Project image
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$4,181
pledged of $18,000pledged of $18,000 goal
151
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, April 21 2017 6:00 AM UTC +00:00
SkullBat StudioBy SkullBat Studio
First created
SkullBat StudioBy SkullBat Studio
First created
$4,181
pledged of $18,000pledged of $18,000 goal
151
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, April 21 2017 6:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

 

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Rephaim is a 2D adventure platformer with light RPG elements, inspired by NES and Master System classics. A grim-fantasy set in a fictionalized bronze-age Mesopotamia, it provides an original twist on themes and aesthetics from both ancient mythology and genre classics.

  • Explore the sprawling city of Rephaim and its surrounding wastelands.  Non-linear, interconnected environments allow for sequence breaking and discovering your own path to the city's heart.
  • Classic 2D platforming with a variety of traversal abilities.  Enhance and master these abilities to fluidly evade gauntlets of deadly traps and hazards.
  • Fast paced and deliberate combat balances strategy and skill for a real challenge.  Learn enemy tells and patterns to dodge their attacks and exploit their weaknesses.  Manage your health, stamina and manna mindfully, or find yourself unable to act at critical moments.
  • Gather ancient artifacts and equipment to aid in your quest.  Discover unique weapons, armor, trinkets and shields; each with their own storied history.
  • Learn a wide variety of spells, with unique characteristics and behaviors.  Bolts of lightning, raging firestorms, churning tornadoes and life sapping miasma are just a sampling of the powers that will be at your disposal.
  • Gain strength by consuming the remains of your ancestors, or rebuke their legacy for a more challenging journey.  Will you risk becoming like them for a taste of their great power?
  • Safely harvest the quintessence animating Rephaim's monstrous hoards to upgrade your spells and equipment.  Spells will evolve into new forms, trinkets will unlock new perks while weapons and armor improvements will increase your basic combat and survival ability.
  • An isolated heroine and a story told in fragments.  With only the briefest of exposition, the game's dark story will be shown primarily through environmental storytelling as well as the bestiary and artifact entries in our heroine's journal.
  • "8-bitish" art combines low resolution with full color depth and high quality animation for a bright punch to a retro aesthetic.
  • An original soundtrack combining chip, synth and live instruments for a unique sound.

We are targeting a digital-only release on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux. Once the game is out on Steam, we will focus on responding to bug reports and user feedback before looking into the possibility of other distributors (such as GoG and itch.io) or platforms (such as iOS, Android or console ports).

In a near-forgotten time, the Empire of Rephaim reigned over all creation and enslaved its many peoples.  Said to be monstrous giants whose mastery of the arcane had made them immortal, their power was unrivaled.  Legends say that in time their cruelty and hubris grew so great, it offended even the capricious gods who had little interest in the affairs of man.  In a single moment of judgement the gods stripped the Rephaim of their power and crushed their reign, rendering them as weak and mortal as their slaves.  They and their decedents were cursed and marked so that all peoples of the world could know the sin they had inherited and forsake them.  Their homeland was brought to ruin and made into a fallow and deserted wasteland.  And as a final insult, the great capital city of Rephaim was locked forever behind an eternal sandstorm.

But not every legend is true, and truths are rarely so black and white.

 

 

You are the Mother of Exiles, leader of a tribe of nomads descended from the Rephaim.  While your accursed mark makes pariahs of your people, it also grants you access to the deserted ruins of your ancestors.  In these places, great treasures can be found, and those treasures can be bartered with the hypocritical outsiders for the food and supplies which your barren lands cannot provide.  But while the survival of those in your care is paramount, you are driven to piece together the true history of your people.

And so the greatest opportunity in generations presents itself.  Scouts report that the eternal storm which surrounds Rephaim has begun to wane.  From a distance the city itself seems well preserved, a nearly perfect time capsule of when your people ruled the known world.  However, none of the scouts who have approached the city's gate have returned to report on what they have found.  Knowing the dangers and unwilling to risk the lives of any more of your people, you leave them to set camp several leagues from the city's gate while you venture on alone.  You cannot imagine the horrors you will encounter or the dark truths you will uncover as you come to find that the fate of all creation rests on your shoulders.

