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A unique breed of monster training! Raise monsters for racing, battling, farming, and more, while unveiling a mysterious legend. Read more

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A unique breed of monster training! Raise monsters for racing, battling, farming, and more, while unveiling a mysterious legend.

About this project


Original project video is here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6DJ7OACmc0

NEW!! STRETCH GOALS!!

Stretch Goals have been added! Here's an overview! Want to take your monsters on the go?

$3500 - iOS, Android, Win8, or WinPhone8 support! Backers' vote.

$4000 - iOS, Android, Win8, or WinPhone8 support! Backers' vote.

$4500 - iOS, Android, Win8, or WinPhone8 support! Backers' vote.

$5000 - iOS, Android, Win8, or WinPhone8 support! Backers' vote.

$6000 - Online multiplayer! Battle, race, and show against friends! Trade and breed with friends!

$7500 - Full voice acting for an exciting story experience!

$10,000 - XBox Live Indie Games special edition!

Ambitious? Maybe!

Preview of the Red Dragon Ranch mini-manga webcomic, coming soon!
Preview of the Red Dragon Ranch mini-manga webcomic, coming soon!

The Legend of Red Dragon ranch is an in-development monster-training RPG + pet simulation video game for PC (and, with enough funding, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, and more!) that seeks to breathe new life into a genre dominated by a few popular franchises.

No longer will a pet game be nothing more than clicking on cute pets, and no longer will a monster training game be the weaponizing of monsters solely for fighting.

Train monsters for a variety of competitions like races and wrestling matches. Expand your land to grow crops, build training facilities, or give your monsters places to play. Watch your monsters change and grow with your play style, and develop based on the way you take care of them.

Do you want to raise monsters in your own way, not the way the game wants you to? That's the inspiration for The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch.

After going to visit an uncle that you've lost touch with, you've found that no one has heard from him in years, and his farmland has been collecting dust. When you volunteer to take care of the ranch in his absence with the help of your older sister, you discover that your uncle was researching a legendary dragon monster while raising monsters on his ranch. Maybe if you learn to connect to monsters, too, you'll discover the secrets of the Red Dragon legend and solve the mystery of your uncle's disappearance.

How will you raise monsters and solve the mystery? The choice is yours. Your monsters and land develop with your play style.

On your ranch, take care of monsters your way. Maybe you want to take care of them as your beloved pets, making sure they are happy and healthy with no stress or worries. Maybe you would like to train the ultimate fighter and enter sparring competitions to prove you have the strongest monster of all. Maybe you want to breed racing monsters for money and fame. Maybe you'd like to become a professional caretaker with only the most elegant and beautiful monsters that always take away first place in shows. Maybe you'd like to raise a jack-of-all trades monster or many types of monsters... or maybe you'd like to focus on whatever you feel like at the time!

Build your ranch how you want--do you want it to be an intense training facility? A relaxing place for monsters to play? A crop farm dedicated to bringing in the big money? Or maybe a mix of everything? You can choose how you want to expand and utilize the land, and change it when you want, too.

Because this is the style of game we're shooting for, The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch will also be an experience molded by the fans and backers. We will listen closely to the suggestions you make for the game as we work toward the final build and try to add features that will create an experience you want to play. Is there something you've always wanted from a pet monster game? Or something that you loved from another game that you must see in this one? Let us know, and we'll see what we can do!

Every player can have a unique experience. Not only can you care for monsters and build your ranch in your own way, but your monsters will change according to your play style, as well. Watch as your monsters change in appearance based on how you've taken care of them. A monster that does a lot of physical training might get beefed up, where one that spends a lot of time running may become slim and sleek. A monster that is poorly taken care of may look sickly, while a healthy and happy monster may look beautiful.

Some concept sketches of baby monsters
Some concept sketches of baby monsters

Each monster has different looks it can take as it grows into adulthood, and when it finally becomes of age, different adult forms it can take, too! Will your Fen pup grow into the wolf-like Fenris with a vicious and powerful look? Or maybe your puppy will grow into the stylish and intelligent Fenx, a fox-like monster. Or maybe there's another creature it can change into.

Every monster has unlimited potential. Who says your monster has to specialize in a certain area just because it's a certain species? Every monster has its own interests and talents, and you can influence these by the way you raise it. Any monster can grow in any way -- so you can use your favorite monster in your favorite way, no matter what!

