$15 - Get the game! (special)
$20 - Get the game!
$25 - Game, OST, and PDF Artbook
$40 - Game, OST, PDF and Pins!
$75 - Game, OST, PDF, Pins, and Print!
$130 - Game, OST, PDF, Pins, and Artbook!
$350 - Design a NPC-style character
$500 - Design a major character
Create a character that will have a bigger influence in the story/game (One that actually interacts proactively with the story) All other tiers below it.
$500 pledge credits slot
AoS began in January of 2014, during Waka's freshman year of College.
Having been burned out a bit on the constant delays Driftwood was facing, he took a few weeks off from the project to focus elsewhere, AoS is what became of that time.
Waka recruited several artists, most prominently TSCBR to MapleMoon, and with their help, we constructed a serious concept of each race and fleshed them out visually.
After having a basic outline of each race, the project was put on hold for a bit, Driftwood remaining Waka's focus. Unfortunately, both artists went their separate ways with the project - just happy to have helped.
Waka then spent his summer off finding a new team that would help bring the project entirely to life, taking the concepts and making them into real usable assets.
Now a year later, we have enough content to showcase to the public in the hopes of gaining their interest!
Old Concept Artists
TSCBR/Dian - http://tscbr.deviantart.com/ - Concept artist
Maplemoon - http://citizenmoon.tumblr.com/ - NSFW - concept artist
Kenshin - Concept/Promo Artist
Again -- This project will include sexual themes and is intended for an adult audience.
For more content/updates, feel free to follow us on our Facebook page!
Risks and challenges
From my experiences with Driftwood, I've found that some of the biggest risks and challenges are simply time constraints, expectations, and budgeting.
All of our team members have lives outside of creating the game, and while I would like to have the game be a full-time, sustainable job for everyone involved, the amount of funds required to do so would be much larger than what we're asking for.
Half of our art team lives within the United States, and while this is good for communication and building a reliable team of people interested in making this into a successful series of games, it's also really challenging to pay them at a reasonable rate without overspending or undershooting the expectations for the game’s content.
My goal is to create an episodic game series that will hopefully be somewhat sustainable on its own from future profits, but we may need to return to Kickstarter and crowd fund each episode if finances won't add up.
If you want to be a part of this project and make a lot of game developers and artists happy, donate anything you can. Every cent is appreciated!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)