 

  • $1 - Our Thanks!: You'll have our heartfelt thanks, and as a token, we'll also send you a bundle of digital wallpapers formatted for phone, tablet and desktop backgrounds! We'll also make sure that you receive all backer updates, so you can track the game's progress and know when it's ready for release.
  • $7 / $10 - The Game!:  We'll make sure you get a digital copy of the game when it releases.  In addition to the digital wallpapers, we'll also include your name in the credits as a "Backer"!  This is the lowest price we plan to launch the game at.  Depending on the success of this campaign and the final scope of the project, we plan to charge up to $20 at release.  The first 100 backers at this level can get a $3 early bird discount!
  • + $5 - Digital Soundtrack:  You'll receive the full digital OST for the game as composed by Rob Quillen.
  • + $5 - Digital Map Poster:  We'll send you a poster resolution digital map of the city of Rephaim and the surrounding wasteland.
  • + $5 - Digital Artbook:  You'll get a digital artbook, containing sketches, finished concept art, and actual sprite sheets and background mattes used in the game itself.
  • $22 / $25 - Digital Deluxe Edition:  You'll receive all the digital rewards, as well as having your name listed as a "Deluxe Backer".  The first 100 backers at this level can get a $3 early bird discount!
  • + $15 - Physical Map Print*:  A 17" x 22" print of the map of Rephaim, delivered to you anywhere in the US or Canada.
  • + $25 - Physical Artbook*:  A 5.5" x 8.5" soft cover printing of our artbook!  We'll deliver it anywhere in the US or Canada.  As a mini-stretch goal, if we get 100 combined orders for the the artbook, we'll increase the quality of the printing from 'zine' to 'manga'.  And if we manage to get 250 combined orders, we'll increase the size to 8.5" x 11"!
  • $62/$65 - Physical Deluxe Edition*:  You'll receive all of the digital rewards, as well as the map print and the the art book! We'll also list your name in the credits as a "Deluxe Backer".  The first 100 backers at this level can get a $3 early bird discount!
  • $200 - Become a Fallen Legend:  We will pixel render your face in the game as a statue in the background of the "Monolith Canyon", where the statues of Rephaim's great heroes and legends have fallen from their high perches.  We will also provide you with the Physical* Deluxe Edition and list you in the credits as a "Fallen Legend of Rephaim".
  • $300 - Become a Lord of Rephaim:  We will pixel render a portrait of you to be hung in the halls of the High King's Palace.  In addition, we will work with you to write a short description for the player to read on inspecting this portrait.  We will also provide you with the Physical* Deluxe Edition and list you in the credits as a "Lord of Rephaim".
  • $500 - Become an Elder of Exiles:  We will animate a pixel art caricature of you (or work with you to create an original character)  to sit in the circle of elders at the Exiles' camp.  We will also work with you to create a short dialogue for your character to interact with our heroine.  In addition you will receive the Physical* Deluxe Edition and be listed in the credits as an "Elder of Exiles".
  • $1,000 - Meet With SkullBat**:  Come out to the San Francisco Bay Area and meet the SkullBat team!  We'll buy you lunch or dinner and hang out for a couple of hours to discuss the game or game design in general.  We will also provide you with the Physical* Deluxe Edition and list you in the credits as an "Exalted Backer".

*Physical reward items ship only to the US and Canada.

**Travel expenses not included.

Our principal systems are set, which means we are ready to enter a dedicated content production cycle.  The length of that cycle will depend entirely on the success of this campaign, and we will revise and chop our design targets based on our final budget when the campaign is complete.  Which is all to say that the more backers you can help us pull in, the more game you'll all get!

For reference, by our design metric, a palace from Zelda 2 would qualify as one "Level".  Each "Zone" is a collection of thematically similar levels with roughly parallel traversal gates and combat difficulties.  Some levels and zones will connect directly, while others will be interconnected through a series of city streets, canyon passes, sewer tunnels and secret passages.  Like any city these connections are the coursing veins of Rephaim, all leading back to its pulsing heart.

The Minimum Viable Candidate

Should the campaign be unsuccessful, we will rush the project to completion in roughly 3 months with a significantly reduced scope and no marketing budget.

  • 10 Enemies and 3 Bosses
  • 5 Levels Across 3 Zones

The Base Target Candidate

At the minimum threshold for the campaign, we plan to take 6 months and develop a more complete release candidate with roughly twice the content.  We'll also set aside a modest marketing budget for narrowly targeted advertising around the game's launch.

  • 20 Enemies and 6 Bosses
  • 10 Levels Across 6 Zones

Expanding Content and the Ideal Candidate

For every $5,000 we exceed our goal, we estimate we will be able to extend our development time by about one month and expand the scope of our content by roughly 20% of the base target.  At $78,000, we estimate we will have the budget for an 18 month production window.  We believe this will give us ample time to produce and launch with our ideal content volume.