And the story experience will be different depending on how you play, too. Depending on how you make your way in the world of the game, the way you uncover the mysteries of the legend and your uncle's disappearance will change as well.

At first, The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch was a personal project of mine--after teaching myself computer programming, I wanted to do my first big game project, instead of small hobby games. I wanted to create a game on a more professional level.

After brainstorming with friends, I created a working prototype of the game. I got a lot of positive response from people close to me and online, and a lot of people were begging to play the game and buy a copy. Programming is one thing, but I couldn't possibly do all of the art, animation, music, etc. on my own and make it look as good as I wanted to, nor could I market it properly.

I started talking to composers and artists. I found a few that were also excited about the project, and wanted me to hire them to work on it. A childhood friend of mine became the lead composer, and even did some work for free. But he's a professional and busy, and I can't possibly have him write an entire professional soundtrack for free. And the same kind of situation is true for the artists--when you make a living doing this for free, you can't possibly work on a large project for free just because some guy has an idea you like.

I started to realize that I couldn't finish this project on hopes and dreams alone. I needed the support of other artists, and the support of money. I'm using what little money I do have to my name, as well as leaving my own commission art business in hiatus to work on this project.

Funding will be paid to officially hire and pay the staff, as well as commission some extra work that will need done. It will also pay for some basic licensing, publishing, and marketing so the game can reach its intended audience. Additional funding will also work toward the stretch goals.

I'm confident that The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch will be an exciting, unique experience that monster fans will love. All we need is the funding, which is something one or two people scraping by cannot afford on their own. And that's why we've decided on a Kickstarter campaign.

Currently, The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch has three devoted staff members (considering funding is successful), and potentially more. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to work on the project yourself!

Thaao Hanshew (Programmer, Director) - I've been teaching myself programming since I was a child. In elementary school, I played all day on an Apple IIe, trying to make games with BASIC. Even as a 2nd grader, I was making SkiFree-like games and card games. As I grew older and got a Windows PC, I started delving into DOS games and using creation software like ZZT, Megazeux, and later RPG Maker and Klik'n'Play to make games while focusing on the design aspects. When I was in college I was able to take a course in Java and used the concepts to teach myself C++, where I started playing with graphics libraries and engines to make all kinds of pet projects for myself. They were getting to be more and more complex, so I decided to finally attempt a "real" project. After a few prototypes, the game became way more than I imagined, and evolved into The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch. 

Joseph Diko (Composer) - Joseph has been playing percussion for 15 years, and has been teaching music and percussion for eight years. He also has published music for percussion ensemble, and has arranged percussion music for schools across central and southern Indiana. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys playing video games and and writing biographies in the 3rd person.

Bethany Borne (Animator) - Note: Our animator is currently busy with a move, and we hope to have her profile up shortly. We would rather she write it personally herself :)

$3500 - iOS, Android, Win8, or WinPhone8 support! Backers' vote.

$4000 - iOS, Android, Win8, or WinPhone8 support! Backers' vote.

$4500 - iOS, Android, Win8, or WinPhone8 support! Backers' vote.

$5000 - iOS, Android, Win8, or WinPhone8 support! Backers' vote.

$6000 - Online multiplayer! Battle, race, and show against friends! Trade and breed with friends!

$7500 - Full voice acting for an exciting story experience!

$10,000 - XBox Live Indie Games special edition!

Screenshot of the prototype, trying out the concept of three monsters on screen at once.
Screenshot of the prototype, trying out the concept of three monsters on screen at once.
Screenshot of the prototype's calendar system, where you can check for upcoming events like competitions, holidays, and birthdays.
Screenshot of the prototype's calendar system, where you can check for upcoming events like competitions, holidays, and birthdays.
Screenshot of the prototype's feeding inventory. The prototype has next to no graphics, just placeholder boxes. Enjoy all kinds of dishes from all around the world!
Screenshot of the prototype's feeding inventory. The prototype has next to no graphics, just placeholder boxes. Enjoy all kinds of dishes from all around the world!
Screenshot of the prototype, talking to Chef Armand. In prototype form, a lot of backgrounds are just solid colors for now! This is why we need your help :)
Screenshot of the prototype, talking to Chef Armand. In prototype form, a lot of backgrounds are just solid colors for now! This is why we need your help :)
Some final character concept sketches for the chef of the town's restaurant and the player character's sister.
Some final character concept sketches for the chef of the town's restaurant and the player character's sister.