  • 55 Enemies and 12 Bosses
  • 22 Levels Across 8 Zones

 

While the targeted size and scope of our project will be affected by how successful the campaign is, we only have three traditional stretch goals for this project:

$30,000 - Instruction Manual:  A classically styled instruction manual filled with tips, tricks and story insights.  If we reach this goal, we will include the digital version of the instruction manual with every download of the game.  We will also create an optional add-on reward for a physically printed version of the instruction manual for $20!

$50,000 - Gameplay Refinements:  We have identified a handful of features we felt the need to cut from our original design documents, which we'd really like to see back in the game.  At this stretch goal we will take the time to implement those features along with a few tweaks and refinements to our heroine's animations.  These include manual blocking and timing based countering, a separate dodge roll mechanic to complement our heroine's sandstorm-dash, and a refinement of her attack animations with different move-sets for different weapon types.

$70,000 - New Game+:  We will implement a "New Game+ Mode", with an exhausting level of difficulty.  You will need to bring along all of your accumulated power and gear to conquer this challenge and get a new twist on the game's ending!

 

 

SkullBat Studio

  • Jeff Hawkins (Art/Writing/Design/Animation/Scripting)
  • Lacey Canton (Art/Writing/Design)

We're both lifelong gamers and classically trained artists, studying at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where we met.  Jeff majored in 3D Modeling and Visual Effects with electives focused on Game Design and Scripting.  Lacey pursued Comics and Illustration, focusing on Character Design.

Ever since meeting in college, we've talked about making games together.  But after nearly 10 years working around game development as Supervisors in QA and Tech Support, we realized that the corporate ladder wouldn't land us the creative positions we really wanted.  So we've taken our careers into our own hands to launch this endeavor.

We've cashed in our life savings and invested everything we have into this project.  We are all in on completing this project and achieving this childhood dream.

Contracted

  • Rob Quillen (Music/Sound Design)

Composer and instrumentalist Rob Quillen entered the music ranks as a heavy metal drummer in the mid ‘80s, performing with northern California thrash-rockers Villain and a host of headliners through the glam and grunge eras. In 2000, he formed AcidNine, a soulful alternative quartet who achieved a San Diego Music Award nomination and national acclaim with their singles featured on MTV’s hit Undressed. Rob currently writes and performs with San Diego-based three-piece rock band, Deliverance Machine.

Rob's musical credits include original compositions for companies such as California boardsport lifestyle clothing company Airwalk, Hobie Cat, and electronics manufacturer Carttronics. He also wrote themes the for web series "The Resolve" and IMDB-featured short film "Falling For You." Other current projects include an independent film podcast and original score for an upcoming unannounced miniseries.

In his spare time, Quillen's hobbies include gaming, riding motorcycles, home improvement projects, and partaking in the sweet science of sampling various bourbons.

This is a lifelong dream for us, and we are sincerely grateful for any support you can provide in helping us to reach that goal.

 

Risks and challenges

We are primarily artists, so learning to script and implement our art into an actual game has been our greatest challenge. We've made a lot of mistakes and spent a good deal of this past year learning and growing in new directions. But at this point, a year into production, all major systems have been implemented and thoroughly tested with the exception of save/load and some of the camera, menus and UI features. We have put this work off until the campaign is complete because our approach will depend greatly on the final scope of the project, which depends greatly on the campaign's degree of success. We have already outlined our options for this work, and once we nail down the project's scope, we expect it to take 2-4 weeks.

Other than that, we are ready to drill down and focus entirely on content. While having a team of two artists with one contract musician presents its own challenges, the only real risk is in the accuracy of our timeline estimates. Even if the campaign should fail, we expect to produce a minimum viable candidate to put up for sale. And if the campaign is a success beyond our expectations, we will not expand the project beyond our ideal candidate. While we might consider contracting out some art to expedite production, we will not expand our core team and suffer the growing pains that some projects encounter when pushed beyond the tipping point.

Even if our timeline estimates are off, the worst case scenario is that we will be forced to cut content or delay our release. We have staked our careers and our livelihoods on this project, and we will see it through.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank You Wallpaper

    You'll receive our thanks! And as a token, we'll send you a bundle of three digital wallpapers for desktop and mobile.

    You can also stay up to date on our progress with all our exclusive backer updates.

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    Early Bird - Game Download

    Jump in early to save on a digital download of our game when it releases!

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a backer.

    Includes:
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
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    Game Download

    A digital download of our game when it releases!

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a backer.

    Includes:
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    Digital Soundtrack Bundle

    A digital download of our soundtrack to go along with the game!