Music Samples - Note: These are works in progress.

Check out more at the development blog!

We support the Kicking it Forward movement, and pledge to use 5% of the profits from the release of The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch to fund other Kickstarter projects.
We support the Kicking it Forward movement, and pledge to use 5% of the profits from the release of The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch to fund other Kickstarter projects.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge to overcome, fortunately, for this project, is funding. And that's what this kickstarter is for! I've spent over a month planning the budget and the amount to set the campaign, so I'm confident we'll have enough to build a quality project as long as the funding is successful. We need to buy some graphical equipment, but other than that, we have most of the equipment we need, it's just hiring the staff, commissioning a bit of work from other artists, licensing and publishing fees, stuff like that.

Another risk is one, as programmer, I'm taking personally -- devoting myself full-time to this project. While the other artists have other work they can continue to do (they'll just be taking on bigger loads, possibly abandoning parts of their other work), I'm going to be putting myself out of commission and sales for any other projects. Designing and programming the game is work enough, but I'm also going to be doing the sound effects, directing the project, managing the expenses, doing all the promoting and publishing... living off what little bit of savings I have and covering project-related expenses with the Kickstarter.

I want this game to be a solid title and fulfill the dreams of not just myself, but the staff, and monster-game fans, too. This is the biggest and most ambitious art project (I see games as art!) I've worked on in my life, and I'm determined to also make it the most successful. But that's a huge challenge in itself!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • This game would best be classified in the "simulation" game genre, though it also qualifies as an RPG.

    The gameplay is is made to be simple--all actions are completed with a single click. The game is turn-based, and every action you perform will take a certain amount of "time." For example, feeding your monster in the barn will take one hour. If you build a track at home and let your monster run laps, you could spend hours doing this. Shopping in town will take a different amount of hours depending on how many items you buy and how many shops you visit. Because it's a turn-based system, time does not pass while you are doing nothing--the time is added to the clock upon completing an action. You have a limited number of hours per day before shops close and your monster falls asleep (after which you can do nothing but go to sleep yourself).

    There are a variety activities you can spend your time on --feeding, playing, training, shopping, relaxing, farming...-- and as time goes on, there will be events you can attend on certain days. For example, you can celebrate your monster's birthday once per year. There will be a variety of competitions you can enter such as races, sparring competitions, showcases, and more. You'll be able to take the bus in town to these events. You can also visit the beach, mountain, and forest to train there.

    The RPG side of the game relates to how your monster grows. As time goes on, your monster increases in age, which means it will grow in shape and size. But your training will build its stats, and a lot of actions you do with your monster will roll a "check" to see if your monster succeeds, as well as rolling to see how well it succeeds.

    During the events and competitions, whether or not user input (making action-based systems) will be factored in will be left up to the backers and fans to decide. For example, a footrace could either be just watching your monsters race, based on how well they were trained, or you could actually have to move your monster by clicking on where you want it to go, or clicking to jump hurdles, or something like that. Adding the action systems is not currently fully planned, but will be added with adequate funding and demand.

    As for the ranch, you will be able to buy land expansions, which allow you to build more facilities on your ranch. Facilities are places where you can spend your time training, playing, relaxing, or farming. Examples include a zen garden, crop field, race track, indoor swimming pool, library, and many more. Some facilities may also generate money for the player, such as the farming fields.

    In short, the game is a turn-based simulation RPG in which a large variety of actions are available to you so that your monster can grow in a variety of ways, leaving strategy up to personal play choice and style.

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  • Currently, there are 10 baby monsters planned for the game, which have four different baby forms and three adult forms. We consider the baby forms to be the same monster, since they share many similarities and are, in gameplay, no different from one another, so that makes 40 unique monsters. If you could baby forms as different monsters, that would be 70 unique appearances.

    However, up to 20 monsters can be added by fans through Kickstarter rewards. Also, depending on the funding of the project, we would like to add more monsters. There are just currently 10 babies (40 total monsters) at this stage of development. We're only at the prototype stage--the game has been fully planned and a prototype has been built, but there is still a long way to go before the game is finished.

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  • The story will unfold as you succeed in the game. In which way it unfolds depends on how you succeed. Players who focus on training and fighting may come to the ending in a different way than players who focus on farming or breeding. You will uncover the same mystery and learn about the same story--it will just be through different means. The ending will be the same for all paths that lead there. For players who wish to see many paths, there will be a "new game+" feature.

    While the focus of the game is on the monster care and raising, the story will be an exciting feature that will give reward and encouragement to players as they play.

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  • The short answer is no. Once monsters have grown to old (or have died from mistreatment, such as illness or injury), they do not come back. A large focus of the game is to represent a monster which lives the course of its life from beginning to end, that you as the player help experience that life. If you want to be the best caretaker, you will need to find ways to keep your monster healthy to live as long as possible, while balancing training so that it still can become successful in what it does.

    However, your monsters will "live on" through reproduction if you so choose--once you have space on your ranch, you can breed monsters. The babies will carry on traits of their parents, just like the natural cycle of life in the real world.

    Because of demand that the monsters be able to be "saved" somehow, we are considering a "recording" system, so you can access your old monsters in different ways. For example, a research lab that will "record" everything about the monster. You can't use the recorded monster to participate in the competitions in the "real" world, but you'll be able to compete with your recorded monsters in virtual competitions, or show them off to friends, for example. This way your monster may die, but its memory is never lost. Perhaps you'll even be able to use this to breed monsters somehow. This was not an original plan for the game, but it is in high demand from fans, so we will definitely implement something that keeps your monsters "alive," though not in a literal sense.

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  • Most of the game is text, squares, and triangles, because there is a very small amount of art for the game. This is the purpose of the kickstarter--to get high-quality art into the game and make it look like what you'd expect from a commercial game. Instead of making my own makeshift sprites, I'd rather have a professional animator take care of the animation, for example.

    I will try to create a simple gameplay video from the prototype--note it will not be very flashy and not look amazing, because it's just menus that were programmed to get the game systems to work together. The final game will be programmed from scratch using these systems and formulas and concepts that were developed through the prototype. I feel that this is not a good representation of the final product, and that's why I have yet to record a gameplay video.

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  • No. This game is not Pokémon, nor does it aim to be. In the game, monsters are more like another classification of living beings. So you have the animal kingdom, plant kingdom, fungus kingdom, monster kingdom... Animals also exist, but monsters are considered a different type of living thing. But they don't have special powers or anything, they are just like any other living thing. They have a unique way of growing, though, unlike other living things, which makes them different from animals.

    Fen has plant-like features; however, I just combined features of animals+plants when I was designing it. Kind of how there are many bugs that emulate plants in real life, Fen is a canine that has parts that emulate plants so that it can hide among plantlife in the wild. As a pup, this is for protection, and as an adult, these features help it in hunting. Domesticated ones, of course, do not hunt, generally.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $1 reward

    2 backers

    A hearty thank-you from the development team, and a "Beginner's Hints" text document to get you a head start on raising your first monster when you start to play! Anyone who donates any amount will also have their name listed in the game's credits, and potentially elsewhere in the game. Perhaps you'll be an easter egg!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $5 reward

    14 backers

    Your very own copy of The Legend of Red Dragon Ranch for PC as soon as it is released. You'll still get the hint doc and your name in the game, too! And you know what, you can have a desktop wallpaper of your favorite monster, even the Red Dragon, just because you're awesome!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $25 reward

    7 backers

    A full e-book strategy guide that breaks down all the aspects of monster raising so you can master every monster, every facility, every competition, and successfully unravel the mysteries of the Red Dragon legend! Plus you'll get a copy of the game, and the hint doc in case you want some hints without spoiling all the secrets right away.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    An invitation to the private beta testing group. Influence the game and be a part of the team yourself! You'll still get the strategy guide, the game, and the hint doc, so you can fully enjoy the game you helped create when it's released!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $100 reward

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Work with the designers to name and design your very own character in the game. Your character will interact with the main character and own a shop in town, so they'll be seen very regularly! You can even help write the dialogue! You'll also be invited to the beta, and you'll get the game, guide, and hints, so you'll be a part of the game in every way! (Design must be completed by deadline. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to work on it.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)

    Make your own monster for the game! With the help of the designers, you can create your own monster family--the baby form, its looks as an adolescent, and the three types of adults it can turn into. Every monster game fan's dream can now come true! You'll be credited as a designer yourself in the credits, take part in the private beta, and get a copy of the game with the guide and hint doc. It's almost like you're a part of the game industry now! (Design must be completed by deadline. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to work on it.)

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)