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a backer.

    Includes:
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Backer)
    • Backer Updates
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    Digital Artbook Bundle

    We'll send you a digital artbook to go with the game. It will include concept art as well as examples of spritesheets and background mattes used in the actual game.

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a backer.

    Includes:
    • Digital Artbook
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Backer)
    • Backer Updates
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    Digital Map Bundle

    We'll send you a digital poster resolution map of Rephaim to go with the game.

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a backer.

    Includes:
    • Digital Map Poster
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Backer)
    • Backer Updates
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    Early Bird - Digital Deluxe Edition

    Jump in early to save on our Digital Deluxe Edition! That includes the soundtrack, map and artbook.

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a deluxe backer.

    Includes:
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital Map Poster
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Deluxe Backer)
    • Backer Updates
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    Digital Deluxe Edition

    Get the Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes the soundtrack, map and artbook.

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a deluxe backer.

    Includes:
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital Map Poster
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Deluxe Backer)
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    Deluxe Poster Edition

    We'll send you a 17" x 22" print of our map poster, in addition to the Digital Deluxe Edition (physical reward items ship only to US and Canada).

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a deluxe backer.

    Includes:
    • 17" x 22" Physical Map Poster
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital Map Poster
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Deluxe Backer)
    • Backer Updates
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    Deluxe Artbook Edition

    We'll send you a 5.5" x 8.5" printed softcover of our artbook, in addition to the Digital Deluxe Edition (physical reward items ship only to US and Canada).

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a deluxe backer.

    Includes:
    • 5.5" x 8.5" Softcover Artbook
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital Map Poster
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Deluxe Backer)
    • Backer Updates
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    Pledge $62 or more About $62

    Early Bird - Physical Deluxe Edition

    Jump in early to save on our Physical Deluxe Edition! We'll send you a both the 17" x 22" print of our map poster and the 5.5" x 8.5" printed softcover of our artbook, in addition to the Digital Deluxe Edition (physical reward items ship only to US and Canada).

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a deluxe backer.

    Includes:
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • 17" x 22" Physical Map Poster
    • 5.5" x 8.5" Softcover Artbook
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital Map Poster
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Deluxe Backer)
    • Backer Updates
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Physical Deluxe Edition

    We'll send you a both the 17" x 22" print of our map poster and the 5.5" x 8.5" printed softcover of our artbook, in addition to the Digital Deluxe Edition (physical reward items ship only to US and Canada).

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a deluxe backer.

    Includes:
    • Game Download (Steam)
    • 17" x 22" Physical Map Poster
    • 5.5" x 8.5" Softcover Artbook
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital Map Poster
    • Collection of Digital Wallpapers
    • Name in Credits (Deluxe Backer)
    • Backer Updates
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Fallen Legend

    We will include you as a statue in the background of "Monolith Canyon", in addition to your choice of the Physical or Digital Deluxe Edition (physical reward items ship only to US and Canada).

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a "Fallen Legend of Rephaim".

    Includes:
    • Physical or Digital Deluxe Edition
    • Statue of You in the Game
    • Name in Credits (Fallen Legend of Rephaim)
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Lord of Rephaim

    We will include a portrait of you along with a short description in the halls of the "High King's Palace". You will also receive your choice of the Physical or Digital Deluxe Edition (physical reward items ship only to US and Canada).

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a "Lord of Rephaim".

    Includes:
    • Physical or Digital Deluxe Edition
    • Portrait of You In the Game
    • Name in Credits (Lord of Rephaim)
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Elder of Exiles

    We will animate you or work with you to create an original character to sit in the circle of Elders at the Exile's Camp for our Heroine to interact with. You will also receive your choice of the Physical or Digital Deluxe Edition (physical reward items ship only to US and Canada).

    We'll also include your name in the credits as a "Elder of Exiles".

    Includes:
    • Physical or Digital Deluxe Edition
    • Become An Elder in the Exile's Camp
    • Name in Credits (Elder of Exiles)
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Meet With SkullBat

    Meet the SkullBat team in the San Francisco Bay Area* and we'll treat you to a nice meal while we hang out to discuss the game or game design in general. You will also receive your choice of the Physical or Digital Deluxe Edition (physical reward items ship only to US and Canada).

    We'll also include your name in the credits as an "Exalted Backer".

    *Travel expenses not included.

    Includes:
    • Meet the SkullBat Team
    • Physical or Digital Deluxe Edition
    • Name in Credits (Exalted Backer)
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Funding period

- (30 days)